September 25, 2003

David, did you remember the wheat bread?

It isn't exactly newsworthy what happened to me in Publix last week. But in the context of blogging, it was, well, one of those moments that makes you wonder, "What's going on here?"

I dragged my tired behind through the store, no list, a bottle of soda here, some Lunchables there, an uninspired grab for yogurt here, an obligatory package of toilet paper there. When I was done I had 60 percent of what I thought I might have come to the grocery store to get. I was more anxious to finish than to contemplate what we were actually "out of" at home.

That's me, that's you. We always pick the slowest line. But the cashiers at Publix are friendly. I wasn't that friendly when I worked the register at K-Mart in my late teens. But these kids seem to enjoy their jobs. And that makes the slow line bearable.

When I finished checking out, I pushed my cart ahead and turned back to get the receipt I almost forgot. That's when I saw him.

"It's David Weinberger!" my central nervous system said. Before I knew what was happening, the smile was painted on my face and I had inhaled, ready to come out with a loud, "DAVID!"

Now you should know, I've "known" David as a blogger for what, two years or so? I read Cluetrain and generally travel in the same blog circles as David. But I've never actually met the man. Never seen him in three dimensions. Only two.

And yet, for those couple of seconds, this poor fellow I stood beaming at WAS David Weinberger to me. So many introductions ran through my head: "David--It's ME, Jeneane!" "David, you shop here?" "Hey, Joho, HO HO HO!"

Then I remembered, in that gnawing physical world disconnect, that David doesn't live in Atlanta. I think he lives in Boston. Or near there. No, David wouldn't be shopping at my Publix. No, this wasn't David Weinberger. No, this isn't the land of blogs. No this is the real world. No. No. No. Behave yourself.

What a let down. To have thought I bumped into a real live blogger, by accident, a celebrity of sorts, in my very own Publix. Only to find out it was a man, like any other, trying to get his bread and milk on his way home from work.

Soon though.

Soon it might be that we're grocery shopping with more bloggers than we are non-bloggers. In our lifetime, I bet. We'll be standing in line at our local Blockbuster and recognize someone we only know textually. Or pixelly. And it will be like that.

It will be one of those moments that make your synapses fire, that bring you such joy, a re-uniting with an old friend, like that day last week when I saw David at Publix.

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