by Alicia on June 26, 2012

all photos by Laura Case Photography

So if you’re on Twitter, you’re very aware of what I’m about to fill your screen with.

But I don’t care.

I went. We met. I stayed.

It was awesome.

You know how sometimes, you build up this relationship with someone in your head, someone you either have never met or haven’t seen in a long time? And you think of how you’re going to act around each other, the things you could talk about, the things you won’t, what you think they’ll find funny and what you think they’d be offended by or bored with. You wonder how they’ll look and act out of their element, and how you’ll come across to them when you’re in a forced situation. You probably start to wonder “What if we’ve got this all wrong? What if it’s weird?”

I did all of that. From the first “Oh hey, we want you in our club” email from Laura, all the way until I was standing (for goddamn everrrrr) on the terminal gate at RDU airport. I wasn’t nervous, I was anxious. And then. Well…then this happened and I knew I was right all along…

I may not have known Brandy for my whole life. I may have blushed a little when I told the border guard that I was flying 2 hours alone to stay with a girl I only knew on the internet. I may have had a moment of panic thinking: what if she doesn’t like me in real life? But well…she did. I still think there are weirdos on the interwebs, I still think you should keep your guard up a little…….but then sometimes it just clicks & you meet your Brandy and it just makes so much sense that you don’t care if people think you’re weird.

I’ll post about my adventures, for sure. I’m still letting my stomach relax back to it’s pre-Southern-trip state (ZOMG ALL THE FOODS!) and I have so many fun stories to tell. One of which involves getting called “cracked” by a male patron of a swank pizza restaurant in front of 8 slack-jawed ladies. I bring the weird, all the way from Canada:)  For now, just let me publicly thank Laura, again, for cooking this up in her brain and making it into a reality. I posted on a blog of hers that I dreamt of coming to North Carolina. That’s all it took. Instead of throwing Brandy a baby shower, buying her a million bibs and booties she’d never need- Laura arranged to get her ME. And I cannot express to you, Laura, how incredible I think you are…to just see a relationship & a situation for exactly what it is. To see this as an opportunity & not a pipe dream. To know, to really really know, what it would mean to Brandy and what it would mean to me. Maybe we didn’t get our pants-peeing surprise, but it matters not. Because of all you gave Brandy & I anyway. Thank you will never be enough. Never. And to Kelly, to Shannon & Jodi- if I could shower you with Wagon Wheels & thank yous for the rest of your days I totally would. I might, in fact, attempt it. Prepare yourselves.

all images by Laura Case Photography

Thank you for your southern hospitality, Mann Clan. Kevin, for pete’s sake the man kicked himself out of his own bed and slept on an air mattress and still laughed at my lame jokes all weekend. Sorry I wasn’t ballsy enough to take you up on the skiing- raincheck? Landon entertained the hell out of me, which was to be expected, and made me feel right at home. And Brandy- dude…I would thank you but I’d start to cry. Plus I don’t think I can properly thank someone for just being themselves and proving that friendship comes in many forms and all of them are so very perfect for me. Oh, and thanks for the Moonshine, bia.

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