Small World

Small World

When last week’s article in the Boston Globe about food blogs came out and it listed Pim’s full name, I got to wondering. So I googled her and it turns out that Pim, of Chez Pim, and I not only work for the same very large computer company, but we’re in the same division, and even in the same building (which considering there are about 45 buildings on campus, is pretty interesting). Who knew? So I emailed her, and she IM’ed me this morning, and we made plans to go out next time I’m back in town. Small small world ….

And it got me thinking about this odd little blog world. For instance, I’ve been watching these two new nanny shows on TV — Nanny 911 and SuperNanny — and I found myself wanting to chat it over with Leah, who writes so beautifully about domestic life and feminism over at Struggle in a Bungalow Kitchen. I was a nanny for a while, although not one of the professionally trained sort, and I’ve been absolutely fascinated by these two shows. For one thing, who knew people were in so much trouble out there in suburbia? These families are living in utter chaos — both physical and emotional. And the mothers, in particular, seem absolutely shocked to find themselves unhappy with their domestic situations, and yet seem equally mesmerized by their own messes. I have some ideas about how these shows betray some fundamental truths about the failures of feminism as a political force, but I’m still parsing them together. However, knowing there’s this funny space out here, where there are other smart women interested in food, domestic life, gardening, careers, feminism and their intersections gives me incentive to keep poking at these idea bubbles.

The blogosphere gets a lot of mixed press, particularly from the print media, but I find it interesting that in our own little ways we’re all finding actual connections with one another ….

8 thoughts on “Small World

  1. Hi Charlotte,

    I’d be happy to chat with you about super nannies, etc. I haven’t seen these shows, in particular, but I have noticed the overall trend towards this fascination we have with the domestic chaos of others. I like to think of it as the new “comfort tv” (though personally, right now, I’m don’t want comfort.)

    But wow, as to the failings of feminism. . .I wonder. I’ve got such a head cold at the moment I can’t think coherently about the subject. Something to look forward to once I am well.

    Wish now that I had seen the nanny show. I’ll have to check it out next week. In the meantime, I’ll dust off my copy of “The Rise and Fall of the British Nanny” and take it to bed with me tonight, along with my hot water bottle.

    You know what I like about blogs, as opposed to message boards, for example? I like that when you come across another blogger, you can spend some time getting to know them. If someone leaves a comment on my blog, but they, themselves, are blogless, it’s a little strange. Like a prank phone call or a piece of fan mail. But if they leave a comment which links to their own blog, it ‘s much more like a meeting of two minds.

  2. This is so true — isn’t it odd how you find yourself wondering about what another blogger would think about something-or-other. . . when in fact this person is a Complete Stranger? But blogs give a connection to an internal thought process. In fact, I HATE it when people I Actually Know read my blog. . . . which is weird, too, I suppose. And yet, great connections (and thanks again for turning me onto Seeds from Italy; I just got the new catalog, which I can peruse on the coldest day of the year!)

  3. The nanny issue is one I need to think about in more depth — I keep thinking of Carolyn Heilbrun’s: Reinventing a Woman’s Life on the issue of domesticity and feminism. But I though of you Leah … there’s something odd about domestic-chaos-porn … I just haven’t pinned it down yet.

  4. Well, as a blog-less commenter on several blogs, I have to say I completely understand Leah’s comment above, and have had the experience of feeling like I had to work extra-hard to “define” myself in certain blog groups. I try to tread very carefully at first — not jumping in to a blog’s force field right away until I have a reasonable feel for what’s appropriate (or not) to say. And I feel that way more-so because you’re right that my bloganymity denies a blog author the option of checking me out in greater depth. (Sigh) There are several reasons why I am, and must remain, blog-less, even though a part of me does greatly pine to have one (and I do know how to go about it, and all that 🙂 and I have to constantly remind myself (however unsuccessfully as on occasions such as this) that the comments portion of someone else’s blog is no place for logghorea (which I am almost certainly spelling incorrectly 🙁

    Stopping now (but enjoying the thought process 🙂

  5. Carroll–It isn’t that comments from the “blogless” are unappreciated–but you just can’t immediately satisfy your curiosity as to “who is this person?” (Every once in a great while I might make a comment on a site and not reveal my blog identity. There’s always that option too.)

  6. I don’t have a blog (yet), but I don’t want to feel like some weird lurker, a stranger trying to crash a gated community. Blogs invite comment, don’t they? I take the comments at face value and, for that matter, the blogs too. All I know is what’s been posted, for all to see (to paraphrase Emily Dickinson, How Public – Like a Blog).

    I enjoy the glimpses into other women’s lives, and some of the thought-provoking posts which definitely resonate with me as I go through my days and consider my own life. Because of Leah I find myself thinking a lot about my own “miseducation” and all the mixed messages I received as I grew up (in the 70s – I’m 45 now). Particularly the pressure to succeed and achieve – the flip side is that you can end up feeling like a failure if you don’t “measure up” to some very high standard. (Anyone read Maureen Dowd last week – and her diatribe about how high-powered women have trouble finding soulmates because men prefer “support staffers”? So she herself dismisses the vast majority of women who aren’t at her professional pinnacle. Feminism, or misogyny?)

    I enjoy reading your blogs (Charlotte, Leah, Meg, Karen in Vermont, and others as I discover you) because you all make me feel like I’m not crazy, or entirely alone – that there are bright, sympatico women out there. SO rare in actual life, to connect with other minds, and to talk about ideas.

    I’m definitely contemplating a blog – but I’m not quite ready yet. Til then, I hope you don’t mind if I pull up a chair and join some of your conversations…

  7. Hi Charlotte,

    It’s been awhile, but I still visit your blog from time to time. Small world indeed–I’m living in London now, as my boyfriend attends culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu. Chez Pim was the first food blog he really turned on to, and it inspired him to start one of his own.

    Cheers, and best of the new year to you!

    Eleise Jones (formerly of Ruminator Review)

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