Friday, June 30, 2006

Blog Closet

When I started writing this blog, I was a total blog newbie. I started it at the suggestion of two friends who thought I had something to say out here on the Internets. I still don't really know what I'm doing out here, in the blog cyberscape, as I didn't think it would last long (my fatal flaw-- I never think anything is going to last long). But I started this, and I didn't tell anyone that I knew about it. Not because I wanted to write anything that would get me dooced. I knew I would keep it sassy but classy, as the Pussycat Dolls would say. (Yeah, I just quoted the Pussycat Dolls. Such is my lot in life). I figured I'd talk librarian stuff, life stuff, pop culture stuff. It would be for me. I told Neighbor J and Biology Girl and Jenny. Then I told Ali and Map. A couple more after that. But for the most part, I just kept it under my hat. Don't really know why.

After a bit, I discovered that there were people out there who had found me, and were reading my stuff, and being really kind to me about it. People I had never met. Most of my readers are in the Midwest, which I find so interesting because I am originally a midwesterner myself. I wonder if there's something about the way I write that appeals to my homies back home. I don't know how it happened, but these people (alla yous reading this) are so great, so generous, so smart, so ridiculously funny in your comments and emails. It made me want to keep writing and checking out your blogs and feeling the love out there.

I'm leading up to something here, and it's not just a Sally Field "you really like me!" moment. Now that I've been doing this for a bit, and I have you guys out there who listen to my blatherings and seem to understand them, I feel, well, strange about coming out of the blogging closet to people that I actually know, in person. I'm unsure about whether I need to. Maybe I should just keep it the way it has been, which is great. But there seems to be something so secretive about not telling people, especially at this point. And I am not a secretive person, by nature. For instance:

When the Whole Foods in my neighborhood first opened, I went there almost every day that summer to get a smoothie. I was having a serious addictive love affair with those god damn smoothies. They may as well have been crack flavored. So, into the Whole Foods I would go, to order up. At the counter, they always ask your name, so that they can call it out when your smoothie is up. I didn't give them my real name. Again, this was not out of some paranoid idea that anyone gave a shit about what my name was so I had to keep it a secret. It's just that I have a hard to pronounce first name. Let me re-phrase. I actually have a very easy-to-pronounce first name, but it is unfamiliar to most, so people butcher it. This gets confusing. I have been called "Brenda" and "Rhonda" and "Braillah" (the feminine of "Braille"?), none of which are anywhere close to my name. So I told the smoothie guy that my name was Jane. Because that's easy to say, easy to spell, and people are familiar with the name Jane, right?

Well, the next day, when I came in to get my smoothie, the guy who worked there remembered me. "Hiya Jane!" he said to me as I walked in. I felt embarrassed, but I didn't correct him. How could I tell him that my name wasn't really Jane? Wouldn't that have been too weird?

This went on ALL SUMMER LONG. Not only did this guy continue to call me Jane, all of the other people who worked at that counter also came to know me as Jane. They all greeted me warmly each and every time I walked in the door. It was like Norm on Cheers. "Jane!" they would say, all happy to see me. But it was too late. How could I go back now? How could I tell them, after weeks and weeks of so much niceness, that I wasn't Jane? I felt terrible every time it happened, and this ended my smoothie habit for good. At least until the staff turned over.

This is how I am starting to feel about my blog, people. How can I tell people that I see all the time, that feel like they know me, that um, hey, I have a blog and have had one for six months, and just sort of, um, forgot to tell you guys about it? Not because it's a secret on purpose, but just something I forgot to mention?

Jane, you're such a weirdo.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. I remember the days of Jane. Once when I went to get a smoothie with you that summer, I recall feeling some pressure to come up with a pseudonym for myself. Sally, was it?

MAP said...

BRAILLA!

You could buy those shoes with your name on them and just lift up your foot to them so they could see it.

Or just break it down like Mrs. R from English. "Like sweep-a my floor? Make-a my bed? Wash-a my laundry?"

By the way, I love being mentioned in your blog!

Librarian Girl said...

Yeah, Brailla! What the eff is that??

Kaijsa said...

You don't have to tell people, unless it comes up. I use my real name on my blog, but not all my friends know about it. YMMV.

Claire said...

just wanted to let you know that your readership is not limited to the MidWest. I'm a UK librarian in training and heart your blog so, it does make me chuckle. Passed you on to a few of my friends too, and so it goes on...

Anonymous said...

I just surfed over here from Anything Said, and I have two stories to share:

1. Many years ago when I worked in downtown St Paul, took the bus to work, and had a strict "don't f-ing talk to me" policy, I told some dork who kept asking me my name that it was Mary (it is not). For the duration of that temp job, every morning this dude (who I later discerned was mildly retarded) would yell out "Hey Mary!" until I responded. Sigh.

2. I *just* gave my boyfriend (of nearly a year) the link to my blog (of nearly 2). He knew I had one, because I kept mentioning it, but I don't know, he's not big on details, or overly curious, or something, and he never pressed me about it. Then I explicitly turned the URL over and he read the whole thing in one day. It caused some problems (which we quickly resolved), and it made me rethink--not for the first time--the purpose of this whole endeavor. I ain't gonna quit. But shaking your thing on the interweb has unforeseen repercussions, that's for sheezie.

Anonymous said...

I just surfed over here from Anything Said, and I have two stories to share:

1. Many years ago when I worked in downtown St Paul, took the bus to work, and had a strict "don't f-ing talk to me" policy, I told some dork who kept asking me my name that it was Mary (it is not). For the duration of that temp job, every morning this dude (who I later discerned was mildly retarded) would yell out "Hey Mary!" until I responded. Sigh.

2. I *just* gave my boyfriend (of nearly a year) the link to my blog (of nearly 2). He knew I had one, because I kept mentioning it, but I don't know, he's not big on details, or overly curious, or something, and he never pressed me about it. Then I explicitly turned the URL over and he read the whole thing in one day. It caused some problems (which we quickly resolved), and it made me rethink--not for the first time--the purpose of this whole endeavor. I ain't gonna quit. But shaking your thing on the interweb has unforeseen repercussions, that's for sheezie.

WDL said...

i don't talk about the blog, spare to my friends. co workers found it on their own.

i live in the midwest, but am from the east coast.

don't feel obligated to share anything you don't want to share. i had to put a stop to it, because people at my library were emailing my blog entries around like forwards. *shaking head*

Then they'd make it back to me by accident when someone would forward it to a bunch of co workers... "check it out... totally true.. and written in house!..."

yeah, not what i want on my bosses desk.

xo,
M

Katie Kiekhaefer said...

My biggest, scariest blog fear is of course that I'm going to get dooced but that my boss will realize I make her seem like a big mean scary lady (which is oftentimes the truth). So, I understand your need to stay in the Blog Closet.

And just like Maven, I'm a big fan of the fake names when I'm on the bus. My name is Megan and I'm a Math major (just cause it sounds so nice together....)