As you know, I love to write. It’s my hobby, my passion, my solace. Problem is, I’m rubbish at reading. I haven’t read more than a handful of books since I left university over 10 years ago. I did an English Literature degree and all that forced reading, analysing, summarising – it just took all the enjoyment out of it. So since then reading has felt like a bit of a chore. Shame really.
Embarrasingly, it’s the same with reading other people’s blogs. If you haven’t grabbed me in the first few sentences you’ve lost me. Even when I’m pretty interested in the subject matter, I’m always prone to a bit of skimming. My attention span is rubbish. In fact I can think of only a handful of posts I’ve actually read word for word. Taken in the detail of the language, the complexity of the argument.
The thought of someone skimming MY posts upsets me. Carefully crafted, meticulous in word and description – it’d be like someone smothering my home-cooked meal in ketchup. (Something Mr Milk IS prone to doing). But I’m not stupid; of course people skim my posts, many won’t even be arsed to open them. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, especially over the past few months. “I didn’t sign up for this depressing shit!” (an actual reason given by a work colleague for unfollowing me within 2 days of joining). And it’s painfully obvious when someone hasn’t read your posts properly. They’ve guessed the subject matter from the title, and totally missed the mark with their comment, sometimes with cringeworthy results. “Well done on the weight loss!” when the post was actually about the agony of putting it all back on 2 months later.
And I know I’ve done this a few times myself on other people’s blogs. I think it’s quite unforgiveable, and I hate it, and I do it all the time.
This kind of total hypocrisy follows me round quite a bit. I frequently have greater expectations for other people than I ever manage to meet myself. Like being appalled at the childminder when you pick your kids up and they’re glued to the television AGAIN, like your own house isn’t a bona fide movie theatre. Or you go tutting at your husband for failing to wash the dishes before stacking them in the dishwasher, and then he points out that he was in fact out for dinner the night before and this was all your handiwork. Or wincing in disbelief at seeing another mother fly off the handle at her children with a bit too much menace, before your own raging banshee is unleashed later when you spy a chocolate fingermark on your cream blinds.
So come on, what expectations do you have of other people that you frequently and miserably fail to reach yourself?