For almost eight years now, I've had a blog that I write on pretty much every day, and then after I write, I get comments. I might have been really interested in how many comments at got at first, although I don't recall being all that interested in numbers, per se. I just liked it when someone said something funny, or insightful, or whatever. I also liked it when anyone said things like "per se."
I was never that caught up in how MANY comments, is my point.
That is why it was so weird last night when I went slightly viral on Purple Clover's Facebook page and sort of lost my mind.
Okay, "viral" is a strong term.
But, as you know because I never stop plugging it, I write for this website called Purple Clover, which is aimed at women who are, you know, my age. They put out new articles every Sunday night, and it's nearly impossible to leave comments there.
However, they have a page on Facebook. I don't look at it all the time, but occasionally I'll notice they'll run a column I've written. They reran the one about candy from my childhood, and they ran the one about how I love the gay bar. The one about when poor Marvin left me at that marathon got all sorts of controversial comments. It was weird to see total strangers weigh in on Marvin, and on my mental state, and on who of us was the horrific person.
The point of all this is, last night I was looking at Facebook and I saw the article I wrote a few months back, the one about being polite. It's titled something like. "Will You Kindly Shut the Hell up?" (oh, that damn loweracase u. Dear Happy: Guess who spent last night looking at her numbers and not on her new keyboard?)
The article as it appears on Facebook has a photo and also introductory sentences, which are an excerpt from the article. They chose two lines I wrote about going to restaurants when there's a large party right next to me, and how annoying that is.
Oh my god, the Likes and comments just flew in. Some people clearly did not read the article at all, just the intro sentences, and they were all "She should just stay home. She is a horrid person!" Then other people were all, "Clearly no one ever invites you anywhere and you are bitter!"
The people who didn't actually read the article reminded me of when my cousin Katie was little and I found her "book" report on gymnastics. The book was right there, cleverly titled Gynmastics, and had a picture of a girl in a leotard doing a back bendy thing on a bar. You can tell I was way into gymnastics as a child.
The point is, Katie's book ("book") report was also there, and no one has more obviously just looked at a cover and written a report.
Gymistics is hard. (She spelled it "gymistics.") To do gymistics, you need a yellow leotard. Gymistics hurts your back.
I remember the teacher had written a note, gently inquiring if Katie had actually read the book.
That's what those commentors reminded me of.
The point is, Ned came home from work and I was on the couch with my phone, like one of those people who endlessly sits on her couch and stares into her phone. "What are you doing?"
"My article on politeness went up on Purple Clover's Facebook, and in one hour I've gotten more than 200 Likes."
You see what I mean about "viral" being a strong term? If I write something on Facebook about my dog, I can get nearly that many Likes in a hour. For some reason, I discussed this with my coworker Fleeta once, about how if you want a lot of Likes, put something up about a dog. She said with black people, it's God. Put something up about how God has done something for you, and your Likes will go through the roof.
Which reminds me of something that gets on my nerves. How come if you're trying to prove how not racist you are, you always have to use the color purple? Not like you're Celie, I mean that people always say, "I don't care what color you are: white, black, purple, you still..." People always go for purple. Okay, sometimes they also say green. How come no one ever says, "I don't care if yo're white, black, eggshell..." "White, black, maroon..."
I guess maroon is almost purple. See? It's impossible to not pick purple.
MY POINT IS, you could not drag me from that computer last night. I sat there like an idiot, while perfectly cute Ned was right there to make out with, staring and refreshing and wasting my time arguing in my head with complete strangers who don't know anything about me other than two lines on Facebook.
The internet, man. It's a weird place. Doesn't matter if you're black, white or mauve.