Guest Post: "Virtually a Nice Person" by Debbie from Suburb Sanity

My last guest blogger for my Summer Hiatus week is Debbie from Suburb Sanity. My immediate connection to Debbie is obvious – we both have twins. Of course mine are 15+ years younger than hers, but that’s all the better since it assures me that the toddler years do eventually come to a close. “Yes Virginia, there is an end to potty training.”

Of course she’d also be the first to say, “this is easy – just wait until they’re teenagers…” Thanks Debbie. You’re the best.

If you aren’t familiar with Suburb Sanity, I should mention that she is actually a mother of four, ranging in ages from 12 to 18 (the twins are 18). But she’s so much more than a mommy blogger. Sure – she’ll write about her kids sometimes, but more often than not, she chooses to write about whatever happens to be on her mind at the moment. Such as the ridiculous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue editorial and her spot on “counterpoint.” Now this is a mommy blogger I can relate to! And aspire to.

Welcome Debbie!

Virtually a Nice Person

When I received an email from Kate asking if I would be a guest blogger for her this week, I was immediately honored and thrilled.

Which, the more I thought about it, the odder it seemed.

Allow me to explain.

I have been honored by several bloggers to have been asked to guest post for them. Each and every time I have felt unworthy. I have anguished over the post. I spent much more time thinking about it and laboring over it than I ever do a post on my own blog. If the blogger is popular, I worry no one will read my post. If she is an author, I sweat bullets over my grammar and punctuation. Each time, I feel inadequate and nervous. Yet, I’m thrilled to be asked.

Is there a correlation in my real life, I wondered. No. Absolutely not.

If my phone rang and a friend, even a good friend, said, “Debbie. I need a week off. Will you come over to my house next Wednesday and do what I do all day so my family won’t notice I’m not around?”, I would laugh in her ear and hang up.

How about if someone said to me that a holiday was coming up and she wanted to have some people come over and present different ways they would decorate her house. Might I be willing to do that? Heck no. I don’t even manage to get my own house done.

Or if a friend asked me to fill in for a volunteer job she regularly did so she could go on vacation. Am I a nice enough person to do that? You know I’m not.

If someone called me and told me that a friend of hers had a husband who had been laid off. She knew I didn’t know these people but would I call and leave a message on their answering machine telling them how sorry I was to hear about their misfortune? Would I do that? No. I’d feel weird doing that to someone I didn’t know.

Yet, I spend hours popping all over the internet leaving messages for people I don’t know, thinking up new ideas for them, helping them out.

I’m fascinated by my epiphany. I’m happy to help out a blogging friend I’ve never met in real life. I agonize over whether I will do a worthy job. Will she still like me after I post? Will anyone read it?

Maybe you blogging people need to ask me to come clean your house or help raise your kids. Apparently, I’m a nice person – virtually.

15 thoughts on “Guest Post: "Virtually a Nice Person" by Debbie from Suburb Sanity

  1. Jennifer

    You are absolutely right! I think what makes it so easy to do all this things virtually is that the response isn’t instant. Face to face you get a reaction right away. Over the web, you put thought and virtual space over your response and it comes out much nicer and easier to dismiss if it’s
    negative.

    But for the moment I may be the complete opposite, simply because I’ve just moved to a new place, so to be invited into anyones home would
    be great. I could talk out loud, again, instead of silently typing away in blog land.

    Reply
  2. Jo

    What an interesting idea to contemplate. I think for me it would be the lack of constant responsiblity in virtual helping as opposed to real life helping. That’s why I hate joining organizations. You have to do thing that don’t interest you and you’re not good at:
    Preside over a meeting according to
    Robert’s Rules!?! What! Be in charge of raffle ticket sales for the benefit!?! No way! You just end up feeling inadequate and guilty all the time. At least in virtual helping, you jump in where you know what you’re talking about and provide a valuable service.
    That’s the take from someone whose entire web experience is reading her daughter’s blog and ordering Netflix! so it may not be relevant at all.

    Reply
  3. Christy

    Kate I had never heard of suburban sanity before – I just read both of those swimsuit posts and loved them – hysterical! There were already so many comments on them that I thought I’d comment here to tell Debbie how much I enjoyed reading them!

    And I understand about sweating bullets over my guest posts more than my own – even though I’ve only done it twice, I easily spent way more time on them than I do on my own blog!

    Reply
  4. Jo

    Debbie,
    I just checked out your SI Bikini cover post highlighted on Kate’s intro.
    Soooooo funny. I can’t stop laughing. I have a bad cold and it hurts to laugh but I can’t stop. I particularly love the fact that there’s no mooning action at Mensa meetings! You are one funny lady.

    Reply
  5. Kate Coveny Hood

    First of all – in case you didn’t catch it, Jo is my mom!

    Second – It always amazes me how much time we make for our virtual friends:

    “Oh my god – the baby is taking his first steps!”

    “Tell heim to wait! I’m commenting on Mommyblogger’s last post! She’s going through a really hard time – she’s not sure why she’s blogging anymore and may just quit! I really have to support her right now!”

    “Yeah – he’s not really paying attention…he REALLY wants to take a step!”

    “Just knock him down a few times! I’ll be there in five minutes!”

    Really makes you wonder…

    Reply
  6. robin

    This is such a great guest post. So true! I spend waaaay too much time in the bloggy world. Sigh.
    And I love Debbie too… I totally dig her hilarious stories. What a fantastic blogger.
    Looking forward to your return, Kate! Hope it’s been a good week off.

    Reply
  7. ladyfi

    LOL! You are so right! Amazing what we will do for strangers in the virtual world! Still – good to be nice sometimes without having to be so in real life.. or.. now, what do I mean?

    Reply
  8. naperville mom

    That IS funny:) The whole issue of reality is so confusing…yes, the virtual reality might turn out to be a tad different from real reality:) We’re a better person while doing something we love, aren’t we?:)

    Reply
  9. Chris

    Lots to think about with this post. I think the virtual world takes quite a bit of emotional and intellectual energy, but the real world adds the layer of physical energy.

    Kate – I didnt’ know Jo was your mom!

    Jo – You should blog! I’ve been trying to get my mother to blog for the past year – she’s a sharp, witty writer like you.

    Reply
  10. Debbie

    I never comment on my own posts (just a teeny pet peeve of mine) but I didn’t know Jo was your mom. I was trying to find her blog to go meet her!

    Reply
  11. Jo

    Debbie and Chris,
    Thanks for your kind words. I think I’ll leave the blogging to Kate, who is the real talent. I’ll be checking out your blogs, though.
    Jo

    Reply
  12. Kathryn Magendie

    Well Dang, Debbie – we wouldn’t ask you if we didn’t think you were “worthy” !! heck, we are honored to have you…your wit/sense of humor, your quirky outlook on life — and, your hillbilly relatives who prolly know or slept with some of my hillbilly relatives (HAW!)

    Reply

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