What unites us

Sunday morning, after a jovial night in Denver of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, fantastic conversation, and Rock Band for the Wii (turns out I'm a drummer at heart), I awoke in my friend Julie's comfy, cushy guest bed surrounded on three walls by photos of her wedding.

Also her past military service.

While Nate was raised an army brat, I've never had friends who had anything to do with weaponry (D&D doesn't count) and shiny-buttoned uniforms and a resume with the word Pentagon on it. Military people are just not who you encounter living in white collar New York City, unless you're unfortunate enough to find yourself in Times Square during Fleet week.

I always considered myself--as New Yorkers generally do---worldly and broad-minded simply because we live in a city with a decent Picasso collection, an Uzbeki cusine category in the Zagat guide, and a general populace who can use the word schlep in conversation without air quotes.

And yet ironically, it wasn't living in the greatest city in the planet that lead me to the most mind-expanding social experience of my life, but turning on the AirPort on day in early 2006, logging onto blogspot.com, and saying why yes, I would like to create my free blog today!

Since starting Mom-101 three plus years ago, I am honored to have several friends besides Julie who've called military bases home. I can also now count among my friends women who actually come from Kansas (you mean people really live there?) women who are bona fide silicon valley techies, women who adopt special needs children and women who are scared to spend more than $4 on an article of clothing. I've got friends with 7 children and friends with cute southern accents and friends who say "eh," just like everybody says the Canadians do. And yes, they really do. I've even got a friend who knows a thing or two about trailers and that's not something you see in New York a whole lot.

Real friends make you homemade carmelized banana ice cream

How lucky we are.

How lucky we are to get the chance to know one another, and learn from people whose backgrounds are different than our own. How lucky we are to have a venue to bring us together over the values that unite us, the community we care about, the passions that fuel us regardless of where we live or what college we went to.

And how lucky we are to have the opportunity to hug one another in person at least once a year.

For all you people out there who hear about "online friends" and "blog friends" and internet friends" and think we're all complete and total dorks?

Well, okay. We are.

But we're happy dorks.


Blogger Motherhood Uncensored said...

When I started my blog just a bit before you, I remember being amazed at finding so many moms that I could connect with.

Apparently it took the internet to find my "mom posse."

And for that, I'm forever grateful.

7/20/09, 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Mir said...

$4 isn't my limit, you know. $4 just makes me happy.

I promise to bring a shirt I paid all of $12 for to BlogHer. Be prepared to tell me how pretty it is, mmkay?

7/20/09, 10:23 AM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

I've loved meeting people via the internet since way back in '95 when I found Firefly and started talking about favorite bands with a guy in CA. But blogging has definitely upped the number of people I can't wait to meet in Chicago!

(and btw, did you know that my husband is an ex-military guy? 4 years of army right out of high school which I now credit for his neatness and ability to make a bed).

7/20/09, 10:26 AM  
Anonymous mayberry said...

I know the bed of which you speak!

Really looking forward to seeing everyone this week, although it won't be the same without that ice-cream-makin' Air Force officer.

7/20/09, 10:51 AM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

I wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for all the wonderful bloggers I consider real friends. Not sure if that's exactly a good thing (kidding - it is) but I wouldn't change a thing.

7/20/09, 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

I'm sure I had a witty comment, but then I read Motherhood Uncensored's comment that included the term "mom posse."

And with that, I knew that anything I had to say would never measure up. What an awesome term. So I ditto what she said, except that I'm still in the process of finding my mom community =)

7/20/09, 10:59 AM  
Blogger Amelia Sprout said...

I've been using the Internet to find community (read: dates) since back in high school when it was all text based, but blogs helped me find a community I could relate to as a mom. That was something I didn't think I'd ever find. You guys are awesome.

7/20/09, 11:05 AM  
Anonymous C @ Kid Things said...

While I'm not going to BlogHer, I agree with everything you said. The internet is a strange, vast, yet profoundly tight-knit thing.

7/20/09, 11:16 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I trolled the internet for dates way back when, now I troll it for friends!

It's an amazing place to meet amazing people. I even met my husband on MySpace in '03. Crazy to even think it!

7/20/09, 12:15 PM  
Blogger the new girl said...

Writing/reading blogs widens the pool so much, it's true. I love that I've met and befriended people who I would have never, ever come across in life otherwise.

Being a happy dork is much better than being a sad, lonely dork, who thinks they're the only one that this crazy stuff is happening to.

7/20/09, 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it! Yes we are dorks and we make no apologies for it!!!

7/20/09, 1:08 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

The internet mommy's group I joined when I was pregnant in 2004 is still going strong and those women are some of my closest friends. The internet also led me to find that old friend I eventually married. Not a bad resource!

7/20/09, 1:10 PM  
Blogger Elaine A. said...

It is a wonderful way to unite us and experience how other live. I LOVE that! And I can't wait to experience it even more later this week!

7/20/09, 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Julie @ The Mom Slant said...

I'm all teary, and not just because I miss you - and will be missing you and all of the people you mentioned this coming weekend.

I'm teary because it means so much to me that I have a mom posse who looks beyond my Pentagon resume (and my New York resume, for that matter) and beyond a dozen other factors that might otherwise drive us apart, and who finds the commonalities that bring us together.

7/20/09, 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Boston Mama said...

Damn straight.

I feel so grateful for this online space, and "e-meeting" folks like you. I can't wait to see you this week! xoxo Christine

7/20/09, 3:26 PM  
Anonymous veep veep said...

Hey.. Julie... whats wrong with the New York resume?! ;)

Love being part of a dorky internet friendship. And so happy to see some peeps this weekend.

7/20/09, 3:27 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

AMEN! I have met so many wonderful people though blogging and count them among my best friends ever ever ever. Thanks for putting into words.

7/20/09, 3:31 PM  
Anonymous Asha {Parent Hacks} said...

Sigh. Yes, indeed.

7/20/09, 4:23 PM  
Anonymous chris said...

Happy dorks, indeed.

I am bring a pair of $4 shoes to BlogHer that our friend found for me during one of those crazy sales she is always blogging about :-)

7/20/09, 8:25 PM  
Blogger Magpie said...

Aw, that's sweet.

7/20/09, 9:04 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

holy crap...

I thought you'd been blogging years longer than I, but I began with the blogspot in April of 2006.

I still feel like a newbie...isn't that crazy? Maybe it's because I'm always learning something from this experience and this amazing community.

See you in a few days. :)

7/20/09, 10:28 PM  
Blogger Amy Sue Nathan said...

I hate to admit it but I'd be really lost without the friends I've met online. In many ways they have been more consistent in my life through the past almost 4 years than my friends who live near me. There's something to be said for having to really work at something - and to learn about someone at first by reading heartfelt words that don't know the boundaries of expectations or assumptions or the limitations of property lines, economics or race.

Oy vey. Didn't mean to be so serious!

7/20/09, 10:41 PM  
Blogger Bobbi Janay said...

What a true post this is.

7/20/09, 11:57 PM  
Blogger Ericka said...

but m'dear, those people out there who hear about online and blog friends, and think we're all dorks probably aren't reading your blog... 'cause if they did, then they'd understand, right?

7/21/09, 12:04 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Looking forward to seeing you later this week. You were one of the first mom-bloggers who I read and really identified with. (You can read that as an insult or compliment, depending on what you think of me, of course!)

7/21/09, 12:05 AM  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

This is why I'm excited about BlogHer. Seeing all of you. I love our differences and I love the things that unite us- our kids and our blogs. :)

7/21/09, 10:31 AM  
Blogger Erica Zamsky Hunt said...

What a great post. I think for those of us who don't live in as diverse of an area as you do, our "web homes" give us a great opportunity to meet people. As a working mother I feel that blogging has allowed me to connect to a vast array of people who would never have helped get my through being a mom. Since I started this I feel so much more at ease with all things mom related because I know I am certainly not the only one who has these thoughts/concerns. Thanks for the great post

7/21/09, 11:55 AM  
Blogger Liz@thisfullhouse said...

Then again, I was always "dorky" before being a dork was cool. Looking forward to running away from you at BlogHer :)

7/21/09, 12:04 PM  
Blogger JHP said...

Rock Band--love it! My husband (lead guitar or drums) and I (vocals) play on an occasional Sunday morning...and I usually end up holding the babe while belting out some tunes and wondering what other rock stars had to work under these circumstances! ;)

7/21/09, 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Michelle-WhiteTrashMom said...

Aw, thanks for the lurve. Everytime I look at the picture of you in the doublewide from your family trek last summer, it makes me smile. Can't wait to see you girl.

7/22/09, 11:11 AM  

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