This is embarrassing. What was I thinking? Announcing my birthday on the internet? How tacky. Even as I wrote those words just now, the phone rang yet again. I'm surprised Bob Costas didn't wish me Happy Birthday from Beijing. Honestly, soliciting attention was never my intention. Which is a funny thing to say when you're writing a blog. But outside my family, I never cared if anyone remembered my birthday or even knew when it was. I forget other people's birthdays all the time. Now that so many people made the effort to wish me a happy birthday, I'm left with 3 things: A--Enormous embarrassment. B: Enormous appreciation. C: Enormous pressure to reciprocate.
This birthday incident points out something else. Since I started the blog, friends aren't sure how to communicate with me. Should they call, text, write on Facebook (which I don't use), email, or post a comment on my blog? When I started blogging, I was advised to encourage comments. Then I didn't know if I was getting enough or if people read them or if people even knew comments are there. I did something I wish I could bring myself to do more often in real life when I want something: I asked. And on the post specifically asking for comments, here's how many I got: 0.
So I thought to myself, "Getting comments doesn't matter as long as people are reading." But being a little neurotic (you've noticed?) I did worry a little bit until I happened to speak to a blogging expert. She told me: "Getting comments doesn't matter as long as people are reading."
I felt better. And I stopped thinking about comments. For 24 hours. Then I started thinking about comments again. Because I got one that demanded to be shared.
I had no idea what to do with it. And neither did the person who wrote it. His comment is about the Keira Knightley piece--but he posted it to a different blog, "I have to confess..." If I left his comment where he put it, no one would ever find it. As I said, it deserves to be shared. So I will.
My blog was about what Keira Knightley and I have in common: flat chests. The difference is that she never had any more than that, but I did.
I recognized the name on the comment, although I hadn't heard his name since maybe junior high. Until his message came out of the blue--which is one of the great things about having a blog. And getting comments.
I have to confess...that after reading your blog about Keira and your breast cancer and subsequent operations I shed a tear.
And then I laughed. For some 53 years (oops, am I giving away your age?) I have thought about those breasts. Funny, really, since you and your cousin Jill walked into the Kindergarten class at North Beach Elementary in matching outfits; then later in Nautilus Junior High, was it Resnikoff's or Mack's class?, and later in high school.
Even when you became the face of news on the local TV.
I received a copy of your blog in an e-mail from Gail Sandler a few weeks ago. Many a young boy fell for Gail, the Queen of the class. But not me. I always had the desire for you. And them.
My wife and love of 33 years, Susie, has had two small battles with breast cancer, but has been very fortunate not to have suffered as you.
So now, after almost a lifetime of wondering what it would have been like, we learn, like so many other things God gives and takes from us, that they weren't as good as we had anticipated.
Is confession good for the soul, or only embarrassing?
Dear Jay (to me you are still "Joey"): Your confession sure was good for MY soul. And it sounds like your wife is a lucky woman in many ways. Thanks for letting me share your comment. Between your confession and my birthday, could be we're both a little embarrassed right now.