I’m a freelance writer and it is a truth generally accepted that writers must, as part of the writing process, procrastinate. I have lots of procrastinatory techniques. There’s wordtwist.org-ying. There’s the Soapdish Forum. There’s Google news and there’s Youtube. There’s Twitter. There’s blogging, which of course leads to checking stats. There’s reading blogs. And then there’s the strangely seductive world of Christian stay-at-home/work-at home/homeschooling/farmsteading mom blogs.
I am not a Christian in any sense of the word, though of course my mother dragged me to Episcopal (or Anglican if we were overseas) church every Sunday until I was 12, at which point she let me sink unabetted into heathendom, where I’ve happily lived ever since. But there’s just something about all these blogs of all these conservative women that is fascinating.
A lot of it is that I don’t know any conservative Christian women. The conservatives I know aren’t terribly religious. The Christians are usually pretty liberal; they’re Espiscopalian or Presbyterians. Every now and then there’s a mild Methodist or two, or maybe a Catholic who’s left behind the religion but kept the guilt. But the two together–now that’s something else. I feel like a voyeur poking into these lives that are so different from mine, a world where people really do use wallpaper borders as a decorative feature in dining rooms, and grocery shopping is considered the highlight of the day.
Oh wait. Grocery shopping is usually the highlight of my day too.
Don’t misunderstand me. I am not putting these blogs down. At the end of the post, all personal blogs are really nothing more than an exercise in self-validation–and by all means, I include myself in this category. Then of course, you have all sorts of blog genres: House blogs, lit blogs, craft blogs. If there’s a word for it, there’s a blog for it. And each one has its own angle, its own way to thrust its content out into the ether, its own method behind its madness.
Except for the Christina SAHM blog. There are hundreds and hundreds of them and for the most part, they’re pretty much interchangeable. Truth to tell, I don’t do more than skim a couple of posts here. The content is usually not terribly interesting. What is interesting is the form:
1. The About Me talks about their wonderful husbands, their children, and their love of Jesus Christ.
2. There’s usually some sort of soundtrack.
3. They sign off every post with a jpeg of their name in a funky font.
4. The header has a large bucolic image / a quote from the Bible / their goals as a Christian woman.
And last, but certainly not least:
5. The content is about how this person is an ordinary person, no different from anyone else.
And this is what I love about them. There’s something so refreshing about people NOT trying to be different, about being just one of many. It’s not about foisting one’s opinion on the world; it’s not about being different. It’s not about being edgier, or more literate. It’s not about drumming up business. (Which, frankly, I have never seen a blog successfully do, but I guess Web 2.0 in the business world is a whole ‘nother post and really, what do I know anyway?) No–it’s about staking out a corner of the Web to be the same as the others in your circle.
And really, sometimes there’s something just a little comforting about that.