Many years ago, I lived with my husband in a house on a hill. We were both working for my Father-in-Law and we had three cats even though we didn’t realize my husband was allergic to them yet. I was (and still am) a homebody and a book worm – which made online friendships extremely handy.
As with most people, the illusion of anonymity on the Internet lent me to do things that I wouldn’t normally do… like share my stories with them (thought I was going somewhere else with that didn’t you? Get your minds out of the gutter!).
You see, I’d been writing fanfiction long before I knew what fanfiction was. In high school, I used to write stories for my friends using their real life hopes and dreams… mostly about the boys they liked. So, when I was introduced to the idea of fanfiction thru the Scarecrow & Mrs. King community, it made absolute sense to me. Looking back, I realize it was an incredibly small and oddly like minded set of people compared to most fandoms. When I discovered them, they were just a bunch of fans rejuvenating a television show that had limped so sadly to its end. It was incredibly cathartic.
So when I quickly became obsessive about Harry Potter and impatient for the publication of new books in the series, I innocently searched for what the fans were doing in the fanfiction world. And… my eyes! my eyes!!!!
I realized quickly that what I had to find was another, smaller, set of like minded fans to obsess and share with. And that is where Cass comes in. On a sweet little Harry Potter site, a fellow forum poster and I hit it off. We were both totally hilarious, if I do say so myself. Once we were both assured that the other was not a psycho serial killer pretending to be an awesomely funny person, we became “real” friends who talked about “real” life. And one day, I honestly can’t remember how or why (maybe she does?), we started writing Harry Potter fanfiction together.
And that is how Cass and Ada first met and…why Cass and Ada finally met in person.
(TO WRITE! Isn’t that crazy? And 14 years later, that’s what we’re STILL doing!)
Anyway, I was pregnant, and not at all nervous… until I was at the baggage claim. Then, several concerns crowded me all at once:
- What if I didn’t recognize her? All the pictures of her I’d seen to that point suddenly melded together in my mind as one (kind of general) amalgamation of a nice human face with brownish reddish hair.
- What if I’d screwed up in some way the directions? I am NOTORIOUS for getting directions wrong and giving bad directions. Granted, the airport should have sent her in a pretty direct way to baggage claim, but… I really can’t take any chances with my direction-challenged brain.
- What if my cell battery died? Oh – by the way – it did.
For at least five minutes I smiled at every female-ish person in the LAX baggage claim hoping to send a welcoming, non-psycho vibe that I wouldn’t be kicked out of the airport for. It was at this point that anxiety started in. I jealously thought, well at least SHE knows she’s looking for a pregnant person. That’s at least SOMETHING. Why hadn’t we worked out a code? A red hat! A white rose! A Harry Potter Scarf!
But it wasn’t long before a person with a suddenly distinct Cass looking face appeared on the escalator. Crazy how people look how they are supposed to when you’re not in an anxiety fueled panic.
Anyway, a big hug and a lot of undignified giggles later we were off.
The drive to and from LAX had long ago become old hat to me. Apparently it didn’t feel terribly old hat to Cass who looked green and not at all impressed with my impromptu attempts at tour guide (there may have been some weaving involved).
This started a several years long in joke with me sending her pictures of the Staples Center lit up purple at night (it was midday when we passed it so she couldn’t see how purple it got!).
We learned several things during the trip:
- California waiters cannot understand the word “water” when said with a British accent
- My three cats had no hunting prowess (they surrounded a spider and it got away)
- We CAN write together faster in person
- We DO like each other in person
- We CANNOT understand each other in a loud restaurant
And it was upon these truths that our “real life” friendship was founded and these truths have carried us through!*
*ok, the inability of my now deceased cats to catch spiders has not recently affected us, but you get the idea.