Five Things I’ve Noticed While
Reading Other People’s Blogs
1. They all have much cleaner/nicer houses than I do. Mostly it’s the pictures of sanitized rooms with pristine white slipcovers or comforters and white carpet that have me convinced of this, but sometimes it’s the text where someone or another discusses how a splotch of something ruined their mornings. I would give my left ear to walk into my kitchen and only notice a splotch. Most mornings I walk into my kitchen, praying on my way there that the refrigerator will have remained shut all night, thereby performing its function of preserving the food therein.
There’s a hole in my aged linoleum, and, god only knows why, it’s mysteriously stained blue in front of the dishwasher from when the NEW dishwasher was constantly vomiting wash water onto the floor; the fronts of the cabinets have stains, not drips, on them, the stove exhaust hood wasn’t spotless when we moved here, and it hasn’t gotten any better (although it hasn’t gotten much worse, either, I do have SOME standards), and there is inevitably a collection of dropped dishtowels on the floor, along with bits of trash that missed the can when they were thrown in that general direction, bird fluff and seeds, food from when the Labrador decides it no longer belongs in the bowl, plenty of dust, sticky blobs on the counter, crap in the sink, and a fine, protective layer of dog hair on pretty much everything. I swear, on my favorite Auntie’s grave, it looked much better when I went to bed.
And that’s just the kitchen. Heaven forbid we discuss other rooms. I think I am the only person in America who has the joy of having a digital camera, a blog, and a cluttered and lived-in house.
…I am NOT taking any pictures of it to prove it to you!
2. Their furniture and gardens are better/tidier, too. Everybody with a blog can afford new furniture. I did not know this was a requirement when I started my blog. I will probably be retroactively sent to the basement to wash smelly diapers in perpetuity in order to atone for my sin of presumption.
We lived on borrowed, found, thrift shop, or garage sale furniture exclusively for the first decade of our marriage. Orange couches, really awful plaid armchairs, coffee tables scrounged, refinished and fixed up, and some relative’s discarded bed made up our “shabby, not-so-chic” décor. There was a hidden bonus to our cruddy furnishings, though, I really didn’t care if the babies threw up or smeared grape jelly on it. I cleaned messes up, sure, but I had no financial or emotional investment in any of it. Things are marginally better now, what with a few pieces of new (extremely durable and stain resistant) stuff I’ve bought within the last 5 years and a better grade of crap overall, but still…
Gardens? Where are the pictures of marigolds skeletonized by earwigs? The fountains with bird poop on them, the yards with bald patches and ordinary kid pools in them? How about misaligned badminton nets, basketball hoops that are slightly askew, and a tall, healthy thistle plant amongst the struggling roses? On my damn blog and nowhere else. “Welcome ladies and germs to the only website showing you a REAL typical American yard!” Aaargh.
3. It is easier to despise than to admire. I have read a lot of snooty blogs that disparage other people’s blog’s failings. I have probably fallen into that trap myself, but I am putting a sticky note on my computer to “look for the positive” if I talk about another person’s blog. I admit to envy, sarcasm, and an excess of bad humor. I am trying desperately to avoid commenting on spelling, creativity, whether or not someone’s blog is well-organized, and all that other stuff. I figure it’s like my cable. I can always change the channel if I don’t like what I see. I don’t have to bitch about it. OK, I do recognize the inherent irony of even speaking of snotty blogs, but I’m moving on now.
4. There are a lot of knitters out there nowadays. WHEEEEEE! That’s so cool! For the first half of my life, I was the only person I knew of who knit. Then came the Knitlist, which is still with us, and I’m finding and being advised of blogs and websites from some old, familiar names everyday. It’s absolutely great to see so many people celebrating knitting in so many different ways.
5. Too narrow of a theme can kill a blog. I suppose that goes for a lot of things; if you limit the scope, you thereby limit the probable audience. Over the last couple of years, though, I’ve noticed that blogs that are very strictly limited to a particular topic tend to phase themselves out – fewer new postings, apologies for delays in posting, lack of new material, etc. I hope to avoid that, and may wind up changing things around from time to time in order to do so.
But, first, I think I need to clean my kitchen. Again.