I Apologize For Not Reciprocating


This photo just felt right. 

I’m a makeup artist, of sorts. Technically, I’m a writer by trade, a makeup artist out of economic necessity. It’s the only job I’ve ever had that allows me time to write and doesn’t drain me creatively or intellectually. Not that I’ve been writing. I’ll get to that.

In high school and college I was an artist. I specialized in charcoal and pastel portraits. My artistry is not without merit. People say I do “pretty makeup.” Which is why I resisted learning to contour, that horrendous technique that makes women look like drag queens. (I’m all for it on drag queens.) You shade out the hollow of the cheek and sides of the nose with a brown hue and paint the high points of the face with a white or very light pink color. It’s best for photos and on camera work, but ghoulish in the daylight.

Nevertheless, it’s not going away, as I’d hoped. I have to learn it to stay employed.

I went on YouTube to get some tips from “famous” YouTube “artists”. Here’s my question, which seems to apply to anyone who posts regularly on YouTube, why do YouTube vloggers apologize for not posting when they haven’t posted for a series of weeks? Do bloggers do that? Should I do that? It strikes me as presumptuous, but then, since I am not a devotee of theirs, it doesn’t matter what I think.

My default is to believe it never matters what I think. I have a shitty self esteem. And don’t worry. It’s not the kind of thing that responds to pep talks or sympathy. Save it for someone you love who’s had a bad day at work.

I’m pretty aware of my issues, but when has being self aware ever changed someone’s behavior? I’ve made peace with it. I don’t hang out with people who have a lot to give. It feels like an assault.

You’re hating me right now and you’ve stopped reading. You expected more about contouring. But I’ve already told you I don’t know it. It’s all right, leave. I’ll keep going.

I haven’t posted a lot this year. In spite of all of my 2016 New Year’s protestations against my shitty self-esteem, my self-esteem won out. Should I apologize to the handful or so generous readers who continue to like and comment when I do post?

I think, instead of apologizing for not posting, it’s far better to apologize for not reciprocating. Because it’s not like it’s some great hardship to click over, read someone’s latest post, like it and leave a nice word or two.

But if you’re very popular, then you don’t need to, or don’t have time to, or simply don’t want to. Which begs the question, why are any of us doing this? To be known? To be loved? To get noticed by someone who can publish us, launch our careers, pay us? Do we really care about other bloggers?

There’s the rub. The two are mutually exclusive. You, if you’re self-aware enough, can find some balance between them, but they cannot co-exist. Because, as we all know, a blogger has to brand. If you’re like me, your brand is to do all of the above. I’ve wanted to write pieces that could be found in places like The Rumpus, Salon–published there, but you’re only as good as your latest thing and I’ve submitted quite a bit to no avail– Jezebel, Dame, you get the idea.

I haven’t wanted to be a blogger, which means, I haven’t wanted to appeal to a wider audience. I don’t think I’m quirky enough, fun enough, accessible enough—which, ironically, probably would mean I’d be published by now. Nope. Drop it. Circular reasoning.

So, that said, I’m going to find a balance and dig back into the community. Because that’s what blogging is. It isn’t so much about garnering respect from the outside heavy-hitters. It’s about making friends, sharing ideas, getting better at what you do. I’ve recently found some wonderful pieces on these blogs: Notes From The UK, and A Mad New World, also, as always, my dear blogging friend Scribbleartie, whose whimsical, artistic meanderings will delight you. And I’m an asshole pride-fuck to think I’m above it. (How’s that, Ellen, for an American-rooted swearword? If someone ever Googles it, I’ll be the first one up!)

So there it is. And strangely, I feel less shitty than I did when I began this post. So maybe I’m on to something here. (Winces and hits “publish.”)

7 thoughts on “I Apologize For Not Reciprocating

  1. Absolutely impressive swear word.

    And since I don’t give a fuck about contouring, I wasn’t unhappy that you moved on. I have a theory about why people apologize for not posting more often. They meant to post more often and get their own disappointment mixed up with what they suppose to be their readers’.

    Thanks for the mention. I’m flattered.

  2. As a Canadian I consider myself an expert on apologies and this one is wonderful! Keep hitting publish my lovely, feeling less shitty is as good a goal as any ❤

  3. The internet is making everyone have bad manners. As someone who says sorry for saying sorry, I have noticed that I prefer it when people don’t bother and just get on with the post/video. So I don’t apologise either, and that makes me feel really bad because its like I don’t care about being away. But the point is that bloggers show up and do what they do. They are there, right now posting their thing. And that’s the only reason people are watching/reading. So the apologies are superfluous, sadly. Thanks for the shout out as well, it made my morning! 😀

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