Some of the Reasons Why I am on Twitter

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Let’s Compare Our Favorite Websites.

Just for fun, the Boffin put thisbritishamericanlife.com into Alexa to find out where it ranked as far as web popularity.  It made it to #19,519,204 in the global rankings, which is much better than I was expecting. I have all of you to thank for that, and if I could fit 19,519,204 fingers onto a foam hand, I would do it in a heartbeat. Seriously, it means a lot that there is a core of you that keeps reading my musings.

Imagine that coming after you in the doctor's exam room.
Imagine that coming after you in the doctor’s exam room. “Grady Sizemore Foam Finger” by Chris Metcalf – originally posted to Flickr as Grady Sizemore Foam Finger. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Of course, it wasn’t enough that I found out where I stood in the World Wide Web.  I had to find out about our web searching habits.  So, I had a look at the top websites in the United States and the United Kingdom.  Let me type out the top 10 for each.

In the United States, we have:

  1. Google.com
  2. Facebook.com
  3. Amazon.com
  4. Youtube.com
  5. Yahoo.com
  6. Wikipedia.org
  7. Ebay.com
  8. Twitter.com
  9. Craigslist.org
  10. Reddit.com

In the United Kingdom, they like:

  1. Google.co.uk
  2. Google.com
  3. Facebook.com
  4. Youtube.com
  5. Amazon.co.uk
  6. Ebay.co.uk
  7. Bbc.co.uk
  8. Yahoo.com
  9. Live.com
  10. Wikipedia.org

So what gross generalizations may I make out of this?  We both love to watch cat videos equally.  The Britons spend too much time looking up useless information, and the Americans fit their reputation of wasting their disposable income.  Oh, the Americans also love to talk vapidly about the stuff they bought on social media more. Let me see, the Britons have too much trust in a government-run news site.  And Google, excuse me, Alphabet is well on its way in its scheme to take over the world.

That’s a start.  How much more tongue may I put into my cheek?

Does anyone else want to throw in some stereotypes?

A Different Kind of Le Mans Endurance

I can’t complain.  The Boffin does not spend hours of his life parked in front of the television watching sports or involved in fantasy leagues.  Not that there is anything wrong with doing those things, just as long as your family is not suffering from your lack of presence.  Hey, everybody needs an interest or hobby.

However, the Boffin has two loves: Formula One and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  Le Mans just started, and I lost him.  At least for a while, I’ll ask him when the slow parts are when he will break away.  He isn’t crazy, just an English engineer.

The Boffin will eventually get up.      By Mdk572 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Boffin will eventually get up. By Mdk572 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
I was glad the race actually started, so I would be a reprieve from the English engineeriness. Because we have a PC connected to our TV. We gave up cable and watch TV through the Internet, so watching Le Mans meant going through a live feed. The Boffin was futzing with YouTube and Daily Motion to find just right channel. He made a joke about he couldn’t miss the beginning the race because Nigel Mansell isn’t in it this year. I stared at him blankly. He reminded me that Nigel Mansell crashed after a few laps 5 years ago. Like that was supposed to be a high priority in my brain retrieval system. Most of the time I don’t remember to eat breakfast.

But I was wrong. The audio wasn’t matching up in this feed. That feed was in French, and his French was too rusty. All I could do was provide tea and sympathy. There were positives for him. The race was being shown an hour behind because of TV contracts. That he could live with. Good. He also found the Audi feed. Even better. I was sure, the Boffin being the Boffin, would work this all out. Imagine his delight when he found out Daily Motion has channels for the car cams. He bounced in his seat. He formally announced that he is sleeping on the couch tonight. I think he would have anyway.

And now he just announced to me that he shelled out six quid for the Eurosport feed because he had enough with the fiddling. I just told him to do that every year and save himself the aggravation. He conceded defeat and just wanted to enjoy the race. I am also glad he is saying more and more, “It’s better to just spend the money than drive yourself crazy to fix it for free.”

You know, I can’t begrudge him a once-a-year event that makes him this happy, especially when he does so much for us. We are just working on making it a little less complicated for him to actually get to the enjoyment part.

Not the Mama Blog

You would think that because I am a stay-at-home mom it would be natural for me to make this a mom blog. Now I have nothing against mom blogs. Lord knows, I read my fair share when the Sprog was little, and there were days when she decided that Torturing Mommy was the Best Game Ever!

That favorite yogurt you just bought 12 pots of? It's poison! I don't want it anymore!  Photo courtesy  of Wikimedia Commons
That favorite yogurt you just bought 12 pots of? It’s poison! I don’t want it anymore! Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Any words of solidarity were welcome and needed, and I came across a few that were well-written and relevant to my experiences.  Like anything on the Internet, it took a long time to find what I needed, and I had to weed through a lot of crap to get there.

So why am I not returning the favor? Lots of very good reasons actually…

  1. There are tons of mom blogs out there. Women love to write about their kids and their lives with their kids. It’s understandable because once you become a mother, it touches just about every facet of your life from how you arrange your career, how you manage your intimate relationships, how you eat, how you sleep, and even whether you go to the bathroom by yourself when your children are really young. (To those in the trenches, you do get to pee alone. It will happen. I promise.) I really do not need to contribute to that discussion when there are so many women in the mix already.
  2. I always wonder about the role of the spouses in these blogs.  In the poorly written ones, they show up like the goofy neighbor next door in sitcoms.  Perhaps, the writer is just casting the spouse that way for comic relief.  Maybe I am reading the wrong type of blogs here, but I would love to see more where the other spouse is more of an active and engaged parent, like the Boffin, instead of a bumbling fool.  I would love to be proven wrong here.
  3. There is a risk of overexposing the Sprog. I believe children are human beings who have a right to privacy. Just because they do something cute or noteworthy does not mean I need to snap a photo and plaster it all over the Internet. I feel I don’t have the right to tell my side of the story of a fight we had and not give her the forum to tell her side. Yes, I could portray every real struggle and triumph that I have as a mother on the blog, but to pretend that what I say does not effect my daughter is magical thinking at its finest. She may not understand it now, but she will be able to read it later and call me to the carpet.  And rightly so.  Until she is of the age where she can give the proper consent and a rebuttal, I will not give out the details of the inner workings of our relationship. It’s my own personal policy.
  4. The “my type of motherhood is better than your type motherhood” is a minefield I want avoid entirely. Breastfeeding vs. Bottle Feeding. Career vs. Staying-at-Home. One child vs. Two+. Boys vs. Girls. Homeschooling vs. Traditional Classrooms. Soccer vs. Morris Dancing.  No matter what you decide, there will be somebody there to judge or question your decisions. You can’t win with the public, and I don’t feel the need to justify why we do what we do with the Sprog.
  5. I would find writing about the Sprog to be boring. Don’t get me wrong. She is most beloved to the Boffin and me. She is a quite interesting topic of discussion to those closest to us. However…the subject of children can be quite tiresome after a while. We have all been there, and you just want to sedate the people who insist on sticking to the kid subject when there are a plethora of other topics out there. True story time:

I was at a friend’s house who was having a get-together with a bunch of moms in the Sprog’s class. The conversation was all about the kids for an hour at this point, and the current topic was half-day kindergarten. I was sincerely wondering if these women ever read a book or watched a movie.  Anyway, I decided to try to steer the conversation to something else.

“Well, the Sprog had full-day kindergarten when we lived in Massachusetts.”

Dullard Mom #1: “Really? In Massachusetts?”

Me: “Yes.” (Smiling and expecting questions about life in Massachusetts.)

Dullard Mom #2: “Oh.”

Dullard Mom#1 and #2 proceed to turn away from me and start talking about their kids’ diving class, leaving me to stare at the cake on my plate and question humanity.  Just because I am a mother does not mean that I find children infinitely fascinating.

I guess this touches on a grander theme. The Sprog is my kid and very important to me, but she isn’t my life. She is going to grow up and leave home and create a whole world separate from the Boffin and me. I better make damn sure that I am secure in my own identity, develop my own interests, and nurture my relationship with the Boffin and other adults.  And it may behoove the rest of us, ladies, to do the same, if we are not already.