Monday, April 26, 2010

Relative Reading

I should preface this by stating that The Mama is not a computer sort of girl. For a while, she was doing e-mail, but a slow computer, combined with my dad's long illness, took the starch right out of her. We've encouraged her to try again, but so far, haven't had any success.

During a phone call last night, she said she'd been reading my blog, and found it interesting to hear my viewpoint on some of the things that had gone on in our lives these past months. (She also said she had a problem with my saying "damndest," which REALLY caught me off-guard. More on this in a bit.)

Turns out that Uncle, Mom's youngest brother, has been printing off my blogposts. (Why he would do this, I haven't a clue. I generally don't talk about much exciting stuff.) He brought them to Mom for her perusal...

This bothered me more than I would have figured. After all, both daughters occasionally read this blog. Husband has even checked it out one or two times. (Husband, though a wonderful, supportive guy, rarely reads much of my work. Probably helps him keep a balanced distance.) Mom was the youngest of eight kids, who each had from 5-8 kids themselves, which means I have a ton of cousins. Most of them are way more computer-literate than yours truly. Several uncles and aunts hold a spot on the internet family raft.

Then there are the many friends and colleagues I've made over the years, including Deb, my editor for Quilts of the Golden West, and several teaching buddies. I'm certain they occasionally dip their toes into the blog. I know I visit theirs, just to see what they're up to.

So why does this 'intrusion' bother me??

It's easy to forget that this is much more than an online diary -- it's a public record. It's even easier to spout off on hurts, imagined insults and frustrations without remembering that they may hurt someone else in the process of venting. In a way, Uncle did me a favor when he brought Mom the pages -- it was a wakeup call. Would I be embarrassed to have her read them?

Fortunately, the answer was no.

P.S. And by the way, Ma, I double-checked, and the word was "darndest." I don't believe anyone but God can damn someone...which gives me no right to use the word. I don't say it -- I don't write it, even if the character in the novel or story might. I just can't. Ask the Daughters if they haven't heard speeches about this!

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