Monday, April 18, 2016

My day last Friday

Last week I found myself in St. Louis, Missouri for a work conference. Since I knew that Justine lives in St. Louis, I reached out to her and we decided to have lunch on Friday.  I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but I was a little bit nervous to meet her.  I mean, I've "known" her for a while now through blogging, but would we get along in person?  Would we have anything to talk about?  Would we both be miserable?  As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about.  The conversation came easy.  We have the shared experience of infertility, but we talked about so much more.  I can't even begin to explain how refreshing it was to meet a new person, but to also be able to let my guard down, since I knew there weren't going to be any family planning zingers.  We were just two women, who happened to not have children after infertility, having lunch and talking, and it was wonderful.  It felt so normal. 

Justine was the first of many blogger friends that I hope to meet in person someday! 

Since I was in St. Louis for a conference, I knew I'd be seeing friends, acquaintances, and colleagues that I've known for the better part of ten years plus a whole bunch of new people.  I don't know how conferences in other fields work, but in mine, days are filled with sessions and presentations, late afternoons are for receptions for everything under the sun, and evenings are for fun.  All of my graduate school friends and some of the faculty decided to have dinner on Friday evening.  Since we left graduate school, all but one of these people have had at least one child (the remaining person has no desire to have children).  One of my go to strategies for navigating group situations and preventing unwanted family planning questions is to always be seen with a drink in my hand. Except Friday night it didn't work.  Someone sitting right beside me at dinner said "so.....I heard you were pregnant."  Mind you, I was on my second glass of wine at this point.  I was taken aback.  I can usually navigate the "so.....when are you guys having kids" question.  But rumors going around that I am pregnant?  Not so much prepared for this one.  I managed to choke out a response along the lines of "I'm not sure where you heard that, but I can confirm with 100% certainty that I am not pregnant."  It didn't ruin the evening, but it definitely put a damper on it.  I felt really out of place.

Friday was an interesting day.  An amazing lunch with a person I'd never met in person where I felt so normal and a dinner with people I've known for years where I felt like a fish out of water.  A sharp contrast.  I just have to laugh about it.

11 comments:

  1. I have met two bloggers so far and I was a bit nervous both times. My experience was the same as yours - I had nothing to worry about. Everything was just perfect.
    btw: can't wait to meet you one day!

    Sorry for having to hear such a rude question. I am glad it didn't ruin the day.

    xoxo

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    1. I can't wait to meet you too! I wonder if we will both be nervous when we finally get to meet. I don't think so....we already talk a lot.

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  2. I am sooooo glad we got to finally meet in person and have a great lunch outside with our glass of red wine, just being ourselves! Now I only wish you lived closer!

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    1. I know!!! I'm sure that our paths will cross again someday, hopefully soon! :)

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  3. I'm so glad you had the positive experience to balance things out. If I may suggest a career change, I found that my fellow physicists never talked about their private lives at conferences (assuming they even had one)! Seriously though, I think it's a slow process to learn where and with whom you do and do not feel truly safe and comfortable. And as you say, the results are often very surprising. But it's important work to keep doing and I commend you for reflecting on and writing about these experiences for your own benefit and for others'.

    Naomi M

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    1. I was always pretty good at physics..... :)

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  4. My reaction was to roll my eyes at that statement. Then, I wondered if it was a less direct (but no less rude) way of asking about children.

    Glad you had a good experience meeting Justine. I've found - having met maybe 15 or so bloggers or internet friends - that if you like someone's voice online, you'll generally like them in real life too. I want to go to St Louis, so I'm a bit jealous. I have two long time blogging friends (non-IF)from there too.

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    1. It could have been a less direct way, I guess. I don't think it was intended to hurt or anything like that (and really I was more shocked than hurt), but it was inappropriate.

      St. Louis is a great city and someday when you visit, you'll love it! This was my second time visiting, and both times I was struck by the friendliness of everyone that I met. I think you're right about liking a person's writing usually means that you will like them in real life too. Hopefully you and I will meet one day to test out that theory.

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  5. In this blogosphere, if any of us get the chance to meet, we’ll be pretty safe with the fact that family questions won’t arise. It will be nice to throw caution to the wind for a change and embrace new friendships that have an established common ground.

    Hhm, that false sense of security with old friends, sorry to hear about that.... hope those two glasses of wine helped to dull the shock. ;)

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    1. They did indeed! :)

      I would love to meet all of my blogger friends someday, both friends with blogs and those who I correspond with who don't have their own blogs.

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  6. I have a couple of blogging friends from St. Louis & thereabouts. :) I can't think of one meetup with an online friend that's turned out badly. Glad you took the plunge & reached out to Justine!

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