If my life were a “Jeopardy” answer right now, it would be:
The way to get to more attention than you’ve ever had in your entire life.
And the question is:
(It also helps if you do it on an extremely slow news day in the middle of August.)
Holy crap, was that just a crazy couple of days. All because of a blog post that I wrote to entertain my friends! (Seriously, nobody read this site.) I was in the New York Post. I was on the evening news. Twice! I was linked all over the place, too many places to count, though it was the link from Reddit that put me over the top. But it started by me posting on Twitter and Facebook, and then Maura posted it on Tumblr soon after, and Jen Doll put it up on the Voice, and it just kind of spread from there. It was extremely fascinating to watch it all go down and I found that I could not walk away from my computer. All told, 95,000 people have visited the page in the four days since last Friday, which is more people then have ever visited anything I have written on this blog ever ever ever.
The irony that I have been working my ass off for a decade to fight my way to the middle, while something I wrote in thirty minutes has garnered me this kind of readership (albeit temporary) has not been lost on me.
It has also been extremely awesome to see people write really mean things about me on the internet. Regular readers of this site (which means like, my mom and my college roommate) know that it has always been my philosophy never to publicly respond to criticism of my work because I think it’s pointless and there is no way to do it without sounding like a huge baby. Also it’s what you sign up for when you agree to have your work released by a mainstream publisher. They pay you money for it. It’s called a job. And while the same rule does not necessarily have to apply to big jerks on the internet who have been talking some major trash about me (this is also what happens on an extremely slow news day in the middle of August), I am going to refrain from responding…except to one thing.
Dear People Who Think I’m a Fucking Hipster:
I AM TOO OLD TO BE A HIPSTER.
39 in November
Anyway, fame (of the positive or negative variety) is fleeting, especially on the internet, and it’s what you leave behind that matters most in this life. And my legacy is that for just one day I made people happy! That was the best part of it! Oh my goodness, I got so many nice emails from people all over the world. And tweets. And people posted things to my facebook wall. I did not stop smiling all day, so thank you, thank you, thank you, for responding like you did, and I am sending all the love right back to you.
I’ll revise my “Jeopardy” answer:
The most you could want as a writer.
And the question is:
What is: to make people happy with my words?
I’ll end with my favorite email I received:
I just read about how you got your bike back via Facebook, and it made me cry.
I live in Iowa now but lived in Brooklyn for 12 years and was a bike commuter. I loved my Madeline, she was abused some, back tire stolen, seat stolen, but she was a constant companion. I had to sell her at a stoop sale when the frame cracked and some guy bought her for parts. I cried as he drove away.
People in Iowa are always shocked when I pull out my NYC bike lock and lock up my Schwinn and the burley that I tow with my 18-month old. They often comment on my need for security. But I always explain how much I depend on my bike (we are a one car family living in the most urban area of town and walk and bike a lot) and how sad I would be if it was ever stolen.
Congratulations on having great friends and for believing that the NYPD would help you.
I don’t know why it touched me so much, but I could just feel her heart, fresh and human and connected, pounding through my computer screen, and my heart pounded right back at her.