A friend I met online is coming to my house, where we will meet for the first time. It will probably be an over-nighter, as she is not local, but passing through. My house isn’t huge, so I plan to sleep her in my room, with the private bath.
Putting clean linens on the bed, and clean towels out, I notice a spot under the bed that the vacuum doesn’t reach, and it’s all crumby. So I move the bed, and the bedside table to vacuum that spot. Moving the bedside table, I notice that the bedroom lampshade is dusty, so I dust that. And there are too many unfinished books on the bedside table, so I grab all the books I have piled everywhere–and put them where? I can’t pretend I am actually reading this many books, so I choose to leave two or three books in two or three piles, the six or nine books I would most like to say I am reading. Clever, eh?
I run down to my favorite grocery store, the co-op, and pick up a few fresh veggies and fruits, a bit of specialty cheese, and double-smoked bacon for morning Spanish Tortilla. I want to buy a sweet; I settle on an éclair for sharing. Then I remember she’s been to Europe–this éclair will probably not hold a candle to what she’s had “on the Continent.”
Oh, dear, I have no idea what kind of food she likes. Or if she has food sensitivities. I am conflicted about what beverages she might want.
..she doesn’t like what I’ve chosen? What activities might she enjoy? Should I plan a walk for nice weather? Gardening is out; she won’t have gardening clothes with her. And she is very much the lady, while I am kind of…not. I am really excited about meeting her, though; we conversed so readily online.
…she doesn’t like me? What if this meeting turns all awkward? You know what happens when I get uncomfortable; I start babbling. I picture her speeding away, rolling her eyes and shaking her head, regretting the waste of time.
This is crazy!
I have single-handedly turned this into some huge event, rather than the day of fun it is meant to be. I need to calm down, breathe, and remember this is not an arranged marriage. It’s not even a date! But the anonymity of online conversation was easier than this childish agony of face-to-face meeting. I feel as awkward now as when I was a child.
Still, I do want her to know the real me. I am not going to act all different, it’s the same me. Well, me; only with a cleaner floor, less dust on the lampshade, less partly-read books lying about. An altogether tidier version of myself.
I want to be here when she arrives–not just here, but PRESENT. All of me that I know to connect with all of her that she brings. So we can listen to the other with love, without judgement or fear of judgement.
Be yourself. Everyone else is taken. Oscar Wilde
I am stoked, though, I won’t lie. I think we might have a good time. In fact, I’m sure we will!