Thursday, July 30, 2009

Part Time Pop Star

I tell my husband all the time that I was funny in Kansas. I'm not sure if the state changed me or if the people I hung out with were really inebriated or if I just have a Kansas sort of sense of humor. Maybe all of the above.

But I was never the funny one in high school. I got in the occasional good one liner, but not often. Then I went to college and I sort of found myself. I mean, I didn't realize I was lost until I really came into my own personality. Now don't get me wrong, I was your typical pompous, self-saturated little girl away from Mommy for the first time. I made mistakes - big ones. I pissed off people who were really important to me and broke bonds and did all the terrible stuff one usually does in college, but I did it as me. Not as the facade that I presented in high school in a desperate attempt to maintain my not-quite-bottom-of-the-social-heap status.

And I was moderately popular. Not in the way the cheerleaders are popular (although at Bethel the cheerleaders are not popular but you get what I'm getting at) but I had lots of friends, everyone knew me, a few hated me (which is imperative to popularity). And why? I wasn't suddenly gorgeous, if anything I felt less intelligent there than I had in high school. But I was funny.

Then, I came home. Back in Georgetown, I assumed that I would still be funny. It was me, after all, right? Wrong. No one here laughs at my jokes and people often just stare at me like they don't get me at all. My husband (who is the king of complimenting me) reminds me occasionally that I am not funny.

That's one of the reasons I started blogging. I wanted to funny again. I figured if I opened up the pool, the people who liked my brand of humor (whatever it is) would gravitate toward me and I would find some common ground. Get some lol's in my comments. Feel like I had brightened someone's day. Sunshiney and all, you know?

I also wanted to track things. Mom was constantly telling me to write down the funny things Brynna said. She called me mum-mum until she was almost 2 and said set for yes until she was 3. I knew that if I didn't write them down, I would lose them. And I am not a writer-downer of things. I mean, I write things down and stick them in a drawer or a computer file and don't have any sense of why I want to keep them, so I don't know where to put them. A blog, I figured would be my there. I could stick all the cuteness, all the humor, all the frustration and love and skinned knees into one hole in the internet. People would tolerate me because I was "mommy blogging" and in the future, I could look back on my mommy blogging archives and say "Mum-Mum. I loved that. I felt sort of Brittish whenever she said it and I loved that."

That's another. The third reason I started blogging was to write. Just to put fingers to keyboard and write. Get something out. Extract words from my skull in hopes that getting back in the habit would hasten the appearance of the Great American Novel.

Then I started. I found that I never seemed to write down all those things here, and that I was still only sometimes funny, but instead I found I needed the outlet. I needed to pour something out into the keyboard and see where it landed. Some days it's my soul, or sort of my soul and some days it's something else entirely.

But no one read it. No one. I mean, like my mom and that was it. So, I started promoting it. I joined some sites and I posted announcements sometimes on my Facebook and I read other people's blogs and commented and linked to my own. And I started meeting people. Some were new to me and some were estranged. And then I was blogging for a whole new reason. Now, I was community. (Blech - that word is so overused.) I met people I would never have met in real life and I reconnected with people who may or may not have forgotten who I was. And I thrived off the feeling. Better than laughter, that feeling of belonging. Which, if we want to get all psychoanalytic about it is probably what that making people laugh thing is all about is feeling like I belong, like I can contribute.

Redneck Mommy wrote one time that we blog to feel like rock stars. That we are the high school geeks, the nerds, the ones who were denied attention and we come full circle when we are writing and being published on the interwebz! I never felt like that, until today. Today I ran my analytic tool (which is, by the way) and I felt like a total rock star. Okay, to put things in perspective, I am not a rock star. Redneck Mommy and Pioneer Woman are rock stars and I am the girl who sells t-shirts for the opening act, but still, rock star related, me.

So, today, and today only, I am rock star material. I am rock-star-esque. Tomorrow I will again be writing about ghosts or four year olds or baby milestones or not wanting to leave my house ever again, but not today. Today, I write this missive to the universe for a plethora of reasons, one of which is that I am rockstaresque.

Stephen King (my most favorite rock star writer) wrote once (and I am totally paraphrasing) that he retired because he wanted to enjoy writing without the deadlines and book tours and yadda, yadda, yadda, but he found he couldn't write without an audience. He needed someone to read the book for the process to be complete. (Again, this is more my reading of what SK said than anything he actually said.) And I wanted to just write, with no ultimate goal. But found, that I couldn't.

So, since of most of you guys (at least the commenters among you) have blogs, why do you blog? Why do you put yourself out there and chance ridicule? Do you feel like a rock star? Do you do it for the audience, for yourself or for some amalgamation? Just curious.


Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I always thought you were funny! Then again, many people DON'T think I am funny... so, maybe you shouldn't trust my opinion. :-) Why do I blog... hmmm... I'll post a longer response to this sometime this weekend, but - in a nutshell - I blog because my soul will shrivel up and die if I don't have some sort of human contact with somebody other than my child and the four people I work with. I desperately NEED interaction, but have whittled down to such a small pool of people whom I see/talk to (even though I live in such a big stinkin' city) that I will turn to dust and blow away if I can't be my snarky self somewhere. One can only submerge one's own personality for the sake of parenting for so long before one explodes, y'know?

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Whoops! What I meant above is that I'll post a response on my blog about this - not that I would hijack your blog to pontificate or anything! LOL

Suze said...

I blog for the usual mama blog reasons - keeping up with far-away family and friends, grown-up outlet, place to record all the funny stuff my kids say and do...and also because where else can you go on and on about random stuff like the prez drinking a Bud Light? It's all about vanity.

Anonymous said...

True, you didn't suddenly become gorgeous--you were already gorgeous--you came about it honestly, through your gorgeous mother and grandmother. And now you have gorgeous daughters.

I know that's not what you were trying to say here, but still, I had to say it because I didn't say it enough when you probably needed to hear it from me. Now I'm sure you don't, becuase I know Bob thought you were gorgeous then and probably tells you all the time now.

I first started to blog just so I could gain access to other people's blogs, and I still blog out of 1. obligation--if I'm going to nag my friends and family to blog, then I better at least write a few lines every other week or so 2. I got tired of throwing away (or worse, keeping) journals that were less than one quarter full, 3. to share the thoughts that I wouldn't dare try to incorporate into a face to face conversation. I know this leads to some not awesome blogginess, but I don't feel guilty, because my goal is not awesome blogginess. I feel a little sorry for the people who feel obligated to read my blog, maybe because I read theirs, and have to make themselves suffer through it, but then again, I'm not asking them to read it. (And that's why I often leave comments as anonymous, but with my name, so people don't feel obligated to link to my blog.)

I love to read yours, though. I do feel like you're sensitive to your audience. I'm not, really. Mine's pretty selfish. It's a little like whistling, or humming. (I do like to hum.)

Mom said...

I blog because I live in a house of males with lots of testosterone and even though they listen to what I say, they don't hear what I mean. And when I get sentimental, they laugh at me (because then they don't have to cry!). But when I blog I can pretend that anyone who reads it really gets what I mean and I can be as girly as I want.

And I LOVE Ann! (No one ever tells me I'm gorgeous and my son calls me "dude" a lot. - LOL!)