Unexpected MeFi Outcomes December 19, 2018 5:50 AM   Subscribe

We recently discussed resolutions to AskMes. This got me to thinking...I would like to hear about the strange and wonderful things that have happened to you that are related to MetaFilter in some way. A post that led you to study a new topic, a comment that connected you with someone that's now your best friend, could be anything.

This is spurred by my Secret Quonsar's gift of a book that ended up cracking a long-avoided topic wide open in a primary family relationship. LIKE WHOA. Shout-out to Valancy Rachel.
posted by wellred to MetaFilter-Related at 5:50 AM (100 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

Not really strange, but definitely wonderful: Away back in 2011, I posted something about the little boy across the street (probably asking how to gently get him to go back home sometimes, because although I was really fond of him, he was constantly over here). Somehow that led to Peagood sending me a book of plans of little houses for kids to build. He always was interested in construction and the rest of that year featured him and his Norman Rockwellesque little red-haired, freckle-faced friend building suspect edifices in the side yard. Today he's in high school and planning to work in construction. He has a cool job at the local building supply recycling place, doing neat things like making artsy stepping stones. I'm super proud of him.

Also, not really strange but definitely wonderful, there was some kind of screwup with picking up our tickets in time for Obama's first inauguration and arnicae went to some lengths to get them for me in DC and then meet me the night before inauguration to hand them over.
posted by HotToddy at 6:24 AM on December 19, 2018 [76 favorites]


*snerk*

Back in February i was getting ready to post an "I need a new roommate" Craigslist ad, but before I did someone posted an FPP about a con man who would get into people's houses as a "dream roommate" and then go evil on them. I posted a bit of a joke in that thread about the timing of my upcoming ad, and joked "anyone out there know someone who needs an apartment to move into in a month?...."

Well - someone memailed me soon after saying "actually....my brother needs a place, want me to introduce you?" And she did and her brother and I got on like a house afire when we met (I think it was like 10 minutes of talking about the neighborhood and "living situation" and then 90 minutes of talking about Doctor Who and Marvel comics), and he moved in a month later later and is still here and he is an awesome roommate.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:39 AM on December 19, 2018 [82 favorites]


I went back to grad school a decade or so ago to become a therapist because I realized that the best part of my work-from-home job was spending time answering and thinking about human relationship questions on AskMe.
posted by lazuli at 6:51 AM on December 19, 2018 [80 favorites]


I met someone awesome in law school who had known me from my posts here for...5+ years? Very cool.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 6:53 AM on December 19, 2018 [15 favorites]


I love this question and am looking forward to the responses!
I don’t have a dramatic story—but reading posts and comments here over the years has completely changed my understanding of introverts and has forever altered my self image in a very positive way. For years and years I had felt odd and wrong for needing time to prepare for and then recover/ recharge after social situations. I now understand that this isn’t wrong—it’s a legitimate need and nothing to hide or apologize for. This change is because so many of the experiences you all have shared have resonated with me, and it has made a huge difference in my life!
posted by bookmammal at 6:54 AM on December 19, 2018 [38 favorites]


Oh and my bestie and I met at a meetup! Five years of annoying other people on social media as of February.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 6:59 AM on December 19, 2018 [11 favorites]


There's the practical stuff, like restaurants I've eaten at because of recommendations here, products I've purchased, places I've visited, but most of my changes have been personal-growth related.

Let's see... due to connections made via Secret Quonsar exchanges, a couple of my Quonsars and Quonsees are people I now consider friends, even if we've never actually met.

Honestly the Secret Quonsar exchange has been one of the highlights of my year these past few years and it has inspired my love of building things and really shown me the joy of giving in a way that "buying a thing a person I know well asked me to buy for them" has never done. I can never come up with ideas for anything so getting a few random suggestions from an internet stranger inspires me in a way nothing else has. It's probably the most creative thing I do all year.

I'm someone who never made a big deal about my birthday but my past six (I just counted 'em) birthdays have been celebrated with MeFites, some of whom also have the same birthday. Through them I've met spouses and siblings and friends and roommates of MeFites and we're all friends now. My mom has met MeFites but I can't possibly explain to her what Metafilter is.

I am a much less cynical person, less judgmental, much more open minded than I was when I first joined Metafilter about 18 years ago. Some of this is due to just growing up, but I would not be where I am without Metafilter.

I stopped being the guy who tells you your favorite band sucks because I've seen first-hand here how shitty that is to do.

Through hanging with MeFites on Twitter and IRL I've been exposed to people with experiences and points of view I'd never have been exposed to. Hell, last week this uneducated former stoner was sitting across a table from a primatologist and a linguist (forgive me if that's not the correct term), both PhDs. Did you know in Japan they have approximately 10 billion flavors of Kit-Kats?

Also, every summer I cross Lake Champlain on a ferry and I look for the town of Randolph. Some day I'll find it.
posted by bondcliff at 7:11 AM on December 19, 2018 [42 favorites]


I met a close friend on Metafilter and through him eventually about a third of my London friends, including my wife! So that's sort of a big deal.
posted by atrazine at 7:22 AM on December 19, 2018 [26 favorites]


I made an ignorant comment ages ago, and someone who can out themselves or not as they wish took the time to memail me and gently explain why I was wrong, and years later they have become one of my dearest friends, who I still check in with sometimes to understand stuff that may not make sense or just to have feels about things.
posted by corb at 7:30 AM on December 19, 2018 [51 favorites]


I was talking to someone I knew slightly in real life at a protest and they asked me if I was Frowner. They weren't a mefite, they'd just googled something that had pulled up metafilter answers, and apparently something was unique enough about my phrasing, reasoning and examples that....they ID'd me. Luckily, this was a perfectly okay person I'd met at other events and not a scary person, but it was eerie.

(To clarify, we were talking about the topic in question, which was something that was in the news at the time.)

That is my only brush with internet fame.

Also, advicepig gave me a very good cabbage. (And some other vegetables, actually.)
posted by Frowner at 7:32 AM on December 19, 2018 [30 favorites]


I met my best friends on Metafilter.
posted by sockermom at 7:33 AM on December 19, 2018 [12 favorites]


WOW I love every one of these. Wow. <3

I also have the MeFite whom I discovered is best friends with one of my best friends but the mutual best friend is a big anonymity type so I'll just keep it vague.
posted by wellred at 7:37 AM on December 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


LOTS of things.

Several years ago sciatrix posted a thing about jury nullification. And then a little while back I served on a jury in a criminal case, and happened to be armed with that knowledge. The accused was charged with a piddling crime and an outrageously harsh punishment was sought by the state, which would not have served justice in any fashion, and would instead have severely damaged lives, possibly irreparably. Eventually the 12 of us argued our way toward a Not Guilty verdict, and the knowledge of my legal rights as a fully informed juror helped some way toward that.

"What did you like today?" from PuppetMcSockerson is part of our nightly routine, which is a lovely thing and I recommend it to everyone.

My latest little project was inspired by several mefites (shout out to fig, quonsar, and Shepherd).

I'd be remiss not to mention that I've met several wonderful IRL friends through this site, and that my kiddo adores Mrs Pterodactyl's kiddo (and hey we should get another play date going soon you guys)
posted by duffell at 7:42 AM on December 19, 2018 [21 favorites]


I found mefightclub.com via metafilter, which has improved my life in numerous ways, including multiple awesome meetups with MFCers from all over the place, delicious cookies, and actually being able to play online games again!
posted by Grither at 7:53 AM on December 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


Oh - and every time I've traveled since 2009 I have suggested a meetup at my destination and have had nothing but lovely meetups:

* ColdChef introducing me to the Truck Parade on Mardi Gras and radioamy somehow being able to materialize a birthday cake out of nowhere
* A squad of Londoners taking me out for Turkish food and being very patient when I made everyone late because I had to take a geeked-out touristy photo of the exact Hotblack Desiato sign that inspired Douglas Adams
* A squad of Romans who introduced me to a little place in Rome that did nothing but salt cod
* A team of Parisians who introduced me to tartiflette at a bistro in the 12th Arrondisment *
* Skwirl hanging out with me at a ruin pub in Budapest and being game for joining in when a spontaneous folk dance class broke out

I'm kind of homebound the next couple years by economic necessity, but would love to return the favor towards any NYC-bound Mefites.


* I had to share the conversation that ensued for the tartiflette. I saw it on a menu, and asked the others what it was. "Oh, that's a traditional dish from Lyon. It has cheese, bacon, and potato, and -"
"I'll take it," I said as soon as I heard "bacon".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:07 AM on December 19, 2018 [19 favorites]


I went back to grad school a decade or so ago to become a therapist because I realized that the best part of my work-from-home job was spending time answering and thinking about human relationship questions on AskMe.
posted by lazuli at 8:51 AM on December 19 [5 favorites +] [!]


Same! I went to an information session on this recently! However, I may apply for Information Science instead. I just like helping people, I've realized.

Oh also I've been chatting with a MeFi person quite a bit about dating after they wrote a question and it's been very nice.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:13 AM on December 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


Probably the best thing to come from my metafilter experience was when Eyebrows McGee sold me her Hamilton ticket just before Nano McGee made her appearance, followed closely by not dying of malaria.

I've loved getting to know people all over the place, and particularly have appreciated the Chicago, DC, and Boston area mefites!
posted by ChuraChura at 8:24 AM on December 19, 2018 [20 favorites]


I'd be remiss not to mention that I've met several wonderful IRL friends through this site, and that my kiddo adores Mrs Pterodactyl's kiddo (and hey we should get another play date going soon you guys)
posted by duffell at 10:42 AM on December 19 [2 favorites +] [!]

I've loved getting to know people all over the place, and particularly have appreciated the Chicago, DC, and Boston area mefites!
posted by ChuraChura at 11:24 AM on December 19 [+] [!]


We had a holiday party on Saturday and my husband texted ChuraChura to tell her something funny the kraken had said (she was "reading" a book of The Nutcracker and summed it up as "Oh no, he dancing! The end.") and ChuraChurasaid she was at a meetup and I was like "oh, we should have a meetup" and then we counted and realized that, including the two of us, there had been eleven MeFites plus three children of MeFites at our party (including duffell's kid -- they sat under the table and ate cookies while the grownups chatted).
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:32 AM on December 19, 2018 [20 favorites]


I met tizzie at a MeetUp, and she hired me to write about food shortly thereafter, which has directly led to each of the jobs I've had after that. So, she was definitely partly responsible to my return to the work world after I raised my kids. Super grateful for that.

And she's still a friend!
posted by cooker girl at 8:34 AM on December 19, 2018 [17 favorites]


I'm not sure anything counts as "strange and wonderful" but I've got to know a bunch of Mefites from various places and they are all really cool. My first Secret Quonsar this year was really fun in both directions (I echo bondcliff's comment about "a few random suggestions from an internet stranger" being a fun way to shop for cool presents). Helping out with prize bull octorok's 1st Ed D&D on Twitter game eventually inspired me to properly play D&D and now I'm playing online in pbo's game and DMing an IRL game that includes another Mefite (and one of my SQ presents was the Monster Manual - the circle is complete!).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:36 AM on December 19, 2018 [8 favorites]


I also credit reading lots of AskMe relationship and parenting advice with having a rough idea of how to have a healthy relationship/be an OK parent when those things became relevant.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:37 AM on December 19, 2018 [12 favorites]


I'm playing online in pbo's game

Again, sorry about setting fire to that building while we are still inside it.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:42 AM on December 19, 2018 [17 favorites]


Look the game's been going 3.5 years it was bound to end at some point. We had a good run.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:44 AM on December 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


Since posting my AskMe about sinister Bildungsromans, I have been on a reading jamboree and have rediscovered my love of novels. I've finished 11 books and counting since September, many suggested by MeFites in that thread. I'm slowly building my attention span back up so I can also enjoy books written outside my "sweet spot", too. Turns out I'm way happier when I'm spending my free time reading books, versus compulsively refreshing online political news, who knew?
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 9:04 AM on December 19, 2018 [25 favorites]


I did a post about Camp Records, a mail order company that produced gay themed novelty records, and got so obsessed with it that I made a play in which the characters lip-synced to the albums.

Also I once did a post about the films of William Shatner and got so obsessed I wrote a book about them.

I kind of miss the days when I might spin off to a year-long project from something I just stumbled onto online and shared with MetaFilter.
posted by maxsparber at 9:17 AM on December 19, 2018 [21 favorites]


Today while I was out walking the dog I entertained myself by thinking up a limerick version of Yeats' The Second Coming.* The idea would never have occurred to me if not for one of my all-time favorite Metafilter threads, from way back before I was a member, about famous poems rewritten as limericks.


*My falcon is getting away.
I no longer believe what I say.
It's a riot, a flood
Of anarchy and blood
And a live sphinx is walking this way.

posted by Redstart at 9:23 AM on December 19, 2018 [44 favorites]


Basically my entire writing career.
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 AM on December 19, 2018 [21 favorites]


A couple of years ago a young trans friend put together that I, under a former username here, was the internet stranger whose comments on trans stuff had been a lifeline to him as an isolated trans teenager. That was a wonderful thing to find out about my presence here.
posted by Orlop at 10:18 AM on December 19, 2018 [65 favorites]


So many wonderful outcomes, including meeting my boyfriend and many other dear friends through IRL, but probably the most unexpected was that a MeFi connection indirectly led to the volunteer leadership position I now have. It's been a great way to get involved with my local community and support critical work on an issue that is very important to me.
posted by capricorn at 10:49 AM on December 19, 2018 [8 favorites]


I hired a MeFite and he was a great employee. He also became a friend, so I was happy to write a grad school letter of recommendation for him even though it meant losing him as an employee. He got accepted, he left us, and now he's on a grand adventure. Last week he texted me pictures of a boat hull with plate-sized googly eyes, and also suggested that I come visit his sweet workshop with a kid or kids over Christmas Break. That was sweet and thoughtful, and I am hoping to do so.

Second, I have gotten so much good advice from AskMe questions, which has just improved my life in so many ways -- tiny boosts to my happiness & curiosity & wellbeing.

Yay, MetaFilter!
posted by wenestvedt at 11:12 AM on December 19, 2018 [16 favorites]


Someone posted about something that happened in their high school, and I thought "hey, that also happened in my high school," and I clicked on their profile, and I realized that they were someone with whom I was vaguely friendly in high school. Don't know if they've figured out who I am. Probably not.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:36 AM on December 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


MeFites have had such a huge impact on my life — from answers to AskMe's to my going to grad school (and writing my Masters about MetaFilter), moving to England, living in a MeFite's flat when I got there, doing more grad school (and writing my PhD thesis about MetaFilter). Plus I've dated or hooked up with a chunk of MeFites, which has been wild.

There's one MeFite who I first met at a 2-person meetup over 10 years ago. Over this last decade our lives have crossed and overlapped in funny ways as we've travelled and visited and lived in various places all over America. We're now both in England and see each other on the regular. It's serendipitous and wonderful, makes the world feel small in a good way.

Oh and that reminds me, there was a gift that somebody got from the Secret Quonsar thread that I thought was so great I had to buy it for this long time MeFite friend this Christmas.

I also have two small MetaFilter tattoos on my inner wrists, [-] and [+]. I've yet to have somebody recognise them as such out in the wild, but it does get noticed at meetups.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:46 AM on December 19, 2018 [16 favorites]


Oh and one more … this song is still one of my favorites of all time:

https://music.metafilter.com/266/I-am-a-demon-and-will-swallow-your-soul

I just love everything about it. It's crazy how many times I've listened to it … kinda has a life of its own now that it's comforted me in so many different places and situations over the years.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:48 AM on December 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


I used to spend a ton of time hanging out on this website and then... I got a job here and it's changed my life more than just about anything. <3
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:22 PM on December 19, 2018 [37 favorites]


Ruthless Bunny, wherever she may be, advised me to refinance a ridiculous auto loan, and now I have a few extra hundred dollars every month.

Also, the years I spent lurking on AskMe human relations questions really helped me learn what a healthy dating relationship looked like and how to advocate for myself. That’s been huge.
posted by witchen at 1:11 PM on December 19, 2018 [29 favorites]


Every time my iPhone rings now, an apologetic English voice in my pocket clears its throat and suggests, "A telephone call for you, sir?"

And then I giggle to myself.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:23 PM on December 19, 2018 [37 favorites]


I asked an embarrassing anonymous question a year ago, and was so touched by how kind everyone was, and how resolute the responses were that I should absolutely not do what I was thinking about doing. I still think about doing it occasionally, and then I realize I would be letting everyone down somehow. So thanks for keeping me from doing something stupid, MeFam.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:47 PM on December 19, 2018 [21 favorites]


I got one quonsee a bike touring map when they lived in Florida and then they moved to Portland and we went for a bike ride together just the other day!
posted by aniola at 1:56 PM on December 19, 2018 [9 favorites]


Oh, and once I went into chat looking for someone to solve my "I have maxed out the library's book collection. I know there are more books. How do I get them" issue and Eyebrows McGee was like, "INTERLIBRARY LOAN" and my world got bigger that day.
posted by aniola at 2:00 PM on December 19, 2018 [32 favorites]


When my previous cat died (shockingly young and shockingly suddenly), I left a note on my profile page, and some MeFites noticed, and sent me very nice MeMails, and that was balm for the hole in my heart.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:23 PM on December 19, 2018 [22 favorites]


I stayed up all night reading the emotional labor thread (comments were still coming in by the time I finally finished it at 6am), and after that I no longer missed my ex-girlfriend as much. It was just enough lessening of missing her that meant I could start to move on with my life instead of waiting for her to miss me back. Which let me realize that I was living in a city I hated just because I was haunted by her and our romance in that city (fuck you, Seattle) and move to a city I actually love (hello, Portland) and, well, things just got a whole lot better for me because of one sleepless night.

This is way more tenuous, but the moderation of Metafilter has been a standard that I apply to other websites and even in offline areas of my life, so now when I see harmful things being allowed to happen because of a belief that “free speech” is the only ideal, I leave that community because it will always turn toxic. It keeps me from doing obviously unhelpful things like reading newspaper comment sections and keeps me from less obvious situations like going to conferences without explicit expectation setting and consequences to bad behavior.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 3:11 PM on December 19, 2018 [23 favorites]


Also, “flag it and move on” is a motto that's surprisingly helpful in everyday, non-Metafilter contexts.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 3:13 PM on December 19, 2018 [36 favorites]


I posted (under my old username - info in my profile if you want to know) about struggling deeply with depression and anxiety and got wonderful answers and MeMails from people. I felt more understood and connected with by people on the internet whose faces I'd never seen in my life, than my doctor and my real life friends.
posted by unicorn chaser at 3:18 PM on December 19, 2018 [14 favorites]


I joined here to ask a question about my then-marriage. I was struggling with something that I just couldn’t deal with and I was casting around for help and stumbled across AskMe. I wish I’d found it sooner because I think I would have handled things so much better and not done some things I did. But still it helped me navigate the very painful steps that came with ending that relationship and the various stages since then, right up until I got married last month. I’ve asked lots of questions, anonymously or via a sock puppet because very quickly I realised this place wasn’t just somewhere to ask stuff, it was a community that I wanted to hang out in (and so like sometimes you want to keep your stuff private). Sometimes I got answers that were harsh, in the way people sometimes think they’re being helpful by imagining parts of your story, but most of the time I got advice that was gentle and compassionate and sincere, and helped me do the right thing and be a better person. One that I remember clearly, and that I’ll always be grateful for, was after I left and I was completely heartbroken and consumed with guilt and doubt and lots more besides. And someone privately sent me a message that said something that completely crystallised what had been wrong and why it was ok to leave in a way I hadn’t been able to understand for myself. I remember completely breaking down, just the relief of having that heard, and by a complete stranger, and then being able to hear it myself. And whenever I doubted my decision the sentence came back to me. They did me more good than they’ll ever know. The site in general helped me get through the worst days of my life and that is genuinely not an exaggeration. Aside from the heartfelt stuff, it gave me a place to come and post silly things or read interesting things or discover new things, when my “real life” was in tatters, and I needed that. And then gradually life moved on and got better and better until the recent questions I asked were under my actual name, and they were happy questions like “what do you think of this wedding dress?” and “what’s an easy song for my niece to play at the ceremony”* and again I got helpful answers from thoughtful people. And the day was wonderful.

And all the lovely people I suddenly found myself in the midst of when I joined! I met Ivan Fyodorovich online because I posted a stupid comment once - not offensive stupid, deliberately silly - and he memailed me kind of in bewilderment, and we’ve been in touch ever since. Johnny Wallflower sends me adorable pics of his grandchild. I’ve had wonderful secret Quonsars who send me joy every year, especially that first year - fraula’s gift was the brightest spot in the first Christmas I was separated. And Too-Ticky my lovely MeFi spouse! I’ve made some music with people which only exists on this little corner of the internet and is the closest I’ve ever gotten to singing in public, so that literally fulfilled a lifelong dream. And the renowned quidnunc kid made me an actual song for goodness sake! Which is why I for one will be voting #1. I met cool MeFites in London. I’ve exchanged random “hey you’re cool” memails with people I think are great and there are lots.

Wow I think I just meant to write a couple of lines there, sorry. Basically what is unexpected is my entire interaction with this place. I thought I’d ask a question and move on, and it turned out that I found my online home. Thanks to all of you, every one.

*we went with aura lee. she did not practice it. it went...not terribly well. we should have stuck with molly malone, typhoid or not
posted by billiebee at 4:15 PM on December 19, 2018 [26 favorites]


I don't have time at the moment to re-tell the specifics, but the MetaFilter community has saved my life at least twice.

I am very grateful and thankful to be here.
posted by loquacious at 4:32 PM on December 19, 2018 [31 favorites]


I posted an Ask about a job I really wanted and how to find similar jobs because I was sure I had bombed my interview. A MeFite figured out what company I was talking about because he also worked there, and he got in touch with HR for me and then shortly after that I received an offer for said job. We did not end up liking each other very much but I still feel very fond of him because his doing that enabled a great career move for me, which in turn allowed me to live my dream of moving across the country. Neither he nor I work there anymore and I think we have each other blocked on social media but still, thank you MeFi!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 4:34 PM on December 19, 2018 [20 favorites]


I have met so many wonderful people and made some really good friends through MF. But one everyday practical impact in my life is the Magical MP3 file shared with me by a fiendish thingy. I use it on airplanes and in waiting rooms and transit and whenever I need to drown out the sounds of the world.
posted by Salamandrous at 4:43 PM on December 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


You can’t post that and then not link to said magical MP3!!!!!
posted by wenestvedt at 4:49 PM on December 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


This is about the only place I have left to talk about trans stuff, other than with a few people in meatspace (trans communities, especially online have a pretty short half-life generally).

I never saw anyone talking about expeiences like mine, or conceptions like mine, and it took me a long time to realise I was trans, accept it, and then stop feeling lesser-than or invalid because if the way my experiences differ not just from the standard narratives, but from any narratives I'd seen talked about.

Somewhere along the line I figured I couldn't possibly be the only person like me in the world, so I made a conscious decision to talk about my perspective on things, and challenge things I saw as reductive, over generalising, or just bullshit. Maybe someone else like me would see it, and maybe it would help them in some way. Maybe they could have an easier time of things, or at least know they aren't alone.

Mefi wasn't where I first started doing this. But it's the only place I still do so, and I have reason to believe it is helping (or at least has helped) some people figure themselves or their place in the world or. Helped a little, like - I don't want to pretend my perspectives are that groundbreaking, my writing and communication that good, or my impact that great, really.

But what is hard to understate is how much less alone I feel when I get a message from someone asking questions or talking about how they relate to something, or whatever it is.

Thanks mefi.
posted by Dysk at 5:02 PM on December 19, 2018 [39 favorites]


If I count my experiences with MeFi and being trans - and I do - MetaFilter has saved my life at least three times.

There's a whole bunch of trans folk here who have (perhaps unknowingly) been offering each other support, normalcy, acceptance and experiences in a pretty organic way that likely wouldn't have happened many other places. I've definitely felt something like "Wait, what do you mean you were looking up to me and thankful for X thing!? I was looking up to you!"

The world might be burning more than usual but at least the company here is pretty good.
posted by loquacious at 5:23 PM on December 19, 2018 [27 favorites]


...but what is hard to overstate. God damn. I told you my writing wasn't all that.
posted by Dysk at 5:23 PM on December 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


I just remember walking into a meet-up in Portland, Maine, and seeing a guy at the bar, and he said, "Metafilter?" I think it was Rusty.

But there was that weird thing of people recognizing each other, without the signs, etc.

I was also present at the NOHO meet-up, where Jessamyn met her current beau. I don't even know why I went there, it was a long way for me, but I told my husband that I had to go and meet these internet people, so I took a bus and I was glad I did. I met Greg Nog, and a lot of other MeFi's at that meet-up, and it was lots of fun. It was a long time ago, I remember showing Jessamyn pics of my granddaughter from my iPod, and how fantastic she was, and then watching her and Jim meet each other, and all the other MeFi's talking and getting along, I think it was the best outcome for me, because I had a great time.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:08 PM on December 19, 2018 [15 favorites]


The emotional labor thread made me realize, in a roundabout way, that I'm a lesbian. And damn, I'm a lot happier and more comfortable in my own skin than I was a few years ago.
posted by coppermoss at 7:23 PM on December 19, 2018 [47 favorites]


I went to a Seattle Meetup and met ChrisR and discovered that his son and my son were already buddies in preschool and in fact my son had just been to ChrisR’s sons birthday party. Our sons paths have since diverged but ChrisR and I remain friends and regular pub quiz champions at The George and Dragon even though he knows painfully little about his native Canada for trivia purposes.

I devoured Rhaomi’s post about Ted Chiang (I posted about this previously) and gave Chiang’s book to my sci-fi obsessed wife who loved it and noticed a work colleague of hers was mentioned in the acknowledgments . It turns out they were both in the Clarion Writer’s program and still did a regular book club together. My wife got invited to join that book club and still goes, there are a number of other semi-famous published writers in the group (Nisi Shawl). We got to attend a private pre-release screening of Arrival with Ted. Later, we met Amy Adams through another connection (my niece goes to school with her daughter and she was at my niece’s birthday party) and we had something interesting to talk about without being “omygodomygodfanboy!” but not pretending to be totally cool “oh you’re an actress?” So that was cool.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:18 PM on December 19, 2018 [8 favorites]


watching her and Jim meet each other

Ten and a half years! It was a fun meetup.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:27 PM on December 19, 2018 [20 favorites]


A modest Mefi post in 2004 about a web community writing definitions in limerick form for every word in the English language led to 14 years of writing limericks and making several new real-life friends in my city and beyond.
posted by rory at 2:18 AM on December 20, 2018 [7 favorites]


I am incapable of looking at John Scalzi’s name without thinking to myself “MeFi’s own John Scalzi,” and this then led to buying and reading one of his books! (Just one so far because I have infrequent access to English bookstores)
I’m on Mastodon because of this place, and it’s responsible for 90% of the vegetarian recipes I’ve tried recently for “meatless every other day it’s my turn to cook” (please send me your favorite vegetarian recipe that doesn’t require an oven thank you)
posted by sacchan at 4:19 AM on December 20, 2018 [8 favorites]


You can’t post that and then not link to said magical MP3!!!!!

In case Salamandrous doesn't want to be responsible for distribution, anyone who wants a copy can always memail me. :)
posted by a fiendish thingy at 5:06 AM on December 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


Youtube is a good source for "8 hours of [specific background sounds]" - for example here's 8 hours of tropical beach noise that sounds a lot like that special mp3.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:25 AM on December 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


The cheese thing resulted in a strange approach from what turned out to be a scriptwriter, with a not entirely ethical use of the Internet, hawking his wares to Hollywood-affiliated companies. That came to nothing, and left me somewhat cynical about how these things work out, but the vicar who loved horses thing has recently resulted in an approach from another scriptwriter-type person, which is ongoing so I shouldn't say any more.

But it's a reminder that all types of people are hearing about, finding and reading content on MetaFilter, even content buried deep within a long thread of comments. And some are interested for one of a very wide range of reasons. I wish I'd anonymised some specific content from the past now, but what's done is done.
posted by Wordshore at 5:38 AM on December 20, 2018 [18 favorites]


One answer on this AskMeFi about devoting a month to learning piano led me to learn of the Sonatina adult piano camps, and now I have spent an ungodly sum of money to spend 10 days in Vermont practicing this January. I'm sure it'll be 100% worth every penny and I can't wait.
posted by missmary6 at 5:46 AM on December 20, 2018 [15 favorites]


I was also present at the NOHO meet-up, where Jessamyn met her current beau.

I was there and they were adorable. That was my first meetup as well, an hour and a half away, and I was so nervous walking into the place. Everyone was so cool though. I remember there were a couple dudes there who didn't really say too much but just took photos like we were a table full of famous people.
posted by bondcliff at 6:27 AM on December 20, 2018 [7 favorites]


The last couple of years have been hard - my mom died, I was assaulted this past spring, I got sober this year. I hoped for the love and support I got from my meatspace friends. I did not expect the warmth and love I've gotten from this collection of internet strangers - who feel a lot less like strangers these days. I really appreciate y'all and this place. <3
posted by joycehealy at 6:45 AM on December 20, 2018 [27 favorites]


The cheese thing

When I explain what metafilter is, I usually end up telling the cheese story. (The other obvious ones to tell are the one about the cat at Devil's Tower and the two girls who didn't get trafficked, but those are kind of anxiety-inducing even though they both turn out well.)

I mean, I don't think I accidentally tipped off any screenwriters, but a bunch of people in South Minneapolis know it.
posted by Frowner at 6:50 AM on December 20, 2018 [9 favorites]


I've always been a lefty but this place gave me the words to express it, and many other insights besides. Plus it taught me to shut my fucking mouth and listen for a bit.
posted by h00py at 7:39 AM on December 20, 2018 [8 favorites]


Seconding the experience of finding "flag it and move on" useful in non-MeFi contexts!

This Ask MeFi thread recommended several books that I loved reading:
Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom, William Ball's A Sense of Direction, Walter Murch's In the Blink of an Eye, and Thomas Lynch's The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade. I had not anticipated how much theatrical direction and book editing were like the forms of management that I was starting to undertake, and lessons from those books are still helping me.
posted by brainwane at 8:52 AM on December 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


But there was that weird thing of people recognizing each other, without the signs, etc.

The guy next to me at a bar in New York (Amor y Amargo, for what it's worth) was unmistakeable from comment threads we'd both participated on here, so I eventually said, "this is a weird question, but are you a Metafilter user?" He held out his hand and said, "Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey!" No gang signs or tattoos I noticed, just a very particular way of talking about cocktails and I think maybe a reference to working in a bar in Oakland. I'm used to DC's cocktail world being pretty small, but making a DC-Oakland-Metafilter connection in NYC was a bit much.
posted by fedward at 10:29 AM on December 20, 2018 [20 favorites]


I was also present at the NOHO meet-up, where Jessamyn met her current beau.

I was there and they were adorable. That was my first meetup as well


I was there! And that's how I met mefite jessamyn. Years later, I was at a party hosted by two mefites, and some other mefite attendees said to another mefite who was there "oh you should meet this mefite Greg" and then we met and then we started dating and then we got married and the aforementioned mefite jessamyn was our wedding officiant. And now we have two babies and they're quite loud so I believe that in time they too will become true Posters Online
posted by Greg Nog at 11:24 AM on December 20, 2018 [39 favorites]


The posting for my current job was memailed to me after a post on Ask. It was kind of out of my wheelhouse, but I figured why not, edited my resume, wrote a three-sentence cover letter, and here I am almost two years later. I'm enjoying being in a field for which there is an industry, and therefore funding/jobs.

Also, not MeFi, but I found my graduate advisor through a stranger's LJ post. Thanks, internet, for compensating for me being horrible at networking!
posted by momus_window at 12:10 PM on December 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


> I was also present at the NOHO meet-up, where Jessamyn met her current beau.

That was one of the funnest meetups ever. Not only did I unexpectedly hit it off with Jessamyn, I also met my birthday twin, bondcliff (with whom I also share the same first and middle name), and met languagehat and Greg Nog and Marie Mon Dieux and a bunch of cool others. It was my second meetup, and I was still a MeFi noob, and when I heard Jessamyn was gonna be at the Northampton meetup, I wanted to pick her brain as to how she moderates such a large BBS. (That's where my mind was on "community weblog"—like a BBS!)

Little did I know that 10⅔ years later, I'd be having birthday parties every year with bondcliff and maryr, nevermind that Jessamyn would be my date! (And that bondcliff's cute little death-star halloween-costumed kid is now tall like Wilt Chamberlain.)

How else did MeFi change my life, aside from finding my ultimate scrabble nemesis (Jessamyn)? ZENNI OPTICAL was posted in some askme, so I can afford glasses! And I found an appropriate outlet for all my cracking wise, and sharing wierd stuff I found on the web. And a place to post all my weird music, and playing pub trivia with the Tater teams, been on a few fun hikes ... basically smarty-things with smarty-people, so that I am not just staying home 365 days a year, with my kid asking, "Hey are you staring at that bluescreen website again? It's 4:30AM!" (He just attended HIS first meetup! Hello Nashua!)

So yeah, it's the meetups that really changed my life, along with some very well-answered AskMe questions and resultant off-thread help. The rest of the time I am on the blue, reading about some interesting thing or another. MeFi has enriched my life in way more words than I can conjure.

(Except in scrabble vs jessamyn. I conjure words left and right, pew pew!)
posted by not_on_display at 1:30 PM on December 20, 2018 [25 favorites]


I got two cats :-)
posted by kitten magic at 8:50 PM on December 20, 2018 [7 favorites]


Before Metafilter, I never knew about so many interesting ways to dispose of a human body. Or thought at all about why people wipe forwards or backwards. Plus, the political threads inspired me to involve myself more in the political process. We organized a party to send post cards, and have applied to host an asylum seeker :)
posted by triage_lazarus at 9:01 PM on December 20, 2018 [8 favorites]


Ferris Bueller and Tyler Durden will be my epitaph.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:28 PM on December 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


I recently connected again with a MeFite I'd met over 10 years ago with her soon-to-be-husband who has since divorced and changed her username.
posted by bendy at 10:05 PM on December 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


I detailed some stuff around this time last year. Life: Still changed, still changing all the time because of you all and the rippling effects of the kindness of a few specific people here.

As for how MetaFilter has changed my life this week, well, has it really only been a week that I've been listening to Dar Williams? Sheesh. She and this Quonsmas mix I got from Gilgongo have brightened my days. Like I've said here before, I imprint on new music very quickly, and these songs are already the soundtrack of my dreams.

All told, I can't even detail how many things I've found out about because of this site. I was working on a favor for a friend earlier and ended up referring back to a whole ton of things I'd favorited here over the years or saved in Pinboard from here, etc., on a specific topic of interest. I mean, even using Pinboard is a result of being here, so... The Ferguson threads in 2014 and the emotional labor thread in 2015 entirely changed my outlook on a lot of things—you could essentially say those experiences radicalized me, in the best of ways.

I wish I could share more specifics right now about some of the strange and wonderful things I've experienced because of this site, but I will say this: Happy solstice!
posted by limeonaire at 10:23 PM on December 20, 2018 [7 favorites]


well, has it really only been a week that I've been listening to Dar Williams? Sheesh.

Hello, if you need a Dar Williams discussion group (or a kind of hacky set of uke chords for "Iowa") I am available. Just holler.
posted by purpleclover at 3:28 AM on December 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


Dar is a gift! (So are all of you, I love this threadddddd.) I have loved her since the 90's.
posted by wellred at 5:01 AM on December 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


I am also available for discussion related to Dar. And uke chords.
posted by bunderful at 5:40 AM on December 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


Was the last FPP about Dar Williams this 2012 one by Navelgazer? Since then she's put out new music, and the book What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician's Guide to Rebuilding America's Communities -- One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open-Mike Night at a Time. I love her music so much.
posted by brainwane at 7:00 AM on December 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


Back in the hopeful pre-2016 election results days, I ordered the complete HRC button collection and sent a bunch off to glasseyes, and since then, we've traded regional goodies and pleasant stories.

Not one but two MeFites offered to take a random, old book to New Zealand on my behalf, because I balked at the international shipping costs for what is a low-price OOP book in the US. One did, and another MeFite might be getting a long-promised surprise :)

And like many here, I've made a bunch of internet friends, some of whom have become IRL friends, too. Y'all are good eggs :)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:15 AM on December 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


I have read SO many good books thanks to MetaFilter. I have a running list of books-to-read that grows more than it shrinks. It's a good thing I am a librarian and in a library on a regular basis - otherwise my personal hold shelf would require my little branch building a whole new section just to accommodate MetaFilter book recs.

About 1% of the time do I feel knowledgeable here, like I have some useful wisdom to impart. The other 99% of the time I read and learn. I really the community here - what an awesome mix of people with so many interests and areas of expertise. It's been really good for me to sit back and learn how to listen/read/learn.
posted by Gray Duck at 8:23 AM on December 21, 2018 [8 favorites]


Oh yeah, and I think my parents-in-law, and in turn my family, were more comfortable with the idea of moving to New Mexico thanks to a few Meetups while we were visiting. I have since been asked at semi-random about living in New Mexico, as I've become quite My State Proud.

And learning, so much learning, thanks to MeFites who take time (and have the patience) to share their understanding of things and their life experiences.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:27 AM on December 21, 2018 [4 favorites]


I posted a question looking for reputable driving schools in the NYC/tristate area. The question got crickets/tumbleweeds....oh yeah! offered to teach me to drive!

And she did! She kindly taught me to drive and talked me through merging on the turnpike on multiple occasions. I'm probably taking the test in February depending on weather.
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:53 AM on December 21, 2018 [24 favorites]


I forget who it was, but in a large thread about clothing someone mentioned that you can go to Amazon and type 'cowcow' and basically any keyword-- sharks, skulls, stars, whatever-- and up will pop a cute dress, available in plus sizes, inexpensive, and washable.

So that is literally my entire current wardrobe. Seriously. I went out and bought ten of them, which was about two hundred bucks. I have two eShaktis for special occasions, but other than that cowcow all the way. I get complimented an average of twice every time I leave the house.

Amazon has been being Even More Evil Than Usual lately, so I'm not sure what I'll do when it's time to get replacements, but this has been multiple years of clothing I love that everyone else loves on me, and the Before Cowcow Days are dark to think upon.
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 4:19 PM on December 21, 2018 [16 favorites]


Oh my glob. So many good things have come from hanging around here with you excellent people. I’ll just go on about one.

The Emotional Labour thread changed my life. I could not stop thinking about so many things. How much of that stuff - yes birthday cards and all - I did without questioning it. How much that stuff weighed on me, yet I still never questioned that it was just what I was supposed to do. Then there was my husband’s disinterest in the thread or any related discussion that came from it, when it was so meaningful and important and really literally life changing for me...I thought and thought and tried and tried to reset my life with him, but in the end I realised that it would never happen. I couldn’t stay in the life I had, the good wife, the mum, the hostess, the dutiful daughter and daughter in law etc etc. It took me until last year to give it up and walk away. It was 22 December - so happy anniversary to new me and new life- that I told my husband I needed to go. I went. I’ve had an incredible year. I’m so happy with my life now.

While we were still together, I organised a trip to Hong Kong for our 25th wedding anniversary. Of course I planned and booked everything on my own. You’ll see in my posting history I did the same a few years earlier for another big anniversary. He couldn’t even get interested enough to look at links I sent him about things I was excited for us to do. The trip was in March, so a few months after we split and only maybe only a month after he’d moved out, I was quite bruised but decided I would still go on this trip on my own. It was my first solo trip overseas. There were some teary moments when I turned up for couple-things I’d booked. It was hard but liberating to go be somewhere strange on my own, always aware that it was meant to be a different kind of trip. I posted in IRL and met frumiousb who was wonderful company and the person I needed that week! Thank you C, the talk we had at dinner - thank you so much. Your kindness and wisdom and generosity will stay with me.

This thread is wonderful.
posted by stellathon at 4:52 PM on December 21, 2018 [51 favorites]


My wife got to play The Wonderful Pig on the piano, thanks to fatlama; our kids now know it by heart.
posted by benzenedream at 9:19 PM on December 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


Wellred, you’re welcome!
I’m also going to go with emotional labour thread, but unlike stellathon, my husband read it first. I think neither of us realized the patterns we’d gotten in to. Now we have language to discuss stuff like this, and I no longer buy Christmas presents for his family. Which is awesome, because I’m Jewish, and still struggle with Christmas.
posted by Valancy Rachel at 10:55 PM on December 21, 2018 [11 favorites]


I came in here worried about the fact that I've had two cars die on me in six months and no money for my phone bill, I'm leaving with a smile on my face. What a wonderful thread! I love reading about this community.
posted by Freeze Peach at 5:52 AM on December 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


Reader, I DTMF. Thanks Metatalk.
posted by SyraCarol at 6:04 AM on December 22, 2018 [22 favorites]


I can't really figure out the impact MeFi has had on my life because it's so much a part of my life it's like asking the impact one thread of a braid has on the rest of the braid. MeFi is woven into my thoughts, the way I speak, the things I speak about, a lot of my master's thesis, etc., etc.
posted by signal at 11:58 AM on December 22, 2018 [13 favorites]


I think the most unexpected outcome is that I actually visited after a lover told me about this place and then I stuck around and it became my home. I have told roughly a gazillion people about MetaFilter. With the exception of maybe one person, no one has ever taken me seriously when I have sung MetaFilter's praises.

Because I am not shy and retiring online, I save that for real life, people know a lot about me and, as a result, the community has helped me through some truly tough times. Moving to Europe. Feeling depressed. Cooking a turkey (which is only tough if you basically hate to cook).

I do not know if the emotional labor thread changed my life, exactly, but it occupied my thoughts for weeks. Also, I was goal buddies with a supportive and kind MeFite for maybe a year, which was super helpful. MetaFilter has introduced me to two books that mean a lot to me. Come as You Are is a tremendously helpful book for anyone who is female and has sex and for anyone who has sex with females. Blacklands, by Belinda Bauer, is an amazing debut crime novel that is pitch-perfect.

In my fantasy world, I stop in the UK, the Netherlands, and other countries periodically to meet other MeFites. I also make it to meet ups in New York, Boston, Chicago (for the bacon), and Portland. For now, I meet up periodically with MeFites in Stockholm. They are a fun bunch, and I feel lucky each time we gather. Thanks, MetaFilter!
posted by Bella Donna at 1:11 PM on December 22, 2018 [10 favorites]


It’s literally impossible for me to imagine my life without MetaFilter these past 11 years. I can’t even begin to tell you all the things this place has done for me. One surprisingly useful thing this year has been my habit of reading AskMe via tags when I want to explore a topic. When I need advice or perspective, but I’m so overwhelmed that I can’t put together a question, I go to the pages for the tags I would have used and often find what I needed.

Oh, and MetaFilter has given me so much perspective on mental health. It’s helped me deal with my ADHD, depression, and PTSD. It’s had an enormous positive influence on my self-conception.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:01 PM on December 22, 2018 [8 favorites]


Everything I’ve learned about healthy relationships I’ve learned from the human relations tag on Ask.
posted by bendy at 9:02 PM on December 22, 2018 [9 favorites]


I've been going back through my Twitter archive, working on a project, and I found this one just now, from November 2009:

If it weren't for @mathowie, I wouldn't've joined Twitter. #mathowielove

So there you go!
posted by limeonaire at 7:18 PM on December 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


I got two cats :-)
posted by tzikeh at 8:51 PM on December 23, 2018 [6 favorites]


Several months ago, I purchased one of robocop is bleeding's cabal symbol t-shirts. Although getting the largest size it was still too small. At about the same time, my doctor had a come-to-jesus talk with me about my blood sugar levels. Using the cabal symbols as my inspiration, I stopped eating all the things with sugar and have lost about 20 lbs. I tried it on yesterday and it's still too tight...

PS it may have helped save my eyesight because I was having the beginning of diabetic retinopathy. My doctor was impressed that I lowered my A1c from 10.1 to 7.5 with no extra medication. Cabal shirt will remain hanging where I can see it until one day it will magically fit.

Thanks MeFi! Thanks cabal! (there is no cabal)
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:00 PM on December 23, 2018 [17 favorites]


I introduced a friend to Metachat back when I was more actively involved in that community, and that person eventually met another Mechazen who lived in a different city, and they have been married for several years now. That friend and I drifted apart semi-awkwardly, so we have not seen each other in person since they moved to their partner's city, but we're still Facebook friends, and I think they are lovely people and I wish them both all the best in the world.
posted by matildaben at 3:33 PM on December 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


I got some work and validation for my activism related talents, strategy, and expertise here. I got a friend or two. I got solace in Madison, Wisconsin, when it turned out I was so not welcome at a con I'd grown to love when I was with my harmful ex. I grew some of my helpful and self protective boundaries with her thanks to MetaFilter culture.

I also learned a lot (not all of it good) from moderation here. I don't think I've ever stayed on in a community after direct conflict with mods. It's an interesting thing that seems to work, here. I found and lost some good friends here too, but mostly and more so on MeFightClub.

In a lot of ways, for me, after my community on LambdaMOO faded, MetaFilter became a replacement. Sort of social training wheels, social crutch, often social safe space.

It was also because of MetaFilter, arguably, that I learned about Slack (via the EL threads and crone island) and though Crone Island is not quite the right fit for me, it turns out that LGBTQ in Tech is, and I'm not sure how I would have found it without the thread that winds ultimately back to here.

Oh and also because of some of the activist work I got through contacts here, I served on a deeply nourishing, challenging, difficult, but socially quite rewarding arts fellowship a couple of years ago. Not only a feather in my cap but also just a very rewarding experience. And a way to come around to understanding that being at cross purposes doesn't necessarily mean being enemies.

It's also through MetaFilter arranged meetups that I've met some very decent folks, both by welcoming them to my home and by going out to meet them.
posted by kalessin at 6:59 AM on December 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


In July I asked this question. I never marked it resolved because while the consensus answer seemed like it was obviously right, it wasn't the thing I was trying to find.

But I ended up purchasing Recomposed by Max Richter after following the answers, and I really love it. "Winter 2" just blows me away.

So I didn't ever figure out what I was thinking of, but I was exposed to something new that has become a favorite.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 5:44 AM on January 1


MeFi has been a game changer for me personally. One of these days, I’ll take a break from being a hermit and attend a meet-up.

Thanks to AskMe, particularly the Human Relations questions, I’ve honed my skills to quickly spot and avoid getting involved with another abuser. I found Chump Lady, and survived and thrived after an epically horrific narcissistic discard. Selected a great divorce lawyer based on a fantastic answer about the types of attorneys and how to pick one.

I now have a Mirena IUD that I love, and I got vaxxed with Gardasil off label.

On the sage parenting advice here, I take my school-aged kids to amusement parks and the beach whenever possible. We bake brownies together regularly. I became a devotee of The Nurtured Heart Approach, and chose Montessori preschools.

Became a customer of Zenni Optical and Charles Schwab and OKC. Used Miko’s break up script to good success. KonMari’d my home!

I could seriously go on and on. Thanks ya’ll!
posted by edithkeeler at 1:44 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


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