After much poking and prodding and a wee bit of encouragement from my husband and all the internet people, I have begun writing a book for grown-ups and have finished a book for children. I don't know that either will ever be available in a book store near you, but I can always dream about it.
Writing is a strange thing, and it's made even odder by blogging. Here's the thing... when I write, people listen. It may only be a small handful of folks who regularly click over to see what I'm thinking about today, but even that is weird.
I'm a stay at home mom, which in the real world translates to "invisible." I don't try to kid myself about my lowly social status, I'm quite honest with myself about it. It took years of dinner parties and social gatherings of one kind or another for the truth of my place to truly sink in.
In our society, it is a profession which defines a person. Often the first question people ask is "What do you do?" (The sarcastic part of me longs to answer "About what?") I know that the questioner is trying to figure me out with this sure-fire look into my life. Am I a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor? Am I somebody worth taking the time and effort of getting to know? Or am I someone unsavory to be avoided like the guy who kills puppies at the pound? (I'm sure he's a nice guy, but who wants that job?)
Of course, I am none of these things. I get no paycheck, have no boss, don't even have a place to go on weekdays. I used to smile hopefully and chirp back, "I'm a mom!", now I know better. Stay at home moms are invisible to working type people. Their eyes glaze over and a veil of boredom covers their gaze, or they get a slightly panicked look as they try to find the nearest exit. I am the one person with whom they have nothing in common. My being well read, well educated, and fun to talk to means absolutely nothing, because I may be fun to talk to, but what on earth would we talk about?
I think the horror story would be that all I know is diapers, spit up and babies. In reality, I studied political science, follow the news like a pro, and am a voracious reader. It doesn't matter. I'm a mom. I'm dull. Can we move on?
I had become accustomed to my invisibility. Then I started to blog. I wrote things down just for the mental exercise of it, and you stopped by to read it. I get emails and comments from people I've never met about how I've touched them, and the wallflower in me blushes with pleasure at being seen.
Then last week I took the "author" label for a spin. I was introduced to someone I've actually met three times before, but he never remembers me. "What do you do?" he asked. "I write." I told him. What followed was twenty minutes of the most interesting discussion I've had in years. He asked how it was that we'd never met before and I just smiled.
As strange as invisibility is, this is even stranger. The author has a lofty position in our society. He/She is viewed as somehow intellectually superior to the average person. With one word I went from the lowest social strata to the highest. I went from not worth noticing to fascinating. I may not say it every time, but it sure was fun to be momentarily important. So thank you internet people, without your interest I'd still be just a mom in Oklahoma. The best thing about you is you like me that way, you saw me even when I was invisible. Thank you.