We had some friends over tonight, so I stopped in the liquor store across the street from the office to pick up some wine. I was handling a dusty, $25 bottle of wine* when I someone tapped my shoulder. I turned around and saw a familiar face: someone I know locally, mostly by association. In fact, I didn’t think we knew each other well enough for her to go out of her way to say “Hello”, so I was surprised that it was her.
She offered me her hand in greeting, and said simply, “I’m Critic.”
I paused for a moment, then I arched my body backwards, clapped, and said, in my high-pitched voice of disbelief, “WHAT?”
Some of you may recall Critic as a frequent commenter on this blog until a year or so ago. Critic was a regular, vocal participant in the discussion here: sometimes her comments were helpful, sometimes they were uncalled for, but she was a presence here. Dixie also had a similar commenter on her blog, writing under the alias “Raven”. We deduced that Critic and Raven were the same person (confirmed by Critic today). We spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out who this person was, based on what she had said and revealed of herself. Critic had always refused to identify herself, even by email. Without reason, I had assumed that it was someone from my pre-Prince Albert past—a school mate or something—someone that I knew and who Dixie had at least met. Never once did I think it was a recent local acquaintance. She was right: I would never have guessed in a million years.
“Well, now I’m trying to think of what I’ve said to you—if there were any jerk-ish things.” Of course it’s easy to debate and confront people online. Face to face the thought of such things happening even in the past is embarrassing.
“Nah. If you did, I probably said something jerk-ish back and then we’d figure we were OK.”
I didn’t think to ask her how she found my blog in the first place, given that we walk in different circles and apparently have widely divergent worldviews.
“Where have you been?” I asked, “I was wondering about you a couple of weeks ago.” I had told Dixie that I guessed we’d never find out who she was.
Indeed it did. Indeed it did.
So: a toast to mysteries solved. Thanks, Critic, for tapping me on the shoulder and introducing yourself. It blew my mind and made my day.
*I wasn’t thinking about buying the wine. I was just wondering if I could tell an expensive (for my pocket book) wine and a cheap wine apart.