I’m going to tell you all, go and start a blog right now. Yes, right now. Write for one year. Post your picture. Write for another year, post more pictures in outfits of varying appeal. Natter on, experiment, evolve.
Then one warm noon in San Francisco, decide to go grab lunch around the corner. Ask two people on your team if they’d like to come. They’ll say no. Run out yourself. Leave your jacket behind because you don’t want to overheat.
Feel the sun. Realize you’re wearing black pants on a hot day. Resolve to do better in the warm weather uniform quest.
Cross the street. Notice a woman’s gray shoes as she approaches you in the crosswalk. Peer at them, just a bit, they’re unusual, and interesting. Hear a voice, “I know you.” Look up. See a smiling face. “I read your blog,” says the gray shoe owner. “I’m rb.”
Smile broadly. First time for everything.
I’d never been recognized by a reader before and I saw rb’s shoes first. Isn’t that great? If you’re a regular commenter, you’ll know rb. In person, I noticed her shiny red hair, her silver and pearl necklace, and, of course, the shoes. One does see some of the world looking down, but clearly I’m going to have to consider the impact of necklaces.
I’ve met other people from blogging before, of course. Meg, Mater, Sue, Lauren, Sandy, Amanda, Maggie, Susan, Reggie, Max, Melissa, Lori, and the entire Lavish! crew. Probably others my memory isn’t retrieving. But in those moments I was pretty much ready. This was a surprise. And while I felt the usual anxieties, at least my particular usual anxieties…
- Yikes my hair is in a Scrunchie bun
- Why didn’t I put on more lipstick when I left the office?
- I hope this striped tee isn’t too young
- Gee I wish I was wearing my jacket because the Marant tweed looked great with said stripes
- Am I talking too much?
- Am I talking too fast?
…I was more strongly aware of my luck. I have found the worries that I’m different in writing than in reality, that I might disappoint in the gap, to be unfounded. The people you meet online who seem nice, are nice. There’s room for your voice to fail, offline, for your hair to frizz and your lipstick to fade. And in that room you find the person that you’re meeting.
Which has slowly brought me closer to believing that said room was always there. That we can all ease up a tad, on ourselves. In my mind’s eye (I’d say my heart but High WASPs are embarrassed about hearts), this is forgiveness and it stretches out like an imagined African plain. Gold, sere, quiet, joyful.
OK so we’re embarrassed about poetics too. We’re in recovery. RB gave me her card. I hope we get to meet for lunch, and talk more but I’ll probably still talk too fast. You all are a great gift to me and I wish you the absolute most lovely of weekends.