14 February 2011

5 reflections

there is no more awkward part of a query letter than the paragraph where you must talk about why you are qualified to write what you write. never mind that you've studied and written and whipped yourself into near "expert" shape.

nothing makes me feel less qualified than writing about why i am qualified. because there is always a sneaking suspicion that i am maybe not.

i've been wrestling with this lately. from the incredibly superficial angle of how one should present one's self.

in lieu of doing any actual biographical writing, i've been trying to pin down what my biographical persona should be. the identity confusion that has arisen from this is probably best illustrated by my inability to pin down a pen name and the subsequent submission of papers and essays under no less than five variants. so that when kbg went looking for "the sexy dance," she had to ask her husband for help in figuring out who was me.

i am being ridiculous. i know that.

but there is room for loads of awkwardness here.

the awkwardness of being associated with a particular public figure and being at pains to be unlike her. hence, the need for high, high heels and uncomfortably tight skirts and, possibly, red hair.

and the sudden dawning of the notion that privacy is kind of an important thing and that OitC is kind of a precious place. that seems an incredibly awkward thing to discover this deep in.

everything i have ever written here has, essentially, been written for an audience of two particular friends. hence the obscurity of the references, the frivolity of the content and the cockiness of the tone. this is the voice i use when making sport of myself to them, to those two people. that voice edited to a tortured degree, yes, but that voice all the same.

i've never thought about that before. having written it just now, i see what a scary thing i've done. i- a monumental compartmentalizer of relationships- have taken as my public voice the tone i use with two of the people who know me best. had i ever given it any thought before, this is probably not the voice i would have chosen to put before all the world.

we are not always who we appear to be. when i met birnsy in real life, her first words were, i thought you would be taller.

though i adhere to a pretty high degree of truthiness here, i'm not sure how truthy the overall impression is. if you read everything i've ever written, if you really mine the archives, you could either think i'm a nonfiction fanatic with the occasional worthwhile deep thought or a cake-obsessed wackadoodle.

i wonder which wins out.

i wonder which i want to win out.

i started keeping a blog five years ago today. i started keeping a blog because i was moving to the city and, ostensibly, my big city life would be filled with such a multitude of exotic goings-on that i would need to chronicle all i was doing so my droves of admirers could keep up.

that's what i was doing then.

i do not know what i am doing now. and there's an odd comfort in that.


Linda said...

whatever you decide, I'm in.

but please, please don't stop putting up pictures of cupcakes.

oline said...

oh honey, you need never worry about that.

Acer Negundo said...

You deceived me and I've never forgiven you for making me think you were a least 3 inches taller. If you want to continue with this public blog, I would encourage you to pose next to fire hyrants and telephone booths for scale. What does standing by the big silver bean tell a person??! If one does not know how big the bean is to begin with, we can only conclude that you are smaller than a silver shiny bean in downtown Chicago.

You gotta be REAL, Caroline.

All kidding aside, you turned out to be exactly as I had imagined. Kind. Wise beyond your years. Fashionable. Hyper-intelligent. Witty. Generous. Open-minded. Caring. Loyal. AWESOME.

Go with the flow. We'll keep readin'.

oline said...

i firmly believe i'm meant to be 3 inches taller. it's the great tragedy of my life that i'm not.

oline said...

(and thank you. forgive me- i still cannot accept compliments "grasiously.")