I made a new friend on the internet. I know, weird!
This day in age it is far more likely to receive negative feedback or hateful speech than it is to meet someone kind. I met this new friend on Instagram. She runs a Game of Thrones themed account and favors many of the same characters that I do. We quickly struck up conversations in the comments sections of her posts when one day she asked if anyone would be interested in "beta" reading a Game of Thrones inspired story she was writing. She is from the Netherlands, is fluent in Dutch but also knows English quite well. She wanted to have someone proof read and make relevant grammar and punctuation changes to her story. I offered to take a look. We exchanged email addresses and the rest is history!
Each morning for the past week, I wake up to find an email from the Netherlands in my inbox. There is a 9 hour difference between she and I so typically I am asleep when she is awake and visa versa. Each night I sit down and write an email back, proof read her latest revision and mark up her story in red (she totally doesn't mind and is such a good sport about it).
Through this process she and I have discovered interesting cultural differences, strange English grammar/spelling rules and a few misnomers. For example, she thought we used the word "supper" because she heard it in a movie (and yes, I know some people do but not as widely as "dinner"). She didn't know that there are different uses for "to", "too" and "two". I find myself often explaining to her the difference between American English and UK English which is often accompanied by a spelling difference too. She soaks it all in, often puts a smiley face next to my comments and occasionally rants about the beautiful but strange language that is English.
I was telling Hubs about my newest venture when he gave me an affectionate smile. I questioned him why and he said that what I was experiencing was what the internet was meant to be in its purest form. That it reminded him of the 1990s when we were excited to read email because it wasn't work or bill-related. That two people - on opposite sides of the world - find a common interest, trade ideas and thoughts, and are both better for having had the exchange. His epiphany hit me immediately! He is right, the excitement and happiness I experience each day exchanging emails with my new pen pal is exactly what the internet felt like back in its infancy, before all the vitriol, anger and anonymity.
In many ways 2017 is a better, more progressive and advanced place to live but for now -- I am going to savor the simpler days and enjoy my few moments of living in the innocence of the 1990s again -- while talking to my Dutch friend about boobs and dragons.
If you get the tv reference of this post title, than bravo to you! You are a rockstar!