I am guilty of locational friendships. For the sake of my job I was once stuck in a bleak, sheep and wheat ridden town in the middle of Bumfuck Nowhere. I made friends with people I wouldn’t normally and we all played happy. I even fell into the trap of thinking I wasn’t someone else’s zip-code comrade, which was a karmic kick in the crotch when I returned to the big smoke.
Please don’t misinterpret my intentions. I love making friends. I am a big galumphing puppy dog in that way, minus the leg-humping. Friends that are relegated to the locational, well, they don’t start out that way – I always dearly hope there will be something real there for us. So when I meet a new blog or person, I want to like them, relate with them, laugh with them, and if the hero worship is high, be best buddies them.
Reviewing the blogs of others, I am forced into a locational friendship of sorts. I don’t necessarily want to be there but for all intents and purposes I must. I am a beggar but dammit if I am going to give up being choosy. Sure, a lot of the women in this part of BF Nowhere have breasts that are well acquainted with their navels and the men haven’t seen a brush of the tooth or hair variety in years but I must persist. I have to have someone to drink with.
Weary blogger, I ask you this: When a stranger happens upon your blog, do they want to make friends with you or do they cross to the other side of the street muttering ‘don’t make eye contact, don’t make eye contact - I will drink and die alone before I hang out with you’ ?
When I first met Wildhare, I was harangued with this. Here lies an aura of crazy cat lady at the bus stop who practically sits on your knee, offers you a fluff covered butterscotch sweet and proceeds to tell you about the skin tag she has that bears a resemblance to the Virgin Mary. Like the old lady at the bus stop, Wildhare seems to ignore that the person whose lap she has clambered upon has no vested in her life or her history. She may believe that her readers are mostly beleaguered family and friends but I am here to tell her that regardless, she must tell her stories like the person reading them is a stranger.
Peeking into the archives with pinkie finger delicately raised and nosed wrinkled, I saw that Wildhare is only partially a crazy cat lady; she genuinely seems to be a lovely person who keeps some good company. Her posts consist of random lectures, photos of family, outings, trips, garden projects, crafts, recipes, song lyrics and poems. I don’t get why she includes poems and lyrics, finding it redundant and vaguely insulting.
Just in case you were wondering, this mutual circle jerk and part-time review site is called ‘I Will Fucking Tear You Apart’. This is not scrap-booker hipster code for ‘Here is a lovely pattern for you to tear out and keep – enjoy!’ Some of Wildhare’s stuff is cute and all, but it is for a specific audience and I am at a loss to why she asked for a review from here. Even so, I was impressed with her wares and skills. (And fuck it if I don’t want one of these bunnies now).
Wildhare isn’t just about the crafty stuff. In her ‘about me’ she writes: I am a wife, a daughter, a mother, a grandmother, a pet owner, a nature lover. I enjoy reading and writing, working with my hands, crafting, creating, holding fine papers and marking them with fine inks. I am enamored with science, physics, facts. I love the complex, the mysterious, the simple, and the sublime. I am a reader of hard science fiction, an admirer of chaos theory, a lover of mathematics and art.... and so on.
This all may well be true, however in my thorough archive dive I didn’t see sufficient evidence of this interesting person; it hasn’t translated to her writing. She loves the complex, simple, sublime - to be fair that doesn’t mean she has to BE those things. But happy snaps and birthday wishes to family members does not an appealing blog make. This meme shows us a bit more about her. I want to hear these stories in detail, with nary a dot point to be seen.
Wildhare mentions she is gearing up for her second NaNoWriMo. Why in the name of Charles Dickens does she not use her blog to hone her writing skills? Are they a finite resource to be saved for these future novels rather than her loyal blog readers? Why write about thievery in numerical dot points? Does she lack the writerly wherewithal to meld all of these into a story that has her reader boo-hooing into their banana bread, instead of a staccato, seemingly contradictory lecture? The story about her brother’s death is rife with an undercurrent of disharmony; what is she not telling us? That is what us nosey bastards want to know. And why the ‘egad’? I have respect and sadness for her loss but why not chuck in a ‘gadzooks’ while she’s at it?
I am as full of ego as the next person. I have been guilty of bloggy locational friendships, adding blogs to my roll just because a blogger had paid me a bit of attention. Starved for companionship I clung to the crumbs handed out by the bedraggled and droopy-boobed. I was soon cured of that fool-hardy venture when I realised that I would be judged on the company I keep. (It is okay, I am at peace with my shallow nature.)
When it comes down to it, I was happy to keep the company of Wildhare for the duration of this review. She has a gift for craft, a nice life, a loving, talented family and I am genuinely happy for her. But this, my dear, is where the friendship ends.
A meh because, well, meh.