Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Have you ever met an internet pal in person?

I have an internet friend whom I've know for about five years now. We have written e-mails, exchanged photos and cried on one another's shoulders when we needed someone to vent to. She was going to be passing through town on a bus trip (she is deathly afraid to fly), and would have a layover in Kansas City, about 25 miles from me. She hoped I would be able to come down and keep her company. I was thrilled at the prospect of finally meeting her in person! The layover was scheduled to occur at 11:30 PM. Middle Son and I drove down to the scary part of town and met her. A few weeks ago, (as if my life didn't have quite ENOUGH grief in it LOL) he decided to "go goth" (Anyone seeing the influence of an eyebrow-pierced young woman here?) He went shopping and bought several black t-shirts adorned with graphics of skulls, these black pants covered with silver studs zippers and chains and a huge black trenchcoat a la Matrix. Then he dyed his hair blue/black. His complexion is so fair he looks like a vampire LOL Naturally he chose to wear it all to the bus station. I figured WTF; he'll frighten the hobos LOL We left here about 10:30 PM, and he BEGGED to stop at his McDonald's on the way to prance ~snort~ Following the catwalk ("I'm too gothy for my shirt, too gothy for my shirt, so gothy it hurts") we foraged on, navigating the maze of orange barrels and flashing detour signs while sharing the road with methamphetamined truckers, who were startled by the bright flashing lights on one side and the spectre of doom on the other. Exiting the freeway into downtown, I was astounded to learn that the bus station is no longer at the bus station LOL Since I was a little girl there has been a large building just across from the Federal Building, which housed the bus terminal. I thought it was our destination. It was dark. We drove slowly past it, staring at the giant "For Lease" sign plastered to its hulking, vacant side. I told Middle Son to pull the folded paper from my purse as I had (thank gawd) printed out all of the information regarding friend's stop, and copied and pasted (but not read) the address and phone number of the bus station. He did not immediately respond, as he was in the throes of fascination and fear, staring out the window at the prostitutes and homeless people. The lad has never been downtown near midnight. We checked the address and the station is now housed in a much smaller building, just down from City Union Mission, about three blocks from where we were. It has a very small parking lot, and parking on the street seemed less than wise, so we circled the block (actually several blocks due to one-way streets) a couple of times. Finally, someone pulled out and we took their spot. I told Middle Son to lock the door LOL We were still about twenty minutes ahead of the scheduled arrival time, so we took a seat on the wire mesh settee (shades of the diarrhea flat tire at Walmart). There were three other Caucasians in the building, which was pretty crowded, and filled with colorful languages in many tongues. Middle Son entertained himself reading one of the paperbacks I brought for my friend, and I wish I'd gotten a picture of Vampire Boy in his Matrix trenchcoat, surrounded by darker skinned folks as he read a Harlequin LOL I peered out the glass as each new bus arrived, then surveyed the departing passengers. Pretty soon, there she was, also scanning the crowd. We spotted one another and she pointed at me. I shook my head "yes" and she approached, and said, "That blonde ponytail! I knew that had to be you!" LOL! We hugged and gabbed for about half an hour. She is very soft-spoken in person, and I had a hard time hearing her over the babble. I introduced her to Middle Son, and attempted to explain his outfit. She pshawed me, gave him a big hug, and said, "You've been to Hot Topic haven't you?" Middle Son's jaw dropped that this charming lady from Vermont was aware of the retailer from whom he had purchased his get-up LOL She smiled and said that her daughter likes to shop there. She said her trip hadn't been too bad thus far. Said she was kind of tired and to make excuses for her hair when we took pictures LOL Before we knew it, the announcer was calling out her departure. We hugged one last time and she re-boarded. Middle Son and I drove back home, as he dozed lightly. I smiled to myself, pleased to have met my long-time cyber-friend, and looking at the boy/man who will always be my baby.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met my internet pal online, and she and I have been together for almost 4 years now. (We're actually getting married sometime this year.)

So sayeth Angry Internet Guy, the only voice that "really" matters on the web.

10/04/2005 06:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How cool that you got to meet one of your internet friends. There are several people I would love to meet (present company included!)

Laughing about your son's goth look. My brother has a similar look going on and I have to laugh whenever I go home & do stuff with him. Me & my blonde ponytail. Him & his tatoos. We're quite a pair!

10/04/2005 08:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never actually had the good fortune to meet anyone that I correspond with online although my mother-in-law has several times. Some how I have a hard time seeing a son of yours in Goth apparel. It's not the clothing style that I can't see. Its the brooding attitude. Best of luck.

The Lumpy

10/05/2005 07:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't met any of my internet friends yet.

It must be a requirement for bus stations to be in scary neighborhoods because the bus station here in St. Louie is in a scary neighborhood too, day or night! LOL.

Sounds like you had an interesting adventure!

10/05/2005 08:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How neat!! Wonderful story.

10/05/2005 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you ALL for stopping by!

I have been blesssed to meet several "internet friends" in person, and it has always been a wonderful experience.

Yes the "goth look" thing is kind of odd for the lad. He has always been quiet and thoughtful though, and he writes poetry, so I suppose that borders on "brooding" LOL

I would hope that anyone who builds up a lasting friendship over the internet would get the opportunity to meet in person. Look how well it turned out for 'the jake' (congrats on the impeding nuptials!)

10/05/2005 06:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marti, what a great description of your meeting. I'm jealous, I want to meet **, too! And sooner or later we'll meet up again, as well!!

Love ya'!

10/05/2005 10:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just loved your experience.

Thank God for beautiful and wonderful surprises like yours on the Internet.

Good people make the world go round.

10/07/2005 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How fun! I've actually met one of the girls from my "mommy board" several times and we always have a great time when we hang out. We have a lot of the same perspectives and interests, and of course, motherhood is a bond that transcends just about all differences anyway.

10/07/2005 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've gotten to meet an Internet friend in real life and it was fun. However, I would never mention it to non-bloggers, who, for whatever reasons, would NOT "get it".

10/07/2005 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes it was wonderful getting to meet Marti in person, after all the years of laughing, crying and just having fun on the computer with her.......Yes I recognized Marti from her top head ponytail....she did this flip up like Rita Hayworth did in the shot from Shawhank Redemption....Marti has a wicked sense of humour, which I love and a heart of gold...we will remain longtime friends

Love ya Marti

10/07/2005 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Congratulations laina and busy mom, on meeting your cyber-friends! It is indeed a fabulous experience!

Dear S - (another wonderful internet pal I have been blessed to meet in person), I am sure you will get to meet our mutual friend someday!

Orikinla Osinachi, thank you for stopping by - I'm glad my story could bring joy to you!

MA! How wonderful to hear from you! It was so incredible to get to stand beside you and talk for a while. It is a memory I will always cherish, and I look forward to the time we can meet again!

10/07/2005 02:15:00 PM  

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