Naked! Naked! Naked!
David doesn't read *FootNotes* anymore.
At least, he doesn't read it as fervently as he used to, back in the old Tree House days ... before we'd seen each other naked.
(I'm not sure one thing has anything to do with the other. It probably doesn't. But I've always wanted to use the word "naked" here on the website, and today seemed like as good a time as any.)
At any rate.
For a long time -- when we were still just a couple of platonic cyber buddies, living in neighboring states, running up the long distance bills every night -- David was my most devoted fan AND my most constructive critic. He read everything I posted -- even the stoopid college journals, filled with angst and bad poetry -- with an attention to detail that was flattering. And spooky. (To this day, he can probably tell you the name of my college writing professor ... what brand of cigarettes I smoked in the Highline Community College Student Lounge ... where I hid my orange ceramic bong ... what I was wearing to The Midway Drive-In that certain night in June 1977 ... ad nauseum.)
He kept up with all the current stuff, too. As I experimented with web design and defended myself against cyber terrorists and struggled to find my Internet voice, he encouraged me to push the envelope. Even when my inner critic told me to pull back, play it safe, don't piss anybody off, don't write about anything *dangerous* ... stuff like noncustodial motherhood, my decision to quit drinking, the online affair that cost me my family, birds talking to me from the tree outside my window ... David was telling me to use the website as a forum.
"If it's important to you," he told me, "it's probably going to be interesting to your readers."
(I have since learned, of course, that this isn't strictly true. None of you have seemed overly interested in 'The Teeth Falling Out In My Hand Dream,' for instance. And my thrilling tales of potato soup and ingrown toenails have never generated much in the way of reader commentary. But a girl can hope, can't she?)
Anyway. Point is. I don't know an Internet journaller alive who wouldn't love the sort of loyalty from a reader that I received from David, during those earliest days.
Alas. Times have changed.
It was a gradual metamorphosis ... beginning right about the time my Reach Plaque Sweeper joined his Oral-B Advantage Angled in the Castle toothbrush holder. Over the past fourteen or fifteen months, it gradually began to dawn on me that he wasn't heading directly for *FootNotes* the instant he logged on every night.
All of a sudden ... I found myself having to remind him to read the website.
I'll admit that for a while I took it personally. I bitched and moaned. I pouted. I nagged. I flopped and sighed. I manipulated his guilt buttons. I left little Post-It note messages ("I miss my #1 faaaaan!"). And eventually he would knuckle under and go to the website and read whatever fabulous entry I had posted that afternoon, and if pressed I could usually squeeze a compliment or two out of him. But it wasn't as satisfying as the old days, when he was my *FootNotes* groupie and the praise came unsolicited. So eventually I stopped nagging and just resigned myself to the fact that I'd lost my #1 Fan.
To make a long story short, lately I've ... umm ... found myself not minding it quite so terribly much.
I know that if it's an important entry -- something I really want him to read -- he will, eventually. All I have to do is leave his web browser open long enough. (Or else take another Polaroid of him standing around in the kitchen, showing off his vast reserves of studliness, and announce that it will appear in "tomorrow's entry.")
The truth is that when he isn't hanging over my shoulder -- literally or figuratively -- I'm free to write about him a whole lot less self-consciously. No more of the "'Off-key?' You said I sang 'off-key'?" stuff.
And of course he would be the first to remind me that he's hardly ever online anymore, anyway. "That's because I'm spending all my time with you," he points out unnecessarily. In other words: it's pretty hard to sit at the computer reading your girlfriend's website when you are sitting in the bedroom slathering peppermint lotion onto her feet.
And he does plenty of other stuff that *redeems* him. Like staying in bed with me on a cold and rainy Saturday morning, while I'm sound asleep, just to make sure I stay "warm." Like serving me breakfast in bed, later that same morning, "because nobody's ever done that for you before." Like taking the butcher knife out of my hand last night, as I stood there bleeding all over the onion, and ordering me to go Band-Aid myself while he finished making dinner.
Like enduring award
shows/beauty pageants/Entertainment Tonight/'Who Wants To Marry a
Millionaire' with me, even though he totally doesn't *get* their
appeal. ("Seriously. Who cares if Jim
Carrey wasn't nominated for a
Like sticking with me through my most recent bout of career meltdown ... and reassuring me that regardless of my decision, job-wise, he supports me emotionally.
And like sending me a dozen red roses for Valentine's Day on Monday -- my first *real* roses, ever -- something I wanted badly and lobbied for shamelessly -- because he read about my desire for them, right here on my website.
Even if I did have to nag him to read it in the first place.
blurb #1 will go HERE:
self-important blurb #2:
yes i know ... i'm raising the saccharine levels on this website to dangerous highs again. i don't care. this is a valentine's day entry, forcryingoutloud. i'll go right back to grumpily premenstrual tomorrow.
[does this look infected
where i'll ask a *relevant* question:
profound thought of the day: