When Facebook and Real Life Collide
Those of you who know me personally know that I’m kind of a Facebook addict. Well, not “kind of” . . . I am a Facebook addict. I don’t try to hide my addiction. I embrace it. It has led me to some fantastic information and to some even more fantastic people.
Like Florida-based tennis parent Patrick Barbanes and his adorable daughter, 10-year-old Maddie, both of whom I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with when they came to the Atlanta area for the Regional Little Mo tournament. And like Coach JP Weber who, even though he lives about 10 minutes from me, I had never met until after we connected on social media several months ago.
A few weeks back, I saw a post in a Facebook group that Patrick and Maddie would be in town and were looking for a hitting partner a day or two before Maddie’s matches began. I knew JP worked with several players around Maddie’s age and might be a good resource, so I put them in touch. Sure enough, JP arranged to hit with Maddie himself and to include her in his summer camp so she could meet some of the other kids. He then made some phone calls to schedule practice matches for Maddie. Perfect!
Patrick posted an update on Facebook about Maddie and JP meeting each other, and I, being the addict that I am, saw the post and commented that I would love to meet up with them while they’re in town. One thing led to another, and I wound up driving over to Laurel Park Tennis Center after teaching my fitness class (that’s my way of saying, “Please don’t judge my appearance too harshly in the photo above”!) to say a quick hello to JP and then grab coffee with Patrick, Maddie, and their friend Jaya – what a treat! We visited for about an hour before heading back over to the courts where Maddie asked me if I could hit with her for a few minutes. I begged her to go easy on me, but she had me running back and forth with her mean inside-out forehand and two-handed backhand – she may look little but you know what they say about big things and small packages!
There’s something so amazing about meeting someone in person who you’ve previously only interacted with via social media. Patrick’s first comment when we met: “You look just like you do on Facebook!”