I may have become a stalker.
It’s not my fault, though, I swear. See, it all started with a phone number switch.
Back when we first moved to Madison almost three years ago, Ross made the (arguably terrible) decision to change phone numbers, to give up his 312 for a 608. (I, of course, resisted. I still cling to my 773 as one last badge of Chicago-ness. Because, I know, my love for cheese curds and badgers could have fooled you.) In any case, Ross became a 608er with little thought thereafter. Until he went on one of his googling sprees. You see, every now and then, Fresh likes to google himself–to see if his Zoob escapades still grace the ‘net, to see whether or not his daily letter to the editor has gotten published, and to see if his doppelganger Ross Freshwater (Scottish hostel owner, stingray expert, “Shower of Bastards” front man) has out-googled him.
Well, on this particular googling expedition two years ago, Fresh found a hilarious blog post about himself…by the guy who inherited his 312 digits. Turns out, all of Fresh’s friends had been harrassing this poor guy–also a Ross–for months. At all hours of the night, Ross #2 had been getting calls for Ross #1, and he had exasperatedly wasted hours trying to explain that he was Ross but not that Ross. Poor guy. But Ross #1, our own Mr. Fresh, made it even worse: He went and sent this blog post to all of his friends, along with yet another phone number update. So now, not only did Ross #2 get endless phone calls from Ross #1’s friends, but his blog was inundated with cryptic, sarcastic, intrusive comments. You can see the whole bloggersation here.
For a few days, we were a flurry of activity. Emails back and forth, phone calls to friends in Denver to say this was for real, google research to find out who Ross #2 really was. We even dreamed up our own “This American Life” adventure, where we could meta-narrate a Chicago meeting of the two Ross’s and make intellectually witty comments about our crossed wires.
But it got old after a while. And we forgot about Ross #2.
Fast forward a year. For some reason, I was reminded of this episode and went hunting for the blog and comments documenting the insanity of our jumbled identities. I found it, alright, and before you knew it, I was a stalker.
You see, Ross and his wife KT write a pretty funny blog about pretty mundane stuff. As I read it, I thought, If these people lived near me, we’d totally be friends. And what’s more, they update their blog everyday. So before I knew it, a one-time reminiscence became a daily obsession–What would Ross and Kitty be writing about today? Would she knit more ugly socks for her nieces? Would they finally sell their Chicago loft? Would she cut her hair so that she didn’t look like a polygamist? Would Ross finally get his Chewbacca backpack for Christmas? And then I even started reading the comments, and I got a little jealous: Their friends were pretty funny, too. And they read Ross and KT’s blog everyday. And they all kept blogs. And, well, now the Carlklef Chronicles are in my blog feed. And this post, unfortunately, is probably going to turn their blog private. Which really would be okay by me because then I wouldn’t have the occassion to act like a stalker. I mean, really, do they want some total stranger to know that they take the bus to BYU everyday and are desperately trying to buy a house so that they don’t have to live with their parents? Really?
So I’m a stalker. I’ve got to accept that.
But then I got thinking: If you write a blog, aren’t you inviting stalkers? Isn’t that the whole point? And that got me thinking some more: How come everybody else blogs, and I don’t? How come they get to write about their bad hair days and I don’t? And do you really have to wait until you have a baby before you can start blogging? And does anyone really want to read about your kids that much? Which got me thinking even more: Isn’t our blogging craze a little egotistical? Does anyone really want to read our random ramblings?
Now, the jury’s still out on a lot of these, but I think the answer to the last one is loud and clear. My stalkerdom is a testament to that. (Well, and the baby one, too: I totally read all of my friends’ baby blogs, cooing over every cute little picture. Although maybe that’s less about the inherent interest of kid blogs and more about the fact that I’m 30+ with no children.)
So I’ve made a one-month delayed New Year’s resolution: To start writing again. Here. I like to write, a lot (and academic papers don’t count, although I’m trying to make those a little more user friendly on my professional blog). It used to be that all those authorly juices got flowing when we traveled, as evinced by my blog archives, but we’ve recently been bitten by the responsibility bug. So we’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Where does that leave me? Writing-less? No way. (Plus, Lauren keeps reminding me to blog about some of the crazy stories I’ve been telling her.)
So I guess I have Ross and KT and that damn 312 phone number to thank. Maybe I’ll keep stalking just a little longer.
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While living in Mexico, I joked that speaking Spanish forced me to be far more Zen about life: Since I could only speak in the present tense, I was forced to just live in that present tense.
Like what you see? That's mostly Ross Freshwater. Check out my talented partner-in-life's photo gallery.