Perforated Lines (you can't resist 'em!)

on the street
Next time you're in town ...
-- Wednesday, September 15, 1999 --

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11:02 a.m. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about why I've decided to take my operation, so to speak, out to the street. Actually, I've had to explain myself a lot. To a lot of different kinds of people -- professional writers, professional friends, close personal friends, people I grew up with who thought they knew me; old dear and brand new acquaintances, and yes, even the guy on the street.

My family doesn't ask -- and that's even worse. They tiptoe quietly. I think they're really worried.

Some days, I stump myself. Some days I think I know exactly what I'm doing. Some days, like today, I think it's time to take stock. This is a big enterprise, this web site. It is most assuredly not a hobby. It is definitely a serious undertaking and as such, it deserves -- at the very least -- a business card.

And I think my family deserves something of an explanation. Nerves must get settled, feathers smoothed. Chicken soup must be prepared. Ground rules laid. Here are some of mine:

  • For Igor, my fine husband: I will never say anything negative.

(Well actually, I might equivocate or hint or maybe allude, occasionally, to the slight imperfections here and there that need improving. I mean, you do want to improve yourself, don't you? Doesn't everyone want to learn how to fold towels neatly? And pick up the shredded envelope and throw it in the trash just once, I ask you? Just once?)

  • For my children: I will never put up a photo of the way you look right now.

(Even though, each and every one of you is even cuter than you were when you were kids. I mean, each of you is in the full and glorious flower of your young adulthoods, and if I were to put up pictures, it would make me look glorious, I tell you -- glorious by reflection. Look at that shiny hair, those sparkly eyes, those muscles, that beautiful smile. But no, I won't do it unless you say I can. I could, you know. I've got the photos and I've got the scanner and I've got the domain bought and paid for. Really. Don't you worry. Just baby and toddler stuff. You can trust me: I'm your mom.)

welcome to the street
Stop in for a visit!

  • For my professional buds: give me another week or two, tops.

(I plan a major unveiling of an important piece of the puzzle that will explain all. I haven't been slacking off or neglecting any of my myriad tasks that are as important to me as they are to you.)

  • For my close personal friends: I won't talk about it or pressure you to read these pages.

(But geeze Louise. Do I listen patiently to you for hours on end as you describe your own beloved projects? Don't I support you -- without question -- and tell you how wonderful you are and what a huge fan I am of anything you choose to do? Couldn't you at least spend just a sec of your obviously busy day looking at these pages? Or at least pretend you have? Here, have another slice of homemade banana bread. It's no trouble, really. I live to serve.)

  • For all my new online friends: Ain't this grand? Are we having fun, or what?

(Sure, you may be invisible. Sure, I've never actually met any of you face-to-face. But I believe in you and I hope you believe in me. Sure, I spend hours here in the dark pretending. Is that so wrong?)

  • For my mom: this is a real job.

(Don't hit me don't hit me.)

So, there you have it. A succinct statement of purpose; a comprehensive apologia. I'm glad I've been able to boil all this down for myself. I'm having business cards made as we speak. I've found these great artists on the boardwalk who can print the entire Declaration of Independence on a grain of rice. They tell me I even have room for a logo.

Tomorrow? Don't you worry -- I'm working on it.

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