~Thursday, August 09, 2012

Coming Out (as a Blogger)

The sun tried its best to peer through the blinds of the rented condo. On the other side of the blinds was the ocean, but Abraham and I were in no hurry to get to it. I was lazily flipping through channels on TV. Tennis was on for the Olympics, but it's the one sport I can't stand watching. I settled on some reality TV show called Miss Advised. It's about three women who are dating advice columnists, and cameras follow them around to see if they live by the advice they give. Short answer: they don't. It's a terrible show. Don't watch it. There's a lot of whining involved.

One of the girls is a blogger.

Abraham huffed, "I don't understand why people want to read about someone's love life."

I shifted uneasily. "Oh really? Explain."

"It's just that there's too much advice in the world. Everybody's got an opinion on how to do things right. What's wrong with letting things happen naturally without over-analyzing it?"

He has a valid point. When the Singleship shuttered her blog, she wrote that she was tired of analyzing everything. She wanted a bad date to just be a bad date. She didn't want to obsess over it and end up crying on a bar stool. And when the good date does come, she wants to just enjoy it and not rehash everything. She has since removed the post, but she explained it eloquently.

I thought of the blogs I follow. Some I talk about to my real-world friends like they're real people. "I guess you just get involved in people's lives and wish them well," I said.

We had eventually made it to the beach. We lathered each other in sunscreen and splashed in the waves and did all the things that beach goers do. Cold beers in hand, we were enjoying the sitting in the beach chair portion of the trip.

"I still write in a blog," I announced.

We both have dead blogs sitting on the Internet. Abraham told me once that blogging "is so 2010."

"The dead blog?" he asked.

"No, another one."

I described the circumstances that led to me to start this blog: moving to the city for a boyfriend, only to find out he was seeing an ex within two weeks of me picking up my life for him. Then getting fired at my new job because I was upset about the boyfriend and finding myself a post-grad living at home with my mommy.

"And I was just so fucking sad. I was so sad that I needed to purge all the ugly feelings I was feeling inside. I guess the reason I put it on the Internet as opposed to a diary is that I just wanted to know if I was normal, it if was normal to be that sad.

"It's all anonymous," I continued. "I wrote anonymously so I could be uncensored in how pathetic I felt. But I've kept it throughout the years."

"How often do you write in it?" he asked.

"About twice a week."

"Do you write about me?"

"I have."

"Do you complain about me in your blog?" he asked, worried.

I was taken aback. I grabbed his wrist. "There's nothing to complain about."

"Who knows about it?"

"Nobody. Not even my parents. I think they would be proud if they knew about it. They think I've wasted my writing ability."

"Does Harvey know about it?"

"She knows one exists, but she doesn't have access to it."

"South Carolina Bestie?"

"Ah! She knows about it and reads it. We met through the blog. We probably emailed for five years before meeting... Do you know when I describe people to you as my pen pals? They are all people I met through the blog."

"What's my name on the blog?"

"I'm not telling you! Right now it's my private place to write about my feelings. Maybe I'll share it with you in the future, but I'm not ready yet. I've kept the blog for so long that a lot of my past is on it." Read: Put a ring on my finger, let me delete a few posts and then you can have at it.

"Do you have a stat counter on your blog? I have one that still emails me weekly updates on my dead blog. It still gets a random visitor. And I thought only my family read it."

I squirmed again. I knew the answer would make him more curious than I wanted him to be. "I do."

"How many people read your blog?"

"Erm, about 1,000 people a day."


I shrugged. If I didn't make the blog a big deal, he wouldn't either.

"Now I want to read it. Did you tell people I'm 6'2" and 175 pounds?"

"I don't have any identifying features on it to keep it anonymous."

"That will keep it anonymous! They won't know I'm not!"

"Okay, you can be 6'2" and 175 pounds."

He's 6'2" and 175 pounds.

"Did you tell the story of when you threw up all over my bathroom?"

"I did!"

This answer satisfied him for some reason.

"Can people comment on your blog?"

"They can, but I turned off anonymous comments. You have to have an account. Like you were saying earlier, everyone has an opinion and advice to give. It was starting to confuse me."

"What were they saying?"

"For starters, they said that we would never work because you're Jewish and I'm not. More than one person accused me of writing fiction and that my life was not my life." I left out the part where everyone went into a tizzy because they were convinced I was in a secret sex relationship.

He snorted.

The conversation petered out. I felt like I was being dishonest with him by having the blog (and the email and the Twitter accounts) without him knowing. He's the first person about whom I've felt that way. I didn't feel dishonest with the others.

There were two things I wanted to emphasize when I told Abraham that I had an anonymous blog: it wasn't a big deal, and it was private. I think I accomplished both. And of course, because Abraham is Abraham, he didn't care. He'll respect my privacy until I'm ready. Whenever that will be.


Bathwater said...

Your blog is a big deal, it is your book in the making. I envy you the ability not to share you work with him. Someday he will enjoy the parts you do share.

J said...

Thank you for the (totally unexpected!) kind words. I often wondered myself how- or if- I would explain the blog if I wound up in a serious relationship. I am impressed with your honesty, because that shit is NOT easy. Major kudos to the both of you for trusting each other enough to reveal such personal things while still allowing each other space and privacy. Do you feel relieved now that he knows?

Red Stethoscope said...

You did it! You jumped off the ledge! I think sharing the blog address is more significant than sharing a bed or a set of keys. It's like a window to your soul.

The Lawyer knows about my blog and claims he doesn't read it regularly, BUT if I try to advertise what I've written on Twitter, then he goes and reads those entries, because he says that I'm "making it public." It's public all the time! He's so silly. I can basically control his reading by just not Twittering about my updates.

Also, that show Miss Advised is a nightmare. As someone who used to be a relationship advice columnist, I did NOT do crazy things like them. I think I watched once and it was too painful to make a habit out of it.

Je m'appelle Danielle said...

Brave girl, a blog is a big deal. I was explaining mine to my hairdresser today, its like a journal, I do my best to not be malicious or say hurtful things. Its not a 'burn blog'.

I like that he is rational about it, and isn't all obsessive about it.

Sarie said...

My boyfriend of a 15 months knows that I have a blog and that I use it frequently. I know he's even seen my scroll through my friends page, but he has never seen MY ACTUAL blog/journal. Sometimes I talk about people as "my journal friends" in conversation to him.

Confession: after your post about 300 kisses, I asked my boyfriend for 101 kisses as a test. He passed.

Emma said...

Wow! Big step!

Ever the Nervous Nelly: Just be careful. I told an ex about my blog. One day while I was at work he went on my computer, found it, got angry at what I wrote and wrote his own blog post reacting! I was so embarrassed when I got home and found a bunch of comments in my inbox, replying to his post. It was awful.

Granted - it was when we were young and stupid. But just a word of the wise, I guess.

Good luck with everything. I'm so glad he reacted the way he did. He just sounds so chill and fun :)

Anonymous said...

Even though its not meant to, I kinda wish I had the same kind of following you clearly do.

Also I'm convinced that people need to have their secrets. The list changes as time goes by. Its the reason I'd never allow a girlfriend access to my phone, or email or facebook. Not that I have anything to hide but I've learned that if you start looking for trouble, you'll find it eventually.

Mummy Dearest said...

So proud of you! This is HUGE!
Oh, and did you tell him Oprah is a dedicated reader!?!

Dee Dee Mozeleski said...

I love this post. I've been writing for about eight years now and can't tell you how many times men have asked:

Will you write about me?

Um, maybe. But if I do, it's really about me since it's my blog. Silly. ;)

No, seriously, I love your blog - glad it's not dead and look forward to reading more - and commenting more often.

Missy said...

Perfect! I'm so glad you shared and someday he'll get a kick out of reading and knowing you even more!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, where can I find an Abraham? Tell him he is awesome. Oh and tell yourself that too...repeatedly.

Angela said...

^^ I want one too. ;) I'd like to find someone before I really feel too washed up - as I have been feeling for a while now.

He really sounds wonderful. :)

Me said...

I've told zero people about my blog and plan to keep it that way (and it's not even a dating blog). 1,000 hits per day? Huh, I don't get 1% of that.

The Mad Inscriber said...

6'2" & 175? Sure. Of course, if you know how to do a Google search, he can now find your blog... but hey, he wasn't trained in the fine art of internet research like we were.

Tex In The City said...

I agree with the person who says your blog is your book in the making! Both you and your blog are a big deal (at least it is to us).

nuttycow said...

Does A have a brother? Who is single and has a thing for English girls?

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that he knows about the blog!! I didn't realize the crap you were getting from commenters, that sucks! Keep up the good work! I haven't stopped by in a while and when I typed in the address I was afraid you would be gone..I'm glad thats not the case!

Anonymous said...

After seeing your post in a BlogHer feed, I've now spent the entire week reading the whole shebang. And, wow.

I used to keep my blog a secret from my BF and other "real life" people. Now that I'm at my happiest, I don't have as many secrets I need to keep from them.

Here's wishing you well!


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