I know some of you here have - but I’m not just talking about other folks with MS.
If you do, how well do you feel you have to know them/have been corresponding, before agreeing to the meet-up?
I’ve recently become “chatty” with an Italian lady - a teacher from Milan.
Exchanged a few e-mails - not more than three or four.
She is very gushy with her compliments, which I feel slightly uncomfortable with - but then, I always did put myself down a bit, and feel suspicious of anyone who was “too keen” (remember the old Groucho Marx thing of: “Don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member”? I also have to bear in mind there is a culture difference, and we Brits are notoriously reserved. If you happen to be Italian, greater demonstrativeness may be the norm.
Anyway, you know by now what I’m going to say. She is coming to England as soon as Saturday - apparently to attend some English course in Kent - and is talking about journeying all the way to Bristol to meet me (not sure when, but presumably not long after Saturday).
This has thrown me into a complete spin.
We’re both straight, in case you’re wondering, so definitely not a date or anything (unless I’m bloody dense and have misread everything!)
Her professional credentials check out - or at least, there is somebody of that name, in that post, in Milan (doesn’t conclusively prove she is that person - but at least that they exist).
So, what do you reckon?
I’ve no particular reason to be suspicious, and obviously I’m not going to fall for any nonsense like: “My passport/bag/money was stolen - please can you lend me something to tide me over?” (I would advise: “Go to the consulate, or to the course organisers - they’ll sort you out.”)
I just feel a few e-mails aren’t really enough to agree to meet someone, and wonder why she wants to come so far out of her way to do it. Should I risk hurting her feelings, and telling her I just don’t feel ready, after so few e-mails (with the implication I might not trust her)?
On the other hand, I’m always moaning about being bored, and my horizons getting narrower. Should I treat this as a wonderful opportunity to meet a potential new friend? I’m sure it’s very nice to have a pal in Italy, and could work out just great if I ever felt like making a trip in the other direction.
I do have a habit of thinking of reasons to say no to everything - I don’t know if it’s the illness, or just me - and then bemoan that nothing interesting or unusual ever happens. This is something interesting and unusual, so should I just say: “Yeah, let’s do it! Let me know which day you can come, and I’ll book us somewhere for lunch!”?
Really stuck. I think if we’d been corresponding longer, I might feel a bit easier about it - but of course, fate doesn’t always work out that way. She’s in England when she is, and I don’t know if this will be the first chance of many, or if it’s a case of do it now, because it may not crop up again for years.
I’m just not a very “seize the day!” type of person - I wish I was.