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Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Fool me twice

One of the best things to have come out of this blogging gig is that I’ve become friends with people I never would have known had I never started writing online. Some of these friends are other local bloggers I’ve met through our monthly meetups, but the dearest members of my online tribe tend to live several hundred miles away.

I hadn’t actually talked to Meg since our visit to Oklahoma last December. We tweet and email frequently, and maybe it’s because we’re always so connected online that we rarely feel the need to call one another. I’m there when she needs me and vice versa.

Last night Autumn and I were having dinner at McDonald’s when a notification on my phone told me Meg had responded to one of my tweets. I looked at Autumn and asked, “Do you want to send a picture to Meg?”

“Yeah!” she said so I pulled her up onto my lap, snapped the picture and sent it off in a text message to my favorite Okie.

A minute later my phone rang. It was Meg.

“Hey!” I exclaimed.

“Hi,” said Meg. “Did you just send a text?”

“Yes,” I said, “We’re just here at McDonalds and wanted to say hi.”

“Cute picture,” she said.

“Wow, you sound horrible,” I said. “Are you sick?”

“No,” she said, “I’m feeling fine. Maybe I just need to sound more enthusiastic.”

“Maybe,” I said. “You just don’t sound like yourself at all.”

“Nope, I’m fine, but I’m going to let you go now.”

And with that our conversation ended.

Wow, that was brief, I thought. Usually our phone calls are a little more lively and not so short. I shrugged it off, knowing she was nursing a recent Sea Doo injury and figured she was either not feeling well or was just being considerate of my time since we were out for dinner.

I didn’t think anything of it until later. I was still feeling a little bit embarrassed about telling her she sounded so bad. I hadn’t talked to her in months, after all, and one of the first things I say to her is that she sounds like death?

So I decided to hop onto Twitter and issue an apology.

A few minutes later I received this reply.

Oh. Ok. Clearly she wasn’t offended, but I figured she would at least know what I was talking about. Her tweet suggested otherwise so I went on to explain.

This was her reply.

I chucked, remembering Meg’s tweet from previous day about being on pain meds for her broken finger. I figured she had called back after receiving the text and, being drugged up, simply didn’t remember the conversation.

The reply I received suddenly turned the conversation into a whole different direction.

My heart quickened as I stared at those words.

Oh no.

I immediately sent Meg a direct message.

ME: “OK, Now I’m freaking out. Is your number 918-xxx-xxxx?”

MEG: “NO! Who did you talk to?! It’s 918-xxx-xxxy!”

ME: “Um, I have no idea, but someone in the 918 area code now has a picture of me and Autumn on their phone. No wonder you didn’t sound like you!”

I’d had the number wrong. Apparently when I transferred all my numbers to the new phone, I made a mistake when I keyed in her digits, all of which were correct except for the last one.

Which means I sent a picture of me and my daughter to a complete stranger.

Who then called back and gave no indication whatsoever that she didn’t know me or that I had sent the text to the wrong number.

WHO DOES THAT???

Feeling very Lucy Ricardo-ish, I went into my contacts, changed Meg’s number to the correct one and dialed her up.

“I’m so sorry I didn’t know it wasn’t you,” I said. “The Okie accent threw me!”

“That’s okay,” she said, “At first I thought you guys were messing with me. It’s nice to know I’m not going crazy!”

We laughed and fell into the familiar rhythm of friendly banter I had expected when her impostor called earlier. And here I’d been expecting a laugh at her expense. The joke had been on me the whole time.

Shortly after our phone call ended, I went back into my text history and looked at the picture I sent to the stranger. Above it was another text message I’d sent to the same number a few weeks earlier.

Oh yeah. The joke is definitely on me.

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This is Ladybird, a.k.a. “Birdie.”

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Don’t let the soft fur and sad Mastiff eyes fool you. This dog is trouble.

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She has absolutely no respect for personal space.

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She’s been known to nibble fingers and sniff places you’d rather not have sniffed.

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She is, however, a pretty good dancer. With the right partner, that is.

She is also one of the reasons why we are missing Oklahoma.

When I would tell people I was leaving for Oklahoma the day after Christmas, they would all ask, “Oh, do you have family there?”  Apparently Oklahoma is the kind state one only visits if they have family there because no one asked if I had any awesome friends in that state.  Which I do, by the way.

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The pretty lady in the Longhorns sweatshirt is Meg, my dear friend who willingly put up with me and mine for a few days back in December. Her daughter Cambry is four days older than Autumn, and it was our experiences as new moms that first brought us together nearly four years ago.

The girls got along well. Sometimes.

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I guess they got along as well as two four year-olds who have no siblings and are suddenly forced to spend time together were able to get along.

Thankfully we had a Wii to keep them occupied.

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I hear playing Wii while wearing fairy wings brings the console to a whole new level. I’ll have to try that sometime.

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The grownups had other things to keep themselves occupied. Things like a brined roast turkey that traveled all the way down from Michigan.

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His name was Jack and we brined and roasted him after we arrived in Oklahoma. We named him Jack because Meg’s Christmas tree was named Toby. As if that makes any kind of sense.

We like to name things.

We also like to drink and made The Pioneer Woman’s sangria.

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Who needs a fancy glass jar with a spigot when you’ve got a home brew fermenter?

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Cheap wine + lots of fruit & flavored liquer = happy people.

Shortly after the sangria was mixed Amy joined us and we had a little BlogHer reunion.

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Can you believe Amy lived only 20 minutes from me and that evening was the first time I had gotten together with her since BlogHer? She just moved to Vegas and is challenging everyone’s notion of what can and cannot be accomplished with coupons in Sin City.

Her husband Gary is a trip. Seriously. Funniest.Guy. Ever. He came up with the name for the next big blogging conference.

Blog Y’all.

Our night with Amy, Meg and their families was magical. There’s really no other word to describe it. Meg’s sister, brother-in-law and niece joined us and we had the best night of laughs I’ve ever had. It’s kind of funny how things worked out. Meg found me through my blog and I found Amy through a message I posted looking for a roommate for BlogHer last year.  It turns out Amy and Gary both grew up not far from Meg’s family so the Okies had a lot to talk about that night.

And they also erected a Festivus pole.

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But the fun didn’t stop there. The next evening we went to Savastano’s Pizzeria in Tulsa for some deep dish and disco poses.

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Very nice napkins. Mommy needs to work on her composition.

The final day of our visit was spent at the Oklahoma Aquarium.

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“I am not amused. But I am native to Oklahoma lakes.”

We saw turtles doing whatever it is turtles do.

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Wait…um…

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Oh hey, STINGRAYS!

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The sharks were pretty killer.

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As was the shark cage. The people who get into these things are completely nuts.

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I rest my case.

The other day Autumn asked when we’re going back to Oklahoma.

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“Not for awhile,” I said.

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But what I should have said was, “Not soon enough.”

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A meeting of the blogs

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Had a great time last night. In addition to the ladies I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we were joined by Wendy from The Local Cook and Stacey from Stacey Says.  The venue was an organic restaurant called the Electric Cheetah in Eastown, Grand Rapids.

Can I say again how much I love getting together with bloggers? It’s not often I get to hang with people who speak my own geeky language.

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The table was split evenly between foodies and non-foodies, and I found myself on the foodie end with Donielle, Wendy, Kelly and Katie. If you’re at all familiar with their blogs, you probably know Donielle, Kelly and Katie are hard-core real food foodies. I can’t even begin to describe what these women do to ensure their families are given the most natural, most nourishing food available. There was talk of raw milk, cultures, making kefir and soaking grains. I listened with interest and actually came away with a couple of book recommendations from Donielle.

Having just returned from Blissdom, Jill had plenty of stories to share about the conference and recommended we all get our butts to Nashville next year.  I may consider it if Harry Connick, Jr. decides to return.

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And? The food was wonderful. Try the Reuben soup. It’s amazing.

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Gimme some squee

I’m heading out tonight to have dinner with the following ladies:

Donielle from Naturally Knocked Up

Jill from The Diaper Diaries

Jodi from Jodimichelle

Kelly from Kelly the Kitchen Cop

Katie from Kitchen Stewardship

This will be my first get-together with local bloggers and I’m very excited.  Bloggy gatherings are always fun, whether it be a huge conference like BlogHer or a small gathering in a friend’s living room. If you’ve been fortunate enough to meet some of your good blogging friends in person, you know what I’m talking about.

But honestly, I’m just happy my hair is doing nice things today. Pictures to follow provided my camera doesn’t eat them.

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For most of my life, I had the worst taste in friends.

There was the friend from elementary school who ruined the ending of The Empire Strikes Back for me. Vader is Luke’s father? Get out!

Then there was the friend in high school with whom I’d pass notes. There were a good hundred or so notes we wrote to each other over the course of a year, divulging secrets and swooning over boys.  But when things went south in our friendship she opened up each one of my notes with another friend and the two had a good laugh.

Sadly the disappointing relationships did not end at high school, and with the exception of one good friend who has stuck by me for 20 years, I began to believe I was a loser magnet.  And when one thinks she is a loser magnet, she pretty much gives up on ever finding anyone else who truly gets her.

Then three and a half years ago I received a new visitor to the blog. She was referred to me by a mutual blogging acquaintance and commented on a post I wrote about The Wiggles. She had a baby the same age as mine, a little girl who was born just four days before Autumn.

This past July at BlogHer, I was finally able to meet Meg in person.  At first I was afraid she wouldn’t like me, or that the bond we had formed online wouldn’t extend to a face-to-face meeting, but all those worries vanished as soon as we hugged.  After that weekend, one filled with late nights spent chatting in a dark hotel room as we fought sleep, I knew I had found a friend for life.

This past week Meg opened up her home to me and my family.  Nathan, Autumn and I left the day after Christmas and drove to the little town in Oklahoma where Meg lives. We had dinner with her husband’s grandpa, stayed up late watching movies with with her brother-in-law and refereed numerous spats between a couple of four year-olds who weren’t quite used to sharing space.

And we also had the best party ever when Amy, our friend and roomie from BlogHer, joined us for turkey, laughter and the first annual Blog Y’all conference.  You know those perfect nights that leave you all aglow and happy from having laughed your ass off ?  That was it and I can’t wait to do it again.

There are so many things about last week that were great, but it’s getting late and I need some sleep, so I’m leaving you with a list of ten things that make Meg a fantastic friend who I wish didn’t live 800 miles away.

  1. She appreciates and indulges in bathroom humor.
  2. Will happily admit to eating pizza for breakfast.
  3. While watching Paranormal Activity, announced “Katie’s got some big-ass tittays.”
  4. Doesn’t judge when I get frustrated with my child and lose my cool.
  5. Thinks Okies are a bunch of pussies when it comes to snow.
  6. She’s one of only a few people I can talk to about blogging who won’t roll their eyes or think I’m some sort of over-sharing, narcissistic freak.
  7. She could probably kick your ass. And mine.
  8. She’s one of the strongest women I’ve ever met.
  9. She appreciates my honesty.
  10. She’s a beautiful woman with a great heart.

In short, she is AWESOME, and I’m so glad she found me three and a half years ago. My life is all the better for it.

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The other f-bomb

I want to thank the folks who commented on my last post.  I heard from some new voices, which tells me there are a lot of people out there who have also been burned and who are continually trying to figure out exactly what friendship means to them.

I’ve been trying to figure out my definition of friendship, but I’ve been having a hard time of it because I’ve been trying to nail down a “one size fits all” definition for everyone.  I’m admittedly closer to some people than others, and they are closer to others than they are to me, so how can I label them all the same?

For several months now I’ve been having regularly scheduled discussions with someone paid to pick my brain and we’ve talked a lot about friendships.  I’ve had some bad luck with friends, especially the past couple of years, and one of the things we’ve tried to figure out is if I’m really good at finding people who continually invest less of themselves than I do or if my expectations for these relationships are just too high to begin with.

I think I’m a ways away from that grand epiphany, but one thing I’ve learned is that it’s okay to allow some people more access to my life than others.  I’m under no obligation to share more of myself than I want to and if that means keeping some people at arm’s length while drawing others nearer so be it.  And I guess I have to respect that others will do the same.  Not everyone thinks I’m as fabulous as I think I am.

The Facebook friend request from my maid of honor still sits unanswered, partly because I like to hold a grudge and mostly because she has yet to reply to a message I sent her last week.  You see, before she issued the friend request she sent me a very short message via Facebook asking how I was.  I replied that I was fine and asked how things were with her.

It’s been a week and I haven’t heard back from her.

I hope things are going well because I’m not going to ask again.

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Fair weather

A couple of months ago the woman who was maid of honor in my wedding e-mailed me. She said she was going to be in town in June of 2011 and wanted to know if I’d be around.

I thought of several ways to reply to this, all of which included a fair amount of sarcasm, so in the end I decided not to reply at all hoping maybe she’d think she had the wrong e-mail address.

Then yesterday she found me on Facebook.

It’s not that I don’t like this woman. We were close growing up, but I’ve only had sporadic contact with her in the twelve years since Nathan and I married. Our last e-mail exchange took place two years ago right before Nathan’s mother died. In fact, my last e-mail to her was to tell her Nathan’s mom died. I never received a reply. No words of condolence, no “I’m sorry.” Nothing.

So you can imagine how I felt when the first contact from her in two years turns out to be a bulletin announcing her planned trip to Michigan two years from now.

*Sigh*

On the one hand I want to accept the friend request because this is someone with whom I share a history. We’ve known each other since elementary school and twelve years ago she was the person I wanted standing behind me when I made my vows.

On the other hand I don’t know if this isn’t just a friendship that has run its course. I have not seen this woman since she went back home after the wedding and if my suspicions are correct, she is informing me of her plans to visit in two years in order to secure lodging at Casa la Noah.

I want to give her the benefit of the doubt and perhaps I should. She may never have received that e-mail about Nathan’s mom. Even though all my other e-mails got through to her, maybe that particular e-mail was accidentally deleted or got caught in her spam folder.

Maybe.

But just maybe at this point in my life I’m really picky about who I let in and even pickier about who I let back in. Maybe I’ve been burned one too many times by people who only offered conditional friendship, people who liked being around me as long as I was pleasant enough and didn’t bother them with my annoying emotional problems.

Maybe this old friend doesn’t fall into that category, but maybe I’m no longer willing to take the risk if she does.

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me twice, shame on me.

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