This month marks the first anniversary of my blog, “The Meat and Potatoes of Life.” The year has been an interesting one to say the least, with highs, lows and lots of weirdoes in between.
It all started last year, when another writer suggested that I start a blog to showcase my humor columns on the internet. My initial thought process went a little something like this:
Is she trying to tell me that I should do something other than e-mail and shop on the internet? Who does that other than teenagers and Bill Gates? I have a hard enough time attaching documents for goodness sake, does she really think that I am going to put words and even pictures onto some kind of website? I would probably need to hire one of those “Geeks” who drive those little cars, but he’d have to come into my bedroom to get to the computer, and my old lady bras are always lying around and the keyboard has crumbs in it. Even if I could get the house picked up, I’d have to put it on our credit card. . . but what do I do then? I’d have to clean the bedroom and pay him to come back every time I write something. And what the hell is a blog anyway?
Seeing the flabbergasted look on my face, my writer friend said, “Just go to WordPress.com and take a look. Any idiot can do it.”
Her reference to “idiot” struck a chord with me, so I checked it out. Within an hour of the WordPress hompage appearing on my magic box, I had my own blog.
Sure, it only had four articles and an “About the Author” page with the only headshot I have that doesn’t show my double chin, but it was a real, professional-looking blog and I created it without any help, for free.
Soon after launching my blog, I was hooked. Well, on checking my blog stats, that is, and I wondered if I suffered from some rare form of addiction. The computer turned into a black hole sucking me from my normal life as a fledgling columnist and housewife into the dodgy, shadowy world of the blogosphere, where pale junkies strain their sunken eyes for hours on end, fixated on dreams of internet fame.
The kids would come home from school and find me, still in my pajamas, sitting at my desk cluttered with papers, half-eaten sandwiches, and cold cups of coffee. They got tired of hearing me say, “Just a minute honey, I just have to check my stats one more time,” and were forced to forage for scraps and face the fact that “Mom’s a junkie.”
My diseased mind found ways to justify my withdrawal from the real world, like the time I reasoned, “If I get more views, I might become famous, and then the paparazzi would break the story that I’m addicted to my blog stats and I’ll get invited to be on ‘Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.’”
Three months into blogging, I knew rock bottom was near. My blog was coming between me and my family, my personal hygiene, and the season finale of “The Real Housewives,” so I quit stat checking and regained control of my life.
Some days it’s hard to juggle my writing, family and maintaining my blog. Although I still find my trembling fingers tapping their way to my stats page, these days it only happens about once a week, and I’m no longer obsessed with the numbers. Nowadays, my interest in stats is focused more on the who, why and how, and less on the how many.
Who are the people that visit my blog? How do they find the link to my blog? Why do they click on it?
On my stats page, I look at the search terms that lead viewers to my blog, and although the things they “Google” often scare me, I like to fantasize that some of these sickoes and perverts are transformed after finding my articles by accident.
For example, last winter, I posted an article called “Facebook Forensics” in which I cleverly abbreviated “Mother I’d Like to Friend” as “M.I.L.F.” I was shocked to learn from my stats page that a rash of perverts had stumbled upon the article after typing in search terms such as “rusty milf,” “old milf,” “milf dripping,” and “golden milf.” I hoped I made them laugh, and they gave up searching for old lady porn for at least a few hours.
Sometimes a mere title can inadvertently attract a wave of weirdoes. My blog title was found by people searching for references to “tight sweater meat,” “Christmas tree of meat,” “sexy meat and potatoes pictures” and “instant peel potato gloves.” When I posted “On Dirty Socks, Mushy Peas, and Icelandic Volcanoes,” I had no idea that it would end up being read by people interested in “dirty socks,” “dirty dirty socks,” “dirty socks outside,” “dirty socks train,” “dirty underwear,” and “dirty mom.”
In March, I wrote “My Gut Reaction to IBS,” a first-person story about an unfortunate accident involving a Lay’s Potato Chip bag, which was found by web surfers who typed in the terms “bowel steering wheel,” “IBS one hour drive,” and “IBS buddy dumping.” As long as I was able to make them laugh, I really didn’t care what kind of disturbing hobbies these web surfers had.
The myriad of postings about my dismal dating history called ” The Duke and Duchess of Prom,” “Midlife’s B-List,” and “I Put the Ooze in Loozer,” were found by some pitiable folks who typed in the search terms: “my first date is prom,” “taffeta monstrosity,” and “cry your heart out you pathetic wimp.” I imagined that these web surfers were comforted to know that they are not the only losers in the blogosphere.
My articles on marriage, “War of the Roses” and “True Marital Romance is a Gas,” showed up when people searched “fiancé says I’m boring,” “wife says I’m predictable,” “extreme humiliation plans for my husband,” and “sweaty, tired, irritable.” I hoped their bitter hearts were warmed when they read my posts.
Finally, there were a few search terms that I just couldn’t make sense of, like “snorting candy,” “stinking saddle,” “chin hairs multiply,” and “spoon licking.” And to the viewer who found my blog by searching “itching, scratching, rubbing or squirming,” I think you might be suffering from a case of worms.
Whoever my blog fans are, I welcome you all and sincerely hope that, whether you are housewives looking for laundry tips or sexual deviants in search of porn, you’ll find something on “The Meat and Potatoes of Life” that will make you laugh.