Monday, January 23, 2012

On Blogging and Boundaries and Gravy

Yesterday I went to lunch with a group of women I like a lot.

One of the women said something complimentary about my blog.  Then she said, I couldn’t write a blog the way you do.  You say so much personal stuff.  (I am paraphrasing, but this is what I took away from her comment.)

It made me think a lot about myself and about the unwritten contract a writer-who-blogs has with her readers.  How much personal stuff is appropriate to divulge?  What are my obligations?

This is tricky for me.  For many years, I was an introvert who talked too much.  I was very happy in the company of my own thoughts, and then I would go to a party and regale people I barely knew with information that was 1) inappropriate and/or 2) indiscreet. 

Oh, jeez.  It still makes me cringe.

Then I learned about boundaries, which is what you learn in therapy (in addition to all the ways in which you were toxically parented).  I learned that I didn’t have to reveal personal details of my life to mere acquaintances just to prove to myself that I was open and authentic.  I could be private.  I could keep my mouth shut for a change.

But here I am, blabbing away again.

I’d like to say that I’m doing it in the hope that something I say about my demented mother or my fledgling efforts to dress well or my difficulty adjusting to life as the mother of adult children who bungee jump in New Zealand and drink Scotch without asking my permission first may help someone else going through something similar.

And that would be nice.

But honestly?  The reason I do it is because I’m a writer.  And writers write for the glorious, intoxicating, simple pleasure of Writing It Down. 

It’s lovely if someone reads it, wonderful beyond description if it provides comfort or solace or a sense of not being alone in this world.

But that’s all gravy.  And as my mother used to say mournfully when the waiter brought her the meatloaf, “I didn’t know there was going to be gravy!”


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Why I Am Exhausted

Questions asked by my mother while I was at her apartment this afternoon:

--Can I get you something?  Some soup?

--What can I get you to eat?

--Do you still have those crappy curtains in your bedroom?

--Is it Thursday?

--Can I make you some soup?

--Why isn’t that Huntsman winning?  I like him.

--Why has that damn clock stopped again?

--Do you like Wolf Blitzer?  I love him.

--Can I make you something for lunch?

--How’s Richard?

--Do you like tuna?  Can I make you a tuna sandwich?

--Why doesn’t she (CNN’s Candy Crowley) lose some weight?

--Why is Piers Morgan on television?  I can’t stand that Piers Morgan.

--What is the matter with that damn clock?

--Are you hungry?