A Table of My Own

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately.  And not just because I went to one of those gyms with the walls covered in mirrors.  I read a post on Lucy’s Football called “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink.”  This is in reference to the movie “Mean Girls”, in case you didn’t know.  Last night, I watched the movie again.  Ah, the good old days, before Lindsey Lohan’s life went off the deep end – along with her career.

Anyway, I think most people can identify with that movie, because a lot of people hated high school – unless they were one of the Plastics.  “Plastics” is the term given to the popular people in the movie.  At my school, we called them the Snobs.  I went to the same public school from preschool through the 12th grade.  The social hierarchy was set early on, and it was nearly impossible to move your way up.  A few kids would move in and somehow fit into the cool group.  But usually, you stayed right where you were.

girls restroom

I was far from the top of that pyramid, but I don’t think you could classify me any certain way.  I wasn’t a goth, or a preppy (everyone at that school was a preppy as I realized later), or a nerd, or anything really.  No one could classify me because no one really knew me.  It’s hard to pin down someone who is invisible.

Once I hated the ones on top.  They hadn’t really done anything to me, but I hated them anyway.  And that’s the thing.  The farther up you climb the ladder, the more fans you get.  You also get more enemies.  This hierarchy never really ends, though.  It extends into all things: work, social life, and even blogging.

Back in September of 2012 I wrote a post for Canvas of the Minds called “The Cool Table.”  In it, I reflected on my struggles in school, and how I had finally been invited in with the “cool” bloggers.  I got to sit at their table!  I was part of the group.  It was a great feeling.  But I didn’t realize that just like in high school, you can get ousted from these cool tables just as easily as you can join them.

I’m not blaming anyone here, except perhaps myself.  You see, I was the one who put these people on the pedestals.  I was the one who tried to gather blog bling, and followers, and likes, and comments anyway I knew how.  You have to put yourself out there in order to gain a following.  I did, once, and when I got a good response, I did so more and more.  But after a while, blogging became as much about the awards (freshly press meeee, meeee!) and the teensy slice of “fame” than it did about the writing.  It became about social capital.  And after a while, I stepped back and realized I didn’t recognize myself.

Who wouldn't want to be in with these guys?

Who wouldn’t want to be in with these guys?

There are hierarchies in the blogosphere.  Some bloggers have thousands of followers.  Some have even made it really big, appearing on national television or in recognized magazines or in their own books.  Others are somewhere in the middle, not quite so famous, but with good followings.  And then there are the newbies, desperate to fit in, but not sure how the culture works yet.  They’ll learn, as I did.

I spent a lot of my life feeling like a victim, like everything just happened to me.  Poor Alice.  But I wasn’t only the victim.  I could be a bully too.  And I have a bad tendency to hop right into the middle of stuff that is frankly none of my business.  Train wrecks are fun – unless you’re involved in the middle of it.  I’ve seen feuds between bloggers.  And I’ve had my part in feuds.  Sometimes you see fights on blog posts.  Other times it takes place on other platforms – email, Facebook, twitter, phone calls.  There is backstabbing and nastiness out there, if you scratch the surface.

And then you realize you're part of one big Bachelor Pad.

And then you realize you’re part of one big episode of Bachelor Pad.

Yet it’s not all bad.  You see, people are people, though they may look like a fish or a squirrel or a bad driver’s license photo in their avatars.  Some bloggers may have more followers, but they are still just regular people.  They go potty just like the rest of us.  So while you should try not to put people down, neither should you raise them up too high.  It can be uncomfortable and lonely up on that pedestal, or so I hear.  And it’s a long way down at the end.

I am not a victim.  And I’m going to try hard not to be an aggressor either.  I just want to write a freaking blog.  So I’ve created my own table.  It’s not that cool, but it’s mine.  If someone wants to join me, that’s great.  There are puddin’ pops for everyone.  If not, that’s also fine.  There are many, many tables out there.  You don’t have to fit yourself into one group.  You don’t have to suck up just to be liked.  Just make your own group.  And for goodness sakes, just write.

Come join me for tea.  New cup, move down.

Come join me for tea. New cup, move down.

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127 responses

  1. I happen to love puddin’ pops.

    1. Who DOESN’T? Maybe we can get Bill Cosby to join us.

      1. That would be nice. Maybe he would let me borrow his sweater.

        1. I do love his sweaters. Maybe Rudy from the Cosby Show would show up too. Oh, wait, they got another cute kid when she lost her cuteness.

          1. That was the trend back in the 80’s.

          2. Oh, yeah, Growing Pains, Family Ties, etc. Loved how they made those annoying babies grow up in literally the blink of an eye! I really wanted to thump that youngest one on Growing Pains, almost as much as I want to smack Kirk Cameron now.

  2. I started to notice the blogging “cool table” as well and felt a typical pang of jealousy. I’ve never spent one moment of my life being cool, but I am also repulsed by large, sycophantic gatherings and I do my best to discourage the hug mentality (I find it slightly creepy). As a result, I occasionally end up sitting alone.

    You’re right, though, blogging carries some of the pitfalls of socializing in real life. But I believe that social capital is overrated and requires far too much sucking up. I’d worry that it came at the expense of the writing.

    1. It IS slightly creepy and it can come at the expense of the writing. If your writing is good, it will speak for itself. You might be slower gaining followers, but you’ll get them nonetheless. Till then, you have the power to write what you want with little fear of trolls! Thanks for your response.

  3. This is such a great post, Alice ~ you hit the nail right on the head. People are people no matter what platform they are working from….for good or for ill. I don’t particularly care for the feuding and nasty aspect – but I can say that I’ve seen less of it here than on FB, that’s for sure.

    I like your table and hope I can sit there from time to time and you are invited to mine anytime – I will have cannoli…and I love pudding pops!

    1. That is true – Fb is really bad about it, which is why I’m on there now only as a squirrel observer, mostly. Few people bother messing with squirrels. You have cannoli? Cool, maybe we can get together and have a pot luck.

      1. I would like that…. right not I only have a cheesecake in the fridge – shall we meet?

        1. It’s a date. Definitely bring the cheesecake. I’ll bring the Hi-C.

          1. hee hee – do I need my library card?

          2. your driver’s license will do. 😀

  4. Yes, pudding pops!!

    Back in high school I was pretty invisible too. I would say I was a ‘geek’ but even the geeks wouldn’t have me. I had a small group of close friends and that was enough for me.

    Blogging is kinda like that for me too. I formed solid connections with a few people and overall, those real relationships are infinitely more valuable than having lots of followers who you never connect with and are probably cats.

    1. It’s been a learning curve, but I’ve figured out the same thing. I too had a small group of friends in school. One of them I am still friends with today. I also realized as a senior that many of the popular people weren’t really happy – they didn’t know who out of the hundreds were really friends with them for them – and who were there to get a taste of popularity.

      I’m pretty sure I have some cat followers. Cats and spambots.

      1. I forgot to add I really enjoyed the honesty of this post and it was so relatable. I think a lot of people/bloggers feel the same way. Over the few years I’ve blogged, I’ve found out if I’m having fun, then I’m doing something right, if it’s a chore or something I feel I have to ‘prove’ to others, it’s time to step back again and reevaluate. And like you said, I just wanna write a blog. I need to stop overthinking things! And eat more pudding pops.

        1. Amen! I’m eating a pop tart right now.

      2. Hmmm. You say “cat followers” like that’s a bad thing.

        1. There are always exceptions to the kitty rule. 😀

  5. Alice, you know I support you no matter what you choose to do, and as I’ve told you countless times…blog for you. Be yourself. It doesn’t have to be funny. It doesn’t have to be anything. It just needs to be you. As people see the real you they’ll gladly come to your table.

    FYI, I’m already at your table and there’s no refreshments here. WTF?

    1. Mer and I ate up all the puddin’ pops. More are on the way, though!

      1. Ugh…

      2. Pudding pops??? Oh, I’m definitely sitting here.

        1. There are plenty. And the box magically refills itself. You just have to belieeeeeeve.

          1. I belieeeeeeve I’ll join y’all, if that’s all right with you. 🙂 I love puddin’ pops, and didn’t I hear someone was bringing cheesecake? I’ve got some lovely apple crumble here to share around.

  6. Your table seems like a good enough place to sit. And enough of us join together, we can engage in gang warfare!

    That’s what you’re going for here, right?

    1. I like that idea . . . I like it . . . we just have to plan our moves. Maybe it could be like West Side Story and we could have blog competitions with jazzy dance moves.

      1. Does one of us have to fall in live with a member of the opposing gang?

        1. Only if her name is Maria. Then you have to run down the street shouting “Maria, Maria!”

          1. “How do we solve a problem like Maria?”

  7. As much as I want to “fit in” is equil to the amount I do NOT want to. I’ve always been one not to judge on where you sit or who you know but how you treat me. Treat me bad I’ll never forget, even if I forgive. Yeah I can hold a grudge and take pleasure in the karmic wheel turning on you. But I don’t truely hate. It takes too much energy. I aspire to be as noticed as some other popular blogs, but I don’t want their voice I want to do it in mine. I’m always second guessing myself and my blog and why I do it. I just keep doing it. I like it. Read it or don’t. I don’t rely on anyone to keep going but me. If I get a like or a comment or a follower… BONUS! (happy dance) I’m so random and sporatic that I may never get hundreds or thousands of followers, but whatever. Sometimes if I get too caught up in thinking about it and make more of it than it is, I get a little depressed. But soon remember this isn’t for them it’s for ME! Love me or not, just let me be me. 🙂
    T~
    *sorry for any spelling errors*

    1. What spelling errors? (without spellcheck I am lost) I’ve been known to hold grudges, but yeah, I try not to really hate anymore. It’s just a handy shorthand for “this annoys the crap out of me.” You are so right about the stats and stuff. I’ve gotten worked up over them before, but really they mean very little. I looked at some of my followers and the blogs were dead but still following me! And I’ve got a spambot or two for sure. And possibly some cats. Whatevs. It’s the ones who read and comment that I care about. But most of all – I started this blog with 2 followers – one of them me and another a friend I talked into it. So I’ve not done too badly.

      I don’t display my follower count anymore, even though I have a decent number. Let people judge me on me, not how many follow.

      1. great idea on not showing your follower count. 🙂

  8. Where are the pudding pops?!? Do they still exist because now I’m craving them like a Bella Swan craves marbled topaz.

    I think your cool, but I talk to a half-man puppet so I don’t know if my opinion is sound.

    1. I don’t know if they still make them, actually. I will have to call ol’ Bill (that’s what I call him cause we’re tight) and ask. I think you are way cool too, but I talk to imaginary animals, so take it as you will. I think we might have read too much 50 Shades and Twilight.

  9. I think your table is a nice place. btw: I loved the sweaters of Bill Cosby too :o)

    1. They were awesome sweaters. I used to have a lot of sweaters – I wore them over turtlenecks and coordinating leggings with those scrunchy socks – oh and a matching scrunchy in my hair. I was so the bomb.

      You are welcome at my table anytime. And your little dog too!

      1. Colorful block sweaters over turtlenecks over leggings, with scrunchy socks and hair scrunchies? You were totally da bomb!

        1. And now some 80s is popular again, but my 13 year old is like “no way.”

          1. Well, she’s just a kid, what does she know of cool 80s fash?

  10. Fantastic post. I had the (mis?)fortune of being Freshly Pressed very early on in my blogging career, and it colored my view of things for a long time. Took me a while to get over it, even though I joked about being “internet famous”. I wanted it, needed it, craved it like a drug. I’m past it now… mostly.

    I had to redefine success, bring it back to where it all started. I think I’ll just bookmark this and read it every week to remind myself why I do it.

    1. Oh, I know about the FP. I got mine in early January after blogging since early August. But it might as well have been two centuries. I watched all my buddies get pressed and I was like why not meeeee? It’s like when you’re a kid and every other kid has a Nintendo, jeez, mom! I wanna fit in!

      Then after the fuss died down it was like, eh, I got a cool sticker and some new readers but it’s not like I changed any. Still good old Alice. I should probably bookmark this and every “do not take yourself too seriously” post on WordPress and read it every day.

  11. This resonates with me all too well. I recently started my own blog, but decided to hold off writing until I get to know the wordpress blogging community because the reality of it is, unless you are well-known and connected to other social networks, most people who read your blog are other bloggers. After commenting and being supportive of others, I noticed that not all bloggers are considered equal. Some people refuse to adknowledge your comment if you are not in their so-call “elite blogger clique”. Some people are just plain mean attention seeking sh** starters who secretly wants to make others feel bad about themselves by ignoring them or disagreeing with them whenever the opportunity presents itself. When I first joined wordpress, I was excited because I thought I was going to be amongst millions of great people who wanted to exchange ideas and experiences in the overall goal to prossibly to become better people and understand the world around us. “HA”, yeah f***ing right. Now there are some great people on here, but there is like a 1:20 ratio to the great people and the people “I” want to ignore. Its okay to march your own drum, but whoever said you can walk all over others while you are doing it? Thank you for bringing to light some of the cons of being apart of a blog community. Lets me know I am not alone. -Fant

    1. You aren’t alone. And it CAN seem like the whole blogging world is full of jerks. But there are some real people out there. Like me of course. 😀 Seriously, I’ve got quite a few followers, I got the coveted freshly pressed, yadda yadda, but I’m still just a blogger and I’m still amazed that I got any attention at all. Before blogging I showed only one person my work – now I show tons and you can’t shut me up! I’ve seen the bloggers who never answer comments – I don’t, generally, mess with them. I try to answer all comments. I figure if someone takes the time to comment, I can at least take the time to thank them and respond. And now as I say that, there will be some comments I didn’t answer – but it’s only because I missed them! I’ve replied to month old comments before :D.

      Don’t give up on the community yet. You can hang at my table and I’ll happily bitch with you.

      -Alice

  12. Just as I was in high school, I’m indifferent to any hierarchies or cliques. I think that’s the benefit of living so much within my own mind. And who has the energy to worry about things like that? I read blog posts that interest me–doesn’t matter if the blogger has 1 follower or 10,000. And you, for one, interest me. 🙂 (Plus, I’m jealous over that whole librarian career thing you got going on. That is the first thing I ever wanted to be. Books, books, and more books!)

    1. Librarians totally rock! It’s funny, but I never considered being a librarian when I was a kid, even though my mother was one and I lived in libraries. I thought I wanted to be a teacher, and then I realized I didn’t like children. With notable exceptions of course – though even my precious Things can make me pull my hair out. The library has its share of weirdness, but it’s much quieter and I never have to manage a classroom of tiny people.

      I think it’s a blessing to be indifferent to cliques. And it’s true that it takes too much energy to worry about it – I got to a point recently where I just said screw it. Hence this post. I don’t post my follower count because I’d rather people read me because of me and also because I had a tendency to stare at it – did it go up or down? What was the number before? I forget. Oh, and I find you interesting – your tales of the publishing world are enough to make me consider what I most want with my writing. I’m not so sure I want to put myself out there to all those critics yet, saying I can get over my laziness and polish something up enough for publication. But it’s great to see other bloggers get published.

      1. A degree of tough skin is definitely needed with publishing. Not sure mine is thick enough yet, but hopefully I’m getting there. But then there’s the marketing part. I feel sleazy every time I do it. But do it I must.

        As for blog followers, I think the number is bogus to a degree. Those spam followers are everywhere. Seems I get at least 2 or 3 spam follows every few days.

  13. “CLEAN CUP! CLEAN CUP! MOVE DOWN!!

    I agree with this whole post. I had zero friends in high school and as the “cookie crumbled”, I have zero friends now. I, to, started to see the “cliques” happening here to and wasn’t surprised.

    Hey, if your table includes a Mad Hatter, count me in!

    1. Hey, don’t discriminate against us cookies 😛

      1. Hmm..ok, not really sure what you meant by that but ok?

        1. *facepalm* I forgot my username here wasn’t Cookie Monstah. That’s what I use for posting everywhere else lol. 😛

          1. LOL! All is forgiven, please enjoy some Tea and Scones!

            By my “cookie crumbled” comment I was refering to the phrase “that’s the way the cookie crumbles”. So, the way the cookie crumbled for me was that I have no friends in the present as well as the past.

            But everything is better after Tea and Scones!

          2. I got it lol, and I will have a scone, thank you. 🙂 We can have a mini tea party right here on Alice’s table. How very posh of us, deahh. 😛

            Also, tea and scones makes us friends. It’s in the rule book. 🙂

          3. Hey Purple (I can call you purple, right?) – One of your names is Cookie Monstah? That automatically makes you a friend. Cookie Monster is my hero!

          4. Yep! Then you’re an honorary cookie monster too? Sweet!! Cookie monsters of the world, unite! =D

    2. Claudia – We’re all mad here.

  14. I remember this movie so clearly. Mainly cause we kinda skipped over the whole clique system. We had a few Plastics, that handful of party girls who smoked too much and drank too much, but they were held in as much disdain as we held them. The rest of us weren’t clones of a big ol’ happy clappy family either, but mostly we all got along, despite the differences in taste and likes.

    Ohh then college happened. I walked into the real world nose first into a glass door. Meh. =/ It’s six months into blogging for me now, and while the one thing I’m yearning for hasn’t happened (aka FP) the rest has been pretty awesome. Loved it all the way. 🙂

    Also, with pudding pops, this table’s gonna fill up pretty soon. Party!!!! 🙂

    1. That’s funny. I had the opposite – high school was the cliquey world, college was total indifference. It might be because I was a commuter student and the university was relatively small, but I just kept my nose in the books and plowed on through. I didn’t have much of a social life, but I didn’t have a negative social experience either. I liked the independence of college. Take a class or two here, then leave for the day.

      It’s not just puddin’ pops anymore. People are bringing some good stuff over. This is not helping my CAKE and SUGAR addictions.

  15. I appear to be oblivious to the blogging ‘cool table’ but that’s OK with me… I love what you said here “There are many, many tables out there. You don’t have to fit yourself into one group. You don’t have to suck up just to be liked. Just make your own group. And for goodness sakes, just write.”

    In high school I was a ‘drifter’ I had a few friends (acquaintances) from each group… the supposed ‘cool’, the nerds, the weird, the ESL (English as a second language), etc… I just drifted around and associated with anyone willing to take on a decent conversation… even outside of school I generally hung out with people older than me, or that went to different schools than I did…

    I am just me… and that is all

    (PS who doesn’t love pudding pops?)

    1. That sounds a lot like my experience. I had friends in grades above and below me. So there really weren’t very many people in my grade I cared much for, thus the school reunions appeal to me as much as a root canal. It didn’t help that they had the 10 year reunion at a snooty country club few could afford – la-te-dah! I had a four year old and a baby – I had other things to do then.

      I am just Alice, but I like being Alice. And I love pudding pops.

  16. Excellent post!
    I’ve been coming to the same conclusion over the past couple of months.
    I decided I just had to be “freshly pressed” because then I would have “arrived” (the “cool table” as you put it) and realised that I was attempting to write in the style that other people had used to that end – it wasn’t fun any more.
    So now I just write for me (and anyone else who wants to read!).

    1. Oh yeah, I know the feeling of yearning for that elusive FP award. Did you know you can send posts to them through Twitter? I didn’t until one of the editors appeared on my blog after I wrote a post criticizing WordPress (who me?). I’ve not taken advantage of that, but hey, you find a post you think rocks, why not? Of course, I know everyone says this, but while it’s cool, it’s not the be all and end all. I actually got almost as many followers as I did from FP from being linked to in another blogger’s blog. So make lots of friends, have fun, and write. Who knows what will happen? You can bet I never expected to have more than five people reading me. Look at my old posts from the beginning and you’ll see the dismal stats!

  17. Is it OK if I sit under your cool table?

    Great post. I have zero social skills in real life, and don’t even try to pretend I do on WP, yet I’ve still made friends here. Being who you are is the only way to fly….

    1. ::waggles a puddin’ pop under the table for evilsquirrel13::

        1. ::drops puddin’ pop conveniently close::

    2. You can sit anywhere you like, ES!

      1. OK, I’ll take the lap seat!

    3. Squirrel is very excited to have another squirrel around (if you’re confused, Squirrel is one of my editors that some people think is just a picture of a squirrel but they are wrong!) so come on down. And social skills – what are those?

      1. YAY! I promise not to start a food fight….

  18. *walks up to table, and takes a seat* *notices everyone is already engaged in jubilant and animated conversation* *enjoys pudding pop while people watching and conversation surfing* *contemplates leaving, thinks better of it, slinks down into the seat to get more comfortable and stay awhile*

    1. :: hands a slice of apple crumble to djmatticus ::

      1. Yum! Thank you! Homemade? How’d you know that’s just what I needed today?

        1. You just looked like you needed apple crumble. Don’t we all need apple crumble?

          1. Tammy, we all need apple crumble.

          2. I think so, yes. I hope you served up a slice for yourself.

          3. Great! This is quite a nice gathering around this table, isn’t it? Would you care for some ice cream to go with your dessert? We’ve always got a few cartons in the freezer…

          4. One scoop or two? Also, we have Oreos, you want a couple on the side for added “garnish?”

          5. What kind can I offer you? I’m already headed to the freezer to get some Cookies N Cream for Alice…

          6. That would be awesome right there.

          7. You got it. … can I get you anything else while I’m up?

    2. That’s like my thoughts every time I sit down at a table of people. Should I join in the conversation? Should I leave? Wait, there are desserts. I’ll stay a while. 😀

      1. Desserts make everything tolerable.

  19. Wow. Alice, this is so absolutely beautiful and honest and brave and just utterly amazing. May I come and have a seat at your table every now and again, even though I’m not doing any blogging for the present or the foreseeable future? I don’t want to be there permanently — no offense, but like you have learned to do, I make my own way — but I would definitely like to sit down and spend some more time talking with you when I’m more up for it.

    Sending love, and know that my heart is about bursting from being so happy for and proud of you. ♥

    (And irony of ironies, this is a post that I really feel deserves to be Freshly Pressed — actually shared in some way better than that. But don’t worry, I won’t do anything.)

    1. You’re always welcome to come and go, Ruby, as you know. I hope you are doing as okay as you can be.

      I don’t really desire another FP (too lazy to answer comments) but I do appreciate the irony! Ha!

      1. Thanks, Alice. I appreciate that. And I appreciate very much you thinking of me. One breath at a time.

        I kind of figured you would like the irony, which was why I had to mention it. But like I said, it seemed to me to deserve something better and more special than a FP anyway.

  20. I relate to this on so many levels. One of the few friends I had in HS is still my friend today and we discussed this recently. We determined our lunch table was the “Island of Misfit Toys” of our school. Mostly nerdy, but not completely and with a bunch of others mixed in. We are considering having our own lunchtable reunion instead of the 20th scheduled for the entire class soon.

    Same thing here. I just type whatever, whenever. Those who “get” it appear to like me OK, others not so much but that is fine too.

    1. Oh, the island of Misfit Toys! I had a table like that too, lol. Perfect description.

  21. As a trainee nun, I definitely don’t fit into any categories or anyone’s idea of “cool”. I’ll happily sit with the other so-called mis-fits wherever we happen to be. So if you’re pouring the tea, I take mine without milk, thank you! 😉

    1. You are the coolest nun I know. Join the Island of Misfit Toys. 😀

      1. I don’t know the Island of Misfit Toys. Are they anything like The Raggy Dolls? (The Raggy Dolls were rejected because they’d got put together wrong and had two left legs, or the head on backward, or whatever, and so they got thrown out but then escaped from the bin/skip and had all sorts of wonderful adventures.)

  22. Well said, Alice. I would be honored to sit at your table (and eat up all your puddin’ pops).

    By the way, you sound a lot like me when i was in high school.

    1. There were more of us than I thought!

      1. Looks like you’ll need a bigger table.

  23. As an Army Brat, I was a perennial outcast, always the new kid in class. After Dad left the Army, he’d still change jobs and move us frequently, so, still always the new kid in class. High school was just awful, with me trying to fit in with the cool crowd, or at least with the drama club (made up mostly of the cool crowd), and failing miserably. It’s taken me most of my life to get out of that mindset of needing to be in with the cool crowd. Of course, it helps so much that nerds and geeks are now ubercool, but it also helps a lot that I don’t need to be in with the cool crowd anymore. Life has taught me that cool is as cool does, and the folks who matter don’t mind, while the folks who mind don’t matter. Be yourself, blog for yourself, write the book you want to read, sing the song you want to hear, dance the dance you want to watch, and never mind the peanut gallery.

    1. Very good advice! I stayed in the same place all my life, so it’s like my low place was set in stone, but obviously it’s bad to move around a lot too. That would have made me more miserable – I don’t like change. I’d rather take a known evil than an unknown one. And high school is evil – but we got through it.

  24. “I was the one who put these people on the pedestals.”

    – I can relate to that. I think I did the same in high school. I undervalued my own good qualities and overvalued other people’s. But I think that’s just part of high school…everyone did it to some degree, some people just hid it more!

    I enjoyed this post. I’m a relatively newbie blogger and am trying to figure out this whole blogging thing and I admit I sometimes have blog envy when I see people with thousands of followers! But envy without action is no good right? Just have to keep on writing!

    1. Exactly. One thing about bloggers with thousands of followers – sure many are real, but some could be from facebook friends and twitter – those are added into the total. Also the bigger you are, the more spambots you attract. So there’s that. Also dead blogs – I clicked on some of my followers and the blogs were gone, but the ghosts remained ooooh. So who knows, really? This post has generated the most comments I’ve had in a long while. I think I’d get exhausted if I was so popular I had like 200 comments on every post!

  25. Isn’t it ridiculous how every aspect of life has a ‘cool table’ – school, work, blogging and even social activities like going to the gym. It’s exhausting. And it will always remind me of when I came to school one day to discover all my friends had decided to dump me and I had to spend my lunch time sitting on the outer of other people’s groups and hoping they wouldn’t ask me to leave. Fun times.
    I think I shall park myself here and enjoy one of your pudding pops. Even though I have no idea what that is.

    1. Oh, yuck, I feel your pain. I would often have friends dump me and never tell me why. It was like one day a buddy, next who are you? Awful feeling being shut out. And I think when it happens later – you don’t fit in with people you work with, or no one at church or other social settings talks to you – those memories kick back in. I’m working on shuttling that crap aside. Part of it is awareness of what I’m doing, which I didn’t have before counseling. Counseling should actually be required of every high school student, it’s that wretched.

      Yes, please, park yourself right here. I’m not actually sure what a puddin pop is either. I think it’s frozen chocolate on a stick. I just know Bill Cosby advertised them, so they must be good and wholesome.

  26. “I really wanted to thump that youngest one on Growing Pains…”

    Ah, Growing Pains. I vaguely remember that show. By the time I ever found any desire to watch it, Mr. Sulu’s son had already left the show and the world was getting introduced to the future of Hollywood. I was a Family Ties guy myself.

    But, back on topic. I would gladly join you at your table. It would be a pleasure. You can even keep the puddin’ pop for yourself, or maybe toss it to Things One and Two. It’s amazing how, as much as life changes after we get out of high school, that it really also seems to stay the same, especially when it comes to the social side of things.

    1. I also watched Family Ties – that was Micheal J Fox’s breakout role, and I love him. Also Malorie and “Niiiick” were funny – also the whole idea of the parents being so liberal and getting such a conservative son, rather than the reverse. Andy (the baby born during the show who literally aged overnight) was annoying, but tolerable at least. They really don’t make good sitcoms like that anymore. Wait – do they even MAKE sitcoms for the most part? At least family ones? I can’t think of any.

      Yes, the social stuff does seem to stay the same – but at least we are no longer trapped in it like we were trapped in those high school walls.

      1. They still make sitcoms, even a few very good ones. But long gone are the days of power blocks like NBC had in the 80’s on Thursday nights:

        The Cosby Show / Family Ties / Cheers / Night Court

        Most of today’s sitcoms tend to use constantly recycled material, or are rather crude in nature. Some are even both. There are some quality exceptions, but even those are mostly on their last legs these days. Reality television killed scripted entertainment on network television.

  27. Wow…100 comments…you really touched people with this post. After all, we all went through school and had our own experiences with whatever “group” we were in and the benefits or pitfalls it had. For many people a very emotional experience because school is almost your whole life when you are young and when you don’t fit in or reap the negatives it can be devastating at the time. Thank God most folks spread their wings beyond that when they move on from school. Though life can offer a similar experience if you allow it. Just as blogging can, I gather from your post. Now, I am pretty new to blogging…haven’t even been doing it a year yet. While I would certainly appreciate more followers, especially those that actually leave comments for pete’s sake, I haven’t felt any pressure to do more or be more or rise higher or be part of a certain group. Sure, I admire other people’s blogs (yours being one at the top of my love list for all your humor and honesty) but don’t feel like I have to be like or better than, etc. I must say, though, that I’ve grown and changed so very much over the past 20 years or so (okay, I don’t really want to say what high school reunion we’re having this weekend because it’s more than 20!) that I’ve simply come to love myself for who I am, while still wanting to grow every day of my life. There was a time when I was in my 20s that I would have been very neurotic about blogging, as I was about everything else. Okay, not quite clinically neurotic, but more perfectionist, but much the same result. Sounds like you have indeed grown past that need as well, and ain’t it grand to be happy with yourself and your blog?! Bring out the puddin’ pops and let’s celebrate!

    1. I am shocked by the number of comments! I was a little concerned that people might take offense at my criticizing WordPress, or assume I was discussing them or something. But yes, people have responded. It’s sad that it’s so universal that cliques and “mean girls” are everywhere, but I guess what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? I must be super tough.

      I’m so glad I’m at the top of your list! I’ve had many other bloggers inspire me, so I hope to help out others where I can. I’m still quite neurotic about a lot of stuff, but I am growing, as you say, and learning all the time. It’s a great feeling to just allow yourself to relax and say to heck with it. If I could just keep making myself do that . . . another puddin pop to the rescue!

  28. Nice insightful stuff Al, like it. I’m a newbie, picked up on the whole clique thing pretty quick…so there’s bullies and snobs and everything here too, huh? Does that make blogging art imitating life or driving it for content? Hmm…

  29. I want a freaking pudding pop! I haven’t had one of those in ages, Alice. I’m not exactly sure what you’re referring to here, as I stay clear of conflict. I’m like that! I’m good at that, too. Really, I just want a creative outlet and some connection with people. It’s easy to get wrapped up in numbers and stats, isn’t it? I find when I let all that go, I enjoy blogging a lot more. More followers doesn’t exactly mean that you will have more connection with people, because you only have so much energy for all of it. Thoughtful post, Miss!

    1. Yes, that’s true. I’d rather have a small group of people who consistently comment and have fun with me than a bunch of mindless spambots and . . . cats. You are lucky to have avoided conflict. I usually try to avoid conflict, but somehow on the Internetz I find myself hopping in feet first. Whooops. I’m working on just enjoying that whole blogger thing. Good to see ya back.

  30. I luvs ya sista! Great post.
    Invisible is exactly how I’d describe myself in high school. My blog, it’s me trying to be not so invisible. I guess it’s working. I find it funny that I used to check my stats every morning when I first started blogging, I don’t care about them anymore.
    I’m so happy to be sitting at your table, I love pudding pops! LOVE.

    1. Yay! I am so glad to see you! Sad Pony and Squirrel have been in mourning for you, waiting on one of your funny blog posts! Not that you’ve been away that long, but you know, Sad Pony and Squirrel, uh, THEY don’t get out much or have a social life really. Um, yeah, they don’t.

      Anyhoo, I am also working on being more visible. Alice is much more confident than the writer behind the curtain. I am working on merging the two.

      1. My internet was out, and I nearly died when I found out that I wouldn’t be able to see Squirrel or Sad Pony!

  31. I’d much rather have a cup of tea with Alice and the March Hare and the Mad Hatter than almost anything else. 🙂

    1. Why, thank you. There are always plenty of empty seats. New cup, move down.

      1. Yeay! I’d like a cup of Essence of Humanity with a dash of Crazyness and a large helping of Fun. Thank you!

  32. Very thoughtful reflection.

  33. I’ll be visiting you at your table, Alice. Though I’m often one of those invisible people, mainly because I generally can’t like or comment on posts during the workday, when I do a lot of the reading. And, of course, you are always welcomed at my table’s.
    And I’ve noticed that on the really popular blogs (like 100+ comments on every post), I’m less comfortable commenting, because it’s much harder to add anything original to the conversation. So while it’s not high school, I still feel out of place at the really cool tables.

    1. Good to know you’re reading even if you don’t comment. Thanks. You are welcome anytime, and I love visiting yours and reading your lists. I shouldn’t be commenting during the workday but often I’m like I HAVE to answer this now, especially if I find it really good. Yeah, I don’t want to comment much on those posts either, even if the person answers all comments, because of the same thing.

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