THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR THIS AWESOMENESS - I needed this in my life. Not in an "I don't have enough nail polish for my poor naked nails" way, but in a general life morale sort of way.
THEN, I got the craziest email of my blogging career:
OMGWTF, right?!! She is talking about the post in which I discuss how I'm very strongly anti-gun, but we got one anyway as a marital compromise. I was asked to share my story along with three other guests in a show discussing the struggles couples go through when making this decision.
Of course, my first thought was my anxiety. Did I really have the guts to go through with it? Would I say like 7 zillion times? Would I make sense or would I be so incredibly nervous I'd come off as a babbling idiot? With a little encouragement from my Twitter friends, I knew there was no way I could turn it down. It's pretty much a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I called Justin to tell him about it, and he seemed pretty hesitant ("do we need millions of people knowing whether or not we have a gun?"). He also brought my attention to this story, which is pretty freaking insane. However, he basically said it was up to me and to do whatever made me happy.
I then called my parents, more to ask if I could do the webcast at their house since our internet is down then to talk about whether or not I should do it. My dad proceeded to give me quite the earful on the dangers of participating vs. the (in his mind) negligible benefits. He also made some totally ridiculous dad-like comments, including:
- What if someone from work saw it, and the VP of the company likes to hunt? You don't need to miss out on opportunities at work because you spouted off about being anti-gun. [What? I'm not allowed to work for corporate america AND have opinions?]
- What if someone starts to look at Justin differently because of this? [Implying that people will feel that Justin needs to do a better job "keeping me in line". I CAN'T EVEN.]
However...I CAN'T just do what I want. I have two little girls to think about. And once you hear that your actions might in some way cause harm to your little girls, no matter how miniscule the likelihood, you can't unhear it. Gun control is such a heated issue right now. I have never been one to shy away from controversy, but the people who feel differently from me on this topic OWN GUNS. That can SHOOT PEOPLE. That is scary to me.
Okay, that last part is kind of a joke but kind of not. Maybe if I had grown up around guns or was a less anxious person I would feel differently. However, as of right now, guns make me intensely uncomfortable. I have spent much of the last year trying as hard as I can to pretend ours doesn't exist, because that's the only way I can relax in my own home. I want as little attention drawn to my gun as humanly possible.
I am aware that this is totally inconsistent with the fact that I blogged about owning a gun. If I didn't put that out there, HuffPost Live wouldn't have found me in the first place. However, it's one thing to put it out there on a tiny blog that maybe a few hundred people (almost all of them part of the same amazing online community I belong to) would read. It's totally different to put it out there in front of millions of people who are complete strangers, in a time when emotions are intensified due to Sandy Hook.
Plus there is the whole issue of whether or not participating in this show would have resulted in a mention of my blog. On the one hand, that is the biggest reason to do it, right? Catapult my blog into fame so I can quit my job and live the American Blogger's Dream (ha)? But if my blog is mentioned, I'm no longer anonymous. People could probably figure out EXACTLY WHERE I LIVE if they read close enough. People from work would inevitably learn about it. So the obvious answer would be to participate, but agree to only use my first name and to not mention the blog.
Which essentially means I'd be participating just because it's a cool experience. I would be part of the national conversation. My thoughts would count. Which is all very valid, but is this the demographic I want to represent? People who hate guns but couldn't even keep them out of their own house? I hate I am even IN this situation. A marriage in which I get my way all of the time and never have to compromise on issues I feel THIS strongly about would be awesome. Sign me up - compromise sucks!
Basically, when it came down to it, I just didn't think it was worth it for this particular issue. If they want to call me to talk about my experience as a working mom, or as someone who has a bajillion dollars of debt that doesn't qualify for forgiveness, or as someone who did a complete career change? Cool. But let's keep the discussion about my own personal gun situation over here, where it's a little more private.
This whole thing has me thinking a lot about the issue of privacy and whether or not I'm putting my kids in danger by just having a blog. How do you address these concerns? Where do you draw the line with opportunities offered to you as a blogger? Do you ever say no or do you accept anything that comes your way? What would you have done if you were in my place?