The Latest from Lola's Diner

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Internet Meet-up - Could be Fun!

In July 1999 I met in person 4 women whom I met online through a Mommy Chat group on

There were 5 of us who met up in person. A woman from Bridgeview, IL; a woman from Crestwood, IL; a woman from Florida; a woman who went by the name of Stormy from Canada and myself from Chicago.

As the date approached the excitement grew. We were all looking forward to our meet-up. The women in Crestwood and Bridgeview were kind of the official hostesses, planning events at their homes.

I volunteered to pick up Stormy from O'Hare Airport since I lived the closest. Having never picked anyone up at an airport before I was very nervous that I wouldn't find the right gate. Eventually I found it and met up with Stormy and drove her to the Hampton Inn in Crestwood, IL.

The women from Crestwood and Bridgeview had been getting together before the big meet-up, since they lived so close to each other. This was supposed to be kind of a girl’s weekend, with Sunday being family day with a BBQ in Bridgeview. I decided to get a room at the hotel for 2 nights and bring the family. I thought it was a great idea. I figured that way I wouldn't be spending a lot of time driving back and forth and the kids could swim in the hotel pool. Kind of a mini vacation, and, it was my birthday weekend! I think perhaps this made me the odd person out. I felt like the 5th wheel, like I didn't belong. I also got a weird, stand-offish vibe from one of the women that's kind of hard to describe. It could have been they were just weirded out by my bringing the family, even though I did not bring them to the house party Friday night. Or, it could have just been that these women were just very cliquish and I didn't fit in. It kind of reminded me of high school.

There is a blogger near me, Patricia, who is having a meet-up in April for Chicago area bloggers that I'm really excited about. Patricia has 2 blogs, Communication Exchange and Subjective Soup. I've said I will attend, but in the back of my mind I keep remembering this bad experience from my past. Even at this point with the date so far off, I'm waffling back and forth, should I attend or not attend? Having said that, I realize that I shouldn't let that bad experience color my expectations of this new opportunity to potentially meet some of the really great bloggers I've come to enjoy reading.

All of you bloggers from the Chicago area (and I know quite a few) stop by Patricia’s sites, Communication Exchange and Subjective Soup and check out her meet-up and if you can, sign up on one of her sites to attend and let me know if you will be attending. Be sure to tell Patricia you found out about her meet-up from Lola.

I'm also kind of embarrassed to say that I'm reminded of how not only myself, but how other people seem to have kind of a different personality online. I don’t think it’s intentional. I think it's just the nature of the internet. I think it’s kind of like the difference between the personality of your writing style and your "in person" personality. Does that make sense? With writing we always have the opportunity to edit, to use extra care in crafting our sentences and to have unlimited time before hitting the publish button.

Having been through the '99 experience and having done online dating I can say (for myself anyway) without a doubt that there is a kind of a disjoint between my writing style personality and my "in person" personality. Sometimes in dating I was able to overcome it, sometimes not. Even in dating I had some really bad experiences, but I didn't let that keep me from the opportunity to meet new people. Had I not continued to give online dating a chance, I would have never met Anastasia.

Think about how many blogs you visit regularly (blogs of people you've never met in person). Do you ever wonder what their personality is like in "real life"? Think about that humor blogger that you visit regularly. Are they really that funny in person? Are they as quick witted as they seem? That political blogger that you visit, are they really that articulate in person? The frazzled mommy blogger that you visit, are they really that frazzled or are they the completely organized PTA mom?

Have I got you thinking?

Have you met in person people you’ve met online? Have you met any bloggers in person? Did you find a disjoint, or did they seem to be exactly like their online persona? Please tell me your thoughts in the Comment Section. Inquiring minds want to know.

Lola's Diner


Patricia said...

Dear Lola,
Oh my! I hope our little planned meeting at a coffee shop doesn't disappoint after your previous experience! I do hope your readers will be brave and give our get-together a try! I promise not to be stand-offish--at least I will try! The more the merrier!

melissa said...

I had an online friend that I met about 10 years ago. She was incredible online. A woman about 30 years older than me and we chatted for hours through instant messenger. A third woman often joined us and the three of us vowed that someday we would all meet. This woman traveled from Texas to Massachusetts for a visit (she was on her way to meet her now wife that she had also met online). She stayed with me for a week and we went up to New Hampshire (3 hour drive) so that we could officially all meet. I don't have enough room in the comments, but WOW, she was so different in person than online, I was shocked. Things haven't been the same since, in fact I haven't heard from her at all in several years. She was great online, a great inspiration and full of helpful advice. In person she was a nervous wreck and very difficult to be around.

melissa said...

And BTW, Lola, what day were you born in August?

Lin said...

I'm kind of apprehensive about the whole meeting thing, but I would like to come to Patricia's thing. The funny thing is that I grew up in Bridgeview and I currently live in Crestwood, so the story kinda scared me!!! What a strange coincidence!!! I'm not too crazy though, and I promise, that if I go, I won't be all psycho or anything!!!

Lola said...

@ Patricia-I'll get over it. When I was doing the online dating thing, after my bizarro meet-ups I didn't give up.

@ Melissa-Blog it!

@ Melissa-It's July 24th.

@ Lin-Umm, you didn't meet up with a bunch of crazy ladies 10 years ago did you? You know I really hesitated to include any specifics on the probably astronomical chance that one of them would be a reader of my blog. Lol! Come on Lin, you have to go! You are so close to Patricia and I. Maybe we could all take a no psycho pledge? (And I mean, me included too. Lol!)

Preston said...

I would love to meet some fellow bloggers but have not yet. I don't live in the Chicago area or I would certainly be part of that. I've gone to Chicago for business a lot and it's a wonderful city.

And yes, people are often different from how they write. It's easy to be someone you're not when it's only on paper. (or rather on a blog)

JD at I Do Things said...

I'm sorry you didn't have a good experience back in '99. I hope you'll give it another shot. I met with a woman I'd been e-mailing with for a long time (this was before the blog). We talked about everything, had so much in common -- it couldn't NOT work, right? Well, it didn't. Our meeting just fell flat. We couldn't think of anything to say. It wasn't unpleasant, just awkward.

I'm going to check out Patricia's site. I would definitely be up for a bloggers meet-up. I live in Skokie, so I'm not too far away.

JD at I Do Things said...


I couldn't get to either of Patricia's sites from your links.

I found Communication Exchange by googling, tho. The URL is

Cher said...

Sounds like fun. I have never met anyone yet as I just started blogging last August and I am still learning so much! I live in Evergreen Park (not far from Crestwood or Bridgeview)! Looking forward to BlogHer since it is only 30 minuntes away this year and Patricia's meeting sounds interesting too.

(Oh and you link to Communication has too much code, I think its the target="...that is wrong. )

*lynne* said...

I never imagined I'd ever meet bloggers face-to-face: I am not good/comfortable with new people by default, even though I can put on quite the facade if need be.

Then I decided to come out of my shell a bit last year, when Dave from was visiting Chicago. It was a bit awkward, but not terribly so; it seemed as if most of the people had met before and therefore know what to talk about... me at that point read only dave's and one other person there, so that didn't help.. but still... it was a first step...

And now with my trip to Malaysia, I've met up with 2 bloggers, one-on-one over coffee, and it wasn't painful at all.

So Patricia's having a blog meet-up? Cool! I might just join! :) April's a ways away, though... ideally we won't even be in Illinois by then,,, we'll see... thanks for the heads-up tho! :)

p/s: the broken links? you need to add a space between the URL and the target="_blank" code

Lola said...

Thank you all for letting me know about the bad links. I'm such a dork. I thought I checked them before I published. I'm so sorry.

@ JD-Hope you can make it. When I lived in Chicago, it wasn't too far from Skokie.

Lin said...

So I can't wear a wacky clown wig and come in all crazy-like?! I should have just done that to see your face--except I wouldn't know which face was yours!! Hee! Hee!

And, no, that wasn't me in that crazy lady party you had ten years ago. There are just some weird @ss folks who live in Bridgeview and Crestwood. I post about my weirdo neighbors all the time!

Megryansmom said...

I could have sworn I left a comment here that the links didn't work for me, but today they did. I'd love to go, as long as the new grandson doesn't pick that day as his birthday. But remind me closer to the actual day.

Lola said...

@ Lin - Thank goodness that wasn't you at the crazy crazy lady party 10 years ago. I think I would have died of embarrassment.

@ Megryansmom - I originally published that post in the wee hours and I got lazy and didn't re-check my links before hitting publish. If your Grandson picks that day as his birthday you'll just have to tell him to change it. LOL! Will do, I will send a reminder, hope you can make it.

Lola's Diner Was recently updated by by copyright 2009 ©