I'll start with our friend Kath, who is sort of our Charlotte Kevin Bacon. Every friend that we have in Charlotte can be traced back to Kath (and her husband, Matt) in some way. We've met some other people (not through Kath) but usually they just try to get us to go to church with them. Kate likes to remind me of the six degrees of Kath whenever I make fun of her for excessive blogstalking. Usually something along the lines of "we wouldn't even know Kath and Matt if I didn't do this" like she's some kind of martyr or something. Gotta love it. Anyway, we met Kath and Matt because of Kate's blogstalking and then setting up a double date. At the time of this double date, I wasn't really a follower of Kath's blog, but since we were going to meet them, I took a couple of hours to do research on her blog. The blog was like a full couples eHarmony profile or something, except most of it was about oatmeal and yoga. Matt's blog focuses more on my interests (bread and beer), but that wasn't launched until after our first date. So that's one plus of having blogging friends...you feel like you know them before you actually know them.
One thing to watch out for when you have blogging friends is to not freak out their blog's recurring characters the first time you meet them. So the first time I met Matt's mom, I think I led with "So how is Spanish class going?" Matt's mom is auditing a Spanish class at a local university, but I only know this because I read the blog. Think how creepy that must sound coming from some guy you haven't met before. I think I followed that one up with something like "Why do you always order white wine when the meal absolutely calls for a full-bodied red?" Another one that I only knew because of my freakish memory and creepy blogstalking habits. Should've probably kept those to myself and just gone with something like "Nice to meet you, do you live around here?"
You also have to watch out and make sure that someones blog persona doesn't trump what you actually know about them. My friends Al and Kate are both bloggers. They got married a few months ago and actually announced it on their respective blogs. I saw them for the first time since the wedding, and even though my Kate instructed me to "congratulate them on their wedding" I think I led with "Hey Kate, congrats on your 1000th post" which was a detail that I had picked up from reading her blog. I quickly recovered with "oh, and congrats on getting married, too."
Having blogger friends can also get you reading things that you normally wouldn't read. My friend Michelle blogs about fashion. Now I enjoyed Sex and the City (the show and movie) as much as the next guy (actually, probably more than the next guy), but I probably wouldn't read a blog about women's fashion if I wasn't friends with the author. Then again, I doubt all of my friends would really be interested in some gem that I write that amounts to 1000 words about the best mixers for Gin, but they muddle through because they know and/or like me. So I guess it all works out. And now when we hang out with Michelle and her husband I can say things like "oh, those are your 7 for all mankind jeans, aren't they? I loved those with the Express Cardi."
Commenting on friend blogs is also fun. I usually do one of two things. I either comment with some kind of off-topic inside joke, or come up with a fake name and defend my friend blogger, if someone is being mean via comments. I usually select a woman's name. And this fake woman persona of mine (usually named Marge, or Marci, or Doris) is pretty sassy. I think if I was a woman, I'd be a little feisty. Like the kind of woman who gets into fights - usually over her man. You know, the one with the really thin eyebrows that you see at the mall or at the fair. Yeah, so I'll comment as Marci and defend my friends. Could that be a bumper sticker? "My Blog Persona is a feisty middle-aged woman."
Commenting on my friend Kelsey's blog is fun too. Before I met Kelsey, I saw her blog and she had (either intentionally or unintentionally) posted a rather inappropriate looking picture of a couple of apples and a banana. If you don't know what I'm talking about, give a 12 year old boy two apples and a banana and see how he arranges them. So Kelsey was just taking a picture of her lunch or something, and I really really wanted to know if the fruit placement was intentionally in the twig and berries formation, or if it was random produce chance. Kate told me that I couldn't ask via comments, because I hadn't met Kelsey yet, and it's already creepy enough that a guy is reading food blogs. But now that Kelsey is one of my blogfriends, I'm entirely comfortable asking - and can do so without worrying about getting blocked from posting comments.
So there it is, folks. The end of my three volume series on digital friends. Tomorrow we'll have something on The Real Housewives of Facebook. That should be fun and will probably offend plenty of readers.
Speaking of offending readers, I'm going to give the whole 'food blog critic' thing a shot on Saturday. We'll try it once and see how it goes. Depends on whether I can be funny without being a complete ass. Maybe I'll turn it into a weekly roundup or something. I was going to ask the food bloggers for permission first, but decided that I'll just ask for forgiveness later, instead. So stay tuned for that. Should be fun.