Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blogging About The Blog

Yesterday my son told me he thought the day's blog post was whiny. He said I usually either whined or ranted. "You know," he said, "you may have a broken refrigerator, but you're sitting there with your books, the dog, and your horse. It's a good life."

I'd like to point out that later in the conversation he complained that his university's wifi wasn't strong enough to allow him to play Xbox Live.

Anyway, I tried to explain narrative tension to him: how conflict drives interest. Thou Shalt Not Be Boring is an author's first commandment, and The Day It Rained in My Kitchen is intuitively a more interesting story than The Day Everything Was Fine.

Whatever, he said. I whine too much.

I felt indignant about this, so I complained to my husband when he came home. "That was a pretty whiny post," my husband said. "Also, I do not have to wait less long in doctor's offices because I am a doctor."

Huh. Some people you just can't please.

Bert and Ernie, however, other than trying to figure out which one I was calling Bert and which one I was calling Ernie, are quite pleased about my post regarding their wedding and have forwarded it to each of their 37,000 friends. I teased Ernie that I didn't think s/he read my blog. "Bert made me," was the reply. I just wish now I'd written that post a bit tighter. I may go back and revise.

A kind anonymous reader thinks I've been brainwashed, only they stated their opinion so rudely that I deleted it. My blog: my delete key. I don't mind if you disagree with me, and I don't mind if you think I'm wrong, but be nice when you're saying so if you expect me to leave it up for all Bert and Ernie's friends to see.

One thing I appreciate about Facebook is that I can hear news from friends from long ago, people I still care about but with whom I probably would have lost touch without the internet. So I know that yesterday, one of my high school friends lost her mother, and another lost her grandmother. I'm so sorry, and I'm glad I was able to tell them so.

Two more old friends have birthdays today. One of them, I'll call her Kitty, came to watch me compete in Florida. I can't tell you how much fun it was to see her, especially around horses, which is way outside her natural environment. Sarah (my horse) whinnied, spraying spit everywhere, and Kitty snatched a little bottle of hand sanitizer out of her purse and tried to pass it around. Those of us who ride found this hilarious. There are way grosser things about horses than their spit. Kitty is pretty much the epitome of a non-horse person, disgusted when she stepped in manure and appalled by the portajohns. (I was glad not to have to pee in the back of the horse trailer. Later in the day, when I stepped in fresh manure, I scraped it off my boot onto the running board of a friend's truck, right in front of that friend, and neither of us noticed. I only thought about it later when comparing myself to Kitty.)

My husband's father, who spends winters in Florida, also drove several hours to watch me and his granddaughter ride. He doesn't know much about horses, and he can't hear well enough to understand my daughter's chatty explanations, but he watched her with interest and afterward told her he loved her and was proud of her. Kitty was moved enough by this that she sent my husband a message, telling him how sweet his dad is.

I do think my father-in-law is sweet, but I'll be honest, I rather took that, "I love you, and I'm proud of you," for granted. I realized later that I shouldn't. I whine about my refrigerator, and my elderly incontinent dog, but I am every day loved by my family. Even my grumpy son said, "Look, you write well, you're just whining."

So there. Not today. Today I'll just be grateful for my family, for Kitty, for Bert and Ernie, and for all my varied and marvelous friends.