Immigration Grrrls Rock!

November 22, 2007 at 2:03 am | Posted in Blogging, Immigration, Internet, Marriage | 6 Comments

The idea of forming friendships and making acquaintances online has long made me twitchy.  Pretty ironic, considering I am the consummate lurker and do love to post my snark (and occasional advice) on forums.  And it makes me feel slightly uneasy when I’ve followed someone’s blog or forum posts and then meet them in person.  In fact, at an expat gathering in Cancun last Xmas season, I admitted sheepishly to Rivergirl that I followed her blog and therefore knew about the parts of her life that she chose to share in posts.  I felt as though I was admitting to something bizarre like collecting panties from Japanese schoolgirls but Rivergirl took it in stride. 

Imagine my surprise when, after embarking on a long visa process to get Homeboy here, I started bonding with women on immigration forums.  This bonding led to emails, text messages, phone calls, and in one case, in-person visits!  All with women I’d be thrilled to suck back cups of coffee with on my lunch break or share some beers and fried goodies with after work.  And what connects us is the fact that we all went through the immigration process (some much more arduous than others, and others still unresolved) for a Mexican. 

There’s Stephanie, who lives too far away to meet for a weekend, but is from an area enticing enough for me to fantasize about a double-shot of adventure: meeting her and her Mexican in person, and taking a road trip through Baja.

There’s Candace, who I “met” on the Ciudad Juarez forum.  It turns out that she and her husband own a house in the same fraccionamiento in Cancun that Homeboy and I first lived in. 

And Laura in Wisconsin, who filed a hardship waiver to get her once undocumented husband legalized.  A fellow writer and wonderer, yet she seems much more productive and less lazy than I.  Maybe she’s faking it, but perhaps she’s not and she’ll post some inspiration for me to get my butt in gear.

I’ve saved Monica for last, since she holds the place of honor as the only woman I’ve ever met in person after connecting online.  Of course, it was inevitable that we’d get along: our Mexicans share a name, they’re both from the Yucatan Peninsula, they both worked in restaurants and bars in tourist regions, and they arrived in the US for the first time ever within a week of each other.  And they’re both currently cold ALL THE TIME. 

Perhaps for others, meeting online and then in person is normal.  For me, not so much.  But it’s added another fascinating layer to my life. 

So thanks, immigration grrrls for changing my mind about online friendships!

And adelante, chavas! Or shall I say, ñoras!

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6 Comments »

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  1. And you thought I was nutso. 😉

    Glad you made the connections, the net is a great tool for bringing like minded people together. Heck, I think you are the only friend I made in Cancun the old fashioned way, everyone else was through the forums and in the case of Liz, we only lived a block away from each other. 🙂

  2. Well, welcome to the blogworld, Gabacha! I’m gonna add your link to my site because I have always really liked your writing style and I think you have a really good story to tell.

    I’ll agree that once you’ve lived in another country you really don’t belong in either. Although my re-entry (which seems like years ago for Pete’s sake) took some getting used to, even though I am firmly ensconced in the US and have no plans for now to move back, I am constantly amazed at the actions of my countrymen.

    SO looking forward to keeping tabs on your blog, and thanks to that Canuck for posting your link on hers!

  3. I was always impressed at how many friends you made on the VisaJourney forum!

    It was great meeting you and Edgar in person and I don’t know what I would do without your constant support. We’ve got too much in common – every time I tell someone about you + homeboy, they’re like, “wow…” Which was my thought exactly as we were getting to know one another!

  4. Oh! Great post! You’ve inspired me… more later over in my world.

  5. Oh, and I am so not more productive and less lazy than you!!! If you knew how much time I spend playing Mahjong on the forum you would most definitely want to take that back!

  6. Well, Laura…you keep up great appearances! I’ll just keep operating under the delusion that you are, even if you really are only playing Mahjong.

    Monica, I was telling someone one Saturday night about you and Edgar, and she said, “Well, with all that weird stuff in common, I don’t see how you couldn’t have become friends!” True, true. Luckily they’re around when we’re together so that I don’t fall into constant bitching mode about the trials and tribulations of dealing with his “fish out of water” feelings!


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