Growing up, my dad liked ferreting out individuals who routinely made decisions that resulted in terrible consequences. Like when a co-worker started dating a man who had “unfairly been sent to prison” or when the neighbor guy invested his savings in Amway. “Sure, they’re book smart, but they don’t have an ounce of good sense.”

As a blogger, I meet people. Who doesn’t? Bloggers who seem perfectly normal (based on their writing and pics and whatever), but could easily be rapists or murders or molesters or scammers in real life. How would I know? Good sense = boundaries.

FACT: Sickos posing as teenage boys cajole girls into face-to-face midnight meetings in mall parking lots, shove the girls into white vans and drive them away from their loving families into a life of prostitution. Yeah, I watch 20/20.

Okay. I’ll admit it: my 40-year-old self isn’t a prime target for sex traffickers. But still.


Dawn and I. In the real.

I’ve never met a person in real life after only knowing them online. Until now. Wait, that’s not true. I mean, it’s true I’ve never met a person in the REAL after only knowing them online. But the blogger I recently invited to stay at my house was actually someone I’d met at a workshop ages ago, forgot I met her, re-met her blogging and on Facebook, remembered we met way back when, THEN invited her to my house.

What’s your opinion? Since I kinda knew her in the real, was inviting her to my house good-sensical? I believe Dad would still say no.

Her name is Dawn and she blogs over at Tales from the Motherland. After she agreed to drive down for a visit, I did VERY BRIEFLY wonder if she would slay me during the night or if I should at least hide my valuables, but as it turns out I own nothing of real value + Dawn is very nice + she is smaller than me. Scrappy, but still, I’m confident I could take her if need be. Big relief: hand-to-hand combat was not necessary.

On Thursday evening, Dawn rolled up to my house after a four-hour drive, and I did what any sensible middle-aged mom would do when attempting to be a good host. I took her out. To the Brotherhood bar. Probably not good-sensical, but in my defense, I picked up a couple other writer chicks on the way AND I was the designated driver AND the BroHo is a writing hotspot.

The next day, I felt like a poser. I rarely (almost never) go out to bars. What was I thinking? Was I trying to impress her? I needed to redeem myself, so off to Olympia’s lovely (good-sensical) Farmer’s Market we went. We ate at my fav market eatery, Los Tulenos, and spent the afternoon at Sound City Coffee, writing and chatting with another friend, also coincidentally named Dawn. We rounded out the day with pizza and Family Night at my daughter’s megachurch camp. Zip lines, go-carts, and giant spinning swing thingys (that I avoided).

Saturday morning I made breakfast with my husband, we all hung out awhile, then Dawn got on the road. She blogged about our time together and the rest of her trip. Kinda cool to read another person’s take on the same set of events, and it was fun finding out what she did after she left my house.

Dawn is adventurous. She travels to cool places like Barbados. Her kids are amazing. Fer reals. They’re not just avatar kids. I mean, I haven’t actually met them so I guess they could be photoshopped into her pictures…but probably not.

I’m glad I got to hang out with Dawn. Maybe this is a sign that I need to take more risks in my life. Or maybe I just got lucky this time. I don’t know.

Dad, if you’re reading this, don’t worry. It’s true I’m no Rhodes Scholar nor am I overly endowed with good sense, but please know I won’t make a habit of hosting people I meet online. Also I won’t be dating prisoners or investing in Amway.