You Are Not A Stalker

Writing a blog is a funny thing. I use it as a journal for my thoughts, a record of what happens in my life (because Lord knows I am NOT a scrapbooker), and a forum for important decisions like how to get rid of my pirate hair.

Half the time, I forget that anybody but me reads my blog.

The truth is that a lot of people read it. And that is AMAZING. I love that people are interested in blog posts about dudes watching Twilight and werewolf toddlers. It’s awesome. It makes me feel like people appreciate the dusty contents of the back of my mind, where all the crazy lurks.

Something has started happening, though, and it makes me a bit uneasy. Anytime I’m at a social gathering–church, a party, my ten year high school reunion back in October, plus many others–someone inevitably sidles up to me and says, “I promise I’m not a stalker, but I just love reading your blog. That was pretty funny, um, about the…backsplash…”

And then they get all sheepish, like they’ve done something wrong. Like I’m going to say “NO! AWAY FROM ME, SPAWN OF SATAN! HOW DARE YOU READ MY PRIVATE THOUGHTS THAT I POST ON THE INTERNET!”

Now, I do get why they feel weird, especially if it’s someone I don’t usually spend time with. The blog gives them a window into my world, and they feel like they know me.

They know my husband’s name and what he looks like. They have a pretty good idea of what Baby Girl looks like. They know how I think, what I did last weekend, and what I struggle with.

So they come up to me because they feel like we’re really good friends, and then halfway through telling me about how they read my blog, they realize the friendship is one-sided. I don’t know much, if anything, about them. And that lopsidedness makes them feel like a peeping Tom.

I get it.

But. BUT BUT BUT. Here’s the thing, Grasshoppers. If no one reads this blog, then there is no point in me blogging.

And also, if you enjoy my blog, then you and I probably have something in common (love for crazy nail polish? an irrational fear of clowns?). And if we have something in common, then we would probably be friends in real life.

Maybe we were friends once, but time and space have prevented us from keeping up. Maybe we went to high school together but ran in different circles and never spoke. Maybe you’re friends with my mom or my dad or my sister, but you’ve never met me in person.

It doesn’t matter. You are awesome. You are NOT a stalker simply because you read my blog. You are a blog reader. That’s it. And it shouldn’t be embarrassing.

If you see me out somewhere, by all means, say hello and tell me you read my blog. I’ll totally fist-bump you, and it will be awesome.

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16 thoughts on “You Are Not A Stalker

  1. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    Well said, Anne. I’ve encountered this a LOT through online dating the past few years. I have my blog on my online dating profile, so I still find it a little odd when a woman contacts me and says, “I’m not a stalker, but I’ve read a few of your blog entries.” I assure them that they’re not a stalker–after all, I’m the one who put the link on my profile. Plus, it’s flattering that they took the time to not only check out my profile, but click through to my blog as well.

    In addition to the message you conveyed above, I tell the woman that the downside of the blog is that it creates an imbalance in information between the two of us, so I’d like to bridge that gap by using the blog as a launchpad for conversation. I don’t want her to simply read the whole blog and feel like she knows me–I’d much rather she read a few entries and let me know her views on the various topics that I bring up. My blog is the catalyst for discussion. I also usually inquire about whether they have a specific category that they enjoy in particular or if they read any other blogs. That generally helps deflect any embarrassment they’re feeling.

    1. Ansley says:

      I love that you are all talking about your online dating profile in Anne’s blog comment. Classic. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m headed to stalk YOUR blog now. I promise not to apologize later!

  2. Jen Stayrook says:

    I’m stalking you, Anne. And it’s not in that “cute girl at church” kind of way. That’s me in the Krazy Korner. And our relationship is DEFINITELY not one-sided.

    I win.

    I haven’t been drinking. Scout’s honor.

    In my mind, this comment was funnier than I think it came out. I DON’T CARE.

    Stop judging me.

  3. Connie Keller says:

    It’s kind of freaky to me when someone who reads my blog (but I don’t know they read my blog) makes a reference to it in conversation. But freaky in a good way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Jessica says:

    Good points all. I definitely feel like a stalker about other people’s blogs but not yours. We seem to be on the same brain level most days. ANYWAY, I guess my point is that I shouldn’t feel like a stalker on any blogs.

    I see that you’re reading LOLA! I hope you’re enjoying it! Stephanie and her writing are both so adorable that I want to bottle her up and keep her stashed away for sad days. She’s all about bringing the happy. (This might make me a stalker actually.)

    1. Anne Riley says:

      LOLA IS AMAZEBALLS. Stephanie Perkins: also amazeballs. Can’t wait for her third book to come out!

  5. Jessica Love says:

    I love it when I meet people who read my blog. A girl came up to me in the bathroom at the John Green signing to say hi to me and it was the best thing ever…not weird at all.

    If I didn’t want people reading I would just leave it on my computer.

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