There are different relationships in blogging. There are people whose goal it is to get as many comments as they can get (and there’s a hint of that desire in all of us, I suspect), so they go out and leave tons of comments everywhere. They do Wordless Wednesday and Book Reviews and all sorts of things where you leave your link so others can find you, and hopefully leave a comment. There is nothing wrong with this kind of blogging. I’ve participated in Wordless Wednesday and Book Review blogs myself, and really enjoyed it. But for me, that’s not where the lasting relationships, the real online friendships, are born. The online friendship requires a bigger commitment, and comes from finding someone who touches you in some way, with their writing, their humor, their story. Sometimes it’s all of these things, sometimes less. I do know that I’ve made some real friends here, people that I genuinely care about and miss when they go away. Sometimes they drop off of the face of the earth, and you realize, you weren’t really friends after all. Sometimes, they stop blogging, but you end up being friends somewhere else, like Facebook.
Heidi is such a friend. I don’t remember when I found her blog, or if she found me first, or how it came about. I know we have a few blogs in common, and that she knows my blog friend Chrissy in person. Heidi doesn’t really blog anymore, but she did for several years, and I loved reading about her life in Hong Kong. Her life with her mother, her teaching, her parties and thoughts on the party lifestyle of a certain set in H.K., her aspirations to be a singer (she has a lovely voice, and tons of heart, which is a deadly combination…I mean that in the best way…deadly in that it gets straight to the listeners heart). She came to my blog often, and left long, thoughtful comments. I went to her blog and did the same. Well, the other day, she said something on Facebook about being at Swan Oyster Depot, and I thought, “Wait, that’s in San Francisco!” And lo and behold, she is here! She came to see a friend with a new baby, and to connect with other friends, and to attend the Outlands Festival in Golden Gate Park. Happily, she and her friend Ken (who also knows Chrissy in person) were available to have brunch with me today. YAY! Really, you only have a few days in San Francisco, and you made time to see ME? I love that, and am so grateful.
So I drove into the City, blissfully cool and crisp after the 100 degree heat here, a mere 40 miles away, and we went to the Cliff House for lunch. The Cliff House is one of my favorite San Francisco restaurants, though it’s changed a lot since I first went there. It has been there since 1863, and has had many incarnations. But the food is consistently good (not as good this time as the last time I went, I think, but still very good), and the view of the ocean, right there outside of your window, is truly lovely. You can watch the waves crashing on the rocks, watch the surfers hoping for a wave, watch the seagulls swooping and flying around. It’s relaxing. So we stopped there and had a lovely meal, and got to know each other in person. When you meet someone in person, whom you’ve only known online, there’s always that brief fear, what if…what if they are different in person than they are online? What if I don’t like them? What if they don’t like me? What if we just don’t have anything to say to each other? Always a fear, but it’s not happened yet. I’ve met a couple of blog friends in the past, and they’ve quickly become real life friends. Heidi was like this for me. I felt that I knew her, and she and Ken were both so warm and real, that I was very comfortable right away. I don’t know when we’ll see each other again, since she lives in Hong Kong, and I live in Walnut Creek, and Ken lives in Toronto. But I hope we do get together again sometime. Perhaps in L.A. Chrissy, want to come along?