Getting Lucky in N’awlins

The grinding groan of the landing gear signaled our descent into the New Orleans Airport. It also woke my sleeping husband long enough for him interrogate me.

“Are you still planning to meet that Internet stranger while we’re here?”

“She’s not a stranger,” I said. “She’s The Lucky Mom.” I paused. “The person who won the bracelet giveaway on my blog?”

My husband stared at me without the tiniest spark of recognition. “When they find you dead in an attic, I will come and identify your parts.”

On the day Lisha and I agreed to meet, New Orleans experienced a cold front. It was like my husband and I had packed Arctic air in our suitcases. As I pulled one turtleneck sweater over another turtle neck sweater, I wished I’d brought mittens. I pulled on the coat my husband had teased me for packing and took the elevator down to the lobby to wait.

Lisha told me she’d be driving her husband’s green Prius, and I think I jumped into her car before she actually came to a full stop. Once inside, we squeeeeeeed and hugged like old friends.

{Or like people who have never actually spoken but only communicated via comments’ boxes on blogs and Facebook pages.}

“Hi Lisha!” I said, all confident.

And that is when I learned I had been pronouncing Lisha’s name wrong in my head for months.

It isn’t Lisha. {Like I just caught a FISH-a. Or I just broke a DISH-a.}

It’s Leeee-sha. {Like I have to PEE-sha.}

I made the necessary mental adjustment.

“I’ve gotta get a hat,” I told Leeeeeeeeesha. “It’s freezing outside!”

“Let’s go down to the Market,” Lisha said in her awesome raspy, super sexy Southern drawl.

I hadn’t been to the French Market in a decade, but some things never change. If a person wants two Saints tee shirts for $15, that’s still the place to go. You can find hand-painted scarves and voodoo dolls and magnets, feather boas and feather masks, and anything with a fleur-de-lis.

I just needed a hat.

As we walked and talked, I realized I was creating a blog post in my head.

So here are 5 Things To Make Sure of Before You Meet a Blogger In Real Life based solely on my day with Lisha.

1) Make Sure To Dress Alike. On the day we met, both Lisha and I wore orange coats. It’s not like Lisha called to say: “I’m going to wear orange. Do you have anything orange?” It just happened. If you took a poll, I’m guessing one in fifty people might have an orange coat, but he would probably be in jail. That said, it was cool and we look excellent in our photos since we are color coordinated.

2) Make sure one of you knows where you are going. When I lived in New Orleans, I always got lost. This is because I was born without any internal GPS system. Meanwhile, Lisha was born with a Garmin implant or something. We went all over the place and she never got lost.

Lisha brought me to the Lower 9th ward where things are still in pretty bad shape, but she didn’t complain when I got a little trespasser-ishy.

3) Make sure the blogger is Southern. I forced Lisha to go with me to look for a hat. And a voodoo doll. And a bunch of other stuff. Lisha was brimming with Southern hospitality, so she probably would have let me shop all day, but our hands were freezing. And because Lisha is from the South, she was beyond generous. She paid for our parking, our lunch, and all the gas we used driving around the city. I’m not sure I said thank you enough. {Thank you, Lee}.

4) Make sure the blogger is sassy. Some dude followed us to the River where we planned to sit and chat for a while. He tried to get us to fall for one of the oldest gags in the New Orleans book of tricks. He asked: “You wanna bet $5 I kin tell where you got yo shoes at?” Lisha looked the man right in the eye and politely said, “I’m from here.” She wasn’t rude or anything. She allowed the man his dignity. But she set her boundary. And seriously, that is the oldest trick in the book. See the * if you don’t know the answer.

5) Make sure the blogger will give 100% of herself to you. If our interaction was representative of the kind of person Lisha is in real life, I can tell you she is a patient, devoted friend. We bloggers tend to be plugged-in sorts. But for five hours, we ignored the cell phone bings and pings and push notifications to enjoy the other person’s company: To listen. To laugh. To look into each other’s eyes.

The more I listened to Lisha, I realized she’s got it backwards. Sure, her blog may be called The Lucky Mom, but really, the people who have her in their lives are the lucky ones. This is the woman who lights up when she talks about her husband and her three sons; the woman who served as a full-time caregiver to her mother for years until she passed away; the woman who is planning to have her eightysomething-year-old mother-in-law move in right after Mardi Gras. How many people open their arms that wide? And that often?

Lisha was apologetic about having to leave me on a corner four blocks from my hotel. I’m sure she felt she was being rude, but she had to leave me there because it is Mardi Gras season: a parade was a-comin’, and there was no way to cross the route. After having lived in New Orleans for many years, I promised her I knew the drill. We pressed our faces close to each other and hugged goodbye.

We took this picture ourselves. Can you tell?

As I made my way back to the hotel, stopping to catch flying beads, plastic cups and doubloons, I felt like I’d gotten lucky.

Not only had I not been chopped up into tiny pieces like my husband had predicted, but I think that — quite possibly — I had the best blind date. Ever.

I met a wonderful blogger {and person} — in real life in my favorite city in the world.

Oh, and I found that hat.

Click HERE to read Lisha’s account of our meeting.

Color-coordinated. With hat.

If you could pick a blogger to spend 5 hours with, who would you want to meet?

* “Yo shoes are on yo feet. That’ll be $5.”

Tweet This Twit @rasjacobson

36 responses to “Getting Lucky in N’awlins

  1. What a great blog post! I have so many blogging friends I’d like to meet that I really can’t count name one — I sometimes imagine a cross-country blog tour to meet them all (and then of course blog about it!). I loved your husband’s reaction, mine’s would’ve been the same, haha. And often is!

  2. So lovely. You are on my short list of bloggers to meet, for sure. Except I don’t have an orange coat. Damn.

    I think I’m going to get to meet a whole bunch of bloggy friends at the Killer Tribes Conference in March, though!

  3. Why you are on the top of my list!
    Looks like an amazing visit!! I think that it is great how we can make real friends through a cyber world..

  4. There are too many to list. At the top would be you, Chase, and Clay.

  5. Girrrrl, is that a trick question?!?! I’d better go buy an orange coat!🙂

    Seriously awesome blind date. I loved reading about it! Hope we’ll get to hear more about your trip? Off to read Lisha’s account!

  6. Pingback: My Internet Dream Date with Renee Shuls-Jacobson | The Lucky Mom

  7. So love that you ladies met and that you both had such an amazing time! The pics are lovely and you both look great in orange!:)

  8. I found your blog because of Lisha’s post today (I will forever say Leeeesha now, because I had it wrong in my head too!). The excitement and fun you shared is palpable in both of your writings! How fun!! And how neat that you both have orange coats too!😉

    • Hi Christine! So nice to meet you. I can tell you, Leeeeesha (think Alecia) is one of the most wonderful woman I have met — and I have met some wonderful women.

      Just popped over to visit your blog.

      I hope you’ll come back to say hi or follow me on Facebook. Or stalk me on twitter.😉

  9. There are plenty of bloggers I love and think are funny or interesting, but I’m most intrigued by those who seem a bit mysterious. I’d love to meet Invisible Mikey. His posts are always so thoughtful and wise.

  10. wow! sounds like crazy fun! Glad you two got to hang out in NOLA and such!😀

  11. OK, so here’s what I told Lisha (which I am glad to know I have been pronouncing correctly in my head):

    “Sufficiently jealous of your time with Renee and her time with you. Oh, and very, very happy for you both, too! Sounds like it was a fabulous date!”

    But now I’m even more jealous and have a serious girl crush on both of you!

    Oh, and Shannon’s right–you both rock orange!

  12. You’d have to wear pants, because my figure doesn’t look so good in dresses.

    Blogger I’d most want to spend 5 hours with? Hmmm…already spend time with Kristen and Jill and Tiffany and Nigel, so you – or Jenny Hansen – or Susie Lindau – or Jess Witkins – or Marcia Richards – or ??? Notice all the XX chromosomes?

  13. I really like reading this post having visited New Orleans last summer. I can imagine the two of you walking around the quarter and sitting by the river. I like your list of what makes for a successful blogger blind date. Too fun! But you left out beignets? So I guess you have a second date in the works!

    Hope you and I get to meet someday! Maybe at the DFW conference? Are you planning to attend?

    • Jess: We didn’t do beignets because I lived in NOLA and we all know beignets are really just fried dough.😉 But yes, I hope we have a second date.

      As for DFW, I don’t think it is in the works this year with my son’s bar mitzvah so soon after.

      But I know all you cool kids will be there.

      So that hurts.

  14. This makes me want to buy a red jacket and meet a blogging friend.

  15. I wanna meet my writing partner. Damn she is the coolest!!!

  16. That sounds so fun! When are you coming to Minneapolis? I totally laughed on the name thing. It IS hard to adjust when you’ve been referring to someone by the wrong name. (or wrong pronunciation)

  17. What a delightful, happy post! Love that you met up and had such a great time together! I’ve not met another blogger, per se, but DID travel to Iowa a few years back to hook up with a dozen “campers” who are other mums and one amazing dad from a message board I admin. It was meeting kindred spirits, for sure.

  18. Oh, how I love this!

    (And I hope to be the one meeting you one day! I promise to wear matching clothes! :))

    xo

  19. Pingback: It’s Mardi Gras & MyNewFavoriteDay! « Lessons From Teachers and Twits

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