Lunch with Big Mama

September 26, 2008 | 18 comments

What do you wear when you’re going to lunch with someone who hosts regular Fashion Friday columns on her blog? This is what I was pondering all week. Flare pants are still in style, right? I’d think as a sifted through my increasingly dwindling collection of “outfits that make me look pregnant not amorphous” in my closet (since all my maternity clothes are threadbare from overuse). Then I’d remember reading something about skinny pants being all the rage, briefly ponder pegging my flare pants to make them look like some $300 jeans I saw Heidi Klum wearing, recall the unfortunate results that my pants-pegging efforts yielded back in junior high (and the fact that I am not Heidi Klum), and give up in defeat.

Anyway, I forgot all about my fashion concerns when I sat down at the table to have lunch with Melanie of the Big Mama blog this afternoon. She is actually as sweet, funny and delightful as you’d guess from her blog — I know, I know, that’s right from the “met a blogger in real life” post template, but I really mean it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with her site, her posts cover everything from her views about decorating with freebie NRA plaques to God’s infinite love for each of us.

I’ve met quite a few other people through blogging over the years, and our lunch today reminded me that my experience has been that people’s real-life personalities tend to be very much like the personalities you perceive from their blogs. I am always pleasantly surprised to realize just how, well, real people are on their blogs after getting to know them offline. And perhaps that’s why so many of us enjoy reading blogs so much: because you tend to get honest glimpses into the lives of regular people, a little touch of much-needed human connection in our increasingly isolated world.

If anyone else has had experiences meeting people in real life after getting to know them through blogs first, I’d be interested to hear about it. Whom did you meet? Did you find that their personalities were similar to what you’d expected after reading their blogs?

* I’m really enjoying throwing out casual mentions of my lunch, as if leaving the house for afternoon engagements with interesting ladies is something I do regularly, casually or spontaneously and not with a difficulty level on par with splitting the atom.


  1. Stephanie

    Although it wasn’t on a blog, I did meet my husband online, and although people assumed at the time you couldn’t really “know” someone by just writing to them, when we finally met is was as if we’d known each other in person all along.

    I’ve also met several online friends from forums, and they’ve typically been just like I’ve imagined. 🙂

    But then, my preferred form of communication is writing, and I think a lot of people online are the same so they tend to express themselves well through writing, and I think that probably helps!

  2. Flexo

    people’s real-life personalities tend to be very much like the personalities you perceive from their blogs

    On the one hand, I could agree with this because most blogs by regular people are written by, well, regular people. And regular people tend to just be themselves.

    On the other hand, I’m not so sure. There may be some “first impressions are lasting impressions” going on here. One gains an impression from reading the blog and simply carries over that impression when meeting them in real life.

    The problem is that, unless one really gets to know them, really gets to be their chummy pal, their “hang-out at the house and do nothing together” kind of friend, you really can’t know the inner person. If it is just lunch here and there, you still run the danger of them displaying their blog persona when out in public.

    Now, I am friends with one who is a nationally-known figure who has been on TV often. I have observed her in many different situations — one-on-one private, social occasions, general out-in-public, and public events — and I’m telling you, the woman is a chameleon. If I did not know her so very well, I would not know who the “real” person is.

    So, meeting Internet personalities, bloggers included, can go either way. Some can be exactly who and what they seem on their blogs, while others are totally different.

    As for me, I am much more expressive in writing than in person, unless I am either publicly speaking or one-on-one with someone I’ve known for a while. And even then, it depends on whom I’m with — not everyone appreciates a solid Catholic, pro-life, hard-line political conservative, you know. Sadly, some of those I cannot be the “real me” around are family members.

    So, who is the real person of that blogger sitting across from you at lunch? I don’t know. But you seem to be pretty cool Jen. You seem to be “just plain folks.” I figure you would be pretty much the same at lunch.

  3. browneyedbasics

    Well, my experience meeting someone in real life after meeting them on their blog was actually quite momentous. We read each other’s blogs for several months, then started talking through instant messenger, then met in person… that was 2.5 years ago. Now we’re on our way to getting married. But he was very much like he was on his blog, which was comforting. 🙂

    I’m posting this with my main blog, but for those who are interested, go to and click the “How I met Christian” link if you want to read the whole long drawn-out story.

    Chelsey @ Brown Eyed Basics

  4. SuburbanCorrespondent

    I think it depends. I have had it go both ways. But I am impressed you made it out of the house for a lunch date!

  5. Charlotte (Matilda)

    I have had the pleasure of getting to know Jennifer from As Cozy As Spring in real life and it has been delightful. She is exactly who she is on the blog and in real life (only in real life she is even more delightful).

  6. Heather

    I think it depends. For instance I have several online friends that I talk to on the phone all the time and there are personal things they don’t share on their blog that are very much parts of their lives. I have only met-met one blogger in real life and the same went for her, she is very much the same person but there were things that were shaping who she is that were not on her blog which when you realize them you understand better. In general though I agree with stephanie.

  7. Kim Kasch

    Love the Friday fashion column.

  8. Shelly W

    I haven’t met anyone yet–I’m very new to all this, but I think it’s really cool that you two were able to get together. I remember how hard it was to get sitters (oh, how I hated making those calls), so I sympathize with how hard it was to just get out of the house.

  9. Jeana

    I’ve made lots of friends through blogging, and usually we like each other in real life as much as we do on the computer. 🙂 I went to BlogHer and I’ve gone to a few blogger meet-ups so I won’t bore you with the entire list, but a few people have turned out to be good friends and we get together on an on-going basis: Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer, Melanie at Don’t Try This at Home, Shalee of Shalee’s Diner, Antique Mommy, HolyMama and a couple of women who don’t blog anymore.

    Big Mama’s been on my list for a while now–I don’t know if I’m more jealous that you got to meet her or that she got to meet you.

  10. Rocks In My Dryer

    That is so great! I bet y’all had a ball. Wish I could’ve been there!

  11. Marian

    I’ve never met someone whom I first “met” through a blog (somehow I end up reading all of you southwesterners, so far away). One friend I already know in real life blogged for a while,though,and it was a little strange reading it. Some things clearly “sounded” like her, and others didn’t. I think it’s because I know her at a deeper level than what most people share on a blog.

    I’ve only blogged a bit, but I know that a HUGE part of my life isn’t covered by it because I just haven’t figured out how best to talk about it, if at all. I guess it’s likely that this would make me seem a little different in real life?

    I imagine that some people would seem less and less like their blog personalities the more you get to know them if there’s a lot of facade. But I imagine that there are also plenty of people who would seem more and more like their blogs the more you get to know them. There’s something about writing that can express the soul more readily for people who open up slowly in real life.

  12. k and c's mom

    Haven’t met a blogging friend yet…but I am wondering how these meetings are set up..maybe you can share that story!

  13. Kelly @ Love Well

    I haven’t met anyone in person yet (IRL, as the cool kids say). I’ve talked to a few on the phone, and I’ve traded a TON of e-mails, and I have to say — I think most of the bloggers I know are the same as their blog. Their personality shines through.

    That’s a cool thing, when you think about it. Genuineness.

    P.S. So what DID you wear?


    I have met a number of blogging friends in person and it has always been a delight and they all have been just as lovely and open in person as they are on their blogs. If you ever get up to the prairie part of Texas, I’d love to take you to lunch.

  15. The Wade's

    I once was given a link from my sister-in-law to one of her friends that I had never met. After reading her blog for a few minutes, and finding out that she was absolutely hilarious, I started checking out her bloggy links. I see “Sweet Baby Jackson” and since my son’s name is Jackson I clicked the link. Imagine my shock when it takes me back to my own blog. She had been following me for months and I had no idea. I finally got to meet her in person a few months later and yes, she was just as delightful and funny in person, if not more.

    Oh, and I also met my hubbie online, so I did find him somewhat delightful when I finally met him 🙂

  16. 2nd Cup of Coffee

    Hi. This is my first visit here, over from Big Mama. I’m often told that my personality is quite different in person, and the first time that happened, it really took me back, as I wondered about the discrepancy and if I’m someone not “real” on the blog. As I have said on my blog, apparently, I’m like Whoopi Goldberg on the blog and Margaret Thathcher in person. People are disappointed that I’m not more “funny.” Or over-the-top gregarious. I think I’m more inhibited in person and that my truest self is what you see in writing. I express myself better and feel less intimidated in print. Just throwin’ in the two cents. Love your intelligent blog. And I met Melanie at She Speaks, and she is indeed a lovely person.

  17. Jess

    I’m late replying to this post but I have had such success meeting online friends.

    First, my mother helped a young British man come to the USA in the early 90s to attend a university in our town, we were his “sponsor” family of sorts. They met online before blogs, internet forums and the like, they met via a listserv. Anyway, 15 years later he is still here and a great, dear friend of our family. He is now my mother’s roommate!

    I moved across the country last year for my husband’s job. Due to miscommunication the day I flew out here to move with my daughter, my husband was back in DC. A woman I knew on an online mom’s board picked us up from the airport, helped me get my rental car, settled into the hotel and had us over for dinner. We are great friends now, I see her weekly and our kids play often. I should add that I had “known” her on a private board for 3 years prior to the move, so it wasn’t like I was meeting her completely blind.

    My closest friend in DC is a woman I met on a huge book forum 8 years ago. She replied to a post I made about sending out a hard to find, no longer published book, she sent me her addy, I realized she lived about 10 minutes from me. We emailed quite a bit and realized we were the same age, etc. and met. Our husbands are good friends and so are we. It was pure coincidence that we ever met at all. Funny enough, it got strange explaining to people how we met at gatherings so we finally just starting fibbing and saying we met in college, lol.

    I met another woman on a different mom’s board and we finally met a few months after we moved. She is great, I love her to pieces, and our daughters are fast friends. Interestingly, it was on her blog that I found the link to your blog.

    I have many other internet success stories, but I’ll stop. It is too bad that only the wacko stories are published in the media, the internet is a great place to meet friends. And in my experience, the women are like their online personas.


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