Do you know why everyone likes dooce so much? Because she just writes about everyday things that everyone can relate to. She doesn’t spend time analyzing her words to ensure she is providing the highest level of literary experience for her audience. She’s relating to them. She’s herself, and that’s accessible to all of us. The other day she dedicated an entire blog to her fight with a squirrel over her bowl full of baby carrots on the front porch. And you know what? It was funny.
It’s the same reason I like Ben Folds so much. Have you listened to any of his songs? Yes, the actual music is totally brilliant and genius, but his lyrics cover sometimes excruciatingly normal stuff. He read about that female astronaut that drove 500 miles in a diaper to try and murder her boyfriend and then he wrote the story into a song! (Cologne) He wrote an entire song about a guy who kept threatening to move and having “going away parties” and they lasted for weeks. (Steven’s Last Night in Town) He even wrote a song about a town he was passing through while on tour in Illinois wondering what it might be like to live there. (Effington) Or the one about when he fell off the stage in the middle of a concert. (Hiroshima)
These people who are so popular are just being themselves.
This morning, the housekeeper came to clean while I was still at home. She comes once every two weeks (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I work to pay for Abe’s school and a housekeeper). I usually get everything picked up so she can really clean. This morning I started picking up dirty clothes thinking, I can’t let her see that we leave underwear on the floor like this. Then I thought about dooce. And Ben. At what point do we just accept who we are and live with it? (And, in some cases, profit from it?) Underwear on the floor is not worth a trip to the shrink’s office to analyze why I can pick up shirts and shorts and pants, but not underwear. I have to wait until there’s a pile so it’s satisfying. It seems to me that simply being yourself is way more accessible for everyone in your life. It might even make the cleaning lady feel better to know that I leave my underwear on the floor, because she never picks up her socks.
It’s easy to be authentic with your best friend or your partner. They already know you. But do it with people you don’t know. Air your dirty laundry, if you wouldn’t mind the pun. Tell on yourself. And don’t come to this blog if you’re interested in learning how the light reflected off of my mason jar water glass while the pull of the day weighed on my eyelids as I struggled to finish my work last night. Come here to hear about the poop I got on my finger yesterday or the fight I had with the blender when it couldn’t do it’s ONLY JOB and crush the ice in my smoothie. It’s way more entertaining, anyway.