Three years ago, one of my Twitter followers (Suzanne) put out a request asking if anyone wanted to write letters back and forth, in essence become penpals. I figured what the heck, if it didn’t work out, we could just stop writing. Well it did, and over the three years we have become good friends. Now my Welsh Twitter friend who is currently residing in Dubai, is in Canada visiting me for three weeks. She has just recently moved to Dubai from South Africa, leading an Expat life with her husband.
I’m not exactly sure how it started, either way, I ended up dressed in a homemade tutu(thank you middle child for your assistance), and really bold tights to wear to the airport to pick-up Suzanne aka @Chickenruby. The young man drove me, and stood by me in a very crowded waiting area, as we scanned for the other woman dressed in a tutu. (The young man is very used to his mother’s antics so is quite comfortable standing beside me when I look ridiculous).
Suzanne has been a wonderful visitor to have here, and has easily fit in with the family. She is quite aware that I can only do so much, and need my rest (I can also tell her to ‘bugger off’ if I need my space), so with a bus pass she wonders off for the day to explore.
Over the years that I have been on Twitter I have had the opportunity to meet some of my Twitter friends who live in different parts of the world. Meeting my followers who live in Canada has not been all that difficult, but for those who live hundreds or thousands of kilometres away, well you can only wish that one day you will meet. Last spring when my husband and I went to Jamaica we were able to meet with my Twitter friend Emma and her husband. This coming summer, I will be hosting my Twitter friend Suzanne for three weeks, who is originally from England but for the last few years has lived in South Africa, and is now moving to Dubai with her husband (we also have been writing letters to each other for a few years).
Yesterday though, I had the opportunity to have lunch with Angela from Wales (Angela is over visiting family that just happen to live in the same city as I). Chatting through Twitter, we arranged to meet at a local restaurant for coffee. This is when my children give me the one-two for meeting strangers over the Internet (Note: I do not recommend the meeting of strangers over the internet, if you do, always, always tell someone where you are going, at what time, when you will arrive home, and have the meeting in a public place).
Well chatting away about our families, I found out that I also follow her daughter on Twitter, who is also quite pleasant to chat with. During our visit, Angela presented me with two gifts, first a lovely apron, designed and sewn by a friend of hers (her friend sells the aprons on Etsy but at the writing of this post I am unable to remember her name). She also gave me two different types of chocolate bars, the one having the most funny name of “Spotted Dick” , it is delicious. Feeling absolutely horrid that I did not bring anything for her, the lattes and lunch were my treat. (I know Angela had no intention whatsoever of making me feel bad, but being Canadian, well I did feel awful).
Sadly I was not able to spend more time with Angela but it was just lovely meeting her, and I certainly hope we can continue to chat on Twitter, and maybe one day I will be able to make it to Wales.
There are various types of friendships one can have close friends, acquaintances, work friends, Facebook friends, Twitter friends, friends made through blogs, and the list can go on to add pretty much whatever you want. I have one close friend, my bff (best friend forever) and she has been my friend for thirty years or so. When we met she was the girlfriend of my boyfriend’s (now husband) best friend. We have remained friends through her divorce, remarriage, deaths, the births of our children, she was in the room when I had my second child, we have laughed together and have been sad together. If I needed her this very minute, I know I could phone her and she would be here in a second. Months ago, my son was doing his best to cheer his mom up who was falling apart one day, he phoned my bff in secret and asked her to come by after work because mom was having a hard time. She came.
I have been on Twitter for two years, 9 months, 2 days, so many minutes and seconds (there’s an app). During this time I have chatted with people from all over the world and made friends with some. It wasn’t long after I was on Twitter, that one of the tweeps I spoke with asked if anyone wanted to be her penpal, thus write letters back and forth, the old fashion way. I said sure why not? It was something I have not regretted. We have written goodness knows how many letters during the past two years and have become good friends. I know all about her family, her ups and downs, and she knows the same about me. When my eldest daughter was in grade two, the teacher set up a letter writing exercise with a grade two class from another school. My daughter’s penpal ironically ended up being a cousin she rarely saw, it was so cool. When I was young, penpals were all the rage, now with instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter, etc, children/teenagers don’t have the experience like we did long ago. Cursive writing isn’t even taught in some schools and kids use short forms for speaking with their friends.
Even though the computer has changed the way we communicate with each other, friendships will continue on, we will not become blips on the screen, at least I don’t think so.