Sunday, December 6, 2009

Someone old and someone new

Say it together with me.
I just came back from a much needed, too short and deliriously enjoyable weekend in Portland, a place I had never been, to meet one of my newest old friends and one of my oldest new friends.

Aimee is someone I met online. Huh? Yes, I met her online. I commented on her blog. And then she commented back. And then we started emailing. Very long emails. The kind you used to send in 1996 before people stopped writing in conventional language in favor of short phrases with no vowels. Yes, those kind of emails. And it just happened we were both artists with MBAs (so incongruous!) and mommies of small children and makers of ketubahs and well the list of similarities goes on and on. And so, one day, when we were both feeling the need to get away, we hatched a plan to meet in Portland. And that's just what we did. We flew in Friday night, I met her at her gate and we didn't stop talking until she left Sunday morning. And we wandered around freezing Portland and talked our heads off, drank coffee, ate amazing food, bought matching sweaters (well, different sweaters from the same woman at the Saturday market) and got lost in Powell's bookstore. It was like we had known each other our whole lives. And that is why Aimee is my newest old friend.

And my oldest new friend is Jenn. Jenn lives in Portland and is chef and owner of Lincoln Restaurant and Culinary Artistry. She is someone I worked with when I was 16 and a counselor at summer camp. We hadn't seen each other in nearly twenty years. About five years ago we were in touch briefly. And then about 8 months ago I saw a little blurb on her in Real Simple magazine so I nearly had a heart attack and looked her up to find that she had opened a restaurant in Portland. I immediately wrote to her and we even spoke on the phone. So when Aimee and I decided on Portland I knew I needed to see Jenn too. We ate dinner at Jenn's restaurant on Friday night and it was amazing to be in the company of two incredibly talented and creative women. Catching up. Getting to know each other. And eating the most delicious food I've had in a very long time. Maybe ever. Go eat at Lincoln if you're ever in Portland.

Aimee flew home early Sunday and I spent the rest of the day with Jenn. More talking. More eating. And even though in some ways it felt like we just slipped right back into the our old friendship, in many ways it felt more like our friendship, or at least this chapter of it, was entirely new.

So there it is. A weekend of grub and gab with two exceptionally inspiring and supportive women. It was just what I needed. Because, friends, I am not great at reaching out. I'm shy. I get intimidated. I assume no one remembers me. But I'm finding that the more I do it, the easier it is and the happier I am to be connected.


aimee said...

it was the most fabulous weekend i've had in a long time. you are brilliant and beautiful and funny and fun and i'm so sad it's over! will get my post up later today!

painted fish studio said...

i am so jealous of your weekend! i, too, have traveled long distances just to meet my new online friends. people think you're weird, but i think you know you've met someone good long before you make plans to meet. if you ever go to lawrence, i'm crashing that party!

Josh said...

I would like to be your online friend too and maybe you could come visit me in providence RI for some good food and talking!

I love reading your blog Susie and although we haven't seen each other in a few years, it makes me feel like were still in touch.

Did you know that Jenn catered my sisters wediing in OR a few years ago? It was amazing.

Hope to catch up soon, in the meantime love to you and your family.

(your only reader in Hong Kong today!)

Inner Toddler said...

Oh Josh. When I read the first line of your comment I thought it was some crazy spammer from Hong Kong. You're funny. And YOU are the reason I was in touch with Jenn five years ago! When you guys were out here visiting for the wedding! Love to you and Rebeca. And safe travels! besos xox

BT said...

Hello there, I've come from aimee's blog so I had to see your photos too! I'm glad you had such a fun weekend. I loved your photos too.

Lori said...

Oh I love that you and Aimee met in Portland- that's fantastic. I want that!! It's nice to know that some of these online friendships are actually real friendships because often they feel that way. Great post.

T.L. Holmes said...

How serendipitous!! And now, I have yet another blog to follow after reading the Portland story at artsyville! I'm delighted, albiet a wee smidgen jealous, to live vicariously through a friend from long ago and far I not only want to visit Lawrence, Kansas to see Aimee, but Portland sounds delightful, too!

barbra said...

Oh. Oh my. This part?

Because, friends, I am not great at reaching out. I'm shy. I get intimidated. I assume no one remembers me.

This part is ME. Especially that last line.

Cheers to you, old friend.

Inner Toddler said...

aimee - I'm having withdrawal.
Jen - Kansas 2010!
BT - Come again!
Lori - I always love when you pop over dolly.
TL - anyone with a mooning gnome avatar has a warm place in my heart.
Barbra - it's amazing to have spent so many years in school together and still not know these personal little details. I always love when you leave comments.

Conny said...

That is such a great story! Portland is a city that sticks with you, that's for sure. I haven't been there in years, but clearly remember it: Portland too has both Old and New. Glad you had fun. Cheers ~ Conny

Kolleen said...

i am new to your blog as i HAD to read what Lori posted about on her blog today...about two women who met online and started this great friendship and then met up in Portland!! What a GREAT story...i LOVE it...i love how things like this work out and how these amazing connections can be made!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

jane said...

sounds like you had a great we! i already told aimee- i think the next we sans kids should be in madrid:) hugs!