First, I have to do a better job of introducing @empsar – you’ll see why in a bit…
She’s a little older (and, conveniently, a little smaller) than I am. We’re from opposite corners of this, our native state of Indiana, but have both lived in other parts of the country for most of our lives: cosmopolitan, if, you’ll pardon the phrase. She’s an emerita professor of informatics, a consummate research librarian with more interests than can be counted, and as smart as any six regular people put together — a true “meta” thinker.
Our relationship is more than a year old, but it could well be decades long. It’s a little like Toxic and Paul’s was, before they moved in together and got married (i.e., we live separately on opposite sides of the city), and it’s also very like Ghosty and Elora/Sivyaleah’s: we’re constantly in touch, mostly through Twitter. We talk about anything and everything, and never lose interest. We are, to the point, partners.
We found each other online. Then the emails started… and long before we met face-to-face, she understood me as Lalo, and calls me nothing else when we’re alone. For personal reasons, she is not an avatar. But because I talk effusively about my other friends — that is, you folks — she knows how important you are, and follows many of your Tweets and blogs with respect and admiration.
Which is what this post is about…
I recently posted about advice given to people with cancer to help them through some of the psychological upset the news, and the changes, inevitably bring (scroll down to where it says “EXPRESS”). That led to this: a Twitter DM exchange from a couple of nights ago, wherein we went meta on the subject:
Me: There is a sea change going on among my SL Tweeps – most of us are “of an age”. RL becomes prevalent, but we talk about it.
Emspar: And I believe it’s essential! Please don’t get me wrong; not everyone is at the same point on the empathy spectrum. :P
Emspar: Some of you are writing very powerful stuff re: RL — including ls/cm — that’s as compelling as you were writing about virtuality. It gladdens the heart.
Background: Remember our noob days, when we all seemed to vow that “SL is SL, and RL is RL, and never the twain shall meet”? Maybe the younger avvies (in biological age as well as… um, closer to noob) still do that, but in my Twitter stream, blogroll, and SL friend list, there’s been a personal integration across worlds. Some of it is subtle, like Honour MacMillan… some of it is overt, like Whiskey Day, Chestnut Rau and Darkness (@Ryannetta) Tigerpaw, and some is blatant, like Crap. We get older — catastrophic or not, the vagaries of organic life become impossible to ignore. We are who we are, in pixels and flesh, and it shows.
And it should.
And my sweetie’s heart is as gladdened by it as my own… You see, this isn’t about her, or us: it’s about you.