I think it’s clear how much I ♥ the Interwebs and while some days I really want to post about responsible Interwebs behavior and information dissemination (if it’s not an opinion, google the information you’re about to repost from someone else and make sure it’s true, people!), today I’m posting about its awesomeness.
A few days ago, I was killing time while Dave studied by looking at HelloGiggles, which is a website created by my dream BFF, Zooey Deschanel, and her two friends, Molly McAleer and Sophia Rossi. It’s basically an online community of fantastic, in which they also take reader submissions and post about anything and everything, with a special penchant for DIY crafts, beauty, friendship and other topics that one might discuss with their girlfriends over a glass of wine.
Anyway, I was reading a particular article about pen pals, and how this twenty-something girl from Auburn, Alabama found a pen pal online in Austin, Texas and they completely hit it off and decided to meet in person. After convincing both sets of parents that the other wasn’t an ax murderer nor were the two girls running off together to begin a love affair, one ended up flying out to meet the other and it was sunshine and rainbows all around.
This got me thinking: I’ve had a few online pen pals before, but I’ve long since lost touch when them. I should google them and see if I can find what they are up to these days. (This is what happens when there is literally nothing to do because you’re partner is reading about soil nutrients and other smart winemaker-y things for 18 hours a day.)
Enter my friend Gillian, who I actually met at church camp (yep, you read that right) when I was in 6th grade or so. She was from the next town over and we hit it off. We both loved books and music, among other ubiquitous things that 12-year-old girls enjoy. Gillian and I kept in touch via AOL email and chats. Keep in mind, when we were 12, the Interwebs weren’t exactly big. A house was lucky to have one family computer and internet connection was limited to AOL dial-up, where the speakers on your computer signaled your connection with some scratchy dings and pops—a connection that was lost when someone else in the house picked up the phone to which your internet was connected. Our parents set it up so we could get together for slumber parties on occasion, where we’d exchange mix tapes we’d made for each other, introducing the other to new music. Granted, we weren’t total strangers conversing over the internet, so our parents didn’t have the same level of concerns as those of the parents in the article I read.
Somewhere along the way, Gillian and I lost touch—junior high happened, followed by high school, etc. We didn’t have Facebook to stay connected back in my day (that statement officially makes me old).
Then I read the pen pal article the other day, and I googled her (the Interwebs have come a long, long way), just to see. Come to find out, she and I took very similar paths in life. We both make our livings in the communications field, specifically online communications. She went to college in New Orleans and I lived there for almost two years. She now works for a creative company (sound familiar?) with her sister and brother-in-law and, this is the best part ever, she and her husband are currently living in Italy!
I found her email through her company (that’s not stalkerish at all) and sent her an email with a subject line reading, “Please pardon this completely random email” and she responded later that night. We’ve already sent each other small novels back and forth, catching up on where life’s taken us both and how we both love food/wine/beer and our vacations plans always seem to revolve around these things. We’re planning a trip to visit each other once Dave and I get to Italy.
Praise Jesus I have a friend abroad.
I can’t wait to see her again…If I had a cassette tape deck, I would totally make her a new mix tape.