No, I Don’t Want to Read Your Happiness Blog.

12 07 2010

Some of my dear friends came to visit me from Charlottesville this weekend, and we got into a conversation about blogging.

“Our friend has a blog,” said J.

“Oh yea? What’s it about?” said I.

“It’s just about her cute, happy life.  She bakes muffins in the morning and takes a picture and blogs about it.  She blogs about her garden. Etc.”

“EW, BLAAAGHHH#@(*%^@(#^%(,” I reacted, pretending to choke on my own tongue and vomit up the bite of pasta salad I had just taken.

J didn’t understand my reaction.  She thought the happiness radiating out of her friend’s blog was lovely and contagious.  But I would rather stick a burning hot needle in my eyeball than read a blog about somebody’s perfect life (especially after my brief, depressing foray into reading Pioneer Woman, which my cousin quickly cured me of).  If you’re going to blog about yourself, blog about how hilariously bad you are at cooking or driving, or that awkward first date you went on last week, or your daily struggles to control your pathological lying.  But for GOD’S SAKE… PLEASE don’t blog about that cute e-mail your boyfriend wrote you, or the thriving produce in your prolific garden, or the fact that you baked MUFFINS this morning for your husband and perfect, towheaded toddlers.  GROSS.

Why do I feel this way?  It’s not the whole “misery loves company” cliché, because, by and large, I am actually a very happy, un-miserable person.  And it’s not that your monologue about your well-earned weight loss is making me jealous, because I could do a masochistic pepper-and-lemonade body cleanse too if I wanted to drop a few pounds from my waistline.  There is just nothing funny or interesting or relatable about people who only talk about how great their lives are.

I’m not just talking about blogs, either.  I feel the same way about picking my friends.  My favorite kinds of people are the people who, when you haven’t talked to them in a while and ask how they are, instead of saying “I’m great! Just made some strawberry cupcakes for John’s birthday, and we’re about to go to Home Depot to look at paint colors for the nursery! How are you?”, they fill you in on interesting details, like: “I’m pretty good.  I didn’t get that raise I asked for, but my boss shamelessly hit on me last night at a company happy hour, so at least I’ll be severely uncomfortable at work for the next three weeks.”  Or, “I’m alright.  I’m heading to the Outer Banks this week with that barista from Starbucks I was telling you about.  Wait, did I tell you about him?  He may or may not be a serial rapist, but at least he has a steady job.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I find perfection to be incredibly dull and alienating. It’s people’s imperfections that make them endearing.   Does this make me a bitter asshole, or do you guys agree?




9 responses

12 07 2010

Holy crap–I empathize greatly. I think one has to have a really twisted soul to be so cute all the time. Have you ever heard of the ‘roses and thorns’ activity? It’s usually done in some kind of personal growth setting, could be summer camp or a team building exercise. The point is to think of the best and the worst thing about the day, and share it with the group. You can say whatever you want, and its usually pretty funny or poignant. It teaches us that its normal to point out good and bad things, and good to do it regularly, and good to explain your thoughts on both. Plus, as you say, bad things are usually funnier and/or more interesting. Anyway, my mom and stepdad practice ‘roses and roses’ all the fucking time. If they wrote a blog, it would be just like your friend’s, except no one would bake anything. It would be stories of how great la Madeleine was, how great someone’s shitty gardening project turned out, or how great the mouth-breathing contractor they hired was who could barely change a lightbulb. Listening to their saccharine conversation actually causes me to feel stress and be bored at the same time. It’s constantly: “Oh, this food is really good” “We’re going to order some good chinese food!” “What a nice rock you found!” “What would you like?” “Do you like what I like?” “Yes, I love what you like” “I’m so glad we like the same things”
It makes me want to puke.

12 07 2010

Kind of reminds me of those Christmas letters people insert in their annual cards with the family all sporting red sweaters and Santa hats, “….and after winning the geography bee at the local level, our little Oscar blah, blah, blah…” when we all know that little Oscar was later expelled that year for taking a picture of his weenie and texting it to the girl sitting behind him.

12 07 2010

Hey CB – your last sentence reminds me of someone I once knew who lived in the French Quarter (New Orleans). He took a picture of the tip of his penis – had it blown up to at least poster size – had it framed in an elegant gold frame and hung it over his fireplace. Everyone studied it and noone guessed what it was. He only told a handful of his friends. Not that this has anything to do with DR’s blog but I had to share this.

12 07 2010

Agreed DR. I think you are very endearing…

This post reminded me of vanilla and that reminded me of ice cream. I don’t like vanilla ice cream–especially in a cup.

I’d say I am two scoops of dark chocolate topped with m&m’s and oreos in a fresh waffle cone.

What about yourself DR? Wanna go out for ice-cream sometime?

13 07 2010

Yes, I love ice cream! Neopolitan is my bag.

13 07 2010

DR – Did you just get hit on on your blog? You can use that next time someone asks how you are…My dog just got rabies but someone hit on me via my blog, so I’m feeling pretty much evened out.

13 07 2010

Watch your back, or you might get hit on too. Oh wait, it’s happening:

JPac– would you like to go get ice cream with me sometime?

16 07 2010

To be fair to my friend, she does it for her business, she is a wedding photographer, there are a LOT of brides out there hoping their lives will be as pristine as she makes hers seem. Which is sick. Yes, I know its sick. And not real. But goddam it she posted a good recipe for muffins and I made them and I liked them! What does that make me? What is happening to me?!
This is why you can never leave me. 🙂

18 07 2010
Stewart V


Isn’t there value in true joy? Or at least in muffins?

Let me say that fraudulent domesticity does nothing for me either. Boring. I guess I don’t read those blogs and my teeth are rotten from throwing up a little in my mouth thinking of how many wispy fruitless blogs exist. The ‘happy family unit’ is an antiquated fantasy because it’s composed of wonderfully rich people who seldom fit in to socially constructed boxes. Right? But, what I find valuable is the real sort of happiness: altruism. True happiness must stem from understanding of misery or discord or from some challenge… something… but what i’ve been so interested in lately is this ubiquitous cynicism about actual positivity. Why does education push us toward negativity?

Positivity: I’m talking Dalai Lama Mother Theresa positivity that stems from and to reality like a bridge that connects two sides of a need with their many solutions… or something. My big question: “Is there enough time around, you know, in life, to spend on negativity?”

Premise: Being intentionally joyful; built on active compassion and um… lovingkindness is possible. and is a wonderful way to be when you wake up every day.

Execution: I’ve been testing it out for about 8 months. This is the first time i’ve really talked about it much, but i’ll say that it’s nicer than the alternative was for me. Here’s something of an illustration of what I mean…

Whacha think Ms.? (good to seeya for a nanosecond on friday… nice blog woo woo!!)

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