There are questions never asked here, and I want you all to know that I do appreciate your restraint, your apparent faith in me. There is, however, one question that I get asked in real life that I feel is best addressed here (no, it has nothing to do with managing my staggering sex appeal – seems everyone just assumes I’m completely oblivious to my effect on others); strangely, the question is about this blog, even though, as I’ve alluded a mere eight commas ago (shut up, I do not run-on, it’s called a complex sentence, and the count is now eleven) it’s never asked by anyone who actually follows this blog.
Let me explain. There are, apparently, three kinds of people in this world: my beloved subscribers, followers, etc. comprise the first and favored group, for surely you will be raptured ahead of all others, even if you get sent right back when the apocalypse turns out to be only a really bad hail storm or something , because isn’t hail the actual worst? Like, worse than snow or rain or any of it? I mean, whose brilliant idea was it for there to be a weather pattern that not only destroys property, but makes it hurt to go outside, while being so temporary and non life-threatening that you can’t even whine about it like you can a tornado? Yeah, fuck hail.
There are also, sadly, the people who have not yet discovered this blog. Let us pity them and help bring them into the fold, by sharing links to posts and telling them about all the fun we have here. Because, and I cannot stress this enough, on the blog version of my life, you get a chance to talk. This so does not happen in real life conversations with me.
And then there are the people who know me in real life. IRL. Now, some of them (out of necessity, I assure you!) overlap a bit into the second category, and hopefully wouldn’t recognize events or themselves in any entries. If they do… oh well, fuck ‘em. I haven’t said anything that isn’t true, after all. But the majority of my actual friends know, and have read a post or two at some point. They read, maybe chuckled, and then wandered away, bemused that anyone who doesn’t know me in real life would be at all interested in my little ramblings. They are the ones who ask The Question.
There’s some variation, but it always follows the same basic formula.
ME: (not saying anything about the blog, because I’ve given up begging friends to Notice and Share)
FRIEND: So, I read your blog…
ME: Oh? (expectant smile)*
FRIEND: It’s cute/funny/I remember that
FRIEND: What does he think of it?
Now, there’s a wealth of tone loaded into that question, so let’s break it down.
“What does he think of it?”
First of all, regardless of the volume of the preceding conversation, we drop to nearly a whisper at this point. Note the emphasis on he, almost as if we’re not sure if it’s okay to use his name? My friends know his real name! There’s also that weird “you can confide in me” head bob, where the person gives you wide eyes, side-eye, and a little “just between us” chin jut, all at the same time. Some have gone for looking down, as though making eye contact with a woman who’s about to be divorced over a blog is a health hazard, but they’re all clearly braced for my answer to be some form of “Oh, he’s furious and I’m going to need to sleep on your couch until I find my own place; don’t worry, the dogs sleep on the couch with me and the cats will find their own little nooks.”
Here’s the thing: he knows about the blog, we talked about it back when I was first posting our little conversations on my personal facebook page goddamned forever ago. All of this was about half his idea, half my friend’s idea. I had to be dragged into it, if you can imagine. Also, this is a thing that happens on a regular basis:
ME: Did you read today’s?
HIM: Yup. First thing.
HIM: ‘s good. (blahblah, appropriate feedback)
He’s also the one to wake me if a post goes live before I’m up and he notices a typo. Which I appreciate more than I can say, because three people thinking I’m an idiot is way better than a hundred people knowing that I am.
Also-also? He knows when he’s said or done something that’s going to end up on the internet.
HIM: This is the kind of snow where, after it gets dark, you can turn on your high beams and it looks like you’ve just made the jump to hyperspace.
ME: Ye-eeess… Yes it is. (takes out phone)
HIM: (laughs) and now you’re making a note.
ME: Yes. Yes I am.
* Variation goes something like this:
FRIEND: I read your blog.
ME: (happy smile) Oh? Which post?
FRIEND: … ?
ME: (guessing) You… read the whole blog?
FRIEND: I read the thing about _________. Is there more?
ME: (seriously considers putting everything on one impossible-to-load front page again)