Don’t Be Cruel
Years ago I was in love with an uncaring snob. (I called him Bluto in my post, “Kissing Frogs”; not because he was a bully like Popeye’s Bluto or gross like Belushi’s Bluto. He was oblivious Bluto.)
To say our relationship was one-sided is a pathetic understatement. I was in love. He barely remembered my name.
Bluto was very tall, with a posture that hinted of aristocracy, but really signified arrogance rather than birthright. (He smoked a pipe for god’s sake.) He had a PhD in something or other, but worked at an insurance company. Not that I have anything against insurance employees – that’s where half of Connecticut is employed. It’s just that...let’s not wave the PhD flag quite so obnoxiously; you’re a nine-to-fiver just like everybody else, okay? Of course, I never thought that at the time.
I was aware that Bluto wasn’t in love with me. I knew that he called me only when he had nothing else to do. I knew that he had no real interest in my life. (When I started a new job, I saw him that evening at a bar – not a date, naturally – and started to tell him about my first day, and he said…“Sure, great. Let me tell you about this phone call I had.”)
But I was sure that, at any moment, Bluto would realize how marvelous I was. Someday he would suddenly say, “What-Ho” (he wasn’t British, just affected), “I have this wondrous woman right beside me the whole time. She’s smart, funny, and pretty [enough]. I am so in love!”
That didn’t happen.
And I didn’t have a sudden realization that I was being used. Just a gradual awareness that I was wasting my love on a person who just didn’t care.
And now I have that one-sided infatuation again with the same type of uncaring, self-centered, egotistical snob.
Google cares nothing for my feelings. It throws me crumbs and keeps me hanging on.
Google insults and delights with equal carelessness.
My heart leaps each time Google reports that someone looked for ME. ‘Not Quite Old’ or ‘notquiteold’ or even, ‘Nancy Roman’s Blog’. Someone wants me. And I am in love.
But then of course Google tells me that the next search was for ‘not quite old enough pussy’.
I hate you, Google, and it serves that degenerate right who was looking for child porn and got a post on my mother’s new sweater.
I count up my search terms and hoard them like the tiny stingy compliments that Bluto would occasionally throw my way.
That my number one search term is some variation of ‘notquiteold’ is my consolation.
But my second-most searched term is’ Barnes and Noble’. Yes, I wrote a post about Barnes and Noble – how they have a paltry poetry section right near the restroom - but to get four clicks a day is somehow not right. Well, not somehow…I know why it is not right. Because although I took the poetry/restroom photo, the main shot of B&N is one I lifted. I don’t even remember who I stole it from. There are days when that photo – with the link to my blog – is on the top line if you search “Barnes and Noble” on Google Images. And now my post has had 800 views! I feel guilty and I would like to credit that photo…except that when I tried to find it again, I found six people using it. So I feel bad – but not unbearably bad.
On the other hand, when Google Images isn’t shaming me, it’s promoting me. If you Google-Image ‘Lizzie Borden Mugshot’, my cartoon of Lizzie is on the top line. And that is MY drawing. Original. Ah Google, I love you after all.
And Google sends people my way when they ask for the sweetest things: ‘Advice from Mom’, ‘Hip Yoga Clothes’, ’1963 Lipstick’, and my favorite ‘Sheep in Field’. I wrote about the sheep farm on my road, and I took quite a lovely photo of some very content sheep. I like to think of some nine-year-old doing his homework and adding my photograph to his project. Please steal my picture, Ethan – I’ll feel so much better about Barnes and Noble.
And once – just once – I got a hit on ‘Beautiful Older Woman’. That alone was worth a month of suffering through ‘Sandals and Pantyhose’.
Yeah, I get a lot of ‘Sandals and Pantyhose’, and ‘Old Lady Brooches’ and ‘Orthopedic Ballet Flats’ and ‘Toe Straighteners’. But I accept my responsibility in this. I wrote about that stuff. And just like I continued to see Bluto even when I found someone else’s panties in his bed… I sometimes deserve what I get. If I don’t want anyone led to me by the term ‘enormous ankles’, then I should not have mentioned my own cankles.
But I ask you, Cruel, Fickle, Mean-Spirited Google -
Do you have to connect to my blog when someone searches:
“I thought I was a good dancer, but I’m not”?