©2011 Odilia Rivera Santos
When I ventured to blog, there was the clear idea of having an audience. Instead of keeping a journal with story sketches or the happenings of my day, I could now obsessively post in the middle of the night during a bout of insomnia or instead of running down the subway stairs to go hobnob with other nerdy artsy types. This is not to say blogging replaces socializing with humans, because I love the humans, but it is nice to have a medium through which people can see what I do. I am a writer, and this fact shapes my approach to most things in life. Thoughts of fame and fortune are never far behind in American culture, but for me, fame is irrelevant -- just the fortune will do. We write because we love writing, and I suspect most of us, bloggers, consider the possibility of hitting the blogger lottery: getting paid to blog. The new American dream for those of us comfortable with the idea of a screen in front of our faces all day is the ability to earn a living in a strange outfit while sitting in a French coffee shop, eating croissants and drinking a capuchino.
Before I began this blogging journey in 2008, I thought about topics that might gain a following, so I surfed the net with an eye on numbers; it seemed sites devoted to porn and beauty tips were very popular. This was just what I gleaned from a cursory glance. I wasn't particularly qualified to write on either subject. I did, however, start to wonder what the two subjects might have in common. Lip gloss and coitus infinitus were inextricably bound. I wondered if the attraction to these sites could be a need for self-improvement, a need to cover all the bases as dating becomes a permanent fixture in people's lives; if one could both apply makeup and learn all the latest techniques for having sex, ...
An advertisement popped up the other day for a dating site for older people. The people in the pictures looked to be in their early eighties, and I wondered what people were hoping to find in this dating from junior high school to grave culture. It is okay to settle down with one person and watch him or her lose the sparkling appeal and then, perhaps, the ability to think rationally. There should be phases of a relationship in which two people are partners and then, one needs more help than the other. I wondered if people let go of each other too easily in a relationship. Of course, I am not speaking of cases in which there is possessive, jealous or otherwise unacceptable behavior. But I did wonder about the kind of baggage people drag around from one relationship to another.
It is still odd for me to hear of someone's parents being divorced. My parents got married and their marriage was dissolved as they'd promised it would be: through death. My father died after he and my mother had been together for over sixty years. They settled in and settled for that on which they'd agreed. Their agreement including sickness, as my father became ill at a relatively young age and never quite recovered. It is an old-fashioned idea to be with one person and allow him or her to annoy without even considering walking away. The love is decided and the love question is never again brought up. It just is.
Thinking about porn and makeup, I came to the conclusion -- no pun intended, that people just don't know how to settle anymore or settle down. And perhaps, there are areas in life in which being complacent would be a good thing or at least preferable to the alternative. I have settled down with writing and we are definitely staying together through sickness, health, rich, poor and all the other issues that may come up. I will write and observe, feeling a sense of satisfied complacence. Yes, I have settled and have no problem with it.
Writing on Writing
My slim volume of nonfiction essays is published!
Latinalogue, Puerto Rican Nonfiction Part I