Okay, it felt an awful like a first date, and in a way it was. We met on the internet six months ago. I read something she wrote, then sent an email in reply. She answered and then soon we were MySpace friends. I began to send her books. She began to send Bella candles and soaps. We posted comments and messages on each other’s pages and even though we had the other person’s cell number, we never picked up the phone.
It was a cyber relationship. And it worked. But now we were going to meet and just as the plane touched down in Bozeman (after a brief stop over in Butte) I found myself wishing I hadn’t packed my make up bag, wanting lipstick and a hair brush as though I needed somehow to make a great first impression on Kari.
Walking towards baggage claim I got butterflies. What was I doing here? I don’t even know her. She might not even want me at her house….
I spotted her then, approximately at the same time she spotted me. “You’re here,” Kari said laughing.
“You’re little,” I said as Kari wasn’t much more than a half inch to an inch taller than me.
“You’re shorter than you look in your website photos,” she answered. We hugged. Awkwardly.
We waited for my luggage and then headed for her car in the parking lot. The Bozeman airport is small, the parking lot literally across a narrow lane from the airport entrance. We reached her car in maybe a minute. Loaded my luggage. Kari reminded me about my seatbelt. I said, right, thanks mom.
We kept smiling as we talked. I’m here. You’re here. This is kind of weird. But it’s awesome. Weird and awesome and it turns out Kari’s husband has spent the last few days cleaning to get the house sparkling for me. I even got new pillows. I’m not sure if she went ahead and bought new towels. Apparently there was discussion that Jane needed nice towels.
Like a perfect media escort, Kari drove me to the Barnes & Noble in Bozeman and then across town to the Borders where I signed stock. Both stores had a ton of my books and in B&N Kari and I kept giggling that we were on our first date. It felt like it. I mean, I’d only met her 6 months ago and we’d never even talked on the phone but here I was, going to Happy Hour at her 86 year old grandmother’s home in half an hour with her family, then drinks and dinner with ten of her best friends.
Fortunately Kari has an incredible family and a great laugh. When she laughs you have to laugh. And she likes to laugh. Her entire face lights up and she sounds so damn happy that you’re happy, too.
If you’re on MySpace make Kari your friend. She’s awesome. Smart, funny, kind and soulful–and best of all, she’ll take you home and feed you dinner and make you part of the family.
When Kari dropped me off at the airport at 7 am, I felt like I mattered and knew that no matter where I go, I will always have a second home in Bozeman.