The thing about blogging is when you start doing stuff so you can blog about it, you’ve pretty much won the Disingenuous Derby and ought to go sit down.
I’m not there yet but it hits me at various times of the day that I’ve got a date with a blank blog page coming up. So then the pressing question becomes: what do I decide to make more of a big deal of than it actually warrants? Like what sliver of a thing can be made to represent something momentous, moving. Because as a blogger, I really only want to hear two things about what I write: 1) that’s really moving or 2) that’s really funny.
As I get along in blogging years, it is the latter that seems like the holiest and remotest grail. “Can someone just fucking say I’m funny?” I ask myself, brushing away all of the ‘that’s so moving’ comments. I want to be funny. Just once.
I came close this week with a fictional piece depicting a conversation between my two dogs. There was a healthy number of ‘likes’ and one person actually said she was laughing. So that’s close to being funny, instigating some laughter. And my husband smirked. He doesn’t actually laugh. Well, he has one of those silent (and expressionless) laughs. I only know he’s laughing because he covers his mouth with his hand as if to stifle some enormous, neighbor-stunning guffaw. We have shocked the neighbors by screaming at our kids but never with our laughter. That’s grim if you think about it. Let’s not.
Years ago, before Donald Trump popularized the incredible astonishing misogynist insult, people used to say (not everyday and not everywhere) that there were three things you never told a woman: that she wasn’t a good cook, a good mother or a good lay. What? Oh my God! Can you imagine? And I grew up in this sexist stew.
I’d add to that, maybe, that one ought not tell a woman she’s not a decent blogger. ‘What you write is neither here nor there.’ If I heard that, I would run the speaker down with my car. I wouldn’t even borrow the old man’s SUV, I’d take my 10-year old Thunderbird and gun it.
Maybe I’m too sensitive about my writing. Too needy.
All of this is a prelude to what? Well, I remembered tonight that several weeks ago I decided to run a weekly Saturday night feature (that ran one week) about ‘things that struck me this week.’ It was such a paralyzingly good idea that I put it on a post-it note stuck to my computer but never thought about it again.
So because I’m going nowhere, I will go here. Five things that struck me this week:
- I made a mistake related to my work and had to alert people and apologize. Not a big mistake but, at my age, any mistake is a symptom unless one can recoup ASAP and sound like a fucking wizard for having discovered and corrected said mistake.
- It occurs to me that my hearing disability makes me too much trouble to talk to for a lot of people. Oddly, the people with the most patience in talking to me are much younger. I wonder if I am becoming a Yoda in the forest, worth the effort for the small bit of wisdom I might impart. ‘Stay sweet,’ I would say to them.
- My husband wants to buy an enormous truck that will require a personal guide with a flashlight to lead him up and down our narrow shared driveway. I am wondering what I could buy to match this extravagance but then tallying Target runs over the past year and wondering if we might be close to equal. I buy toilet paper though, changing the entire equation.
- In the check-out line of a department store (not Target), I was surprised by a former client and was so unexpectedly and unabashedly happy to see her. She was well and hearty and had not been so the last time I’d seen her. She’d had cancer but seemed now to be fiercely healthy and happy. Wow, I thought, what a beautiful thing to see.
- Today, I went to a neighborhood event partly sponsored by my husband’s nonprofit organization. We were two of four or five white people there not counting the police who were there with free books and a K-9 German Shepherd that may have had the biggest dog head I’ve ever seen. And even though I have years of experience being one of few or the only white people someplace, I never lose consciousness of it. I am at home here, that’s what I feel. I always feel at home. But I think people wonder about me. Hard to explain.
So that’s my Saturday night. No enormous laughs, nothing very moving. Just a slice. That’s all. Just a slice.