I started To Kiss the Cook a year ago, plus some interest due to procrastination. To say that I had no idea what I was getting into would be an epic understatement. Begging the question (from most people) "Why did you start it?"
I had developed a reputation among friends for 3-5 page quarterly emails. Massive. And I always assumed that people skimmed them and then pat me on the head. But then someone would reference the abundance of details therein and I would be encouraged. I'd had other friends start blogs while they traveled abroad and became acquainted with a couple other women who had made a real run at the internet and seemed enriched by it. So even though my blog is a little more censored than the old email chains were, it filled the gap and allowed me to talk through my kitchen adventures at the same time.
The first big change: TKTC as a Romantic Litmus Test
When I started ToKissTheCook last fall, I was talking to someone I called Chip. Nothing serious, just two people looking for dinner company who had an uncanny (and less than wholesome) amount of friends in common. The short of it is through a rather off-putting turn of small world events, we each discovered things we didn't like much about the other person. It happens. I won't get into my beef because it's rather irrelevant now but his issue was this website. I had talked about him, positively and vaguely, in the early days of this website when it was only my girlfriends reading it. An important lesson in full disclosure for me but an interesting reaction from him- he did not get why I wanted to talk about it or anything else for that matter. Alas, we are now both with the people we were hung up on when we were talking to each other so I suppose all's well that ends well.
Which does lead me to a contrast.
My blog used to be linked my Facebook page. It's not anymore but after the whole bit with Chip, I was adamant about not hiding anything. The security blanket? The one person who I'd opened up about a bit more than Chip was not on Facebook. And while I never wrote anything I'd be ashamed about him reading, it'd never crossed my mind that he would happen across it. Then after a year and a half of being actual friends, the little email popped up and I needed to say it. I told Jaimeson about my blog in January.
I think he caught the Facebook stream occasionally but once I took it down, he never mentioned a single thing again that lead me to believe he was reading it. And he has a rather nomadic lifestyle (eg not in front of a computer 10-14 hours a day) so I wasn't offended by his perceived lack of interest, I was a little relieved. And then I was confident he was not reading it and went on gushing more and more as things between us started to evolve. As I am in PR and talk about music (his livlihood) a lot, I tried to be careful not to put anything up that would strike an off-note with a publicist/ friends of his who saw my blog crossing a clips page and used instead hyperlinks to MySpace and iTunes rather than full artist names to avoid Google Alerts.
And life went on. And we had adventures and I was in it. "In it" in a way I hadn't been into anything in such a long time and probably not ever as an adult. I'd written a couple rather personal posts about it that I put up and then took down days later. Then put up again and took down. Some of you likely remember those.
Then he was here visiting in June and it was a few days before my birthday. We went out for barbeque, crashed a rooftop roller derby party and then met some friends of his at Liar's Club. It was a great Chicago night and having had him here with pie for a few days, we'd settled into the most deliciously sincere versions of ourselves. When we got home that night, recapping our various adventures, I got a bear hug for no reason. And he said "I started reading your blog again yesterday."
And my heart stopped. And it was maybe 3 seconds in real time but two statements ran through my head as coming next:
1) We have a lot of fun together, but I'm a rather public person and I can't have any part of my personal life out there, even if it's encrypted. I'm sorry.
2) I like you but I don't think I'm as into this as you appear to be and I don't want to hurt you. I'm sorry.
Neither of those scenarios included the following (what actually came out):
" I almost didn't tell you because I didn't want you to feel like you needed to censor yourself. You have such an incredible outlet and I love getting to read about what's going on from your perspective, in your voice. I didn't know, I really didn't know for sure that you felt the same things I did and it's amazing and I hope you don't mind that I read it."
You would think my heart would start again there but it didn't. I was shocked. I shouldn't have been but I was and I don't think I said much after that but there were some kissing noises and I can't recall a single other thing, apologies :)
And because of the way he said it, I haven't censored myself about the giddiness and the anticipation and the adventures. I think he catches it from time to time but I don't know how often and I like it that way. So that was really big. That he knew who and what I was and how I felt about him and pie and adventures and he liked me anyway. And it helped me to trust what was happening. What's still happening. I highly recommend letting someone into your life who's best-case scenarios match up with yours time after time after time.
"Want to watch a movie?"
"You know, I DO want to watch a movie. I kinda want to watch Harry Potter or something like that."
"Why don't we go to blockbuster and buy the latest one? And get candy?"
"And POPCORN. And turn all the lights off!"
The second big change: TKTC as a career woman coming mid-week.