A Parisian Rendevouz

Last week I was in Paris, and while I was there I met up with an old friend. I had never met her in person. Never heard the sound of her voice. But we managed to cross a few borders and time zones to spend a day together. Let me tell you how we met…

When I first started blogging, I became enamored of a website called Ask and Yes Shall Receive. It was a site that reviewed blogs. The reviewers were tough and had a collection of rankings ranging from flaming fingers making rude gestures to the rare and prized “I @#$% Love You.” The reviews themselves were hysterical, and the comments that followed were equally scathing. The site had a huge following, and it wasn’t uncommon for a review to garner hundreds of comments.

I think it was through this blog that I first became aware of Ellie and her blog, The Daily Smoke. Back then, Ellie, an American, was living in London. Her blog was elegant–artful black and white photos of London scenes. Black type on a white background with a little red thrown in for emphasis. Content ranged from the ultra-casual–what she saw on the bus that morning–to the deeply poignant–sexual abuse at the hands of an adopted brother.

There was always something about Ellie’s blog and writing that connected with me, and vice versa.

She’s now living in Madrid. I told her I was coming to Paris and that if she’d come see me, I’d buy dinner. And she took me up on it.

We started talking at 11. We talked as we walked. We talked through coffee. Through a bottle of wine with lunch. As we walked through Le Marais and crossed the Seine to the left bank so I could retrieve my sunglasses at my hotel. We talked as we walked up the hill to the Pantheon and down the other side to have a beer at a small cafe. We talked as we walked through Jardin du Luxembourg and through the Latin Quarter before stopping for one last beer.

Seven hours (or was it eight) of nonstop talking.

I suppose what we did is a little risky. We could’ve taken an instant dislike to each other, but instead the opposite happened.

Thank you, Ellie, for a great day. It’s nice to finally have a face and a voice to go with the name.

12 Comments

Filed under Travel

12 responses to “A Parisian Rendevouz

  1. motherk

    surely you all took some pictures with your smart phones. Sounds like a great day.

  2. How cool! Sounds like fun.

  3. Wow… I’m impressed!! I’ve always been a little scared to meet people online. I do have some Twitter friends that I would meet if the opportunity arose, but still scary!!

  4. I’ve been reading both of you for quite some time and the fact that you shared a kismit comes as no surprise to me. You’re both thoughtful, perceptive writers. No reason to believe why it wouldn’t work in a face-to-face.

    AAYSR gave me a positive review. It was one of my greatest triumphs and I’m not kidding about that.

  5. of the dozen or so blog meet-ups i’ve managed over the past four years, only one was a complete and total disaster… those are pretty good odds, and i can still recommend taking the risk (managed risk, of course) when the opportunity arises…

    the people who live in my computer… the folks who read my words… who share their words… in many cases, they know me better than people i interact with on a daily basis in person.

    sounds like an absolutely fabulous way to spend a day!

  6. Mother–I have lots of photos, but we didn’t take any that day. You can see a lot of them on Facebook now.
    Sarah–Hi there–it was a great day. I was catching up with you earlier. Trying to be a better reader.
    Jen–Long time no see. Hope all is well in your world. Try it with the Twitter peeps–you never know!
    UB–Ellie and I were laughing about how much we really wanted the AAYSR seal of approval. I miss them. And thanks for being such a loyal reader and for your kind comments.
    DF–I remember that you’ve traveled with other bloggers (Greece, right?). This meeting made me want to be a better blogger–and by better, I mean posting more than once every two or three months!

  7. That sounds so lovely and perfect, and I am wicked jealous. I feel like a day like that would make me enjoy Paris way more, especially since both of you are brilliant.

  8. This is lovely to read! Your words help picturise your day together, all that talk of cafes, wine, walk, beer – lovely lovely! I have you both on my reader — thanks to AAYSR. (who were sweet to me:). It feels especially good to know you guys hit it off; I’m meeting an apparently long-time reader of my blog tomorrow. I’ve never met up with a blog-friend before. We fixed up today to have lunch tomorrow. And while there’s no Seine here, I am quite looking forward to putting a face to the comments :)

  9. How CAN THIS POST HAVE BEEN UP FOR FOUR WHOLE DAYS AND I AM JUST NOW DISCOVERING IT? PUT AN “L” ON MY FOREHEAD!!!!! My excuse is life … travel … dogs … finding out about birth mothers and siblings … crying in public places … and of course drinking wine at the end of the day. This post gave me some chicken skin (goose bumps) and made me smile. Yes, we did talk! And I loved it. Big kisses!

  10. Rass–Did you have a bad Paris experience? Give it a second try…it’s such an amazing place. And while some planning is necessary, a wandering day is bliss.
    Nimpipi–How did your meeting go? I remember your good review. There’s where most of my blogroll came from.
    Ellie–Take the “L” off, silly girl.Thank you again for being part of a fabulous day. I look forward to what’s next on your end. xoxo

  11. j9

    Such a cool thing that you both had the chance to meet, drink and be merry – and what are the odds we’d run into you in a city full of cafes, tiny streets and walkways? Serendipity I say. Tres magnifique!

  12. Hannah Joy Curious

    Blogging fosters connectedness, albeit initially by remote, and the act of writing forces us to articulate our thoughts and emotions, often digging deep and embracing a level of openness and honesty that is uncommon in face-to-face, every day exchanges with strangers. What starts out as a monologue can often evolve into a slow conversation leading to proximity, lifelong friendships, love even… and it’s not dead yet! :-)

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