I went to a cool event tonight at the Women's Bookstore. It was to celebrate a book called Mothering and Blogging: The Radical Act of the Mommy Blog. (So I mean, how could I not go?) Also it features works by the fabulous Jen Lawrence, the brilliant Ann Douglas and the notorious Catherine Connors (had to give her a bit of a "bad" sounding intro).
I haven't read the book yet, but I bought it. Not quite the beach read I had in mind for our Florida trip next week (first beach vacation since our honeymoon 10 years ago -- there better be sun Universe!), but from what I heard read aloud tonight I'm quite certain I'll enjoy it.
Let me just put forth what I love about mommy blogging, because I realize sometimes it may seem that I'm a mommy blogger who hates mommy bloggers. (Not true -- though a certain segment bug the shit out of me.)
Since my children were born, some of the coolest events I've attended have been, in essence, an excuse to go out with mommy bloggers. Maybe that's because I'm reading liberal, feminist mommies and feel like my IRL friends just wouldn't get my desire to go to these kinds of cultural events instead of watching The City. (They wouldn't.)
Maybe it's because my IRL friends don't blog, and therefore, have no idea what it means or what it feels like to sincerely care about strangers and think of them as friends. Let's face it, not that long ago this meant meeting up with someone from a chat room or message board, who may or may not have turned out to be the person you thought. There's still a stigma to meeting people online and taking it to IRL.
But then a funny thing happened on my way through the blogosphere -- mamasphere -- whatever you want to call it. I met friends online that I actually REALLY enjoy IRL. In fact, some of my best friends IRL are people I met through this forum (who hilariously -- and sadly -- no longer blog).
I have always been the square peg. I have always had ideas and dreams that fell outside the sphere of the average Armenian girl growing up in Scarborough. In Scarborough you were supposed to grow up, do some sort of post-secondary education that got you the sort of job that made you attractive to men so you could marry into your race, have babies, the house in the suburbs, two cars, etc. You were supposed to love Must-See TV and go to mainstream movies, listen to Top 40 hits and dress like everybody else.
To be radical woman often meant going outside your social circle. And as the daughter of strict Middle Easterns, this was hard. I was expected to hang out with people who were "like us", who had the same curfew rules and the same expectations for their girls. Italians, Greeks, etc. Basically people who had different rules for their daughters than their sons. I rebelled some, but eventually I conformed a bit to make my life easier. Some of those friendships stuck.
Some days it seems really weird to me that I have this life online. My childhood best friend, my sister and my husband all know about this site but don't read it. The girls don't think this is the true me (which I find odd). Admittedly Scarbie Doll is a persona, but I get to be SO HONEST here that I wonder if it's just that they don't want to see this side of me.
My husband just thinks you all know which way his penis bends. He hates walking into a coffee shop or my office and having someone look at him as though they "know" him, when they really shouldn't. (Hence I've stopped writing about his penis.) But his issues about this are... well they need to be considered... but I digress.
Via the Internet I have found a group of women I really and truly identify with. They get me. I can be a super nerd. I can admit that I'm full of shit. We can geek out over tech gadgets and the fact that our third children are our PDAs. We can use nerdy acronyms one second, and discuss pop culture the next. We can laugh at ourselves, laugh at each other and it's OK. We understand each other.
When I talk to my best friend there's this weird feeling that she's trying to keep up with me, trying to be a certain kind of mom for me. I don't really get it. I'm not stupid, I suppose on paper I can be sort of intimidating. For someone who is constantly skint, I lead a very fortunate and charmed life (which can come crashing down when interest rates go up, but I doubt I'm the only one skating on that ice). In fact my whole life could come crashing down at any moment. The seemingly dazzling things about me are all superficial. Strip it all away and this is what you get. But IRL, that doesn't seem to get across.
I'm just me. I want you to like me. I want to talk about cool shit with you. I want to make you laugh and giggle my head off with you (but without being mean-spirited if possible). I want it to be OK with you that I am checking Twitter while we watch TV. I want my life to be a constant stream of ideas and discussions, no pressure, just good energy. I don't care what kind of car you drive or what you fed your kid last night. I just want to be real. And the people I've met through Mommy Blogging seem to be the only ones who get that.
Any ideas on why that is? Is it because only in blogland is it OK to have your head so far up your own ass? I'm I a self-absorbed, crappy friend IRL? I dunno. But you complete me Internets. If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right.