An Uncommon Meeting

Syndicated on

This post was syndicated by BlogHer on 9.20.12 and featured in the BlogHer Conferences Newsletter on 10.3.12.

I wanted to eat my breakfast.

welcome to blogher '12

welcome to BlogHer ’12

“Okay, everyone,” said Lisa Stone from the stage. “It’s time for Speed Dating.”

Imagine a hotel convention room filled with thousands of women. Not just ordinary women. Blogger women.

That morning, I was late to the BlogHer conference welcome breakfast hosted by co-founders Elisa Camahort Page and Lisa Stone. I was hungry. I wanted to eat.

“Form two big circles around the outside of the room.”

“I hate ice breakers,” I said to myself as I inhaled scrambled eggs. “I hate speed dating.”

“There’s room over on this side. Let’s go, ladies!”

Then it occurred to me. “You bought the ticket. Now get up and speed date!”

I joined the outside circle that faced the inside circle. For the next 20 minutes, the circles moved around each other. And I met fabulous bloggers.

Bloggers who blog about food and family and carpet and cities. Bloggers with beautiful business cards and creative names. Bonbon Break. The Downtown Project. The Succulent Wife.

Our hostesses issued the one-minute warning, and my mind returned to the bacon abandoned on my plate. “Hang on, breakfast. I’m coming!”

I had time to meet one, last blogger.

A gorgeous, vibrant blonde from California introduced herself to me. “Hi, I’m Lisen Stromberg,” she said. “You look so familiar. Where have I seen you?”

“Hi, I’m Aimee Whetstine,” I said and shook hands with her. “I was syndicated on BlogHer this week. You may have seen my face there.”

“What was the article?” said Lisen.

I braced myself. “I wrote the Chick-fil-A post.”

lisen and aimee

Lisen and Aimee

Have you ever witnessed a cat and a dog face off for the first time?

We tried to make small talk about our blogs, but we kept coming back to the issue at hand. I couldn’t understand why civil unions weren’t enough. Lisen couldn’t understand why my church didn’t approve of gay marriage. Back and forth it went. Each of us holding our positions with dignity and without screaming.

There was another blogger waiting to speak to Lisen. As I said goodbye and turned to go, I looked down at Lisen’s business card in my hand.

The moment of truth fell like the sunlight through clouds.

“You know,” I said as I turned back to face her. “We should do something together. We should write about this.”

Lisen’s eyes met mine. Was she thinking the same thing?

“Yes, we should,” she said.

“It would be good for my readers,” I said, “and for yours too, I think.”

“Yes, it would.” she said.

Today Lisen and I set out to create a forum of civil dialogue about the issues that matter. We’re launching a neutral, shared website called Finding (Un)Common Ground.

We’ll regularly post our views on hot topics and invite you to dialogue and share your thoughts. All comments and perspectives are welcomed, provided they are expressed within the bounds of civility.

Today we’re posting about the events this week in Libya and Egypt. I hope you’ll visit, share, and comment.

Civil discourse must be achieved if we are to find understanding and solutions within the issues that divide us and our country.

Please join the dialogue at Finding (Un)Common Ground.

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord:
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18 ESV

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. You say tom-ay-to, I say tom-ah-to…

You are invited to read
Finding (Un)Common Ground.
Follow us on Twitter @uncommonground1
on Facebook, too!

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Filed under America, blogging, writing & reading

5 Responses to An Uncommon Meeting

  1. Aimee, You really are branching out with your writing and blogging efforts. I am impressed with your new idea for a blog and will check it out.

    • Aimee

      Thank you, Stacey. Please let me know what you think. We’re just getting started and we’re very open to suggestions on how to improve the format and engagement!

  2. Many years ago I received an invitation to start a free subscription for a then-new magazine, “Insight,” a conservative-leaning news magazine. Never one to turn up my nose at free reading material, I accepted.

    I considered — and still consider – myself a liberal, and perhaps for that reason, the magazine made fascinating reading. The articles were clear and well thought out, and, most important to me, stated the premise.

    I discovered two major contributing factors to disagreements of this sort:
    our starting premise (“It’s more important to protect endangered species than to worry about economic impact”) or assesments of the likelyhood of any favorable/unfavorable outcomes.

    I hope when you blog, you both will make your priorities clear.

    • Aimee

      Very good point, Margaret. The more Lisen and I write, the more I’m finding we don’t disagree that there are issues that need to be addressed, problems that need to be solved. We disagree on how best to proceed–and that speaks directly to your point. Our priorities are different, often both admirable, but different. Perhaps that’s what makes the issues so contentious. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

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