Originally posted March 18, 2006. A LITTLE UPDATE & words before I read the post myself: 2.18.13:
I have been asked to post more of my archives, which I am working on. I have put this post up with my current postings because people are having a hard time locating it.
That being said, I have always intended to keep this post offline. I took this post down nearly seven years ago after deeply hurting another person. It has become hilariously or not so hilariously obvious that I can run, but I cannot hide. Seeing as how copies of this post are cataloged in some sort of blog hell, once in awhile escaping with links to some back-up post of this post always finding their way back to me. You may love it. You may hate it. It may even make you yawn. I wrote it.
The women I indirectly referred to in this post were hurt, and firmly expressed, “once it is out there you can never ever take it back,” Yes and true. Seven years has been a strange, slow death, and I also think the years of bad luck one receives when breaking a mirror.
I whole heartily believe in forgiveness, and believe that there is enough love, understanding, and even success to go around. My guess is that these women, or any human, for that matter, are not perfect, yet are grateful for open hearts, the ability for others to forgive and to let go, at least that is what I hope.
Let me also be clear. In truth, or maybe naievety, I never thought this post was that inflammatory. I actually thought it was an interesting perspective, albeit a slightly insecure, slightly ass-kissy perspective. I did not understand the overreaction, yet and nevertheless I sincerely apologized. Sadly and as weird as it may sound, this post was merely a launching pad for a whole series of craziness, my own craziness not withstanding. Go meltdowns! If you do it right, they can take you to a better place! Yay!
And if I have learned another thing (because I have hopefully learned a lot), it is this, what happened with me and blogging is not unique. I am not special and I had to learn why my choices took me to that place. Moving on. Thing is that blogs have changed in the past seven years. Many people no longer blog. They have moved on to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, their online businesses, and whatever else. My guess is that only the few people, those who keep referring to this post, care anymore, and yet it was oddly therapeutic revisiting this mess after so many years. Yes, I have not read this post in seven years. I better get to it.
PS Just read the beginning. Also think this post is good for archival research. It was written while blogs were still new and just becoming part of the public lexicon.
Just finished. I do not understand what all the anger and backlash was all about. Really. I do not get it.
I want to hug Beth of seven years ago and tell her she is beautiful, kind, well spoken, and I am sorry you were so afraid. Beth, you wrote a really interesting observation of what it is like to be a blogger and a friend to someone who was becoming famous & famous quickly. I think Dave would agree! Go YOU! Well done! Take YOU back!
NOW to the ORIGINAL POST:
Ok . . . humph . . . so most of the people I know in the human world have no idea what a blog is. If they do, it’s a superficial knowledge at best. And their superficial knowledge comes out sounding like an ABC Nightly News sound bite, “There is a new internet fad sweeping the nation called blogging . . .” If I am lucky, they might know that people who blog get fired for blogging or that blogs were the reason that CBS got into so much trouble with the whole fact checking George W. Bush’s military record issue or that maybe their sister posts pictures of her kids on the internet and that’s a blog, right? For this reason, I pretty much avoid the fact that what Dave does for a living is essentially run a technology blog, that we are able to live off of the income from this technology blog and that we have been “blogging” since 1997, way before it was called blogging. Big deal. Instead, I usually tell people, who ask, that Dave works in high-tech as a publisher. End of story.
Today I met up with a good friend of mine and her kids for a play date. She beautifully (because she is so cool) reinforces my conclusion, which is that most folks don’t understand what blogging is about and that they really aren’t that impressed by blog importance either. That, I might add, is not such a bad thing. I usually don’t talk about CrazyUs offline because I figure I will bore people, but today my friend wanted to know whether or not I had decided to go to Moab this weekend. And this my friends, is where Blog World meets the Real World. She knew that I was planning to go there with my friend Heather and some of her out-of-town guests and wanted to know why I had decided not to go.
Friend: So are these your friends or Heather’s friends?
Beth: Heather’s friends.
Friend: And how do you know Heather again?
Beth: When Dave and I were dating (wink, wink for all of you who know and understand why I might be winking), Heather was dating Dave’s roommate and very good friend, Jonny. Heather and her boyfriend were involved in high-tech and because we were too, it was very easy to connect with them.
Friend: Well then, how does she know these people?
Beth: You know, her website?
Beth: She is an extremely popular blogger?
Friend: A blogger?
Beth: She has a web site.
Friend: Does she sell something, write or what?
Beth: She writes. She is a very good writer.
Friend: She is? What does she write about?
Beth: She is excellent. She writes about her life. Friend: Wow. (looking extremely perplexed that this same girl that she met to see that girl’s beautiful hardwood floors, because she was considering re-doing her own hardwood floors, was famous.)
Friend: No way! And this is when I explained the New York Times article, The ABC Nightly News, NPR and all the news organizations who have covered Heather and other bloggers.
Friend: So are her friends bloggers too?
Beth: Yes. They are The Famous Bloggers. (How else do I describe them to someone who has absolutely no idea what a blog really is.
To use Dave’s analogy: It is like talking about the absolutely most famous pop star in Kazakhstan. Outside Kazakhstan, no one knows, nor do they care who this person is. In the blog world, Heather and her friends are the pop stars.)
Beth: I met them last night. They are very intelligent, well experienced and seem to know everyone who is anyone in not only blogging, but in high-tech.
Friend: Well then, why didn’t you go? You blog.
Beth: I do. But I am not a part of that world. It is weird. I get accused of competing with Heather or trying to ride on her coattails. (which I probably will be accused of by writing this, so if any of you are about to write that in the comments, or even think about it in your heads, let me just pre-emptively tell you to suck it.) Last night when I wanted to talk about my kids’ soccer game and being happy to get a moment of adult time, it was apparent that I completely did not fit in with these women, who were talking a lot about their world. What else should they have been talking about? When you are at a scrapbooking convention, you talk about die cuts, right? Blogging is what brought these ladies together. I did not want to talk about my blog, because what was on my mind were my kids, my PMS and the fact that my bad headache had finally gone away. Woo-hoo! What was really cool, however, was that Heather had my back the whole time, and had nothing but nice things to say about me, and I finally saw [because I am slow] that our friendship is really separate from all this blog bullshit. Even though collectively no one noticed that I was just joking when I said that my only job is merely being a mother (like I was saying that motherhood wasn’t as important as a career), Heather knew that I was just being my smart-assed, dead-panned self. And that actually, motherhood is the amazing thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. Last night, I was merely an observer and I enjoyed it. Although, like I said, what I really enjoyed were the moments, the non-blog-related moments where my real-world friend and I laughed at the mundane, “Damn it. Your porch light is broken. Now Jon can’t see that I didn’t park on your grass for once.” For many reasons I told her that I had decided not to go. Mostly, because I didn’t feel well and didn’t want to. Sure, I didn’t really feel like I fit in – into that elite blog world. That is my problem. Heather encouraged me in the best and most respectful way to go and because she knows me, she knows that I desperately need the break. The waters that have been so muddied lately became much clearer last night, however. Blogging is weird. I think it is even weirder that people email me so they can get closer to my blog-famous-friend. That, folks, is just plain shallow. And no, if Heather is not emailing you back, do not bother emailing me. And if you are really looking for a fame connection, my very good friend Mike is very good friends with Jared Leto. Maybe you could email him. And if you need an even more direct connection, I am on a first-name-basis with the CEO of Black and Decker. Need any power tools? You see, it hurts my feelings when I realize how insincere people can be, that they think because they get to know me that they have a ticket into Heather’s world. You don’t. I am not just Heather’s friend, Dave’s wife or Kyle and Eli’s mom, I am Beth. What I do is important to me and I know that the bar is set very low here in the internet world. I take the risk of entering a world that to quote my internet friend, “is faceless and therefore gives people the balls to act like turdmonkeys, and sometimes makes lonely people feel like they bond with total strangers.” I am way too trusting of people and their motivations. I am sad that because of blogging I have been forced to see the world differently. I am frustrated that it has been hard for me to adjust to these new boundaries. My skin needs to get much thicker I guess. I don’t stand on higher ground than anyone else. I write because I love to write. I love to convey my thoughts, blog or no blog. What makes me saddest of all, is that because of the blog-phenomenon that is so close to home, I was forced to question and address things that in the real world really do not matter. I love Heather like I love all of the people in my life. I love Heather whether she is on the cover of Newsweek or she needs me to sit with her at the hospital while she has food poisoning. I loved Heather before she got fired for her blog. I am glad I see how necessary it is to separate.
The internet has been good to me. That does not go unnoticed. It has enhanced my real life more than I could possibly dream. Through the muddiness, I have been grateful to encounter such cool folks. I know them as Krystyn and Michelle. Becca and Liza, “You are right. Even though we will live only blocks away from each other, we would have never met if it were not for the internet.” I am grateful for all of the great advice I have been given, from the woman who suggested I make poppies for Kyle’s pre-school class to all of you who understood and had my back when I was so frustrated with the drunken man. Your words were powerful too. Many of you have awesome web sites. And believe me, I have read them. I am amazed and blown away by information that is only a click away. The world is changing. Technology is blowing away traditional boundaries. I am lucky to be alive at this crazy time and eventually I hope I can wrap my head around all this blogging business. Hey, and by the way, if you are reading Crazy Us, I hope that you are reading because you enjoy what you have found.
Comments (2.17.13 PS: there are many, many comments to this post. That there is a dead link. I am working with our web guy to find them fore they are buried deep in my archives. I am also trying to figure out how to turn NEW comments on. Feel free to send me a message and I can post it for you. Thank you.)