September 27, 2012

Question 1

When I asked you for questions for my birthday, I was thinking I’d get the kinds of gossipy things I usually see in interviews, although they aren’t the things I want to know other people’s lives. You see, I’m really a wannabe stalker. That’s why I make my living writing profiles of interesting, intelligent people. It totally gives me an excuse to dig into their lives without being creepy and sort of illegal. I’m sort of the paparazzi of the doctoral set.

But, no, no one asked me what my favorite cookbook is (The Joy of Cooking) or who my favorite author is (guess). I got a lot of pretty intense questions, just the kinds of things I wonder about other people. I have a deeply rooted habit of imagining other people’s lives. I totally thought this was normal until about six weeks ago when I casually asked my husband, “Do you ever wonder what someone’s life is like when you see them on the street?”

“Um, no,” he answered, interrupting my contemplation of whether a woman in sneakers and workout clothes waiting at a crosswalk was in a stable relationship, whether she had children, what her relationship with her siblings was like, and how often she worries about global warming. I have these questions pretty much continually when I’m around other people. If I’m driving, I’m using whatever part of my brain isn’t watching for traffic or composing Facebook status updates to think about the people I’m seeing. I thought this was how all people go about their days until I asked my husband about it. “You think way too much,” he told me.

Anyway, I got several very deep and interesting questions, which I’ll begin to tackle today. The first – from my Facebook page – was quite flattering, so we’ll start there:

“Do you have ANY idea how many people follow/enjoy your words? I, for one, have followed your blog for close to five years and I still enjoy it as much as I did the very first time I stumbled across it. I routinely share posts with my life partner and many others, depending on the topic. Happy birthday, Emily! Thank you for sharing your life with us.”

Clearly a woman after my own heart. She would have gladly spent 20 minutes discussing the probable life of the woman waiting at the crosswalk.

I actually don’t really know how many people read this blog. I know there used to be a whole lot more back before blogging became passé. I estimate about 500 people, but I could be completely off the mark.

It used to bother me that I couldn’t make it big, but I decided quite some time ago to be a writer who blogs rather than a blogger who writes. This freed me to use this space as I wish, without regard for what will drive stats or bring me notoriety.

Nowadays, when I write a post inviting people to ask me questions, I get eight questions. But they’re really thoughtful questions, and I’d rather have seven thoughtful readers than a whole bunch of people asking my bra size (34B, maybe C on a good day).

Over the next week or so, I’ll answer the questions that came in and any more you want to send my way. And please know that I value every single one of you 500 +/- readers, and I’m honored that this many smart people devote such considerable time to reading my words.

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  • Reply nicole September 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I don’t wonder about other peoples lives, I just constantly make gross assumptions based on circumstantial evidence and build elaborately from there. Some times I wonder how they would translate into some bizarre future (mostly post-apocalyptic).

    I think your blog is wonderful.

  • Reply fiwa September 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    I think I’m guilty of making gross assumptions as well. But I do love to look at people and speculate what their lives are like. It runs in my family – one of my sisters got lost at the zoo when we were kids because she was so busy watching some other family instead of the monkeys.

    I’m so glad you keep writing. I don’t read as many blogs as I used to – I think I’m down to 10 or so that I keep in my list and only about 5 that I really read. Of those, there are two that I feel like I’m being given a special treat when I see that they’ve posted. Yours is one of the two. Thank you for sharing your life and for taking the time to write.

    I’m still trying to figure out what I want to ask. I don’t want to squander my question. 😉

  • Reply Lissa September 28, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Just so you know, I read everything you post. You have made me laugh and cry time and time again. You are famous in my book!

  • Reply Mona Wise September 28, 2012 at 5:47 am

    I a, like that lady in your blog post. I enjoy every single piece you write Emily becuase of honest you are. On the days where mothering my four hits a wall…sometimes daily … I have you in the back of my mind reminding me that tomorrow is another day and we could easily spend more time wondering about the lady in tennis shoes and a work suit (I do this all the time too!)

    All that is missing from the picture Emily is your voice. I imagine I know what your voice is like becuase I can hear you so clearly in your words but I would love to ‘hear you’ …so how about it? Do one of those little voice clips and post it on your blog? A little ‘hello Móna in Ireland’ will suffice ;0)

    I never miss a post Emily – love every word. And 500 readers is a lovely amount to have. Most bloggers would kill for that number.

    • Reply Mona Wise September 28, 2012 at 5:49 am

      Ok…so it is early here in Ireland and I have not yet had my coffee….so please, for heavens sake, excuse ALL the iPhone typos. Stoopid stoopid phone.

  • Reply boliath October 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I have a question – I’m not sure how or where to submit it so here will haev to do:

    What book or books have you used to deal with sex and puberty for the boys? My oldest is 8 and curious, I believe in facts not cutesy language etc. Any thoughts?

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