Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Not all Serial Killers are to be feared... (Tip 31)

Tip #31 - Meeting people that you've only 'met' online. Not everyone out there is a Serial Killer.

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.

Feathered Ladies 2

Back: SewSue, SnipandSew, Nintendo
Front: Kayact, SewEasy

Cindy (sewandsnip), Sue (sewsue1033), Kay (Kayacht)

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.


Regina said...

Awesome story!

I met one of my online quilting friends for the first time last week during my Shop Hop - it was one of those "I will be wearing green and carrying a Lazy Girl Miranda bag with turtles on it" kind of things. And yet when we saw each other in the store it was "big hug" time - and I felt like I had known her for ages, even though we had not done a lot of direct chatting prior to my trip planning.

And I can't wait to meet the Cre8tive quilters at the April retreat - somehow I do think cereal boxes will be involved, now!!!

jillquilts said...

OH, I totally agree about when you came to my house. I didn't feel wierd about it at all. I did have someone indicate that he thought it was odd, but considering the source, that comment (preacher) was thrown out the window! Not even my mom thought it was abnormal!

vtquilter said...

Great story! Just catching up.... love the sun and stars quilt and the blocks for your valance. Nice colors on the Feeling Groovy quilt. Can't wait to see that one quilted. Neat halloween quilt.... really gets one in the mood for Halloween!
Great tips for the retreat! I am sure you will have a great time again with Jill.

Kathy said...

What a wonderful story! I bet the "Cereal Killer" is a hoot! Thanks for making me laugh.

Cindy (aka Peony the House Elf) said...

To this day I hold each and everyone of those ladies in a special place in my heart. We've all helped each other through so many times good and bad. We hardly
get to see each other much anymore because life has a way of getting in the way. A great group of friends a person couldn't ask for.

Linda said...

Cereal Killer! LOL!!! OhMyFReakishWord! That is too funny!
Great story!

BitnByAQuiltingBug said...

I don't know...they look a bit scary to me! Just kiddin! I can't wait to meet you all!

Carol VR said...

How well can you eat cereal with a fork... perhaps a turorial...LOL

Moneik said...

Oh What a fun way to meet people. Although I'm pretty sure you guys aren't serial killers... not that I watch America's Most Wanted or anything :)

Beth said...

So when are all the Prolific quilters getting together?

Barb said...

We had an "on line" group of about 25 quilters that formed about 11 yrs ago and ended up getting together a couple of times for a long weekends of sewing and fun... some were "warned" of the dangers but it was all good. Some of us are still very much in touch

Anonymous said...

you just had me rolling on the floor My dd gives me the serial killer lectures too. But now after i've met lots of the aol chat room gals, she's giving up.

Thanks for the laugh