The internet has created something new that really couldn’t happen in any other period of history. The ability to get to know someone but not meet them. Sure technology is changing this, but there is still the chance you can get to know someone online and never have the opportunity to meet them without the technology. You can’t see them smile, you can’t see them flip their hair, you won’t notice the mole they have on their arm they never brought up on-line, you can’t enjoy their cooking (maybe that’s a good thing?); there are many things you can’t do, yet you develop a connection.
I have a connection with a woman, yet I have not met her. Sometimes I think what it would be like if we did meet in person. Would we enjoy each others company? Would we laugh at the same things? Would we want to do things together? Some people do end up with the chance to meet someone they first knew only online. I’ve had that opportunity before. I enjoyed it, but the visits weren’t very long, though we didn’t run away from each other. In fact one of them I still maintain a friendship through Facebook, but we do not talk to each other often (just remember birthdays and holidays).
Why am I writing this? Not everyone meets people they talk with online. I just felt I needed to write a tribute to her, The Woman I have not Met. A bit of my words to let her know how much she means to me even though we do not talk everyday like we used to do. It is my doing. I have had to hold back since it was difficult to be close to someone as close as we were but know that it couldn’t be more than I wanted it to be.
We met online circa the year 2000 on a place called TalkCity. She wasn’t the first person I got to know there, but she has had the most lasting impact. We quickly related to each other despite our ten-year age difference. Both being Virgo’s and left-handed among other things helping to create a bond. She became my best friend online and she remains a close friend.
I wanted to spend as much time with her as I could, playing games (mainly trivia), just chatting, listening to music…pretty much what two people could do online and who cares about anything or anyone else. Being a flirtatious person she had other suitors (for lack of a better word) for her attention. She drank it up though tried to include me when she could, definitely had more energy for being around people, that I couldn’t keep up .
I did get my fair share and more, but over time realized that I was limiting myself by focusing so much on her. She had so many others vying for her attention that I knew I couldn’t ever be the main focus of her life. It’s no ones fault, connecting on-line does have its limitations.
A few years ago I completely shut off communication with her. I felt it was the only way I could break free of her allure and not only find someone who was attentive to just me (didn’t have as many “distractions”) but hopefully spend less time online and more in the “real” world. I can’t blame her for my addiction to being online but my attraction to her company made it difficult to ostracize myself from being online. She accepted it as any good friend would, though my explanation may have left her perplexed.
It was so difficult at times to stay away. I did not, however, find anyone else to “replace” her or spend less time online. Simply I am not good at meeting people, something she couldn’t understand since it comes so easily to her. In fact we could never have begun to know each other if she didn’t make the first foray.
My memory is not very strong regarding when we re-connected, but willing to bet she remembers more. I have a good memory but there are times she blows me out of the water with her memories. I think I started things up again, but then I could be wrong, either way I’m glad it happened.
Currently we rarely spend any time doing things together like we did before, we don’t even really chat much. I would even say that most of the time I still feel like I’m just a bit of driftwood in her sea of life. Pass her by once in a while, yet not much interaction. It ebbs and flows like any friendship with people with busy lives and their own families.
Though I have never looked at her friends list on Facebook, I have no doubt that they are numerous. She is a friendly person and enjoys people, both men and women. She gets many likes and comments when she posts and I get one or two (if that), which more times than not by the same couple of people who always like/comment. As much as we are similar we are clearly different in areas and that’s quite alright. I’m content being a small part of her life and it is wonderful to witness her life unfold.
This essay may not end up the way I first envisioned it, but it just came to me not long ago that I should write about her. I have not named her, though am hopeful she reads this or someone she knows reads this and directs her here. (though I will probably let her know since the lack of readership of my posts dictates she won’t find out any other way)
I just want her to know that through our ups and downs over the last 13 years, I continue to appreciate our friendship. It may not have amounted to what I had hoped for when I first got to know her and it may not even be what she has wanted. It has just continued to exist.
I enjoy people but am not an initiator. It is what has made knowing her so great because she is an initiator (of trouble sometimes as well) and she does make friends easily. Comparatively my friendship with her is a far greater percentage of my overall friend count versus how her friendship with me relates to her percentage of friends, but some have a capacity for more. She does.
She is the most important woman in my life I have not Met. I may never meet her but there is no doubt my life is better knowing her. I am thankful for many people in my life, but no one I am more thankful for, than her.