I parked quickly and entered the restaurant a little awkwardly. I avoided eye contact with the hostess and just started to scan the room when I saw Jennifer peek out from the booth and wave at me. I smiled and walked over, hugged her and she laughed, "oh good! You're me sized!"
If you would've told me a few years ago that I would be meeting people from all over the Internet, I probably wouldn't have believed it. Even beyond the "from the Internet" part, meeting people is hard when you are a five foot Lorraine Valverde. (So, basically, me.)
Last Sunday, though, I got to meet Jennifer of Starving, Insatiable. I've mentioned her a few times here as my "favorite Florida girl." I'm pretty sure she was the first Florida blogger I got to know thus cementing her position as my favorite. Despite only living four hours apart, we just finally got around to being in the same place at the same time.
Jennifer text me on Saturday while I was in Tampa to ask if I had any food preferences. It's a tricky question, though, right? When you are meeting someone new? I didn't want to be all, "oh, I only eat chicken" and then have her be all, "chicken is against my religion" or something, you know? Just me?
Anyways I answered with a pretty safe, "I like breakfast." I think I typed it that way when really in my head it was more like, "OMGOMG BREAKFAST NOW PLZ."I really like breakfast. She was super accommodating and picked a place very near me where we could have brunch.
Now, meeting fellow bloggers is always really exciting, in an entirely nerve wracking way. It's a weird place between knowing a person but maybe not really knowing them? It's having all the familiarity of having, let's say, read their journal for years, with all the awkwardness of a first meeting.
I tried not to think about this and was consoled when Jennifer made a comment about not knowing how to greet me when she first saw me. "Do I hug you or shake your hand..." she asked. I laughed and then remembered that I went straight in for the hug. I looked back down at my menu and hoped that was okay.
I apologized for my lack of voice and promised that I didn't normally sound that way. It was really bad, guys, though she didn't make fun of me or anything. Very diplomatic. We talked a little about our families and lack of Spanish-speaking skills. We talked about being Floridians and how much we love wearing dresses. We talked about how in our late 20's, nightlife is changing.
"I just want friends who understand that sometimes I like staying in on Saturday nights," I said and she looked at me sympathetically.
"I don't know what I'd do if I ever found myself single again," she mused. "I'm lucky my current boyfriend liked the quiet girl who was standing behind the other girls."
We talked a lot about blogging. Neither of our families know about our blogs and it's always refreshing to talk about LttP out in the open.
"What do I call you, anyways," she asked me, well into our meal. Jen is one of a few readers who knows my real name. "I didn't even realize Lor wasn't your name until you sent me that message one day."
Story of my blog life. I smiled and assured her I was used to hearing Lor and she could call me that. The more we talked about blogging, the more we talked about the good, the bad and the marked as read. She mentioned a plan to highlight her favorite blogs and that all evolved into me having some "homework" after I left. To be clear, Jennifer also told me she was totally kidding but after she graciously treated me to a brunch where I consumed an omelet the size of my head, the least I can do is participate.
I'm pretty sure I said, "it was so great to meet you," about 10 times between paying for the meal and walking out to our cars. She said I could call her again if I were even in the area so I'm chalking that up to success.
Now, for my homework. She asked me which of my own posts were my favorites. I've listed the seven below in no particular order. It's always hard to go back and read and some of this stuff felt like I just wrote it yesterday. I'm not claiming these are my best or funny or um, cool, or anything; just my personal favorites.
Lorraine's Seven Favorite Lorraine Posts
1. The Breakfast of Champions - "My cereal would more likely feature leprechauns, unicorns, and fairies. My cereal is often in the "family" section of cereals, so that I feel judged for eating it even though I'm not actually buying it for a "family." So, I posed this question to my friends: does anyone actually eat Wheaties?"
2. Moldy Adventures - "I never leave a four way stop happy."
3. I Will Not Talk Bad About Valentines Day - "I'm obviously taking my girly cart into the men's side of the aisle when I'm shopping for razors"
4. Here Kitty, Kitty - "I wish I knew how to speak Spanish. All I know how to say is that there is a cat in my pants."
5. Stalk You Like Woah - "Also great is that it's mostly caused by overuse of muscles. Hahahahahaha. I mean, I haven't been lifting THAT many zebra cakes. I read another article (probably not scientific) that said something about this mostly happening to athletes, especially rowers. Yep. Athletes and Lor, that sounds about right."
6. How Are You? - "Mostly because at the exact moment I was calling Sara names, I also had another window open where I was watching my second episode of "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" of the day. It's getting really good, because I'm in season two, and Clark and Lois are figuring out they like each other which means the Saxophones of Impending Sexy Time are working over time, and those are my favorite."
7. The One With a Lot of Teeth - "I mean, I HATE DORA. Like irrationally. Like with a fiery passion that is usually reserved for people and situations that are real. But it doesn't matter because I hate her."
It feels like I've got a ton of stuff to update you on, which I will do soon, but quickly: I went to see The Hunger Games this morning, which I have all sorts of thoughts on, I had an interview this week, I'm going to be taking care of nieces full time until I find a job, and as the second part of this post, I will be highlighting some blogs I like to read over the course of the next few posts.
I hope you all have wonderful weekends. I honestly wish I could meet you all.
Or, you know, most of you.