For the past year or so, CLH and I have been marveling at how similar our lives are to that of Dooce and Blurb, to whom we are wholly and Internet-ally devoted. I fell in love with Heather’s writing about a year and a half ago when my friend Kevin emailed and said YOU MUST READ THIS BLOG. At the time, I was all, Kevin, get a grip, man. How good could it be? And then I started reading. And it was good. It was so good, in fact, I made a vow to read every single entry. From the beginning. And then, basically, I read nearly seven years’ worth of blogging over the course of the next few months.
And over the course of those months, I sometimes felt like I was looking into a mirror (if a mirror was shaped like a monitor and had a keyboard dangling from it). I mean, minus the being a mom to two kids, and the Mormon upbringing, and being raised in the south, and the dislike of licorice, and her being extremely tall, and living in another state, and the owning of two dogs, and making a living blogging, and the beautifully decorated house, we have a LOT in common. Okay, so we really have nothing in common. Her husband is a big computer geek and my almost-husband is a computer geek and sometimes I also want to stick my head in the oven at the sight of the first flakes of snow. So, in my mind, that qualifies us to be twins.
You see, this is what the Internets has done to me: it’s made me feel this kinship with people I’ve never met. It’s as if, because we can eloquently spell out the joys and pains of raising kids, or training dogs, or hating winter, we can all call each other family. And I kind of like that. I don’t know about you, but I think I might know Heather (and other bloggers I follow) better than my OWN family sometimes.
I mean, her life has become dinnertime conversation around our house, for god’s sake. CLH will ask me as we sit down together: Did you see what Chuck was wearing today? And I will answer yes and we’ll laugh about it knowingly and then cut into our baked potatoes.
So, I guess I shouldn’t have been that surprised when CLH came running into the kitchen the other day and blurted out, DID YOU SEE WHAT DOOCE’S KID IS WEARING? SHE’S DRESSED LIKE SPECIAL FRIEND FOR HALLOWEEN!
Internet, meet Special Friend.
Special Friend is a bit of a family joke around our house. Back when I worked for a major retailer, and back when I blew whole paychecks on weird toys, I came across a stuffed multi-colored centipede and brought it home to add to the menagerie. He was a bit of a prominent feature in the bedroom I shared with my sister at the time (this is back when CLH and I were first dating). Somehow, CLH and my sister developed a bit of a rivalry over who had true ownership rights to this stuffed centipede, and he was christened Special Friend (as in, “You can’t have him. He’s MY special friend”). He then spent the next five years being spirited away under winter coats and stuffed into suitcases at the last minute as each of us stole it from the other and back again. To “settle” the custody battle, my sister HAND STITCHED a second special friend (this time in khaki and navy) so that each of us could have one at our house and gave it to CLH for Christmas a few years back. Can you believe that? I mean, she got the eyes to match and EVERYthing. She even made him- get this- a little tiny top hat! Internet, that is some ingenuity.
My sister still has the original, and displays it proudly with the beaded throw pillows on her bed, and mine acts as a lumbar support when we sit on our couch.
Here is CLH holding up Special Friend II in front of our shower curtain. Yuen Lui, eat your heart out.
That kid could have been dressed as anything, ANYthing at all. But she was dressed as a centipede. A rainbow centipede. Coincidence? I think not.
Recently, CLH was offered the chance to go to Salt Lake City for a meet up with the other half of the development team he has been working with. Immediately, I asked him if I could go too. He smiled and asked if it was because I wanted to see where Heather and Jon lived. Maybe, I said. Or maybe it’s because I’ve always wanted to see Utah. But probably it’s because I want to meet Heather and Jon….and that baby wrapped in Special Friend.