One group was notorious for hosting long events. My boss advised me, in her thick southern accent, that reading might not be enough to entertain me that night. "Brang a craft," she said. I did.
My favorite way to pass the time became talking with the guy who actually did heavy lifting for events. A young, kind soul who loved Jesus. I was fresh out of theology school, where everyone spoke in nuanced arguments about all things Scripture. So when this sweet young man started to share a prosperity gospel with me, my instinct was to tell him he might be taking those verses out of context. But I punched that instinct and made myself just listen. If we'd stayed on the verse where we disagreed and argued all night, I would never have heard him open up other verses like they were ripe fruit. Here was a man who heard from God. Who loved his family and did his crappy job as unto the Lord. I was going to enjoy this being out in the real world.
But before I made a friend, the job was lonely, and one night I sat in a classroom browsing a pre-social-media internet. There was a new travel site called IgoUgo, where you could write about places you'd been. It was social, but I didn't know to call it that. I just knew I'd been places I wanted to share. And I needed a username.
Usernames had been difficult in these early internet years. I'd been in school since '92, when the internet first started being used by mortals. Back when email was miraculous and you said "double u double u double u dot" before every site name. Already, my name was taken wherever I would go, so I tried creating usernames like donnawga, or atldonna, but those were often taken, too. And in school, who had brainspace to solve such problems?
So that night at work, I got to think about who I wanted to be on this travel site. Someone from Georgia, who was frightfully uncool, but who might have some fun insights into places I'd been. It just came to me. Peachgeek. I began entering it everywhere and it was always available.
That's not true anymore, as the internet has become crowded. Not everything peachgeek out there is me. But this is.
Oddly, I never wrote for IgoUgo (now defunct). I felt my travels didn't measure up to what was already on the site. Like I had to be a travel writer or something, telling people the best hotels, when I didn't travel like that at all. So IgoUgo missed out on my series on How to Stay with Friends and See Places as They Really Are. But you are stuck with all of it. I thank you for being here.
Happy Peach Month, y'all.