Part two of our four part blog series celebrating iggle friendships is here!! Today’s interview features a pair of pen pals-turned-best friends with a story so fantastic, even the Atlantic Ocean can’t keep them apart.
It’s IGGPPC’s birth month, and what better way to celebrate the club’s second birthday than by featuring stories about friendships that have formed via our lovely club? Once a week, we’ll post an interview with a pair of pen pals, who will share their stories of snail mail and international adventure. To read last week’s Tale of Two Pen Pals featuring Amy and Christine, click here.
How did the two of you first get in touch?
Lisa: I ventured into the IGGPPC intrigued about what it was and what it offered, but sadly my designated pen pal did not get in touch and so through this I found that Nancy also had a spot of bad luck. We kind of got together through that and started talking separately. Whilst the IGGPPC didn’t work out for me, Nancy stuck at it, and we still remained close that it’s almost as if she lives next door. We swapped addresses and once a week I think we began skyping? Never looked back since really.
Nancy: Lisa and I found each other on Twitter in the beginning days of IGGPPC, and we took to each other immediately, offering to be pen pals b/c we each wanted someone from a different country. We exchanged mailing addresses and basic bios via email, and we were off to the mailbox! It’s crazy to look back at those old emails; we had no idea how close we would be!
What led to the two of you becoming best friends?
Lisa: Whilst I am older than Nancy she reminds me to be young at heart and not let the grown-up world fully take over. We talk about things and some of the time we don’t agree, but through that she has taught me to accept and be patient which in my opinion is the best mark of a great friend. We never described each other as a pen pal, as Nancy is more like a kindred spirit and sister to me. She is an Aunt to my son, Bruce, and someone I would ask to care of him should anything ever happen to me. We have survived chats about religion and politics and even cultural differences but I think these things just make you stronger. I don’t actually see a point in my life that Nancy isn’t there.
Nancy: Right from the beginning, Lisa just *got* me. She understood my personality and my moods (for we shared many of them), and we quickly bypassed calling each other pen pals, b/c we were doing so much more than just mailing the occasional letter to one another. We started Skyping regularly, and through that I would talk to her son and husband as well, and as we shared more and more of our lives, I had a feeling that I had found a truly rare friend in the beautiful soul that is Lisa, and we would remain friends until we were feisty old ladies. I did think that we would have a falling out over her love of DC and my love of Marvel, but a true friend can disagree with you and love you regardless (which is what happened!) I am looking forward to the day that she ships Bruce over to Texas for a summer to stay with me.
What is your favorite piece of mail that you’ve received from each other?
Lisa: Beaver Nuggets. Nancy sent me Beaver Nuggets. I mean the name says it all. I was over the moon. Not content at this, Nancy sent me chocolate flavoured crisps and to an English Woman..the logic shook me to my very prim core. I tried one and I am recommending it to anyone who will listen. I also take my Thor hammer everywhere with me. Most of Nancy sits on my desk at work and I even have a picture of her on my wall.
Nancy: Besides all of the postcards that she sends me every time she’s on holiday, the magnificent fountain pen and more Sharpies than I can handle? My favorite thing she has sent me HAS to be the little knitted Batman finger puppet. It is very dear to Lisa, and she sent it to me when I was experiencing obstacles in my life and needed Batman at my side. It sits on my work desk as my lucky totem, and every time I look at it, I know Lisa is there!
What are your top five geek loves of the moment?
- Batman. No brainer. Batman is life.
- Mass Effect / Dragon Age gaming worlds. Replaying them all before Mass Effect 4 arrives and Inquisition fully takes over my life.
- My current writing project (of which Nancy will bash me over the head with) is based around the modern occult and Enochian teachings, so my library in the batcave *yes I have one* is pretty distressed with old books and lore, which has once again become my top obsession.
- Hellblazer comics and appendix.
- Karl Urban #Word. This will never change. He will probably fluctuate between slots 2 & 3, but due to his recent mistake with female Starbuck, I’ve relegated him to position 5 until we sort this mess out. I’ll forgive him of course, but he will have to send me make-believe flowers for a while.
- Agent Carter – I can’t get enough of this show, and I dearly hope it’s renewed for a second season. Peggy Carter’s independence and wit is enormously refreshing, and you can’t beat the 1940s setting!
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf – I’ve experienced a renewed interest in achieving a “perfect town” and have returned to my dear Teaberry with vigor! If you want to exchange friend codes, hit me up on Twitter!
- Writing! Is that a geek love? I’m halfway through my first serious effort on writing a novel, and Lisa’s interests actually dovetailed perfectly with the sort of research I needed for it.
- MARVEL! My favorite superhero is Iron Man (he’s on my Christmas Tree), and I can’t wait for Age of Ultron to release! In the meantime, I’ve revisited fanfiction and comics to keep me going until then.
- Mario Kart 8 – My husband and I recently dusted off our Wii U and began playing this again, and now we’re addicted! We have to run a few races every night before bed.
What geek loves or fandoms do you bond over?
Lisa: Karl Urban, Harry Potter big time. Although we are sorted in different houses I’m sure I’m Ravenclaw and Nancy’s Hufflepuff, and we would be great friends. I wrote a fan fiction piece about us at Hogwarts once HAHAHA.
Nancy: Lisa has shown me the way of Batman and Buddhism, and even sort of admitted that one time that she thought Marvel had done something right, haha. We are also entirely, totally committed to our hot alien space boyfriend, Garrus Vakarian from the Mass Effect series.
Do you keep in touch any other way besides via writing letters?
Lisa: Skype and texting..alllllll the time!
Nancy: We text each other nearly every day. We’re actually due for some snail mail! We each have a mountain of fun stuff we need to send each other.
You two have met, which is amazing since you live a whole ocean apart – and then some! What was that like? Do you have any adventures to tell us about?
Lisa: We conquered the world and it was like she had always been at my side. I took her to Whitby and I hope she fell in love with my country. It was one of the best trips of my life and I pine for it often. I think we can all agree I have mad hotel booking skills. We went to York and stayed in Hobbit huts and discovered I detest camping or glamping or anything where the bathroom is outside! We went to my Home of London for the weekend and obsessed over 221B Baker Street whilst getting drunk on Soju in a Korean hangout of mine. I have not got enough room here to gush about how awesome it is and if I hadn’t the commitments I have here, I would be in Texas now.
Nancy: I have only visited England once before, and it was only for a few days, so I was looking forward to spending over 10+ days in Lisa’s company while she showed me her country. The first thing she told me when I got off the plane was that she was really glad she had NOT been catfished, haha! There aren’t real words for me to describe the experience I had in Whitby, and then later at Chatsworth, or still later in the beautiful, looming, calm Lichfield cathedral. I tried many times in my journal, but I just couldn’t. It was too emotional and overwhelming, like coming home after being away for years. That first night we spent in Whitby comfortably ensconced in that little pub is dear to my heart. It wasn’t awkward meeting each other at all–we instantly fell into a friendship that felt ancient, and my head fairly whirled from all the alleys and sidestreets Lisa took me down when she was showing me all of her favorite spots in London. Aaaand Lisa took me to BOTH Baker Streets! (The traditional address and the one used for filming the current BBC version). The weather outside after we’d visited the 221B museum was raining and cold, but Lisa knew I liked that weather best, so we sat outside Euston Square station waiting for the next train and dined on the best oysters. I could go on. It was an unforgettable adventure.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Lisa: Nancy is a special friend. She is supportive and understanding and she can also cut the pity and tell you how it is which is my double. We have helped find each other ways in which to better ourselves and have both come through problems we didn’t think anyone else would ever understand. I have shown her my Buddhist ways and she has shown me discipline and strength I could not live without her. We already know we will grow old together and I hate every day we are far apart. What would make a crap day better would be Nancy living next door with a bucket of ice cream.
And most importantly: Nancy understand my insane text babble and auto correct failings and i’m too busy to think about what i’m typing nonsense. This is love. LOL You don’t have to constantly be typing or texting as you have your own lives to live and time always gets away from you but you know, you just know that she is there and should i need her she is always available and people who do not respect that annoy me.
Nancy: Lisa is my future next door neighbor. I’d prefer to come live next to her in England, as I’ve grown tired in Texas and long to stretch my legs and get traveling. Lisa is my hetero soulmate, my kindred spirit that I didn’t know existed until our meeting on the internet through IGGPPC. I can tell Lisa anything, and I can rely on her to be honest, empathic, and straightforward with me when I need it most. She has shared her life experiences with me, the good and the bad, and I have grown as a person because of her wisdom and authenticity. Lisa was the catalyst for many of the opportunities, attitudes, and good things that are currently in my life, and I could never describe how deeply appreciative I am not only of her friendship, but also of her hospitality when I visited, the kindness of her family, and the continued understanding and love she shows me.
Thank you to Lisa and Nancy for sharing their awesome tale of transatlantic friendship with us!! Do you have a story you’d like to tell about new friends you’ve found via our club? Or perhaps you have some great pictures of epic snail mail sent to you by your iggle pen pals. Contact Ninja Kara via email to find out how to be featured along with our interview posts later this month!