Things I Feel Bad About

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 8.442% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

“Why don’t you talk about me more often?”
As a semi-public figure, The Blog becomes a figure of dread in my relationships.  Because I’ve never dated anyone for whom a mention in The Blog wasn’t a major bennie – to a woman, they’ve all felt the soft-n-fuzzies when I dropped a mention of them in here.  And usually I’m happy to mention them, because I think they’re wise and interesting and full of neat things to say.
But there’s always that weird pushback.  Say, you haven’t mentioned me in The Blog lately.  What I said about you on The Blog wasn’t necessarily fair.  That portion of The Blog seemed inspired by me, was it? And so there is this weird dance between “I want to be on The Blog” and “But I want to look good and beloved.”
Which causes issues.  I don’t like mentioning all the people I’m romantically entangled with on The Blog, because if I bring them on stage and introduce them and say, “Hey, this person is neat and fuzzy and wonderful and we are together!” then I must likely one day go, “…and now this person is not with me any more!”  Which is painful.
As public as I am on The Blog, I actually prefer to keep most of my non-core relationships off the books.
Which is a distinction that most don’t get, and possibly can’t.  It’s not that I won’t mention you on The Blog – if you do something sufficiently interesting, I’ll discuss it.  I’ll certainly mention we’re dating, if it’s something that’s relevant to the discussion at hand.  But I’m not going to go out of my way to establish you as a personality on The Blog, establishing you as someone who’s hand-in-hand with me, linking in my readers’ minds that we are, indeed, Emotionally Combined.  Because chances are good that at some point in the next year or so, we won’t be.
I’ve seen other bloggers do that, and I personally find it exhausting.  Charting other people’s relationships from NRE OMG THEY’RE WONDERFUL to OH THERE’S HOT SEX to WE’RE HAVING PROBLEMS to OH WHAT A JERK is something I don’t want to do in my personal space.  So unless they manage to make it all the way to a “core” partner, of which only three have ever managed and I’m married to one, then I’ll just discuss them as I would politics, or Magic, or any other issue: oh, they did something spiffy, let us note it in The Blog.
The reason I mention this is because an ex mentioned that me not having her on The Blog as a part of my cast of characters was, perhaps, the beginning of the end.  And that’s a perfectly fair reaction – if you’re dating me, why wouldn’t you want to be listed on The Blog’s official cast list?  It was a slight (and one I intended to handle in a follow-up post, which turned out to be more complex to write than I’d thought, and then we broke up before I got around to that).
But it’s also a part of who I am – this is the way I run The Blog, and it takes a lot before I start taking effort to chart the emotional dynamics between the two of us in public, and if that’s an issue, well, I guess we shouldn’t be dating.
And as I said: it often is an issue.  People dating me want to be part of The Blog.  But as I’ve said time and time again, The Blog is not Me.  I am not The Blog.  The Blog is a carefully crafted subset of my life, one that often leaves out very important things – my mother and father were not on the cast of characters, my upsetness over my recent breakup is not on here, my fights with Gini are not on here, my work is not on here, even some of my most precious secrets that I share with Gini are sealed away forever.  Many bits are elided and censored for various reasons, and if you do not make it onto The Blog that doesn’t mean that you’re not relevant or precious.  It means that this part of our relationship did not fit The Blog’s criteria.
I’m open.  I share many things.  But do not confuse The Blog for The Ferrett.  Ever.

1 Comment

  1. Marc
    Sep 26, 2012

    I didn’t know you had a cast of characters page! While reading it I couldn’t help but imagine it as a tv serial recap, Buffy the vampire slayer style. 🙂

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