You take as a given that you will never, ever build up the kind of network in a new town that you've built over 16 years in the same town.
And then...you come to Seattle.
Don't get me wrong: I appreciate living in L.A. As The BF says, one appreciates it even more when one is forced to spend a little time in a place like rural Indiana, or Orlando, Florida, or anywhere in Texas but Austin. It ain't that there ain't natural beauty in these places; it's achingly beautiful in Southern Indiana, and I'm fond of the scrubby terrain in Texas. (Orlando? Well. Two outta three ain't bad.)
I like being in places where people like me. Or at least, don't dislike me automatically because I'm a little weird or a little Jewish. Yeah, I can pass (kind of) for a normal lady or a Good Christian*, but it's like wearing a really gnarly bra or Spanx all day: at some point, you just wanna pop off the harness, unhitch the top button of your pants and let you be you be you.
I come here, to a place that purports to freeze out newcomers and am greeted with nothing all around but the most warm and splendid of welcomes. So much so that I'm almost overwhelmed, and I'm certainly not getting as much writing done as I'd thought I would. Back in sunny L.A., I envisioned day after day of me, holed up in my writer's getaway. Sneaking moody, vaguely lonely glances out the window at an emerald city cloaked in wet gray. Taking an hour's break in the afternoon to trudge uphill through the mists for a good, strong cup of coffee to get me through the rest of the day.
I had no idea I'd end up with a busier social schedule than I ever have in my 16-year home base of L.A.
As one of my new-non-imaginary friends, Dave Hardwick** said today, "It probably wouldn't have happened, though, without the blog." And he's right: it's all this time online that has enriched my Actual Real Life these past 10 days. It's enriched my Actual Real Life for the past four years, putting me in touch with all kinds of like-minded souls who, for myriad reasons, would never have walked through any of the theater doors that introduced me to my older (and still excellent) tribe***. Not to mention The BF. (Getting us together is what I like to think of as the last great act of the now dubious Spring Street Networks.)
The weather thing? Well, that kind of blindsided me. You'd think that a gal who suffers constant sunshine would be able to pass it up. But just a few days of gray and I get why everyone here heads outside when it's not. This? Would be a tough thing to overcome.
I spent a good, long time talking to Dave because frankly, the time flew by. And then I spent a good, long time walking back to the Temporary Bachelorette Pad, longer than needed, for sure.
But I'm not especially worried. This is not a time for worry, not about this, anyway. Worry about the world, worry about all of us going to hell in a handbasket made in China that we can't begin to pay for, but never worry about spending time with people you really, really dig when the opportunity presents itself. It may not again, soon. (It may, but it may not.)
Besides, on your deathbed, you will never regret the time you spent with coffee and crumpets.
*And I'll say right here that the most Christian-like person I've ever known was my sweet, sweet Gram. She loved everyone, to hell with color or creed. Especially babies. And the favorite slogan of this little Jewish lady born in Des Moines, Iowa at the turn of the previous century? "Mix it up! Black, white, Chinese, mix it up!" Wise woman.
**Dave is just a spectacular guy, the kind of guy I'm sure I'd put on my "Regular See" list if I lived here (as is Karrie, my doppelganger, oy, whadda week so far!) And, from hearing about his wife and her writerly exploits, on the short list of Regular Couples Hangs as well. Hell, I he had me at his blog. He's a tech dude who writes about The Way In, just like I do, from a different angle. All roads lead to Rome, baby.
***I'm so charged up about the Internet and social media, I'm going to give a little sermon of praise for it before I leave. Come by, if you're here. It'll be fun!