Monday, October 6, 2008

Fear of blogging? You betcha.

Posted in blogging tagged , at 6:31 am by Elaine Petrowski

How does a working writing woman explain her reluctance to blog?  Isn’t blogging the way to make contact and to converse in the 21st century? Blogging is, after all, a showcase for your work and a way to connect to the wider world. The ability to blog shows you are still of this universe and can keep up with technology. And everybody’s doing it. Just today I learned that there are something like a billion blogs currently posted.

So why not me?  Simple. Because I learned the hard way, and at an early age, never to put anything in writing that I didn’t want the whole wide world (or at least my mother) to potentially see. According to my life rules, that means you do NOT pour your secret, tender, intimate thoughts into a diary or a journal, even if it does have a cute little brass lock and key. Nor do you even consider writing of your broken heart  and shattered dreams (not to mention self-esteem) in a letter to an ex. And you do not pass hastily scribbled notes in a crowded, Catholic school classroom in Queens, NY.

I think my mother might have been the first adult to utter those wise, warning words to me.  But they didn’t mean a lot until a shining, glorious spring day in eighth grade when I disregarded them and put something in writing. “Something” being the name of the one boy in my class who set my 13 year- old heart aflutter.

“Who do you like?”  asked the note my friend  (Dotty Boyce?)  passed  across the aisle to me.

I remember my several minutes of hesitancy to answer. What if she told him, or worse, showed him, my answer?  And I remember the delicious, electrifying thrill of  the “why not” abandonment that shot through me when I scrawled his name.

My eighth grade class... and Sister Charlotte

My eighth grade class... and Sister Charlotte

Maybe it was the whoosing of all the blood in my ears from the blush that I felt rising, simply from the act of writing his name on paper. But something blocked out the sound of Sister Charlotte’s rustling habit and clinking rosary beads from my conscious mind.

The more astute among us regularly used those aural clues to stay out of trouble.  If you were contemplating contact with a fellow student, but heard the rustle-click-click-click and were smart enough, and quick enough, to get head- down-and -back- to- work, or at least to pretend to, you didn’t get caught.

To this day, I don’t know why I shot my arm across the aisle at the exact moment  when the good sister, patrolling from the back to the front of the room,  reached the seat just behind mine. So instead of sharing my sweet, secret, first crush with a friend, however unwise, it was Sister Charlotte who held the note.

The denouement?  She read my note, strode directly to her desk, took out an envelop, dropped in the wrinkled paper, and walked right back to me. “ Have your mother sign this, “ she said, as she plunked it  back on my desk.

So there you have it. Fear of blogging.  You betcha.

How about you? Care to share an embarrassing moment that taught you a life lesson early on?


  1. […] (And if you have any doubt that I went to Catholic school, read this.) […]

  2. darkroomdreams said,

    Hahaha great story!! Reminds me of when my friend Jessica asked me in fourth grade who I liked (Bryan) and then proceeded to stand atop a snow heap on the playground and sing a lovely little song about how much I liked the boy. Humiliating!! So I feel your pain.

    But unlike you, I grew up writing down every thought and feeling, I just didn’t used to share them. But blogs… they have been dangerous. Friends finding “secret” posts about them, writing something then regretting it, etc. It’s taken a few years to find the right balance. You can too!

    Also, the blog is great, witty, fun, but some pictures might help, within the longer text-based posts.

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