If you’re going to hate someone (because “dislike” is too politically correct) it’s only fair to make sure they know exactly why you hate them. People of WordPress – consider this a fair warning. You messed up my vacation. Also, this post took a lot longer to write than I expected.
Every summer for the past 74 years I’ve been fortunate enough to spend at least one glorious week in “the happiest place on earth,” Walt Disney World, Florida. The Magic Kingdom in all its childish wonders, the international and technological nerdiliciousness of EPCOT, the movie-going magic of Hollywood Studios, and the primal spirit of the Animal Kingdom – and you WP people shot it to hell. Should “hell” be capitalized? Nevermind.
This year was different in two ways. First, I did not bring my laptop, as in previous years. Second, I actually had people with whom to keep in touch. People like you. Yeah, you. And you. Well, not so much him, but let’s not tell him just yet. And her? Damn yeah, her too. Did you see that one picture of her when – Oh, the laptop, right. I didn’t bring it because the plan was to really spend all possible time doing what the kids wanted, and my sister and her family too. We were all there together for a week. It was supposed to be swimming until midnight or Space Mountain at 2am, whatever they wanted, and that’s pretty much what we did. Problem is, they all sleep late, and I don’t. There I was, wide awake at 7am, others snoozing, and me without a laptop. Speaking of Space Mountain, on one of the first drops, my cell phone flew out of my shirt pocket. Next day I went to lost and found, and they had it, and it still worked. It’s severely bashed, the media chip doesn’t work, nor does the camera, but the rest of it works just fine.
I’m sorry, what? What’s the big deal? Let’s start with the fact that I missed not one but two Friday Fictioneers. Writing those assignments is a great challenge, but the feedback alone is like heroin, and although I had withdrawals, it’s not all about me. I have a lot of fun reading the work of others and trying to give the most genuine and helpful comments possible. Yes, I really am that full of myself that I think I can give others advice on what they wrote, how they wrote it, and how they can re-write it even better. Add to that a recent blog post from someone whose name I won’t mention. I commented on an essay she had written. It was a topic that I completely disagreed with, but I did so politely, and she replied with this:
I thought you will never post a comment on my blog,I was looking forward to reading one to know your opinion but you left none till today,I’m really happy you did that. that shows my thoughts are not that boring and provoked your thoughts.
I was truly blown away. I could not have imagined that someone would care one bit about me or care one bit that I might have something to say about her blog. And it’s because of those kinds of thoughts that make me think I really need to catch up with reading your blog posts. I recall about a month ago when I had been away from my computer for almost a week, then I commented on someone’s post, and they replied with something like, “Hey, where have you been?” Again, I was confused. Do others really notice when I’m commenting or reading? Then I realized what I had been doing rather regularly since about January.
My daily routine, when not on a ruined vacation, includes about three hours reading the posts of those I follow, and that’s about 380 or so people. I don’t just scroll through the list and click “like” for everyone. Well, yeah, for some people, if I have nothing helpful to offer, but I adore moments when I really have something to contribute to what someone else has written. And I also adore moments when I get to read some really great work by others. It might be the hilarious rants by Heather (who keeps changing her theme) Classy, and Gillian (who seems to have disappeared) or the deeply introspective poetry (that I’m usually not smart enough to understand) of Dean, Alicia, and Mari. I’m enjoying the observational humor and more of Becca. Could be the pot pourri of humor, trivia, and politics (which is often trivial too) from Frank. Sometimes it’s moments when I need, er, some, uh, “alone time” thanks to Snarky and Dating Bitch or this guy’s well-chosen photography. I’m not even sure hot to describe what Marian writes without hurting myself. More artistic photography comes from Ela. Or maybe the flag-waving rabble-rousing of the hillbilly or the social observations of a hippy. I can’t find more “good feeling” than you’ll find at Arabian Roses and Soma. I might need to catch up on movies with Andy. Often, it’s writing advice from Adam, Fresh Ink, or Red Pen. In case you haven’t noticed, Roxie is bringing you publishing opportunities and more. Few people are as passionate about life as Renee and Bill. The unconventional wit – of which I’m greatly jealous – of the White Trash Gourmet. Still other times, I just need to escape, and that’s where Heidi comes in with her modern/gothic tales. Or, I might need to either learn from a professional journalist like Broadside, or maybe I need to slow down, get in touch with my humble side, and read the world as observed by Shimonz.
It’s impossible to include everyone, but it’s also impossible to get back what one missed – and I missed a LOT of posting over the past week and a half.
Regardless of whether I was reading what you wrote or vice versa, I did not like being away. My time with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and the rest was a little less enjoyable because I truly felt disconnected from important people with important (usually) things to say. Although the words weren’t flowing in, I did manage to keep some going out by drafting about five posts, saving them, and then activating them about one each day through my Smartphone. The problem with that, however, is it’s not easy to read and comment through the phone. It’s annoying to type in my name, e-mail, and URL each time I’m asked. It’s a great drain on both my patience and my battery, which was greatly needed to keep track of the kids and my sister’s family as we chased each other around the Disney parks, secured dinner and other reservations, and even joined some leisure and athletic activities. It’s also a great way to find out which rides have longer wait times. Disney had a mobile app that keeps you in touch with everything in the parks.
My main point here is that, as you probably/hopefully know, writing goes both ways. I can’t expect you to read and comment on my posts if I’m not doing the same for you. That’s how I got such a pile of followers – and those I follow – in the first place.