My fingers are itching to write a post about a recent encounter of mine. Chalk it up to my monastic existence, but the encounteree is the most socially inept person I've met in a good twenty years. So much so that my long-dormant hackles rose up in arms, and I stifled a dozen witty ripostes which I am dying to share with you.
This post that I am preventing myself from writing would have you in stitches. I would begin by setting the scene—and it was a lively and picturesque scene. Next I would (as charitably as possible) sketch the participants. There would be lots of dialogue. The tension would build from the initial pleasantries to faint rumblings to the inevitable climax.
Then, diminuendo, would come my ironic musings on the vanity of the issue at hand, the folly of people who obsess about their___ , and some rueful reflections on my own inability to remain aloof when certain buttons are pushed.
It would not be a mean post, but it would be funny, and it would make me feel great to write it. But I'm not going to.
Why not? After all, this is just a blog, and that means a certain freedom, no? Needless to say, I would not use names, and I feel pretty certain that the encounteree does not read my posts. Still, the “six degrees of separation” theory guarantees that one of you would recognize the encounteree. So in the interests of harmony and good will, I will not write the post I'm dying to write.
You know what Tolstoy said about all happy families being alike, but each unhappy family being unhappy in its own way (and therefore way more fun to write about). As a writer of personal stories, I find it more interesting to write (and I suspect readers would rather read) about my foibles, misadventures and befuddlements than about the rosier aspects of my existence—how much I love my husband, say, or how adorable my grandchildren are.
But sometimes, the accounts of my misadventures touch people I care about, and I have been surprised by their vulnerability to what I intended as the gentlest irony. So I'm trying to be caring here, and careful.
Many of you have a far longer history of blogging than I do. I'm sure you've dealt with this issue before, and I'd like to hear about it.