Thursday, February 24, 2011

Believe it--my life is one big run-on sentence

There is a vicious cycle that happens sometimes when it comes to written communication.

For example:

You are a conscientious and gracious human who receives a gift from another conscientious and gracious human, so you write them a thank you card.  You send them the thank you card, and maybe it was a handmade card, and maybe you said lots of really sweet things in it about how you not only appreciate the gift, but the gift-giver and the friendship that lead to the giving of the gift in the first place.*  Then the gift-giver is so moved by the thank you card that they want to send you a thank you card back, but then you're thanking them for thanking you and that leads to a vicious cycle of pleasantries... so I suppose a pleasant cycle, but still vicious in that it has to stop somewhere, but you don't want to be the unappreciative heel who didn't send a thank you card... even though it's a thank you for a thank you for a thank you...

Alright, in the modern world it sometimes goes more like this:

You read a blog or article or whatever on the Internet and decide to send the author some positive feedback.  Maybe you send them an e-mail because you've been reading months worth of the archives and the breadth of your comments is too much to cram into just any one post.*  So you send an e-mail full of glowing praise for this thing that you liked.  The author reads it and in a totally awesome and real-person-type way, sends a response, which is in and of itself just stinkin' rad!  So, follow me here: the first e-mail is the gift. The response is the thank you note.  But maybe in that response they said even more awesome stuff that you totally want to respond to, because obviously there is a human on the other end of the communication line, and that human actually seems to have stuff in common with you, and you maybe want to tell them more stuff that isn't necessarily about how great they are or how great you think they are, but about those things you have in common...

Is it the same thing?  Am I crazy for wanting to continue an e-mail conversation with a stranger just because I like the things they write and it turns out we have 2 things in common? 

I mean, they have lots of readers, sometimes in the hundreds and thousands range... they must be inundated with letters of praise and adoration.  Even though I know they are appreciative of my praise (because otherwise they never would have responded to say so, because they're not total douchenozzles), I don't want to be all fan-girly... because even though I am totally enamored, I should have some self respect and maybe composure or something... I just don't want to overwhelm anyone with my appreciation, because that seems uncomfortable.  I don't know.  I don't really live in the world where that would happen to me.  The closest I come is one very excitable Aussie Shepherd type dog greeting me when I get home and trying to sniff me in places that I don't like to be sniffed.

I mean I would be satisfied with just tens of followers, and it would be great if those people were my friends with whom I liked to share meals and vacations and YouTube videos.  Which isn't to say that I wouldn't be happy if random people from the Internet came to visit my blog.  No, that would be pretty keen too.  See, random Internet people, I don't dislike you.  Your existence is just sort of about as relevant to my life as the Hubble telescope.  I know it exists and does stuff when I'm not paying attention, which is in fact 99.999999999993% of the time**, but none of that really impacts my day to day life. 

Unless of course the Hubble telescope became a fan of my blog... which would be incredible and mean that I had surpassed the greatness that this world could contain and had to share my greatness with the universe at large... which is incredibly unlikely unless I somehow manage to come up with something to say, which I don't see happening any time soon seeing as how I can't even really be bothered to stop my own run-on sentences.

All of this to say that thrice times have I actually taken the time to write to some of my favorite bloggers (that I didn't already personally know) to tell them that I appreciated their contribution to my Internet adventures, and twice times I have received responses and both times I wanted to respond again but feared being "that guy" that keeps the conversation going much longer than is desired...

No one wants to be That Guy.

*This really does happen, I promise. I know, because I do it, and while I'm a bit of an odd duck, I'm not a totally unique snowflake type duck.
**as calculated by my random statistic generator, i.e. my imagination...

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