I’ve been reading Heather Armstrong’s blog since I discovered her while living away from home with my new husband for the first time (well, not exactly, but basically…I’ll tell that story another day). She’s from my home town and I was home SICK. I was out west and hating every second of it. People were not like me; people did not understand the importance of a good bbq sandwich and some stereotypically hypocritical southern hospitality.
Case in point: people in the grocery store out west use the little dividers on the check out belt, like, religiously. Compulsively, even. I was almost knocked over once by a woman reaching for the divider that I blatantly neglected to place behind my belongings. What was I thinking?
We don’t do that in the south. We simply tell the cashier where our loot ends and the next person’s begins. We just say something clever, like, “umm…that apple’s not mine,” or, “that jar of pigs feet belongs to her.” No problem. Well, not in Phoenix. Do. Not. Speak. To/Near/About. the woman behind you in the grocery store. I learned that lesson straight away.
But when I discovered Dooce, I felt like I could relate. Her life was just a couple of steps ahead of mine. I could read about what she was doing and daydream that I, too, might be doing that some day. I, too, might be remodeling my kitchen with my handy, grizzly husband (even our husbands are both super earthy, techy, smarty, sexy, hairy men). In fact, we are planning to remodel our kitchen this summer…about 5 years after the original discovery.
I would come home from work at the call center and get lost in Heather’s life. She was pregnant (my daughter is 2 years younger than hers), she hated her corporate job (I still hate mine), she liked to shock people with her language of a sailor (it’s funny), I needed the similarities at that time and find that occasionally, I still do.
So I read Dooce with a certain need for familiarity regarding surface distinguishing qualities like that; not necessarily because of the skill or ability she has with words. I mean, she’s funny, but she’s not that terribly deep. I should say – she’s not trying to make her blog that deep. It seems to be a conscious decision and it’s such a very well operated blog, that she actually is probably terribly “deep” but that’s not her point. I’m entertained by her like I’m entertained by Jennifer Aniston. It’s a little self-conscious, but a little liberating at the same time. I’m a woman, dammit, and I like girly things. But I also have a brain and I like tongue-in-cheek. Wait. Jennifer Aniston is pretty obvious…hopefully you get the point.
What is the point?
I guess I’m saying that knowing what you’re reading and why will help you not get lost in the entertainment aspect of blogging. It’s that on purpose. If you want depth, look elsewhere.