A Moment of Jen
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004
posted by Jen at 11/16/2004 11:08:00 PM

Hey everyone!

Thanks so much for all of the supportive and thoughtful emails about my weblog privacy dilemma.

If I can summarize the responses I've gotten, it would go something like this:

One: Please do not let one wackadoo ruin it for the rest of us, but....

Two:...if you decided you needed to pull back and be less personal about your family, we'd understand.

Part of what's been going on here is that I'm a little tired, and frazzled from having spent so much of September and October on the road, with the little one in tow for much of it.

The other piece of it is that a young woman was beaten to death by a med-school classmate here in Philadelphia. It was a horrible crime, and it happened in broad daylight, on a Sunday afternoon, in my neighborhood, at the supermarket I'm in and out of oh, basically, every other day. Which got me thinking about the crazies, and how it just takes one nutjob with a grudge, and your whole life's changed forever.

On the other hand, of the many emails I got, one was from a mother whose daughter, like mine, was a late walker. She wrote about how comforting it was to find that she wasn't the only mom with the only baby in that situation, and how this weblog made her feel less alone.

And I thought that's something I can feel proud of: writing books (or even weblog entries) that can make people feel a little bit less lonely in the world.

So there will be some changes I'll be making in my private life that none of you will hopefully even ever notice.

As far as the weblog, I am reluctantly toying with the idea of pseudonyms for my loved ones. Which sucks. Here's why.

When I was pregnant, I was completely, absolutely convinced that I was going to have a boy.

Looking back, I have no rational explanation for this certitude, except that the year I got pregnant I sold the film rights to my first two books, got my first royalty check for GOOD IN BED and signed a contract for books three and four. I made more money that year than any other year in my life and, given the disparity between male and female salaries, I just figured that there had to be a penis involved somewhere.

I was shocked -- shocked, I tell you! -- when the neonatologist peered at the little TV screen and said, "I'm not seeing any boy stuff."

The husband and I had agreed on our boy's name basically as soon as the double lines came up on the EPT test. We never even got around to discussing girls' names because I was so convinced that my first child would be, per The Godfather, a male one.

We had to spend the last eighteen weeks of my pregnancy scrambling madly to come up with a girl's name we could both agree on. And, when your name is Jennifer and you've spent your entire life being one of three or four Jennifers in any given classroom, soccer field or birthday party, you take a great deal of care not to give your daughter a really popular name.

So Hannah, much as I loved it, was out. Sophie, which I also adored, was out. Olivia was a contender, but my brother and sister-in-law beat me to the punch.

Then it came down to the name that I loved that my husband didn't (Daisy), and the name that he loved that I also liked but thought might have been a bit much for a little girl (Eleanor).

It came right down to the wire before we came up with the One True Name.

And now I've got to think of another one. Or at least a cute nickname. Not to mention amending eighteen months' worth of archives.

Sigh. Maybe I'll just call her Voldemort.

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