Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dirty Laundry


I've been spilling my guts here for a little over 3 years. Many of the people that read have been here nearly since day 1, and have watched a LOT of transition in my life. Many others have joined as a result of those transitions, hopping on board when Toys for Troops came to be, or as natural networking when new friendships comes about.

I try not to think about you, specifically, when I write. I've had to develop the courage to not worry about what you think, in order to write honestly, here. I love that I've come to be comfortable with my own convictions, and also with your accolades, your indifference, or your criticism.

That said, it's interesting to me, sometimes, when people assume certain things based on what they read here. At times, I have no idea what I wrote that invoked a given interpretation. Then again, sometimes I take certain humorous liberties and miss my mark .

More often than not, it is what I don't say that steers people in certain directions. Maybe I didn't tell you that that cooler full of beer also had ginger ale in it, because I'm the designated driver.

This is most interesting to me. I don't necessarily feel that everyone in the world is entitled to everyone else's every little truths.

I have never lied to you on this blog.

But neither do I tell every. little. thing. As a result, it becomes increasingly clear to me that you may just have the wrong idea about a thing or two, and I struggle with this:

How honest am I being with you?
How obligated am I to spill all of my guts, and represent myself more honestly?
Do I really owe it to you?
Will I feel better if I clear this up? Why, or why not?

You're probably all crazy-curious now, and I've made this larger than it is; any "reveal" will only serve to disappoint, I am sure.

The truth is, that I know the answers to those questions. I am under absolutely no obligation to tell you the more-private aspects of my life, my troubles. If you were to "call" me on it, I'd tell you what to take in a freezing lake. Darling.

But there's another part of me that feels a need to acknowledge that chaos and heartache sometimes exist, and not admitting them to you makes me feel a bit of a farce:

There is never any conflict in Lori's life. There are no photos ever taken in which she has a double chin or arm flaps, she never *ever* argues with her boyfriend or friends or her son or her family. She loves her job, pays all of her bills on time, and has never had a cavity in her life. She is understanding and constantly loving and Christ-like, and, to boot, you can eat off her floors any day of the week.

I hate to break it to you:

Bullshit.

My question to you, Fellow Bloggers, if you're feeling brave:

How much, really, do you censor yourselves?

Or is it none of my damned business?


I'll just jump in here and wait for your answer.

20 comments:

  1. A lot.
    Lol.

    I never used to when I was using blogspot and then the one thing I never wanted to happen happened.
    The people in my life that I was writing/venting/everythinging about found it. Destroyed any sense of confidentiality I'd felt in that blog (really how private can it be if you can google it, right?) and I stopped writing.

    For a little while.
    Then I began again. Cautiously.
    Little by little I'm opening up again.
    I censor a lot though.
    I'm careful not to use anything that links directly back to me other than a few photos here and there. I don't even comment on blogs written by people that live anywhere near me in case I ever run into them one day! lol
    My boyfriend knows about my blog but hasn't seen it and doesn't know the address. I've told him that if he'd like to, he could read it but he knows that I desire the privacy I feel I get from it and tells me that he doesn't need to. That if, or when, I'm ever ready to, I can show him.

    I write posts with every sordid detail but I don't publish them publicly.
    They're just for me.

    Everything else is free game but that doesn't mean I'm telling everything.

    There is SO MUCH that I don't share.
    I don't think it's necessary.
    If people want to know, they'll ask. If I don't want them to know, I don't have to answer.

    You share the very personal details of your life and I absolutely love your blog and enjoy your writing for that very reason.
    It makes me feel like I know you a little bit.
    I think that asking for every little detail is asking a little much of you.

    I hope you don't stop posting the way you were because some people are taking the fun out of it.
    I'd miss you!
    :)

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  2. Is someone harassing you? That sucks. I think you are lovely. Your character and your physical self. I censor myself somewhat in that I don't put all the cuss words in that I might use at home in the heat of the moment about some event. Also because I am a graphic artist by trade I instinctually clean up my photos. If there is a leaf on the carpet, I take it out. And I have taken out a double chin or added "lipstick." It's what I do. I also did it for complete strangers when being paid as a Photoshop artist. I was about to clean up some "water spots" on a picture I just posted but realized it was a metal grate in the cement and left it in. I wanted to take it out, though. As far as what I say in my posts, that's just me minus some cuss words. And again, I'm sorry if someone is harassing you. You DO NOT deserve that.

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  3. StFarmer5:50 AM

    Who? Me?! I am a saint... Yeah that's it... Saint Farmer. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

    I've never thought anybody was perfect. Let me live with the illusion that you are close. :)

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  4. I feel a lot of the same things when I write at my place. I know some in-person friends read it, as does The Dude. I don't tell everything, but I don't lie either...

    But I try to "fire and forget". I write it, it's done, and I'm onto the next thing.

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  5. Well, I've aired a whole lot of my dirty laundry on my blog. I've also, for the most part, remained anonymous because of that. Only recently have I become less and less anonymous, and I find that as I become less anonymous (mostly because I've started meeting people in real life that I met through blogging) I censor myself more.

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  6. Your writing is witty, entertaining, funny at times, serious at times, warm at times and evokes lots of thought and emotion at times. I thoroughly enjoy your blog. Who in their right mind reveals everything about themselves. Certainly, I do not. What fun would that be? Thanks for your daily entries.

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  7. A very thought provoking question.
    I get that all the time. Ron, is what you write true? Well, not all cases. Sometimes the truth is even crazier than what I write. My wife is a mental health therapist so I am bound not to discuss her work, but I can tell you, I share some of her stories and reframe it.
    I am a devout Christian. But what does that mean? I can tell you what it means to me. But I’m also not a Christian on drugs. Life is hard. I have a drink and make no bones about it, sometimes a whole bottle. I swear, never using the Lords name in vain.
    The truth is, I couldn’t pick you out of a crowd if I had to.
    A good friend of mine who writes books and is a therapist wrote a book, “Rewinding the Wheel.” It’s a biography of sorts. I like that title.
    Now, let me ask you a personal question. How long do we remember events for their total clarity and recall? Did you know we all reshape true events in less than three days? I can have your family sit in a room and discuss an event all were involved in and all passionately REMEMBER exactly the way it happened and all the stories would be different. Tell me about the concept of truth in this context. Scary to even think we could ever grasp God’s truth.
    Why I read you would be the same reason I would visit you as a little kid on my bike. I wanna see you.
    Can it be that easy? (Say yes)

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  8. My sister and I were talking about this the other day. I censor, don't lie, embellish to make the dull a bit more readable but truth be told, I only blog about 15% of my IRL days.

    We laugh at my saying "I'm going to blog THIS" knowing darn well I better not. Most of it is day to day family drama, work drama, and dating LMAO stories. I'd never blog about someone that could possibly find it without their permission .... and the things I'd love to write about, they'd never agree to.

    And NO WAY do I EVER EVER censor my photos [coughBScough] ... and my floors? They double as our dinner plates! [snort]

    If I posted some daily truths, ya'd all think I was a huge BS'r high on drugs .... really!

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  9. Of course I censor myself. Who doesn't.

    I try not to get too personal and I don't spill details of my life that I wouldn't want the world at large to know. I think everyone censors themselves to some extent even in real life. I don't know about you, but I don't go around telling all the details of my life to everyone I meet.

    For me the blog is public and thus not a place where I normally spill my guts. I have a personal journal and close friends for that. This being said, I think what you see on my blog is very much me as I really am. But parts of me; not the whole thing.

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  10. Oh please. In many ways, the Pobble is just another one of my personae, like Pauline or PT. She's a hell of a lot closer to the real me than Pauline or PT ~ but she ain't all me. My real life friends don't have every little detail. I'm gonna put it out here? Nope.

    As for your blog, there is also a sense of what makes for good story telling and you have that understanding in spades. "A cooler full of beer on a hot summer's night" is FAR more interesting, vivid and engaging than "a cooler full of beer and several ginger ales because I was the designated driver and needed to stay sober on a hot summer's night." You know what, Lori? Fuck 'em.

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  11. Thought provoking post Lori.

    As far as I have been reading you and known you through it, I have seen you as a very down-to-earth person. True to ones heart. When you tell us about your son in Iraq, about your sister or your sweet mom and still manage to make us smile while reading, I know that is where your honesty lies.

    To keep smiling in spite of anything and to share that smile with others too.

    Don't ever think you are being scrutinized by what you DON'T say.

    Just be the person you are and we so love you for that. You better know !

    As for me, the primary reason of starting a blog was to put down all that I am unable to share with people in real life. That's why the anonimity.That little space is mine and I can say anything under the sun there.. no inhibitions.

    And unfortunately, that's exactly why I would think twice to meet my blog friends in real :(

    Oh, the ironies of life! :D

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  12. Oh, there's all manner of things I don't put in my blog, partly because there are some things that I don't want to tell you, and partly because you probably don't want to read about. I think of my blog like a conversation with friends: most of the time it's idle banter and occasionally you mention some personal stuff but you don't carp on about it. Who wants to hear that?

    You're doing a grand job, as the number of comments will attest. Chin up, girl!

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  13. Working in the news biz, I try to keep post of my political beliefs under wraps...otherwise everything is fair game.

    In my day to day life I try not to hurt feelings--->so I don't use my blog as a forum to vent....I use it as a way to invite people into my world and stay a while. It helps that my soldier even said that he feels as if he is not missing much out of my life because of my blog.

    I LOVE your blog! Read it everyday and feel blessed to know you, however way it is that you'd like me to know you!

    My favorite part about blogging is that it is an online diary....a good way to look back and see what you did on no specific date.

    LOVE YOU GIRL! Thanks for all you do!

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  14. Each and every one of your responses have taken my breath away. I thank you playing along, and for your honesty.

    Nicole: I once had a "secret" blog that merged publically, when Blogger made everyone update. Every horrid date, every irritating employee, every cussword and blaspheme been merged with cheery Gnightgirl...just as my internet dropped out. I ran to a coffee shop with my computer and deleted the blog. Goodbye, readers!

    I read every.single.word. you write, and find you so honest and raw that I sometimes have to return, and sometimes end up not commenting, for fear of interfering with your thought process.

    I don't undertand how you don't have 1,000,000 comments.

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  15. Geewits: Gah! Apparently I harass myself (next post to reveal). I'm a Photoshop fiend, and LOVED the "removing a leaf"...uhhh...confession. You have LEAVES on your carpet?! Horrors.

    StFarmer: Ok fine, I AM close. There Is a spot of my floor you can eat off of...it's under the rug. That far corner, not the corner where I sweep stuff under, if you're showing up unexpectedly...

    Loquacious: You strike me as brutally honest and courageous also. Fire and Forget! I'll remember that. YOU SUNK MY BATTLESHIP!

    Trueself: Heh heh hehhh....
    backfired on you, huh? All honest and revealing, and the rest of the world wants to know someone with so much courage...go, you.

    Single@50: Thanks for "Who in their right mind reveals everything about themselves." I needed that.

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  16. Audobon Ron: Thought-provoking answer; esp. the true events in less than 3 days factoid. I beleive it, 110%. And I love, love the little kid on the bike analogy. Yes. Yes, come and see if I can come out and play tomorrow, too, won't you?

    Nancy: See...nothing you commented surprises me at all. You are open and mysterious, and beautiful and we know you have 100,000,000 dating stories, but you are oh so gracious, and GIRL, I'm going to meet you and get the r.e.a.l. scoop. I know you ain't sayin' is all I'm sayin.

    Jazz: Great point: Part of me, but not all of me, and it's all the truth. When you meet other bloggers (and I know you have)...do other truths reveal themselves? Inquiring minds...

    Boston Pobble: I love you to death! You hit the nail on the head, and I always bank on everyone reading what I don't write into my conversation. Most do.

    AlwaysHappyAKA: Gah! What a Catch-22! I'm paralyzed thinking that you wouldn't meet me if the occasion should occur...and at the same time, I know that you'd make an exception for me! When I come you're way, if you bow out, I will hunt you down...and make you eat oysters with me.

    Sven: Interesting point! You're right, I wouldn't carp on and on...at the same time, my willingness to blurp out my name and life story to strangers at a table has always been my "justification" for blurping it out online. "Nothing you wouldn't hear if you sit down at my table!" I always say. Of course, that depends on #glasses of wine I've had, when you pull up a chair. God save you.

    Paria: A good point: I DO try to censor myself by not saying things that will be hurtful. Every time I cross that line, even in humor, it seems to bite me in the butt. I'm constantly amazed at "smarty mouth" bloggers that get away with saying anything that comes to mind, and people looooooooooove it, while I tag up to smarting off and get hammered for it!

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  17. I used to not censor myself...as a venting system for myself...

    But then I started to become more cautious as a measure to provide less chaos in my life (due to people offended by my writing). But I have always made clear that we can all agree to disagree and I have no obligation to share things I don't want to share. I try to portray myself as true as I am and those who like it fine and those who don't, fine.

    You my friend are awesome, I know you aren't perfect, but hell I'll pay double to anyone who finds someone who meets that criteria...cause I sure ain't. And you have the right to do as you please, cuz in the end it's your blog and your life... ;-)

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  18. Funny you should bring this up because I was just wondering some of the same things. I sometimes wonder if some people stop reading by blog because of something said or didn't say. I do censor what I write because I truly don't like hurting anyone's feelings. I also censor myself because my family doesn't like when I bear all on here. I would say that I write about 10 times more posts than I actually post. Sometimes I find myself complaining but when I see it in writing I figure it isn't going to get me anywhere so why post it.

    So was it something I said? That was a joke but you couldn't tell that from what I wrote so that in itself is a problem.

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  19. Hmmmm...I am, by nature, an extremely private person. I rarely, if ever, vent on my blog...about family, politics, the traffic, jerks, my feelings, etc...I tend to keep it ALL bottled up inside, and that's my nature...not something I do for my blog. But *my* blog is *my own* personal therapy...99% of the time, the things I blog about are the things that make me happy, entertain me, catch my eye, make me laugh, etc.
    I think anyone who blogs has a profound right to divulge or withhold as much or as little as they choose to. That said, I don't think it's a great habit to blog about things that are flat out untrue, but I think it's normal and within reason to not always share every nitty-gritty detail and even to, perhaps, make things a bit sunnier than they really are. We bloggers are, by nature, a pretty exhibitionist bunch, right? If we can entertain, inform, and connect via our life experiences - it's entertaining and stimulating to jazz it up a bit, isn't it?

    Bottom line, this blog is yours and you are under no obligation to share anything more than what *you* want to share. Or in a way that *you* want to share it.

    You're a star, Lori, I hope you won't let this weigh too heavily on you. I think you're doing things just right.

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  20. Gosh,
    I think you hit the nail on the head when you say it's more about the details you dont write. I know that even when I am writing something that makes me looks like a jackass, it is finely vetted so that I look like the jackass I want you to see.

    GREAT post.

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