Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Excuses Are Like Livers

I have not been this ashamed since I jumped out from behind the elementary school girls' bathroom door, shouting "BOO!" only to find myself impaled by the stern gaze of Mrs. Elvins, my third-grade teacher.

I have been lax in commenting on my favorite blogs.

Here I loll on my luxurious litter, having red seedless grapes dropped into my gaping maw, being fanned with a palm frond, regally surveying my blogroll kingdom, while reeling in comments like a Bassmaster at a fishing derby. And not sharing the commenty love. What am I, some kind of freeloader who feels entitled to receive comments while doling out none of my own? That's downright un-neighborly of me.

Have I become that customer who takes pennies from the spare change bowl on the cashier's counter, yet never leaves them? The driver given a nod and waved into congested traffic who refuses to allow even a small gap for others to merge ahead of him? The faculty member who takes all of the insurance rep's free pens out of the cup, yet does not even sit down for a consultation? The browser at Sam's Club who comes for a smorgasbord of samples, but leaves without making a purchase? As Magic 8 Ball might say, "All signs point to yes."

Oh, I have an excuse. But you know what they say. Excuses are like livers. Everybody has one, and they all should be kept deep inside the abdominal cavity, and not proffered to a blogger on a filigreed silver serving tray as a tasty peace offering for leaving her posts hangin' without a comment. Or something like that.

But I am bound and determined to bare my liver today.

I read blogs at night. I post at night. I take care of family obligations at night. And sometimes, I even sleep at night. Occasionally, I run out of night before I run out of blogs to comment on. Even though I arise before the chickens, my morning is monopolized by the task of getting myself and my boys off to school on time. Oh, and a fifteen-minute phone call to my mom.

Sometimes, when I see a bunch of comments already there, I feel like mine would be superfluous. Nothing new to say. It might look like I am commenting just to draw traffic to my own blog.

Sometimes, I feel like I am unqualified to comment. I don't know much about the topic. I don't want to be flip and make a joke when all the other comments are serious.

Sometimes, I can relate a personal experience, but in doing so, I take up more than my fair share of commenty room. Or look like I am hijacking the post for my own devious purposes.

There's no way around it. I am an insecure commenter. I feel like all the other commenters know each other, and I am not in their clique. I think that comes from way back when I first started my original super-secret blog in 2005, and left what I thought was a friendly comment on a blog I had visited a couple of times. It was something innocuous. The post was about redecorating a bathroom. People shared their unique bathroom styles in the comments. I mentioned that my husband insisted on decorating our basement bathroom with an airbrushed NASCAR countertop, put down black-and-white tiles like a finish flag, and hung Hot Wheels race cars on three walls. The blog owner and most of the commenters above me ripped my comment to shreds. I was the uncool kid who dared to sit down at the cheerleaders' lunch table. I got the distinct feeling that they were not fans of NASCAR.

Ever since that time, I have been leery of dipping my tootsies into the vast blog-comment sea. I poke my head out of the changing tent, survey the situation, tiptoe across the hot sand in my ankle-length swimwear, and spread my towel on the periphery, to watch the gals in their itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikinis. Not in a creepy pervy stalker way. To judge the climate. Will I be welcomed, or will I be shunned?

I don't mean to act aloof or stand-offy or entitled. It's my insecurity not-talking.

I vow to exercise my comment muscle until it's fit as a fiddle, and put forth a concerted effort to serenade my blog buddies at regular intervals.


Sioux said...

It sounds like you happened up some snooty, snotty bloggers. Too bad they made you comment-shy. I've always found your comments to be quirky, clever and humorous.

Tammy said...

I am insecure about commenting on comments. Do I look rude if I don't say something back? Or do I look like I'm trying to have the last word? And if I comment on one, am I playing favorites if I don't acknowledge the others? Where is Emily Blog Post when you need her!

Mrs. Tuna said...

I was glad to see you left part of your liver at my place today :)

Val Thevictorian said...

If it happened now, I would simply unfollow that blog in a fit of pique. And maybe roll some chicken bones under the full moon in a revenge ritual. But that was only about the second time I ever commented, so it made me not want to comment.

No. Not rude. You look like you have a life. The last word? Not unless somebody has stirred up a brouhaha. No favorites. Even a crazy cat lady doesn't pet all of her kitties the same number of strokes each day.

Thanks to Backroads Miz Manners for giving me that insight.

Mrs. Tuna,
I'm all about scattering bits of my internal organs willy-nilly throughout the blogosphere.

Vicki Rocho said...

I know exactly where you're coming from. With 300+ blogs on the blog roll, I can't comment on them all and sometimes I don't try as hard as I could which makes me feel really bad when people keep commenting on MINE and I can't even return the favor. Sometimes I DO have an excuse -- like work, family, or actual writing.

Anywho, I can't believe anyone would criticize you for the NASCAR comment. I'm not a fan, but one of these days I'll post pictures of what my husband did to our bathroom and you'll be completely vindicated! hahaha.

(PS the kids love the kitty pic up above...)

Val Thevictorian said...

Thanks for validating my slothfulness! I'd love to claim that little kitty, but he's a stock photo. Because, you know, I couldn't be bothered to take a pic of one of my own five cats.

What is it with men and bathrooms? They are like Al Bundy with his Ferguson (the king of bowls).

Mommy Needs a Xanax said...

Wow, I don't know what to do here...there are 6 comments ahead of mine. Do I comment, or just keep going? I'll take a chance.

You are my only commenter, so there's no risk of not being in the clique. We are the clique. And I'm okay with that.

See how I made it about me? Sorry. Now someone go read my blog and comment. Damn there I go again, committing commenter sins. But I have not yet taken up more than my fair share of commenty space, so one more paragraph to go...

I have the same insecurity about my blog posts, which is why I don't often post these days. You write on topics that you're thinking about, and for me those topics just aren't that interesting right now. Many times I have started a post and realized I was mommy blogging, and not very well, and scrapped it. The fact is, in my humble, insecure opinion, that the act of blogging is a selfish one as well as a creative one, so maybe we should scrap this guilt and just blog. And comment.

There. Done.

Val Thevictorian said...

I forgot you were languishing here in comment limbo. Lucky for you I went spam-surfing tonight. I also unmarked you as spam. We'll see if that helps.

Am I reading you right? Did you just, in that last paragraph, tell me that I'm writing on topics that are not interesting right now? How dare you, Madame! I think what you meant is that your own topics are not interesting. But since we go waaayyyyy back, and I've never known you to sugarcoat your feelings, maybe not. I will excuse your audacity, because that turns the topic back to ME, and what an angelic, forgiving, Melanie-in-Gone-With-the-Wind kind of gal I am.

Blog on. You will get your edge back.

Mommy Needs a Xanax said...

No, I...wait..no, MY topics aren't that interesting. Sheesh. See what I mean about the edge?

Okay. Done.

Val Thevictorian said...

I gave you the benefit of the doubt. You are suffering from Double-Mommy Mush Mind. I've been there. The land where stepping into the shower while wearing socks seems perfectly logical.