Friday, August 06, 2004

It's my blog, and I'll lie if I want to

Earlier this week, as I was driving to tap class with my friends Seamus and Natasha, Natasha asked me how my trip to New York went. No sooner had I started to relate my story about seeing Joan Allen at the diner, when Seamus piped in and said, “If you had read her blog, you’d already know all this stuff. Geez!”

That got me thinking: maybe I have been spending too much time in my day-to-day life rehashing stories of things I’ve already done. Maybe I should only use conversation as a means to convey either my present needs and desires, or future goals. If anyone wants to know about the past, I’ll simply refer them to my blog. This could save me a lot of time by avoiding unnecessary repetition.

It’s kind of like in college, when you first learn the hard way that you actually had to read the material on the syllabus before coming to class. If people ask me about things I’ve already written about, I’ll just shake my head and say, “Why don’t you call me back after you’ve read my July 2004 entry on my job search? I mean it, Grandma. I’m sick of having to tell you this! You’re holding the whole family back.”

When I meet new people at parties, or eventually when that long-awaited day comes and I actually get a job, I’ll hand out business cards with my blog address on them. Then, before wasting any time discussing the past, I can just give people reading assignments:

  • For Jenny’s job history, please refer to July 2, July 15, July 21, July 22 entries.
  • For Jenny’s hobbies and interests, please refer to June 22, July 16, July 27 entries.
  • For Jenny’s subtle neuroses and fears, please refer to June 23, June 29, July 9 entries.
This strategy is not without its risks, of course. I am occasionally hit with a nagging fear that I will make myself obsolete by revealing every layer of my personality in this semi-public forum. I mean, what if I’m talking to someone on the street and I want to share a story about something I did in the past, like tap dance classes? Will it seem like I’m plagiarizing my own life?

“Uhh, hello? We already read that story, like, months ago. Don’t you have any new material?”

Let’s face it, charm is comprised of 40% mystery, 30% humor, 20% likeability, and 10% winning smile. If all my stories are published online, there goes my mystery, and the humor will seem redundant, which shoots me down to a Charm Factor Level 3.

I can’t take that risk.

I have no choice but to stop talking about my own life, and start talking about your lives. If I appropriate my stories from other people, I will have a never-ending supply of clever anecdotes, while still retaining all my original charm. Of course, my integrity will most likely plummet to a Level 4 or below, but I’m willing to take that chance.

Having said that, I’m apologizing upfront to all of you if you begin to read things that sound vaguely familiar, like perhaps they are things you have done yourself. But I know you’ll understand that I wouldn’t do this unless I felt it was totally necessary. I really appreciate your support on this – and it really is the sincerest form of flattery, honestly.

COMING SOON: A gut-busting account of my madcap experiences as the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention – what a hoot! Here’s a teaser: “Growing up in Hawaii as a skinny kid with a funny name was rough on me at times, but it forced me to become much more outgoing. In fact, that’s really how I got started in politics…”