I Wish There Wasn’t A Blogging Community

When I began blogging, I read one blog, Dooce, and I had only found her two months prior. I had no idea there was a community and a ranking system and support and cliques and friends and frenemies and conferences.

Blogging is found at the intersection of personal and business, ideas and reality, fans and friends. The lines are blurry and for most people, the ease of friend to business partner and tweet to cocktail party is simple and fun.

For me, I wish that there wasn’t a blogging community. I wish we were islands reading islands.

By nature, I’m a one-on-one person. I’m not comfortable in groups and sometimes our sense of community feels like standing by a big group of people wondering if or when I should jump in and how to control how I come off in 140 characters or a brief comment or a few paragraphs when there is so much more to me.

Even when I’m standing inside the group spitting out one-liners or getting into a heated debates or silly lovefests, I can feel alone and unknown. And the shock of finding all these bloggers and groups and rules has not worn off over the years because I was so sure that blogging would be me sitting in an empty room with my laptop.

I didn’t create my blog to find friends or community although I have found people I consider friends. I’ve also lost people who I thought were friends. But I don’t blog to be intimately known. I blog because I like to write and tell stories. Because I want people to read them. Because I was tired of dreaming about becoming a writer. So I did want to known but not in the blogging community. I wanted to be known by the elusive reader. To make people laugh. To encourage people to think. To use my words.

And I have been read, gotten jobs, made friends, chosen business partners and even found writers who don’t blog much. I have learned that these writers also have a community of sorts. It’s smaller and less aggressively touted than ours, but they have people who help them write and edit and makes contacts and secure jobs and throw one-liners around. And I find myself disappointed again that I cannot do this on my own.

So I participate in small ways and shoulder shrug and wait to see how long I can get away with growing my blog without fully embracing the blogging community.  And I worry, if community is my only choice, one day I’ll have to change. Or stop blogging.

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How To Fart In Public

I was in a store last week, and my stomach was pretty upset. And by “pretty upset” I mean that my farts could clear a room, which is fine at home because I like being alone, but, when I’m out and about, I developed a more refined response to SILENT BUT DEADLY.

The Speed Walk

Whenever a fart comes on, I begin walking up and down aisle as though I’m speed shopping on SupermarketSweep. When I finally putt-putt out, I double-back around to the aisle that actually has anything I need with the hopes that I’ve out-paced the stink.  If I’m with my husband, the speed walk goes a little more like: Hey sweetie, why are you walking away?  I’m following you but where are you HOLYCRAP {gasping for air} He’s a casualty who either runs in the other direction or shops alone.

The Blame Someone Else

I stand my ground post-fart, and once the smell has reached my nose, I place a look of distain on my face, wrinkle my nose twice and say softly: Eew. Then I eye my fellow patrons.  This one used to be called Blame the Baby, but now my children are old enough to deny it loudly and even more sinister, THEY COMPLETELY CALL ME OUT.

The Hold It In

I stand there and look very, very closely at a very, very interesting book while willing my butt to be air-tight. This is the most desperate and dangerous gas plan because, while it has no running or lies or children announcing who dealt it, the Hold It In can lead to noise, and noise is easier to pinpoint than smell. Although with a squeaky shoe or balloon nearby, I’m golden.

The Find Something Stinkier

This is the most versatile fart response because “something stinkier” can be the perfume aisle, the strange man by the camping gear or garlic hummus.  The key to this fart plan is for the THING to smell stronger than my backside.  Some days this is easier than others, but the plan can be CARRIED AROUND IN A PURSE (why else would the Body Shop make the body spritzer bottles so small?) so don’t rule it out.

This post also serves as a public service announcement because if anyone catches me racing down aisles with a look of distain alternating between spritzing Vanilla body spray and clenching my butt muscles, they should leave the store immediately. Whatever they wanted is not worth it when all four fart plans are in play.

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