Thursday, May 12, 2011

We are all one, under the Sun



Why do I love the Matchbox bar so much? Why do I love Facebook? Why, oh why am I still blogging after all these years? A friend asked me that last question recently. What he asked specifically is what pleasure I take in blogging. It's a good question. What I told him is that I have a lot to say. Speaking my peace here is a no-strings-attached self expression. People can come read or not, whatever they want.

Of course it's more than that. I continue to blog because I love being part of the blog community. I love the intimate relationships I have with my blog fellows, how we share the adventures of each other's lives, the way in which we come together when a blog friend experiences loss or illness or some other shock. I love the community aspect of blogging so much! Same goes for Facebook. Some folks believe the blog world and FB create "virtual" friendships that aren't as durable as "real" friendships. I strongly disagree. Tell me the difference between "virtual" love and "real" love, please? Oh yeah! Love is not visible, but it sure the hell is not virtual, yes? I say yes.

The people I talk to at the Matchbox bar, with whom I connect in the "real" world, are complete strangers. We have no common thread, except that we're sitting there at the bar next to one another. Unlike my FB and blog friends, when we strike up a conversation, we have to start from scratch. What is your name, what do you do for a living, etc.

To be scrupulously honest, I have engaged in conversation with some of the WEIRDEST people at the Matchbox bar. I think of the poor fellow who wanted to pour out his heart to me about all the troubles he has seen. Normally I would have been quite sympathetic, but it was my birthday and I really did not want to hear his life story. Then there was "Pete" (or so he said), a smart, good looking man who had clearly been drinking for awhile by the time he arrived at the Matchbox. He was completely obnoxious, but I enjoyed talking to him nevertheless - because he was cute. Is that a crime? Last week I refereed for a couple of lesbians in the midst of what was probably their final argument. It was pretty interesting and - I think I did a good job, because they paid for my dinner.

I could go on, but you get the idea, right? So now WHY do I like the Matchbox bar? It's pretty simple, really. I live alone. When I go to work, I chat momentarily with clients who subsequently climb onto the treatment table where they close their eyes, zone out, and drool on the sheets - as it should be! I have lots of friends, but right now in my life, there is no setting in which I talk to complete strangers - except at the Matchbox.

It's good to interact with my fellow humans, both those I love and know well, and those I will never know very well. It's even a good thing to talk to people I would never WANT to know well, because I'm a human and that's what we do. As a homo sapiens, I, too, am a social predator. That's why I blog and read blogs, why I love Facebook. It explains why I am so rich in friendships both "real" and "virtual" and why I frequently find myself sitting at the Matchbox bar.

I love all the different kinds of connections we humans form, I do. Cheers!

16 comments:

Whitney Lee said...

I understand. Some days I am thrilled to strike up a conversation with one of the other mothers when I pick up my daughter from preschool simply because that might be the only adult type conversation I have for the next 5 or 6 hours. Facebook, blogs, strangers, they all make us feel a little less alone. They remind us that, contrary to our feelings sometimes, we are all in this together. Also, talking to others helps me solidify (or modify) my personal beliefs and opinions.

Carolina Linthead said...

I think people who think that this is "virtual" friendship know too little of the past, and perhaps focus too much on the attractiveness of the flesh and too little on the attractiveness of the mind and spirit. Sorry, that sounds judgmental, but I get defensive when I feel I'm being judged, and The Bug and I have felt judged from time to time because of the strong emotional bond we feel with our blogger friends.

Anyway, history: back when people seldom traveled more than 20-30 miles from home, they wrote, sometimes crudely, sometimes eloquently, to people they may never have met, or maybe met once or twice in a lifetime. They sustained "virtual" friendships, sometimes torrid affairs, via letters. Heck, Ben Franklin maintained a "virtual" marriage via letters back and forth with his wife back in America during the nearly 17 years he spent in England prior to the American Revolution.

What I love best about the blog world is that it is somewhat of a resurrection of this age of letters. It is so much more personal than Facebook or Twitter. Images, thoughts, etc., are conveyed back and forth in what can sometimes be a very intimate yet open conversation. I love it because I have seen my beautiful poet of a wife bloom here.

Love you, Reya! Keepin' it real here on the edge of the lone prairie :-)

Reya Mellicker said...

Love you, too, Michael, very dearly. You know that. You, too, Whitney.

Michael this is great - you could develop a GREAT blog post out of these ideas. YES. I was a serious letter writer all my life. I sent postcards, too, like mad. For awhile I pasted stamps on all kinds of objects like bowling trophies and baby dolls, put them in the mail.

You used to be able to mail anything, no matter what the shape, without putting it in bubblewrap or taking it to the post office.

SO MUCH has changed since 9/11. Whoa!!

The Bug said...

I agree that with some bloggers (you for example) what's going on isn't really virtual at all - it's very real, at least to me. I guess I read three types of blogs: ones I read for entertainment, ones I read for information, and friends (and friends can entertain & inform too).

What I love about FB is something I mentioned last night to Mike - I have IRL friends who are not very vibrant in person, but give them a keyboard & oh man are they funny & intense. It's great.

P.S. Hey, you're Rebecca now!

ellen abbott said...

wait a minute...what'd I miss? reclaiming your birth name?

I so agree with you and Michael about blogging. And Dana to about the types of blogs. I used to have penpals when I was a kid. wrote for years to another girl in England whom I never met. I think we quit writing in our early 20s. I wonder where she is today. I would love to write her again. I think I even remember her old address.

and here's another thing. I would probably keep up with my 'physical' friends better if they did FB or a blog. Out here in the country I don't see them often any more so I have to remind myself to call now and then. which reminds me...

Reya Mellicker said...

How did I become Rebecca all of a sudden?

Reya Mellicker said...

Am I still Rebecca?

Reya Mellicker said...

That was weird!

California Girl said...

Hi Rebecca!
I enjoy the blogging friends I've made as well. I feel incredibly connected to certain people with whom I not only comment back & forth but who email me privately. There is little doubt I would like them in person. I wonder if I'll ever meet one of them? It would be fun to set up a bloggers convention altho' I believe Blogher does that already.

Reya Mellicker said...

I've met lots of my blog friends. Several of these people have become close "real life" friends. With some, that would not develop, but I enjoy all the levels of connection.

In DC for awhile we had a blog community that gathered for happy hours and such. That was so much fun. We also had a blogger maypole one year. Local bloggers and far-flung bloggers came to participate. It was a blast.

Reya Mellicker said...

First I was Rebecca, then Reya and now I'm back to being Reya Mellicker. So weird ... I wonder what it means?

mouse (aka kimy) said...

to think yesterday was twilight zone day...not today, maybe the was somr spill over ---rebecca - reya....what was the cosmos doing?

so well put ....you are amazing whatever your name is!!

♥♥♥♥♥

Carolina Linthead said...

"Let's do the name warp again..."

Val said...

me too Reya x

lacochran's evil twin said...

There is something freeing about engaging with someone who you never have to engage with in the first place and certainly never have to engage with again.

Pam said...

This may sound presumptuous, but being one myself, may I say...Spoken like a true Aquarian!