Clearing Our Schedules
David is quitting the message boards. Again.
Actually -- he says, by way of clarification -- he's not so much "quitting" the boards as he is taking a brief hiatus from them. "I have too much going on this summer," he says ... meaning the wedding, and the vacation time we're taking for the honeymoon, and our bike-riding schedule, and his job, and his family obligations, and his guitar practice ... and the alien autopsy he's got going in the bathroom ... and all of the other 43,897,621 things he's got on his plate over the next couple of months.
I'm skeptical. "You'll be posting again in three days," I tease him. I've heard this 'I'm quitting the message boards' stuff before, after all. Remember last year's big brouhahahaha with the AOL Board Hosts?
But he's adamant.
"I just don't have time to wade through all of this," he says firmly. There has been another recent influx of new people on the boards: most of them distressingly monosyllabic, most of them looking to pick a fight, none of them especially interesting. Every evening David signs on and discovers that the new posters have pooped out another bazillion identical, illiterate, inelegant posts. Flushing them all -- and then antibacterializing the computer afterwards -- sucks a good hour out of his life every night.
If he's going to be online, he says, he'd rather be searching for Dylan bootlegs. Or reading my website. Or working on his website.
(Or basically doing ANYTHING besides navigating through poop.)
So OK ... maybe he's serious this time. Maybe he really IS going to step away from all the message board nonsense for a while. Good for him. This does start me thinking, however, about *my* schedule for the next month or so, and about how I want to partition my life ... especially my ever-dwindling reserves of free time. Do I really want to spend my non-working/non-bicycling/non-sleeping hours, for the next six weeks, painstakingly chronicling every bump and detour and fork in the road between here and the wedding? Or should I maybe consider taking a hiatus from *FootNotes* for a while ... just until after we're safely married, and all of the hubbub dies down, and I'm able to give my writing the care and attention it deserves?
I don't know.
I do know this: the only thing I've ever regretted about being a lifelong journaler are the times when I haven't journaled.
I would give my eye teeth, for example, to have a decent written account of my senior year in high school. Or that first year that the Tots and I lived in the welfare apartment. (The "Food Bank Year," I called it.) Or the six months leading up to me running away from TicTac.
Or -- more than any other unrecorded time in my life, I think -- the earliest days of my alcohol recovery.
These were all periods when, for one stoopid reason or another, I didn't journal ... or else I journaled so obliquely that it's impossible to read it now and tell what was really going on. I have a feeling that I would kick myself -- hard -- if I did the same thing now. I can just imagine eighty-seven-year-old Secra browsing through the dusty journal archives on her IBM ThinkBlaster 6000, wondering "Why the fudk doesn't *FootNotes* cover the weeks just before the wedding??"
And yes, I know I can always write about all of the wedding details offline, in a "regular" diary or paper journal. The fact is that I do. I hand-scribble a brief daily account -- pounds lost, miles bicycled, gifts received, fingernails shredded -- in a small leather diary every night. And I've got at least ten or fifteen or forty-three different spiral-bound notebooks floating around the apartment, each containing two or three weeks' worth of angst and blather. My life, basically, is more ridiculously overdocumented than Robert Downey Jr.'s and Robert Blake's, put together. But writing in a diary or a paper journal isn't as much fun as posting this stuff on the Internet.
(Nobody sends you picnic baskets when you write everything in a diary, for instance.)
Plus my relationship with David was conceived online. It was born in an AOL chat room. It got up and toddled around on unsteady legs as we i.m.'d with each other, over the years. It cut its teeth on voluminous e-mail correspondence. And it has grown and matured and grown hair in itchy and unexpected places -- to continue this stoopid and ineffective analogy -- right here on *FootNotes,* in front of a vast and adoring online "family."
Well. In front of my mother and a couple of cranky people in Denver, anyway.
The point is that if ever a wedding belongs online ... this one does. Because this is where it all began in the first place.
We may not be able to (as some readers have written to suggest) mount a webcam at the ceremony. NBCi hasn't, to my knowledge, expressed any interest in covering the event live from my sister's backyard. And at this point -- unless someone would like to buy me a new modem card for my ancient Toshiba laptop -- those *honeymoon entries* I promised you are starting to look a little iffy.
But I guess I can continue to supply you with occasional thrilling pre-wedding updates (We bought David's wedding suit last weekend! It has PANTS and EVERYTHING!), and Anxiety Dreams (When the minister says 'Does anyone know of any reason why these two cannot be joined in holy matrimony?,' Matt Lauer hits me in the back of my head with his ice skates), and bizarre musical requests (now I'm looking for Richie Allen's "Redskin" -- the flip side of "Stranger In Durango," I think?)
If I decide to join David in his *hiatus* after the wedding is over, though ... eighty-seven year old Secra is going to have to consult the diaries if she wants to remember what she did on her honeymoon.