I have to tread carefully here because I have no wish to cause offence, but need to be clear about a couple of things. First, I’ll state what is obvious to anyone who visit’s my blog with any frequency…I’m a single mother. So was Mary, initally, so I’m in good company(I’m still waiting for my St. Joseph 🙂 . The point of my mentioning this is that I’m sure you will appreciate that being in such a situation automatcally disposes a person to cautiousness.
The fact is that I have, over the years that I’ve been online in forums or on the previous blogs that I have had, built up some really great friendships. Occasionally these internet friendships spill over into real life. They become tangible relationships in the form of people bothering to take some time out of their busy day to write real letters or cards, or even to pick up the phone to hear my voice (or me their’s -you get the idea) ~ I have a few such friends as these. We share our lives with one another on another level, and though oceans may separate us, we have developed trust and true friendship over the years.
I must stress that I value all the friendship’s that I have made with everyone who visits my blog and the owners of the blogs I visit, but for the purpose of this post I am making a distinction. Friendship that spills over into real life takes time to develop. Particularly if you have reason to be cautious and are perhaps vulnerable, like me.
So? What is all this leading to? You may well ask, I’ve almost forgotten myself.
A couple of things happened fairly recently that I need to let you know about, to help you make some sense of this post. The first is that through some means I am unaware of, mail arrived at a relative’s house, addressed to me. The mail was inoffensive, but I was disturbed that I had gone to what could be considered ‘unfriendly’ lengths to ensure that the sender of this particular piece of mail, did not become aware of my home address or anyone else connected with me in any way. How this person discovered the address of a relative of mine is therefore a mystery since to my knowledge they did not have access to even my surname.
I was very concerned because this particular person has a bit of a bogus personality. Through various means I was made aware a long time ago, that this particular person was not all that they claimed to be, and in fact it was very unsettling to discover the many lies this person told. No friendship could develop between us because there was no trust and therefore I could not, would not, issue personal information of my whereabouts to that person.
On another matter, not entirely unrelated, though certainly not as alarming in nature;
I have received at various times, emails and comments from people asking to meet me. I find this flattering, I can’t deny it. But the issues of vulnerability are no less real for me given my personal situation.
You know when you blog for a while, you kind of get glimpses of peoples personalities. People who you thought were terse and uncommunicative reveal a different side to themselves you never would have known existed, or perhaps those who on the surface seem genuine and kind hearted send nasty emails and threaten to kill your cat when they’re pre-menstrual…you get the gist?
I don’t have a cat so I’m not particularly worried…oh, what am I saying, sure I have a cat! And I don’t live in a house with a green door….
Anyway. You learn to read people a bit better over a period of time. Some can’t be figured out at all, some are completely frustrating. Some you would like to get to know better, but the feeling isn’t reciprocated! Getting to know people online can be confusing, but it can also be a source of great joy. But whatever it is, it can not be denied, that sometimes it’s just plain wierd.
What I’m getting at is that for me, it takes time to build up trust. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not antisocial. If you lived in my parish, and you went along to Mass with me, that’d be different, we would socialise on an entirely different level, but that isn’t what I’m talking about. And by now I think you have gleaned as much.
So, can you see where I’m coming from when I say that despite valuing all (okay, most) contribution’s to my blog and being thankful of a persons interest in me and in what I write, I don’t feel comfortable about meeting up for coffee with someone I barely know (especially those who let me know the day before that they’re coming to my town -sorry. I don’t want to hurt feelings here, but I just can’t do it. Get to know me better and maybe in 2007 😉 ~ I’m fooling with you of course, but you catch my drift, right?
I want to say ‘it’s nothing personal’ – and yet, it’s entirely personal. I know that it’s probably me who ‘they’ should be scared of and not the other way around, but what can I say…I’m neurotic, you should know that already…