I've been mulling over a discussion at Bad Mother regarding the "blogger/bloggee" relationship. Coincidentally, it's something the Chica and I were discussing the other day. She reads my blog--she's one of only a few people who actually know me and know that this is my blog--but hasn't felt comfortable commenting on it because it feels too public. Of course, she doesn't really need to do: We see each other at work every day and she can tell me whatever she wants, right to my face. Still, we've been discussing the public nature of something that contains so much private information and, at times, so much emotional weight.
I think blogging and reading blogs is a bit like going to a fabulous cocktail party. You have the chance to strike up conversations with new people, and some of them turn out to be rather engaging. Some of them turn out to be odd but interesting, and some of them make you start giving your date the "find a reason to leave here NOW" signal. If you don't feel like talking to anyone, you can always nurse a drink and listen in on other interesting conversations. Sometimes you start talking to someone and think, Holy cow, this is someone I'd love to talk with again. But you aren't about to give out your home number because, hey, you don't know any of these people.
I have friends, and family, and work, and it's all good. But most nights, I have two little humans asleep upstairs, so I don't find myself at as many cocktail parties as I used to. I have friends and acquaintances who are writers, actors, lawyers, mothers, fathers, politicians, entrepreneurs, educators, scientists--but rarely do we have the chance anymore to get together as often as we'd like. And rarely do we get the chance to all hang out together, regardless of location or vocation.
As far as emotional involvement goes...I do have a weird, gate-crashing kind of feeling when commenting on a blog for the first time. As though I am interrupting a conversation that I just happen to have overheard. And it is amazing how sympatica you can end up feeling with people whom you know you don't really know. Still, I once heard a wise woman quote Terence: "I am a human being; nothing human is alien to me." Is getting a glimpse into the emotional or intellectual or professional lives of other humans--and enjoying it--weird? Voyeuristic? Or just something that we humans are wired to do--connect to other humans? It seems that we as a society don't get as much opportunity to do that as we used to do. What do you think?
Excuse me, but do we know each other? No. But thanks for the lovely evening. Maybe we can do it again sometime.