Sunday, 27 April 2008

Save this blog thing from extinction

My mum's onto it.

Since the curious matter of a large package arriving at the house, addressed simply to 'Jo', she's been sniffing around with that finely tuned sense of smell that all mums seem to have; the one that sniffs out the thing that they're in the dark about. It started with a simple enquiry "What was that package that came today?" and, put on the spot, I told her it was a copy of a newspaper. "Why were you sent a copy of a newspaper?" and ohhh, for gods sake, here we go...and I told her something vague about a blog I "do some writing for" which was featured in it, and I wanted to have a read.

"Hmm. Oh..." and I knew what the next question would be. Sure enough... "Can I have a look?" came next. No, I said. It's not important. "Oh come onnn...It's not like I'd know how to find a blog on the internet..."

The subject was successfully dropped but since then, every few days or so, she enquires about "that blog thing...what was that?" and I have to think of an excuse. Of course I'd like her to read it, if I could guarantee that it would end with the excerpt in the paper. But it wouldn't, would it? I'm tempted to think that her apparent cluelessness with the internet is just a front. Fact is, even my mum knows how to type an address into internet explorer. She'd be like Christopher Columbus of the blog kind, clicking away, glasses on nose, peering at the computer screen trying to understand this strange internet blog thing where her daughter rants, raves and discusses anything from work to relationships and well, parents.

You know how it goes though, the more I deny her access, the more suspicious my mother will become. Telling her it's an online diary might suffice for a while, but then if it's been in the paper it's hardly private, is it? And if other people read it, why not her? Giving my boyfriend access is one thing. But my mother? I can't think of anything more content restricting.

So I need help. Today she came into my pit and we were chatting about what joys Sunday would hold (her, garden center with dad. Me, Shipwrecked and a bacon sarnie). She spied the edge of the newspaper, sticking out from under some letters on my desk. "Can I read that blog thing that was in the paper?" arrrrrrghhhhhhhhhh. "No, you can't." and with that, she made a sulky face and went "oww". Then humphed away, no doubt for a tactical brainstorm.

I have a feeling this isn't a battle I will win easily. I want her to read what I write, see that I'm serious about writing and be proud that it was in the paper. But I do not want her to read my blog. I know it won't end with just reading the paper. There will be more questions and I don't want this parent free zone to be compromised.

To show or not to show, that is the question. Vote now. I need tactics.


Reluctant Blogger said...

Well, what I would do is set up another site with some of your posts on it - the one in the paper and a few other harmless ones. And you can post simultaneously to both (the same posts or edited ones).

Pretend that the paper was destroyed so she doesn't know the correct url - otherwise you'd have to switch all the offending content to the new site.

Although actually I think maybe she should just understand that this is a private space for you and that you need it to vent things sometimes and that you wouldn't want anyone you knew to read it. But my mother would pretend to accept that and carry on ferreting around.

Easiest to let her think she has found it - she'll stop searching then.

James said...

Oh that is a toughie. Maybe you could just say next time that you've stop writing the blog or you've lost the article. Or I guess you could show her the article with the address/blog title blacked out.

Do you think she thinks the worst? Like it is one of those blogs like they have on the telly - Billy Piper / Belle du Jour type.
Or maybe that it is full of hateful stuff about the family. Those are the kind that get mentioned in the Mail.

I remember when I was featured on Radio5 I was very tempted to tell a few people, but in hindsight I was very glad I didn't.

Clarissa said...

My mom knows about my current blog; but I don't think she really reads it. She has basic Internet skills; not Christopher Colombus but maybe Amerigo Vespucci. My relationship with my mom is very unique; and truth is I don't alter what I write because she might be reading. But there are others ... friends / relatives ... who would take the truth away. Sounds like that's what your mom's possible reading would do. Put her onto someone else's blog and say you are it's editor? IE: lie. Suppose that's not so nice.

Clarissa said...

OH! PS - Reluctant Blogger is clever! Do what (s)he says!

rosiewishes said...

I reckon it depends on how well you get on with your mum... Because you could just try simple honesty!

If you explain it to her do you think she'd understand and respect your wishes?
It's just that at the moment, as James said, she's probably thinking the worst!

I'd hate my parents to discover mine though!

jo said...

my mom has asked me before bout "that blog thing". and since if i'm asked point blank if i have a blog, i can't lie (to anyone actually), i kept a blog which had a few entries but i pretty much never updated.

in your case it's a lil tricky 'coz you were featured in the newspapers... i'm with everyone who said to set up a pseudo blog and pretend you lost the article.

Homer said...

Show - she'll think terrible things if you don't - and resign yourself to never talking about sex again.

(Hi, mum and dad.)

Skinny Girl said...

Ooohhhh noooeeeesssss!
I say set up a fake blog (like reluctant blogger says). A decoy so to speak.
My mum has been here this week and I have been freaking out every time I get on the computer. Blogs are NOT for parents!

weenie said...

I'd tend to agree with RB - if telling her that you need your private space doesn't work, then maybe set up another site with some innocuous posts on it. Denying her would mean that she may continue to hassle you about it, worrying what might be in it and trying to find it herself.

surviving myself said...

yeah, the fake blog seems to be the best move.

Ella said...

Ooooh, what to do? I'm one of those awful people who's first instinct is to lie when nervous so i would have just said "don't know what you're talking about". I did accidentally let slip to James that I had a blog, which started the endless requests to read. I copied a few boring posts into a word document and sent them to him around xmas time, the last time he asked to read it all again was yesterday. I say don't do it, if your mum is like my mum she will get annoyed that you moan a bit about her, but if you don't, rest assured she will keep asking!

London-Lass said...

I've come to this a wee bit late (but that's cos I am on holiday - lalalala!) but I say `show'. What's the harm? I was eating myself up last year worried bout the chipster reading it, but when he did nothing really happened. And it's not like you write about explicit sex stuff or that you're plotting your mum's murder, or anyfink. Course if it was your boyfriend's mum wanting to have a nose that would be different. For, you see, the chipster's mother is never to be showed my blog. No way no how.

theperpetualspiral said...

I guess there are two schools of thought on this, one that involves honesty and the other a slight deception.

If you think your Mum will like your writing and if she gets your humour, then show her the blog. You never know she might enjoy reading it.

If you think that she wouldn't get it, then take some of the posts, sanitise them and put them into a new blog for her to read. I don't know about Blogspot, but with Wordpress you can change the date that posts were made.

Personally I'd go with the first option, I think it'd be far easier and as already pointed out, you're not writing about lurid tales of sex and debauchery.

Robbie said...

You do realise that white lies only end in some comical USA-comedy seires esque ending.

THe missus recently had something delievered to her old address, addressed to "Miss Jellybaby" That confused the postman.


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