I had an idea during a conversation with a friend yesterday. We were talking about an old friend, and I mentioned that I had a lot of her cards and letters tucked away into a binder, and I’d meant to show them to him last time he visited, but had forgotten.
After we hung up, I kept thinking about it. I actually have a lot of memorabilia. I don’t know if it’s the whole LDS church/ Mia Maid influence, or if I inherited my dad’s slightly pack-rat tendencies toward paperwork, or what. But I have letters from my mom, birthday cards from friends long gone, homework assignments, old photographs, love letters, and just basically 30+ years of collected memories. I keep them in binders and scrapbooks and plastic totes at the moment.
I say “at the moment,” because I’m always planning on organizing them. I keep meaning to construct them into themed scrapbooks, like the ones I did as a teenager in Young Women’s, and later as a young wife and mother. But I never do. I don’t know why. Somewhere around 2005, I just completely lost interest in scrapbooking as a time-passing hobby, and I’ve never been able to rekindle that interest.
It occurred to me, though, that I have another blog address that’s sitting all empty and quiet. I opened it years ago, planning to siphon private, personal posts that might be considered offensive by some into a blog locked to my viewership only. The biggest concern, to me, with keeping a public blog is that some of my personal acquaintances read it, and some of them substantially disagree with my socio-political and religious opinions. Obviously, politeness in social situations is important, and it’s just rude to bring up social issues or religion or politics at a dinner party, or attempt to needle another guest into an argument about any of those things when you know for a fact there are strong disagreements — but is a public blog subject to the same rules of polite discourse?
I do not like trying to edit myself overmuch in my writing. It feels unnatural, to draw arbitrary lines of what is and is not acceptable, especially when I (clearly) consider my beliefs and opinions to be acceptable, if occasionally in the minority. Therefore, to delineate what is and is not acceptable to write about means I end up in the uncomfortable position of asking myself, “Would anyone who might read my blog find this offensive?”
The answer, by the way, is almost always yes. Someone can always find something offensive or irritating. No doubt there is a person out there in the world who, if introduced to this blog via this particular entry, would find this post to be offensive or distasteful in some manner. Beyond that, if you try and neuter your public writing to be bland and inoffensive to everyone, it often ends up just being bland. I’m not advocating Limbaugh-levels of outrageous rudeness, but neither am I advocating that we all just sit down, shut up, and stop engaging in discourse. I think the whole key to public disagreement is polite, respectful discourse — no shouting over people like Bill O’Reilly, or attempting to silence through lies like Rush Limbaugh.
Anyway, to get back to the matter at hand — soon after opening the intended-to-be-private blog, I talked to my sister a little bit about my plans for a public non-offensive blog vs. a private blog. Her response was to basically laugh (lovingly) at me. She said no rational person would expect me to censor my opinions and views on my own blog just because they might disagree, and that if she ever had a serious, substantial concern about something I wrote she would call me and discuss it like the mature adults we are.
So, the upshot is that I had an empty blog address. I briefly considered putting up screenshots of spelling and grammar mistakes on news websites, but collecting those screenshots is, quite honestly, extremely depressing. Akin to my reaction to the People of Walmart website, my initial amusement at some of the mistakes on official news websites (like Komo News) soon collapsed under the sheer volume of these mistakes. So the blog sat empty, until last night — I’ve decided to go ahead and start scanning and compiling all these written and photographic memories online. I’m pretty excited about this new project.
In other news, it’s snowing today (boo), I’m doing some school-related volunteering this week (yay!), and Evergreen has not yet received my BYU-I transcript (boo), although they received my FAFSA and other transcripts (yay!).