So Jess calls me today, and tells me her cousin Tina wants to see pictures of our home-to-be. Jess says, "I was thinking, I could just send her a link to your blog rather than sending her the pictures individually."
That makes all kinds of sense. Save labor, save electrons, all that :).
I just never thought of any of her family reading these pages. I had to sit there a couple minutes and make a quick mental assessment of what filters I have applied when I wrote these things.
To spell out the metaphor, imagine that my raw ideas come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Now, imagine I realize that certain of those objects would scare, offend, hurt, or just plain bore-to-tears people if they encountered them. Based on who those ideas were going to hit, I would make sure certain filters were in place to block the offending objects, up to a certain degree. At some point, if you don't like what you see you shouldn't be looking that closely.
To pick an extremely obvious example, I might not want my boss to get exposed to the "I hate this aspect of my work" idea. But there are more tricky ones. Do I want my conservative brother-in-law exposed to the huge rant about the proposed flag burning amendment I wrote earlier this year? He knows how I feel about some things, but I choose not to rub it in his face most of the time. But if he chooses to come here and try and figure out how I feel about issues I choose not to bring up with him, then it's his responsibility to deal with what he learns like an adult.
Basically, up until now, I've just assumed that family wouldn't be reading any of this. I know I have friends who read it at times, including folks online who I don't know very well. But I've never told anyone I work with about it. I've never told family about it. So I haven't really put that filter on what I write. It raises an interesting question. How different is my "friends, Basiners, Ars lurkers, and so forth" filter from my "family" filter?
Who can say? I can only imagine how much tougher this question is for someone, say, who wants to write professionally. Here's this awesome story obviously influenced by the way you were raised. Oh, it got published, and now your mom reads it....
Nothing like that here, I don't think. Well, maybe. A little.
In any case, I sent Jess the link, and she'll send it on its way.
Nothing will probably come of it. But, if you're reading this and you're not who I expect you to be, welcome, I guess :). Feel free to poke around and get offended. It's actually, despite all this navel-gazing, pretty fucking boring. Except for the occasional swear word :).