Sunday, 9 November 2008

When imaginary friends become real...

This is the fremantle town hall.
Last night I managed to meet up with Fifi. She was working in fremantle all day and as I happen to live close by it was easy for me to meet her in town. I told my kids I was going to meet my blog friend in person. Chicky babe replied, "Be careful and make sure it is in a public place." She said this somewhat tongue in cheek, I'm glad she has been paying attention to my advice re how much information she gives out on MSN or whatever it is that they use. I reassured her that I was quite sure Fifi was who she claimed to be and I was not an easily influenced teenager so I'm sure it would be ok.
While I was waiting for Fifi and her friend to arrive at the exhibition we had decided to meet at I realised that although I had seen a photo of her, I'd not actually seen her before and she certainly didn't know what I looked like. It was a bit strange really because by reading her blog I felt I knew her and felt that we were friends and it didn't dawn on until that point that I didn't actually know her. We had a lovely long chat and quite neglected the art work- of which there was very little in a huge space. I felt like I was catching up with an old friend.
I thought of lady Di actually you know how you knew her face so well and you were so familiar with it yet when she spoke it was a surprise because you didn't recognise the voice.
Following a blog is a bit like that but reversed- you know the voice in that we share certain parts of our lives and thoughts freely so you get a sense of who that person is and feel as if you know them but of course you don't really. You tend to fill in the bits you don't know in your imagination. Fifi did in fact have feet and not a tail and her hair was tied back not floating around her face when we met and I do not have red hair!
As I typed this I started to think, how well do we actually know anyone? I know at work I have a certain persona which is a part of me but a censored part of the whole me. My children see the "mummy" me, I don't burden them with my full self- they don't deserve to have to worry about that!!!! Strangely enough I have some conversations with you that I don't share with some of my friends. I think that it is partly the fact that this does feel a bit like a journal so it's as if you are writing to yourself and also I don't worry too much about your reactions, that is to say if my post is particularly boring you can skim it and not have to be subjected to the dialogue in full, or you can move on to the next blog if it is utterly tedious, friends don't have the option to do that . Their public persona means that generally they have to be polite and at least pretend to listen!
I've also been wondering about how many of us who blog had pen friends in the days of snail mail. I had one from the Solomon islands following a holiday that my father had there back in the 70's then as an older child I think it was year 8 the school had requests from a school in Singapore for pen friends so I conversed with a girl there for some time. So now when people I know look at me strangely when I mention something about blogging I think to myself it is not strange at all it's just a modern version of having pen friends!
(For some reason it won't let me add a picture today. I am too sleep deprived to try to figure it out!!!!) Contrary thing it suddenly decided to work after I included the link to some photos around Freo.


one little acorn said...

Sounds like you had a lovely day - how nice to catch up with a fellow blogger.
I had a pen-friend for a while too... a boy from Washington I think, though I can't remember where I 'found' him. Kevin Heath. I should see if I can find him on facebook!

fifi said...

It's so much better than pen friends I reckon!

I LOVED that you were able to come and meet up! It was so lovely. I had such a definite picture of you: the other thing was that i thought you were going to be really short ( I forgot to tell you that one.)

I ended up visiting my cousin, and seeing a lot of countryside. I really liked fremantle, I thought it was really beautiful, how the buildings were so unspoiled, and the streets so pretty.
And isn't that little pony a cracker? ooh. cute.

I am only getting over the whole thing: totally exhausted.
I hope you aren't too exhausted after all that work you had to do!
Back to the salt mines in the morning. Good luck with the Art Exhibition.

cheers! fifi

Molly said...

Have just been reading about you at Fifi's! Glad I came over...I, too, had pen friends back in the days of snail mail! And I think it's a good comparison with blog friends. And yes, people can just skim, or move on if a particular post doesn't catch their interest, because ultimately, we're writing for ourselves, or thinking out loud.... But oh, it's so nice when you strike a chord with a new friend!