Friday, August 27, 2010

I Blog Alone

Another August almost gone, which means football is on the way. Real football, that is, as opposed to NFL preseason games, which are either dress rehearsals for the players who will make the team or paid fantasy camps for the guys with no chance (and except for the last few spots the team pretty much knows who they will be).

A lot of people in my family have birthdays in August: me (48 creaky years old), my oldest brother (45), his daughter (22...Sigh… I can still vividly recall the time she crawled out of an insufficiently-attached diaper and peed on my living room carpet. Should she ever get married, I can guarantee that tidbit will be mentioned at the reception. It’s an uncle’s duty.), another brother’s wife, my late paternal Grandmother and a few others. Perhaps it’s the fact that the first truly cold weather usually arrives in November. It’s also time for school to start again, getting my wife back to work full time, which not only brings in another paycheck after a lean summer, but allows me to increase my internet time, and thus my blog time.

Why, you may ask, did her presence at home make a difference in my web wandering? We didn’t have to share the computer; her work laptop served her needs, which left the old desktop for me. She knows I do this, so there’s no subterfuge involved, and if I were worried about her seeing something I write then putting it into a publicly available blog would be a bit stupid, wouldn’t it? (Although as far as I know she doesn’t read this, perhaps because she gets enough of my ramblings live.)

One reason is, although our newly empty nest has increased our ability to be a spontaneous couple, our chaotic work schedules mean sometimes we hardly see each other, so I don’t like to waste any time we have together, which is usually spent in the living room, and in order to blog I have to use the desktop computer in a separate room. I know, a laptop would eliminate this problem, and someday I plan to get one. But there would still be another difficulty.

My wife can sit and crochet in the living room while we watch TV together (or, ironically, play the card games that come with her work laptop), but although I would have no problem wandering the web, I’m not sure I could comfortably blog that way. As George Thorogood said about drinking, when I blog alone I prefer to be by myself.

It’s the closest thing I have to a hobby, and somehow having someone watching, or readily able to observe, makes me feel like I should be trying to explain what I’m doing instead of just amusing myself, which is the main function of a hobby. I guess it’s similar to the painter who goes off to paint in solitude, or the guy who goes into his workshop to build things or carve wood or work on a car.

When I’m being observed I also begin to feel self-conscious about my typing (which is barely functional at my best) and my personal editing process, as well as how much effort I sometimes put into producing so little, especially compared to her crocheting, which actually results in something useful (and popular; her blankets are always hits as gifts.)

Perhaps once I acquire and put that laptop to use those anxieties will all disappear. Until then, blogging will have to continue to take a back seat to better things. Happily, spending time with my wife still qualifies.

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