I had a conversation with my pal, Lindsay, about the nature of and motivations for blogging. Not to put words in her cute mouth, but she sees blogging as self-serving and narcissistic, and I can’t really disagree with that.
I want to write, however irregularly, for some sort of public audience. I want practice telling stories and unlocking the deep mystery of me (kidding about that last part, except I do really have fun dropping random trivia into posts, like how I learned about sex). I like to either have a beginning or ending and just go on an adventure to find the rest of the post. I get to be a little silly, expose you to my Land-humor, and run away giggling while you sort out what just happened. I don’t treat my blog like a journal, disclosing loads of secret, intimate information, and I realize that by writing at all, I make the major assumption that you even want to read what I’ve got to say. (I suppose it depends on your definition of intimate: I’ve got no qualms about using people’s names or making passing remarks about lady troubles or admitting to my bouts of postpartum rage . . . but these are the things I would tell absolute strangers on the street, so I do not consider them private or intimate.) I don’t write much about personal pain or closely held beliefs or even my strongest opinions. These are the things I have had a hard time sharing with even close, trusted, real-life and in-person friends.
The internet is so 2-dimensional and does not lend itself to true conversation, so I attempt to stir the pot as little as possible in this forum. So, in a passive way, this blog is self-serving and narcissistic. (And don’t you love that I’ve linked you back to so many other posts?? Not at all self-serving . . . .)
Sometimes I read through old posts just for fun. Just to make sure that I still like them. One of my favorites is this one about Daniel from when I first started the blog. And so far I haven’t wanted to shred or burn anything I’ve shared. Which is so totally different than 3-dimensional me. I could kick myself daily for the things that come out of my mouth. If only I had the opportunity to go into the past and recall (as in, retract or undo–not simply remember–as though my verbal vomit was a malfunctioning retail product) all those moments I said too much, teased too far, disclosed a dark corner of my heart to an “unsafe” person.
BUT, that’s not what I want to write about. Enough monologuing (because nobody really wants to read a blog about your blog); on to the story.
I am one of those rare birds that makes it to her wedding night physically unskilled, the big “V,” metaphorically wearing white. “Modest” is probably an understated explanation of my personal sexuality at the time; “repressed” is certainly a more accurate term. I had learned in my freshman Gateway class at Lee that “sex makes babies” (What?!), and I was not ready for one of those, so I set up my first OBGYN appointment to get the ball rolling on some birth control (WOOT!). An aside: 1. It’s not that I like birth control per se, I just really approve of having options. 2. I probably hadn’t been to a doctor since I was old enough to set up my own appointments or go unaccompanied by my mother. 3. Oh, and I wasn’t in the habit of nudity with others, professional or non. Nervous much? Suffice it to say, I had a little breakdown when the doctor came in to talk with me. And her reassurance was charming: she too had never had an exam until right before her wedding. “And now, 20 years and 3 kids later, I’ll throw my legs open for anybody.” No joke, that’s what she told me.
When we moved to Tennessee I had a feeling we’d be here for awhile, and I wanted to find a midwife who could keep me hooked up with the pill but who would eventually deliver my babies. I chanced upon Katie in the phone book and loved her at my initial appointment. She’s so perfect for me, slightly nervous, very smiley, and uses just enough non-medical colloquialisms to keep me comfortable in that ridiculous paper skirt. She calls sex “the wild thing” (Daniel’s favorite Katie-saying: “The wild thing is a good thing.”), my lady garden is my “hoo-ha,” yeast build up is “yeasty-beasties” (which makes me think of our family doctor growing up who checked our ears for Smurfs . . . that’s just so visual), oral sex is “the lickety-split” and other such randomness. She’s truly amazing. On my first appointment, she popped her head up from the end of the exam table to tell me that I had such a beautiful cervix. I lay there thinking I’ll bet you say that to all the girls, but what came out of my mouth was “Thanks. I’ve been working out.” And she laughed. This is how I knew it was meant to be.
A few years and a few kids later, I realize that I am no longer a repressed child, that I have, in fact, lost about 83% of my modesty (not to be confused with dignity) and am now willing to metaphorically “throw my legs open for anybody.” I used to cling to my secrets, unwilling to share them with anyone, afraid of being abused with my own thoughts. Now I know I am powerful over my intimate details (not that I’ll be turning this blog into a place to publicize them). Now I am finally able to give, perhaps too much, to conversation. Someone tell me, is this what comes with age? Or was it the bearing of children? Or just the particular winding path I had to travel?
I have no intention of using my reproductive bits again, but in the nature of self-preservation I went to see Katie a few weeks ago. I had to fill out a new information form since we’ve moved and my insurance has changed (blahblahblah). When Katie came in to talk with me she remarked on the new address. “Is that near Temple?” It turns out that when Katie was growing up, her grandmother owned the house next door to us, and her uncle owned our house. My mind was blown. We talked about the houses for awhile and both had a laugh at the small world.