Thursday, January 15, 2015

"Deletions, Etc."

My math may be off by a year or so – you know how when you turn seven, you are actually beginning the eighth year of your life?  I have never entirely mastered that concept.  (And by the way, that apparently works for every year, not just between seven and eight.) 

That said, however, it appears that today marks the seventh anniversary of this blog, which means, if “blog-writing years” are the equivalent of “birthday years”, I am now entering my eighth year of Just Thinking.

I’m sorry, did I just hear someone say

“What an incredible waste of time”?

That observation may not have come from the “outside”, deriving instead from the less generous recesses of my nature.  Which I generally ignore but cannot entirely tune out.


Seven years.  Eighteen-hundred and four blog posts.  With this one, eighteen hundred and five.  My current reading of Martin Short’s memoir, inevitably including his “Ed Grimley” character, leads me to observe,

“That’s a formidable accumulation, I must say.”

A handful of the posts are “re-posts.”  Some others are rewrites of earlier posts, although I almost never duplicate the originals because, as I have frequently mentioned, I have labeled the earlier posts with such obscure titles, I can no longer remember what they are called.  The funny part is that I am fully aware of that unhelpful tendency, and yet I continue doing it.  It is almost like I do not want to find them.

Anyway again, in honor of this landmark accomplishment – I mean, it is not the Panama Canal or anything but it is several commendable cuts above seven years of simply looking out the window – I like to maintain the bar accessibly low – I thought I would make brief mention of three posts that do not appear among the 1804, two actual deletions and one post that was written but never published.  If they’d been included, there would be 1807 blog posts to talk about, and you would be bowled over by my prodigious output.  As in,

Anyone can write 1804 blog posts.  But 1807that is truly impressive!

Unfortunately, the “Official Tally” remains at 1804.  And here’s why.
I once posted a story about a temporary domestic crisis in which… how to put this delicately… we had rats in the house, which, of course, had to be professionally  eraticated.  (Do you see what I did there?)

Uncharacteristically, I made mention of my most recent literary effort to my spouse (who refrains from enjoying these offerings for fear of taking personal offense), and she immediately took personal offense.

So I took the post out. 

I also once posted a story wherein…well, the story itself – as the majority of them are – was primarily about me.  However, the inciting incident that ultimately propelled me “center-stage” exposed less than admirable behavior on the part of a former acquaintance who got wind of my blog post, contacted me – after an interim of forty-plus years – and – I don’t know if “pleaded” is the right word – but he made it abundantly clear that he would be happier if I deleted that story from my substantial oeuvre.

So I did.

Finally… and to me, most inexplicably…

One day, I found myself centrally involved in a situation in which, resulting from circumstances too tedious to go into, a female stranger, called me on the phone, explaining – to a total stranger – that she had been adopted as a baby, and that she was now searching for her “birth father” whose name she had discovered, and when she revealed what it was, it turned out to the name as somebody I knew. 

A few assiduous, SVU-like inquiries later, I realized that Wikipedia, of whose services the “biological-Dad-searcher” had unfortunately availed herself, had conflated the personal histories of two people who had the same name, and that the man she was hunting for was unequivocally not the individual I knew.

I subsequently called that individual in a “Wait till you hear this!” context, passing along – in his case although hardly in mine – the “non-story” that I had skillfully deflected, sparing him, at the very least, an uncomfortable phone call.  I then asked him if I could write a post about this unusual happenstance, and he cheerfully, relievedly and immediately agreed.

A couple of days later, however, my friend called back, informing me that, upon further consideration, he would prefer that I not blog about the matter.  I replied that I understood, even though I didn’t; the story would have never included his actual name. 

Persisting – because I thought it was a wonderful story – I asked him to withhold his final decision until after I wrote it up and submitted it to him, for his review and hopeful approval.  My friend agreed.

I then proceeded to write the story, being meticulously careful to avoid even the most peripheral suggestion of his identity.  And I sent it to him. 

And he still said no.  And he continued saying no after numerous subsequent entreaties. 

So I never posted it.

That is why, today, my accumulated number of blog posts is a mere 1804 posts rather than the more impressive 1807.

I make no secret that the primary purpose of this enterprise is “Occupational Therapy”; although if others find value in these therapeutic ramblings – even better.  (Full Disclosure:  I was on to the next paragraph but I returned to this one to belatedly thank you for your patronage.  Basic politeness, unfortunately, does not always come naturally to me.  But thank you.  I truly appreciate your time and attention.)

My next birthday’s coming up soon – my last birthday having already passed – and it is kind of a big one.  It has occurred to me to take the opportunity of that milestone to reevaluate… continuing.  I mean, nothing goes on forever.

But that’s an issue for another day.

Today, we celebrate.

Seven years.  1804 blog posts. 

Now, 1805.

(Although it could actually have been 1808.)


JED said...

Happy anniversary Earl and Just Thinking...

Reading your blog is one of the things that helps me start my day. You get my mind working in good directions and I like the insight you bring to everyday situations and many unusal situations, too.

I like the fact that we never know what your subject will be on any given day (although, we have a pretty good guess when it's a series like your trip to Turkey). But even when we know the broad subject, you manage to find something unexpected to write about.

Here's to many more years of Just Thinking...

Jim Dodd

YEKIMI said...

Happy anniversary!

Frank said...

Bummer about your "friend's" non approval but well done on seven years Earl!

Bull Halsey said...

Happy A! 1805! Wow, that was a very good year. If you decide to take a break, you've surely earned it. One of your peers who blogged for many years (tho not daily) has cut back. Now he writes occasionally. That's good for him but a bummer for the readers. Regardless...thanks for all the entertainment and education. Fair winds and following seas...