Imagine if you will, arriving at the home of a new acquaintance, whom you have never met face-to-face before, but to whom you were introduced through a friend-of-a-friend by way of an online blog comment. You've emailed each other and talked briefly on the phone, but this is your first time seeing each other.
Imagine driving to this new friend's house and, after cautiously navigating your way through the new city to which you have just moved, getting lost in her neighborhood. You've flipped so many u-turns and pulled into so many different driveways in search of the correct house, that your motion-sickness prone fifteen-month-old begins to throw up in the back seat. You pull over and rush to the other side of the car just in time to catch three handfuls (and I do mean full) of projectile mac-and-cheese-with-tuna vomit. Said child has however, already covered himself in mounds of the stuff, so you remove him from the carseat and stand him on the snow covered side road, strip him of his foul clothing, wipe down the carseat as best you can with baby wipes, and fasten him back into the smelly seat.
Oh, and while you're imagining this ridiculous scenario, add to it that the friend you are meeting up with has a broken cell phone that can receive text messages, but doesn't have the ability to accept calls. Texting back-and-forth at stop signs trying to tell her where you are and trying to understand her texted directions is proving to be a colossal failure, so your friend steps out onto her patio were she gets one bar of service and attempts through the crackle of her phone to direct your way.
Finally, you arrive, flustered and smelling of vomit. Your new friend meets you out front and without hesitation, you nearly toss your clean child (for you have twins) into her arms and carefully remove the other child, puke-covered, half-naked, from the car. Your first words of introduction are not, "It's so lovely to meet you," but rather a desperate, "Can I use your washing machine?" And this, this, is the first impression that will be forever seared into the mind of your new friend.
But, after she helps you clean up your child, she offers you coffee and chocolate and good conversation and all is right in the world again. You may be remembered evermore as the "smelly mom-of-twins", but you hope that it will be with a touch of fondness.
And if you are me, then these imaginings are actually the stuff of reality. And my new friend Erin, bless her heart, was as sweet as can be (having five boys of her own, including a set of twins, she was empathetic to my plight). And so completes my day of two big firsts: navigating (semi-successfully) my way alone through my new city, and making my first new friend in Colorado Springs. Here's to less vomit in my future introductions. I'm not sure everyone I meet here will be as understanding as Erin.