Of Bacon, Breasts and BPD

7 Mar

When I started this blogging thing, I had two goals. I needed something to occupy the time between caring for children and filling out job applications. I also thought I’d keep digital dinosaur status at bay by learning some of the new fangled social media. Apparently, I am under-ambitious. People are making money at this blogging thing.

In fact, people are making freaking boatloads of money at this blogging thing. Heather Armstrong, according to the New York Times, is the queen of the “mommy bloggers,” those women who blog about their kids, their husbands, their tract houses. Sound familiar? What doesn’t sound familiar is that Heather is on the Forbes list of the most influential women in media. Heather’s blog brings in as much as $50,000 per month. I, on the other hand, make about $80 a week tutoring.

I may be under-ambitious, but I am not stupid. Though I didn’t start blogging thinking I would make money at it, I also didn’t become a teacher thinking I wouldn’t. The blogging thing is going better than the teaching thing, so why not look into making money blogging, I thought.

I did some research. I’ve discovered that you can make money blogging if you are willing to be infamous or odd, reveal intimate details of the misfortunes in your life or endorse products. For what I hope are obvious reasons, I explored endorsing products first.

I use lots of products. I use products all over my house. Problem is, the products I use don’t really excite me. Except for bacon. I love bacon. Bacon is like a kiss on a boo-boo. It won’t fix anything, but it makes me feel better just thinking about it. Endorsing bacon is a problem, though. I don’t have a favorite bacon brand. It’s bacon, for crying out loud. All bacon is good. Bacon is the little black dress of the food world. Doesn’t matter who made it, it goes with everything.

So bacon’s out. I used to endorse the hell out of Prescriptives makeup. They folded. I loved the restaurant, L’Escargot. It went. Finding products to endorse was starting to make me feel very old and very out of touch. Then I remembered mayonnaise. I could live without dark chocolate. I cannot live without mayonnaise, specifically Hellman’s. My love of Hellman’s comes from being raised by a Southern woman. As a child, I believed that all sandwiches were made with Hellman’s, just as I believed that anyone who wasn’t Catholic or Republican would go to hell.

My mother put Hellman’s on every sandwich she ever made. Once, at our house, my dad’s mother was making him a sandwich. She buttered the bread. “Ewwww!” I thought. “Grandma, Dad likes his sandwiches with mayonnaise,” I said. “Oh, no, he likes them with butter,” she said confidently. Now, at this point in my life, my father had been eating sandwiches with mayonnaise for nearly 30 years. “Hey, Dad,” I said, “do you like your sandwiches with butter or mayonnaise?” My grandmother was generally a humble person, but I could have sworn I saw a smug little smile cross her lips as he said, “Butter.” My father’s sandwich lunacy aside, I can say without pause that I thoroughly and heartily endorse Hellman’s Mayonnaise. I also endorse therapy to resolve conflict avoidance issues, but my dad is making his own sandwiches these days so it’s a little late for that.

Unfortunately for me, endorsing Hellman’s is only going to pay off if I have more than a handful of visitors every day. Heather, the Mom Blog Queen, gets about 100,000 every day. Clearly, I’ve got some subscriber base building to do. That’s where being infamous or odd or willing to reveal intimate details of your life come in.

Heather built her base through infamy. She, famously, was fired for doing a very naughty thing: posting rotten things about the people she works with on her personal blog. The story went viral. (That’s what the kids call it when something gets very popular on the Internet and millions of people are clicking on it, sharing it, posting it. Going viral is not to be confused with going postal.) With no co-workers to malign, Heather turned to blogging the intimate details of her life. When Heather got pregnant, her subscriber base soared. I hope she didn’t blog the details of how she got pregnant. Now, Heather blogs about everything that happens to her, including getting her washer fixed.

My appliances all seem to be in working order. The motherboard on the dishwasher went wacky a few weeks ago, but so far my biggest dishwasher problem is worry that the dog is too heavy to stand on the open door while he licks the plates clean. If he climbs in and accidentally gets washed, then I’ll probably have to call the appliance repair guy. But I’ll be able to cancel the grooming appointment.

Unlike Heather, I feel my everyday life is just a little boring. I could do odd, I thought. There is a woman who calls herself “Pioneer Woman.” She got picked up by a cowboy in a bar, they got married and she traded her “high heels for cowboy boots.” Now she blogs about her life as a city slicker on the ranch with four kids and a cowboy.

I thought about being odd for a while. Oh, OK, I thought about being more odd. Yes, I could be more odd, so shut up! Problem here is that you have to be really odd to cut through the clutter. So, I decided that it would be really odd to blog about having a third breast installed. I could write about my struggles to find a doctor who would install said breast. I could blog about where on my body I would put said breast. Would it go in the middle? To the side of one of the existing girls? If so, which side? There are so many possible tangents to the third breast avenue. Of course, the problem with writing about installing a third breast is actually having to go through with it. Maybe if I learn Photoshop®, I’ll start the “and booby makes three” blog. Until then, I’ll be buying my bras off the rack.

So, I’m left with sharing intimate details of the misfortunes in my life. There are women who’ve built loyal followings writing about deaths of husbands and children, about battles with cancer, about living with mental health issues. My husband isn’t dead and I’m not planning on killing him this week. If one of my children dies, I don’t think I’ll be in a writing mood. I could write about living with bipolar disorder, which I do on a daily basis—the living with it part, not the writing about it part. The thing about writing about my chemically imbalanced life is that then I’m “the bipolar blogging mom” when really, I’m just a mommy blogger who happens to be bipolar. Did I mention that generic lamotrigine is really crappy? If you can, get Lamictal® brand. Otherwise, take the generic stuff with bacon.

Copyright© 2011 by Janice Lindegard. All rights reserved.

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4 Responses to “Of Bacon, Breasts and BPD”

  1. Teri McCormick Hinton March 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Janice- you’re terrific! I will do my part to get readership to 100,000 every day. Keep writing- the secret will reveal itself!

    • jmlindy422 March 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

      Wow! Thanks, Teri. Looking forward to thousands and thousands of readers.

  2. anjobanjo22 March 8, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    Awesome! I’ll keep checking in if you keep dishing the posts out! 🙂

    • jmlindy422 March 8, 2011 at 9:33 am #

      I dish every Monday morning. See you then!

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