Reading Lori’s post about her thoughts on blogging and how much one should reveal got me thinking. Again. I struggle with how much to divulge and how to do it. Yeah so no one reads my blog. Or at least no one I know that might be offended by what I’ve written. But let’s face it, that’s because I don’t tell people about it. If I facebooked all my posts I’m sure I’d get a few more people skimming and maybe a comment or two. But I don’t publicise it because I’m scared I’ll say something or there has been something I’ve already posted which would really offend them. I’ve written about friends and family, always using pseudonyms of course, but what if that isn’t good enough? What if I’ve said something to upset them? Or maybe they don’t like being mentioned on a blog, even if it’s not by name… That freaks me the hell out. And here’s why.
I’ve gotten myself in trouble with my big mouth so many times! I’m terrible! My family are really easily offended and even though I don’t have anything to do with most of them, I am terrified of pissing off the ones I do stay in touch with. I’m so judgmental at times, so cold and cutting, I don’t give people the benefit of the doubt, I just harshly cut them down. I don’t mean to. I just tend to be trying so hard to see everything objectively I guess and I have high and confusing standards. I also say too much. A lot. I can’t keep a secret.
Here’s an example: I had a friend at uni who was very bubbly and sociable and somewhat vacuous, or at least I had labelled her that way. She wasn’t unintelligent, but she was a social butterfly who liked sparkly things and would go out of her way to request extra froth on her hot chocolate. And would justify this by explaining to the waitress that she liked froth. I viewed her as someone who had friends just for the hell of it; if someone sat next to her in a lecture and said hi, that was her friend. I didn’t think she really had close friends, they were all acquaintances. Because how deep a conversation can you have about glitter and cupcakes, right?
Anyway, this friend, let’s call her Froth Chick, would organise social get togethers constantly. She’d send out emails to the world about parties or dinners or trips or other events. My small circle of uni friends were on her list and we’d often have a joke about the latest thing she was planning and whether we could be bothered going and potentially having to deal with her boring airhead conversations and giggling and odd science nerd friends. One day, Froth Chick sent out one such invitation. I think it may have been to her birthday. There were literally a few hundred people on that email list, it was insane! Remember the old days when you’d have to scroll down past the block of email addresses of other recipients? This email required about 10 seconds of scrolling just to get to the message! So I made a rude comment about how she’s invited anyone and everyone she’s ever met and most of them probably have no idea who she is nor she them. I didn’t think much about it and hit reply all, carefully deleting her and the few hundred randoms, but leaving my little group of friends. Including her boyfriend. I knew they were about to break up and in fact I’d been in conversations with the group where he’d inferred he had the same opinions of her, so I didn’t think to delete him. I should have. Next thing I knew I had an email from her, showing that the boyfriend had forwarded on my reply. She was understandably upset, saying thanks very much and how offended she was and yes she actually does know everyone on the list and just has a big group of friends etc. I was momentarily in shock. But what did I do? Yes I apologised for upsetting her, but I actually gave her what I considered to be some home truths. I told her she’s too obsessive and clingy with friends and has to stop being so superficial and needy. I can’t remember exactly what I said but would you believe she actually agreed with me and took it all on board, despite how harsh it was, and from that moment on she was significantly more sincere and down to earth. To the extent that I’m actually still in touch with her 13 years later. And I also once joked, right in front of her, about how you don’t need a law degree to do conveyancing and any idiot can do it, having just listened to her go on about how great and challenging her new conveyancing job was. And yes she has a law degree.
The point of that story, though, was not to demonstrate how good I am at mediating and confronting and helping people develop personally (I think I was just lucky and really deserved a slap for being nasty!). The point was, I can’t keep anything to myself, I speak before I think, and I’m really judgmental to the point of unfairness at times. So how can I ever blog and be me without getting myself in a huge pile of shit? Am I overreacting? How will I stick to the rules? I’m pretty sure I’ve already written stuff on this blog that would offend and upset friends or family. I don’t much care if I upset people I no longer have anything to do with and I don’t think I care so much about offending randoms across the interwebs, that’s just how being online is. But that excuse doesn’t fly with my nearest and dearest…