Letters from Home

On Finding a Voice

I have a tendency to slip into foul language when little people are asleep. It’s the side effect of a past life working in the restaurant business where half the employees never escape a room below 110 degrees and only hear the words: “You screwed my order up again” as the nearest thing to praise.

I’ve noticed, however (especially in the last 10 months since there have been lurkers around this place who have ulterior motives), that my natural writing voice has gotten constrained and tight. I’d compare it trying to sing Madame Butterfly while laying on the floor with Tony Soprano standing on my neck.

And while that might give some of those readers a bit of ghastly glee, it actually doesn’t concern me all that much. Mostly because as a result of feeling my own voice constrained, I’ve spent unnatural waking hours looking for someone else to vent for me.

Last night I found a fabulously shameless hothead over at finslippy who instantly shot herself to the top of my blog reader by using the F-word in the same rhetorical breath as “crudite”… . Yes, Alice, I will pardon your French–any time.

I found the blog by way of Babble’s list of Top 50 Mommy Blogs, the sort of thing that makes me absolutely cringe in its desperately honorable attempt to give a subset of  highly talented and relevent bloggers the recognition they deserve, while hopelessly tossing all of them together under one culturally busted-down bus.

But my buddy finslippy was only named #8 funniest, so even though the cadence of her voice and her wracking humor grabbed me by envy-balls, I sauntered over to #1 funniest, Heather Armstrong, whose Dooce is so well established with accolades and acknowledgements that her thick sarcasm is starting to sound like church bells. I liked her photos alright, but they were so perfect, I almost thought I was scanning iStock for the perfect vision of familial goofiness.

But that’s not to say she isn’t worthy. In fact, the glory of blogs is the torrent of content. From the ages and pages of Dooce, there’s undoubtedly some raw edge that cut into her loyal readers, hooked them, and kept them returning. Blogs are like mood swings–  if you are faithful to the one you love, even on those horror days, there is comfort in the sound of the voice.

As for my voice, well, I’ll have to assume the stiltedness of my posts are excusable to those who know my whole story. And for the those who are mystery friends, you’ll just have to wait until the day the stilts are burned in freedom.