Have Your People E-mail My People; We’ll Do Lunch!

“Turning on a dime” is not something I’m normally known for. I like my routine, and although I can indeed change course if something comes up, I don’t usually enjoy making a change; I usually avoid it if at all possible.

Unless it’s an emergency or something that just sounds like an opportunity I can’t pass up. Like today.

I had planned to spend the day catching up with housework and other boring (but comforting and satisfying!) activities around here since I didn’t lift a finger yesterday. I taught class this morning (and for those of you who read my tweets last night, I totally did not even have a hangover. I can’t believe it!) with no problem, ran an errand or two, and then came home to walk the dog. Just like every Friday.

I checked my e-mail first, though, and found a little note from Manic Mommy, who I have stalked many times. Like this time. Or this time. Or, my favorite, this time.

Her e-mail, in part, said:

Any chance you can get away for lunch at Woodfield’s Cheesecake Factory today? Dawn Meehan (Because I Said So) and some other bloggers (I think you know Honest and Truly‘s Michelle? — the two of them met up in Disney — are meeting, along with two others we know.*

How fun! Michelle would be the only person I was familiar with, from our mutual blog reading, and I was so excited to meet her. The idea of a spontaneous lunch sounded awesome. I called Manic immediately because she sent the e-mail at about 9:30 and it was now 10:50. She answered from the shower. (!!??!!) (I know, right?)

“I’m in the shower! I figured it was you or my son’s school!”

She cracks me up.

Lunch was at about 11:30 and I told her that I wanted to ride together but I still had to shower, so we decided to meet there. She said, “Call me from the car!”

Then I had a great idea. I shot off an e-mail to Melissa, my internet sista, as well as Snarky Sarah to see if they could drop everything and come to the Cheesecake Factory. I also texted Melissa, since I had her cell number in my phone from our last two failed meetings.

After that, I took the fastest shower on earth and then called Manic to check in.

“I’m blowdrying my hair!”

I said, “You’re kidding me, right? I have already showered AND dried my hair. All I have to do is put my makeup on and I’m out of here! How much longer will you be? Maybe I can make it to your house.”

She said she’d be out in five minutes, and she’s a good fifteen from my house, so we stuck with the “I’ll meet you there” plan.

When I got on the highway, I called Jim to let him know of my whereabouts. He is totally against me meeting people I’ve “met” online by myself (sweet, and smart, right?), so I let him know that I would be with Manic and all would be good.

Then I called Manic, who was STILL AT HOME. I accused her of being High Maintenance, but she said that somebody kept calling her, causing the delay. I have no idea who this “somebody” is, but man, they were annoying.

While I was talking to her, a text came through from Melissa. She had an appointment at noon. I decided to call her to see where it was at. When she picked up her phone, I said, “Melissa?”


“It’s Melisa!”



“OHHHHHH! With the nice phone voice?”

I forgot that she and I had never, ever spoken. Making the first phone call while trying to throw together a sudden meeting is sort of a weird thing. (Sorry, Melissa!) But it was so nice to finally hear her voice.

As it turned out, her appointment was minutes away from the restaurant! (Even more odd because she lives 40 minutes from this area) I told her to call me when she got finished and maybe she could swing by before going home to meet her daughter’s school bus.

In the meantime, Manic and I arrived at the restaurant and I met some really nice ladies. I met Dawn, whose book “Because I Said So!” (like her blog) is being published as we speak. I met Shawna Coronado, author of the just-published book “Gardening Nude”, which is totally not what you think. I met another lovely woman, a college friend of Manic’s and Manic will kill me but I can’t remember her name. And shortly after we were seated, Michelle arrived. It was a really fun lunch.


Manic ordered a salad, and it was the biggest salad I’ve ever seen, for one person. It was way bigger than it looks in this photo: you really had to see it in person to get the idea.


Shawna and her book.

About halfway through, Melissa called me and said, “I’ll be there soon, and Sarah is coming too!”

And soon, they arrived. Shawna and Manic’s friend had to leave right before that, so there was plenty of room at the table. I FINALLY got to present Melissa with the tiara I bought for her several months ago, so that was exciting.


Tiara-wearing Blogger/Sister!

(She’s still wearing it now, she tells me!) Sarah and Melissa (and all of us, really) had to leave about 20 minutes after they got there so they didn’t order anything.


Sarah, Melissa, and Michelle


Me, Manic, and Dawn

What a great surprise plan for today! I’m looking forward to the next blogger lunch, whenever the heck that will be!

*I totally edited Manic’s e-mail for punctuation and capitalization since she didn’t know when she sent it that it was going public. Not that she is a poor writer; on the contrary, she’s an excellent writer. However, she was in a hurry and had to start her shower so she just typed it quickly. Catch Manic’s material on her blog and at Betty Confidential!



  • Melissa

    Damn, we are some fine looking ladies. I’m still amazed that it all worked out…even if it was only for 20 minutes. Hopefully next time we will be able to eat something. 🙂

    I look like a total dork in the tiara picture and you know what? I totally don’t mind because I look happy…and making new friends does exactly that…it makes me happy!

    Thanks a million for thinking of me!

  • Sarah

    It was great meeting everyone! What’s a better afternoon than meeting new friends after you get your butt rubbed?? 😉

    Hope to do it again soon!!!

  • MaNiC MoMMy™

    FYI, of course I haven’t even FINISHED reading your disseration here, but I took your HIGH MAINTENANCE QUIZ AND I RANK LOW MANINTENANCE:

    You Are Low Maintenance

    Otherwise known as “too good to be true”
    You’re one laid back chica – and men love that!
    Just remember that no good guy likes a doormat.
    So if you find your self going along to get along…
    Stop yourself and put up a little bit of a fight.

    SO THERE! Now, I will return to the disseration and finish reading it! 🙂 LOL!

  • MaNiC MoMMy™

    OK, that was such a fun and sweet recap of our fun lunch! My friend’s name is Lynn and I forgive you because it was a crazed hectic lunch with a lot of yammering away!

    And thanks for the BettyConfidential shout out too!

    Thanks for being the best stalker a gal could ask for! winka winka!

    And now you can go out with more bloggers since no one even attempted to kill you!!!!

  • Melisa

    Melissa: You totally owned the Tiara-worthy look! (It runs in the “family”.) For sure, next time you’ll be able to eat because hopefully you’ll have more than an hour’s notice. 🙂

    Sarah: What’s a better afternoon than meeting new friends after you get your butt rubbed?? Um, maybe meeting new friends WHILE you’re getting your butt rubbed? Getting your butt rubbed BY your new friends? Rubbing your NEW FRIENDS’ butts? (maybe not) I’m so glad your butt wasn’t too relaxed to sit at the table for a few minutes!

    Stacey: I know! But I skipped the cheesecake (The horror!) because of all of the sweets I’ve consumed during my b-day week. Felt pretty good about it, too!

    Manic: Hmm. I think you rigged the test. haha And I’m glad that I went with you; it was fun, and nobody got killed. That’s awesome! 🙂 xoxo

  • Michelle

    Ok so I was TOTALLY going to tell you that Manic’s friend was Lynn but you know … I had to go get my mani/pedi and go to dinner and a movie with a friend of mine since I have NO KIDS and NO HUSBAND all night tonight. Ahhhh.

    Oh, and I’ll have you know that I was late only because I NEVER come from Algonquin Rd but did because I was coming from the preschool instead of home (which tells you how far preschool is from my home!) and couldn’t figure out how to get south. It was quite irritating. I drove back and forth across 53 3 times! Then I realized I had to actually get ON 53. I thought I was further south than I was. *sigh* 🙂

    But good to see you!!

  • Sue

    So much fun!!!! I wish I had been there, but my husband,parents,friends….think it’s a little scary that I want to meet friends from the internet.

    Hey, did you get anything in the mail from me?

  • Mags

    It looks like you all had so much fun! I love meeting bloggers (most of the time). It’s so interesting to see what people are like in real life,and fantastic when they’re just as cool as they are on their blogs. 🙂

  • Daisy

    Amazing! This almost makes me wish I lived closer to the big city. There are a few bloggers in my area, but not close enough to get together for a real life meet and greet.

  • Shawna

    WOW! I’m famous – on your blog. WOO WOO! Thanks for coming out to lunch – it was DA BOMB!

    Had SO MUCH FUN! Looking forward to hanging out more very soon and reading up on the awesome Suburban Scrawl!

    Take care and we’ll be seeing each other with cocktail in soon shortly I hope!



  • Sarah

    LMAO!!! Somehow I think it would have been mildly inappropriate to start rubbing my new friends’ butts. But just think of the blog material THAT would bring!!! 😉

  • Huckdoll

    Sounds like a great time…hanging out with bloggers has got to be one of my favourite things! Any chance you’re heading to BlogHer 09 in Chicago next year? 😉