Thursday, January 25, 2007

back in the saddle again

In the past month, the below three points have conspired against me, leaving me impotent.

1) At Christmas my brother-in-law Chris casually mentioned that he liked my style of writing and that if he were in that end of publishing he'd try to get me a book deal. Chris works for Wiley Publishing, who publishes among other things, the For Dummies books.

I have never had aspirations to become a writer. I’m too lazy and uninspired. So for someone to say that, even in passing, is ludicrous. Plus, any book that I might write would have to be centered on Oreos, boobies and the frustrations of living with Himself since this is the only thing I write about with any degree of knowledge. And really, who would read that book?!?

It felt good to have my words validated but on the other hand it paralyzed me. I felt as though I needed to impress the professional in him. Which in retrospect is absurd since he publishes computer books.

2) Like a fool, I shared my blog entries with my mother. We sat and read them together, Christmas night. She loved them. I cringed every time she read a post where I used “fuck”.

She turned to me the first time she read one and looking over her bi-focals quietly said “You weren’t raised to talk like that.”

“I only use it for emphasis.” I replied untruthfully.

Again, it felt good to have my words validated. Even if it was from my mother, who is obligated to tell me how wonderful I am by the mere fact that she my mother. Even so, I was left with the unsettled feeling that I had shared too much, while my mother was left with the feeling that she really must get a computer if only to read my blog.

3) I flamed someone. Anonymously, of course. I am not a complete idiot! But this chick had written something so asinine that she had a hostile comment coming.

As expected, she took immediate offense, erased the entire entry from her blog, wrote a big long “why is everyone so mean to me” sob story threatening to leave the blogging world and went dark for several weeks.

In the meantime, she got tons of comments, reviling the horrid person who caused her such pain. I know this because, against my better judgment, I kept going back to check her site. I don’t know why I subjected myself to her blog in the first place, except that I liked to read it and then pass it on to Sanna so we could laugh at how melodramatic and generic she was.

What amazed and saddened me was that over 50 people posted comments telling her how wonderful she was and how she should not give up blogging. Couldn’t any of these people see what I saw? The drama, the constants bids for affirmation, the poor spelling?!?!

And let me say, admitting that I flamed someone feels oh so gooooood

After much pondering and several aborted attempts at drafting a blog, I sat down and had an internal discussion with myself. We decided that I was letting these issues in particular #3, weigh me down. So we drafted a plan that would set me free.

This is what we did:

1) We thought back to Christmas Day and replayed the conversation with Chris again and determined that while Chris’ was comment was indeed complimentary it was uttered under a Prednisone high (he has asthma and is allergic to cats and my in-laws have THREE indoor cats) and shouldn’t be taken too seriously and that we should go back to writing about whatever strikes our fancy and stop trying to impress him. Except of course, for our vocabulary of which we are VERY proud.

2) When Mum finally does get her computer and has it all hooked up and learns how to navigate the internet, she’ll have to find Nejyerf all on her own. We’re not going to send her the link. This should take months.

3) This point, the point that caused us the most angst turned out to be the easiest one to remedy. We don’t know why we didn’t think of it sooner. DELETE. DELETE. DELETE. We did some housekeeping on our RSS feeder and eliminated several blogs including hers. We are also keeping our visits to certain spaces to a minimum. It's better for all concerned. By avoiding these spaces we can keep our sanity and go backing to talking in the first person.

Days later I’m feeling psychically lighter.

Thus this monster post.

if you've reached this part of the post then please feel free to say "i can't believe i've read the whole thing, now give me a prize!!"


Cory said...

I have to admit that I read several blogs for the "trainwreck" factor. You must email me that url asap!

Top Chef recap coming to your inbox soon.

Michael C said...

Hahahahahaa Jen!! Nice to have you back and keep up the good work on here. I enjoy reading your daily posts.

Cousin Mike

meg said...

Nothing like a pressure to clog up the font of cleverness :P Good move to just shrug off the stress- blog for yourself, the way you want :)

Beth said...

Oooh, I am with Cory...I read some blogs just to sit there with my mouth hanging open going "Oooh, thank GAWD I am not that NUTS!" Me want the url too, puhleeze.

Welcome back, BABY! I missed you and I look forward to you coming by...ooh and feel free to flame away on my blog because I have a flame retardent suit remember.

UpNorthCindy said...

Hey! I learned some time ago not to compliment the writer too much. This one guy wrote the funniest stuff...then he went all depressed and turned into the biggest whiner ever and kept apologizing for not being able to entertain anymore and just wrote about what a loser he is.

I know the other type in part #3. I keep going back to her blog just to see if for once she's not complaining about something. It's always poor me, I'm sick, my kids did this, my neighbors did that...never ending complaining!

But this is always a good stop. And btw, your bro-in-law is right.


NJaney said...

She's back :)

I love your writing, and I haven't had one thing to drink today.

Obviously I'll be checking back to see if you give us a link to the trainwreck post.

Random-Acts said...

Oh , Paleeease, What drama You have congered up over complements and criticism. (( back of hand to forehead )) Sigh!!

Your eelectric personality may be reading too many blogs

Really, you mustn't read between the lines when someone speaks to you. Take their words at face value nothing more. A complement spoken on your behalf , Say "Thank You," Received a bit of Criticism say "yes I'll try to remember that." no harm no foul

Blogging however is another animal and these methods are of no use what so ever. Reading between the lines in a blog is what makes them fun. writing a blog that requires reading between the lines, a blast !

Congrats on your first flaming session I would really love to read it. and sounds like it would be a Great Random-Act for my space.

I really do enjoy your writing as well as trainwrecks ! Your flame had to have been juicy. Please, share a glass of flaming juice with me, won't you.

What Random-Acts have you perpetrated on humanity lately?

kilowatthour said...

ah, yes. blog impotence. i'm suffering from a little bit of that myself lately. i hope to get over it at some point. meh.

kay said...

Hey! You're the nicest person EVER!! Thanks for the awesome card, you stinker. Was it a dollar-store one? Because it was FANCY! And encouraging and kind and all the other good things cards are.

Whomever it was that you flamed? I can say with all certainty that they totally deserved it. I don't even have to read word one of it to know that you wouldn't have done it had they not been deserving.

Now, for god's sake, tell me who it is. I have a charming (as in SNAKE-charming) way of insulting people and they don't even realize it. It's fun!

And hell, yes, your brother-in-law is right!

Just write like you do, and people will love it. (oh, dear lord, i've been away too long. i just wrote "just RIGHT like you do, and..." lord.)

Take care, Friend. And get busy RIGHTIN'!

bethydiane said...

I think your writing is a lot like David Sedaris - quirky, funny, and honest. Except... I'm not really a huge fan of his. I've only read one-half of one of his books: Me Talk Pretty One Day. When I read, I usually want to be taught a lesson, and I guess I feel he wasn't preachy enough.

As for the mom reading your blogs, my mom actually found out about my blog when she came down for my wedding and consequently created her own blog. She has absolutely nothing on it and she never comments on my blog, but I have a sneaking suspicion she reads it based on the fact that I don't call her as often as I should.