I have been to a number of blogs in the past few years on myriad topics. I follow blogs about cooking and gardening, horses and dogs. I have gotten advice about how to fix a broken drain pipe and how to make the best home made hoof oil. Some very kind folks instructed me as to how to adjust the pH level of my soil to change the color of my hydrangeas and others directed me to a nursery in Montreal where I could find lilacs that would survive in the South. I also follow blogs about reality television, particularly the Real Housewives. Who knew what little miracles could be found amid the snark.
I first began following LynnNChicago when, like most of us, it seemed that Bravo was no longer interested in what we, the viewers, had to say. Our comments were removed or reworded to appear more flattering to this bunch of pseudo-celebrities. It was insulting and maddening. I didn’t post many comments at first, but rather participated in what many refer to as lurking. I read the blog every day and began to find that I was not the only one who wanted to express frustration with the nastiness, arrogance and, all too often, sheer idiocy of these women.
I also began to realize that many of the men and women who posted their comments were funny, intelligent, thoughtful and truly kind – wrap that with a dose of sarcasm and you have a winning combination. It became the first thing I read when my morning chores were done and I could enjoy a cup of coffee for an hour of so. When I did begin to comment, I found that there was a rhythm to it, depending on the antics and nonsense we had seen on the previous night’s episode of whatever Bravo show had been on.
That is not to say that blogs don’t have their share of heated debates, which sometimes turn into all out wars. Some people are hurt or angered or even disgusted, and respond in kind. Most of the time we bark and sometimes we bite. A few will abandon a blog for these and other reasons, and never return. Some will come back after a cooling off period. It sounds just like how people act, and just like how life can go.
I also found that there were some folks whose comments and tone resonated just a little more for me. These men and women reside all over this country and some just over our border. We went from just being screen names on a blog to something even better. We catch up and check up on each other when someone’s absence is noticed. I often worried that, should these people actually meet me, they might be disappointed as I would not be what or how I appear given only the written word. I don’t feel that way anymore. We are neighbors, sharing our morning coffee, despite the miles that separate us. The even better part is that we became friends.
We confess the dumb things we have done and do our level best not to judge. We share very personal, and sometimes, very painful aspects of our lives. The responses are usually kind, supportive and forgiving. When life seems to be about to crush us with obstacles, someone is there to reassure us that these times are brief, and we will go one. More often than not, we share a lot of laughs – sometimes directed at the Housewives, sometimes directed at each other.
The (mostly) women that I communicate with at this level can be counted on one hand, but having one full hand is a gift these days. We all know and care about a certain woman who lives in the Sunshine State. She is one of the miracles I’m talking about. The past few weeks have been very, very difficult for her. Life has thrown things in her direction that would leave many of us on our knees. Over the months, more than a few tears have been shed between us, as both of us know and have had similar life experiences. We can call each other out when one has really messed up. It is dealt with and no one holds any grudges. We make each other laugh, as well. I don’t mean to diminish the role of the others who I hold in that handful as well as in my heart, and I know that they understand.
I just wanted to let all of you know that, although the celebs feel that we are unduly harsh or critical towards them, on the other side of that coin are real people who come from places of vast experiences, too. The celebs don’t understand that we all see things differently, maybe more clearly than they sometimes do. They don’t realize that when we question their actions and words, we are not simply being “haters”. When I write this blog, I try to think about some of the people who have brought their own stories of courage and challenges. They have risen up, over and over, and make no excuses. When I have asked for advice or clarification, they have responded. A good number have allowed me to see that my opinions are not always completely valid. I have learned a great deal. For this I tip my hat and offer my gratitude to them, and to you. I will write my posts keeping all of you in mind, and hope that I meet your expectations. I owe you that much.