Wednesday, April 07, 2010

You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

I realized this week that my blog has a mission statement. I’m sort of pleased about this and sort of horrified; I’ve decided to call this state of being cringigrin. The mission statement for the last five years has been Somewhere in the world, Quinn is being an idiot. It’s best we track her.

I’ll admit, for the first few months, I worried I’d run through every stupid thing I do and then I’d be left with taking pictures of each and every bean and cheese burrito I eat, but I came to understand that my idiocy is an endlessly replenishing well. The bean and cheese burrito would show up in the blog, not out of a lack of material but because I’d eat it while driving and then spill it and then I’d swear loudly and then I’d notice my open window and the open-windowed SUV full of nuns in the next lane. When you’re me, there’s often a nun-laden car somewhere within earshot.

In September, when I started home-schooling, I won’t say my first thought was “...and so much material of me being an idiot to blog,” but it was in the top five thoughts. And yes, there is an embarrassment of riches of my embarrassment, but it always involves the kid. She swears she doesn’t mind if I write about her, Consort gives me permission as her father; the pets remain indifferent. I could write about home-schooling her and all the idiotic things I do and the funny things she says and I’d be typing so fast and so often that I’d wear off my fingerprints.

And yet.

And yet it’s my kid and it’s her life and not source material and there might be some time when hearing, “Say, aren’t you ‘Daughter’ from Quinn’s blog? I read all about you!” won’t fill her with delight. Or having large chunks of her childhood out there, being read by thousands of people will fill her with delight which will nauseate me. Because it will mean she bought into the collective lie of modern culture which says being known for no good reason is the highest aspiration a person can have. So I need to create a slightly different blog and it began with the new mission statement:

Come to the QC Report party and leave happy nearly all the time.

Sometimes, I’ll lead you to a Q-Tea video blog. If I find objects I think might please you all, I’ll link to them. I’ll still be doing idiotic things and we’ll be tracking them, because if I’m not shaming my family name in public, you can safely assume I’m dead. But I’m giving myself room to widen what a QC Report blog entry will be.

I put up a blog earlier this week. It was meant to commend parents who were divorced from their partners but still showing up for their lives and their children’s lives; I’ve got a few people in my life right now who aren’t having much fun in that capacity and I wanted to send them an unsightly-but-sincere Valentine of a blog. But the first person who wrote in made some very perspicacious comments about the other side of divorced parents, the selfish and mean side. She wasn’t wrong, I wasn’t wrong, but I didn’t feel like seeing what happened in the comments. I thought about my new mission statement and did something I’ve never done before; I took the blog down. I might put it up again it some point, but right now I feel like keeping this part of my life, the writing part, happy and carefree. Obviously, if something icky or sad happens in my life which needs mentioning, I'll mention it. But until then? Buoyancy.

In sum, I’m not going anywhere. I might even put something up more often, whenever I find the right mixture of happy and goofy or whenever I fall up a flight of stairs in front of someone important. The QC Report party will continue until such time as the punch runs out.


Blogger Weronika Janczuk said...

Fantastic mission statement. It fits just right.

P.S. Have I mentioned how much I love this blog?

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Robin Raven said...

That's a very good mission statement. It's also very considerate to your daughter. I'm worried about that with general people in my life and sometimes take down entries in my blog.

I would love to read the entry that you mentioned, but understand if you don't want to put anything out there that you're not comfortable with.

Some of my favorite parts of your book were of the non-comedic kind (yet, the book is funny in all chapters). I like your comedic and dramatic writing, but you should stick with what makes you happy.

It's your blog. It should be whatever you want it to be. Glad it shall continue and entertain and enlighten us. :)

12:28 AM  
Anonymous --Deb said...

How can you NOT love a mission statement that means everybody gets to be happy?

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Judy S said...

It's a nice mission statement but it's also a very sad one.

Sad because you feel you have to police yourself and be politically correct; that you can only blog about "safe" topics instead of events or issues that have your fingers itching to type.

The best writings are those that are thought provoking and conversation starters. The ultimate compliment to a writer is that conversation, especially if it is of a debate style (where opposing viewpoints are discussed).

You have an awesome way of writing, of inviting your reader into the everyday foibles that happen in your life, and I look forward to continuing to read all about them.

And it's more than fine if you slip in anything that might offend me --- I'll keep coming back!

5:01 AM  
Blogger steptrig said...

Please don't let the bad comments get you down. You make the rest of us feel so much better. Wait, that doesn't read right... Anyway, your literal dirty laundry makes me not cringe quite as much over mine. Which frankly, is just too gross to share.
'Sides, just love hearing you talk :D

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Susie said...

I think this is lovely. For the record, I loved the post you took down and I took it as you intended, but I can see why you would now feel uncomfortable about it. Fortunately, this is your blog, so you choose what you want to put out into the ether.

On that note, I read a lot of bloggers who write about their kids; I enjoy those blogs. Some of them get a lot of criticism for putting their kids' lives out there, but I've never been able to understand the difference between writing this material on the internet and putting it in a book or magazine. Memoirists have been documenting the lives of their families for eons. It's what they do. To single out bloggers is, in my opinion, unfair.

However. What a great thing it is that we are all in charge of our own actions. I read all of these bloggers and I respect their choices. That doesn't make those choices right for me and my family, but that's why I don't blog. (Well, that and the fact that not only am I not witty, I'm long winded.) If we all made the same choices, this life would be ridiculously boring.

I think you are terribly witty and insightful, and I love your take on things. I'd read anything you write. Keep it coming, please, however you see fit.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Leta said...

I wondered what happened to that post. Okay, fine, it's not the internet keeping things from me. Whew.

5:46 AM  
Blogger TheHappyHomemaker said...

Yes....some places you must protect.

Thanks for being my happy place!

6:16 AM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

The mission statement is perfect. Thank you for it.

If you ever see you are running low on punch, please let me know. I can overnight gallons of whatever you desire. I was a room mother for years, and have way too many florid punch recipes that taste a lot better when you take the leftovers home and add vodka.

6:34 AM  
Blogger Sara J. Henry said...

You know we love you, Quinn, whatever you blog or don't blog about. (And we heartily hope you are saving some writing energy to produce a new book.)

What I find curious is that readers seem to like best the entries on my blog where I talk about buying pants that end up stretching so they must be continuously hoisted up, or my dogs knocking my laptop onto the floor while I am out, or the man driving down my country road who leaned over and tossed two dog biscuits at my feet (I did have two dogs with me)- not the entries that I think are the most poignant or meaningful.

There's a moral here, but I'm not quite sure what it is, but I'm happy to offload these odd tidbits from my life, and happy they seem to entertain people.

And we're more than appreciative for the time you spend entertaining us, and for your sharing segments of your days with us.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous elizabeth said...

Yes, I think we all like to read that there are others out there who make silly and stupid mistakes and horrific faux pas - so that we know we're not alone!

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get the part about writing about our kids. I do so as well but don't post pictures as I once had and have removed the ones I idiotically did post. I forget that A) Not everyone thinks my kids walk on water like I do. B)There are creepy people out there cruising blogs. This was pointed out to me by my college-freshman son who I have always known, but now have confirmed, is SO much smarter than his mom.

The Q-Teas are wonderful. A real pick-me-up when I find a new one posted. But of course I love the blog as well. You can do no wrong in my book.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous cp said...

Oh, Quinn... see? we are on a first name basis...and why?...well, because of you and Consort and Daughter and Lulabelle and walking dogs and jar eggs and being noble but also time challenged (Consort) being adorable and bookish but also able to foot stamp (Daughter) being kind and polite but also able to extend offenses while trying to make a possible offense better (you),. All these things and many more bring me back to put a smile on my face or laugh out loud or de-stress or be reminded that wonderful people like you and Consort and Daughter are real and funny and lovable and human just like me and mine. What a good de-stressor your blog is and has been. Hope you won't leave Daughter out altogether...she's part of the tapestry of love, laughter and life that is helpful and healing here. But I understand what you had to say on the subject. Sounds reasonable... I just love what you've done in the past, yet I must say I'm glad to see you back on a more regular basis in any form.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Elise said...

Ditto to what cp said. Also, the Q-Teas? Love them! :)

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog brings many people together to read your experiences, to which many of us relate, and share their own. Your writing is intelligent and witty and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. I love when you direct us to a website or film or book to learn about and enjoy. SO, you write about whatever you feel comfortable, and your loyal readers will be there happily partying.

7:41 PM  

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