There are three words I dread. Three little words which strike terror into my heart and make my mouth run dry with fear …
I. Read. Your. Blog.
Those three words …
That’s four words, isn’t it? Damn my poor counting skills. Although, I suppose ‘I’ isn’t really a word, it’s more of a letter. Yes, technically I’ve decided I’m right. Even if I’m wrong. Which I’m not. Ever.
“I read your blog.”
“Oh!” (Pleasantly surprised)
“Oh.” (Reality dawns)
“Oh dear.” (Fear sets in)
If it’s someone I’ve never met before it’s a bit unsettling – they know more about me than I know about them and instantly puts me on the back foot.
Why this is a problem is beyond me since, due to my appallingly bad memory for faces and general lack of interest in people who aren’t me, I rarely remember anyone I’ve met. I’ve given up introducing myself to people since I frequently find the conversation running thus:
“Hi, I’m Phill Barron.”
“I know, we used to live together.”
Or in extreme cases:
“Oh for God’s sake, I’m your mother.”
This happens so often I’ve taken to preemptive relationship acknowledgement:
“Hey, good to see you again!”
“Have we met?”
“For fuck’s sake, we used to sit together in school. I can’t believe you forgot me. Do they still call you stinky balls?”
What the hell was I talking about?
“I read your blog.”
Sometimes it’ll be a friend I haven’t seen for years (and can’t remember if I pissed them off or not. Probably safe to assume I have) and as soon as they utter those three words (four, I know. Leave me alone) it instantly negates anything I have to talk about.
And this then is the problem – if someone’s already read what I’m up to I have nothing else to say. Every joke, every anecdote, every little step forward in my career – it’s all here and therefore unusable in real life. If you add Facebook into the mix with its status updates and photo albums – it’s perfectly feasible for someone I haven’t seen in two years to be completely up to date with my life.
I may have to ask them about their life which involves dredging up all sorts of information I didn’t listen to in the first place. I don’t want to talk about them, I’m far more interesting.
No, I don’t believe that either – but one day I hope it’s true.
It’s worse when it’s another blogger because, although everyone reads everyone else’s blog – most of us can only remember the big details. It’s a bit like being a really minor celebrity – you’re vaguely aware some people might know things about you but it’s arrogant to assume they’ve committed every detail of your life to memory.
On the other hand, it’s boring to reiterate things the other person already knows.
So to my mind (and without giving it any thought whatsoever) there are only two solutions.
As an aside, I’ve been watching a lot of Stargate SG1 recently and I love it when Sam Carter says “It’s the only possible explanation.” after delivering a load of exposition. Frequently it isn’t the only possible explanation and is merely the one the writers need you to accept to move the story on. I can often think of at least seven other explanations. Three of them usually feature blamanche.
Anyway. There are only two solutions:
- Stop blogging.
- Avoid all conversation until the day I die.
Obviously 1 is out of the question because then I may have to do some real work, so 2 it is. I’m still planning on probably going to the scribomeet on Tuesday but I won’t be speaking. I may point occasionally but that’s about your lot. In most people, an absence of speech would resist in an increase in listening … so to avoid that I’ll probably sit at a different table and read a book.
One with pictures.
If anyone’s still reading, you’re probably wondering what the point of this post is.
If it helps, I’m not sure either.
Probably best to ignore it and maybe it will go away.