Wasn’t that nice of Aunt Becky to come over here and ramp up my stats? Here she thought I was doing her a favor letting her get a blogging fix when instead I was reaping the rewards by being ass-dimples deep in comments.
It was a bit odd to have several commenters profess their love for me…until I remembered, “Oh, yeah. They are professing their love for Becky. I feel so dirty.”
The topic I gave Becky was one I had been mulling on for some time, and one I’ve attempted to cover before. I wish it was also one I felt as optimistically about as Becky and her readers do. Now it’s not because I don’t believe you can’t form BFF relationships via the internet. It’s because I can’t.
Outside of my family (and even then, it’s just a couple), there’s only one person who I have maintained (and I use the word loosely) a friendship with for any significant length of time: my husband of almost 12 years (plus 5 years prior to our marriage). Even with a life-time commitment made emotionally and legally, there are plenty of moments when I could merrily club him to death with a frozen log of cookie dough on any given day of the week. He’s lucky I refuse to sacrifice the cookie dough in anger.
A couple of the comments really hit home as to why internet – specifically blogging – friends are made. First, it is easier to find a connection with someone of similar interests or experiences via blogging. I found infertility blogging while googling the instructions for follistim injections. From there, I was introduced to several women who had experienced miscarriages. I also found out that secondary infertility wasn’t an oxymoron. Through blogging, I found Suzanne, a fellow Nebraskan who was going to the same clinic as myself and “shared” some cycles with. Blogging via a specific niche gives one “automatic” connection with others in surprisingly similar situations.
Next, everyone who blogs is beautiful, smart and funny. OK, everyone but me is beautiful, smart and funny as I am but a Gnarly Troll, and as such, mightily attracted to all things shiny and beautiful. Women can be horrid, petty, back-biting vipers to each other in person. I’ve been instantly sized up by the private school’s Moms who carry Gucci diaper bags, drive Mercedes SUVs, and wear heels even to wrestling meets just because I may or may not be wearing pajama pants and my husband’s sweatshirt with flip flops and chipped toenail polish. But did you see that? I’ve done the same. I take one look at them and I perceive them to be snobbish, unhappy and uptight trophy wives. Just because of the way they LOOK.
With blogging, there’s no snap judgment based on our appearance or surroundings. The “Haves” and “Have Nots” are assigned based on whether or not one has gone through infertility treatment; or has had a miscarriage; or is pregnant. That brings us back ’round to the first example: birds of a feather and all that.
And finally, finding someone In Real Life (IRL) who understands what we (for sake of this post, “Infertility Bloggers”) are going, or have gone, through, is incredibly difficult, especially for those who live in low populated or isolated areas, e.g. northeast Nebraska. Even my husband’s love and own brand of support would not have been enough to get me through these past years. That’s not his fault, it’s mine.
This brings me to what I said in the beginning of this post. I would love to believe that all the friends I make from my blog will be my friends in a year, two years, ten years from now, but I don’t. I couldn’t maintain any friendships from high school, college, and even am struggling to keep the friends I had from my job I just lost in January. I’ve carried torches for many bloggers over the years and I can count on one hand how many are still around. Real life always seems to get in the way whether it’s due to a birth, cancer, being outed, divorce, or feeling left behind in the community, all of which I’ve seen happen to my blogging friends.
I love so many bloggers (and those of you w/o blogs who stop by), very deeply in fact, but I try to remain aloof because it’s too painful to be rejected and ignored and avoided, which seems to happen when I openly wear that Girl-Crush-Heart on my sleeve. If I wouldn’t appear so stalkerish – not that I don’t now – I would probably email many of you daily, if not call the ones who have foolishly provided me their phone numbers. I have to reign myself in frequently from appearing too needy, too desperate, and altogether, too pathetic. Yes, really, I do try to tone it down, but I’m obviously not very good at it.
I seriously get a lump in my throat thinking about how in 10 years, all the men and women I know right now will be on to bigger and better things and not worrying about maintaining a relationship with a Nebraskan blogger who didn’t write remotely well; who wasn’t particularly funny or witty; and who probably didn’t convey in action or word how much she appreciated your friendships.