Tuesday, August 23, 2005


On Saturday afternoon AB called me on the phone and asked if he could come over straight away. When I asked him what the problem was, he said he wanted to tell me in person rather than over the phone. It was going to eat into my Sim City 4 playing time, but I agreed to let him come. I'm kinda magnanimous like that.

With anyone else, I might have been worried about such an urgent and mysterious call. But AB lives his life in a near perpetual state of existential crisis, and tends to extrapolate minor problems to their farthest logical consequences and then gently panic about them. I figured that it was some family issue over which he needed advice and/or consolation.

As it turns out, though, it was nothing of the sort. After he'd arrived, I asked, "So what's the problem then?" He took a deep breath and said, "I've been reading your blog."

"Ah," I said.

This blog exists, in part, to see how long it would take before someone I knew in the real world stumbled across it. I haven't told anyone about it, except for JC about a week ago, when he asked me about blogging in such a way that I couldn't avoid mentioning mine without lying. However JC doesn't have the URL and as far as I know hasn't found it yet.

Mind you, "as far as I know" isn't far. It turned out that AB has been reading for months, and not only that, he has shared the URL with a couple of mutual friends, all without telling me. I'm not the sort of person to vent dramatically about my friends and acquaintances on the internet, so I wasn't worried that he or others had been reading. I was however a little irritated that I hadn't been told. There have been a couple of times when I've been tempted to lambast people I know, just because their peculiar brand of idiocy would make for entertaining reading. Apparently it's a good thing I didn't.

So I asked him what he thought of it.

"It sounds just like you," he replied, with a certain air of guardedness. "only you're more cutting than you are in real life."

"You're referring to entries like the Guess Who's Coming To Dinner Dinner, aren't you," I said. "When I chastised people for not taking enough effort with their contributions."

"Well no, not really, " he said. "I was thinking more about the way you described..." and he went on to mention the entry in which I'd mocked a pretentious mutual acquaintance in no uncertain terms.

"Aw crap," I said.

You see, Mutual Acquaintance is a brittle person who would fly apart like a firework if he read this, and the way gossip gets around my extended social circle he will indeed read this sooner rather than later.

So, dang it, now I've had to re-read all nine months of my blog and see if there is anything that could make my social circumstances uncomfortable. I only discovered one really bad thing (the Mutual Acquaintance bit), which I've since deleted. There are two or three other entries which would probably be offensive to the subjects if they read them, but then again, I don't think I said anything that I wouldn't have said, albeit more discreetly, to their faces. A balance must be struck between honesty and self-censorship.

And if I really want to vent, I always have my diary.*

*Explanatory note for youngsters: a diary is like a blog, only without the Internet. Strange, I know, but true.


Anonymous AB said...

Irritated that you hadn't been told?
I didn't tell you for a couple of reasons:
1. I wanted to see if I'd find out what you really thought about me.
2. I felt betrayed, as an individual and on behalf of our other friends. I thought - well, if you can write disparagingly about us without telling us, it's just as fair for us to read without telling you. I mean, it's not as if we're reading your private diary, you've put it in the most public place you can.

7:40 PM  

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