One of the best things I have never done during my blogging tenure (lol, what a douchey thing to call it) was this event called Blogathon. It was a 24-hour blogging frenzy, where you picked a charity, begged people to sponsor you*, and then proceeded to blog every 30 minutes for 24 hours.
*I would bribe my readers by letting them pick stupid things they wanted to see pictures of Henry doing. My favorites were when my friend Lauren wanted to see Henry with a fried egg on his head, and when another broad wanted me to take a picture of Henry with my then-neighbor Robin, who we were convinced had a meth lab in her basement.
It was excruciating.
It was hilarious.
It was stressful.
It was super rewarding.
I participated in it three times and some of my favorite posts were born from it.
The coolest thing, aside from raising a lot of cash money for some bad ass charities, was meeting other insane bloggers. One of them, Heidi, made art for 24 hours, and it was GOOD ART. We became blog-buddies through that experience, and then eventually made our e-acquaintance Facebook official. That’s how you know it’s real, guys.
While Janna and I were waiting for Howard Jones to come out last Saturday, Heidi sent me a Facebook message saying that she was going to be in Pittsburgh the following weekend, and did I have any spare time to hang out. Um, do I! I love meeting my blogging buds even though my social anxiety goes through the roof and into the heavens above.
“Guess what I’m doing tonight?” I said to Glenn last Friday in that snotty, needling tone I like to use on him when I’m about to remind him that I’m awesome and he’s not. “I’m having dinner with a girl I know from the Internet.”
“That’s nice,” Glenn muttered. “Hope you don’t end up in a park, missing a kidney.” BUT SOMEHOW I DON’T THINK HE’D CARE EITHER WAY. Henry didn’t seem too worried either. He casually asked me at the last minute who I was meeting but I don’t think he was listening past the point where he realized it probably wasn’t a frat boy/NFL player/Bill Cosby with a pocketful of Rufies.
Later that night, I determined that Heidi was not a frat boy/NFL player/Bill Cosby when I picked her up outside of her hotel in Oakland around 8:45 and was super stoked and touched when she presented me with a Santa container full of the MOISTEST homemade chai cookies that I wish I was gormandizing right now as I type this. (Spoiler alert: they didn’t even last a full day once Henry and Chooch caught wind of them.)
(Second spoiler alert: I don’t think they were Rufied.)
Originally, we were going to get Indian food, but Oakland is a hotbed of co-ed activity (in case you’re not from Pittsburgh, that’s where the Pitt and Carnegie Mellon campuses are) and parking is a legit nightmare. Add to that my flawed night vision and I was about 87 near-misses away from having my vehicular luck run out. After driving around in the same loop enough times for it to get an honorary Circle of Hell mention, Heidi put an end to the madness by suggesting that we just go back to her hotel room and order a fucking pizza, since the main point was just to hang out and talk anyway. Fuck you, streets of Oakland.
Full disclosure here: I am usually semi-retarded when I meet new people. I never used to be this way, and actually used to meet people online for sport (I called it “Interviewing For New Friends, but my boyfriend at the time liked to call it Cheating). I had no reservations back then, but sometime in my mid-20s, all of the fucked-up relationships (romantic and otherwise) I had endured this far in life caught up and turned me into a self-conscious robot-being. Like, my personality went into a compact little cocoon in the back of my mind and only came out when I was around people I already knew. Otherwise, it would take me multiple hang-outs before warming up to people, but who has time for that? It’s exhausting and I would usually just give up and decline party invitations. And while I feel like I’ve made some progress in my 30s, it’s still murky waters out there for me, socially.
Yet, with Heidi, my gut was all, “Hold up, this one’s good. You can be yourself. She will understand you. Red flags disengage.” And so I was myself. I put my walls down. I opened up. We oscillated between soul-baring tales and cracking each other up. We talked for nearly an hour before realizing we had yet to order pizza.
Which is when we learned that we’re both vegetarians who hate ordering pizza! Yet when I cried, “I’M SCARED YOU DO IT!” Heidi took one for the team and made the scary call to the pizza place.
And then it took another goddamn hour just to get the pizza, but it was worth the wait because the pizza guy was totally into my Silence the City tank top with it’s inspirational message, and he described some inspirational shirt he has, which sounded like some Nike shirt from the 90s, so we were like, “OK guy, cool story, we want our pizza.”
I left around 1AM so that Heidi could get some rest, but not before SELFIE TIME!!
When Heidi was taking this, I was saying that my smile is so fake.
“It is n—–OK, yeah it totally is,” Heidi laughed when she looked at the picture. And even though I look like a fool, this is the one I asked her to send me because it’s the perfect snapshot of one of the realest connections I’ve made in a while. What a fabulous night of learning more about a new friend. Good listeners are so hard to come by, and I felt like we had a nice balance. Heidi is totally cool, has a wealth of stories, is immensely talented and inspiring…but most of all, her eyebrows are fucking perf! LOOK AT THEM!
I am so honored that Heidi made time for me during her Pittsburgh visit. Charleston, WV isn’t too far away, so I’m sure we will meet again. (Besides, her daughter Molly is the same age as Chooch and they both play Minecraft, so….)
(Spoiler alert part 3: I still have both kidneys I think.)
She is adorable. I love that picture. And I’m glad she didn’t steal a kidney.
And I say fuck yeah to friends of the internets becoming real friends! And also you rule for finding the courage to be yourself. Cause it’s harder than everyone thinks.
I refuse to place phone orders for food myself. I FEEL YOUR PAIN.
It really is hard. And I know we share the same pain when it comes to finding someone who will LISTEN. It’s so hard to find that two-way street!