Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's a small world after all ... and other earworms we know and love

The internet is a funny thing.

Both funny-haha and funny-peculiar.

And when it comes to the blogosphere (ugh, I hate that word ... anyone have a better one?), there are aspects of haha and peculiar mushed together and multiplied exponentially.

I have said many times that the online community blows me away with the love and support that flows through cyberspace. I have friends here who I would walk through fire for and who, I think (hope), would do the same for me.

But even though these friends are close to me, that's not real life. These cyberfriends live scattered all over the country -- and even the world. Most of them I will never meet in person.

Real life, for me, is very different. My blog is a deep, dark secret that not even my BFF knows about. Sometimes I let people in on the secret. One of my friends at work knows. A former colleague from my very first newspaper job who I reconnected with on Facebook figured it out.

It's not that anything I say here is secret, though. Most of the stories I tell have been told to friends and family. It's just the blog platform itself that I keep to myself.

That being said ...

There was a moment on Sunday that rocked me out of orbit.

I was at a funeral for the husband of a chorus friend. The chorus had sung a special song at my friend's request. We then went to graveside to finish the ceremony.

After which Wonderhubby and I started to walk back to the car.

Suddenly, a voice cried out.


I looked around to see who was looking for me and recognized no one.

"Janet!! You're JANET!"

Uh, yeah.

"I read you!!!!"

You WHAT??????

Holy unmasking, Batman!

It turns out the woman is a employee of the mortuary (Hi! I'm sorry I wasn't nicer and didn't get your name) and suspected when the chorus sang ... and confirmed it when she recognized Wonderhubby from photos (I think -- really, I was so unnerved that I don't remember it exactly).

I'm sure she thinks I'm the rudest creature ever because the only thing I said to her (as I turned tail and RAN to the car) was "Please ... I keep my blog life and real life very very separate!!!"

With 20/20 hindsight, I would have stopped and talked to her -- to find out how she found my blog and to actually have firsthand real-life knowledge of someone who, out of the blue, actually reads this thing.

But I freaked out and ran instead, probably scaring away a reader and a perfectly lovely human being.

It's so weird because I put my innermost thoughts and amusing stories on the internet for the whole flippin' world to see and (hopefully) enjoy.

Yet when the whole flippin' world closes in and presents me -- face to face -- with blog-meets-real-life, I panic.

And seriously? Only I would get outed at cemetery at the funeral for a friend.

Plus, who can I talk to about it? No one at the funeral. Not my in-real-life friends. Not my BFF. No one in my family. Only my friends here in cyberspace ... and Wonderhubby.

And Wonderhubby is into torture. It's now his greatest pleasure to come up behind me and yell, "Janet! You're JANET!!!"

There's gotta be a way to get back at him.


Tara R. said...

I was lucky to meet a lot of my blog friends in Chicago this past July. If some random reader found me, I would freak out too.

Karen said...

Wasn't that just oozing politeness and warmth? But I understand, being caught off guard and everything. Which just makes me happy that we're scheduling a meeting because otherwise I'd have to be offended.

Kila said...

I'd probably freak at first, too! How cool that you have fans! You could use this in your resume ;)

Jenni said...

I would have freaked out too. It's still a little unnerving to me to meet other bloggers when it's planned.

If the people I was around didn't know I blogged, it would have sent me running. I hate being outed as a blogger to people I know and my dh and MIL do it regularly. When my SIL was here over Christmas she told me that our friend Karen in California sometimes reads my blog and I wanted to crawl under something. When we went to Ohio in October, our other friend, also a Karen, said something about reading my blog and I almost couldn't stay in the same room with her. I've warned my mom repeatedly not to mention my blog in front of me, but she does it anyway. Ugh. I'm feeling a little nauseous just thinking about all this.

For me, though, I can handle meeting people I know through blogs. Bringing IRL friends, especially those who don't blog and don't normally read blogs, into it is what totally unnerves me.

LceeL said...

Although it would be just a bit freaky, like you said, to get called out like that, I LOVE meeting bloggers - but I've never met anyone who reads me and isn't a blogger. I assume that woman DIDN'T say "Oh, I have a blog, too." i also assume she didn't say "Oh, I comment as such and such." She's a LURKER. *Shivers*

nikki said...

You're a celebrity now! Can I have an autograph?

Indigo said...

I'm so with you on the strange part. I was sitting in a biker's haven (great food, why else would I be there - besides Paul played gigs there), and a woman approached me with a scribbled napkin and asked if I was Indigo. I flaked big time.

Consider the fact I had just put up a profile picture of myself a mere month before (giving in after 3 years blogging). She said she knew it was me and recognized of all things Pickles - the working dog wonder.

Any other time I would of been fine reading lips and had bragged as much on my blog. But for the life of me I couldn't talk, understand her or respond. Not to mention I'm shy as all get out meeting someone for the first time.

So yeah, weirdness. I imagine once I get a book published it's going to get even weirder. (Hugs)Indigo

Mr Lady said...

That has not ONCE happened to me yet. I'm dreading it.

Kaytabug said...

Oh, I love this post. You described how I feel about this subject perfectly.

I don't wear *the* T-shirt anymore because I don't want some stranger to have the ammo to come at me like that. Not that anyone would, so I don't know why I bother.

I want an autograph too!!

HalfAsstic.com said...

OK, make that another in the stack of autographs you have to sign!
I am not the least bit worried about ever having anyone run into me, (or me ever getting to run into anyone else), since I never get out of this damn house. I am trapped! Someday H will be gone and I won't have the first idea what to do with myself. ;-)

Roger said...

I'm pretty sure that, being the introvert that I am, I would totally freak out. At least you said something, I would have just passed out, or played dead, or maybe even vomit.

I wonder if she'll read this and comment. If so, Hi there anonymous lurker person!

karisma said...

LOL! Well Im not so good at hiding out online. Ive tried a few times and everyone finds me. Me being the serial hugger that I am, the poor woman would have got more than she bargained for!

Daisy said...

Hmmm... I like to think I'd be a little quieter about it. If I come shouting at you in public, just stop me, okay? Pretend you don't know me. Or my real name. Or my kids.

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

That did happen to me...once, when we lived in Indiana. It was right after my blog had been featured in the local paper. It was very weird, I think I reacted nearly the same as you.

Anonymous said...

I am the lady from the cemetery and I am THRILLED to find myself a subject of this literary work. (I read Sippycup, too, but you're safe, Mr. Lady, Texas is too far.)
Janet, you were not rude and in your place I would have done the same thing - run for the hills!

Joyce-Anne said...

I think I would have reacted the same way if someone approached me unsuspectedly. And, how totally cool that the woman responded in the comments. Way to go Jenny!

Momisodes said...

Oh wow. That is quite a scenario. I acted very similarly when my SIL unexpectedly outed me at my daughter's birthday party. I panicked...and apparently came off really rude and shocked (according to Dadisodes).

It can really be an awkward situation.

Pamela said...

I think you and anonymous need to get together for coffee!!!!

Wish I could come, too!

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