Blog with caution!
Work Wife has started blogging again, and we started discussing the peculiar — or is it? — dance of disclosure that comes up when we decide what to write about, and how we do so.
Our blog backgrounds are quite different: I started mine back when I was a Tribune writer — and because it was work-related, and housed on the Trib’s website, I self-censored pretty automatically. It was Sam-the-Tribune-style-editor’s blog, not a truly personal one … but somehow I managed to get away with things like recapping an episode of “America’s Next Top Model” using only haiku, which had nothing to do with “go and do information in the East Valley” (which was drilled into our heads by management). Basically, I added a personal touch to a professional blog. (After I left the Trib they took down Sammit [with one T], which made me sad. I wish I had archived the posts separately, because there was some clever, entertaining stuff in there.)
Work Wife’s blog, meanwhile, was something she did on the side. Not in secret, like “I don’t want to get caught,” but she kept it low-profile and wrote it anonymously. I learned about it through a co-worker, who forwarded me the link with a comment about how much he enjoyed reading it. “She’s really fun,” he said. “Who knew?”
Quick background: Work Wife and I had actually toiled together once before, but we never really hit it off back then. (I would say the relationship was cordial but not overly friendly, which always amazes people who know us now, and sometimes amazes even me, too.) She wasn’t too outgoing with the rest of the staff, so it was a surprise for her former co-workers to realize how funny and smart she was.
Much later, she killed that blog after someone — we never figured out who — tried to get her in trouble at work and forwarded PDFs of the posts to higher-ups at our company. Unfortunately for the pseudonymous sender (although we do have a suspect or two, nothing was proven), there was nothing potentially troublesome in her posts, her boss and the head of HR both loved her writing (in fact, she scored a writing gig specifically because of it), and no negative consequences came of it. (As Work Wife so eloquently put it: “Suck it, [last name of pseudonym].”) But still, she was a little weirded out by the concept of a ill-intentioned blog stalker and took it down.
But she’s started a new one, so we were discussing the way we blog: She prefers to write once, check for typos, and then throw it up there — it’s freeform and includes posts about, say, how her pets go crazy at night. (I want to include quotes but lest they be Google-able, will not.) My approach is more — surprise! — cautious: I’ve worked on posts every night for a week until I think they’re just right, and even after that I’ve scuttled finished pieces because I decided that other people probably didn’t care about my thoughts on Topic X.
(Plus: Since we work in a client-relations industry, we’ve been reminded that we should steer away from anything that could give potential customers any pause about signing a contract. Like this picture, for a not-so-hypothetical example, which is in my Facebook photo albums but not as a profile picture, in case a religion-based hospital, for example, would take umbrage.)
So, I’ve realized the blog isn’t as fun/personal/manic as it could be, representing The Full Sammitt. Is that a bad thing? Maybe less entertaining, so you won’t get to read all about, say, how high-maintenance and the Fleshjack is. (I’m not providing a link. Please, please don’t Google that word unless your tolerance for The Gayness is high. And if you’re worried about TMI, you should skip the rest of this whole paragraph, too.) Well, maybe you’ll read a little bit: It makes a weird whooshy-whistling bellows-style noise in flagrante delicto, for starters. And there are so many “you should do this” rules — Warm it up by soaking in warm water for 10 minutes! Only use this kind of lubricant!* Air-dry after rinsing!** Powder with cornstarch afterward! — it’s probably easier just to find an actual partner. Uh, so I read on the Internet somewhere, I mean.
Which is to say: For full Saucy Sam, you’d have to go elsewhere.*** But I enjoy sharing the parts of my life that don’t require “Please, please don’t Google that word” disclaimers. Plus, three cool things happened independently within a day: (1) My friend Becky shot me a note that said that Sammitt inspired her to start her own blog, where she mixes real estate stuff with her favorite shoes and recipes. (2) My friend Ann shot me another note complimenting my What Sam Wore getup on the 28th. (It was kick-ass, I have to say.). (3) A reader named Evan posted something really nice on this page. All of which made me think, “You know what? People really do read this, and seem to enjoy it.” So Sammitt’s not going away anytime soon. You just won’t get all of him here.
* [Watch out for dripping water from that whole 10-minute soak!]
** (“Hey, what’s that in your dish rack?” “Uh, nothing. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”)
*** In fact, I started another blog, and taking a cue from Work Wife, it’s anonymous. Probably the only way you’ll find it is by running some sort of complicated writing-style-recognition software through blogging programs. (And look for lots of parentheses, probably.) But: Would I host it on Blogger or Blogspot to maximize separation from Sammitt, or would I stay on WordPress because you’d think that I would deliberately choose Blogger or Blogspot?
|WHAT SAM WORE: 1-30-11|
|The shirt: V-neck T-shirt by Mossimo, from Target.|
|The shorts: Cargo shorts by American Eagle Outfitters, from Buffalo Exchange.|
|The shoes: Flip-flops by Reef, on sale at Macy’s in Honolulu.|