Meeting Someone You Met Online: Risking Her Own Capture and Murder

Meeting-Someone-You-Met-Online

Have you met somebody in real life that you first connected with online?

Back when the internet was new to all of us and we were wading around in its depths trying to figure out safety parameters, it was advised to never meet up with somebody you had only met online.

Yes, undoubtedly there are horrific events that have taken place after somebody met an online acquaintance in real life.

I know people are still very apprehensive, and there are certainly reasons for concern.  However, I personally believe in expecting things to work out rather than living life in fear of all that can go wrong.  There are tips to take to make meeting an online contact in real life safer.

Personally our family has now met a handful of other traveling families in person because we or they have discovered the other one online and we chose to make our paths cross.  All of them were safe and fun encounters, and some of them have remained friends.

Two of our daughters have met up with people they met online by various means.  The younger of the two met other teens in a closed online writing group, and our family stopped in to meet her on our travels thru Colorado way back in 2012.  In 2013 she caught a ride with the same girl to attend a writing camp with others from the writing group online.

The elder of our girls has befriended a few guys online thru playing games and after extended times of being friends she has actually met several of them in real life.

And then there’s online dating sites.  I personally know several people who not only used the services, but married somebody they discovered via the online dating site.

It’s a new day!

Back in June Everette and I spent Father’s Day in a whirlwind weekend away at a conference with SFM (love that community!!) We ended up with a sucky 10 hour layover at DFW airport.  Fortunately for us my online friend Cindy was willing to risk her own capture and murder by suggesting that she pick Everette and I up and take us for a break for a few hours.

She was given warnings on her end that we might not be trustworthy, that ‘Karen Johnson’ could easily be an alias.  Cindy’s biggest concern was that we would kidnap her and force her to Mexico to be with alllllll our kids!

No, Cindy didn’t seem concerned at all.

Doesn’t mean she didn’t take any type of precaution.  And so should you (and me!)  If you are meeting someone you met online there are a few things to consider.  Note: these will vary depending on if your ‘meeting’ is for a transaction, or you’ve established more of a personal relationship online.

  • Always meet in a public place.
  • Let your friends and family know what’s up.  Share what information you have about the person you are meeting along with your scheduled meeting place and time.  They can even be discretely present 🙂  like sitting at another table nearby in a cafe or restaurant.
  • If you’re making a transaction such as selling/buying off of Craigslist, then having a friend go with you is appropriate. Maybe not so much if its an actual date 🙂 But consider this:  instead of your first meet-up being officially a date, why not arrange for the potential to meet up with you and some friends instead?  Then if you all get along and its mutual, go alone for a date.
  • Have your cell phone charged and easily accessible.  Set up your phone with an app like Moby that allows you to purposely share your location with your trusted friends/family.  The app isn’t as safe as taking somebody with you, but not all situations suit a third-wheel.
  • There’s no reason to reveal too much information about yourself online.  However, at the same time its good if you can gather as much information about the other person as they are willing to share.
  • I always snoop FB profiles and other social media to see what type of person they AND their friends are.  If their friends seem unsavory then I am less likely to pursue any friendship.
  • Its also highly recommended that you speak with the person on the phone before ever agreeing to meeting them.  Even for those of us telephobians you can easily discover whether the supposedly 20-something chick is a forty-something dick.  And for those who can read vibrations better, it can be a telltale to stay away.  Or not.  Skype is another option.
  • Never get into a vehicle with someone you don’t know to be trustworthy.  That’s an obvious.

So, Cindy and I arranged on short notice for her to pick us up from DFW airport and take us out for lunch.  We had never talked on the phone, not over Skype either, but we were involved in a few of the same business opportunities, had had many online chats over a couple of seasons and felt very comfortable about the arrangement.  I also had Everette along for the ride.  Yes, we went in her vehicle to some unknown destination….a whole lot of Don’ts.

And I lived to tell about it.

Now, I don’t mean to be smug.  It could have all turned out bad.  But here’s how it turned out….

 

Grapevine-Olive-Oil-Unlimited4Life-Entrepreneur

 

Grapevine-Texas-Eiffel-Laptop_Lifestyle

Cindy took us to Grapevine, a western looking town of course because this is Texas!  We sampled a kazillion flavored balsamic vinegars and olive oils (like in Tubac, AZ) as appetizers before she treated us to lunch at a cute place filled with Eiffel Towers that served up yummy food.  You can tell we were under tons of stress meeting up!!!! Fear written all over our faces.

Grapevine-Texas-Laptop_Lifestyle-Unlimited4Life

So Cindy….it was great meeting up with you.  Thanks for the ‘date’ and all the laughs.  Thanks for being a real friend in spite of it starting online. Your daughter is always saying how wonderful of a person you are, and I see it for myself now.  I’m glad we met up for real.

 

 

Way to Texas

Some of us are waiting for renewed passports so we weren’t able to do the actual border-run when our van needed to exit the country.  Extra people (Toveli, Laars and I) joined the traveling north as moral support, but just Everette and Danaka did the actual border crossing to get the van checked out…. just to get it checked back in in one day, making it all legal.

Their morning started before sunrise and said it was quite beautiful in the Monterrey area.

Collage sunrise Monterrey

Collage windmills

After that their day was uneventful (& not photographed <sad>), with landscape after Monterrey that was pretty flat with a cruddy but straight highway, and high tolls.

They had a fairly intense inspection going into the USA (Laredo, TX) with the men clumsily using a rickety ladder to get to the boxes on the top of the van (Everette said it was quite comical!), and aided by a Dutch Shepherd in and around the van.  Nothing found (nothing hidden!) but Everette did worry a bit about the cannabis oil I’ve been using for some basal cell carcinoma I’ve been treating.  I had taken it with us to Saltillo but kept it at the hotel with me….would the dog sniff the aroma of it out?  Would they rip the whole van apart, searching?

Cleared, Everette and Danaka ventured in to Texas for lunch, a bit of shopping, and turned around to easily enter into Mexico again.

They got their tourist visas & a T.I.P. (temporary importation permit lasts 6 months) for the van at the Columbia crossing in less than 10 minutes. So simple heading south.  They ventured back to Saltillo where Toveli, Laars and I were waiting at the hotel… spending a lazy day watching TV (for them, a novelty) and working on blog posts (me).

The deed is done and we can get back to Chapala and the rest of the family.  Yeah.  Home, here we come!

 

 

The Crazies Leave

I’m married to a Crazy….and now we’ve got more Crazies for friends.

Terry and Barb have been coming to Mexico for years.  She grew up on the border of Texas/Mexico so her family frequented this land for which she grew a love and admiration for it and its people.  With a heart for the people they thought they would be starting a church of some sort.  Sometime.

We met them while they were neighbors of ours here at Hotel Perico.  Early risers they joined us for a sunrise.  But then they moved on….

Sunrise with Terry & Barbara

To start, they’ve been renovating and adding on to a house down by the lake.   They got semi-settled in a house under-construction….we all know how that can be.  They seem to adjust well, and easily put up with inconveniences and such.  They are just those kinds of people.

But now they’ve had to say Goodbye for a few months while they finish up ‘business’ elsewhere….hoping they are back sometime this summer.  We spent a few morning breakfasts with them, saying our ‘Goodbyes’ to this great couple, and a BBQ at my sisters…then sent them on their way.

Terry recently retired as a middle school principal….I’m sure he adds flare to wherever he goes!!  Maybe his Crazies was the coping-mechanism he needed on the job??

Could you imagine this ever being your ‘Pastor’??  Yup, entertaining, that’s for sure!!

Collage Boswell