Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Anonymity

I blog anonymously.

My husband is the only person, from my personal life, who knows of and/or reads my blog. Initially, I didn't even tell him about it. I didn't try to hide it or pretend I was shopping online for hours on end; I just kept it to myself. However, keeping that type of thing secret requires more time, effort, and emotional investment than I wanted to give. So, I made the big reveal. The only qualification was that he was not allowed to tell anybody else about it. EVER.

Once, about five years ago, I wrote a letter to the editor of our local paper...a very large paper with a wide circulation. It was my first and last letter to the editor. I was pleased that they had deigned to print my words and I even saved a copy of it, though that seems very silly to me now. That was enough self-satisfaction for me, to see my name in the paper....by choice, not because I was arrested, part of a pyramid scheme, or had died from some horribly freakish accident worthy of YouTube.

The day my letter was printed was like any other...that is until my husband came home. He walked through the door, and I showed him my meager newspaper clipping with my name at the bottom of it. He smiled, said he was proud of me--which is funny, because it was a letter to the editor, not the Declaration of Independence, but he's sweet like that---then proceeded to tell me how he had sent an e-mail to everyone in his address book along with the text of my letter.

I think I had a mini-stroke. I distinctly remember my heart stopping and all the blood draining from my face.

"You did WHAT!!" I said calmly, while reaching out to strangle him.

"What? It was a good letter. I was proud of you and wanted everyone to know about it," he said, while I chased him with a butter knife.

"I can't believe you did that! Why didn't you ask me first?!! Oh my gosh, that is so embarrassing! Are you trying to kill me with humiliation?" I asked in a reasonable fashion while throwing shoes in his general direction.

Of course, to someone who doesn't know me, there seems to be some cognitive dissonance here. I willingly sent a letter to a large paper with my full name at the bottom of it, and here I was upset that he had told more people about it. I wanted everybody to know my name, didn't I?

Not really.

The truth is that I wanted to express something that I felt was in need of being pointed out. I had a desire to make a point, not a name for myself. I also knew that despite much of our immediate family living in Florida, they were all far enough away that they would never see the paper in which my letter was printed....and I had no plans to tell them about it. Because that's how I am.

I don't want to have to answer questions posed by relatives who are not really interested in my religious, political, and social ideas. I don't want to have to cringe at a family reunion if I think something I wrote might have upset someone. Upsetting strangers...no problem...upsetting my mother, brothers, or in-laws.....HUGE problem.

So, I set up my little corner here in cyberspace under the strict guidelines that nobody I know, will ever know about it. Even so, I always keep in my mind that there is a 29,855,211 to 1 chance that I could be found out one day.....which is why I don't have gossipy, tell-all stories on my blog. There is a way that someone could find me, but they would have to already know what they were looking for to figure it out.

Part of my anonymity lies in not wanting to rock the boat in my personal life, but the largest portion is due to my behind-the-scenes nature. I am not afraid to speak out or be in front of people. I do, however, hate to be unduly scrutinized. Armchair analyzation is not for me.

We own two cars; one is a shiny, bright blue, convertible Miata, the other a silver/gray Corolla. One is flashy, fun, and zippy; the other is nondescript, cookie-cutter, and completely boring. That's the one I like to drive. I want to blend into traffic, not turn heads and be stared at while waiting for a light to change. Shiny convertibles attract attention; gray Corollas disappear into the background....which is just how I like it. In the background you can be who you are and want to be without having to justify every little thing you do. You can make more U-turns, just barely make it through the yellow light before it turns red, and speed a little faster...all without being noticed. It's great.

Shiny convertibles will get you ticketed every time.

Who needs that?

4 comments:

Your hubby said...

Alas your hubby must be a ticket-magnet, because even while driving the non-descript, boring Corolla on a completely deserted street with no one in sight, he was nailed by a cop, who had to have been hidden in high-tech camouflage, for making an illegal turn. :-(

terri said...

and I wasn't even going to mention that! :-)

I guess you're just too flashy.

Musicguy said...

Alright, so now I'm dying to read the letter, or at least know what it was about!

terri said...

It was a little thing I like to call "The Manifesto", in which I outline my eventual plan for world domination.

I can't tell you anymore without killing you.

;-)