I was reading Daring Young Mom's blog today about internet acronyms and it got me thinking about the sweet little acronym Greg created to make our life a little easier. Ready to hear? Okay.
It stands for My Online Friend. He got SOOO sick of having to hear "There is this girl that I know online..." or "I have this friend...." or "Rachelle, one of my online friends..." a billion times a day that he decided to make it easier on us both. For example, instead of saying, "My Online Friend Rachelle said that her son had another poop explosion". I would just say, "MOF Rachelle's son had another poop explosion". See how much easier that makes things? Kind of pathetic that there was a need for it, but there was. There really, really was.
Soon after that he started calling the MOFs the Cosa MOFstra, not because we are a bunch of Mafia gangsters (although I've wondered on occasion if some of them are) but because we are a huge network from all over the United States, Saint Martin, Mexico and Australia too!
I get together every few weeks with the MOFs that live in my city for GNO or Park Day in the summertime. (Park Day would consist of going to random parks around the city then forgetting to pay attention to our kids because we are so enthralled in our deep, philosophical conversations) They even pretend to be my best friend so they can use the pool in my neighborhood without having to climb the fence. (wink wink, nudge, nudge Constant Gardener)
Here is a snapshot of the last GNO. (which was really a Girl's Night IN due to an out-of-town husband) Don't we just look like a bunch of party animals? I'm the one trying to liven up the crowd by sticking out my tongue.
People often ask how we all know each other and it is kind of embarrassing to say. I usually hem and haw and mutter something lame about an internet message board and then, "Hey, those shoes are just to die for! Wherever did you find them?" Anything to avoid the judging that comes along with telling someone that you hang out with people you met on the World Wide Web.
The Truth: I stumbled across and internet message board for expectant and new mommies when I was pregnant with A. We moved to this city and I discovered that several of the women I posted with lived here too. Soon after that I had severe preeclampsia and ended up delivering A at 34 weeks. He was in the NICU for a month and it was a very traumatic time. I found great strength in talking to board members about it. Some of them had been through it before and it was so nice be able to talk to people who had been in my shoes.
I met some of them in person two weeks after A came home. Greg kept telling me that they would be either two things: 1) Big Ole Nerds that I couldn't relate to or 2) Old Hairy Men with Big Bellies. Turns out he was wrong. (which was good because I was really craving Applebee's fries and it would have been a darn shame if I wouldn't have been able to stick around to eat them) I met some really amazing women that night and since then have met many more.
Having Online Friends has been kind of weird. When I tell people about the board they usually look at me like I am absolutely nuts. Because really, we all know that only pervs and psychopaths hang out on the internet. Let's be honest though. What better way is there for SAHMs to get to know each other? With naptimes and this pesky little season called winter it is hard to get out there to meet other moms. And if you are a people person (a blabbermouth) like me it is very important to have other people around so that you don't freak out and overload your husband with information as soon as he walks in the door.
I never thought that I could get so attached to people that I have never met. I have learned so much from the women on the board. We are all so different but that's what makes it so interesting. Going there makes me a better parent, a better wife and a better friend. I can ask their advice and get fifty different opinions. If I am being whiney, they will tell me. Sometimes not even Greg is brave enough to do that.
Maybe I should stop being embarrassed about the whole thing. The world is changing and it seems that this is just another way of getting to know people. Perhaps I shall embrace my inner geek and the next time someone asks how I met my friends I won't try to change the subject. They can mock all they want but I can be confident in the fact that they don't know what they are missing. If they did, they'd be online too.