Day 1: You click on a link to a new blog. Hmmmm. You make the following mental notes.
“No opening music—that’s good.”
“Awww, she looks sweet. Cute kids. Cool project.”
You click to a link within her post and get lost for a period of time on Martha Stewart’s craft site trying to figure out how to make those origami ornaments. But you make a mental note to visit again.
Day 5: You remember that there was a new blog that you might potentially add to your reader so you rack your brain to try to remember how you got there. Was is from Melissa’s link list? Or maybe BooMama’s blogroll? Or Nester’s lamp party? While trying to find the link, you get sidetracked 40 times and wander around in the blog wilderness confused as to how you ended up on a page that says ‘The four stages of falling in love”—but you make mental note of how similiar the stages seem to blog crushes—and you determine to write a post someday about the stages of blog friendship.
Now back to our search. You click around to blogs that you know have good blogrolls and pray you’ll recognize the name when you see it. Finally, 237 clicks later, you find it! Aw, the relief. You thought you’d ‘lost’ her forever. Her newest post is a tutorial on how to recycle old sheets into a gorgeous table runner for Thanksgiving.
“And she’s industrious. I think I like this girl.”
You bookmark her site and vow to visit again in a day or two when you have more time.
Day 10: You remember the bookmark you saved and sit down with a cup of coffee to get to know your new friend a little. You learn that she’s a reformed Baptist, has five kids, bakes a lot, has a brother serving in Iraq, wants to adopt a baby, loves to make her home beautiful, and takes incredible pictures. Yep, we’re definitely gonna be friends.
Day 20: You have periodically visited her site and searched a few different categories. You love what you see and decide that sometime in the next few weeks you’re gonna read some of her archives. You carve out some time between 11-1a and devote it completely to your new friend. You skim most of her blog posts and are enamoured with her photography, her fresh view of the world, her creative life and make a decision—despite the fact that she seems to be quite outspoken on certain issues—-that you will most certainly add her to your reader.
Day 40: You are smitten. In the last 3 weeks, she’s posted about making Texas sheet cake, the struggles she has with her strong willed toddler, the amazing Super Bowl party she threw last year, her 10 year love affair with her husband, and the reasons why she loves reformed theology. You forgive her for being in the wrong political party and decide that the blog posts you ‘skimmed’ late one night are gonna have to be read word for word. You usually read her blog outside the reader because when you’re on her actual site, you feel like you’re at home–and it allows you to comment when you want and read the comments of others.
3. Head Over Heels
Day 60: You start from her first blog post ever and read nearly every word she’s written. You see how she’s developed as a writer/blogger/woman. You respect her for the boundaries she hasn’t violated. You know that if you met her in real life you’d be the best of friends. You don’t agree with her on everything. She can be sarcastic and self-deprecating at times. But you are sure that you have never known anyone quite like her. She’s a remarkable woman. She inspires you on so many levels. She has shown you that being a woman, a mother, a wife is honorable and noble and good. She makes you a better person. She has been gracious to open her life to you. And you are forever thankful.
You finally decide to introduce yourself to her. You become pen pals. Friends.
You start to read her comments and feel the need to defend her if someone—who doesn’t ‘know’ her—seems to misunderstand her. You learn what her ‘community’ is like and decide to become part of it yourself.
4. Just Old Friends
Day 432: After months or years of ‘following’ her, you feel like you know her. You probably do know her better than some of her friends who don’t read her blog. Her posting has been a little ‘off’ lately. Is she okay? Is she struggling with something? You pray for her and hope all is well. You send her an email encouraging her. And you say a prayer of thanksgiving. For this connection—for this fellowship. That has changed your life forever. You ponder C.S. Lewis’ quote, “Eros will have naked bodies, friendship naked personalities.”
No wonder this medium fosters friendship.
We bare our souls, expose our fears, confess our frailties and pray that those who receive our words do so with compassion and understanding—-just like old friends. She is not perfect. But she is your friend and you are blessed indeed.
Sound familiar? Please tell me I’m not the only one.