mr-smit

A Cool Canadian Guest Post by a Cool Canadian on a Cool Canadian Day

Hello, hi, it me, Dan.

Here I am. Beachy is pretty busy right now in Lexington, probably leading the resistance, or eating something with gravy on or adjacent to it, or fluffing her pillows for me to snuggle in with her and our dog and cat and husband real soon. Something like this, but add an uncomfortable Southern sir in: 

I am going to Lexington in March to see my Others and my heart is already warm with the kind of love that I will be surrounded by. It’s the kind of love that welcomes you into their home for a weekend having never met you. The kind that holds your hand in a new, strange place, and jackknifes you in a warm bed. The kind that says grace before breakfast and lets you touch their beard and nuzzle their wife. The kind that gets drunk with you and dances to folk music and plays the air guitar real high up. The kind that buys a plane ticket without hesitation. The kind you hold thousands of cheese balls for and run to the Bean to get pizza with and you drive across the country to see. It’s the kind of love I chose; they’re the people I chose; they are the people I fit best with, and they make me the best version of myself. I can’t fucking wait to soak up the love from these incredible idiots. 

-Dan

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Here’s the thing: I don’t really do internet meet-ups. They’re not my thing. They stress me out, because I am an introvert to my core. I don’t like small talk.

But with these people? These aren’t meet-ups. These trips we occasionally post about are long distance friends convening on a place and spending a precious, concentrated, and very finite amount of time together. 

Through years of blogging, these have become my people. Witty comments on posts became asks that showed general mutual interest in each other’s lives. For convenience’s sake, we moved from Tumblr to gchat and texts. We sent each other Facebook requests. When I eventually met each of these lovely humans, it felt natural. It felt like I had known them forever. (With the exception of Chris, who I actually had to bully into following me the morning we met in Conway, Arkansas back in 2011. “No, I’m sure you don’t follow me, actually. But you do follow my sister.”)

With these people, we create blissful reunions, and every moment is savored and treasured. Last weekend was doubly special, because not only were we all lucky enough to come together from very disparate geographical locations at the same time in order to spend a weekend with each other, but we also got to celebrate as two of our clan tied the knot.

There is still a fairly noticeable taboo against meeting people online, especially through blogging. People just don’t get it. Even at present, when most romantic relationships form online through dating websites, there is still a stigma surrounding people who make lasting friendships with people that they meet online. That said, I have never been one to give any fucks about taboos.

To me, calling these people The Internet is just a way of describing how I know them. Just like I have my college friends, high school friends, and adventuring friends, I also have my blogging friends.

I hate when people say “real life” friends to differentiate how they know their humans, because it feels backhanded. Because I met someone online, does that make them less real? By using these words, they are insinuating that the strength and impact of relationships formed online are less important, less meaningful, and less tangible than those formed by other means.

In many ways, The Internet holds some of the strongest, most profound relationships in my life. They are founded in mutualism and communication.

These humans are real life, and I love their guts.

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This one goes out to you, Mr. Smit. = )