In The Meantime I Can Practice My Piano---Rethought---And Rethought Again

Yesterday Lucy and I were downtown eating a baked potato.

We had decided to visit the fair early before it was too hot and filled with too many bodies. We pushed our strollers around until we became distracted by the stuffed potatoes we saw others eating. So we bought two ourselves, with water and a cola and found a nice bench to sit, eat and watch people stroll around.

There was a couple--a young couple--who walked past us and stopped. Lucy, who has uncanny observation skills, noticed that they were conspicuously talking and looking at us. At this point in our lives, we sorta get that a lot. People stare or whisper and we awkwardly pretend not to notice. This time it was amusing because we could tell that the male in the relationship had no idea who we were, and the female was trying to refresh his memory.

"Remember? I told you about them? They have a blog. And write stuff about stuff?"

Just as we were watching this funny exchange, a couple--an older couple--approached us.

"Oh now, you girls are cute." said the woman dressed to the nines in red, white and (what is that other color?) "Could I give you a catalog?" she asked while handing us each a thick Avon magazine.

"Thanks." Lucy and I said in unison, our tone perhaps showing off our hesitation.

"We'd just love it if two cute moms like yourselves would like to come work with us!" said the husband, heroically taking advantage of an opportunity.

"Have you ever thought about working from home?" asked she.

"Actually, " I started, hoping to end the conversation quickly. "I work from home and it keeps me really busy." So busy that I would never have time to push Avon. Now that is for sure.

"What do you do?" asked he.

"I am a writer." I responded, confidently for my sake.

I glanced over at the couple who had found seats across from us on the grass. Still watching us and quietly talking.

"We have a client who has a blog! Do you have a blog?" the man continued, desperate to make a connection.

"I do have a blog. Some blogs are family keepsakes with photos, mine is a literary blog. It is where I do most of my writing." Admittedly there was frustration in my response. I am a career blogger at this point, it is my work-from-home profession and it is more than a hobby. Different from a digital scrapbook of memories, here is where I focus on improving my thinking and writing skills. I have a private blog where I keep cute pictures of The Chief eating cake and petting cats, but my official blog is less mommy more me.

"What do you write about?" he was serious.

"I am a personal essayist." I said blinking.

"What does that mean?" he blinked back.

"I am a professional narcissist." I replied, looking back to the couple watching our exchange.

They were gone.

"Well," said the woman, jumpy and ready to please. Her voice raised two octaves as she said, "How about two free samples of . . . AVON HAND LOTION!"

"Thanks." Lucy and I simultaneous said again. Same hesitant tone.

When they left I looked at Lucy and we agreed it was time to leave.

Before we could exit, we were stopped again by another sweet reader. Everyone always wants to know how Stephanie is doing, the real name of The Chief, how is Lucy enjoying motherhood. People are so good to us. So, so good.

Which makes me think I need to be good back. And lately, I don't know if I've been my best blogger. And I want to be my best. If you are going to click on my blog, I am want to make it worth your time. Because if I make it worth your time, then I am making it worth my own.

I take this professional narcissism seriously. You see.

So I've decided to take a break for a couple weeks. To see if I still have the wits to be witty. To catch the cleverness that seems to have escaped. To meditate, mull and muse.

If you don't hear back from me, just know I've decided to sell Avon.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

I will continue my other two blogs so please, please keep visiting me here and here:

See you again here on c jane enjoy AUGUST 3rd!

And really,

thanks for being so good.

At the risk of sounding like I am putting down polka-dotted blogs (which I don't mean to, because who could love polka-dot more than me?) I have edited to clarify that I am not a hobbiest blogger, I am a professional blogger. Which is what I originally meant to say, but it came out wrong.

Now you see why I need a little break.

Post Post-Edit:
Chup and I were just having a very frank discussion about this post. I can't leave it up on top of my main blog for a whole month when it continues to cause me anxiety. I can't have eye twitches while I am supposed to be seeking blogging enlightenment. I can't. I can't.

And here is what I am learning. Posts are like boyfriends to me. When I am writing one, I am serious, loyal and dedicated, but as soon as the next boyfriend/post comes along, the previous post simmers in my pool of past relationships.

But here I am about to court this last post for a month. I want to get it right. I need to get it right. My blogging break depends on it.

Something isn't right about this post, it is my tone.

Chup was painfully explaining to me that I didn't go far enough in letting my audience know that this post was about self-deprecation. How I hadn't explained that in a moment of pride, I told the Avon representatives that I was a professional narcissist. How at that exact moment, the young couple looking at us had moved on to better things. How I confess that I can do better as a writer, and be a better example of my family and religion.

If you didn't read it that way, I am sorry. I am. Otherwise it sounds like I was just taking an opportunity to tell you what a celebrity blogger I am (that is a link to a snarky post by Azucar who has no problem with outing herself as a celebrity blogger, should we all be so confident).

On my forum discussing this post, a reader says she is leaving me because I've been full of myself lately and this is the post was the last straw. I wrote this essay with the same thought. I meant to illustrate her exact point, and end with my pledge to do better. We are holding the same last straw, me and her, only I hope that in a month from now I will be using it to drink Humility Lemonade.

That is, if I can get past this post first.

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