There's Something About Sharon

~~~

When I told my son that I was getting together with someone I had met online, he commented “that’s a bit sketchy.”  And, as a helicopter mom raising her boys in the age of the internet and social media, I have to admit that I was sort of pleased at his response.  So how then to explain to my son, who I would certainly caution never to do the same thing, that I already knew all I needed to know about Sharon from her written words.  Nothing sketchy about it.

She commented on my blog first.  (I know because today I went back and checked.)  So, as I always do, I headed over to hers to check her out and to reciprocate.  I can’t remember how things evolved from there but we quickly formed a mutual admiration society and became faithful followers, commenters, and blog friends.  And there were some behind the scenes email conversations – things that were too private to say in a public blog comment.

Over time and through what we read and wrote, I came to know Sharon.  And to feel a connection that I believed would transcend the internet world.  She was more than just an anonymous blogger behind a keyboard – the real person shone through.  I knew that Sharon was intelligent, honest, observant, spiritual, genuine, creative, insightful, self-reflecting, compassionate and caring, fun and funny, a planner, filled with wanderlust, and someone I could sit and talk with for hours despite never previously having had a “real” conversation.

Yet despite feeling like I’d known her for years, I still was a bit nervous about meeting in real life.  Not that we wouldn’t get along.  I knew we would.  Not that we’d run out of things to say.  I knew we wouldn’t.  Not that we wouldn’t like each other.  We already did:)  But there I was in my same old “worrying about what others think about me” mentality.  Worried about where we should go to eat since it was my town and we are, after all, “dieters.”  Worried about what to wear since the sudden cold spell meant long pants and my jeans were all either too big or too small.  Worried about putting on the tiny bit of eye makeup I rarely wear because it’s not the “every day” me who Sharon has come to know but if we took a photo to post on our blogs for all eternity I sure didn’t want to appear to have no eyelashes!  Worried about how she’d respond to my asking if I could hug her when we first met.  Even already worried, just a bit, about doing justice to our meeting in a blog post!  Trust me, I can always find a ton of nothing to worry about.  And this was no different.

So, there I was, in my baggy-in-the-bottom-but-still-snug-in-the-waist jeans, wearing mascara and, yes, even earrings, driving in my car to meet her, with a huge grin on my face.  I felt it.  The grin.  And the anticipation.  And I knew what I knew.  And I could not wait.  Shoot – I’m grinning again as I type this!

And there she was with her arms already open.  Seems I wasn’t the only one thinking about a hug:)

Okay, still smiling.  That’s how great it was.  I knew it would be, despite my little “can’t help but sweat the small stuff” nerves.  Because, as I never did explain to my son (who took the photo above), I already knew the real Sharon.  And she is just as wonderful in person as she is in the blogworld.  And after a delicious lunch with her gracious, easy-going husband (mine was ironically on his way to Colorado, where Sharon and Mr. B were next headed), she came home with me and we talked for hours.  About blogging.  And our lives.  And our journeys and challenges.  And hiking and biking.  And our past careers and our current lack of careers.  And family and friends, including some of you!  About how we are the same and how we are different.  And we talked.  And I’m still smiling.

Have you found a connection with someone you only know online?  Ever met an internet friend in real life?  Do you want to?

 

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58 Comments

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58 responses to “There's Something About Sharon

  1. Lee

    Some of my closest friends I met on the internet! We met on an Osmond Brothers forum back in 1999 and got to know each other from our posts. By 2000, we planned our first meeting in Branson, Missouri and we’ve been traveling together ever since. We also find time to have our spouses join in on our fun. The internet has definitely been a blessing to me.

  2. Miz

    I adore this as I, too, have met some internet friends and clicked instantly and have so so so many Ive never met and still feel as tho they are sisters.

  3. I feel like I’ve made connections with people online since I started losing weight Oct 2009 🙂 I share some of my deepest thoughts with people here than I do in real life!

    I think it’s wonderful you found someone like this!

    • Karen

      That was something we touched on when we talked the other day – how so many of us really open up on here in a way we would not do with people in our real lives.

  4. I met my SO on the internet in 1995 and we have been together since Jan 1996. I have met many people in person that I met first online.

  5. Awww this is great! I’m so happy for you two. 🙂

    I have never participated in a blogger meet-up but I really want to!

  6. What a great meeting!! Thx for sharing. I’ve never met anyone online. But one of my closest friends met her long term bf that way!

  7. “I can always find a ton of nothing to worry about.” – LOL I like the “ton of nothing” and identify.

    There’s definitely blogging friends I wish I could meet, but I haven’t yet.

    I HAVE, though, married my husband after knowing him for only 3 weeks. This is something I wouldn’t recommend to anyone, but I just knew it was right. We’ve been married for almost 16 years now. Basically, our mutual friends who knew each of us for a year kept trying to set us up. They finally did, and we were instant friends and still are. I guess our friends knew us pretty well.

  8. Oh, I meant to add that I have two friends who recently married someone they met online.

  9. I’m still smiling! It was so much fun and everything you said. Thanks for the kind words – I got all warm and fuzzy just reading them. In this day and age, it really isn’t all that far between your house and mine! Let’s do it again!

  10. Love this & the pic! Although the link to Sharon did not work for me.. not sure if it is my end. But yes, I have met people online & not in person that we clicked & have the friend like relationship via email only… never met a blogger in person though. How fun for you Karen!

    PS: I just noticed you look so like my aunt, my mom’s sis….

  11. what a great story i’ve created great friendships online and ihope toone day meet some of the people i’ve spent hours talking to

  12. This post brings a huge smile to my face. I am so glad your visit was so wonderful… and of course glad you’ve raised a cautious son.

    I’ve developed a few friendships since my blog started, and I feel like they’ll continue to develop. Some people just sort of jump out at you, and you know you’d be friends if you met in person. And others grow on you more slowly… and some not at all. In the end, it’s almost like we know the deeper thoughts of our online friends much faster than we know the deep thoughts of the friends we meet in person first.

    When meeting in person, we do the pleasantries and superficial stuff first. When meeting online, we respond first to things people say that strike deep chords in us. It’s fascinating really.

    • Karen

      You are so right!!! We open up more and faster and in a deeper way online. BTW – my son found his college roommate online.

  13. I have met several people on line…I have met one dear friend Dana…we got to know each other on a fitness forum on Oprah.com…that was like 14 years ago!!!

    This summer I am planning a trip to Chicago to meet Leanne…she was one of my first commenters, too and I just adore her and her family!!

    This was a happy post and made me SMILE:)

  14. So glad it went so well! 🙂

    My husband; he worked for the same company but in Chicago…it was SEVEN YEARS before we actually met. So yes, many many years of at first just emailing, then a mix with phone calls… 🙂

  15. I love stories like this!

  16. I totally had a great time meeting some folks I only had known online a couple of years ago when we met in person at an event. We even shared a hotel room with a couple of other ladies from my state for the event and I still like to keep up with whats going on in her busy life. I feel like we are friends even though we only communicate through Facebook. We live in different states of course and we both have our families.

    • Karen

      I think Facebook has been a great way for me to stay connected to some distant friends and relatives that I would otherwise not be in touch with:)

  17. Hi Karen…yes I have met people that I met online and this weekend for fitBlogger 11 in Baltimore I will meet a slew!!! I have a very good girlfriend in Ohio that is like a sister to me that I met on the WW boards. We talk at least 5 or 6 times a week by phone. She is having terrible health issues right now and I am scared to death that I might lose her. It is a lot of fun to meet new people…

    Karen I have a question about the fitblogger contest you won for the MyTrak, did you get it yet and do you like it…How did they go about getting it to you…I really wanted to win one, so glad I did this week…I’ll check back at a later date for your answer…

    • Karen

      I got an email a day or so later asking for my address. I have not gotten it yet, but know Rita was on vacation the week I won so am being patient, against my nature. I suspect you will hear from her soon if not already:)

      I would love to go to fitblogger next year. This one is the same weekend as my son’s high school graduation.

  18. I met my husband online (via AOL’s old Romance Connection) back in 1994 and I’ve been meeting people that way ever since!!

    I’m so glad you had a good experience…

  19. Roz

    HOW FUN!!!!! Glad you had a good time!!!! I look forward to meeting some of my favorite bloggers in real life one day myself.

  20. Awwww, that’s so nice. I’m glad it worked out so well! 😀 Deb

  21. I may print that photo and frame it for my bookshelf–two of my favorite people in one place! 🙂

    Most of my closest friends are people I met via online forums, mainly my creative writing buddies. I’ve also had the unmitigated joy of meeting a few fellow bloggers and definitely count each of them as friends!

  22. I’m not sure if I’m seeing actual or just energetic, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if you’d said she was your sister. That’s a great picture.
    I’m so glad you had the connection you expected and that you enjoyed your time.
    I’ve found a true blue buddy online and I really wouldn’t have expected it.
    It’s great.

  23. How wonderful that two of my favorite gals have met (and how lucky for you both!) I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting anyone from blogland yet but hope that I get such an opportunity some day. Stories like these are so heartwarming 🙂

  24. That is so great! I would love to meet some of my blogging buddies some day!

  25. I have some very close friends that I first “met” on line. Meeting in person brought us closer. It’s hard to get together because we live in different parts of the country, but it’s always a blast when we do!

  26. What a sweet story and a happy ending for all! I understand all those jitters and worries too.

    I have had the pleasure of meeting one of my on line buddies. My children had the same reaction as your son! I had known this “friend” for years on line before we met and we both knew we would get along fine in person. We spent an entire day together when I happened to be in her town with my hubby on a business trip. I would do it again in a heart beat!

    Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone. I am so glad you did.

  27. There are many people here in the bloggy world I feel very close to and whom I’m sure I’d be just as good “real” friends as I am virtual friends. Seems like no one lives in Arizona except me (can’t imagine why… 🙂
    One day I’ll leave this house of mine and go to a blogger convention or something!

    Congrats on the friendship!

  28. Great story! I’ve never met a blog friend in real life, but I hope to someday. I really hope to go to a blog conference someday.

    • Karen

      I’d like to go to fitbloggin. This year it is the same weekend as my son’s graduation but maybe next year. Meet you there?

  29. I have a group of Moms that I met on an AOL pregnancy board 13 years ago, and I’d consider them my best friends. One of them I met for the first time ever when she came down and stayed with and took care of my family when my mom eas terminally ill. I literally spoke to her for like an hour, then I left her with my family. Then I went to her house and took care of her family when she had a preemie. Met another in NYC the week of the Big Blackout, and got stuck there together. Truly sisters of my heart, even tho I might walk past two of them, as I’ve never met them! ;0

    • Karen

      Oh that is so sweet! I wish there had been an internet when I was pregnant. The community would have been amazing.

  30. One of my bloggy frieds is heading my way next month! I frequently cite my bloggy friends in conversation and somethimes people think I am a bit nuts – but there is no doublt that we can really get to know each other online.

    You two look fantastic!!

  31. I knew it! I am so happy for both of you that you were able to meet up! There is something about blogging that allows us to be virtually authentic and yes, our own unique personalities come out in our blogs. It is no surprise that the two of you hit it off (both of you said this!). I bet this is the beginning of a real life long friendship.

    I look forward to meeting up with both of you sometime!

  32. Oh, one more thing: my hubby and I were pen pals which of course was pre-internet. So, I have not met anyone yet who I have become friends with via the Internet, but I have met and fell in love with someone whom I used to write to. The best thing that ever happened to me!

  33. sunnydaze

    Karen – what a beautiful post and ode to Sharon. You both are clearly two lucky women and I’m so happy for you that you had the chance to meet.

    I don’t know why but I teared up when I read this. Just beautiful… 😀

    • Karen

      Thanks for sharing that with me:) It really was a great experience… but so has the whole community out here been.

  34. What fun–I love the picture of the two of you. I’ve met Sharon and Cammy (Tippy Toe) in real life. I’d love to meet you, too. Maybe a girl’s bike weekend somewhere between here and there.

    • Karen

      I am very envious of the biking you and Sharon did! Someone once suggested a blogger bike trip sometime. Wouldn’t that be fun?!

  35. I’m glad you had such a great time, and that’s a fab picture of you both!

    I met my future husband online, and couldn’t be more thankful for the internet karma 🙂

    xo

  36. I love meeting people and I’d love to meet more bloggers! 🙂 I’m glad you two had a great time!

    Anyone in San Diego should definitely hit me up for a meeting!

  37. Seeing that the visit put a smile on your face I would say that it was a good visit indeed. Good for you for getting your smile on!

  38. Love the photo! Now, are you going to organize an annual blogger meeting so we can all get together?

  39. Donna MacDonald

    I didn’t read ALL the responses – but am I the only one who noticed that, at least in that picture, you look like sisters? No wonder there was a “connection”!

    Delightful blog, by the way…

    • Karen

      How funny! Yes, you are the only one. She did remind me of someone I know, however, in her appearance and how she speaks.

  40. Awesome! I’ve met a couple of friends online – just one was “odd”, but it still went well. I always make sure that someone knows the specifics and time frame of my visit though – just in case!
    Dawn

  41. What a lovely testament to friendship and putting yourself out there. I met one of my best girlfriends in 2008 on-line. We signed up for (try not to be shocked) a weight loss challenge. A nationwide one, but you could look for buddies in you area. We met for a walk every week and during those hours we decided that we were two magnificent friends. Thank you for sharing that story.

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