Monday, April 23, 2012

Of Blogs and Birthdays and Baginas and Blow Jobs

Last week I will admit that I was a little bitter because I wanted to go to the Erma Bombeck Writer's Conference, which only happens every two years, and it was on my birthday, and was where I met some kick-ass bloggers last year, one of whom has a book coming out, Mommy Mixology, at

So Janet of MTM went to the conference and is posting all kinds of cool stuff, and The Bearded Iris, whom I love, was also there and posting great stuff, and I'm all "Waaa, waaa, I didn't get to go to EBWW and it was my birthday and no one bought me a cake and I spent it attending OD's musical, waaa." Of COURSE I would rather have been at the musical.  Of course.  But it doesn't stop me from having one of those "But what happened to MY life?  MY interests?" moments.

Then I read The Bearded Iris' blog today and I'm even more pissed I didn't go because I'm afraid now I'm forced to stalk her until I meet her at a conference, because I think we are living similar lives and I need to get a DNA sample to see if we are related somehow.  Here is her blog post, read at will:  Here's the skinny if you don't have time to read it yet - her cover as a blogger was blown, and her son's friend told her son that he knew about his mom's blog.  The cold fear of every semi-anonymous blogger, including myself.

I love this photo at The Bearded Iris - she rocks it.

Her last two posts are near and dear to my heart, because I struggle with this very thing.  I started blogging about 12 years ago, so if I had stuck with it I would perhaps be able to live off of blogging and be home with my kids like I'd like to be, but I'm not bitter and that's what's important.  I was also a writer for a local newspaper and had an award-winning column called "Diary of a Mad Housewife."  At the time, it was okay to tell stories about how my daughter called it a "Bagina" and said nothing was EVER coming out of hers.  Or to talk about how my son thought our minister was YD's dad, or how my nursing boobs were hanging out at Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha at a tour bus stop, all because my kids were little and no one cared.  The only person I was embarrassing was myself, and I was (and am) okay with that.

A couple of years ago, when OD was 13, some moms of her friends were reading the blog, and one of them let slip something that was on a Whoreticulture Friday post.  It was fairly innocuous, BUT, I found myself thinking, "I talk about blow jobs.  Waxing.  Positions.  Farting.  Which teenager is going to completely out my kid at school over my blog because their parents let them read it?"  (THIS IS NOT A BLOG FOR ANYONE UNDER 18.  In case it was unclear.   Because you might think it's funny to share with your teen, but your teen may not have judgement or filters when talking to mine.)  But at the same time, teachers at all three of my kids' schools read it.  Some of their doctors read it.  My in-laws and parents and sister and CH's siblings sometimes read it.  Current Husband and many of his friends read it.  A local mom who hates my living guts for some still-unknown reason reads it to troll for information she can use to get other people to judge me.  It's a sticky wicket. 

Here's a freebie, judgey people - I'm showing off my melons in public again,
while forgetting to suck in my gut.  OD took this picture. Someone call the DHS.

Bloggers generally don't get paid.  I don't.  It takes one to two hours to write a post, which I try to do three times a week.  Because Blogger sucks, I rarely get comments or feedback.  I once got an extremely nasty comment from someone who said that I am a c*nt and they would let CH bend them over (stranger, or local acquaintance?  I'll never know.  C'est la vie.)  It's times like those, and the potential embarrassment factor to the kids, that make you want to quit.  When you stare at your computer screen and say, "Why am I even writing this damn blog for no one?" 

But in the slew of messages I got on my personal facebook page on my birthday, a few stood out as being blog-specific: 
  • I was crying laughing last night catching up on your blog!
  • Girl, we should SO be celebrating your day at Erma this year :( Hope you have a most AWESOME year, Friend! Get that novel out this year--this is your year! Cheers to you!!!
  • Can't tell you how often I read your observations and laugh so hard that I can hardly breathe
  • Thank you for making me laugh every single day! :)
  • Happy birthday sweetie! Wish we were celebrating at Erma!!! :(
  • Hey you hot piece of sass - Happymuthafahkinbirthday!!!!! xoxox
That last one was written by The Insatiable Host, Danon, my favorite Canadian.  We "met" through blogging, and while I've never seen her face I can somehow hear her voice.  Two of the comments are from people I've known for over 20 years.  Two are from people I met at Erma Bombeck in 2010, and two are from people I've never met in person.  I also have a terrific posse of friends who frequently support me and talk up the blog - I've always been a storyteller, and I've threatened to write a book forever (just like every third person on the street does), and that support from friends new and old?  That is the payment.  That is the reason for blogging.  You will all never know how much that support means to me - it keeps me writing.  I just hope the blog never exists at the expense of my kids.

I'd love to hear from other bloggers who have similar situations as Iris.  Do your kids' friends know you blog?  Do you blog under your real name?  Do tell.  I think Iris stirred something up that has been on the minds of bloggers for a long time.


Lynn MacDonald said...

Well, I blog under my real name but I didn't blog when my kids were little. Plus I'm exactly the same in real life.

I don't worry about comments really either and I rarely leave them

My kids hate my blog but their friends read it which bugs them. Too fucking bad right?

Julie, The Wife said...

Okay Lynn, that cracked me right the hell up. Am pouring a drink for you.

Jess said...

Most of my friends and family know about my blog...but I highly doubt they read it because I haven't gotten any pissed off phone calls.
My son, who is 10, knows I blog but I don't think he knows the name of my blog which is good because I really don't want his father or step mother reading it.
I haven't been a very good blogger lately, but I am trying to get back into it.

Julie, The Wife said...

Hi Jess - my kids didn't know the name of my blog when they were your son's age either, and I'm glad. Now that they're 15 and almost 13, the older ones know, but they aren't supposed to read it. But who knows?

Jill said...

I don't blog but just had to tell you to keep doing what you do. You tell it like it is and I love that. I read what you post and think damn....she is writing about my life right now! It makes me feel better when I am close to losing it

Shirley said...

My family knows that I blog but they don't know the name or how to find it. I've asked them not to look. Not because I'm living a fabulous double agent life but, because my blog is just a snap shot of my life and I woul hate for them to think its the whole picture. I've been meaning to ask when you plan on blogging about the Fifty Shades trilogy. I'd love to hear your take on it.

Queen B said...

I don't use real names, although it would be pretty easy to tell who we are since I do use real pics. I really doubt I will ever have a quarter of the following that you or 'The Bearded Iris' do so I guess I'm not really worried about it. My kids know I 'blog', but I don't think they really understand what that means. Now, my husband?? He doesn't know and that's really the way I want it. I think he's the only one I'm a little concerned about, but maybe that's because I've chosen to refer to him as King A or Asshole on my blog. Hey, I love him, but if the shoe fits... :)

GrandeMocha said...

You make me laugh and that brings me back.

Muffintopmommy said...

I was so beyond bummed you couldn't hit Erma this year. If I gotta go on a field trip and drag your ass out of quad cities next time, Imma gonna. So let's make this easy on both of us, huh?> :)

So first, a huge thanks for the shout out. And you and Iris could surely be sistahs from another mistah. I admire you both because you put it out there with honesty and a full heart---if only every writer were so brave. I don't think most people could imagine the balls, the time, and the talent that takes.

If you want to write a book, do it. I know you can. More importantly, deep down, you know you can. I'm a BELIEBER, baby!

So whatchu waiting for????????? Step away from the melons and get yo ass writing!!!!! :)

shiny/happy@home said...

Here-here! I'm with MTM :)

Julie, The Wife said...

@Shiny and MTM, you're killing me - why weren't we all at Erma together? That was so fun. 2014? Seriously. And thanks you two nutty kids.
@Jill and @Shirley and @QueenB, you're awesome and you should all go to Erma Bombeck too, dammit. And I haven't yet read 50 Shades because I'm reading The Bloggess's book right now! But after that I am on it like white on rice.

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