Will the Real Blogger Please Step Forward?

I have a confession to make: I am actually much, much worse in person than I seem to be in this blog. I was rereading through some comments this morning and thought “wow, I do sound like a well-organized, intelligent, put together kind of person”. As I sit here, unwashed, downing my second cup of coffee, regretting the leftover birthday cake from my husband’s party that I ate for dinner last night.

I haven’t had a serious workout in several weeks due to a flu bug. I tried last week, hopping up confidently on a treadmill at the Y, but sent myself into a coughing fit that screamed “you should not be here”. I’m the reason you really should wipe off the machines at the gym. This morning I ignored my daughter’s early morning chatter while typing away at my plot driven, but skeleton thin novel. Nothing says good parenting like saying “uh-huh” three hundred times, all the while thinking, “Please for the love of humanity, make her stop”.

My husband and I have a minimalist relationship. We love and like each other and still can make the other laugh, but we also really like being alone. We problem solve and parent together, go on the occasional date night, but for the most part, we’re just going along until one of us dies. And that is the best case scenario. And I snore, so I spend a lot of time on the couch. It’s not the cute little whistle snore that would stop if he just pinched my nose shut. It’s the kind of snore that you shouldn’t get too close to, lest you get sucked into the vortex. Like a jet engine.

I tried to solve the snoring problem by getting my deviated septum fixed last year. It was also causing me to gasp, like a fish out of water when I started taekwondo sparring and had to wear a mouth guard. The surgery fixed the breathing issue, but the surgeon told me I’d need a lot more work to deal with the snoring and even then, it might not work. Apparently it’s a structural issue, so I’m okay with the snore. I also developed a greater understanding of prescription addiction. Percocet for my recovery was pure bliss. I liked everybody and didn’t care if anybody liked me. Thank goodness they gave me a limited prescription. I miss it.

If I had my druthers, I’d swear nonstop. I have an extremely filthy mouth and mind. I’ve had to pull back and learn some boundaries for my language, especially since my daughter went verbal. My husband rarely swears. He’s a Lutheran. My daughter has ratted me out on occasion and my husband will look at me with a cocked eyebrow. I protest, “What? Geez, it was only that one time!” It’s really hard to look like a decent person, when everyone around you is so much better behaved.

My Kindle is loaded with trashy novels and is password protected. That is my absolute favorite thing about an e-reader. Shame reading can be done with no one knowing. One minute I’m reading “he was pounding away, sweat running down his face”, my daughter walks in and with a quick button push, there’s a picture of Jane Austen on my reader and I’m mommy once again. Pure marketing genius. The stack of books on my reading table belies someone of ambition and high intellect. My Kindle belies a bit of a lowbrow pervert.

I have ugly feet, thanks to genetics and a lot of running. I’ve dyed my hair since I was 23 – another genetic gift, white hair for the women starting in our early twenties. I think some women look absolutely gorgeous with white hair. But I’m not brave on that front and am holding off a bit longer. I don’t wear makeup, mostly because I am lazy, have never been taught how to apply it properly and don’t like how it feels. I have freckles, which have never bothered me until I started getting older. Now every single one looks like potential melanoma.

After spending the year blogging and interacting with so many thoughtful and interesting bloggers, I decided to try a little more honesty and openness. Then, if readers stick around, it’s not because of a false front or theoretical lectures from the mount. It’s because there’s a connection with people, whether it be through a sense of humor or tribulations or just because reading about how much someone else sucks makes people feel better about themselves. Life is hard and we’re all swimming upstream. I’m the one swearing, with a great dye job and ugly feet. Hello!

60 Comments on “Will the Real Blogger Please Step Forward?

  1. What is it with all the bloggers lately, deciding to open up and confront the world with the truth!

    I admire your truths and respect you for it!

    Don’t worry about the uh-huh moments, by the way. For each moment you have taken action, you are allowed one uh-huh moment. πŸ™‚

    And white hair? Like white white? Or gray white? In Europe women are burning their heads trying to have white hair, so I don’t know where you are located, but maybe you should consider moving here πŸ˜›

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    • Freaky white hair, like a mad scientist. There is something appealing about being truthful – it speaks to a greater confidence that you’re okay and you’re human and frankly, it’s just exhausting being anything else.

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        • Absolutely – that is another advantage of honesty. We get to find out that it’s not just us, that other people have gone through similar experiences and come out the other side. You will, too.

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  2. Michelle,
    Your “little more honesty and openness” just got you a new reader. What a first great post to stumble upon… We’ll see each other more often.
    Le Clown

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    • Thanks! I recognized your gravatar from other bloggers’ posts I’ve read in the past – I think we like some of the same bloggers! I’ll be sure to check out your blog as well – another great way for me to procrastinate working on my novel!

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      • Michelle,
        If you are looking for more ways to procrastinate, please let me know! I like eating donuts when I do nothing…. It makes procrastination taste better…
        Le Clown

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We’re all much more interesting online. Isn’t that what we’re going for?! Don’t spoil it, like Daan says, with TRUTH! πŸ™‚

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  4. I’ve only said this two other places in the blogosphere. Fuck! Did I hit my head while doing my Freshly Pressed dance and stumble into an alternate universe? I say the word all the time. (especially when I’m driving) but I struggle to bring myself to write it. That’s a lot of truth to lay on a person all at once Michelle. Love it!!!

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  5. I love this post. I was looking over old comments on my own posts and saw that you made one in regards to a post I did about Kurt Vonnegut and me losing my job. So I checked out your page and was treated to this.

    It’s very cool because I too was thinking of writing a more “honest” blog. I often blog about life advice and more so, things that help me get through tough times and stay positive. But lately I’ve been thinking I’m kind of a hypocrite because I only feel most positive when writing those posts and usually don’t even take my own advice. So I thought a post addressing those issues would be fun…you did it beautifully!

    I was particularly pulled to the section about your low-maintenance relationship with your husband when you said, “but for the most part, we’re just going along until one of us dies.” I’m 22 and not married but I know a couple that I would describe as such. I always wonder what that’s like but reading your version of it, maybe there’s something to it.

    I admired your brutal honesty and laughed at the passage about you being a “low brow pervert” for reading dirty books. That’s so charming in a weird way. I loved it. Thank you for sharing. It was a pleasure to read.

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    • You have beautifully explained why I wanted to write this post. I mean, we have our good days and some really good advice to share, but that’s not the only kind of days we have and it feels less than honest not to talk about our flip sides.

      I probably do a disservice to my husband describing our relationship the way I do, but honestly, I think the fact that we still like each other and can make each other laugh after 12 years is pretty cool. But we married in our early 30s and learned how to be alone long before meeting.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

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      • No “disservice” at all. I understood what you meant. I think there’s something to be said about knowing how to be left alone that makes for strong, long lasting relationships. Forgive my curiosity. I’m young which means relationships are still (and maybe always will be) learning experiences.

        But yes. I have these positive thoughts that stand out as something I’d like to blog about. But when I look through my blog and see all these “positive thinking” and “self help” posts I begin to feel ridiculous because certainly the majority of my days are nothing like the majority of my blog posts. I’m usually have negative thoughts. I’m trying to find a way to translate this to my blog and I think you’ve done it beautifully with this post. Thank you for sharing and thank you for responding.

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  6. Honesty is so rad. I’m all for it. I find that people who embrace themselves and their flaws are far more interesting than those who don’t.

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    • I agree, although I haven’t always lived it and still run into people who try too hard to be something other than themselves. It seems exhausting.

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  7. Refreshing! We may be twins separated at birth except for the swearing. I don’t have an issue with it – it just sounds silly coming out of my mouth. I have ugly feet, freckles, and have no clue what my natural hair color is anymore.

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    • I swear a lot in my head. I’ve worked in professional environments, so it isn’t constant. The car is when I’m worst – I live in a metro area where drivers are very aggressive. I think of it as stress relief and have to make up words when my daughter is in the backseat.

      I think when my hair has been white longer than not, I no longer can claim a natural hair color!

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      • I think you hit on something there. My Grandma swore like a sailor and made up words when we came along – I learned from her so I have lots of substitutions. When I do let an F-bomb fly things are serious.

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        • That’s how I console myself – I’ve never used the f-bomb in front of my daughter. Small blessings. She did say “damn it” when she lost to her father in a board game. I was a little embarrassed. I don’t think 4 years in the Army improved my vocabulary much, either!

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    • We definitely are more interesting in our flaws – wouldn’t it be awful if we were all alike? Perfect people freak me out a little bit.

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  8. I think it’s awesome that you dared drop down your guard a bit. You’re no longer just a name and an avatar to me, and I admire what you wrote immensely. Like some of your other commenters, I admit to feeling a bit hypocritical by sharing only a certain side of me on my own blog. Sounds like I could take a lesson here from you.

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    • It might be frightening if everyone took a page from my book, but also a lot of fun! Humans are pretty complicated. I don’t think we’re lying as bloggers, but usually it is a sanitized, much more focused version of who we are as humans.

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  9. Love your honesty. And it sorta sounds like me. There’s a reason I don’t use a picture of me online, and who knows what my real haircolor is? I’ve been bleaching and/or dying it since I was 16. OMG, that’s almost 50 years!! And I can certainly relate to the random hair growth. Every time I pull out another one I hear “Not by the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin.”

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    • I justify not using a picture online because I still have a young kid at home – safety and security, blah, blah, blah. Mostly, though, I’ve never been particularly photogenic. I plan on getting a professional photo eventually.

      Yeah, the random hair thing is not in any of the manuals. One day, I’m washing my face and a 2″ wispy blonde hair unfurls itself from my chin. What the hell is this? Have I been bitten by a werewolf? It doesn’t seem fair that the more comfortable you get with yourself, the less you really have to be comfortable with!

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  10. I giggled my way through your post … twice. I never got to know you before your admission to being an unwashed, coffee drinking, flu recovering spouse of a Lutheran who hides bodice rippers (or worse!) on her Kindle. I love it! Sounds like me!

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    • Glad I can make you laugh. I laugh at my own idiosyncrasies quite a bit. I remember they used to call them bodice busters, but now they call it “erotica”. Porn by any other name…Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  11. Your line about “just going along until one of us dies,” …this gave me a cute, nice laugh! I enjoyed this post.
    You know, that’s the magic of writing…it brings out a side of us that’s more eloquent and perhaps organized. But when the reader reads between the lines, and reads post after post after post of the same writer, the honesty is actualy there. =>

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    • You’re probably right – if you read enough posts by the same blogger, you do get a pretty good idea of people. After writing about politics and some education issues, I felt like going off the rails a bit!

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    • Thanks – I hesitated mightily hitting the “Publish” button, but thought if people abandon the blog in droves, well, at least I knew the ones who continued to read weren’t there under false pretenses!

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  12. You’re not exactly putting your best foot forward here, but I like that. In fact, you have to be honest to be a good writer. (An editor gave me that tip a long time ago when I didn’t want to open a big can of worms on a difficult personal essay.)

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    • I’m not sure if you intended that pun (“best foot”), but it was funny! I am pretty comfortable with myself and my idiosyncrasies, so honesty seems to come more easily these days. I figure if my own weirdness makes me laugh, somebody else might find it funny, too. Plus, I keep hearing from bloggers saying that they should do the same sort of thing. So many fun blog posts to look forward to!

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  13. Well, I was good up to the part about the ugly feet. I mean, feet are just so important for a blogger, don’t you think? πŸ˜€

    All kidding aside, oh, good heavens…. you mean you’re a real, actual human being, not some “As Seen On TV” Stepford Blogger? All I can say to that is…. “Cool!!”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I like this sense of honesty you portray. I’m a pretty big introvert, so whatever I say on my blog is a bit of a stretch for me. I’m not lying, I just can’t own up in person quite yet. But that’s the joy of blogging; you can be who you are and it’s okay.
    I’m a blogger struggling with ideas to write about — how’s that for my intro?

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    • I find being honest with myself and learning to laugh about my flaws is the gateway drug to being honest with others. I often get stuck thinking of ideas for posts, but most of the time something comes up that sticks in my mind and then I write about it. Sometimes it’s an article title on a magazine in the checkout lane or it’s some parenting problem I’m wrangling with or it’s just a load of self-doubt eating at me. Your intro sounds like what an intro should be – a good start. Write about the struggle – we’ve all got them going on! Just writing this comment gave me an idea for a post about pompous asses who give unsolicited advice.

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      • Green Study,
        Thanks for the thoughts! I think as long as I can be inspired and relate to an idea (whatever it may be) than I can go from there.
        P.S. I won’t send you any unsolicited advice.

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    • I make myself laugh a lot (especially at my own foibles) and am always a little surprised when other people join in. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  15. Again…your humor has made me realize I DO have stomach muscles and your writing is raw and real! TY again for another smile. I read somewhere that there are studies that prove that snoring keeps burgulars away. Well, that was my excuse.

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    • Snoring sure keeps my family away! We’ve all come to terms with it. I have a few good nights or else they would have smothered me in my sleep by now. Glad I could make you laugh!

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  16. Well, Michelle, this is goodbye: I can no longer follow the blog of someone as flawed as you. It’s not only the foot thing (ew), but your hidden pole–not pole, porn! Dupitt voice recognition!–porn habit. Dis-GUSTing. You’d never catch me admitting to watching or reading anything that didn’t elevate MY brow.

    Looking solely at the other so-called character flaws you revealed, however, they struck me as pretty danged mild–certainly in comparison to the blogger with whose personal real-world vs. virtual flaws I am most familiar–and only served to reinforce my prior impression of you as a real human writing real thoughts. Albeit thoughts thunk through thoroughly, woven well.

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  17. You sound a lot like me only I have stopped dying my hair, have pretty good looking feet, I’m probably older, and childless, and don’t read a kindle…hmmm! Oh wait, I swear like a slut so that must be the connection.

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    • Swearing is truly a bonding quality. Although, I would like to know if there’s a difference between swearing like a slut or how I swear – like a complete asshole, especially in the car.

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