Way back when I started this website, if someone were to ask me to name the three people who would make me the most nervous to know that they were reading my blog, I would immediately respond with:
1. My mother-in-law (who we all love)
2. Orrin Hatch (maybe its just a Utah thing)
3. My local LDS bishop (church leader)
Early on I knew that my mother-in-law was probably my most dedicated CrazyUs reader. I also knew that I needed to embrace and make peace with the knowledge that Dave’s mom was learning about our family via my blog. And so I did. Often I wrote my posts, while asking myself the question,
“How would DeAnne (my MIL) feel about this post? Should I warn her about this before posting it?”
And then over time I realized that my mother-in-law will love me even if she doesn’t dig the topics I chose to write. She will also still love me if I have a sentence fragment, comma splice or dangling modifier. And so what if in her comment, she delicately and correctly spells the word I have misspelled. That is why we love her. (She teaches college grammar, by the way).
As far as Orrin Hatch is concerned, I would have thrown him in because of our personal history [wink]. And seriously, the man seems to have his fingers in every political hot topic. When we lived in the DC area, we often flew back and forth from DC to Salt Lake City. One set of grandparents live in Salt Lake City, the other, back in DC. Often on these flights we would see various political leaders. I remember standing next to Mike Leavitt, the former governor of Utah days after he had been asked to be an administrator for the EPA. Another time when I was pregnant with Eli, I walked on the plane holding Kyle, a diaper bag and a car seat in my arms while Dave readied our stroller for gate check, Orrin Hatch was sitting in first class. Sweat was dripping off of my claustrophobic-feeling body. And never missing an opportunity to kiss a baby (so-to-speak), Orrin smiled, grabbed Kyle’s foot and began to talk.
“What a cute little baby. How old is he?”
I didn’t have a free hand to wipe the sweat off of my upper lip and my anxiety was rising as I noticed the huge group of passengers who were trying to get to their seats, forming a line behind me.
“He is eighteen months.”
“He is so cute.” And then Orrin asked my about seventeen more questions in rapid fire succession. “So where are you headed? Are you from Utah? Do you like to travel? How does your son travel? Boy, he sure is a happy baby [grabs Kyle’s foot again]”
At that moment, the heavens opened as a gracious flight attendant asked me as she grabbed the diaper bag that was falling off my shoulder,
“Ma’am, could I help you to your seat?”
“Oh yes. Thank you.”
Since that moment, on the plane, I have paid more attention to the politics of Mr. Hatch. In fact, I have paid more attention to politics in general. My general philosophy, especially since I am a Democrat, living in a predominately Republican state is,
“Can’t we all just get along?”
If that doesn’t work, I ask,
“Can’t you just respect my right to have a differing opinion than yours?”
About a month ago, because of some careful planning between my good friend and his good friend, my world collided with Orrin’s at the Virgin Megastore in Salt Lake City. As I walked into the store, I noticed several eyes starring right at me. I noticed someone motion to this older gentleman, who was wearing a brightly colored Nordic sweater covered in Olympic pins. He walked up to me and said,
“I read your blog.”
He knew the terminology. Orrin Hatch has read my blog. I may get annoyed when he is politicking me on a plane, but here, at the Virgin Record store, he had me [wink]. We posed for our picture with my cheap old camera (remember my D70 is in the shop) and when I didn’t think the first one turned out, I asked if he would take another. He graciously asked Dave to take our picture) (by name — Um let, me get my point across here, Orrin Hatch addressed my husband by name before he was introduced to Dave). Ok, so Dave took another picture and Orrin was whisked away. Not before the Record Store manager blew a gasket because we were taking pictures in the entrance of her store. It was fabulous.
Now to the bishop. I always thought (deceived myself) that CrazyUs was my special, private place to talk and work through my issues, which obviously meant, that people who new me in the real world would not be reading what I had to say. Silly, Silly me.
Over and over and over and over and over and over again, I have learned that CrazyUs is in the public forum. So when my neighbor, who happens to be the local Mormon Bishop, does a Google search for the local market and CrazyUs comes up number one on that search, he may just click on the link. And he did.
Blogging is just another form of communication. The more people who hop on the blogging train, the more mainstream blogging will be. Please be careful, if you don’t want someone to read what you have to say, then write it in a private off-line journal. And seriously count to ten and think before you use your website as a place to vent about your next door neighbor, because you and I both know that within days or even minutes, your neighbor will somehow learn about the computers, then the internet and eventually do a Google search that leads him directly to you.
You might think that because you’re “just blogging” that all of your jabs and quips don’t have the same impact as when you’re venting in “real life.” Don’t fall into that trap. When you write something down, it doubles its effect, because it makes it permanent, and when, on top of that, you publish it to the world, and open up your target to public scrutiny, it doubles it again.