I had so much fun last night. Laurie Marshall (punkinhead), Erin Jepson (Idyll Hands), Laurie Ament (Isinglass Beads), Annie (casserole), and I met up at Pei Wei for dinner. The circumstances aren't that great. Laurie M and Erin are sisters who live in northwestern Arkansas. They're in town because their mom needed to come to UAMS for brain surgery. I wish they could have come down just to play. But since they were here, how could we not take advantage of the opportunity to meet at last.
All of these chicks (including me) are members of AREtsy, the Arkansas Etsy street team. That's how we connected with one another a year or so ago. Since then, we've become regular online buds, following one another's lives through our blogs, buying from and selling to each other, bantering on the AREtsy chat thread. In fact, Erin has now taken over the leadership of the AREtsy team - a huge commitment of time and energy.
So, anyway, I already thought of these ladies as my friends. It was strange and wonderful to walk up to Pei Wei and realize I recognized them, even though we'd never met. And though we spent a couple of hours together over dinner, the conversation never flagged and the time was too short to cover everything we might have talked about together.
So are punkinhead and Idyll Hands really as cute and funny and smart and creative as their online personas? Oh, yeah. And then some. Ten years ago, these friendships couldn't have happened, at least not in this way. Hurray for the Internet!