There are people that live in my computer. I cannot hear their voices (cause if I could, well…..THAT would make me kinda crazy-pants). But I know that we are connected, in good times and bad, just the same. Of course, I have friends in real life as well because I’m not a complete anti social misfit. But I’ve come to know and love the people in my computer nearly as much as I do the people in my real life. Decidedly, I kinda detest that often-used sentiment…..friends in real life vs friends in my computer. Because they are, essentially, one and the same. Just as easily as I can ring up a friend on the phone, I can instant message my computer peeps and be talked out of my crazy tree with the same amount of ferocious love.
Pop a squat and let me tell you a little story…….
Once upon a time a lovely (though overly haggard mom) named Nikki started a Facebook page called Moms Who Drink And Swear. Before she knew what the hell had happened, it morphed into something so vital that it was crossing the global plains and reaching the hearts of tens of thousands of moms (and the lucky dads we’ve come to know and love as well). The page continued to grow to epic proportions, as did her famous blog of the same name. So many of us across the nation and beyond finally found “our people”. We pay homage and give thanks to Nikki often for giving us a platform to fly our collective freak flags daily.
We’ve commiserated with one another……we’ve been there collectively offering virtual hugs through divorces and new babies. We laugh and we cry with one another with sweet abandon. We have one anothers back first and foremost.
When I’ve tried to explain this eclectic group of kick ass moms and dads, I’m generally met with equal parts cautious curiosity and a touch of skepticism. What if they are crazy (some of us are….but the really GOOD kind of crazy). What if they are maniacal killers, lurking around, trolling for a new victim to add to their body count in the crawl space under that house. These generalizations often make me chuckle. How can you EVER make a new friend if you’re constantly waiting for them to slice open your throat. Of course, you proceed with caution. But you proceed. And that’s important.
Mostly, I’m asked how can I possibly feel SO connected to people that I’ve mostly never met and possibly never will. First, I feel compelled to point out that I HAVE met some of them. We’ve worked hard to organize meet ups and gatherings that are all-inclusive. When Nikki’s book was FINALLY published, several hundreds of us converged on Chicago to offer our support and congratulate her personally. Some, I’ve merely traded text messages with, witty banter abounding with each press of send. Some, I’ve spoken to on the phone. Many of these personal connections have thankfully morphed into bonafide friendships that I feel positively blessed to have. But correctly, many will always live in my computer and I will never hear their voices or get the chance to dry hump their legs with happiness from FINALLY meeting.
But the fact remains that we will hold each other up and tell it like it is when necessary. Not too long ago, when I was struggling with my feelings about the Dick and contemplating what was certain to be a messy divorce……do you know who offered me free therapy and words of wisdom plucked straight from their own experiences???? Those wonderful friends in my computer. Messages of “I’ve been there and I’m here if you need me”……offers to move in with them until I figured things out. Check ins to make sure I was safe and hanging on. While I love my family and the friends that are tangibly available to me every day, there is something to be said for people who are so far removed from your personal situation that they can see things far more clearly than those who are right in the midst of it all.
I’ve often likened my experience to these friends in my computer with the wave of emotion that people get from on-line dating. I actually really get the attraction to talking to people you might never meet. You have the freedom to be you because they don’t see you when your hair is acting wanky and you haven’t painted your toenails or shaved your legs in a month. They can’t see your messy house or hear your whiny kids. Without all the daily distractions that generally muddle up daily life, you get to see the real them and they see the real you.
So….to the reason for this particular blog tonight. Today, many of my friends in my computer and I woke up to find out one of our beloved MWDAS dads had passed away quite suddenly. Absolute shock waves across the MWDAS community. Immediately messages went out to one another offering love and support to our group and his family.
We laugh together……we bitch together…..we mourn together. Period. And while many of us didn’t know this man PERSONALLY……we KNEW him. We are wrapping our arms around his family from a distance and holding onto good thoughts of him in our hearts. When the time is right….we will be happy to take up a collection for his widow and young children. We will, collectively across the nation, have a drink in his honor tomorrow during the Tiger’s game. We do our very best to take care of our own. THIS is what its about. He meant something to each one of us. And that something isn’t any less because it was someone who lived mostly in our computer.
To my friends who will likely always remain in my computer….I just needed you to know that you will also always have a home in my heart.