Hey, you payers-of-attention to linear time: I missed a day of posting. I know. But mama needed new boots, so she blew off writing and went out and bought them. And my, how new leather smells soooo much better than my apartment, which is where I have been cooped up for the past week trying to scratch out another babillion words for this “novel” I am supposed to be writing. Look for a make-up entry real soon here.
Since it’s mid month, I thought I would take a moment here and answer a few questions that many of you have been asking me lately.
Question #1. Who in the hell is “CLH“?
CLH stands for Common Law Husband, and that is the pseudonym I have given to the saintly man I have been sharing my life with for the past ten years. Since we have been living together for so long, we are considered by the state of Washington, where we live, to be a common-law husband and wife. And there you have it.
When I started this blog years ago I was supremely paranoid about privacy. I wasn’t sure I wanted anyone to know specifics about my life (HA!) because I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take this blog in. Was it going to be my soapbox for my political rants? My venue for exposing the unprofessional doings of my clients? My million page opus on the juxtaposition between this city’s yah-sure, you-betcha, can-do, consensus buildin‘, community-lovin‘, hug-fest attitude, and its staggering inability to make a goddamned DECISION ABOUT ANYTHING, SPECIFICALLY A MONORAL!? Ahem. (Smoothing down skirt and straightening hair). Where was I? Ah yes. Now that it’s been a few years and now that I’ve told you about everything from my Eustachian tubes to my House In The Flight Path Of An International Airport, I think I can come clean about who I spend the majority of my free time with.
CLH’s real name is Stan, but he also goes by Mr. Stan. At one point, he also went by the nickname Smooshy, hence the name of his blog and his business name. He is the one who makes the Internet go in our house, the one that does the majority of the laundry, and the one that makes fried eggs exactly how I like them. He is wonderful with kids, he is a black belt in Aikido, and he is a very talented massage therapist. As he has never killed a spider indoors, his karma is quite good. He is also eligible to claim a seat at the right hand of the Father for putting up with my mood swings, my demands for French Fries at 11:25 pm, and my utter disregard for the “proper” location of the toothpaste cap.
Question #2. How does one avoid the public stoning that is sure to happen once my crazy neighbor/soccer mom friend/impossible coworker reads what I have written about him/her on my blog?
Well, I don’t know the answer to that one, my friends. Blogging is a balancing act between saying enough and saying too much. There are the lives of your loved ones to consider, after all.
Chances are, if you’re committing your day to day life to your blog, you are going to have to tell a story or two about someone who REALLY pisses you off. And that’s okay. I would advise against devoting TONS of time on bashing your coworker (unless, of course, you’re trying to make us laugh. In that case, bludgeon the guy to death. Really. Go for it.) Seriously: I think there are ways to tell your audience a story without exposing all the identity revealing specifics and still make it readable.
I think you have to ask yourself two basic questions before you sit down to blog: for whom am I writing? And why? If you’re worried your grandma from Texas might be reading your blog, and she might not like the part where you get high and start using your dog’s back for an ottoman while you lie on the couch and watch re-runs of “Benson” night after night, you might want to turn your filter up to eleven. You risk, however, depriving yourself and your greater audience of the full experience of your life. Editing your work for the more sensitive reader means you’re probably leaving out some of the very excellent stuff that makes us cranky, petty, angsty, confused, and therefore human. Not that those are the only things that make us human; there are plenty of other horrible things that make us human as well. It’s just that blogging offers us the unique opportunity to hide some of the more “colorful” sides of us, and I say that we do ourselves a great disservice by not telling the whole story of ourselves. What is the Internet if not a giant sounding board for all of us to yell about our stale cookies? Or coo about our babies? Or post videos of our cats running into walls? Give your audience as much as you are willing to give up and I think the connections you will make with perfect strangers will far outweigh the scorn you’ll receive for admitting you don’t particularly fancy your neighbors. My only rule for writing is this: be honest. Tell the truth as best you know it. Be aware that your truth is not every one’s truth.
This is YOUR blog, and YOUR life. Be honest. Be aware.
And the next time that sonofabitch in the next cubicle over starts chewing his doughnut with his mouth open again, you make sure to tell all of us about it.