Writing stuff that’s going to be read by everyone from your grandmother to the kids in the youth group where you’re a leader to some guy you met once to your former boss is complicated. It really is. Not joking with you there.
Do I go with slightly funny or can I possibly launch into mocking Canadians, Mexicans, Hawaiians, the Dutch, or those from the H.C. (Huron County, where I currently live), because I know all those people groups well and I can do it? But one of them might be offended, eh! I’m thirsty (translation: it’s 2:58 pm. translation: coffee time)!
Should I stay away from mocking church and its tribal nuances, as Drew Marshall so eloquently put it, because some of my readers think church is the best thing, like, ever, hallelujah, amen?! Or will there be enough church-goers (I’m one of them, I guess I’ll admit) that can laugh at themselves to make it worth the risk?
Can I swear (because I’m okay with that every now and then, when it’s appropriate)? Or should I be concerned about what Mr. Board Member might think of me should he happen to hear about this website and come over to read this exact post? Might I get “fired” from being a youth group leader if I say “what the hell” instead of “what the heck”? Even though we all know “heck” is a substitute?
There are things I’d like to write about that I don’t want to expose while living in my hometown, where people that have known me for years (and know that I consider myself a “missionary”, which means I’m holier than everyone else, obviously) can look me in the eye and stare in shock. In that one restaurant that everyone goes to for brunch. I’d like to talk about my church, but not when I live two blocks away and my next-door and 9-door-down neighbours attend there, too. They might hear about this website, and then they’ll look at me differently, you know they will! You just can’t escape gossip in a town of 7500, although I must say it seems to be better than living in CLA-n, town of closer to 3000 with one main corner in the centre of it.
I also wonder if those people who get the being-online-24/7 thing (they’re the ones who get “24/7”, too) and know what blogs are actually want to read my stuff if it’s longer than a few lines and doesn’t include pictures? If I don’t make references to rap or raves, and if I don’t say motherf****** at least once every 30 seconds, will they understand me?
Like I said, complicated. I wish I didn’t care. I wish I could just write whatever I felt like, whenever. One of these days, I’m gonna write a tell-all book and then it will be too late for me, wherever I live, but I feel much better about that somehow. It’s as if getting published in print adds an air of legitimacy to would-be scandal, whereas publishing your own subjective words online is suspiciously subversive.
I strangely want people to know that I AM scandalously and suspiciously subversive, but I want them to figure it out without my telling them face-to-face. Because that would just be awkward. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned growing up in a small town, it’s that when things get awkward, either get drunk, or get outta there!