Friday, October 12, 2007

Insecure

Pin It You know that kid? The one who hits himself over the head with a baseball bat, and people find it mildly amusing, and laugh, and so the kid does it again? And again? And again? And again? Until he has a concussion? And nobody is laughing anymore?

I’m SO that kid. My husband had to dissuade me from sharing my greatest hits of general humiliation and embarrassment in a new post. I think he is worried that eventually I will have overshared to such an extent that I will not be able to look anyone in the eye at family reunions.

But I can't help it. Having people call me amusing, even if they are just being nice or humoring me, is like a strange kind of crack. Because in real life? Nobody ever calls me funny, unless they are doing it in that pitying tone, "Oh, Sue, you're so funny." And what they mean is, you are the dorkiest dork that ever dorked.

I love blogging, but I tend to do it hit and run style - late at night, off the top of my head, blurt it out before I think it through and hit post. (And yes, mean person who emailed me, this is why I don't bother with appropriate grammar and tenses - because I don't CARE. It's a blog. And yes, if it will help you to sleep better at night, I DO bother with appropriate punctuation and avoid run on sentences in the writing I do on the professional side. I KNOW the injustice of the fact that people pay me to write is killing you. Deal with it.)

But internet, after I hit post? I worry. I worry about the lameness of what I've posted.

I don't care what people think if I've just written something not meant to be amusing, like my dog died (although let's be honest, that would amuse me), or somebody got sick. But when I've written something that I'm hoping will seem slightly funny I get all whackadoodle crazy about it after I post and will start driving my husband nuts until I get a couple of comments.

This is a pretty typical example of what my husband goes through:


This is me yelling downstairs from up in my office: “Hey, hon, did you read my post?”

This is my husband, downstairs in the living room: “Yes.”

“Was it funny?”

“Yeah.”

“Was it really funny, or sorta funny, or just funny because you love me, or really sort of lame but you don’t want to hurt my feelings or just the dumbest thing ever?”

“It was funny.”

“Did you laugh?”

“Yes.”

“How hard?"


Silence. I hear him giggling.

"How hard?"

"That's what she said." (He's been hitting The Office reruns again, I can tell.)

"Come on - on a scale of 1 to 10, how funny?”

“I don’t know. A six?”

“A SIX???”

“Maybe a seven.”

“You thought it was lame.”

Silence.


"Honey?"

“I'm TRYING TO WATCH PRISON BREAK.”

“Oh. O.k. Alright… But honey?”

Silence.

“Hon?”

“WHAT?!!!” I can hear him mumbling something about marrying a crazy person.


"What did you just say?"

"Nothing."

“I can tell you think it was the dumbest post ever. I'm going to take it down.”

Groaning noise. “Aren’t you supposed to be working on a technical proposal?”

“Oh, I am. I am. I just – I wrote that blog post earlier. Now I'm working. I’m not – I’m not just up here writing blog posts.”

“You’re a grown woman, you can do whatever you want.”

“I know but…. I’m not blogging is all.”

“Whatever.”


Silence.

“So basically, you thought it was funny?"


So
I'm pretty much driving him crazy. I can't help it. I have to CHECK with somebody. Because when I tell a joke in real life, it's always the same - with the awkward silences and the courtesy laughs. That's kind of what it's like when there are only three or four comments on a post. You know you bombed. So thank you, my friends, for humoring me and leaving a comment anyway. Because my self esteem is a fragile, fragile thing, and I'm more like a trained comment monkey every day.

What I want to know is - are you all a little nutty about comments too? Do you think it's the positive feedback that keeps us all blogging? Is it sad that the validation of a "tee-hee" or a "ha ha?" can be so very cool? (Don't answer that. If that's pathetic, I don't want to know.) Or are you SO cool that you don't care if people comment or not?

P.S. If Sarah Hollywood ever dies (not that I want her to die, good heavens), I am totally stealing her "COMMENT OR DIE" graphic. Sorry Sarah, that probably came out way creepy. I meant it in the most non-creepy, calling-dibs-on-your-stuff way possible.

P.P.S: (The saddest thing that happened to me this month was hearing about DeLurk Day AFTER it happened. The trauma of that moment lives on.)

63 comments:

  1. Oh, it's the comments that keep me going alright! When I first started to blog I kidded myself that I was doing it "for me" and I didn't care about the comments. Well, maybe I'd like 1 or 2.
    Now if I don't get about 5 I feel like the post totally bombed.

    Comments are my crack.

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  2. And I think you're always hilarious. Don't stress about that!

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  3. AMEN!!!! I feel exactly the same way. In person, I am awkward and not at all a funny or good storyteller. Online? Online I am awesome. I love online me, but only because other people love online me. Insecure? Yep. I will stand and watch Damien read my post, and if he laughs, I ask, "What? What are you reading? What did you think was funny?" Pathetic, no?

    I agree about "Comment or Die". I wish I'd thought of it first.

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  4. My husband doesn't think I'm funny.


    I was going to blog about it soon.

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  5. I am, in fact, way funnier in real life (shut it, I really AM!)than I am online... what kept me going is how NICE and ORDERLY my life looked through the filter of my blog. Ahem. That and the fact that anyone who gets positive comments on their blog becomes a bit of a... erm... well, comment whore. Well, at least I did.

    Even my tragedies looked better when presented with lovely sunflowers marching down the left side of my site.

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  6. I think I am funnier in real life. I often get lots of laughs, but it so bad, cause if you laugh at me, it just encourages me and then I do it more. Sad, I know...
    And the comments? I am ALL about the comments. I check and check and re read all the comments. I am pitiful, I know. It is okay, Sue is too, so it is okay!

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  7. I agree about the comments...it is validation... You are a great writer- and I could give a d*** about punctuation... you made me laugh! Keep writing how you are writing and I loved your 3 year old bday party post (I commmented for fear of killing a piece of your soul... and because I wanted to!)

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  8. Krista10:16 PM

    This is why I can't have a blog. Because I would go all crazy obssessive over it. Not that I'm calling you crazy. I'm just sayin'.

    What kind of wierd people take the time to email you to correct your GRAMMAR?!! Get lives, people!

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  9. So maybe comments and my self esteem are directly linked.

    What.

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  10. THIS? is pretty damned funny.

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  11. OH!~
    I mean the post, of course - not one's dependency on comments. or stats. or being linked to. no no no.
    none of THAT is funny.

    sort of.

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  12. I can't wait for my husband to read this. Too funny! Ghetto pinata was hilarious too.

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  13. Dork!

    I love that word! I call everyone a dork. Great word! Someone once told me it means and elephants. . . you know. But it doesn't

    Dork: A person that sits in the bathtub all day, farting, and popping the bubbles with their teeth.

    Now you know.

    Your welcome.

    Remember, you ARE funny. Those closest to you are least likely to see it. Maybe they're jealous. Who knows. Trust us, you're funny.

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  14. Oh Sue. . .We all love you. And we think you're funny. But then again, maybe I just think you're funny because I'm a dork too. . .

    Plus I'm SO a comment whore.

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  15. Tanya7:27 PM

    I need to start a blog. I need that kind of positive validation in my life. When I write a really rockin' essay for school, nobody leaves me a comment telling me I'm awesome. ;>

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  16. I love comments. I check like every hour to see if I have a new one. But since I am in no way funny, I only get pity comments from family members. And one or two from you because you want comments too and the only way to get comments is to leave comments (or be funny). And what's DeLurk Day? I must've missed that one on the calendar.

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  17. Sue Sue Sue! Why oh why oh why have we not met before this?!

    You are me in a different body, I swear.

    Hmm...is that too creepy for first comment...oh heck, I just hit the wrong key and now my question mark key will only make é and I cannot fix it! I cannot make apostrophes either so I have to say cannot.

    Yep. You are so very welcome for that sudden feeling of happiness overwhelming you. That realization that no, you are not the dorkiest dork that ever dorked.

    Because that is me. Oh yes. I cannot wait to get home and devour your archives. Your comment by the way, cheered me up after a rough, rough day. Thanks!

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  18. By the way...your profile says you are in Highland Utah and that is only fifteen minutes away from my best friend. Possibly a coincidence, possibly...okay, yep, definitely crossing the line into creepy now. Must...make...self...stop...typing....

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  19. You're hysterical. I mean laugh out loud hysterical and I am not a laugh out loud person. I read your blog out loud to my husband to prove I'm not the only crazy writer out there.

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  20. You are so funny. All I am able to do around you is giggle, which always makes me think YOU will think I am a dork for thinking everything you say is so amuzing!

    What is DeLurk Day? Should I be sad I missed it too?

    I am still reeling about some jerk emailing you to tell you about your technical errors!!!!! What a tool. Why do some people have to be so mean?

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  21. So what you're saying is I missed DeLurk Day too?
    (*dejected sigh*)Great.

    I think you're funny. And I worry, too (after I post.) Funniest thing, though...seems like the ones I worry the most over seem to get the best response. Hmmmm???

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  22. I just had the most fun checking out your blog. Love it.

    And yes, I'm completely neurotic about comments. Isn't every blogger? My favorite comment graphic I ever saw used to be on Carrot Jello's blog. It said, "If you don't comment, you are letting the terrorists win," or something like that.

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  23. Your writing is HILARIOUS! So funny that i'm still up at 3:15 a.m. reading your blog. Yikes. off to sleep but first, thanks for making me, a stranger, belly laugh way past my bedtime.
    -Raquel

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  24. I only just found you...but I was HOWLING ON THE FLOOR laughing. You are seriously funny. On the blog, I mean. Still don't know about you in person :)
    Loved it. Will definitely check in again.
    Oh, and about the comments, yeah I like them, too. Want to stop by my blog now?!
    - Heidi

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  25. Too funny!

    And about the comments, sometimes I agonize over the comments I leave, not even just the ones I get (or don't get). I just posted a comment (and on wordpress you can't edit your own comments on other people's posts) and thought, "Wait a minute! What if so-and-so takes that the wrong way? Oh no, I've got to e-mail her and make sure she's not offended."

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  26. Oh, HI!

    That totally didn't come out like the jr. high ohhhh hiiiii that I meant it to. Did you hear my inflection on the first one. It so didn't work.

    My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes. I canNOT believe I moved away from Utah just in time to never meet you. ARGH! Because you just wrote, word for word, an everyday conversation between me and Derek. I stew and worry and pace and check for comments every 3 seconds, and then, once I'm done and turn off the computer, I just turn it right back on, because maybe someone comment in the 2 1/2 seconds after I turned it off. If only I were as funny as you, I would get 25 freaking comments too!

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  27. Kim told me to come by. You're cracking me up girl. I hear you live in the greater Wasatch Front!

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  28. Love your post, love your blog. I've been a long time lurker but ne'er a commenter. But you beat me to the punch and commented on my blog, so I decided to get my butt in gear.
    Comment dependency goes hand-in-hand with the blogging world. I honestly have almost no idea if something I have written is funny or not until someone tells me that it is. Which is pretty lame, when you think about it.

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  29. BTW I really am the dorkiest dork you've ever met. We even have a home-made sign language signfor it at our house.

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  30. p.s. you're not a comment whore until you turn on the feature to send notification of a new comment to your cell phone. Not that I've ever done that.

    OK, so I did, but it's off now because I'm super secure and need no validation.

    (Avoiding functional spec due at 10am.)

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  31. I'm so insecure about both my posts and comments I leave for others. Unfortunately I don't get many comments on my own posts but I do check my stats obsessively. Look! 38 views and not a single comment!

    Sometimes blogging feels like you've thrown a party and no one showed up, and you're thinking,what? Was it that thing I said, or did I pick a bad day and EVERYONE's busy?

    Then I get a grip and think, at least blogging warms me up for a day of writing. Thanks for the laugh today!

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  32. Most bloggers are comment whores, right? And I mean that in the nicest possible way. I know love comments!

    Maybe next year I'll remember DeLurk Day. Such a good idea.

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  33. OK
    You were actually talking about MY house last night, right? Because that was the identical conversation I had with MY husband - except he wasn't watching prison break. It was something sports related... I don't know. I don't pay a lot of attention to him when I am "WRITING MY BLOG."
    OMGoodness. That was really funny because I can so relate.
    BTW - no fair calling her graphic. At my grandma's house before she died, we all had to tape our names to the bottom of the stuff we wanted. We weren't allowed to say it out loud. People just went around pulling off other people's names and putting their own tape tag on. Waiting for her to die was like waiting for the bidding to be done on Ebay.

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  34. I am so overwhelmed by the number and awesomeness of the comments that I don't even know what to say. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Yes, I'm a nerd. But you already know that. You are all AWESOME.

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  35. Jess & Holly - Delurk day was a day when people were supposed to delurk and leave comments on the blogs where they normally just lurk. So bloggers who normally get, like, 3 comments got 167 comments. Like that.

    Kimberly, I love your writing, I'm so glad I stumbled onto your blog!

    Thanks for all of the nice comments everyone, I have all of these new blogs to go check out now!

    My gosh, I will never be dorkier than in this comment.

    Well, probably I will. At some point. Inevitably.

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  36. i think i'm #40! that is SO exciting! i've never gotten that many before.

    you are funny. your husband sounds funny too...

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  37. You are absolutely hilarious! This is my first time visiting---I read as far back as early Sept and am loving every minute. I will be back and I'll be sure to comment EVERY TIME (I don't wish an early demise).

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  38. Oh gosh, I do this all the time. This is my only blog that no one from my real life knows about so it's also the only one that rarely has any comments. It's sort of freaking me out!

    I have been meaning to comment on your blogs forever, by the way, but I decided instead to collect little bits of your soul by not commenting and sell them on eBay. But you didn't hear that from me.

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  39. Just discovered you at BlogHer (a website I still can't really figure out, but I found you there anyway).
    Very funny, and I am alway glad to find a fellow hypochondriac (but only about those illnesses which have no symptoms and can kill you suddenly, with no warning).

    What is it about the comments? I'm like a trained seal, waiting for fish, you know? It's pathetic.

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  40. Aw, thanks guys. And thanks for not killing off my soul. I need all the help I can get, tee hee.

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  41. Sue! How nice! Your comment was so sweet and very much appreciated. I'm working on a short story (new genre for me) and your kind words are a welcome encouragement.

    Thanks again --

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  42. Um, I have had that conversation with my husband too.

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  43. I'm trying to catch up on my blog reading. I'm falling behind these days. Anywho, love your blog. I love getting comments too, but I'm, obviously not nearly as cool or funny as you are, because I'm lucky to get two. Okay, one. What's even more sad is that my hubby doesn't even read my blog. Pathetic, huh? He claims he doesn't have the time, but I'm sure it's because it bores him...

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  44. I've had these conversations too, all while avoiding writing my articles.

    I think it perfectly appropriate to ask if you can have "Comment or Die" when Sarah is dead. I mean it's like saying "Can I have your watch when you are dead?". It's not like dead folks need this type of thing in the afterlife.

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  45. I choose not to comment. ;)

    (here by way of toddled dredge)

    P.S. That NOT comment is one of those awkward silence inducing comments, so feel free to assume you are not alone in your post-post psychosis.

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  46. love that you got a Perfect Post award (which is sure to fill your soul a little ;) so that now I can come and read you often. congrats!

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  47. I just read an interview with Steve Carrell in which the reporter commented on how often Carrell used the word "FAILURE" - he characterized his improv days as an environment in which it was okay to fail, because you'll always be back the next night. And he described Stephen Colbert as someone who's funny because he's totally fearless, and that makes his audiences unafraid as well.

    I've always thought that humorous writing would be terrifying. That's why I don't do any.

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  48. Megan8:58 PM

    i just found you through perfect post, so i've only read this perfect post of your blog so far. and it WAS perfect, so now i must go read the rest of what you've written!

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  49. moosilaneous6:50 AM

    Totally with you on the insecurity -- so much so I don't have the guts to start blogging.
    See, really, you're a brave soul. Of course, your husband may just be braver....
    Thanks for a great laugh.

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  50. Um, did you get enough comments here? I'm adding one late 'cuz I just found you. I'm so not funny - I don't even try. I just like to laugh at other people (that sounded really bad!)

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  51. I feel your pain...I am a comment whore too, but I usually only get 1 comment and sometimes if I'm lucky I get 2---but it's the same person commenting twice. Wah!

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  52. Wow. 57. You must be feelin' really good now, huh? HA! I'm lucky to get 6...my loser mom story might have gotten in the teens.

    I read my blog to my husband for the first time tonight and he barely even cracked a grin. Well. See if I let him rub my back tonight.

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  53. I'm the 58th comment AND you got a Perfect Post award - I'm thinking you don't suck :)

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  54. If the comments on this post don't cure you of your insecurities, I don't know what will! And good news, Sue, I've just found some weird lumps behind my left ear. It's probably brain cancer. "Comment or Die" will be yours in no time! But to be honest, I think I have a lot of dead readers because I get NOWHERE near as many comments as you do!

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  55. This was very funny! I relate to a lot of what you said and you get a lot of comments. If i get 2 sometimes even one...i am happy.

    I am glad to know there is someone else that tells funny stories about themselves. i have started thinking people might start thinking something is wrong with me because I have so many Lucy moments...I do though. :)

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  56. you know what's fun? finding a super old post and laughing out loud like it was written today...
    yah, it's that relevant.

    keep on truckin'- good, good stuff!

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  57. You're a classic.

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  58. here it is:

    Me: honey? DO NOT READ MY BLOG AND PLEASE DO NOT WATCH MY VIDEOS.

    and.

    scene.

    MizFit

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  59. you are very funny! otherwise I probably wouldn't be interested in reading this blog! Makes me laugh.

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  60. Haha...
    You are really funny...
    Actually, on my latest blogspot account (I think I have three.. the last one I made is the only one I'm using [and know the password to]) which I made about a week ago (and for the first time ever, have posted more than twice), your account was the first one I put on my 'following' list. Because you're funny and I like funny people :D.
    You're kind of slightly the opposite of me in that way, I'm as lame as hell on blogspot but I actually have a sense of humour in real life. Oh well.

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