I know that the entire universe is into blogging and everything, but it still weirds me out when I access the site of someone I know in a brick and mortar way (I love this term from Swistle) who has not personally invited me to their blog. It doesn’t make any sense, I KNOW. I should offer the caveat that these are MY ISSUES and MY ISSUES ALONE, unless, of course, you’re just as freaky as me. Rest assured that I welcome any and all visitors here to The Creamery, regardless of how they found me. I love it when I hear from people, period. I know that there are a lot of lurkers out there – and on many blogs, I’m totally one of them. And I don’t have a problem with someone lurking all the live long day. I guess I do sort of HOPE that folks will come out of the dark at least once in a while to comment and show themselves and let me know that they think I have a beautiful, sparkling wit and they just can’t start their day without reading something from here. Or, you know, whatever they’d like to say.
The point is that we write and we share publicly for a REASON and if anyone doesn't want to be public, they can certainly hide their blog or make it invitation only or whatnot. Seeing as I'm not one of those private-y people, I take what I get in terms of visitors.
As far as my weirdness goes, I have this entirely peculiar and funny feeling about reading the blogs of brick and mortar friends when they don't know that I know that they're there (Are we following me? I'm not sure if I'M following me.)
Case in point: Recently, via the site of someone else I know, I stumbled upon a couple of blogs that belong to brick and mortar folks. Folks that I know – folks that I see on a regular basis – folks that I’m friendly with, but not friendly enough to be all – HEY HI I FOUND YOUR BLOG AND I’M NOW OFFICIALLY LOOKING IN ON YOUR LIFE. WOW. THAT STORY ABOUT THE MEXICAN RESTAURANT? I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU ATE THAT ENTIRE BURRITO. I wouldn’t ever say this or any amalgam thereof. Instead, I just go around not saying anything and feeling like a Grade A Prime STALKER. Why is it that I feel this way? Do you go through this ridiculous weirdness? Is it really JUST ME? Why do I feel more comfortable commenting on the blogs of people who I’ll never conceivably run into at the grocery store?
I can't decide exactly what I want to do about this development.
So far, here are the ridiculous and nonsense rules I've made up for myself - keep in mind, as stated before - these are TOTALLY MY RULES FOR MYSELF. I know that there are a lot of you out there (I flatter myself – okay, there are a handful of you out there) who check in on me from time to time here at The Creamery, and you don’t follow Whimsy’s Rules for Weird Blog-Type Stalking In The Case Where It’s Someone She Might Run Into At Random. And that’s okay. As for me and my house:
-- If I keep looking in, I have to comment.
-- I can't wait too long to comment because there is a directly proportional relationship of HOW LONG I WAIT TO COMMENT to LEVEL OF WEIRDNESS. i.e. The longer I wait, the weirder it gets.
-- There are only certain types of comments that I deem to be acceptable for Opening Comment behavior. I have to introduce myself and let them know how I found their blog.
-- I do not out myself as a fellow blogger. If they want to follow a link from my profile or whatnot, that's totally fine. But otherwise it feels dumb.
-- Commenting in any form must be done with extreme caution. It feels very much like I'm butting in on a conversation between close friends who are clearly happy with their group. They have not invited me in. Do I really want to stick my nose in there?
-- Until some form of Cordial Connection has been made with the blog author, I can't comment too much, for fear that they're sitting back at their computer thinking DUDE THIS GIRL IS TOTALLY STALKING ME AND READING ABOUT MY LIFE AND I MIGHT SEE HER IN THE BATHROOM AT CHURCH OR SOMETHING AND THAT WOULD BE VERY CREEPY.
-- Under no circumstance do I discuss details about blog entries when I run into them in the bathroom at church. Or anywhere else for that matter, unless it is TOTALLY APPLICABLE. (Which, by the way, never happens.) This rule, in and of itself, is fraught with issues because how strange is it that I'm commenting on their entry about dog spit on Tuesday and then I see them at the grocery store on Friday and I don't even MENTION the dog spit? See - it's just dumb.
-- The only escape from the rule above is if the blog author brings up the blogging to me - and then we can talk about things in relative ease. It just can't be me bringing it up.
-- If I choose to not comment at all, I have to stop myself from visiting their blog.
-- Then the question becomes: Do I really WANT to visit their blog and read about dog spit? Will this make our brick and mortar relationship weird? Will it change things in a way that makes it embarassing to see them in a public setting?
-- Perhaps I should forget about these new blogs altogether and just go back to reading the stories of random (but TOTALLY FUNNY and TOTALLY WONDERFUL) strangers.
With all of this said – and these particular neuroses shared – what would you do? Do you visit the blogs? Do you comment? Do you mention it when you see them in person? And hey – even if you have no advice to give, I’m officially declaring that you delurk, just for today. Show of hands, tell me you’re here. I DARE YOU.
Now I'm going to take a nap. I'm very tired.