In the last three weeks I've either had company or been company. At this very moment I am being company in the Crossroads of America. I feel so social. All but one set of friends is from the Internet. That's still not something I admit to when crossing International borders, but other than that I'm quite proud of the fact that some of my best friends were met over the web.
Web. It connects us. And some of us were meant to be connected. I was telling my friend's niece that while her uncle and I met online through a writer's blog, our connection was so much bigger than any two people. There are many similarities in family histories, parental backgrounds, birthplaces and interests. My nephew is friends with her cousin. My mum and her granny have connected. Her aunts are precious to me and her uncle's girlfriend reminds me of Stashaholic. We are two families who are essential to each other's lives and would never have met without the Internet.
I would never have gone to Scotland - twice, if I hadn't made friends online. Same writer's blog (it was a goldmine of durable and enduring friendships), different people. But no less precious. My 2011 began with fresh air, lots of laughter and a powerful feeling of goodwill thanks to the 24 karat company.
My other friend wasn't actually company. We met for a 4 3/4 hour lunch in Toronto at Dessert Trends. The website doesn't tell you how fantastic the service is, how gracious the owners are or that it can accommodate a wheelchair without detracting from the decor. We laughed, talked fashion, friends, work, life. With one of us living in San Fransisco(not me) we don't get to spend much time together in person but we do talk every day.
When I traveled to London, it was to help another friend unpack. Her family had recently moved there from my hometown and I wanted to help put her son's playroom together. His four year old perspective on the world fascinates me. These friends were made the old-fashioned way, through another Real Life friend. But I was able to introduce this friend to another one of my old-fashioned friends who already lives in London. The second friend and I had lost touch many years ago but, she found me through Facebook. I'll be ever grateful for that as we grew up together, weathered some horrific storms together and can now lounge on the beach drinking margaritas if we so wish.
It's been lovely to spend actual in-the-same-room time with my friends from the Internet. We continue to spin out as many connections, ever leading off to more adventures and adding more strings to our web.
There's still something magical about getting a handwritten letter in the mailbox at your front door, but when friends are on the other side of the world, it's good to be able to talk to them instantly(provided you can navigate time zones).
I've been blessed to be able to bring my imaginary friends into the real world.