Friday, May 18, 2012

Thank you for being a friend

In March of 2008, someone named Kate left me the most lovely comment. She asked me not to publish it so I didn't and won't share it verbatim here in case that still stands. She mentioned how she was going through some difficulties in life and struggles with herself and anxiety and how my habit of editorializing my own quirkiness has given her strength and happiness and how much she appreciates my doing so. I was never able to delete it, so it has sat in my comment inbox for all of these years, quietly reminding me of why we're here whenever I forget.

I do have paralyzing moments of wondering what we're doing here together. I get writer's block wondering why the hell any of you would care what's going on here. I get stage fright wondering why the hell I would choose to share my boring life with hordes of strangers. I get worried that I share too much or too little or of being judged in real life (because not letting real life people know has failed miserably--meaning about half know and the other half may find out at any time and wonder why they never knew). I get insecure over the unspectacularness (I invented that word) of me and my average little family.

And then I see Kate's comment again and feel good about the people I may have accidentally helped along the way, even if it's just with a smile, and I remind myself that I'm recording my life story and hope that my children appreciate its existence one day. I think of Kate probably every day, someone I have literally had no personal contact with since there was no way to reply to her comment, and how she couldn't possibly guess how that one innocuous comment has kept me going through the years.

And although Kate is the poster child of good comments, so many of you have touched me with your words and with the fact that you reached out in some way, or even that you are there. Every time someone comments that they've just read the entire blog from start to finish I am in complete awe (and concerned about your lack of quality reading material) and go to bed that night thinking of their comment (and of the fact that I myself have never read the blog from start to finish...I never re-read it at all, due to aforementioned stage fright). Whenever one of you who have been around for years drops by, I feel like I've been reunited with a long lost friend and am so flattered that you're still out there. Whenever someone new announces their arrival and pleasure at having found us, I am happy they're here and surprised that they took the time to convey their delight.

And I mean to reply to every comment and to reach out to every reader, but I have a short attention span, I'm lazy, and I often read my comments late at night or over the phone and vow to respond the next day and then forget. So, I'm sorry, and thanks to the Kates of the world for being here, and please excuse this cheesetastic interruption of our regular entertainment.

(And I swear this isn't a tactic to guilt you all into commenting more frequently....)

27 comments:

Julia said...

What're the chances you remember the drunk college girl about 4 years ago who emailed you about how much of a fan she was? Yup, I'm STILL reading. I'd make this comment either cheesier or slightly more hilarious, but I'm now a 3rd grade teacher through Teach for America and my kids are working on a project while I try to survive on 4 hours sleep. Woops. Either way, HELLO from the intertubes!

Ashley said...

Haha!! I DO remember you, Julia! I was so amazed that my messy miserable mom life would hold any appeal to a college girl, and that you emailed--that's above and beyond, my friend. That is so funny to know you're a 3rd grade teacher (Big Kid's grade!) and that you're still not getting enough sleep ;-)

This made my day (but to be fair, it's still really early...).

Mrs Independent said...

Your "average little family" has celebrity status in my household. The Huz insists I read each post aloud, using my Big Kid and Little Kid voices. Trust me, you're making a lot of people out there laugh!

Ashley said...

That's a weird and hilarious thought, Mrs. Independent and now I'm dying to hear the Big and little kid voices. :-)

Anna said...

I finished reading the entire blog a few months ago :) I was sad to be caught up. I especially enjoyed reading about little kid when he was my daughters age (20 months) My mommy guilt about every little thing was in full swing and reading this blog was refreshing. I found your blog through bbc, btw.

MTGrace said...

One of your "had to go back and read the entire blog from the beginning" readers here! We are here because we love you and your kids are FREAKIN' HYSTERICAL!!

Caitlin said...

I love your blog and read your posts to my husband - which is significant since he doesn't like many of the blogs I read! I understand the anxiety, I have it too, but you're hilarious and keep on keeping on :)

Sarah Rooftops said...

I only found your blog recently, but I really enjoy it. I do the same thing with comments, though - I read them on my phone and then forget to reply. Every so often I go through my list of posts and, any which have an odd number of comments, I go in and see if I've been ignoring people.

Anonymous said...

Dear lovely Ashley
2 years ago I fell in love with an officer in the Australian army... (I'm an Aussie girl in my early 30's, no kids), who was then deployed to Afghanistan. I didn't have any army girlfriend buddies or anyone that quite understood in real life, so I started reading blogs of American mom's who husbands were also deployed, because that was the closest thing I could find to someone I could relate to their experiences. And one of those army mom bloggers must have linked me to your page, and that's how I got hooked! I too have read the blog from start to finish (I did have spare time back then). I quickly got tired of the army wife bloggers and my lovely boyfriend came home after 9 months. But I still check your blog every day hoping there will be another post. I don't know why you don't rank as #1 funny blog - cause you are! What makes you the best is that your writing and writing style is very very good - you obviously put a lot of time into proof reading or you are just naturally great at being gramatically correct! And you nail great characters. I do feel like I know the four of you plus your crazy neighbours!! Please don't stop blogging - your posts are a little burst of fun in my day!

Ashley said...

Anne-that's good to hear because I'm slightly concerned about anything I may have said within that time period (LOL). It was not an easy time. Not at all.

MT, thank you so much for your many comments. You're one I consider a semi-regular and I love that.

Caitlin, my husband doesn't understand either. He's still not all that impressed with what goes on here. LOL.

Sarah, I'm glad you get it! Sometimes new/better technology actually makes it harder to keep up because I'm more likely to check than respond.

Anonymous, who knew Australians had an army?! (LOL, no seriously, I didn't know). Thanks so much for your loyalty and lovely comment. I do love good grammar ;-)

asnell said...

Dear Spectacular Ashley -

You make me feel like a normal person because all my friends live in some kind of fantasy land where they don't secretly wish school wasn't getting out next Friday.

I love summer but am intimidated by "that" much time entertaining my kids myself. The fact that you have weird stuff happens to you somehow makes me feel normal. So...keep it up. You are saving me each time you write.

Ann in Colorado

PS - We made our summer bucket list. Thanks for the idea :)

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I came on here today because I am having a horrible day and your blog ALWAYS makes me smile. Or should I specify that your little and big kid stories make me smile. You seriously have the most fabulously funny kiddos!

KK

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Oh I also keep forgetting to ask if little kid still has his crazy work friends?

KK

Ashley said...

Ann, your friends are all lying liars! I was surrounded by people like that too which is how we ended up here in the first place, I guess.

Preppy, one sad day he told us that he had made up his work friends and didn't really have a job and they've been gone ever since. It was a tough day for everyone involved. I miss them too.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Oh how very Puff the Magic Dragon! So sad!!

KK

Sasha said...

You know I'm always here.... I sort of think we are kindred spirits, a la Anne of Green Gables. I can't even remember how long I've been reading, but it was before the weiner gobbler debacle. I think I found you via Monogram Mama's blog and then realized I already "knew" you from the BBC. I'm always excited when I see you have a new post up!

Jess said...

You still make me laugh, and I still read every post, even after all these years. It's fun to see how little kid has grown right along mine who is the same age. I love that I knew you way back before this blog was founded and showed the world how fun and funny you are.

Jess

MTGrace said...

Yay! I'm semi-regular!

...and I don't even eat that much bran!

Ashley said...

Thanks, Jess, that means a lot to me!! I hope you and your clan are doing well. I can't believe our babies are all about to be 6 :-/

Anonymous said...

Ashley,

Another drunk college girl here that has religiously read your blog for years. You've literally brightened my days throughout some extremely dark times and I am grateful to you. In fact my, now ex, husband used to ask about your blog while he was deployed to Afganistan (that's how much your blog has meant to me!). You've seriously cracked me me up so much over the years and have (almost) changed my mind about possibly, maybe, having kids one day. Can't wait to read more of you in the future!

-Murphy

binajabber said...

Dear Ashley,

your blog should get published as a book (I'd buy it in a heartbeat), that's how great a writer you are.

Engaging, hilariously funny, and inspiring.

Thank you for sharing your talent with the world, stage fright and all...

Dana said...

It's probably been a couple of years since I've commented, but I've been reading forever - since the BabyCenter days! Thanks for sharing your life. You never fail to crack me up and make me feel like my little family is not alone in our craziness.

I do feel quite guilty now for my lack of comments over the years . . .

Ashley said...

Thanks so much everyone! You're all forgiven for prior lack of commenting ;-) You've all made me feel less crazy over the years too, amazingly enough.

Renee said...

I'm still here too! I don't know why I don't comment anymore? I'll try to say hi more often. :-) Miss you!!

- The Renee (aka Fate)

Desiree said...

So tonight BBC was slow, as it tends to be on the weekends, and I was poking around the interwebs looking for something to read when I remembered that I haven't checked in on you in FOREVER. Like a couple years at least. So here I am getting caught up, with a cup of tea and plans of reading all the way back to when I find a post I remember, and then here is this gem of a post and I just had to say "I was gone for awhile but I just can't quit you" :D

Ashley said...

Aww, thanks so much, Desiree! That really made my day to hear! :-)

Laura said...

Oddly enough, I stumbled upon this post as I started the trek of (what I'm sure will end up being) reading your blog from start to finish.

Your honesty is not only refreshing, but hilarious. If I lived in Florida, I would force you to be my best friend.