It shouldn’t be a surprise that this blog is all about me: my life, my opinions, my interests, my lists! I hope I have enough of a voice and a presence that readers can figure out what I think on any given issue. If clues are required, I have an About page! I think I have a consistent point of view in most areas: professional, political, social, religious, personal and so on.
Can you guess (or remember) my thoughts on the following?
- Do I aspire to be vegan?
- What status symbols do I own and/or show off?
- Am I a church goer?
- Would I have voted for the UK to leave or remain in the EU – if I were eligible to vote?
- I use “they” as a singular personal pronoun. True or False?
If I learn that most of my readers can’t answer these questions, I will need to write much, much more about myself!
The way I see it, people start blogs mainly to share their expertise with others, to keep a record of their lives and share it with others, and to be part of an online community of like-minded thinkers. Once upon a time, blogs were created to make money, but I expect that’s history!
I have chosen to almost never address my audience as “you.” Whenever I use that word, I feel I am directing someone or making assumptions, whether it’s “You might think” or “First you do this and then you do that.” So I just say what I think or what I might do and the rest is up to the reader. I can see how this seems self-centred because I am constantly talking about me, me, me! But I am not telling you, you, you what to do because I have no particular expertise!
I suppose there is something deeply self-confident (arrogant?) about writing a blog because I am imagining I have readers, which seems to be the case 🙂 and that I will get a response, which I truly appreciate. If that weren’t working for me, I’d probably still be writing a private journal as I did when I was a teenager. I prefer being in this community instead!
So thank you everybody for still being here (especially after my 3-week blogging break this month) and I hope I will get some constructive feedback if I come across as totally full of myself 🙂
I faithfully read your blog, and I can’t answer those questions! I see that more as a failure on my part though versus yours, that perhaps I’m not reading as carefully as I should. But there’s lots of other things I do remember about you and what you’ve written, so maybe we’re all selective and choose to remember certain things? I also dislike addressing my readers as “you,” except in what I hope is a very obvious second person plural sense.
My own blogging is more of a journal. Apparently others find it interesting, but I have to admit I write more for myself, to keep track of my life and what swirls around me. I’ve never cared about advertising, or readership numbers, or numbers of comments, although I admit I enjoy getting them, and interacting with my readers. I’ve actually had the privilege of meeting a few readers over the years, and all have been wonderful, with some becoming very good friends!
I wouldn’t have guessed you wrote your blog for yourself because it is very engaging for us!
I would guess that you aspire to be a vegan. I know you love clothes, so I’m picking that as your status symbol. I have no idea if you’re a church-goer or not- neither one would surprise me, since I have no pre-conceived ideas of what church-goers are like.
I am confused about the Brexit issue, and would love to learn more.
Of course you use “they” as a singular.
Hi Paul, I am impressed that you don’t have preconceived notions of church goers. I don’t think many people can say that. You know what, I am interested in clothes and what they say about a person, but I don’t “love” clothes the way I love music or books or candy or coffee. I have kept up on the Brexit issue since my spouse is from the UK, and Canada has close ties to Britain. Yes, of course I use the singular “they” and thank you for noticing.
I have relatives who tell me I’m going to hell because I don’t go to the same church as them. I have friends and relatives who love their church, in the sense of: “Wow, we had a good church service this morning,” – and leave it at that. And I have friends who love their church, but will never mention it unless you want them to join you for breakfast on Sunday morning. So, I know all kinds of church goers.
When I read your blog I feel even more comfortable with myself. I like it that you talk about such a wide variety of topics.
I haven’t been reading you long enough to guess any of your answers (please write) but here are mine
1. Vegan – I don’t think so, but maybe vegetarian.
2. Status symbols – No
3. Church goer – No. I used to be very devout, but now find “religion” to be contrived.
4. Brexit – I felt proud of the UK for making that choice. I hope the USA discovers and accepts how great it already is as well.
5. They as singular – I guess so. I’m not good with grammar if I have to think about it.
Hi Debbie, thanks. I am mostly vegetarian. I don’t like to think I display status symbols but it’s all relative. For example, among new acquaintances I probably wouldn’t say that I visit London every year! I go to a Unitarian church which is a community of open-minded people. I am not happy with the UK’s choice to exit the EU but it wasn’t my choice to make. I worry about the effects of isolationism and blaming problems on immigrants. Canada has had to negotiate trade agreements with many countries and blocks of countries and it isn’t an easy path. I think the US is a great country too and will remain so far into the future if it doesn’t close its doors and retreat into itself. I use “they” as a singular because “he or she” sounds even more clunky to me, and doesn’t include everybody.
Ok. I’ll play. I guess Yes to the Vegan. I don’t think you show off any status symbols but maybe your books? I would guess no on the church goer unless you were Unitarian Universalist, which is what I would guess. UK – I guess stay. No on the They. How did I do?
Hi Michelle, Vegetarian only (and not 100%). I would say not the number of books I own but maybe my book knowledge! Yes, I am a UU! Stay in the EU and yes to they. So I think you did well!
Well not perfect but close!
I avoid religion and politics in both my reading and my writing where blogs are concerned, so even if you dropped clues about religious affiliations or voting preferences, I wouldn’t pay attention to it and/or would block it out.
As for the other “about you” questions:
I wouldn’t say you’re vegan, and whether you ‘aspire’ to be is really only for you to know, but it seems you talk about vegetarian dishes and restaurant choices quite a bit. So… Sorta?
Status symbols… Different populations view that concept differently. You try to reduce your impact on the environment by walking to work and using an electric lawn mower. The mower is definitely a “symbol” – it’s a major purchase that you, in effect, ‘show off’ (thereby showing your stance) simply by using it in view of others. You also travel quite a bit, and the ability to do so designates your income/social class to be of a high enough strata to do so. Is the act of traveling a status “symbol”? It could be seen that way, I think. Your Fitbit could easily be construed as a status symbol in the exercise community. There are probably a dozen examples like that, if you consider a “status symbol” to be a thing that clues others in to your personal belief systems, be it fitness or reduce/reuse/recycle or financial investments.
And “they” – most definitely! 🙂
I love your thoughts on status symbols. So astute!
Here are my attempts to answer your questions:
– I know you’re veggie, but I don’t recall much about veganism so I’m going with no…
– status symbols- my first thought was ‘concert t-shirts’ though I suppose they are more mementos than status symbols…
– you are a church goer (you volunteer/you did volunteer as treasurer or similar?) but it’s what I have filed in my brain as ‘not a very churchy church’- lacking in hellfire and brimstone?
– I will say you’d have voted Remain- if only because that’s what I did
– yes you do, though it took me ages to work out what that means, and I might still be wrong!
Hi Nicola, I am “mostly” veggie but don’t have a perfect track record. I don’t own any concert T-shirts any more (just 5 band T-shirts) but maybe concert-going or trying to be the first to find out about new bands! Hey, very cool that you remembered the churchy things! Yes, I was the church treasurer for a couple of years, and my UU church has zero hellfire and brimstone (the Universalist part of its name came from the founders’ notion of universal salvation). I am glad we’re like-minded on the vote! I will be writing more about pronoun use in the next month or so.
Hi, I read but rarely comment but will try and answer your questions.
1. Vegetarian-veganism may restrict you too much
2. Tshirts either comic book/concert
3. Unitarian church
4. Remain – though that may depend on your experiences during visits to the UK. It amazes me how two people can see the same situation so differently
5. Yes you do use the pronoun they
Hi Anne, Thanks for commenting and paying attention 😉 I would have said the T-shirts 2 or 3 years ago but I have downsized the pile dramatically. Correct on all the rest – well done!
OK, my responses!
– Veganism: not vegan (at the moment)
– Status Symbols: my first thought was ‘none’! But maybe I’ll include: large music collection, large book collection, robots/lego etc. (since these are symbols within tribes?)
– Church: Unitarian
– UK: remain
– They: yes
I hope I know you as well as I like to think I do!
I liked reading some other comments on ‘status’ symbols – it’s an interesting question 🙂
Don’t forget Dar’s T-shirts. (Could they be considered status? Mmm! Maybe just a collection.)
Yes, I was thinking afterwards that ‘books’ and ‘music’ aren’t really ‘status’ symbols. ‘Collection’ is a much better word!
Aha. I just looked up the actual definition: ‘a possession that is taken to indicate a person’s wealth or high social or professional status.’
Yep. Unless you are buying books, music or t-shirts just to flash them about, then they really aren’t ‘status symbols’! So I’m back to no status symbols for Dar. At a pinch…maybe the t-shirts?
I would say education, reading and vocabulary…all of which probably cost me quite a bit! When I attended a library conference last month and spoke to current students, I found out the library degree I got in the late 1980s for about $3500 now costs about $35,000 at the same university.
I am down to 5 band T-shirts and I have not seen any of the 5 bands live – no status there!
You know me well, Fiona! You are right that collections are status symbols among tribes, whether the group is music fans or fellow librarians or geeks generally!
Hmm… OK, I purposely didn’t look at other people’s responses. Sooo.
1) Vegan – yes I think you aspire to get somewhere near vegan, though you’re not a Nazi about it.
2) Status symbols… um… Legos?
3) Church goer – I don’t think so, though I believe you do believe. Not entirely sure though. (Not something I tend to pay much attention to.)
4) Brexit… well, I don’t recall reading any posts on this specific topic, but I would think you’re sane enough that you would have voted to stay – not that I have any opinions on the topic or anything! 😉
5) “They” – Why, yes you do use that word as a singular pronoun, and for a very good and thoughtful reason!
OK, now I’m gonna go read other people’s responses!
Hi Cat, I don’t think I will ever get closer to being vegan because of my love of dairy products, and slight dissatisfaction with the alternatives. I do love vegan meals, though. I don’t think very many people in my life know about the LEGO collection so it doesn’t earn me any admiration! I go to a Unitarian church, although I consider myself a humanist. Ha ha, we share the same strong opinion on Brexit! And thanks, using “they” is all about being respectful of other people’s choices.
I personally have to listen to first person singular conversations (or monologues, rather) 90% of the time, so of course my blog will be about me, me, me! The blogs I follow are specially chosen for like-minded people and people whose accounts of themselves and their lives interest me. You are organized, a librarian as well, have a trans child and are sensitive to and understanding of non-binary genders. And you are just weird enough to maintain my interest! I guess I am saying, keep on feeding us chunks of your life! We love it! Take care, Dar.
“Just weird enough” – my favourite compliment yet! Thanks, Kris 🙂
Hahaha. Have to laugh about the full of yourself. You should like our stereotype of a Canadian. Reserved. Considered. Non judgemental. Respectful of not wanting to jump into someone’s space (as in their views) with large pronouncements. You are the opposite of full of yourself.
Your use of they for singular did throw me. Repeatedly, for a while. Until I remembered, I often backtracked: who’s the other person? Doesn’t she only have one offspring? Now I’m use to it.
Your status symbol is on the tip of my tongue. One of things just on periphery of memory. It will come. Probably at 2am.
My dream status symbol is a Movado or Mondaine watch (swoon!)
Had to google Mondaine. Never heard of them and I’m a watch lover too. Very nice.
Sometimes I do feel strange with the me, me ,me aspect of blogging. But, I then realize it is the blogger’s authentic voice I want to read and that requires a bit of introspection and me centered writing.
Hi Vicki, I feel the same. When I read blogs, I am looking for someone’s personal views and style, even more so than the content.
Ha! I never thought of the correct pronoun for blogging. Sometimes I feel there are too many “I”s in a post so I switch to “you”. It’s more a reflection of my shaky grades in high school english than anything else.
I know you’re conscious about what you eat but not sure if full vegan.
Status symbols? None that I noticed unless you’re rocking a mean chinchilla on those concert tees and just haven’t shared the pics yet 😉
Your religious beliefs have evolved with time
You’d vote the UK to stay
It’s a compliment to your writing style that I’ve never noticed your choice of pronouns in all the time I’ve been following your blog. Means whatever pronouns you’re using work
Hi Yettie, I tend to avoid blogs that were set up to give people advice. I know there are people who are very wise and it’s great they are educating others (like Leo Babauta for example), but I get turned off when I read “You should…” Chinchilla, ha! That would be a “status” pet 🙂 My religious beliefs have evolved, all right! Or maybe devolved. If I had a vote, it would have been a “remain.” I like that you haven’t noticed the pronouns!
1. No to Vegan
2. Clothes (but not to excess except for your concert t-shirts) and perhaps your concert going?
3. Church – yes
4. Brexit – Remain
5. They – yes
Well done! Very perceptive about the concert going. Seeing new bands before they “break” is definitely a status thing, as is seeing a lot of bands, or seeing shows in different cities.
Hi everybody, Thanks for playing along! Here are my answers:
1. I eat vegetarian food 95% of the time but eat meat occasionally when it is served to me at someone’s home. I am very partial to dairy products and would have an exceedingly hard time giving them up. So I don’t currently aspire to be vegan, although a big percentage of the meals I eat are already vegan.
2. My favourite status symbols are watches! I aspire to own a whole armful of them! However I don’t have any pricey ones yet. I would say my showiest status symbols right now are education, vocabulary and being well-read. At least I hope they show 🙂
3. Yes, I am a Unitarian Universalist and I attend a UU church
4. Remain all the way
5. On a daily basis!
I can’t believe I forgot about the watches! I love the idea of ‘vocabulary’ being a status symbol 🙂
And it is the you expressed in the quote “my showiest status symbols right now are education, vocabulary and being well-read” that makes me come back again, and again.
Thanks, Viking 🙂
I love this challenge! I’ve deliberately not peeked at any other comments so I can have a go… Yes, I think you do aspire to be vegan, you would (I hope!) have voted Remain, of course you use ‘they’ as a singular personal pronoun, and I get the feeling that the notion of ‘status symbols’ would be anathema to you. The only one I found tricky is the church-going one. I would have thought no but I have a vague memory of a mention of church? And I can sorta imagine you as a member of a funky*, left-leaning, gay-friendly, etc etc congregation.
* Just remembered that funky means something different in North America than it does here – oops! It’s a good thing, trust me!
Hi Janet, Well done 🙂 I am unable to cross the dairy barrier to be vegan but I am mostly vegetarian and prefer most vegan foods. I don’t deliberately own any status symbols but I do dream about owning expensive wrist watches – not sure if I will ever do it. Would probably feel too self-conscious to wear one! Your meaning of funky is the usual one here too – no offense taken – and yes, I do belong to one of those churches!
I like this idea of testing us. But I cheated and read through the comments. lol Your church seems interesting. Must look for one in Toronto. Might be able to convince Princess to attend a UU church.
Hi Sunny, The main UU church in Toronto is on St Claire West between Yonge and Bathurst, not far from Casa Loma. Link checked it out for a winter solstice service. Getting a teenager to a church might be a more strenuous project than you want to take on!
Let me tell you I was pleasantly surprised when I suggested it to Princess and she agreed to go. Now she is feeling under the weather so may not know what she’s agreed to but I’m going with it. 🙂