So now consider the Internet and private blogs Re: Spanking. Is a knowledge of these sources absolutely essential to Sam and I practicing ttwd? The answer is no. However, my premise in this post is that reading and exchanging ideas with other like-minded people may enrich that ttwd relationship a hundred fold. Sam and I did not try to imitate another couple's dynamic, but rather picked and chose and modified ttwd ideas and practices to make them our own. Kind of what you might do with a basic recipe. For me, just discovering that there were other women like me out there was a monumental finding. Then, once I started to read, I began to embrace a much broader perspective.
As I gained more experience reading, writing, and commenting, I started to form virtual friendships. I think I migrated toward bloggers who seemed to value the same qualities in a ttwd relationship as I did. A sense of humor and engaging writing also seemed to draw me. Meredith was my first contact in this new world and has remained a mentor to this day.
Soon I would occasionally write a blogger if there was an email address and an invitation to contact her. Also, when I started to do book reviews, I would send the author a draft for her approval. I also did some proofreading and beta-reading for several of our favorite authors. For a long time we would only exchange emails intermittently. Finally a few introduced themselves using real names, and I did the same. There had to be a certain level of trust before that felt OK and safe. Virtual friendships develop a little slower than ones that form in other walks of life, but I think that is for the best. What we share with each other is a lot more personal. Baring one's soul seems to be common practice on blogs I read.
As I came to know some of the women in this circle better, I would wonder what it would be like to just sit and talk. To have coffee and exchange ideas and maybe just laugh together. I was very unsure what it would be like to meet in person. Would we both feel shy? What if we sat down together and nobody talked? How awkward would that be? Then, just the sheer physical distances between us and the logistics/expense involved. I tried to tell myself it probably couldn't ever happen. But I still dreamed.
Then I started to Skype or talk on the phone with just a few women. This was very exciting. There was a voice and even a
So when this spring PK and Sunny invited me to join a girls' beach trip in June, I practically fell off the couch! Sam thought there was something wrong because I positively screamed, "Yes!" into the phone. For several months I looked forward to that flight and meeting 5 other bloggers that I knew to varying degrees. In the early part of June I wrote to you all how my anticipation was driving Sam crazy!
Some of these bloggers had met each other before. One had met everyone but me. And I had never met anyone! Goodness, I was excited. I put up a big countdown calendar on my computer desktop at work and watched as the days flipped by. By the time I was down to "3 Days To Go" I could hardly sleep. We all exchanged contact information and coordinated airport arrival times and transportation to our hotel.
There were hugs and smiles and even a tear or two as we came together the first afternoon. There was very little reticence, and our
first dinner was full of chatter and laughter. This was also the first of many toasts to 6 husbands that gave their support and blessings to this trip. I would again like to thank those wonderful guys. As we drank and ate, the voices and facial expressions quickly made those blog personalities become 3-dimensional beings and full of life.
That evening we lounged in one of the hotel rooms and shared who we were for hours. Very different than the post/comment exchange I was used to. It wasn't just the talking; it was the listening! It was watching eyes sparkle and noses wrinkle with smiles. The softness of one woman's voice. The hearty laughter of another. Freckles and dimples and expressive hands. Loved hearing the giggling. Fun to watch someone cock their head as they listened or nod in agreement. And it felt so freeing to be able to ask a question or touch someone's arm. I didn't want to ever get sleepy that night. And I already knew I wanted time to move more slowly. I wanted this to last.
How is it possible that I could feel so comfortable and trusting with this group of women? I already understood that each of the 6 of us was a kind and loving person. This was the first of many revelations I had those 4 days. I was truly amazed at how safe and natural it felt. At first I thought it was just me, but I soon realized the feeling was universal among us. I am still in awe.
Over the week there were times when we paired off and really concentrated on getting to know just one of the group. There were great meals and times at the pool and the beach where the talking never let up. Age and background differences only added to our appreciation of each other. There was a common perspective that began to cement the friendships. There was a common respect, too. I am still trying to understand what really happened in those few days together. All six of us. It was kind of bigger than the sum of its parts. I have never experienced anything like it before.
I felt so accepted and free to be myself. It seemed as if I had met 5 sisters I never knew I had. Truly, I have never been able to talk to my own sisters the way I was able to talk to Sunny, Terps, Katie,
Meredith and PK. It was a remarkable group of women. The freedom to talk about the things we did has never happened to me before. I have held this spanking passion in my head and heart since the time I was cognizant and being able to talk so frankly was like breathing different air or something.
I don't know whether this little spot in time will ever happen again. Maybe it was a once in a lifetime occurrence, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I came to know 5 very special women and in the process rediscovered myself. For now I just hope that the memory doesn't fade. That just like rereading a favorite book, I can pull it up when I am missing these good ladies and turn the pages on those precious days together.