Well, poppets, what a fuss yesterday. The last time my traffic bounced like that it was on account of Mark Shea, who was so charmed by little me that he thought someone ought to marry me pronto. From this it is clear that Mark was not a daily reader, but I was delighted all the same.
Yesterday was not like that. Yesterday a blogger used my blog and--I might add--my thoughts as an excuse to sound off on What Catholic Girls Should Expect From Us Catholic He-Men and, to add insult to injury, revealed--clumsily, without malice--that he thought my readers were risible.
A bull in the china shop of the heart, perhaps?
The silver lining is that some Single women must have found my blog through his link and that they will find interesting things to read here and also the fellowship of my readers.
I blog here at least five times a week, and am not paid a dime to do it. Once in a blue moon, I put up a tip jar. And I've stopped counting how many emails I've received asking for advice. I'm sure it's over 100, but not how much over 100. In the past, I did not have an honorarium for speaking engagements, but just let whoever invited me give me what they thought fair. (Thanks to the contemporary realities of writing life, and my looming old age, I've changed my thinking on this.)
Meanwhile, I'm never, ever going to get signed on as a staff writer by a big Catholic Singles site because they deal in Catholic dating websites and, poppets, you know what I think about that. If it weren't for B.A., I would be the proverbial starving writer. (Of course, if it weren't for moving to super-secular Scotland, I'd probably have a great job in Catholic publishing, but let's not go there.)
In my six years of writing about the Single life, I've been married for three. So why do I blog on the Single Life?
It's hard to say for sure, but I think I have a core readership of 200-250. These are the girls and the two or three guys who read every day or almost every day.
My elementary school had 250 students, so it's a staggering thought.
Meanwhile, I can't keep you girls straight because I get so many letters and so many comments and since you write to me of such personal stuff, I've trained myself to forget who says what.
But I do remember that somebody American said that she and her roommate start their day by reading my blog out loud. And since the majority of my readers are in the USA, I try to have my article done by the time the East Coast wakes up.
Writers love to write, but we also love being read. And what I love about blogging is that I get almost immediate feedback from readers. And what readers!
You're doctors. You're surgeons. You're scientists. You're professors. You're grad students. You're poets. You're professional singers. You're lawyers. You're soldiers. You're homeschoolers. You're high schoolers. You're engineers. You're mothers. You're teachers. You're lay ministers. You're PR pros. One of you may be an astronaut. One of you is a top mathematician.
You work in publishing. You work in laboratories. You work in studios. You work in schools. You work in sales. You work at home.
You're in the USA, most of you, but you're also in Canada, in the UK, in Poland, in Germany, in Australia, in New Zealand, in France, in South Africa, in Russia, in Asia, in the Caribbean.
Apparently most of you are in your twenties. Most of you are Roman Catholics, but some of you are Anglicans and Protestants and East Orthodox, and if Jenny from my town is still reading, at least one of you is a Jew. (And at least one is a Catholic Jew when Dawn Eden comes by.)
You're mostly women, Single women. And from your emails and your comments,I know you're pretty darn bright. And it is because of your emails and your comments that I am still writing this blog.
Incidentally, my blog readers have done more to promote my books than anyone else with the possible exception of the team at Homo Dei. The invitations to speak in the UK and the USA? The opportunity to lecture at the Edith Stein conference? Readers. You girls.
I met my husband because readers alerted him to my existence. The reader who set off the astonishing chain reaction of our romance is now a cloistered nun
I'm not Single anymore, but I am still childless, which is sometimes a burden, to be honest, since I seem to have grown into a motherly type, very interested in younger people, especially if you are bright. And somewhere along the I-93, the wheels of my shiny academic career fell off, so I don't have students either. What I have are readers, and you are such a gift to me. You, Science Girl, and you, Med School Girl, and you Charming Disarray, and theobromophile, and Nzie, and Aussie Girl in New Zealand, and Urszula, and Tess, and the girl whose email I answered when I got up this morning.
It's very humbling, actually.
Aw, shoot. Crying. It's Tess's fault for being so sweet.
And it's also the fault of that young woman from Warsaw. During the Krakow conference, there was a session where I was booked to hear women's concerns and to give Auntish advice. This young woman from Warsaw came in, wreathed in smiles. She didn't have a concern. She just wanted to say thank you and that she and other Single women in Warsaw had created a support group called the Anielskie Singles.
Trying to remain rooted in reality here. For after all, this is blogging. Blogging is somewhat removed from the real, physical world, and you can't know a whole person just over the net, as I've said a hundred times. But you can know something, and one thing that I've noticed is that my readers sound a lot like themselves in person. Berenike, for example. Benedict Ambrose.
So I feel like I know my regular readers, just from your comments and your emails over the years, and I think you're fantastic. Sure, you make mistakes. Sure, you commit sins. Sure, you lose it on men-in-general and wallow a bit in vinegar. But you're sorry, and you pick yourselves up, and you trust in God, and you keep going.
I'm crying again. The eavesdroppers are rolling their eyes at such girliness. Well, I am a girl, so they can go boil their heads (bless their little hearts).
Anyway, that's why I lost it a bit on Ryan yesterday.
Thanks, girls, for everything.