Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sassy Is As Sassy Does

Part of my dissatisfaction with life lately, is due to the fact that I don't get out much.

I'm bored silly, if you want to know the truth.

I'm a stay at home Mom, so my social outlets are limited, especially since we live on one income. I can think of all kinds of things I'd like to do that would put me in contact with like minded women, but many of them cost money that we just don't have.

I'd like to brush up on my once fluent French. I'd like to learn how to play the piano. I'd like to take up ballroom dancing. I would like to learn how to throw pottery. I'd like to take some writing courses at the local University.

I even considered going to beauty school, just because I thought it would be fun. And, I would meet gay guys. I miss having gay guys in my life. And I could make some money on the side doing hair in my kitchen.

But we have children. Children who need food and clothing and medication and therapy and orthodontia. I made choices a long time ago, and now I am living with those choices. I still think they are the right choices for our family, but I didn't think hard enough about how to also make them the right choices for me.

For a long time I was too busy with small children to notice that I had disappeared, but when I did, it was a shock that I have yet to recover from.

Oh sure, I meet people at PTA and school functions. I run into other Moms here and there. I chit chat, I mingle. I cawfee tawk. But in all honesty, though they are perfectly nice ladies (most of them; some are amazingly catty and venomous), they are not often the kind of smart, interesting, dynamic women I really want to spend time with, and I can't make myself care about the things they want me to care about.

Does that sound snooty? Well screw it, I'm snooty then. I would just like to talk about some stuff that makes me think, people. Is that so wrong? It's been thirteen years since I held a job outside the home.

My brain is dyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyiiiiiiiingggg.

It's depressing me. I mean, really depressing me.

When a person kisses her children goodbye and then goes back to bed until it's time for the bus to bring them home, simply because she can think of no compelling reason to stay awake, and cannot face the fact that all she has to look forward to is another day of mindless drudgework that makes her want to tear her hair from her head by the roots....

It's time to do something.

Because you know, I'm a take charge kind of person. A pull yourself up by the bootstraps kind of person. I don't mope around. I find solutions and I implement them.

So I've been trying to figure out a way to fix this. Fix me.

I've actually had quite a few ideas that I thought could satisfy my need for social interaction, put me in touch with the kind of people I really want to be with, and also provide me with the sense of purpose that has been sorely lacking in my life for some time now.

If you've been reading Blogs Are Stupid for long, you've probably read about some of them.

Unfortunately, I keep encountering these huge, twisted, snarling roadblocks that leave me frustrated, disappointed, and increasingly apathetic about further endeavors.

So I've given up on all my grand plans and decided that at the very least I need to find a way to get my ass out of the house and give my atrophied brain an opportunity to stretch it's metaphorical legs.

So I Googled writing groups in my area.

They are astonishingly few, which shouldn't surprise me, since I live quite a ways outside the city limits, in an area that isn't really known for it's cultural or creative arts. No...this area is populated either by the tractor pull/hog calling afficionados, or the pseudo elite who are busy practicing their right to conspicuous consumption, and industriously appointing their big fat, soon to be foreclosed upon McMansions with all the latest furnishings and bric a brac.

Most of them condider the Shopaholic series great American literature and Thomas Kincaide a true artiste.

I know, I really am a snooty bitch aren't I? I'll own that. I've been called worse.

So anyway, I did find one. It meets nearby on Saturdays, twice a month. They have group discussions and they do workshop type stuff as well.

They have real published authors who speak, although I am personally unfamiliar with the gentleman who will be speaking at the next meeting. But so what? He's published, so he must know something about something.

Sounds great, right?

So what exactly is my problem?

Well...first of all...joiny stuff is so not my thing. I don't know why. I just dislike the dynamics of large groups I guess, particularly groups of women. I hate Queen Bees, and there always is one. I hate power trips, I hate hierarchy, I hate jockeying for position. I hate that people expect me to care about all that, but if I don't, I'm seen as an outsider or a....snooty bitch.

But I'm desperate, so I guess I can get over that.

Here's the real issue: The name of this group is...."Sassy Southern Writers"

GROOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNN

Why does it have to be Sassy?? See for me, this is immediately off putting.

Why? Well because it's just stupid.

But worse than that, it completely diminishes the writing, I think.

I am not now, nor have I ever been "Sassy". I don't want to be "Sassy". I don't want to write "Sassy" things. And I don't want to hang out with people who are "Sassy" or read their "Sassy" schlocky writing.

See, I told you. I just don't do the group thing well at all. Or maybe I just have a big, fat, not Sassy chip on my shoulder.

As one very good friend pointed out to me...

"I know sometimes I will think negative things about a situation so I don't have to put myself out there. It's easier to reject people without meeting them than having them reject you after meeting you."

But I am far too self actualized to do something that ridiculous.

Except that I'm not. And I would.

And damn her hide, she hit the nail right on the friggen head.

So I guess I am going to go be a Sassy Southern writer. Or try, anyway.

And, as another friend said,

"Look at it as a social experiment. It might make you puke, but at least you can write about that in your blog. Look what happened when you went to apply for a job! And seriously how bad could it be? It's not being held at the Baptist church is it?"

That last bit was totally tongue in cheek. She lives in Texas and we spar about religion all the time. When we had a girls' weekend in Chicago last June, she brought me an Anne Lamott book as a gift.

Now that's Sassy.

Anyway, I'm going, for better or for worse. Maybe the guest speaker's fly will be open or the group leader will tuck her skirt into the back of her pantyhose and I'll have some good blog fodder. Maybe it won't be a complete waste of time.

And who knows, maybe it will actually give me some motivation, some inspiration, and some much needed gratification.

God knows the toilets aren't doing it for me.

43 Comments:

  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger Life As I Know It said…

    I can relate to pretty much every word you wrote.
    I would have a hard time joining a group with "sassy" in it too...eh, but you're right. You should go and if nothing else you can blog about it ;)
    Great post. Glad I'm not the only one...

     
  • At 2:20 PM, OpenID wheelsonthebus said…

    Although it won't give you social interaction, there is something very concrete you could do for intellectual stimulation. You could take on freelance writing jobs. They come up all the time on Craigslist, but you could search for other sites, as well. They are usually writing copy but I did some cool ones like writing sample standardized tests.

    Anyway, the pay is solid ($30 an hour when I was doing it a few years ago), you have a reason to get out of bed, and no one will call you sassy. The only down side is you do have to chase down the jobs a little, but I found the jobs quickly started rolling in because the ability to string three words together is apparently less common than I expected.

    Emily

     
  • At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good for you! I can't wait to read how it went. :)

    Kellie

     
  • At 3:23 PM, Blogger Natalie said…

    I'm glad you are joining. I hope it works out for you.

     
  • At 3:25 PM, Blogger PunditMom said…

    Good luck! I'm so bad at the group thing and would so love to be better at it, especially for the brain/stimulation thing you mention.

    I'll share one of my things for the year with you -- French word of the day!

    http://french-word-a-day.typepad.com/motdujour/

    I know, it sounds cheesey, but I figured what the heck! ;)

     
  • At 3:58 PM, Blogger Lisa said…

    You go girl! Who knows, you may even like it? Or not? Either way, I bet you will have a completely riveting description for us when it is over, yah, I'm selfish that way.
    I too detest large groups of idiots, but sometimes venturing back into the world is enough to remind you why you stay home with the kids! Trust me, my current motto is people are stupid.
    Now, for intellectual stimulation, have you considered visiting the zoo? Just a thought...

     
  • At 4:32 PM, Anonymous mischief said…

    A few things........the quotes are spot-on. Glad I know those people. ;-)

    My youngest (not my "brainy" one, excuse the labeling) got into yearbook, does a monthly newsletter column, and is suddenly enjoying school for the learning aspect of it, instead of just recess. The "word of the month" column was born - amazing what happens when a person stretches their wings. (In other words - GO to the writing group. haha)

    And......." It's easier to reject people without meeting them than having them reject you after meeting you."


    Wanna know how I met my daughter? By taking the step to meet her, fear of rejection and all.

    And you are right - if nothing else, good blog fodder. Let us know how it goes.

     
  • At 4:39 PM, Blogger we_be_toys said…

    Yeahhhh, the "Sassy" part is kind of a turn off, but hey, you might meet someone in there who's also thinking it sounds lame to be "Sassy" and writing. I know exactly what you mean, about feeling disconnected from the world and wondering what the hell happened to YOU, and you owe it to yourself to go out and find her again.
    I'm rooting for you honey!!!

     
  • At 4:39 PM, Blogger we_be_toys said…

    Yeahhhh, the "Sassy" part is kind of a turn off, but hey, you might meet someone in there who's also thinking it sounds lame to be "Sassy" and writing. I know exactly what you mean, about feeling disconnected from the world and wondering what the hell happened to YOU, and you owe it to yourself to go out and find her again.
    I'm rooting for you honey!!!

     
  • At 4:43 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    I totally get how you're feeling, and I've only been doing the SAHM thing for four years.

    Good for you, girl. I'm proud of you.

     
  • At 5:07 PM, Blogger Code Yellow Mom said…

    Sassy probably isn't as painful as mental atrophy. It's a hilarious word, though. Like it's the only alliterative possibility to pair with "southern." I think I'd go to the group just to laugh. Unless they turned out really cool, then I'd keep going just be sassy.

     
  • At 6:55 PM, Blogger Carol said…

    Wow! What a fabulous post!! Really, truly fabulous! I think you should seriously look into freelance writing! You have such a gift for it!

    Carol

     
  • At 7:19 PM, Blogger Jaime said…

    Hope you are able to find what you are looking for.

    Not sure what sort of resources you are able to tap into, but can you get some French language lessons from the library? Or maybe audit some writing classes at a college?

     
  • At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Amy Nathan said…

    I'm proud of you, B.A. I've looked for writer groups in my area too. Zip. Now it doesn't help with going out, but there are some great sites online where you can write, read about writing and chat with other writers. Have you tried Backspace -- just a thought. You might also find people in your area that way.

     
  • At 8:05 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    I think this is going to be amazing for you.

     
  • At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Maddy said…

    Firstly I really hope you're joking about going back to bed. I know nothing of psychobabble but that sounds pretty serious to me.

    I'm completely with you on the 'sassy' - that just doesn't hold together at all.

    There are certainly a lot of blogs out there to point you in the right direction when it comes to freelance writing - wishing you lots of luck.
    Best wishes

     
  • At 8:46 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    You never know until you try. But I hear you on the Sassy thing. Why Sassy? Ugh.

    I also hear you on the dying brain. Wait, what was I saying? I forget...

     
  • At 9:56 PM, Blogger kristianekat said…

    I read your blog all the time and am just de-lurking to tell you how much I love this post! I have the same feeling that many of the mommy-acquaintance types just don't provide the brain with opportunities for deep thoughts. I hope your "Sassy" group is at least thought-provoking!

     
  • At 10:14 PM, Blogger Mac and Cheese said…

    I recently joined a group that was totally not me. It never became me but I still took something home from it. I may even do it again for the thrill of being out of my comfort zone again.

     
  • At 11:18 PM, Blogger srj said…

    Very interesting post! I've been sitting here for 20 minutes deciding on whether or not I should submit this comment. Not often that I get sucked in like that.

    My initial thoughts were that:

    (1) Your friend is right - you clearly go negative to avoid taking risks. If you are so unhappy - if you brain is just shriveling up - why be so adverse to the risk?

    (2) Nobody likes group activities at first. It brings back visions of being the last one picked for kick ball at recess. It sucks. But after one visit you can leave and never see those shmucks again anyway. Or you might turn into life-long friends.

    (3) Sassy clearly means something different to me than to everyone else here. You are sassy - your post demonstrates it. You are cocky and you have some disregard for others as evidenced by the snooty bits. I think it is what makes your blog so compelling. You should revel in it. And, yes, I understand the negative connotations to 'sassy'.

    Love your blog.

     
  • At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is my first comment on any of your posts (all of which I love). I have to disagree with srj - I don't think you "disregard others" so much as point out how you're different. You really KNOW who you are and you say it. Keep writing, girl! I can't say I've ever been more entertained from reading than I am with your blog. Honestly! You are gifted.

     
  • At 12:13 AM, Blogger Jozet at Halushki said…

    This is important:

    "It might make you puke, but at least you can write about that in your blog."

    :-)

    And if the writer's group doesn't work out, maybe go on Craig's list and start your own? Or advertise at the library or at a local bookstore...somewhere where you might get a broader cross-section of people.

    I will say that I felt the same way about just hanging out with my "mommy friends". We were all sort of in the same boring place but couldn't break out of it. You know, for me it was all about trying to seem as normal as possible so that my kids' friends' parents would feel comfortable letting them visit our house, lol.

    Once we all got together one night with multiple bottles of wine and promised not to talk about kids, we all loosened up and re-discovered how smart and interesting we all are beyond just knowing about potty training and gymnastics lessons. I will warn though, it did take a lot of wine.

     
  • At 1:46 AM, Anonymous steffj89 said…

    I guess I see sassy different as well. Too me Sassy women are smart, funny, a bit irreverant, independent, strong, -you are definitely all of those things.

    check with your librarian. even if there isnt a local group already, you can bet she knows other people who write.

    also check about volunteering or working at the library. it can make a huge difference.
    i totally get where you are coming from on all fronts.
    I am a SAHM of 2 boys 3 and 4. I have been home continuously and mostly alone as DH was first trucking and now welding so gone a lot. I have also thought about going back to school for writing and such but time constraints and distance make it hard. We also live in a rural area etc. I just recently took a job at our library its not much 18 hours a week but I sooooo needed this. I can already feel the difference its making in my heart.
    good luck with the writers group. I will be pulling for ya.
    Steff

     
  • At 2:43 AM, Anonymous Chelle said…

    Go to at least three meetings. If you feel that the group isn't right for you, then it isn't right for you. I completely understand how you feel, though. I can't seem to care about things most people do and I'd rather knock some sense into them than listen to them whining.

    I personally don't get out enough either. Hell, right now the only two physical people I see regularly are my daughter and boyfriend because I am not working yet.

    There are always ways to get out of the house. Even if you just go for a walk during the day. I do that, it helps sometimes.

     
  • At 4:04 AM, Blogger Polgara said…

    I struggle with the "joining" thing too but you got to give it a go!
    If all else fails it may give you some ideas into starting your own group....:0)
    Pol x

     
  • At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In addition to the "stylish chic" definition of sassy, it also means: rude, disrespectful, impudent, lively, spirited, bold, improperly forward." There is some latitude in meaning and perhaps the person who came up with the name is having a good laugh.

     
  • At 8:46 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    I finally found my niche when I started activities and classes with my dogs. Agility, Rally, Pet Therapy. That way, if the people in the groups are assholes, you can sit and talk to your dog and no one even gives you a second glance.

    Now, to just find you a dog...........

     
  • At 10:00 AM, Blogger Leigh said…

    I have been a stay-at-home mom now for almost sixteen years, and I have found that you just have to change the way you look at things. Think about how many opportunities you have, because you are blessed with TIME. Especially now that your kids are in school. If you were tied down to a job, all of your extra time would be divided between your children and your husband (and the housework would have to be figured out in there somewhere.) Who's to say that you would not still feel as if you had lost yourself somewhere along the way? I know many, many moms who have outside jobs that do not feel fulfilled. Embrace the freedom that you have and use your imagination...you can volunteer, take up freelance writing, and learn pretty much anything you set your mind to learn. Maybe the writing group will be just the thing!

     
  • At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Doug said…

    Is there any type of volunteer work you could do for a few hours a week during the day? Animal shelters, docents at the zoo or museums, or even room Mom at school.

     
  • At 11:39 AM, Blogger sltbee69 said…

    I agree with the point of your post. It is hard to come out of your comfort zone but usually once you make that jump, you are glad you did. I say go to that writing group, see how it goes, and if nothing else maybe you'll be able to start your own group and take a few people with you. Then you can have fun thinking of a cool name for it.

     
  • At 1:19 PM, Blogger jennie said…

    It's a great idea - if nothing else, you have some time to yourself that will be spent on the subject of something you love. And maybe you'll find some new like-minded friends. Probably all transplants from the midwest.

    I sure hope you're going to wear a jaunty hat or something to the first event. You know, to prove you're sassy.

     
  • At 1:29 PM, Blogger Mahala said…

    I miss gay guys. Here in bible belt central, they're all in hiding.

     
  • At 2:40 PM, Blogger Mary Alice said…

    Well, at the very least you can secretly drop the "s" and just call it the "assy" writers group!

    Good luck from one snooty thinker to another!

     
  • At 3:08 PM, Blogger Oh, The Joys said…

    Now that SNL sketch ... ("Did somebody say... SASSY?!!") is stuck in my head.

    It's also cold and dreary out...

    Who knows. Give those sassy freaks a try. Maybe one bad egg named the group.

     
  • At 8:46 PM, Blogger Angela said…

    Hope you have fun

     
  • At 9:18 PM, Blogger the end of motherhood said…

    Who knows? Those "sassy" girls might surprise you. But I wouldn't count on it. Good luck!

     
  • At 9:45 PM, Blogger anne said…

    Wow. Sassy. That would be tough.

    I'm not much of a joiner either so I can really sympathize with your reservation about the group.

    But, you never know. Give it a chance. Maybe there is some other poor soul in that group just waiting for someone like you to show up so she has someone to connect with.

     
  • At 10:34 AM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    if you want to hang out with gay men, get involved with the local theatre group. works for me. :)

     
  • At 10:34 AM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    if you want to hang out with gay men, get involved with the local theatre group. works for me. :)

     
  • At 11:10 AM, Blogger WI Mommy said…

    I can completely relate! I had actually joined a local MOMS club - a bunch of women who all have kids around the same age...how bad could it be? I didn't even last a full year. Oh well. At least I have my bloggy friends to keep me company!

     
  • At 5:23 PM, Blogger Miss Peg said…

    You are so in my head! I won't go into a long story about my own life, but I wish you much courage, strength, and brainpower as you find yourself again!

     
  • At 12:14 PM, Blogger Kelly said…

    I was reluctant to join a local mom's group for some of the reasons you so wonderfully laid out in your post. And even now, I struggle to go beyond diapers and breastfeeding and sleep issues and the stuff of my mother life, to dig down deeper and expose the parts of me that are intense and vulnerable and funny and crazy.

    I hope this writing group gives you the kind of outlet you've been looking for. It's such a precious thing, especially when you've been craving it for so long.

     
  • At 7:39 AM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    I know how you feel about religion, but have you looked into a Unitarian Universalist church near you? (they have them in the south, don't they?). I've met such wonderful people (we got gay guys by the bucketful! lol) and am even teaching Sunday School. Our church has book clubs, Friday night Pictionary night (which,as corny as it sounds, is held at one of the hilarious gay guy's houses, so it should be a trip), and loads of other outlets. The nice thing about UU is that you can believe whatever you want (or nothing at all) and all is welcome.

    And, on a totally unrelated note, I am now looking more like you----your redhead-in-a-box color is now on my head! Woo Hoo!

     

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