A Moment of Jen
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Thursday, November 11, 2004
posted by Jen at 11/11/2004 10:19:00 PM


I'm in the middle of the Jewish book fair circuit (if it's Thursday, I must be in Atlanta!). Tomorrow I'm off to D.C., then, next week, I'll be in West Palm Beach and Long Island. And then, finally, things are going to wind down for real, and I can get back to that book I'm allegedly writing.

The events have been lots of fun. I've been meeting some wonderful readers and, I feel slightly guilty to say, enjoying the baby-free flights. I mean, I love her, I miss her, I'm happy to hang with her, scribbling on construction paper and sticking stickers, but there's something blissfully indulgent about getting on a plane or even hanging out in an airport, sans baby, with a stack full of books.

So, speaking of the baby, I think I'm having a tiny crisis of conscience, prompted by -- you guessed it -- my Republican ex-reader. Who, as it turns out, wasn't an ex-reader at all.

She wrote back after I posted her letter on the blog, saying that she was flattered, and "sorry it has come to this." Even though she has many, many gay friends -- to go along with her Jewish friends, one presumes -- she feels that gay marriage will lead American down the slippery slope to Hell, or at least threesomes getting married, and she's still pissed that I, as a public figure, would choose to cram my politics down people's throats. Sorry that we've broken up, she said (Wait, we were going out?!? What base did we go to?!?)

Oh, she wrote, and by the way, congratulations on Lucy learning to walk!

My first thought, upon reading this, was -- and you'll laugh at me, but here it is -- how does she know my kid's name?

My second thought was, I don't WANT her knowing my kid's name. I don't want her knowing that I have a child. I don't want her knowing anything about me!

I love writing this blog. I love hearing from you, the readers, about your own baby travails, or books you love, or funny stories about trying to explain that GOOD IN BED was not a sex manual. Ninety-nine percent of the feedback I get, with the exceptions of the occasional bitchy "why didn't you write back to me/blurb my book/trash some other town in New Jersey," is wonderful. It gratifies me more than I can say to know that there's anyone other than my Mom even my books, let alone my blog.

It's the one percent that scares me...the people out there who have strong feelings about gays or Democrats or chick lit or women who don't take their husband's name when they get married, or any of the dozens of things I've talked about on this weblog, and now know more than I'd like them to know about my life, and my daughter's life.

Having a blog is like leaving a window open in your house. You never know who's stopping by to look in. For the longest time, this didn't bother me. I felt like I was living completely anonymously. Every reading I give, someone asks some variation of "how has fame changed your life?" and I've been able to say, absolutely honestly, "but I'm not famous." Except -- and this might just be one of the universe's weird coincidences, but in the wake of Miss Pissed Republican, I've had two different strangers come up to me in two different parks here in Philadelphia and say, "Hey, aren't you?"

In both cases, the women were perfectly nice and friendly...but in both cases, Lucy was with me, and it was because she was with me that they figured out who I was. I guess I'm just worried that there might come a day where someone with less friendly inclinations recognizes me when I'm out with the baby. Then what?

I haven't quite figured out what to do about this yet. Write off the theoretical crazies as a tiny minority unlikely to ever bother me in real time? Quit blogging about the family altogether, and stick to topics on which there's universal agreement, such as the weather, or Donald Trump's hair? Find some way to password-protect the site's content?

No decisions yet. But I'm thinking about it.

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