The blogosphere lately has been seized by panic. Hyperventilating, can't-see-or-think-straight panic.
Or at least the parts of the blogosphere that are going to the Casual Bloggers Conference in May. The panic has something to do with people revealing their true personalities. Some people seem to be sitting on the fence about going because they have a deep fear of people getting to know them in real life. They're afraid they'll be unmasked for who they really are. "What if people don't think I'm funny in person?" "What if they figure out I'm a nerd?" "What if they don't like me?"
And I have sat back and felt
I know. I suck.
I guess smugness is a luxury if you're not going to CBC and don't have to worry about being outed for who you really are. But that's not even the cause of my smugness. Oh, no, it's way worse than that.
Mine was rooted in vanity and conceit.
See, I couldn't see what the big deal was. I never worry about meeting new people. I make friends easily. Everyone likes me (except for posers, people who suck, and booger eaters) and I never have a hard time being myself. I make everyone laugh and always have something to say. Why would I worry about meeting people in person?
What's that old saying, the one about pride going before . . . ?
I got to participate in my own little blogger meet up when Kristina P invited me to join her and some blog friends at Disneyland. Since the baby was cooperating that night and Kenny graciously and bravely agreed to handle the kids on his own, I went. And I wasn't nervous at all. Because I'm stupid.
The only two people I "knew" virtually were Sister Pulsipher and Karen, and then I got to meet Kris, Kristen and Nikol. And I had some good guacamole and very average carne asada. And I listened to and enjoyed the banter around the table. And then I opened my mouth to speak. (Cue ominous music here.)
Thanks to the properties of sleep deprivation, I have been wandering through the last two weeks like they were one, long out-of-body experience.
Unfortunately, this allows me to have a weird clinical detachment about myself while at the same time having zero control over my filters. I can hear myself making an ass of myself but I have no ability to stop it. It's lovely.
So we're sitting there at dinner and I'm listening to myself talk and everything out of my mouth, EVERYTHING, was an opinion. A STRONG opinion. That's okay. Except for where then I started spewing strong, JUDGMENTAL opinions about every.single.thing that came up. Other blogs. Blogging styles. Loud tables in the restaurant. Jennifer Love-Hewitt. Television. My stupid carne asada.
You could have thrown out nuclear proliferation and I would have been like, "Let me tell you . . ."
I shared my thoughts like I was the Oprah of Tortilla Jo's, a fount of dubious knowledge.
My Other Self, the clinical observer, watched and listened to all of this and eyed the steak knife, wondering if I could use it to give myself a tracheotomy before the next topic of conversation came up. The actual me just kept talking, and talking, and talking.
It was NOT me, though. It was some crazy girl who clearly thought being pompous equaled hilarity for all.
It led me to wonder if I'm always so awful but I needed severe sleep deprivation to recognize it.
It was humbling. So now instead of obsessing over what I can find to wear to the Storymakers conference that looks cute on my 6 week post baby body, I am now going to obsess over "how to be a good listener and shut the heck up" when in the presence of other humans.
I suppose it's a good lesson but it leads me to wonder exactly how long and how often I've been a total tool (or whatever the girl version is) over the years.