I’ve been blogging for a little over eight months. I started with one post a month, so really only four months. It’s official. I’m addicted. I’m reading, um yeah, a lot of blogs now. Just ask Matt. He’ll tell you that it’s too many. He’ll also tell you that he needs his own computer. Imagine it with much eye rolling and you’ll get the picture.
(Matt is my husband. I’m leaving the HSSH nickname behind. It’s annoying because it’s hard to type. It requires shift. Matt is his real name, although I call him Tom. Matt is too biblical. [What movie for five points? Here's the tally. Aunt Dee - 10 points, Ryan - 5 points, Megan, Renee and Insta-mom - 2 points, rest of the universe - O points.])
Every thing bloggy still seems shaded in a warm, rosy red. I know that’s not how it is all the time. Even with the rose-colored shades, I suffer from my share of blog-related angst that I stress about in the wee hours of the morning. Stressing at other times leads to pointless relationship strife. He has two answers. “Um, don’t do it,” and, “oh, wait, I can solve this problem, um, DON’T DO IT.” I’m going to share here, where I might find a mediocum of sympathy.
A few weeks ago, Nissa, an interfriend (new word) of a friend (also, my top nomination for most needs to start her own blog award) left a really sweet comment. I reply-commented (another new word, urban dictionary here I come) that she was giving me a big head. At 2:00 a.m. the next morning, suffering from insomnia, I thought of her comment and my response and I broke out in a cold sweat. I had never said what was utterly obvious to me, “uh, no. No. Not me. I’ve never been smart or funny, let alone smarter or funnier than someone else.” I stressed as only I can stress at 2:00 a.m. I sounded horrific! What a twit.
By the light of day, I went into the comments to re-respond and then I thought, “you dork, get over yourself. NO ONE CARES. No one is going back to old comments to see if you are a twit or not. They already know you are a twit.” (As long as we’re here, Nissa, I’m absolutely not any of those ‘ers’ except the one about having more children than you, which you know, some would not exactly call a badge of honor. Some might even suggest that if I were smarter, I might be able to prevent their continued appearance.)
My stress did make my twit self think about my blog vibe. People I’ve never met read about me here and form a picture of my me-ness. Do I seem friendly, cold, warm, obnoxious, sweet? When I tease my sister Dee or my brother-in-law Ryan, does it read as fun snark, or just meanness? (Wait. You do know that Ryan is completely serious when he calls me Internetgeniusmommy. Because, I am.) Some blogs I read are so warm and welcoming. I’ve visited a blog and been instantly drawn into the writer’s story and personality. I wondered what initial vibe I give.
Then, I read something that made my blood run cold again. A blogger mentioned that she feels obligated to comment on some blogs because they comment on her blog. Another sleepless night. Seriously? I’m a commenter. I figure, I took the time to read the post, I at least want to say that I was there. At times, I have nothing to say or I’m in a hurry, but I comment often. Obviously, because every thing applies to me, I thought, “oh, for the love of god, here I was enjoying the feedback on my writing and thinking I was part of a community with interfriends and I’ll be bushwacked if it doesn’t turn out that I’m just inadvertently guilting people into coming here with my free-commenting ways.”
Here it is, your official absolution. Do Not Do That. I don’t mind. (Gulp. She says with fear of never receiving another comment.) I’ll still comment. I like it. It’s what makes me part of something instead of just yapping to my own damn self. Plus, I feel silly reading someone’s thoughts and then just leaving. I’ll comment when I want to comment and you do the same. Deal? Pinky swear?
I truly enjoy the blogs I visit for tons of different reasons. (Disclaimer! These categories overlap and are not mutually exclusive.) Some, like Cribcronicles, Hey You! Remember Me?!, Citizen of the Month, Thursday Drive, and While the Baby Sleeps have particularly beautiful and insightful writing. Some of my favorites mix great writing and sarcastic humor – The Bloggess, Black Hockey Jesus (although, I still think he rode the fast train to fame clinging to Backpacking Dad’s coattails. Way to capitalize on name recognition. BHJ – BPD, black, back, you see what I mean.), Baby on Bored, Motherhood in NYC. Some inspire fascinating discussion like More Than a Minivan Mom. Others, like Harvard to Homemaker and I’m A Smart One have particularly compelling stories. Penny Carnival and The Z Life are soothing to visit, like a professionally decorated house or a relaxing trip to the spa. Funny Girl, But Why Mommy and You’re Gonna Miss This are adoptive moms that make me feel less alone. Some, like AMomTwoBoys and Mama Ginger Tree are just fun and make me laugh out loud. So many are becoming friends. (Disclaimer #2! This is not even close to all of the blogs I read, or love. I’m just overwhelmed and weary of linking.)
On the other hand, blogging is supposed to be a break from my small children, not an excuse to let them be raised by wolves. (Or television. I would actually prefer a wolf to TV – nature, diversity, ecological awareness, survival instinct.) There is a limit to the amount of blogs I can follow, which makes me sad. On a marginally related rant, it bothers me that blogger doesn’t save the email of everyone who comments. I’ve read that there’s a “plug in” that requires an email to comment, but that’s over my head. To me, “plug in” is what you do to make your vacuum cleaner run. And I’m Internetgeniusmommy, so if I can’t figure it out, it can’t be done.
Speaking of comments, I suffer from another bloggy angst related affliction. Commenter’s remorse. It’s relentless and it can strike at any time. I was so glad when Robin posted two comments in one day because she was afraid the first one might be taken wrong. Then, Marinka emailed me to see if a tweet (if you don’t know you don’t want to know) had offended. I heart you girls. I felt so validated in my commenter’s remorse.
Want to know a secret? There is a very popular blog that I will not go back to because I left this asinine comment that made me sound like I was twelve. It wasn’t mean or even rude, it was just dumb. Cringing right now dumb. I read her blog in my reader and I plan to keep it that way. It’s too bad because she’s an excellent writer and her comments often have interesting discussions. I’d like to follow her on twitter because most twitterers do and I read a lot of one-sided conversations not following her, but I won’t. I don’t want to give her a reason to remember my existence.
My final source of angst is blogrolls (for non-bloggers, those lists of blogs that you read in the sidebar.) I can’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, I like them. It’s so much fun to visit a blog that I enjoy reading and see my name listed. I feel all warm and fuzzy to know that someone I’ve never met enjoys reading what I write. I’ve started one several times, but if I list everyone I read, it’s way too long and if I don’t, well, I just feel icky. Which is silly. While it’s fun to see myself listed, it doesn’t stop me from reading a blog if I’m not. It doesn’t even make me feel bad – I respect that a lot of you just say, this is who I recommend, period. I wish I could be like that. But, I’m not. The idea of listing some and not others, even with valid reasons, bugs me. Can’t do it. It’s a wishy washy aspect of my personality that I’m not fond of, but there it is.
That’s why I started the post of the week, to link to writing that I love, or that struck me as insightful, or funny. Perfect. Problem is, it’s up for a week, and then it’s gone. Too quick. I want something more.
We’ve been playing a movie quote game for a while in Anyland. I throw a marginally relevant movie quote (or song) into a post and the first one to identity it gets five points. Towards what you ask? Towards nothing, wiseass. This is not Delta Airlines. You’re not working towards a free round trip ticket any where we fly on Tuesdays when the moon is blue and no one else wants to travel, so long as you sit by the bathroom and pay $100 in miscellaneous fees and agree to change planes in Chicago and Atlanta on your way from Seattle to Los Angeles. NO. You get nothing but the pleasure of beating out any other readers I might have and showing me your breathtaking trivia knowledge.
But, I hear you protest, you need recognition. Fame. Glory. Your hard earned points up in lights. Look hither, my trivia spouting friends. It was all worth it now, wasn’t it? (Hint, quote game tally, in the sidebar ——>)
(Points will be awarded completely arbitrarily and without regard to any rules whatsoever on Tuesdays when the moon is full. Play is voluntary. The operator of the Movie Trivia Game accepts no liability for any damages, real or virtual, sustained in your participation in this game. The operator reserves the right to ban any one from play at any time without valid reason. Play at your own risk. All rights reserved. Not valid where prohibited. Must be 21 or older to play. Complaints can be registered with customer service and they will be responded to most likely never in Hindi or Bangladeshi. For English, press ten. [This one goes to eleven. Movie?])
The game tally is a thing of beauty because it solves my blogroll problem while giving credit where credit is due. Brilliant. Genius, your other name is Anymommy. Plus, I don’t control it. How beautiful is that? I make no value judgments, follow no moral compass, nothing can be pinned back to me. It’s all on you and your quick commenting and your trivia retention. It’s like I’m a politician. It’s fun. Maybe I’ll run for president so I can appear on the cover of the New Yorker with a yellow Star of David tattooed on my forehead. Digression.
So, come on, bloggers of my heart. Get guessing so that I can add you to my blogroll, uh I mean movie quote contest. There’s a new one way up there in the first paragraph of this ridiculously long and self-indulgent post and another just two paragraphs up. But listen, Black Hockey Jesus, Jenny the Bloggess, Citizen Neil and Stefanie (Baby on Bored). Don’t even bother. I declare you disqualified. You can correctly identify movies until the cows come home and I won’t add you. Why? You sob. The cruelty. Do you hate our blogs? Have we wronged you? Oh no, like the rest of the blogging world, I read your blogs with the fanaticism of a stalker. It’s because you have enough hero worship for one lifetime. But mostly, its because you are funnier than me, you are smarter than me and worst of all, you write better than I do. So, no points. None. Childish and petty enough for you? What can I say, it’s my world, you’re all just reading about it.