If anyone had ever told me that one day, the term ‘BlogWife’ would enter my vocabulary not just as an itinerant lexical curio, but as a functional noun, I would have undoubtedly looked askance at them and tried to hide a bit of a smirk. Unsuccessfully, I imagine.
Quite apart from the inherent and geographically complex implications of being BlogMarried (no, not THAT!!! Removest thou thy mind from whence it just went!) I would never have imagined for one second that in this weird and truly remarkable World Within The Screen, I would have come across someone with whom I fell so deeply and (I hope) irrevocably In Friends with…and, even more astonishingly, with someone who seemed to return the sentiment!
It was her hilarious-yet-somehow-still-deep writing which first hooked me in (as well you might expect in the Blogosphere) and as much as I was entertained, there was something more there, which sparkled behind her words – a brightness of character and soul – which immediately appealed; something about the tongue-in-cheek, borderline self-deprecating, ever-so-slightly-smutty sense of humour, that compelled me to leave
a devastatingly witty comment designed to impress the comment-box equivalent of a shamble-toed teenager at a book-signing, meeting their favourite author for the first time and trying to be oh-so-cool.
To my amazement, Beth responded to my comment, not with the usual polite acknowledgement which is offered when someone rocks up out of the blue and attempts to ingratiate themself, but with warmth and kindness and compliments! Little did she know what she was getting herself into! I promised that I would return, and immediately followed her blog so that I’d find out when she wrote again. A few posts later and I was the proverbial smitten kitten, and as you know, the rest is history. Or Blogygamy – whatever.
Eventually I plucked up the courage to ask whether she’d like to submit a poem to my Guest Bards series, and she knocked it out of the ballpark with such a simple, incredible poem that I was rendered speechless…and my words turned into lines on the page instead of letters. Somewhere along the way, in the comments, or on Facebook, another writer suggested that her words and my picture were the perfect marriage, and with a grin, we both turned to each other across the TimeZoned and agreed to take the suggestion and run with it to hilaridiculous lengths, and get Blogmarried. I even dressed up all fancy.
Since then, we’ve enjoyed months of talking back and forth and learning more about each other. We’ve been avid readers of each others’ posts (and I an avid follower of her infamous Pintrest Board Of Men), we’ve sent For Real mail; I’ve even been one of the privileged few to ‘meet’ her on VidChat!
There have been times of soul-deep, vital conversation; brief ‘hello’s in passing; mad bouts of giggling silliness on Twitter; understanding, encouragement, empathy, and the comprehension which can really only occur with someone who’s travelled many of the same roads in life, and who has a whole big ol handful of parallels they can speak from.
Time and consistency and Beth’s generosity with her time and conversation have gradually begun to assuage my anxieties about all the ways I feel she’d be better off BlogMarried to someone else, endowed with a few more of the ‘-er’s I feel I lack. She is kind to a fault, and does the most marvellous job of shoring me up when I start to wibble over at the edges (as I am wont to do, now and again). She’s also declared herself a ‘drama-free zone’ and has offered me the space beneath her kitchen table as a place to hide when things get too much.
Each time we talk I get – not less *starry-eyed*, but – more confident somehow, that this friendship (in spite of the distance and the TimeZoned and the somewhat bizarre nature of it) is an Actual, In Fact, For Realz and Proper one. And that delights my little hardwired heart right through to the very middlest middle.
So, in celebration of my incredible friend and darling BlogWife, whose birthday it is, I would like to share with you Ten of my Very Favourite Things About Beth (NB: not an exhaustive list):
1. Her writing is utterly, completely compelling. Which is fabulous, as she’s written a BOOK. An Actual, In Fact one. Which is going to be published (most definitely) and I’m going to buy and ask her to sign for me, then in future I can brag that I “knew her when…”. Because she can make you laugh your head off at the idea of a G-Spot Party, or bring you to tears with the heartbreak of coping with a family member whose mental health turns interactions with them into agony, and her writing, once on the shelves, will be whisked from the small-knowing of the Blogosphere to the BIG WIDE WORLD, and people will love it. I am quite convinced.
2. She makes me laugh enormously by following up on the smutty hilarity of her Bush Talk piece by posting photos of herself with her ‘A Shot In Mah Vag’ hip flask which was made for her by another blogger after the post caught his attention (can’t think why). She’s also NOT skeert to try pink highlights (and maybe lavender ones at some point), just to see what they’re like. [They’re like *awesome*, don’t you think?]
3. She has an unparalleled enthusiasm for nature. Of all the people I know in the Blogosphere, she is the hikey-est, mountain-climbiest, kayak-iest person to ever climb a tree, just because, or gymnast out of the way of a spider in her boat. I’m a bit in awe of this, because I’m not at all ‘outdoorsy’, and though I like being out in nature, the moment it begins to pleuie sur ma tete, I’m gone, back inside and snuggling in blankets. If possible. Beth *likes* rain.
4. Nature #2 – I’ve never seen anyone so keen on elephants, or so quick to champion their causes (such as campaigning for freedom for elephants in India who’ve been mistreated). Elephants are pretty damn awesome, and highly photogenic, too (back to Pintrest, yo!)
5. Nature #3 – she might be THEE most adorable (and possibly only, so forgive the default, there) kindasorta vegan I know. I don’t even pretend to understand the whys and wherefores of veganism, but she eats Ethiopian food with gusto, somehow has the willpower to forgo dairy, and saves animals by not eating meat. Like, 99 times out of 100. What a champion!
6. Gurl got ink! And she’s keen to get more. +++Cool Points.
7. She’s an inch shorter than I am, which is probably cooler for me than her, but I can remember a conversation which included a typo I shan’t forget in a hurry, where whatever it was that I said apparently made her feel “a hundred gym feet tall”…which confused and delighted me in equal measure, cos neologism!
8. After a summer of very fleeting conversations as she jetted around the US on holidays (including a much-anticipated and completely awesome trip back to the mountains where she tied the knot), I received a mysterious parcel in the post. It contained the most glorious armchair tour of all her vacations, complete with facts and information about the places she’d been, a gorrrgeous oil painting of the beach, an infinity wishlet (which is only NOW beginning to disintegrate from my wrist, and which I am determined to make last a bit longer), some incredible shells and rocks, and (because she knows me SO VERY WELL) incredibly clear and detailed instructions about which order to open things in, and what bits related to which others. Just so I didn’t mess it up. I still messed it up (cos of COURSE) but it was one of the most delightful things I think I’ve ever received in the mail, for many reasons, all of which are a little bit *twinklysparkly* around the edges and soppy in the middle.
9. Beth might be one of the best partners-in-Glitterbomb I know. Twice now, she’s helped to glitterbomb Mandi and done so with glorious aplomb, devilish enjoyment, and has well and truly pulled out all the stops to make the sparkles happen. There have been capes, balloons, chocolates, glitter and probably many moments of laughter which didn’t make it through to the Blogosphere. All of which have delighted my heart to know that in spite of all the wires in between, Actual Things can happen.
10. When I said that as part of my trip to ‘Murica, I’d be visiting Texas, Beth very sweetly offered that if I wanted, and hadn’t anywhere else planned, then I could come and stay with her, but that she understood if that didn’t fit, and would just be pleased to meet up sometime. I raised my eyebrow and explained that she’d have to put up with me because the biggest part of the reason I’m coming down to Texas is to meet her. She said she hadn’t wanted to assume anything, at which point I rolled my eyes. I know she felt it. She has a knack – there’s over a year, now, of history of her being able to sense my eye-rolls.
I’d love to wrap this up for Beth with celebration and music and a massive party of friends and guys from her Pintrest board and wine and all the good things. But I just heard that she’s under the weather, so instead I think the thing to do is creep, very quietly, without too much fanfare and noise, and whisper-wish her as much of a happy birthday as possible, and a very speedy recovery.
Meantime, YOU, dear reader, who has now (I hope) enjoyed learning about one of my very dearest friends in the Blogosphere, can help to give my BlogWife a happy birthday by reading her words, sharing them across Facebook and Twitter, and sending her messages of ‘Happy-hope-you-get-birthday-well-soon’ness. Gently.
Meantime, I’m outta words, but that’s okay.