When I was a mere dot and home from the School for hols, Nanny used to try and force me to eat rice pudding. Now there are not many things I will not eat. I am a gastronaut of the highest order – William Buckland can’t hold a candle to me (although I will own to never having nibbled the mummified heart of a king, I have eaten a kebab in Cleckheaton). However, I know what I like and I simply cannot bear rice pudding. It’s something to do with the skin. Nanny would cajole and threaten and great Scenes would be caused, but as soon as I saw rice pudding at the table I would clap shut my mouth and fold my arms and that, much to Nanny’s disgust, was that.
When I saw that I had to review a blog entitled ‘Single Mom Says’, written by the fragrant Mindy, my first though was rice pudding. My second thought was ‘Good lord, I had no idea that there were actually real people called Mindy’. My heart sank further when I read her header. It reads ‘A single mom’s thoughts and observations on life as a single parent, dating, relationships, kids & women’s issues’. I can tell you know, Mindy, that they way you mean the term ‘women’s issues’ in no way reflects the lives of any of the women I have ever known. My Fanny’s issues revolve largely around the unclogging of the traps and Mother, when I saw her, was preoccupied with the bejewelling of her vast cast of land crabs.
None of this endeared me to Mindy, and to top it all off, her ridiculous stalker widget thinks I come from Derby! Derby! I haven’t been back to that godforsaken place since the Unpleasantness and do not intend to do so ever again. However, now I am an old clown I must be brave and eat up my rice pudding. As Nanny used to say, if you just try it, you might like it. Poor Nanny. She had to leave us in the end, when all my teeth came in. Anyway, I held my nose and opened my mouth and dug in to our Mindy’s ‘about’ bit, thinking it best to get the skin off first. In this section Mindy provides us with a helpful list of dramatis personae and links to what she considers the pertinent posts. They make for grim reading, my tiny friends. Mindy has fair been through t’mill, as they say around here. Her best friend stole her husband and they are stirring up all kinds of trouble. She is raising four daughters on her own. Neither of the fathers sounds like much cop. She is desperate to find a good man but internet dating is proving unsatisfactory. All in all, poor Mindy has been having a miserable time of it.
I do hate it when reviewees have Sad Stories. It makes me feel as though I should make allowances and then I have to do all kinds of wrestling with myself and I get all flustered and Fanny has to mop up and then she sulks. Besides, sad stories are fun to read for a while, but then the schadenfreude wears thin and it’s just depressing. The problem I have with personal blogs is that they are often far too personal, just a relentless grind of self-obsession. But we must look beyond all this, though, to the real proof of the pudding, the writing. I suppose.
When Mindy started her blog, she wrote long, self-help style essays. They were breezy, relatively well put together pieces that have that ‘Sassy Mom’ tone we have encountered in so many other pink-hued places. Very chummy and reassuring and most helpful, I would imagine, to similar women in similar situations, although they are a touch shiny-eyed, as though she is just enthusiastically regurgitating the last book she read. It’s very much not for me (it’s those around me who need help, not I) but I can see that it has some merits, despite the crashing generalisations and the sneaking suggestion that all men will inevitably turn out to be massive cunts.
However, the recent posts suggest - and I hope this is true – that our Minds has found something better to do than blogging, because they are scanty at best. At times she resorts to the unspeakable crime of just listing things she did, like a child’s back-to-school essay. I did this and then I did this and then and then and then. Look at this, for example;
My weekend was a busy one, marked with a few highs and a few lows. Here’s a peek at some of what’s been going on lately:
I caught a cold. Maybe strep throat. Ow. Throat pain SUCKS.
Got in a minor car accident. No one was hurt but can’t say the same for the cars. Or my insurance premium.
Came to the conclusion that Karma is a slow-ass bitch. Or she’s drinking on the job. Whatever the case, she is obviously VERY confused.
Had date #2 with the single dad from the bowling alley. He needs a name for the blog because he may be mentioned here again. (and it can’t be Bowling Alley Dude or Dad because that would be BAD).
What, pray, is the point of this tripe? Sweet Felicity Kendal, why did you bother? It’s all very well and good if you just want to give your chums a quick update on what you’re up to, but when you submit to this site, you must know we are going to want something more. Your stories aren’t stories, they are merely hints. I know you can do it, you just need to be more consistent in the quality of your output. You could make lovely little pieces out of your dating adventures with a few judicious descriptions, a bit more dialogue and some actual effort, but you seem to have stopped bothering and if you can’t be bothered, Mindy, neither can I.
So, having gagged my way through as much rice pudding as I can handle, all I can say is that I hope Mindy manages to find a way to live, and thereby write, outside her problems. I hope she finds a man (although she would be wise to remember that Buttons is often a better bet than Prince Charming). I also hope that she finds her missing knickers, although I do wonder about the coincidental nature of her fancy frillies going missing just before her daughter goes out to celebrate her sixteenth birthday with her boyfriend. And I hope that she either gives up blogging or decides to do it properly.
Mindy, you get a Meh.