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What We Have Here Is the Ability to Communicate

The experience as a whole has been an object lesson in how The Kids These Days meet and greet online.  For me and everybody else born before David Letterman began to somehow simultaneously expand and melt before our very eyes, social networking is mostly a way to keep in touch with those we've already met-- deeply hated, maybe, but still, that's another notch on the RSS feed.  But this is the first time I've met a whole bunch of people at once who are all in my age range, not my students, and ready to Tweetrumble.  And it occurred to me that I was making the acquaintance of some of them bass-ackwards.

For the most part, when I meet someone older than I am or who is introduced as a business contact, this is the proper order of life:

1)  We meet in person at a social function, cocktail party, or conference, perhaps having exchanged emails first

2)  I discreetly throw up

3)  Dance of the Business Card Exchange

4)  Other person finds this site, takes out restraining order, or

5)  A Facebook request is made

6)  The bill becomes a law

Now, I will tell you how I met Claudia.  Claudia is a member of D-Row.  You get to meet her some more, too, at the other end of the list, where I imagne she has already scrolled, terrified.

Note the slightly different sequence of events:

1)  In the act of sending the incorrect email request to the utterly wrong address, I somehow wind up in the inbox of Jason The Young

2)  He very politely e-lets me know what an idiot I am (the missive closes with a hearty "Go Bucks!," clearly in the hopes that this will draw the matter to a close)

2)  I email him back all, "No no, I TOTALLY meant to do that," and request a phone interview

3)  He emails me to let me know that he will take the matter under advisement, and will email again to let me know if we might text to set up a phone appointment

4)  Background check complete, actual near-human contact is achieved via two cell phones and an Ohio State Criminology Department wiretap on one end

5)  I humbly request Matt The Badass' email address, that I might also contact him for an interview

6)  Jason, clearly not concerned for his immortal soul, sends it

7)  I email Matt The Badass prior to Columbus trip, requesting an interview

8) He completely fails to email me back

9)  In the meantime, the Blonde Champagne Research Department turns up, among other things, certain celebrated photographic evidence of Matt's badassery

10)  I sing the age-old ballad of Matt and the Charge of the Bloody Baton Brigade 

11)  Second call email to Matt The Badass, this time offering free food

12)  Matt's schedule has just opened up

13)  My Twitter followers become +1 a Badass

14)  My Twitter following becomes +1 a Badass

15)  Every now and then, badassedly, a username containing "Claudia" pops up in Matt's tweets

16)  As I slowly begin to gather Drum Majors unto myself, a certain "Claudia" is insistently suggested to me as a Very Good Friend who I simply have somehow criminally neglected to add to my Facebook listing

17)  Hey look, it's a Facebook friend request from a person named "Claudia."  I know no Claudias other than Claudia Kishi of The Baby Sitter's Club, and I'm fairly certain she's not from Sabina, Ohio, her being insistently described as Asian and all.

18)  Well... if she knows Jason The Young, Matt The Badass, Josh The Supposedly Subdued and Stew The Kind of Big Deal...  I ACCEPT your presence in my virtual world, Claudia! 

19)  Two days later, while trailing after Jason as he whips his recruits with the unrelenting cords of patience and weary care, I hear a female voice call after me, "I tried to like one of your status updates on Facebook, but it wouldn't let me unless we were actually friends."

20)  Heel-spin as I, for perhaps the first time in my life, make a face-name recognition connection.  "Hey! You're that chick from Matt's tweets!"

...And that is how I met Claudia.

Claudia is what we womens' college grads call a Sister From a Campus With the Misters.  This title is reserved for the rare coed who stands a chance of not being dissected alive, uterus and all, at your average Saint Mary's College Student Government Association Board Meeting and SAT Word Beatdown.

As a minority female member of D-Row, Claudia spikes her baton where most coeds fear to tread, and she quite does not suck, at that.  She thusly proved herself Claudia The Campus Sister during a perfectly calftastic drill introduced by 2005 Head Drum Major Alex Neffenger.  It involved shooting into a strut from a kneeling position.

This previously unseen (by me, anyway) manner of Badass Formation initially engrossed Jason The Young, who assumed the position for several seconds, one knee on the artificial turf, gripping the baton opposite as it rested point-down, all Lawrence of Arabia-like, and staring for thousands and thousands of fake blades into the far-off fieldhouse distance, also all Lawrence of Arabia-like, then launched himself into a semi-ramp entrance-- strut, salute, backbend, max Q, etc.  The members of D-Row followed suit, all of them quietly and honestly Jason or Alex-counselled as they made the world's most twirling-virtuous Walk of Shame back down the fieldhouse to their rowmates.

These are the harsh Terms of Correction Jason had for Claudia after she kicked past, ponytail flying:  "That was very good, Claudia."  Remind me to Tweet myself a memo to Facebook message her concerning a congratulatory email about this sometime.  Now that we're BFF's, and all.

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