There is something about the internet for bringing people together. And I love it for that. Beth and I were talking last night (this morning?) about choices and whether or not hindsight is 20/20 and if you could go back in time and change that one moment in your life, what would it be? After a lot of thought, I think it just might be when I was in 4th grade and needed to get glasses and decided to buy a pair shaped like stop signs.

Beth laughed when I told her that:

B: That’s when your parents are supposed to step in and just say no.
DM: My mom tried. The optician tried.
B: Do you mean the optometrist?*
DM: Yeah. I guess. But I really wanted them and insisted.
B: Your mom should have put her foot down.

*We thought I might have made optician up but actually an optician is someone who makes or sells glasses, an optometrist is someone who tests someone for glasses. I think he might have been both.

There were other decisions that I regret, of course, but after following the trail those decisions resulted in, the truth is, in the long run, yes, that moment was horrible, yes, it led me down a path that I regret but if not for that decision, certain things I rely on now for sanity would never have happened.

For instance, take my “former” friend, Jake. I went through many years of emotional and verbal abuse because I let him manipulate me and convince me that I was worthless. Now that I am free of him, I can look back and realize just what a big ass he really was. But I do not hate him. Not completely. And there is one reason for that. If he had not started a job at NABABNA and convinced me to leave my job at the Dark Side bank, I would never have met Beth or Keem. I also would never have had the experience that finally convinced me that Jake was a complete and total ass and not worthy of my friendship at all (I will post about this someday but this post is about happiness and I don’t want to have too much of that jerk in this post).

If I had not started working at NABABNA, I never would have started blogging (this post explains how I started).

Let’s take a moment to think about that.

If I had never started blogging:

  1. Beth would never have started her blog. She never would have posted about Stupid People. She would never had received an insulting comment by Mr. Silver. She never would have written the follow up post. If not for these posts, we never would have met Johnny. Beth and I never would have gone to Portugal (that link is to Beth’s category for Portugal including all of the posts we both wrote about our experience).
  2. I never would have met Mark. Beth and I never would have gone to Tomah. We would never have had some great experiences on the way there and back. Here are the posts we wrote about the experience – Part 1, part 2 and Beth’s post about the experience. And pictures!
  3. Beth never would have discovered Carol’s blog. What an amazing woman and writer.
  4. Firebear would never have found my blog looking for Tammy Pescatelli’s breasts. I would never have learned about National Talk Like A Pirate Day. And a personal message to Larry, “Dude, we miss you. How are things?”
  5. If we had never gone to Portugal, Diana would have never left a comment on my blog.
  6. If we had never “met” Diana, we never would have “met” Teri.
  7. I never would have “met” Nancy.
  8. Or Joe. If not for “meeting” Joe, I never would have received one of the most interesting Christmas presents ever – Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

The internet is such a wonderful place. I would like to take this time to tell you about some of the bloggers that I consider to be friends, even though I’ve never been in the same room with some of them.

Johnny – She is beautiful, strong, smart and I love her.

On New Year’s Eve 2004, Beth, Keem, Matt and I were at Perkins. I was videotaped telling Johnny that I miss her and you can hear Keem in the background saying “How can you miss someone you’ve never met?” My response? “I miss her spirit.” Which is weird but true.

Meeting her in person last year was one of the greatest moments of my life. She was everything I thought she would be and more. Someday I will go back to Portugal. And just maybe she’ll come here. She needs to go to the State Fair.

Mark – He amazes me. He is one of the least selfish people I have ever met. He’s intelligent and funny and such a great father – I’ve not only read his posts about his children, I’ve been there when he talks about them. The light that shines in his eyes when he discusses them is heart warming. They are lucky to have him as a father. I’m lucky to know him.

These are people I have not yet met (be in the same room with them) but yet, I consider them all to be friends. It doesn’t strike me as odd to write that:

Diana – Anyone who can make a post about gardening amusing is quite possibly the most brilliant person ever. I love the way she gives thistles personalities. She is brilliant. And she loves Buffy and Firefly. I have decided that I am going to convince her somehow to move to Saint Paul so I can move in with her because she may quite possibly be the best mother ever.

Teri – Diana’s evil twin. They have much in common – the most important thing (well, as far as I’m concerned) being that they make me laugh. Teri is going back to school and raising three children and still takes time to alert the world about environmental threats, new scientific discoveries and new blogs that she has found.

DeAnn – The TV Goddess. Can’t remember how I discovered her blog but she’s so much fun. She took a hiatus for awhile this last year and I am so glad she is back. I missed her. She knows just about all there is to know about TV and is full of breaking news and recommendations. Plus, her dog is named after Johnny Cash. How can you not adore her?

Carol – Beth discovered her blog and I’m so glad she did. She is an extremely talented author and her posts about her memories of New York are amazing. I am waiting eagerly for her to publish her memoirs.

Nancy – Another gardener. That’s just weird. I am extremely plant challenged but love seeing the pictures she publishes of her garden, even though she likes to tease me with the temperature differences between Texas and Minnesota. She is the most positive woman I know, 2005 was not a particularly great year for her but she keeps smiling and goes on. She is a wonderful example for me.

Larry – Still miss you. Dang it. You missed the pictures of Beth’s and my cleavage, you dork. And what happened to the trip to MOA last year? HMM?

Joe – Smart, funny, not afraid to say what he really thinks (especially about politics), talented – if I ever buy a house, he and his wife are coming here to remodel it, dang it (I can hear him laughing as he reads this). Keeps torturing me with pictures of Vegas and making me want to go back there desperately (it doesn’t help that I’m also still working on my Vegas scrapbook from my trip in March 2004).

The next post to come is going to be about the people that have shaped my life. That will be fun and exciting. Trust me on this. Beth will be on this list so no talking smack about her not being on this one.

Dudes. Love ya all. In a purely platonic manner.