Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My first Spillover

I got turned on to reading online journals back in 1998, when I got my first home computer. A good friend of mine (hi Jeanna), told me of a few she liked to read. Before I knew it, “checking in” became habit.

I seldom, if ever, communicate with the journalers I read, though I have sent an e-mail or two on a few irresistible occasions. Mostly, I just like to keep up with people, people who are good writers in particular. And that’s really the only thing the journalers I read have in common with each other, the good writing part. One is a young mother, one a young father, one a writer in Hollywood, one a grant writer at a university in the east, a magazine editor in Chicago, a thirty-something animal lover in Baton Rouge, a columnist in Minnesota, a former dirt company employee in California.

So this morning, as per usual, after slipping a frosty diet coke into the hugger, firing up the PC and checking out the local and national news, I begin zipping thru my favorite journals. When I came upon Secra's journal and she still hadn't updated, I did something I hardly ever do. Without a second thought for some reason, I opened an e-mail window and sent her an e-mail, "Update the journal please!". I mean, heck, how else am I supposed to know how the new job is going? Sheesh.

Not too much later, my constantly ringing phone rang again. I have caller i.d. and I noted a far away area code and unfamiliar tag as I picked up. "Hmm", I thought. "This is Suz", I said. "Hi, this is Secra!", came the reply.

Now, people. THIS was a strange sensation. And a first for me. Maybe everybody else has met a million people online and then in person, but it's never happened to me before.

This unfamiliar voice from so far away was, at the same time, so familiar. I mean, I've read Secra's journal for, what, three years? More? I was there when her husband proposed, I remember her wedding, I know how many children she has, I know she's a bike rider and...so many other things. I mean, I know Secra. Or at least I know the on-line version of her. In just a moment I realized that the e-mail I had sent contained my auto signature with all my contact information, complete with phone numbers. I think I did have the presence of mind to ask how the job was going. And, actually, we plunged into a conversation that, looking back on it, two people who've never heard each other's voices just shouldn't be having.

We didn't talk long...she had things to do and I was probably not making much sense anyway, grappling as I was with the extreme juxtaposition of familiar and unfamiliar. It was quite a sensation. And an unexpected pleasure.

Thanks for calling, Secra. And don't wait so long between updates, okay?



bigsat05 said...

Awesome site you have! Check out mine Free Dish Network.

Monica said...

How cool and scary was that? I would love to talk on the phone with some of the journalers I read. It's amazing you can just carry on a conversation with someone you never met. But like you said, after you read someone's journal for so long, you kind of feel like you know them.