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I moved around a lot as a kid and young adult. Due to that, combined with my incredible shyness until I was well past adulthood, I don't have any friends in my life now from before I was 30.

Then, in 2003, I was forced by personal circumstance (joblessness, health issues) and family need (aging parents) to move to Oklahoma, where I didn't know anyone besides my family.

Let me just interject here, for emphasis, that I -- one of those apparently rare people who started out extremely liberal and has gotten further Left with each passing year -- never in a million years expected to be living in Oklahoma, much less make it my (probably) permanent home. Life brings some damn strange twists of fate.

I know for a fact that, if my move to Oklahoma had not coincided with the birth of the netroots, I would be in a padded room right now.

So, when "Auld Acquaintance" plays, I don't have much context to build up any tears for old friends of days gone by.

But start talking about " Virtual Community," and, honey, on a night like tonight, the tears will start to flow.

And tonight being New Years Eve is not the only thing prompting my expression of gratitude for the Internet and blogs like this one. No, it's what has been happening around here the last few days.

If you haven't felt it, well, you are obviously too busy with the loved ones in your real life, LOL. For those of us still plugged in, by necessity or choice, it's been a virtual love fest, virtually speaking!

But it would be hard to visit Daily Kos since Dec. 21 and not run across one of the many Lifetime Subscription threads that have graced the site like a vein of gold. If you think this is all just too much sentimentality, I hope you think again. I urge you, sometime in the last few hours of 2011, to take the opportunity to see a really remarkable community spectacle: the outpouring of community love and reciprocity.

We will be back to arguing and fighting over strategy and tactics soon enough. It is just so right and needed that this opportunity for bonding and selflessness takes place as we prepare to enter what is sure to be a very difficult year. We can look back at this very real season of giving between distant, unseen, "virtual" friends, and say

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And auld lang syne?

I was one of those who was gifted with a lifetime subscription, and I also gave the much smaller donation that I could afford to the pool fund from which my gift came (thank you!). I feel fortunate that I was able to experience both the gift of receiving AND giving.

For me, deficient in "auld acquaintance" as I am, I gotta say, Virtual Community is pretty damn unforgettable! Thank to all and here's to 2012's political arguments and policy battles! Cheers!

P. S. If you want to get in on the last few hours of the Lifetime Subscription Extravaganza, see this diary, or this tag or this one.

P. P. S. I have a small donor thread for Man Eegee for your donating pleasure, right here.

Update: Abbreviated (vid-free diary, quick load) list.

Also, Man Eegee was gifted, now working on getting Mike Stark a lifetime sub, and everyone else on the now quite short wish list. Please chip in, truly any amount helps.

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