If My Mother Tells Me To Stop Playing With My Latte, Does That Mean I Have To Make A Commitment?

I am continually in the process of deciding whether or not to out my Super Secret Alter Ego on this blog.  Like the other day, I was quoted in one of those big, people in Volgograd have heard of it, way over my reading level news sources but I can't tell you about it because A) they quoted me, not Mr Lady and B) they used the one and only boring, responsible line I'd rattled off during the most brilliantly witty 10 minutes I've ever spent on the phone.  And then today some other big-shit news broadcasting company had me in their studio to talk about the original quote. And how I danced and danced around whom I may or may not pretend to be on the internet with them.

Because I'm just not entirely comfortable with people reading this blog yet.

I mean, it's not like I mind you reading it. You're fantastic, and I love your shoes. And to you, I am a few black letters hammered out onto a white template with an astonishingly copyright-breaking background.  I'm a few pixels crammed together into a 4X6 space on the internet. I am a transgender myth.  I am no one. When you close your screen, I go away and I don't come back until you do.  And I like it that way. I like the total lack of commitment that keeping this blog brings with it. I can't let you down, you'll never be disappointed or shocked or outraged, not truly, because I don't exist.

And so I keep typing. Truth is, I'm still not anywhere near used to the fact that anyone but the 10 people who've always read it do. I try to not look at my stats, because I just don't need that sort of reality in my fake plastic life. I like to pretend that I'm still talking to myself, and that I am the only one listening, and that way I can just say whatever the hell I want and laugh at myself next year for being so obtuse and no one is the wiser.

But you are the wiser, aren't you? You are there, you do read this piece of crap blog and you listen and you laugh at me tomorrow, because it doesn't take you a year to see what a screw-up I am. The question is, do I want my mother in law to be the wiser? The answer is hell no. Do I want my constant daily companions, my friends and neighbors, to know all of this, this other side of me that is firmly lodged in the realm of misperception? I don't know the answer to that.

A few weeks ago, one of my neighbors got me trah-rashed and got my blog url out of me.  He is an actual, real, respectable and published author and hasn't really said whether or not he's skeeved out of his skin over my blog just yet.  He did say that you know your way around a sentence, Mr. Lady, and I think it's fairly safe to say that I've never, ever been so flattered in my whole life and also, it's so veryvery wrong that I found that statement to be ohmygodso hot. It's a character flaw; I'm working on it.

A few days ago, one of my other neighbors found me on twitter. I don't know if he was looking or not, but somehow he found me. And it turns out, he'd read my blog before he was my neighbor, he just didn't put two and two together until the whole Great Twitter Debacle of 2009. We saw each other out front yesterday, and for a fleeting moment his alter-ego saw my alter-ego and those alter-egos looked at each other like you look at the guy the morning after and wonder, "Um, name? Name, dammit, name. Also, where the fuck is my bra?"

But you know what? It was over right then, and we were back to normal. Luke and Shannon, chasing their kids, watching them play Sonic the Hedgehog together, talking about sunburns and popsicles and crap.  The world did not end. The universe did not open up and swallow me whole. My neighbors don't think any less of me, that they're admitting, and I am not quite as mortified as I'd imagined I'd be when this all started to come out.

Because I know it's going to come out eventually. I'm not an idiot. Well, not totally.

There's no reason I don't want my mother in law to read this blog. I think she might actually enjoy it, once she got over the fact that I've lied to her for five years about how I know this person or where I met that person or why I keep scuffling off to conferences when, last time she checked, stay at home moms didn't host nation-wide conferences for each other. Though they should.

My husband has told his best friend, his boss, his boss' boss, his boss, the bartender and his old girlfriend who is, in her own right, a very big deal on the internet.  And most all of them will still look me in the eye on occasion. I, however, am having a hard time reciprocating.

I'm pretty sure my own mother has already found this blog. I can't be certain, but the odds are really high. I know my little brother has found it, though he's never mentioned it to me, but he's not mentioned anything to me in 17 years, so I can't fault him too much for not delurking.  And you know what? I stopped caring. I stopped going out of my way to hide from them a few months ago, and if they read it, they read it. If it hurts my mother, well, quid pro quo, bitch. I'm still fairly certain that I don't want my father and step-mother reading it, not just yet, but I've only got so long on that one because my older brother is quite literally Mr Lady's biggest fan and he Will Not Stop linking my shit on Facebook. Hi, Karen and Ed! Really, don't read the archives. You'll disown me. Oh, wait....

I worry about my children. That is probably the most hypocritical thing I'll ever say, seeings as how I have this penchant for plastering their sweet, innocent faces all over the internet, but it's true, and maybe because of that. I could tell you my last name and my real location and that probably wouldn't affect me too much, but then I'm telling you their last names and real locations and that certainly does affect the shizznit out of them. They don't have a blog, they didn't ask for this, and is it really in my right to hand them over to the internet that way?

Or is that the world's greatest excuse for being a big fat chicken shit who likes to hide behind avatars?

Because the truth of the matter is that, while Mr Lady is loud and assertive and unabashed, Shannon is quiet and cripplingly shy and demure and she really, really enjoys her privacy. Hell, it took her three years to tell her spouse she had a blog, at all. And they, she and I, we? Are two completely different people. Fortunately, I'm just crazy enough to be able to compartmentalize these two facets of my existence and play one roll when need be, then switch back to the other personality when it's time. Systemic childhood abuse? Blogger Prep School.

So I have all of this swirling around in my head this morning at butt-fuck o'clock this morning and I swing into Starbucks so I can, well, exist, and I put the orange mocha frappuccino they hand me into the cup-holder and lo and behold, this is what glared back at me the entire drive home:

Anne Morriss Just Kicked My Ass



That says:
The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to the rest of your life.

And then is says it again in French. I got bitch slapped in two different languages, for the lowlow price of $4.95 + GST, PST, and the carbon tax, and I'm still not quite awake yet.

But I am in the Wall Street Journal and on CBC's radio show and webpage. And that's as close to this closet door as I'm able to come today. Now please excuse me; I have to go throw up.