Monday, July 17, 2006

The Modern Apron: Entering the Blogsphere

Hey, look, a new blog—what’s this about?
Looking at an average day, I’m mostly either eating, thinking about what to eat, or thinking about what someone else is (or should be) eating. I read cookbooks. I read books about food. I read food magazines. I plan menus. I make up grocery lists.

Of course, I also think about what needs to be done around the house, and consider how it could be done better. In some cases, I even daydream about how I could improve my housekeeping techniques. I think about routines and patterns and how the creation or modification of them function as the framework of the lives we lead. I’ve been known to read books about this too. (You’ll find that reading books about things—especially weird things that you had no idea they’d even written a book about—is kind of a constant in my life.)

And I look at the world around me and think sometimes how truly wonderful it is. Or how truly screwed up. Kind of depends on my mood which way I see it.

So, I predict that the topics for this blog will range from food (probably about 80% of what I’ll be rambling about), to housekeeping (rants or philosophy, depending on my state of mind), to personal observations (random things that occur to me that I may, from time to time, choose to inflict on the hapless cyberpublic—the hapless cyberpublic is, of course, under no obligation to take notice of what I say).

Who are you, anyway?
No one. Everyone. I’m your neighbor, your coworker, the woman behind you in line at the grocery store, the woman at the next table over at lunch. I’m the mother of that little blond boy at your son’s daycare. I’m that woman you see every morning during your commute who’s always drinking a Diet Coke. I’m the woman you’ve seen at Weight Watchers who has rejoined half a dozen times.

I’m someone who loves food, and loves to think and talk and read about food. I’m a person who loves the idea of an immaculately kept house, but doesn’t have the time or energy to create one. I’m an observer, constantly watching what’s going on around me and thinking about it (usually with a combination of wonder and astonishment).

I’m a wife, a mother, an employee. I’m someone who’s trying to raise well-adjusted kids in a world that sometimes seems to be headed for Hell in a hand basket that’s rapidly accelerating. I’m a person who still sometimes looks around for the adult when the cashier says “Can I help you, ma’am?”

I’m someone who’s trying to get on with this business we call living without taking it (or myself) too seriously.

So why are you blogging?
I suppose, in the simplest terms, the answer is “Because I can.” Are we not all somewhat narcissistic? Do we not all, on some level, feel that “everyone is entitled to my opinion”? Do we not all believe that we have something valuable to contribute to the dialog of civilization? Besides, it’s cheaper than therapy.

Twenty years ago it was either expensive or complicated (or both) to air one’s ideas. One either had to scrape together enough cash to invest in “vanity press,” with the knowledge that there was only the slightest chance that they’d ever recoup even the tiniest fraction of their costs, or one had to be lucky enough to be chosen from among the millions of others who had thoughts to share, but with a finite amount of air time/newspaper or magazine space in which to share said thoughts. Now everyone’s ideas (many complete with breathtakingly bad spelling, grammar, and punctuation) are splattered all over the Information Superhighway like so much road kill.

One day I thought “Why not me?” If nothing else, I can at least spell and punctuate correctly, and construct logical sentences and paragraphs. Besides, my husband and my friends are sick of listening to my rants and opinions. Time to find a new audience.

OK, fine--but why do I care?
I feel that every additional opinion or idea we hear makes us think about our own position, and question what it is we believe. And that’s how we grow as people. We constantly ask ourselves if our values and ideas are valid, and through that self-justification, we come to know ourselves better. Now I grant you, my topics for discussion will never wander into the realms of World Peace, the Theory of Relativity, or even local politics. But thinking about what we do all day, how we get through from one minute to the next, and how we sustain ourselves is, to me, just as important as the issue of Tougher Penalties for Parole Violators.

Additionally, I’ve always found glimpses into other people’s lives to be interesting, diverting. Call me a virtual Peeping Tom, but I love hearing stories from my friends about their day-to-day lives—dealing with the in-laws, how their kids are doing in school, and (perhaps most importantly) what they had for dinner. Some of my favorite authors are those who have written books in which their family members are frequently recurring characters, and I almost feel I know those people. And I love that. I love non-fiction that almost drops to the level of a wandering description of events and memories.

So the short answer is, you may not care. But that’s the glory of the Internet (and of so many other media)—if you don’t care, you don’t have to participate. As I said earlier, as a member of the cyberpublic you are under no obligation to pay any attention to me. But always remember—you never know when you might accidentally learn something.

And with that, I enter the Blogsphere.

1 comment:

41 and Too Far South of Friendly's said...

What an erudite blog - I've never seen the likes. Well, ok, I've never read a blog before. But it is so very nicely done, how could I resist?

And though I still don't believe english muffins are easy to make oneself, nor do I agree that grilling is a disaster (having just had the most perfect piece of grilled swordfish from my very own Vermont Castings grill) - I am impressed at the passion and persuasion with which this 37 year old from somewhere very far from me has let fly her commentary into the blogsphere.

It also happens that I am very fond of the author, and have many times been the satisfied recipient of her cooking expertise.