Her Bad Mother

Friday, June 9, 2006

Mrs. McFeely's Weekly Squeeze

Edit: Note added below...

I've really got to step up this Weekly Squeeze business. Because we've got somewhere over 80 links now, I think, and if I keep doing Love-In profile posts (squeezes. And yes, these would be butt squeezes. I'm dirty that way, with people I like) at a rate of one per week, with random weeks taken off for travelling and wallowing in existential despair, it will take years to profile them all. Years. And by then you will all have tired of me, or of blogging, or both, and then my squeezes will fall on numb butts and then where will we be?

(OK, dropping tired references to asses. But I grew tired of writing about penises. And asses are just around the corner, and, so, easy to find.)



(Hey. Wanna see a penis-sized carrot?)

I am so tired. I cannot be held accountable for what I write today. Do not operate heavy machinery; do not blog.

(Must blog! Am Mrs. McFeely! And am falling behind on my squeezes!)

Where was I? Right - you all might tire of me (do I never stop talking about me?) or of blogging. Which brings me to today's squeeze: Beanie Baby's wonderful embrace of her favorite bloggers. Which came with a twist: she wrote it while feeling deeply ambivalent about blogging and bloggers. While thinking through her concerns about blog politics.

Which is very much in the air these days, and seems to have been for some time. Kristen wrote a thought-provoking post yesterday, in response to an excellent post by Izzy, about the pressures of blog social norms and, in particular, comment etiquette. Scarbie wrote last month about her frustration at not being able to - and not really wanting to - keep up with the seeming demands of blog socializing, demands that sometimes seem necessary if one is keep one's blog in the social stream. And many others have been murmuring their own frustrations: cliquey, exclusive, demanding. (Those of you who have written about this, could you leave links to your posts in the comments? I've read some really good ones in the last month or two but can't remember, in my current fog of exhaustion, where I read them. Terrible, I know, forgive me - but if you send me the links I'll update this post with those links.)

Enter Beanie Baby. She had been, she tells us, feeling out of sorts about the politics of blogging:
“Popularity. Who would have thought it still had currency among thirty-something mothers, especially thirty-something mothers who don't even know each other? The whole thing has been getting me down lately, and I've tried--and failed--to write posts about it on three separate occasions.”

But in lieu of her 'blog politics' post, she jumped in on the Love-In, and positioned her thoughts on such politics as a segue to an ode to bloggers she likes. Kim, Tanya, Moreena, Mystery Mommy, Jen/MUBAR, Marla, Dani, Jen/Under the Ponderosas, Casey, Yankee Transplant and Running 2Ks, were and are, for Beanie Baby (and anyone who reads them) antidotes to blog politics. Bloggers that, for one or two or six reasons or another, have given her something worth coming back for. Warmth, good humour, intelligence. Friendship, real and virtual.

Which was the whole point of this whole Love-In thing. Bring y'all everybody all together. Feel the love. Let the sun shine.

(WARNING: navel gazing ahead.)

But I have to admit, when I saw Scarbie's post, I thought, oh god she's talking about bloggers like me. And when I saw Beanie Baby's - same thing. I am freakishly rah-rah about mommy blogging. I am the ultimate uncool blogger.

Am I - I thought - the Tracy Flick of mommy bloggers? C'mon everybody - I have an excellent activity. Sign up here! I'll make the banners! (Like me like me like me!)

I worried about this for a while. And when I thought about opening up the basement, I worried some more. They will think that I am a shameless popularity whore.

But then I go back to Beanie's post, and read again about how much she likes her blogger friends. And see again how happily she embraced embracing them, and how that embrace really is an antidote to blog politics. And I feel a bit better.

I do want to be liked. (Oh god do I.) I love that people other than my husband and mother read this blog. But I don't do stuff like this to be liked. Not entirely. I do it because I like you. And because I want to make as much space as possible for these friendships. Because I want to keep these friendships alive - those that I participate in, and those that I don't. Because after more than a decade of seeing/experiencing/studying the failings of community and politics, I'm experiencing a community that is mostly successful. Not perfect. But pretty good.

I don't want to be president of that community. I don't need to be CHBM Member of the Week (seriously, what with all of the Meryl Streeps that are always nominated, it's an honour to ever make it onto the list). I don't need Andrew Shue to read my blog (Hammer, yes. Billy? Eh.) But I do want to be an antidote to blog politics. And I want to be one of many.

WonderBaby: Making Her Bad Mother Too Tired For Tomorrow Today


BTW, anyone know how to get a sidebar back up on the, um, SIDE? My sidebar seems to be down around my bloggy ankles and it's a bit awkward...


NOTE: There's another guest in the basement today. Please stop by, pull up a pillow or beanbag chair, pour yourself a drink and have chat with her.


Blogger josetteplank.com said...

You know, people actually do tell me that I look like Meryl Streep. I just can't get the Polish accent down.

And WHAT is UP with that CARROT!!!!!???!!!!! That ain't no penis size I've ever seen! Honestly, this is what I come here for. The vegetable porn.

I don't know from the politics of blogging. I just like to read good writing, even if it's done by the quiet girl with a thick glasses and the weird carrot juice stains on her...socks. You will always be cool - just keep on being you. In big doses or in small...I'll keep coming back.

12:08 AM  
Blogger tracey clark said...

That was such a great post. Exhaustion must work for you.

I" ve recently found myself so involved with the blogging that I don't feel grounded in my "real life". But wait, all this stuff I'm writing and reading and the connections I'm making ARE real life. At least they feel like it. I've caught a bit of grief lately from my friends (in the flesh) that they are feeling forsaken by my virtual friends...hmmm. Well, perhaps I have abeen a little "taken" by you all, capticated by your charms, led to drink the Kool-Aid and all that.I'm not looking forward to any of the inner-blog politics. Since I'm fairly new, I haven't really seen it rear it's ugly head. And I think I could live without seeing it.

Anyway, it's a strange world, virtually or not and I'll tell you what, you can't keep me away from your blog, Miss Flick.

FYI, your sidebar looks up to me (kinda like that carrot).

12:26 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

me too. I second everything you've said. I'm a total "let's-all-get-along-yayyyy!" kinda girl. er, nerd. whatever. but I have also felt a similar compulsion to discuss the ole weirdness of blogitics. I guess I'll link to it, but I feel sorta embarrassed. ehhh. whatever.


did I mention, I love you, HBM?? 'cause, I do. and I don't give a flying fuck if that makes anyone think I'm kissing ass/being a comment whore/etc. etc. etc.

fuck it.

12:27 AM  
Blogger tracey clark said...

NOte to self, capticated is not a word. However, Captivated is.

12:28 AM  
Blogger DellaB said...

overall comment - great posts, love the style, thankyou...

On the sidebar issue - mine does that sometimes, I discovered it's because either the main panel or the sidebar has become too wide, sometimes because the template has changed when I've been fiddling, and sometimes when a url(link) I have added to the sidebar was too wide to fit the template measurements.

1:49 AM  
Blogger Granny said...

dellab beat me to it.

Also I discovered that people with Firefox could see it (as I can see yours) while people using IE couldn't.


Sometime a banner or something in the post area pushes it down too.

1:54 AM  
Blogger The Domesticator said...

I tried to read the rest of this post...I truly did...I could not get beyond the penis sized carrot.


8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kool-aid! ;)

Seriously, it was fun to do, and I'm going to do it again soon, too. (Since there's no deadline and all.)

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, when IS your column coming? I read Anrdea Gordon sometimes, but seriously HBM- YOU need to have a column too!

I wrote once about my struggle overthe line between private and public that all bloggers have to face. It's here . I'd say that falls in the blog politics category. it certainly tempers the socializing.

And Tracy Flick- Ahhh, that was good for a belly laugh.

I was mommy of the week once. I was nominated a bazillion times first.

The carrot? I bet you'll be getting some KY Jelly sent your way NOW!

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The carrot. My god, HBM. You crack me up.

And of course we all dig good feedback: readership, comments, links - all that stuff. None of us are whores. If someone is even THINKING about flinging dirt at you for these good ideas you conceive, then they just don't get it. Too bad for them.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Christ, look at that carrot! I need to be alone now...

(Your sidebar looks fine to me, darlin'...)

12:53 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Vegetable porn, dolphin porn - we rock it alternative chez HBM.

Anyone needs use of that carrot, they're welcome to it. There're plenty at St. Lawrence Market - at the north-east veggie vendor, upper floor. Basket labelled 'Sweet Ontario Carrots.'

Sweet indeed. We do it up bigger in Canada.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Cristina said...

Great post! I can't wait to read the posts that you linked to.

For the record, I think you are a very nice blogger who seems quite genuine. I don't see you as a "shameless populatity whore" at all. And I did vote for you for CHBM MOTW last week. SO deal with it! :)

Oh, and that carrot pic....wow.

Oh and one more thing, regarding your template, it looks fine to me and I'm in IE. But if you're still having problems it may be that in one of your posts you had a line of text that was too long across the page and thus kicked the sidebar down to the bottom of the site. Go check previous posts to see if that could be the case. That happened to me a while back. Good luck!

1:37 PM  
Blogger Nichole said...

LOVE the newest entries. I have been out of the loop while adjusting to my new improved(?) schedule of wake up, eat cereal, feed baby, go to gym come home, be-too-tired-from-working-out-to-do-jack-crap, and go to sleep.

PS: I wrote an entry for the mommy blogger hug-in. Finally.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a dildo from "Organic Dildos Incorporated" heh.

Okay. And seriously, I'm not sure why I find it so funny, but the sidebar at my bloggy ankles cracked me the f up.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your sidebar looks great on an Apple using Firefox.

It never even crossed my mind that you did things to be popular (maybe you are just sly?) I just like you too!

4:27 PM  
Blogger metro mama said...

Great carrot!

Don't worry, you're definitely no Tracy Flick.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

{nodding in agreement with everything you said}

Unfortunately, I do a better job of keeping up with my blogging friends' lives than my real life friends. I need to do something about that... but giving up the blogs is not an option.

Oh, before I go two things:

One - Your sidebar looks fine in Mozilla Firefox

Two - Is that a carrot in your blog or are you just happy to see me?

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How weird is it to end up apologizing for liking people, and, worse, liking people who like you back!!! Um, is there something wrong with that? Sheesh.

Your carrot porn reminds me of a time a few years back when I was single. My girlfriend, also single, and I were making dinner together one evening, and as she peeled the carrot - one just about that size, because I live in Ontario, too - she starts snickering.

I look at that thing in her hand, and she doesn't have to explain. I know.

I'm not sure which of us said it: "You know you've been single too long when a carrot makes you horny..."

Snort. :-)

8:23 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Wow, that's some carrot.

And I agree with all you said. When I think about it, I do want to be popular. I remember being in school as a teen and wishing more than anything to be popular. Every now and then I think I've finally outgrown my desire for popularity, and then something like a new circle of friends (or blogging) comes along and suddenly I feel all sweaty and want to throw myself out there for everyone. Like me, like me, like me!

Luckily, I try not to make too big a fool of myself, and reign in my crazy-girl tendancies before everyone rolls their eyes at me and walks away.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But I don't do stuff like this to be liked. Not entirely. I do it because I like you.

This was really sweet and touched my heart. It resonates and it's more or less how I feel about blogging, also.

Now I have to catch up on all these excellent links you've provided.

Thanks for another great thought-provoking post :)

11:00 PM  
Blogger j.sterling said...

i can't get past the penis carrot. lol

1:11 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

This is wonderful. I responded to the same line as Izzy. I never expected there to be politics here (suprise!) when I started writing.

I have seen my name removed from blogrolls when I didn't reciprocate, I have seen bloggers stop commenting because I don't comment on their site all the time. I just shrug. I'm only one person and I've got a full-time job and a website to boot. It's hard to be a really empathetic person in the blog world because you want to make everyone happy. But you just can't. You can only do your best.

and you, m'dear, do it in spades.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Redneck Mommy said...

Loads of guilt, as I am still working on my post for the great mommy love in. It'll get done. I swear.

Like Mom-101, I am constantly surprised by the politics of blogging and commenting. Just know that I love you even if I can't constantly comment. (Sanity prevents me from sitting at my Mac all day long...)

And dearie, that carrot...

It's making me hungry and making me miss my husband all at the same time. Dear Lord, what is wrong with me?

1:02 PM  
Blogger mo-wo said...

So very late last night I whizzed through this and thought... oh sure, you are so Tracy Flick! But that was only because I really wanted some cupcakes right then.

Lots of love from me and the team.

1:46 AM  
Blogger the mystic said...

I never write about blogging or blog politics, because I'm just not interested in the drama. I like lots of people who blog (a lot more of them than I could ever have time to read regularly, in fact), and of course I like it when people like me. But over all, I just don't think about it too much.

I do LOVE to read posts like this and others like it, so that I can learn how to not inadvertenly behave like a blog bitch. Because seriously, there are kind of a lot of blog rules and regulations that I've only recently learned about!

3:14 AM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

I'm so slow to respond. Always running after the crowd and going "what did she say?" but here I am none the less. Okay first off: Bump Daddy said "what does her husband look like?" because that is SOME carrot. Second: I like people to like me but I've had some trouble navigating this sea of blogstuff. I dont' just comment for the sake of commenting BUT I do comment when someone makes me think, laugh, feel better or in the rare event, feel bad. I don't usually have a lot of time to comment because Bumper does not afford me that time, but Bump Daddy did me a favour and moved a computer into the living room that I can reach (kinda) while breastfeeding. So I leave lame typed-with-one-hand comments around the world and dream of my lame posts during some of the marathon feeds that Bumper enjoys. OK I'm getting lost in my point now and Bumper is trying to stand up against the laundry basket which has so many potential dangers I can't even begin to imagine the worst one. So I leave you with this: you are not Tracey Flick and I'd weep if you weren't there. So screw the rules and regulations. If you are on my blogroll, I love you, if you aren't then I just haven't had time to update my template. Seriously. I love making and meeting new friends and you've made my life richer. And it's all about me. Isn't it? Oh wait. I wasn't supposed to type that last part...

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally understand what you are saying. On the other side, I have been blogging for over a year now and it seems like no one reads my posts. It's hard to break into the "blogging world". Sometimes it feels like I am the overweight nerdy kid trying to become frinds with the popular people in high school.

About the carrot......is it getting hot in here or is it just me?

12:01 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

I wonder if that carrot lives up to its expectations. It may not be as sweet as its smaller counterparts, too bitter perhaps.
Thanks for the link!

12:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

that was a great post, BdMthr. This whole blog politics thing has got me very fascinated too--and so much of what people say echoes for me too. I feel the pressure and the ambivalence at times too, and I know if I were home more without this job to pull me from the blog, I would be very much sucked into the vortex--because sometimes it does feel like a vortex. I've backed off a bit, but then, so have my stats. But now I am OK with that--I am getting what I need out of the blog (for now) and have tried to ween myself from the self-validation drug that is the comments section. I LOVE comments, but it DOES take work to keep that ticker going--and sometimes I have to think about whether that kind of anxiety is worth it for me (I am big attention whore who desperately wants to be liked too). I don't use the blog as a journal (something I might bitch about in the basement sometime) and so my posts tend to be less frequent. But I enjoy writing them!

Oh, and lady--I like you shitloads. Out of everyone on bloggysphere, I feel I have most in common with you. The love of carrot-willies, the academic angst, the wanting to be liked, and good humor. Yeah (hear squeaking kissing sounds as I plant one on your arse, lady).

2:08 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

I haven't been reading you for that long, but I have to say that I love what you are doing. You have fresh ideas and it seems like you really care about this community of mommy bloggers. So I salute you and all the other moms out there who are writing just to write, trying to figure it all out. You go girl!!!

7:00 PM  

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