When I met you, it was love at first sight.
You were so buff and tawny and easygoing.
You looked just like Channing Tatum.
You held my hand and whispered encouragement. You took me to the beach for sunset picnics and told me you’d never met anyone so funny.
I spent all my free time with you, WordPress.Com. I thought about you constantly… And then you gave me the blog-equivalent of an engagement ring: you featured me.
I swore my everlasting devotion and fidelity.
I ran around addled… high on blog-crack and screaming nonsense at my husband. Actually FRIGHTENING him— by charging into the kitchen and screaming—THEY PICKED ME AGAIN.
I loved you so much WordPress.Com.
How could I not?
You’re so strong and handsome and nice.
You’re so kind and generous and supportive.
On top of being easy to use, you have a fantastic community. You organize parties and have a welcome committee. You offer pastries and make sure everyone has nametags– so no one feels alone, or socially awkward.
At first, I loved you so much, I didn’t even see your flaws… I didn’t even notice your love was kind of smothering… That it was slightly restrictive and controlling.
I didn’t even know you were limiting my widgets and blogging-gadgets.
I don’t know how to tell you this… someone else caught my eye.
It’s your twin brother– WordPress.ORG. He looks just like you. But he has some, errr… impressive attributes that you don’t.
I know I said I don’t care about stuff like that… But I lied.
And? Frankly? I am a total sucker for any man that stern.
I tried to resist… Because I know .ORG will never love me like you do, .COM.
But he has toys. LOTS of toys. And. Um. Secret weapons.
Plus? His car is so shiny and fast.
.ORG can do things for my blog that you can’t.
But, even knowing all of that .COM? I’m so hesitant to leave you. Why?
Are you the blog-manifestation of that guy Jeff I dated?
The one I couldn’t leave because he was SO nice.
And all my friends were like—LEAVE HIM? Are you INSANE??? He is SO NICE.
And you’re like, God—I KNOW. He is SO TOTALLY nice.
And months go by, and you start to find the way he drinks water irritating. And in your head you’re like—UGH! WHY do you drink water like that? Why do you clear your throat like that? Why do you adjust your tie like that? Why do you drive like that? Why do you order coffee like that?
But he’s SO nice. And he goes to the gym. And it shows.
And all your girlfriends tell you horror stories of their boyfriends up and deciding to become monks (true) or move to India (true) or becoming evangelical preachers (true).
But then I went to WordPress Camp.
Here is where I remember that not everyone has a blog. And that I should offer a brief explanation of what WordPress is.
WordPress is a program for blogging. Like if you wanted to type a document on your computer, you could use Word in Microsoft.
WordPress has two versions. .COM and .ORG.
WordPress.COM is the easy version. They do everything for you, except write the content. The same way you open up Word on your computer, and don’t give any thought to HOW that happens. The only drawback to .COM is that the options for customizing it are limited.
WordPress.ORG is the same exact program, but YOU have to do the behind-the-scenes stuff to make it work. You have to install the engine, hook up the fuel lines, calibrate the spark plugs. But there are no restrictions to your modifications.
This allows you to do lots of other stuff—to soup it up.
To tailor it any way you want… To make it go faster. To paint it any color. To fill the entire engine with glitter and candy.
To build your own bat-mobile.
Going to WordCamp was my introduction to what I could be doing with my blog.
If I switched to .ORG.
I learned that .COM is like riding a bike. Simple. Fun. Efficient.
But you can trade that bike in– for the rocket ship of .ORG.
I didn’t ask myself– do I NEED a rocket ship? Because OBVIOUSLY I need one.
Especially if they’re just GIVING them away.
You would have to be stupid to not take a free rocket ship.
Plus, I hate when other people have better, shinier stuff than me.
I am so so so so grabby.
No one was there to make friends. Or “like” my blog. Or “follow” me. Or come and leave me a comment that validated my wit and charm.
The .ORG bloggers were there to learn. To improve. To channel their widgets into world domination.
And there is nothing I want so much as world domination.
And a butler.
So I came home, and I was all like—I MUST GO TO .ORG.
Akin to saying, okay. I will now commence building a rocket ship. In my garage. With this cardboard box. Also? I will use string and duct tape.
It didn’t take me long to realize I am lacking the engineering-background required to build a complex, electronic-panel-thingy that will actually launch my box into space. Never mind the small factors like how I will access oxygen or rocket fuel.
If I’d had any true understanding of my absolute lack of knowledge… about what access to the framework of a website actually means? I would have saved myself a month of 2012. I also would have saved myself mental anguish and wanting to punch my computer… and I would have just gone to the mall instead, and looked at shoes.
I’ll tell you what though—ignorance has been the impetus for nearly every project I’ve ever gotten involved with—including this house.
So I made a test site. You know, because I don’t already spend ENOUGH time on the internet… I NEED a whole other project.
Except? Is this English? Have I downloaded the wrong language?
And it told me to open the installer-file via the easy-install file.
And so five minutes in, I was already like—YES. BUT. WHERE?
Three words that sum up my entire experience.
You know this feeling—the intense rage of technological confusion.
I was filled with boiling, all-consuming frustration.
I WANTED to give up. I wanted to go read a book.
I wanted to just watch cat videos on youtube.
Except, I am so totally perverse, once I am convinced I need something… I can’t give up until I reach total, absolute, insane aggravation.
When I want to gnaw my own face off.
Further perversely, this extreme focus only applies to things I don’t actually need… I’ve never been driven to learn Greek, study the solar system, or even master the skills to make fire; so I can impress my teammates when I finally get on Survivor.
Paul was like– why don’t you take a break?
And I was like: DO NOT EVEN TALK TO ME.
I am LOOKING for someone to strangle– it can be you, if you like.
But I also got far enough to realize that my blog does random awesome things in .ORG. When you click on one of my photos in the test site, they pop out in a magic slideshow, and you can scroll through them all.
Do I need that? Obviously. Why? I don’t know. Because it exists?
That’s a Benary Giant Zinna.
If my first personality trait is grabby acquisitiveness? My second is indecision… I bring a level of vacillation to my life that you have never seen before.
I am all or nothing. And being forced to stand somewhere in the middle and figure it out from there is impossible for me. I need black and white, good and bad.
I need to feel like the choice I make is the BEST choice. Which is actually pretty rare—that there is a blindingly obvious path in life.
Paul likes to say that I am the exception to the rule of how people prefer free will. And that I would have been better off in communist Russia. Where you do not have to make a choice about what kind of paint or potato to choose, because there is only one of everything.
Now, I’m coming to the point where I have to decide: do I leap off the .COM cliff?
- Do I trade in my footie pajamas for a sleeker, widget-i-er version?
- Are the gadgets and web-bling worth it?
- Do I voluntarily remove myself from the .Com directory?
- Do I eschew whatever new readers I might have acquired via the .Com party?
- Do I pass up the .0000000001% chance that .Com will feature me nine more times?
Incase you hadn’t figured it out? My third controlling personality trait (behind grabby acquisitiveness, and paralyzing indecision) is fear of change.
I hate new things. I hate new experiences.
I even hate New Years.
It’s your lucky day! There’s a SEQUEL to this post. Because it wasn’t long enough already…