Hello…I see you

I know that at some point in life, probably many times, we see someone we know but don’t really know.  You know they know you.  You know they know you know them.  Maybe someone you went to high school with or maybe it’s someone that works for the same company you do but in another department.  You may have never even talked to this person before but you know you have something in common with them.  Somehow you are connected.  Do you stop and chat?  Or walk past like complete and total strangers?  Usually, I opt to walk on by.  I’m not trying to be rude but I assume the possible conversation will be awkward and I don’t want to bother the other person.  I can hear it now:

Weren’t you in my 6th grade reading class?

– (Nods head with fake interest and enthusiasm) Oh yeah, I was. (silence ensues)

So...(awkward pause. Looking into shopping cart) I see you like Raisin Bran.  Good stuff.

Well, a few months ago I came out of the movie theater to see a guy that was on my myspace page.  I had never met him, never actually talked to him.  Our exchanges were completely limited to myspace and were few and far between at best.  However, I knew things about him because of what he posted on his page.  I knew a little about his divorce, his kids, what his interests were, what kind of music he liked, books he read, and movies he watched.  In a very small way I felt like I kind of knew him.  Matter of fact, because I was so sure I knew him from someplace “real”, I started to semi-panic because I couldn’t recall his name immediately and was sure I would offend him when he saw and recognized me.  He never saw me and as I put together who he was I figured he probably wouldn’t have recognized me at all.  And I have to say that I found the whole thing to be a little eerie.

I think about this a lot when it comes to the blog.  Regardless of whether you put up a picture, or use your real name, I feel like I know most of you pretty well.  I look forward to reading your posts or receiving comments from you on mine.  At first it was the excitement of someone reading what I wrote and having something to say about it.  But over time the excitement has shifted a little to being more personal because I feel I know you more individually.

But what if we were to randomly pass and recognize each other on the street?  Would it be eerie like the myspace guy?  Would we say anything or just walk on by pretending not to notice one another (and blog about it later)?  My first reaction was to walk on by pretending ignorance.  But now I’m not so sure.  I’m quite certain that it’s come to all of your attention that there is a great majority of us linked together on our pages.  Reflecting on all the stories and comments, I’d be willing to bet that we could throw one kick ass party if we were to all get together and meet up.  So if by some random chance you see me passing by, don’t hesitate to say hello.

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29 thoughts on “Hello…I see you

  1. You’re funny.

    We’ve discussed how incestuous our little blog community is before. While we have people who soley read us, a good chunk of folks have formed some bond (me, you, Billy, Allison, Sarah, 2 Lazy Dogs, to name a few) and I’m pretty sure we could indeed have a kick ass party. Or maybe we wouldn’t. Maybe we’re all much better in prose than in person. Maybe we’re all awkward people who are socially obtuse and aren’t able to carry on a conversation. I doubt it.

    You’ve read some of Billy’s stuff, right? I’m pretty sure he’s out there, which is good because I bet he’s a good candidate for mayor of our group. This does not mean I’d slap his ass if I randomly saw him in an airport, however. I would look at him funny, though, until I figured out who he was and how he fit into my life. But I’m just saying…

  2. Pammy Girl: I say “Billy for Mayor!” I think the party would be hilarious. I’m pretty sure I would feel more comfortable being the shrinking violet in the corner completely content to watch everyone perform like stand up comics on a stage. And of course I would have my little camera with me in my corner. Scratch that, I would need to buy a video recorder.

  3. I would run up to you and push you down on the ground (thhis is what I did when I met girls in an uncomfortable situation in the 5th grade). Since you don’t know what I look like, you wouldn’t know it was me and then I could read about it on your blog the next day.

    It would make for great reading.

    Maybe I’ll post a picture for a day and then take it down…gotta keep my secret identitiy!

  4. morethananelectrician: HAHAHA!! Imagining some man coming up, pushing me down, and running away has me in stiches for some reason. Except now that you’ve told me what you would do, I would know it was you. But it would make for a great reading – hilarious in fact.

  5. Gotta watch out for copycats now. It would be funnier to watch and to a be a participant (the pusher) than it would be to be the one laying on the pavement with a big knot on the forehead.

    Consider yourself a target now!

  6. Hey you two! No pushing or shoving in the hallways…. now get to class!

    Actually, Blue, we could recognize Mr. Electrician…at least from the forehead up. Especially if he’s sunburned.

    I think It would depend on who I saw as to whether I would speak to them. Most of the time I opt not to speak.

  7. Maybe it would be more like seeing your doctor or nurse out in public… they can’t say hi to you first because of that confidentiality thing.

    I probably would not say hi because
    1. It may be a little odd “Hi. We’ve not met before but I know all about you…. Like that time with the trash can…….” See, freaky.
    2. I’d probably just figure the other person did not recognize me… even if I did actually put my picture out there.

    Maybe in a tight little blog/myspace community it might work though. If they are from “the group” not the occasional commenter or lurker.
    Just sayin’

  8. I was about to write something clever and to get myself invited to the party but then a bat flew into my hallway. Im not kidding. i have to go now.

  9. morethananelectrician’s comment made me laugh outloud — nearly wet my pants laughing actually. Hillarious. I probably wouldn’t say anything, but I’d make a face at you for sure.

  10. I’m not much of a face-to-face person; I become awkward in social situations (my brain lacks the ability to be witty on the spot), and I much prefer communicating via email than telephone. If I found myself in the unlikely situation of being within throwing distance of someone who regularly commented on my blog (and recognizing them) I would most likely do what I usually do when I see someone I actually know: quickly place myself in a position so as not to be seen. I did that once in Target when I saw a guy I knew from class and was sure that once I started to speak, the connection from my brain to my mouth would become muddled and would serve no purpose. Seeing him walk down the aisle I jumped behind the next display, hoping that he hadn’t seen me at all, because if he did and came looking for me, he would have found me cozied up next to the adult diapers.

  11. This happens to me a lot at work because in medicine (and academic medicine, in particular) residents, nurses, faculty all come and go (and I imagine that’s the same in many lines of work). Unfortunately, as I get older I sometimes get the pang of horror when I realize that I know them…I even know their name and perhaps some details about them but I don’t remember the WHERE part.

    Do I know them from college, med school, residency, fellowship, post-fellowship? That’s a lot of years and a lot of people.

    To L: Patients are a different story but equally odd. I think I may have to blog on this one….

    I think that as far as meeting/passing each other in real life, it’s a bit different. I have a far more meaningful bond with a handful of bloggers than I have with most people in my real life. Meeting an online acquaintance is different because you’ve skipped the physical meeting/introduction and gone straight to the “getting to know you” part. You already have the basis for friendship or, at least, conversation but you don’t have the lynchpin of physical presence. It’s almost as if you need to “just add water” and POOF!…instant friendship. Of course, seeing them in real life is going to likely involve some awkward “Gee, I thought you were taller…” moment but it’s only odd because the steps are out of order. Just my .02.

    For the record, I wouldn’t ignore most people because I would just challenge myself to make the connection.

  12. Scottie: That’s right! I had forgotten that little tid bit about morethananelectrician. It might depend on the person for me as well.

    L: It may come across as a little freaky you’re right. But then again it might depend on who the person was. I probably wouldn’t get recognized either even though my pic is all over my blog.

    maleesha: A bat?? I really hope you wrote about this on your blog. I’m heading over to check.

    lynnard: Yep, that was my reaction to his comment as well actually. You would make a face at me but I’d be sure to make one right back.

    megan: I think I’m better online than in person with strangers but funnier in person with people I really know. I’m never sure if people reading my blog can hear my tone of voice or inflection to really get how I’m saying something. I have actually ducked behind things before, many times actually, so as not to talk to people. Never by adult diapers though. But you never know…

    The Last Spartan: You make some very good points. At first I didn’t think it would be as awkward to meet someone after knowing them from online. But for at least that first meeting it would be for those exact reasons you mentioned. I do tend to ignore people but I think I’m going to challenge myself more to approach them. Well, that’s what I say…we’ll see if I can actually do it.

  13. I second Billy for Mayor! And I’d totally slap him on the ass in an airport, and I would NOT tell him who I was. Much more fun to just leave him weirded out before climbing into a metal-tube-of-plummeting-to-his-death.

    Only later, when he blogged about the strange ass white guy who walked up, gave him a hug and smacked him on the ass, would I comment and confess who I was.

    Also, I’d really like an invitation to the party. I promise no ass slapping for the entire duration. At least on my part.

  14. Dead Charming: Thinking of this interchange between you and Billy is really funny…until I really think about it, then I’m not so sure. Ok, yes it is. I would hope you would show up! This would be a non-invitational party that everyone would be expected to attend.

  15. Does Billy realize we’ve nominated him to be The Mayor? Someone would probably clue him in…

    Charming: I’m pretty sure getting an ass slap from you in an airport would make a MUCH better blog entry than getting one from me.

    Bluesuit: Where is this imaginary required party going to take place… Toad Suck?

  16. Pammy Girl: I’m about to log over to his site and tell him. He should feel honored. Toad Suck is the perfect place for this party! Not only could he be the Mayor but he could also be the Toad Master. Maybe they would let us borrow that silky green suit the Toad Master wears every year and top hat. I see this party’s potential going in so many different ways….

  17. I’m such a social creature that I randomly walk up to strangers and start chatting with them. Heck, I may have chatted one of you up somewhere along the line. Ha.
    I’ve never thought to use the “I think I know you from the blogosphere” line. Thanks bluesuit!

    Oh yes, I agree, Billy for Mayor! I just happen to have some poster board and sharpies handy. I’ll go ahead and start making celebratory posters.

    As to the party – I’m in.

  18. 2lazydogs: What an interesting thought. I wonder if at some point those of us have ever crossed paths we each other and never knew it. Don’t forget the glitter!!

  19. If I saw you guys out in the “real” world I would totally come up to you. This is a huge thing for me since I think I’m painfully shy and have avoided my own friends when I’m out alone and I see that they are with other people (ok, I only did it once and we were fighting at the time). Besides, who doesn’t love a good party?

  20. Sarah: I’ve avoided my friends out in public before. Usually it’s because I’m in a hurry or just not in the mood to talk. Our party is sure to be the one all others will be judged on.

    Billy: See you there.

  21. My husband knows, and remembers, every person he has ever come in contact with. So without fail, every time we go out in public we run into someone he “knows”. So as his wife I have to stand there awkwardly trying to pretend like I am interested in the person that gave him his shots when he was 4 years old. I prefer the walk on by method!

  22. If you decide to swing back Guate again, drop me an e-mail, I will say Hello and back you up on the Raisin Bran goodness. 😉

    Oh man, I would like to go back to Guatemala sometime. I have a lot of friends that have been going back. I should jump on that bandwagon!

  23. I’ve thought about this before! Me and Kelltic are moving down near Orem this fall….. you never know… I promise I would at the very least smile and wave. 🙂

    If you guys were to see and recognize me I would be shocked. I’ve lived down here for almost 4 years and have never one time run into anyone I know except current ward members. I don’t know how that’s possible but apparently it is. What are you coming down this way for? School?

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