Quite some time ago, I received an e-mail from a woman named Florence. She was coming to Budapest and a friend of hers told her she should contact me. It seemed like the distant future to bother thinking about at the time. Some people have good intentions on meeting, but the tourist bug sucks all of their time. I suggested she call me when she arrived providing her with my mobile number.
She arrived, she called, we arranged to meet she and her friend Mark for a drink. After the initial greetings, it was like the old routine “Who is on first?” I admitted to them that I could not place a face with the referring friend’s name to save my life. The fact that I did multiple searches in all of my e-mail accounts, turned up nothing. Meeting so many people, more so in the last few years with the books, I had to start keeping notes on people as I met them to have memory pegs for later if we should again be in contact. Florence’s friends was not in any contact list in any e-mail account. This was driving me crazy, but insatiably curious at the same time.
Florence said “You know each other from Facebook.”
Ryan said “How did we connect?”
Florence said “You connected through Facebook.”
Ryan said “Yes, but how did we find each other initially to connect on Facebook? My general rule is not to accept friend requests unless I know the person.”
Florence said “I don’t know, but you two have never met.”
Ryan said “AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!
Initial frustrations were not going to be satiated, so we went for coffee spending about 2 hours chatting. They are both from my old stomping grounds: NJ and Phila. My parting comment was that I was going to message the referring friend to say “Who the hell are you anyway?” and I did while also pointing out that I was smiling when I typed it, but begged for enlightenment. There is a serious lack of photos facial photos in his profile making it extra maddening.
Yes, he did write me back. He had written me more than a year ago regarding my Frommer’s book and we has a brief correspondence before moving on to FB. Mystery solved, but for the future, if you are sending people to meet me, photo IDs are required. : )