When I saw my brother-in-law last weekend, he disclosed that he is a regularly reader and subscriber to The BetsyG-Spot. I was thrilled to hear that, but not so thrilled when he said, “It’s not your best writing.”
When I started this site, I determined to call it a blogazine because some of the regular posts—notably the Sex in the Suburbs ones—would be essays, which put that content in the “zine” realm. But I knew I couldn’t produce three quality essays a week, not while I was working for someone else, so I decided that some posts would be off-the-cuff blog entries.
I also determined that all my posts would be well-written and edited. The more people who blog, the uglier the world becomes in terms of the English language. People who do not know that a plural is made with an s and a possessive with an apostrophe-s spread their writing sins over the Internet, like manure on a farm field. Even if I have joined the ranks of people writing about the mundane details of their lives, I like to use complete sentences and proper grammar when I do.
In a way, it’s flattering that my BIL would confuse my blog content with the short stories and 5,000-word essays I take weeks to write, review, and revise. (Indeed, my 16-year-old felt my BIL was delivering a compliment.) While the Sex in the Suburbs posts follow a particular format, and I strive to reach a certain level of quality with them, even those generally do not take more than five or six hours, depending on how difficult the content is to control. The Wednesday posts are another story. While I have tried to plan and stockpile them, I often start writing them at 9:00 at night, with the goal of finishing at midnight to ensure delivery to my e-mail subscribers the next day. That is not the best time of day for me to be writing at all. I’m frankly pleased that I’ve managed to publish something every time I said I would. Quality be damned.
I wish I had the time to write three essays a week that would reach the standard my brother-in-law expects from me. But short of that, saying something interesting or humorous using reasonably correct grammar will have to do. And if I ever make a plural with an apostrophe-s, you’ll know something’s gone horribly wrong.
In thinking about this later, I realize that I’ve left out the main point of this, which is I find I am writing almost constantly. Essentially all my free time is spent with my laptop. I have never written so much in my life. I am a writing fool.
Red Sox on the losing end of a shutout in the sixth
Here we are at Game 5 of the ALCS and the Red Sox at this moment are trailing Tampa 5-0. How humiliating, the prospect of losing the clincher at home. I don’t know that I had a firm belief that the Sox would go to the World Series again this year given the injuries and especially Becket’s struggles (he’s so critical to the Sox’s success), but I sure didn’t picture losing three at home, especially when the Sox took Game 1 at Tampa. I have watched enough heartbreaking baseball in my life—as well as astonishing and nerve-wracking turnarounds—that I just don’t have the stomach to watch tonight’s game. Wake me when it’s over.
Poof! Adolescence begins!
I noticed something alarming in the past week about my 10-year-old son. It’s as if a switch has been thrown; he’s turning into an adolescent. He’s talking back to me. He’s arguing. Suddenly I am the stupidest person who doesn’t know anything. My older two are six and eight years removed from this age, and I forgot what it’s like. My ex had to remind me tonight how bad Matthew was to me. I do remember this stage from my days as a computer lab teacher at an elementary school, though; my fourth graders were sweet, and those same children came back in the fall as fifth graders who had minds and opinions of their own. They were actually more interesting to me as a teacher once they’d reached that age, but the tradeoff was a much less complacent classroom.
The other thing that happened is that, for the first time, Alex didn’t want me to hug him goodbye at the bus stop. Also, when I tried to comb his hair off his forehead with my fingers, he pulled away. I savor the last drops of his babyhood before I wake him in the morning, when he can’t object, my sleeping sweet angel.
By the end of this year, his body will start to change, too. Girls will start to take on a new purpose. It wasn’t even anything I thought about with Michael and Matthew; it just happened. It is very strange to see this happen to my baby.
Have a great weekend, and thank you for reading,