I vowed to myself that I wouldn't write about the people in my life, because it wasn't fair to present a story that was half theirs, but strip them of their voices. Besides, just because the chemistry wasn't right with me didn't mean that person wouldn't make a great boyfriend/husband/companion for someone else. The one time I wrote about a specific person in a blog post happened on My Urban Kvetch, and it was after a decade. And I had learned that he had just been married. And, just to be sure he was unrecognizable, I changed his name. I was extremely careful about such things. As weeks and months wore on, with my commitment to being a neutral zone open to all and that wasn't about me, content was less of the "speak and be heard" variety and more of a way for singles-columnist me to track trends and patterns in online and offline dating, with the occasional foray into "I can't believe he (or she) did this (or that)." But over the last several weeks, the content has changed*, and not in a manner that's totally comfortable for me. And these are posts that I may yet live to regret, because they, in some small way, violate that promise I made to myself when I started blogging. I'm still not naming names or specifics. I'm writing about the emotional fallout from such encounters or expectations thwarted, often in so abstract a manner that it can confuse people who don't know me. I write as myself, under my own name, of my own experiences. I'm trying to reinforce my emotional fortitude by being more open about how I feel, writing my way through perceived and actual betrayals of whatever magnitude, and letting that come through in my writing. And at the same time, I'm trying to maintain the reputations of the people who, often through no real fault of their own, made me feel this way. Because the inquisition is all internal, it's easy for me to write about what I'm feeling, and extremely difficult to push that "Publish" button. I've learned that with a few exceptions, people protect their own interests, and that's a lesson I could stand to internalize, in moderation, at least. I find myself wondering if this kind of writing does me a disservice, even if I don't name names. Perhaps it would be better to slay my demons privately instead of expelling my disappointments into the blogosphere to land in the ears of the similarly disappointed. Perhaps I should refocus the blog on observing the trends and contributing snarky commentary that keeps everyone laughing, and feeling like they've found a community. But then again, the emotional posts seem to have found their own audience, and a network of support has reached back from an Internet void to embrace me and provide me with desperately-needed comfort. I'll have to give this some serious thought. Your feedback, as always, is welcome. *The posts that inspired this one: The Single Gal's Survival Guide...Up Late...Emotional Jetlag
There are thousands of us out here, in the online netherworld, shopping for love and companionship over the Internet...We have experienced the joy of an email from someone we thought we found interesting, only to be disappointed in real life. We have encountered people who lied about their height and interests. We have chatted with people online who seem witty with the 10-20 second IM delay, and moved the relationship to the phone, only to find that their conversational skills are clearly lacking. We have wondered how to handle the delicate situations we encounter, and have sought advice from friends. Now, there's one more friend to consult... The goal of this blog is to record our experiences, good and bad, of men and women, serial JDaters and novices, from NYC to L.A. and everywhere in between. When the muse inspires, there will be features, rants and raves on related subjects. But this is your blog, your forum. Speak.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Crisis may be too strong a word. But still, this blog has definitely changed. When we first began in April 2004, this was our purpose: