Lately I've heard from a handful of women who have reached out to explore a possible professional meeting with me. While it isn't something I look for, or anything I've ever tried, it doesn't mean I would rule it out completely. Sure, I've fantasized a time or two (hundred), but that's as far as it's gotten. That's not what this particular story is about, though.
In the cases of these contacts, I find myself really interested in hanging out with them... like as girlfriends. I want to meet them for a glass of wine at the end of the day - or for a great lunch somewhere women like to go - a charming outdoor cafe, a chic hotel restaurant, or wherever delicious food meets interesting people watching... you get the idea. And thankfully, I have met some of them.
One of them once for coffee. I found myself wanting to stay longer chatting and laughing with her, or making plans to meet again sometime, maybe we could have met for a manicure or checked out a movie sometime or walked through the Pasadena Showcase House for Design. Since I didn't hear back, I'm not sure she felt as comfortable as I did.
Once when I was traveling, another advertiser who advertises with the same site as I do contacted me to ask if I needed anything while I was in town - suggestions for places to go or things to do. I thought it was so sweet of her. She said how she didn't want me to think she was weird or anything, and she mentioned that we had a mutual friend. She said she felt a little awkward reaching out, but I thought it was so thoughtful. I truly appreciated it. I met her for a bite while I was in town and we've kept in touch a little here and there. In fact, it was her blog that inspired mine. I was so impressed with how interesting hers was - lots of different topics and all of her opinions original and articulate, so well written. I'm glad we had a chance to meet.
So here I am, making plans to do some traveling of my own and I'm not sure I'm brave enough to do the same kind of reaching out that she did. I don't know if I have mutual friends with other advertisers but sometimes I scroll through the ads looking for people I think I might enjoy meeting - as a girlfriend, who likely has similar experiences and interests. It would be nice to know other women both at home and in other cities that I could catch up with from time to time.
Last year I met with a woman who thought I'd make a good companion for "doubles" with her. While I wasn't interested in doing doubles, we did get to emailing back and forth, then had a lunch and it turned out to be something really interesting for both of us. I learned a lot more about her side of the business (fetish) and she learned more about mine - that is doing what makes sense for you, creating your own style and not following anyone else's model. She too wrote beautifully and I was very inspired by her storytelling.
A few years ago I met a couple of women that I like to stay in touch with. We met through one of those "Meet and Greet" parties that a local discussion board was putting on. Meeting the women there and learning from them, staying in touch with them, was more valuable to me than any potential clients I could hope to meet. I don't go to the parties anymore, but I would like to be able to meet women that I might become friends with somehow - I'm just not sure how.
I'd even like to stay in touch with that woman who wrote to me so upset back at Christmas time. I like to think that if she knew me, she'd probably like me, but mostly I'd just like to catch up with her and hear how things are going for her. I really do hope things are getting better.
Currently I'm emailing with a woman who contacted me through my site and I feel like we're becoming friends. It would be great to meet sometime, we'll see how it goes. So far I know we both like comparing travel notes! And I think it's interesting that she had considered what I call my "moonlighting" experience for herself at one time.
It can be awkward...I feel awkward about it sometimes. Last Summer I went to a concert with a girlfriend I met through the Meet and Greet party. My brother and sister were at the same concert and we all got together for drinks afterwards. I introduced my friend without explanation - but I was a little worried they'd ask "where did you meet her?" They didn't, but what if? We had talked about it beforehand, just in case, so I was prepared.
So I guess my point is just this; if you're a woman and you think we might be compatible as friends, drop me a note and let me know. Chances are I'll probably want to meet you sometime, if that's okay with you, and who knows? Maybe we'll just stay in touch, hang out from time to time and share some stories. I'd like that.