Thursday, February 11, 2010


My daughter, Peppermint Patty, loves to tell people about how I won a Flip Video camera.

My mom won it by writing a blog!

To which the listener usually responds Oh really? She blogs? (then, looking at me) You write a blog? What is it? I'll read it!

At which point I promptly change the subject...

You see, I don't really want people I know in person to also know me for who I am online. I feel this way for a few reasons:

1. Sometimes my real-life subjects become blog-fodder through every fault of their own. I can't control stupid but I certainly can exploit it. I make no excuses and I pull no punches. But I do change names since I don't know how often they google themselves.

2. I like to use expletives. Not all the time, but sometimes. I don't often drop the f-bomb but I'm quite fond of saying shit. When I was a kid, I never once heard my mother or father utter the f-word, but saying shit was as common as saying Oleo. And if you know what Oleo is, then you must have parents that are 60 or older, like me.

3. This blog is a lot like my personal diary. I don't want my mother-in-law knowing that I critique her sleeping arrangements with my father-in-law. I don't want my friend knowing that it hurt my feelings when she bashed Stay-At-Home moms. I just want to blommit my thoughts and then see if it all made as much sense on the outside of my head as it did on the inside. And I don't want to get into the habit of censoring myself because I worry who might read my words and get offended. Of course, I could say, "Screw 'em! Let them get offended!" But please, I'm not that coarse. However, I do realize that the moment I'm afraid to say things like I really think them, then I start to lose the whole reason I started blogging in the first place.

4. I like the mystery. I like it when people can't figure me out. Gretchen is the real-life me, but Texan Mama is my alter ego. I kinda look at it like a part of myself that I can choose with whom to share it. I know, before I started blogging, I thought bloggers were like online gamers with scabs on their thumbs from game controllers, and bloodshot eyes from too many late nights in front of the monitor. I NEVER thought a blogger would be a mom who clips coupons and goes to yoga. Like me. Except that "go to yoga" means "go to Target".

Sometimes I wonder how bloggers shoot from birthing their blog into WorldWideWeb stardom in a matter of months. But then I realize, they probably share their blog with everyone they know, including family and friends. Long ago I wished I could increase my number of subscribers, but I realized that it was a trade-off: I could get more readers but I would have to out myself to people who know me IRL.

I like to play my cards a little closer to the vest, and when an innocent conversation turns to the topic of twitter, facebook, and blogs, I usually look glassy-eyed and clam up. Blog what?


carolineAlexander said...

Stopping by from SITS to say HI.


Sally said...


I can relate to two things:

I'm over 60 and had forgotten all about oleo. :)

My family and "friends in the real world" don't read my blog as I've never given it out to them. :)

I liked what you said about "yoga" means going to Target. hahaha

Here from SITS! Have a great day!

Surrounded By Redheads said...

First of all, I want to say that I am a few days behind so I'm referring to the last several postings you have done.

Okay,let's be honest.I know what it's like to want to hear it from your spouse but please know that there are lots of people,including me, that think you are truly beatiful on the outside. For a mom of 5, you always look GREAT and put together!!!

Next, I am thrilled that you are able to be anonymous(I had to spell check that word) but I love your blog so much that I often want to share it with many others I know so they can feel the joys and frustrations of your input with you (and me). I still think you need to go into journalism for a living, then we could all benefit all the time.
Finally, your photo of the leaves on the tree is simply beautiful.Literally! It's simple, serene, comforting, and represents so many things to me when I look at it. You are really getting this photography thing!! So can do photography along with your journalism. It's perfect! Think about it...
Oh yeah, this is your biggest fan/friend from Southern Illinois so yes....I'm biased and I'm proud of it.
Thanks for inspiring me to finally make one of the only comments to your blog thus far.

nicole said...

My blog is not anonymous. My family does read it. So I do have to be mindful of what I post. Sometimes I have refrained from writing thoughts/feelings because I didn't want to be judged by family members. It is complicated. But mostly I don't mind, because it makes me think about what I write before I hit publish.

Anna See said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bridgett said...

My pastor even reads my blog. There is nothing anonymous about me anymore. Which is sometimes very very annoying and I wish I could go back and do-over. On the other hand, there are a number of people in my real life who first really got to know me via the blog (like my pastor). So it's been good, too.

And I know what oleo is. My mother still writes it on her grocery list. She is 59.

Jennifer said...

I started my blog because my IRL friends wanted me to so they all know about it. I also share it on my Facebook page. I figure if people do stupid shit then they deserve to be called on it. The other day one friend started to tell us all a story and started with, "Jennifer this is NOT for the blog..." And we all laughed.

The only thing I don't like much is that now I'm "friends" with some of the people at the daycare and some of the other moms and I feel like I can't write anything about that stuff. Not that anything has come up recently, but I do feel like I need to play that close to the vest.

Mama B said...

I understand...I originally was like that, than I started sharing certain posts I liked on facebook and I liked getting the feedback from people that knew me. I still keep two "personas" but many people IRL know both.

On that, is it totally weird though because sometimes people will say something to me or bring something up that I wrote on my blog IRl and I'm like'd you know?

Sugar said...

Hey Texan Mama-
I SO agree with you. I love that fact that you're so candid on your blog. I thought you had your friends and fam reading this but now that I know differently, I like it even more. :) But you're's just nice to be yourself on here and not worry about offending anyone. I guess the greatest thing you can take away from this is that you HAVE been yourself and look how many people who don't know you except from the blog REALLY think you're cool?! With your SPANXK and all! ha ha ha!!

Foursons said...

I soooo wish I had done this!

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

I don't tell too many about my blog but my friends on facebook. It's my Twitter account I keep completely private. NO ONE knows but my husband and a few blogging friends from IRL

Anna See said...

Oh how I can relate. I've gotten myself into some trouble over this...

Sturgmom said...

You are so right. I oftern have moments when I think I'd like to blog about something (like how my mom drives me crazy) but can't b/c, you know, she READS it. The thought of starting an anonymous blog is VERY appealing.

Kacie said...

Hah, funny. I totally agree, I'm way more comfortable writing to strangers. However... friends and family have found me, so that is no more. I have a new friend-friendly blog and the old too-honest one is hidden away. It had to happen eventually!