The humor & pathos of personal bloggers

I’m currently reading Jenny Lawson’s memoir “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened”.  It’s the kind of book that causes bouts of helpless laughter, made infinitely worse if you are trying to be discreet, like on the subway or in the waiting room at the dentist.    For example, this is an anecdote from her time working in PR:

This morning we were all praying with the bishop at work (which is legal, because it’s a faith-based organization, but also weird because I still don’t understand how I got hired here, except that we need to do better background checks).  There were about a hundred of us in the hallway when the bishop said — in this really loud and dramatic way — “Oh, heavenly Father:  Hear our prayer!”  Immediately some guy from engineering’s walkie-talkie blasts out, “COME IN, CHUCK!” and I had to walk out in the middle of the prayer because I totally snorted and was drawing attention to myself, because all I could think of was how I bet God was only half listening and then was all, “WTF?  Did the bishop just call me Chuck?”

I happened to be reading this part on the subway yesterday and my chortling drew several sideways glances.   My kids were with me which meant that after getting off the subway I tried to explain to them what was so funny which is actually better than having to read an excerpt out loud to them (which I have also done after bursting into laughter late at night, disrupting everyone else’s reading) since the book is often rated R for language or content.

Anyway, Lawson was known to me first as The Bloggess.   I follow her on Twitter and read her blog, which is hilarious.   In her book she talks a lot about her anxiety and panic attacks, which although no joke in real life, are relayed with such self-deprecating humor that you can’t help but laugh and sympathize.

I love her and kind of hate her at the same time, bringing me to the actual point of this post which is that it seems like a lot of the super successful bloggers have some serious personal issues.  And they talk about them in their blogs (or their books) in such a way that we are right there with them, we’re in their corner and we want to hear every funny gory detail.

Which means I’m pretty much screwed in the personal blogger universe.   My life (and universe, if you are listening, this is not me complaining so don’t feel the need to test me) to this point has been pretty much devoid of massive trauma.  What trauma there has been was not mine personally, and therefore not mine to share.   I was not abused as a child.   I suffered no eating disorders, don’t have panic attacks or suffer from depression.   My pregnancies were fairly routine. I hated being pregnant but had no good reason for it, which just annoyed me even more. (Love the end results though.)

Joshua is a great husband and we don’t have raging arguments which make for amusing anecdotes later on.  I read somewhere once that if you don’t fight with your spouse it’s a sign you don’t really care all that much, which is total BS in my opinion.

I like my parents, get along great with my brother AND his wife, enjoy most of my relatives and am on good terms with all of Joshua’s family.

So far, my kids have not turned into people who despise my very presence and roll their eyes at everything I say.   We have had no dramas that led to someone in our house shooting a laptop with a .38 special.

Even in the unschooling realm it seems a lot of people go that route out of the desire to repair the damage done to them by their own upbringing.   In our case we just thought it seemed natural and cool and fun.   Here’s the synopsis of most of our days:  We get up when we want, pursue our interests between life obligations, enjoy each others’ company and eventually go to sleep.

Which makes for a great life, but a boring blog.

Of course it could also be that those bloggers are just far better writers than I am, able to see the comedy & tragedy in even the most mundane of days and then describe it to us with such humor or pathos that it comes alive, making us laugh or cry.

I wouldn’t want my life to be filled with trauma in order to have better blog content, but have no objection to improving my writing.   I’ll keep subjecting you to my efforts, and in the meantime we can all keep laughing along with The Bloggess.

About Amy

Amy Milstein was born and raised on a farm in Indiana, but after 20+ years considers herself a full-fledged New Yorker. She is married with two kids, who do not go to school but are instead life learners. This means they learn by living in the world (real life ) instead of hearing about it and simulating it in a classroom. With her family, Amy loves to travel, read, watch movies, write, sew, knit - the list is endless.
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One Response to The humor & pathos of personal bloggers

  1. Cynthia says:

    I read that book and couldn’t stop laughing. I tried to read parts to a friend and she didn’t find it funny. Oh well.

    I think it is just her style of writing. I wish I wrote like that, was a funny … but I’m not. I only have my story to tell, in my voice. And I am sure that there are those who need to hear my voice … not Jenny’s. Though I love her so much.

    This past weekend, I went on a hike … by myself … which ended up being uphill all the way and I realized that I am in terrible shape. I actually thought I was going to pass out on the secluded trail and no one would know where I was. I turned around half way through and went back, downhill, which was precarious in the slippery mud and leaves. I texted my husband, “if I were the blogess, this story would be about how I almost died on the trail, just like Aaron Ralston and had to cut my leg off or stay there and die of starvation. And now I am crossing the raging river and by raging river I mean barely trickling stream … but I did get my shoe wet”

    But I am not The Bloggess. I just want to tell my story, my way. And I happen to love the way you tell your story too … that’s why I am subscribed to your blog!