The Secret Life of the American Blogger

Credit: The New Yorker

When people ask me what I do, I always reply “blogging”.  This inevitably evolves into some sort of discussion (“I didn’t know you could make money doing that!” “Oh, you can’t, but I’m trying it anyway. Last month I made eight whole dollars”), after which the person walks away feeling suitably impressed at my kickass lifestyle.

I admit that I’m quite fond of these conversations. When I initially made the decision to put off full-time higher education after setting my heart on a college that ended up rejecting me not once, not twice, but three times in a row, I was crushed. In my head, college was the next inevitable step, and here I was, stuck at home while all my friends were away, unable to get a job with only a high school diploma that didn’t involve me bagging things, asking if someone wanted me to supersize their order, and vaguely miserable. Now, even my friends sometimes think that I’m some sort of hugely successful person for “having a job”, or bemoan college loans collecting interest and wish that they’d really thought out college before they went, and I’m not going to lie, it makes me feel pretty damn awesome. And then I remember – these people clearly have no idea about exactly how glamorous the life I lead really is.

Tuesdays are a pretty good day to take a sample of what my life is like, since they’re my days without the class I’m auditing, and because I actually do things on them, as opposed to Fridays when I also don’t have class, where I usually lay on the couch and think about how I should do things and then say “screw that, I have all weekend” before going to bake cookies. (Are you sensing the glamor yet? Well, are you?) Let’s take today, for example, which was about twice as productive as a normal day (yesterday, for example, can be summed up by “did you know they have every episode of Wishbone online? I just learned that. And then I watched them all”). It went like this:

  • Woke up at noon after having a dream that Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga got married, only to get divorced. Right before I woke up, Dream Lady Gaga had moved on to a committed relationship with Stephen Colbert.
  • Have “breakfast”, say good morning to my gerbils, feed my Farmville addiction, plan out the rest of my day.
  • Start on my allotted homework for today, a powerpoint on different types of elections. Spend a lot of time noting how nice my handwriting looks today.
  • Take a break for a snack and to check my twitter feed. Note that a piece I wrote for FIPP got published, decide to revamp the blog with a section for non-online writing, including the book reviews I wrote for the Boston Herald about five years ago to make myself look more professional than I clearly am.
  • Am reminded by my mother to fix a mix-up with Brandeis, who thinks that they need health forms even though I’m only taking one class. Decide to actually do it instead of just going “yeah, okay, uh-huh”, because I really don’t want to get back to the powerpoint. I contact an annoyingly competent and very kind lady who fixes the problem immediately, and then I am forced to finish my homework. This time, my handwriting isn’t as pretty.
  • Remember oh crap, today’s the day my column for Clique Clack is supposed to be written and I’ve got nothing to write about. Freak out a little because I skipped last week since nothing was on besides the Olympics, before realizing that I have a taped episode of The Marriage Ref I could watch. Well, that and an interesting article on feminism in reality television. But who am I kidding, like I have the intellectual prowess to discuss this today, and even if I did, like anyone would care. The Marriage Ref it is.
  • Watch The Marriage Ref while having lunch and Google chatting with my friend Nicole about the astonishingly good real estate values in Kurdistan and if perhaps we should get a timeshare. We decide against it.
  • Late afternoon energy crash! Valiantly attempt to gather thoughts and work through this while not falling asleep on the couch. Even though I’m propped up against my pillows. Under a comfy afghan. So sleepy from lunch. Solution – stream terrible pop music videos from youtube as a soundtrack.
  • Get about half of the column done before I am utterly distracted by my Google reader, pondering if I should put the entirety of my eight dollar salary from last month towards this t-shirt (answer: yes!),  and my favorite guilty pleasure show, MTV’s Is She Really Going Out With Him?
  • Finally stop playing with gerbils and make myself finish the column. Success! Except I realize I smell a little. When was the last time I showered, anyway? My hair isn’t dirty, so it can’t be that long. I ponder if I can get away with just deodorant, because I hate showers with a vehemence most people reserve for bad traffic jams. I hate standing there wet with nothing to think about and the only thing to do being to try to keep suds from getting up you nose, and then having wet hair for six hours after that. Then I remember I showered Sunday, and so yeah, I’m going to put off showering until tomorrow. I shower twice a week! That makes me not a slob, right? I’m totally fit for polite society. But I put on deodorant and change my pajama shirt just in case. (Oh, have I mentioned that I spend every hour I can get away with it in my pajamas? And that I haven’t worn real clothes since class yesterday morning? Yup.)
  • Oh, look, it’s seven at night. I think that just about wraps up all my work for the day.

Glamorous, right?

Look, I hate to break this to you guys.  I know when people tell you that they’re “bloggers” you think of us, wearing our Tina Fey glasses (okay, I do wear Tina Fey glasses, but this is besides the point), dressed up all trendy-casual and comfy,  sitting in our nice home offices and typing at our laptops about super-intelligent things. But from what I know of most professional bloggers (and by that I mean people who do this for a living from home, not while they’re bored in their cubicles, as many of us do), that’s not the case.  For the most part we’re those people who sit at home with our pets in our yoga pants and snuggies, eating leftovers and not bothering to brush our hair or put in our contacts, only feeling ashamed of this when we’re spotted by the postman. This is what our day looks like, add or minus several children, a spouse, and a deranged pet or two. Also, sometimes we write about our children’s farts or why when we see someone in jeggings we want to break out in hives, as opposed to dryly witty yet erudite how articles for Salon.com about how grocery shopping at Whole Foods is a metaphor for the war in Afghanistan.

I’m sorry to ruin the illusion.

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One response to “The Secret Life of the American Blogger

  1. Sounds like a great life to me, well besides the whole living with your parents part. You may not have a problem with it, but I know I would.

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