Wednesday, October 11, 2006


One of my old j-land friends used to insist that people who read her journal had absolutely no idea who she was in real life. That you could never really know someone by reading what they write.

I thought she was full of crap. Because the things I write are the essence of my soul. Generally, I write without holding much back, regardless of audience…or whether, indeed, there is any audience at all.

Now that I am back out in the world, I better understand my old friend’s assertion. Because I’m absolutely certain that if anyone who knows me here, through my writing, experienced who I am in my real life, they would not be able to connect that person to the one who pours out her soul without much provocation, and without a great deal of censorship, here on these "pages."

Here in my journal, I write…whatever. If it pops into my mind, I blurt it out onto the page. I don’t much consider who might read what I write, and what they might think about me when they read. I don’t seem to have any sense of "TMI" when I’m on a literary roll. If something matters to me, if it moves me, if it bothers me, if it makes me laugh…I write about it. I think, sometimes, that I am the compositional incarnation of a compulsive talker. The term "diarrhea of the pen" seems an apt description of my literary style…

Who would guess that in my "real" life, I’m downright taciturn? My mind simply does not supply my mouth with the easy bullshit that is the substance of human interaction. "Small talk"—that meaningless, convivial rambling that seems to act as both tranquilizer and adhesive in polite society—has always been as foreign to me as the remotest African dialect. Especially at work, where I subscribe to a nose to the grindstone, work-now-talk-later philosophy. My staff sees me as moody, and my clientele thinks I am distant. My husband, when I asked him to come up with one word that describes me, came up with "driven." To an employer and small-town business owner, this is not an asset.

I really wish that my crew and my customers, and even my husband (who isn’t interested in reading my journal) could get a glimpse of the "real" me that I display here…where people can’t see me. Or that I could peel that "me" off the page and stick her to myself when I deal with people outside the ethereal world.


  1. Is this a warning ?

  2. Food for thought in your writing today ~ made me sit back to think ~ everything you write here is in your head perhaps you are just too shy to let out the real you for other people to see ~ just try it for a day ~ I love interacting with other people small talk or any other kind of talk ~ I enjoy it all ~ Ally

  3. Lisa, the conversation that greases the daily wheels is a learned skill.  It's not something I enjoy, and I'm still not comfortable with it, but I have learned how to manage it to get through business that has to feel social.  If it's really important to your business,  you CAN learn this.  Your drive will help.  If it's simply beyond your limits (stress limits there, not beyond your ability), you can hire a front person to handle that part.  Look for the skills you know you lack in the people you hire.  Now onto the difference between.  Now for the difference between who we are in blogs and real life,  I don't think real life can handle people without their filters in place.  That's one of the reason why some of us literally need our blogs.  It's a safe place to be genuine.

  4. I'm not a big conversationalist myself. When I was in my teens I was usually the only girl near my age at family gatherings. I got really good at asking questions about sports with my cousins.

    That said I am absolutely hopeless at small talk. Sometimes I kind of envy folks who can spend hours talking about absolutely nothing. The rest of the time I'm thinking about the books I could be reading, the cats I could be petting or flowers I could be playing with. You just march to a different drummer girl.


  5. ok...NOW I know we are the same person in different bodies.

    Small talk makes me nervous and feels so phony to me.  My favorite friends are the one who can endure longs periods of silence with me without discomfort.

    Where single sentences are whole conversations.

    I love you Lisa.

  6. First, I thought you were quite verbose and congenial when we met. Second, after my experiences I think you can't know someone simply by reading them unless they are being honest about who they are and I don't think all people who write online are honest. Third, what's wrong with being driven as a business owner? Driven equals profits. However, you do need to remember a big part of the restaurant business is customer service and as the manager/owner you're customer service has the biggest bang because people feel extra super special to be taken care of by the chief.