I spotted this on my LiveJournal FList:

The problem with LJ: we all think we are so close, but really, we know nothing about each other. So I want you to ask me something you think you should know about me. Something that should be obvious, but you have no idea about. Ask away.

I was thinking about this at Baltimore Comic-Con. I met — in-person — four women I’ve known for quite some time. Years, in fact. The conversations I’ve had with these women have, variously, ranged from the trivial to the hilarious, the flirtatious to the argumentative. We have, some of us, told each other deeply important things. I can read the moods of my friends online with some accuracy. I know about their families, their inner thoughts.

Yet I don’t know whether they leave their shoes on inside the house, or prefer to walk around in socks. I don’t know if they rinse the dishes right away after using them, or leave them to crust in the sink. I don’t know if they drive too fast or too slow, or if they signal turns. There’s a host of information that one learns casually, easily, by dint of merely going out to lunch with a coworker, that one fails to get over the internet.

It’s a bizarre lack of intimacy, really. I was watching my friends’ faces at Comic-Con, and I realized that I can’t read their faces at all — not any better than the face of any other stranger. Yet if they made a remark to me I could deduce the feelings associated with the words. Words, words are the medium which I am accustomed to interpreting.

I’m not sure this is a problem, as the meme above presumes. It’s odd, and it can lead to mis-steps and mistaken assumptions if one is not careful. It is . . . just the way things are, for me.

But. As I do value trivial information, especially in aggregate, I throw open the meme here.

If you want to, go ahead and ask me something you don’t know because we are acquainted online, but you would know in person. I may, of course, choose to not answer if the question is too personal. And, if you could provide the answer for your question as it applies to yourself, I would appreciate it!

(I take off my shoes in the house most of the time; I drive the speed limit and I signal my turns even when no-one else is on the road; I leave the dishes to crust in the sink even though I wash the dishes and mentally curse the members of my household for not rinsing THEIR dishes right away.)

8 Responses

  1. You know, I’m sure this says something about me but I’m *much* more likely to be surprised and disconcerted about the things I don’t know about my ‘real life’ friend’s taste in movies or music or that infamous twitter question, what they had for breakfast, than I am to wonder whether my online friends are taking their socks off.

    Anyway, I can’t *imagine* what I would ask you at this point that I don’t know, but feel free to tell me something I don’t know!

  2. @Caroline Hah, I think the only things you might not know are like, say, my love of eating candy corn two at a time. 😛

  3. And don’t forget your abhorrence of the mutated variety.

    I’ll also try and remember to rinse my dishes, though often the sink is too full to try… 🙂

  4. @Nathan Only the cereal bowls really need rinsing!! 🙂 Though, please note, I never do this either.

  5. See, I never rinse my dishes, since you don’t do it and I figured you didn’t care 🙂 But I could try, since I completely agree dishes should be rinsed.

  6. Huh, that’s weird to me to think of being unreadable, because I thought my face was pretty much always laughably transparent unless I was trying really hard for it not to be. (I mean, I make FACES…with my face…there’s got to be a better way to say that…)

    Anyway. I mostly take my shoes off, I let dishes crust to an alarming degree, I drive a careful five-to-seven over the speed limit, I ALWAYS signal turns.

  7. Oh, and a question! Right. Hmmm. Okay, are you a cuddler with your near and dear?

    I am pretty much all over people I like and am used to. (Well, the ones that still LET me. *glares at teens*)

  8. @spuffyduds I am not, much to the chagrin of my loved ones, a cuddler. I make do (and, of *course* I cuddle my kids,) but I hit the, “okay, leave me alone now,” moment much sooner than others.

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