It makes me panicky, it really does.
Take, for example, the problem of the basic question: Interests:
Every single social networking site EVER, asks me about my freaking interests and that question alone is enough to freeze me with indecision. At first I go to town and just type all the stuff that comes to mind:
string, knitting, reading, dogs, spinning, weaving, soap making, children, sewing, writing, CHEESE, cooking, strippers, belly dancers, lemurs, medieval stuff, re-enactments, World of Warcraft, computers, making things, crafts, eating, breathing, food that is yummy, funny stuff, my husband
YAY! I have a list! That question is DONE!
But then my inner Writing Center tutor comes out and smacks me in the back of the head with a dictionary (The big, fat, heavy, leather-bound, Oxford-Edition-of-DEATH, and not the kinder, gentler internet kind that doesn't even make you spell properly to figure out what word you want..) and yells at me, "THINK ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE!"
So then I think about my audience. Who is my audience? My audience is the internets!
Uh, oh. The internets are a very big place. I need to narrow things down some. My audience is cool people on the internets!
OK. So now I have to review my list of interests and list only things that will be relevant to Cool People.
string, knitting, reading, dogs, spinning, weaving, soap making,
There! The list is narrowed. But that list now looks disorganized and kind of boring. And to be honest, I know plenty of cool people that like all the things that I just crossed off. This is just a list of what cool people will ADMIT to liking. Maybe.
Plus, I'm not sure I really want other cool people to be interested in my husband. I am interested in my husband, and really, that should be enough. I'm not sure if I'm man enough to handle all the cool people of the internets being interested in my husband, so he has to come off the list too.
Then, there's the problem of redundancy. String is probably redundant with spinning. And probably also knitting and weaving, since those are things you can do with string. Maybe also crafts, since lots of crafts can be done with string. Oh, and making things. I make lots of things with string. So all of that will have to go. I don't want the Cool People to think that I'm talking down to them. Surely they know that all of that stuff can be accomplished with string.
I guess I should also eliminate stuff that everybody is interested, because I don't want to appear cliched. Eating, breathing, and food that is yummy will just have to go, because I don't really know anyone who isn't interested in those things. They're pretty much universal. The computers will probably need to go to, because everyone will be reading this on the internets, which will mean they already have a computer, and hence, at least some marginal interest in computers.
What does that leave me with?
string, reading, writing, soap making, dogs, lemurs, belly dancers, cooking, and funny stuff.
Well! That's certainly a manageable list! ... But it really does make me look boring. With that description, I look like a super-clean, literate, animal lover, who may or may not have a pervy interest in dancing girls - though possibly only so as to have something to talk about. And that's just not true. And I can't even talk authoritatively about lemurs. I just kinda think they're cute.
*This is where I really start freaking out because there is just too much pressure involved in answering this question.*
WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT FROM ME, INTERNETS?!
- string - Because it's so useful and universal! Think of all the things you can do with string!
- knitting - I like knitting socks and sweaters. But apparently only for other people. I knit all the time and own 0 things that I have made myself...
- reading - My secret shame is romance novels. I read lots and lots of romance novels. But also other stuff. Like blogs.
- dogs - I have three dogs. They are big, tough-looking, marshmallows. They might be kind of stupid, but I love them all. They tell me they love me, even if my interests aren't good enough for the Cool People on the Internets.
- spinning - Spinning is for making string. String is hella useful. Ergo, being able to make string makes me practically a super hero.
- weaving - Weaving is what you do with all the string that you have obsessively made while watching the NCIS marathon over Thanks Giving. Well, all the string that you did not use up with the knitting.
- soap making - I have an ALLERGY, OK?! DON'T JUDGE ME! I can't use a lot of common soap because the perfumes make me rashy. But I still want to smell good, and if you want something done RIGHT, you have to do it yourself. Or use the soap the doctor recommends, but then you will NEVER, EVER SMELL SEXAY. YOU WILL SMELL LIKE A DOCTOR'S OFFICE.
- children - Not all children. Just my children. Though, she's really not plural. She's singular. SINGULAR. Moodles is very cute. It's the only thing that keeps me from eating her. I am THAT KIND of mother. It's true.
- sewing - Look! More things you can do with string! After you're done with the weaving. I like sewing things for Moodles to wear. It's like making barbie clothes, but you can totally feel that you have ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING, because, "Look! The baby isn't naked anymore!" Plus, there is a serious dearth of smarmy, goth baby clothes on the market.
- writing - You're here, aren't you?
- CHEESE - Ok, this is a very particular thing. I don't just like cheese like most people like cheese, because EVERYBODY likes cheese. Unless they're a FREAK OF NATURE... I just like cheese so much that I have taken up making my own cheese, so that I can afford to eat all the crazy-expensive cheeses that I crave. Scotch flavored cheddars are my specialty.
- cooking - This is really only here because I don't want to starve to death. Husband doesn't cook. Mother doesn't cook. Without this skill, I'd be VERY HUNGRY.... I guess, technically, I could take this off the list.
- strippers - They're like the everyman of circus performers. Some of them have giant bosoms that would work well in the freak show. Some of them are AMAZING areal acrobats. And whether it's because I'm a little pervy, or because they're a total trainwreck and I can't look away, I really like looking at strippers. So there.
- belly dancers - I have lots of friends who belly dance. They do not like to be confused with strippers. Let that be a lesson to you. I like to look at belly dancers - especially the ones that dance with SWORDS! It's really not pervy. Really.
- lemurs - They are cute.
- medieval stuff - Knights in shining armor. Need I say more? I do? Uh... Well... In medieval times, they also made things. And making things is another one of my interests! See?!
- re-enactments - Because there really aren't any places that I can go to do medieval stuff that AREN'T re-enactments. When they start selling time-travel vacations, I'll be ALL OVER THAT SHIT.
- World of Warcraft - I suck at this game, and I think my membership expired. But it's fun to binge-quest when you have a three day weekend and not enough money to visit Northrend in person...
- computers - Internets. Duh. Plus, Warcraft.
- making things - I am curious. I want to know how stuff is made. I am also kind of a control freak. Or maybe a little OCD. But I like my stuff to be made JUST SO. And if I do it myself, I can be sure it is done RIGHT. see also: soap making and CHEESE
- crafts - Crafts are not the same as making things. Just so you know. Crafts are things you make that you don't really NEED. Like a tea cosy. Do you NEED one? No. Would a chartreuse tea cosy look totally cute in your kitchen? Probably. See?
- food that is yummy - see also: cheese
- funny stuff - I try to be funny. It keeps me from getting beat up. Also, it means that people might like me more. I want people to like me more. When I fail at being funny, I go read about other funny people. They make me laugh, and laughing makes me feel better about not being cool.
- my husband - I am very interested in my huband. You all had better only be moderately interested in my husband. Or I'll cut you.