Let me expand on this with a funny story...
The year is 1994. I was 18.
I graduated from High School and I got a computer. With my friends going off to college and me staying home for college we decided to get 'online' back in the days when you had Aol 3.0. That Christmas my mom had a week off of work for their holiday shutdown. She decided to check out this AOL thing.
I told her she needed a handle because it wasn't safe to use her real name. She became SnipAndSew and wandered into the AOL Quilt Chat room. We didn't see her all week because she was holed up on the computer chatting away with her new 'friends.'
We were pretty baffled.
Time passed and names like SewEasy, SewSue, Londy, Kayact and Nintendo became part of my mom's normal vocabulary.
Once in a while someone would call and ask for Snip or Snippy.
More time passed and one night at the dinner table my mom informed us that she was going to be meeting these friends at the new TGI Fridays for dinner.
My jaw dropped open. Had I not taught her anything about the internet??? For all she knew these supposed friends could be serial killers poaching for victims in a chat room.
On the day she was to meet them I approached her with my cell phone (then large enough to have it's own purse) and demanded she take it with her incase she needed help. Once she got there she was to call me at a time we had decided on to tell me that she was ok. No call meant things were not well.
I received NO call. I panicked.
I got in my car and I sped to the restaurant.
What I didn't know was that my own MOTHER had told these friends that I thought they could be serial killers. A woman rushed over to me, grabbed my shoulder, identified herself as Kayact the Serial Killer and thrust a small box of cereal into my hands with plastic forks sticking out of it. The table erupted with laughter and I slunk back out of the restaurant....because OBVIOUSLY they were NORMAL people. Of course, I use the word NORMAL quite loosely....
They all became fast friends, going off to retreat, getting together to sew, shop hopping, etc.
Fast forward to 2001. I'm getting married and I receive a reply card that not only has the 'yes' box checked it also says, "I'll be there with bells on."
Ummm, OK, I just thought she was being friendly.
Mom is walking me down the aisle. I had severe anxiety about everyone LOOKING AT ME. To my left, halfway down the aisle I see the Cereal Killer....she's got her hands gripping the bottom of her top and I realize...SHE HAS BELLS ON and they are JINGLING. Yep, they were pinned to the bottom of her glitzy top. She really WAS there with Bells ON and it made walking down the aisle not as scary.
Back: SewSue, SnipandSew, Nintendo
After all these years these ladies are still very good friends. When SewEasy (Karen) comes into the shop I'm always so happy to see her, she still calls my mom 'Snip'.
I've learned that better friends just can't be found than those who are quilters; no matter where you find them. Whether that be in a class, online or at a quilt shop. You still will find ones you don't click with but that's ok too.
When I drove down to Ohio last year for Quilt Retreat and was going to stay at Jill's house ahead of time I didn't think twice about it. We had exchanged emails, we had talked on the phone and the minute I walked into her house I felt like I belonged there. It wasn't strange, not even for a moment. I had met her online but she definitely was NOT a stranger.
I still smile whenever I think of the Cereal Killer.