I swear to God, the woman is a saint. She should be winning the “my-partner-is-a-pain-in-the-ass-and-I-am-the-picture-of-patience” award any day now.
Big-time, ranting and raving, tantrum-throwing emotional—
At certain times of the month.
When Sara walked in the door from work yesterday, I accosted her with worries about my blog.
“Only 78 people have read so far today.” No “hello”—no “how was your day.”
“It’s still early,” she offered in consolation.
“But I had over 200 readers nearly every day last week.”
“Haiti’s not in the news as much this week.” She put down her bag and walked to the frig.
“My writing has gone to hell. I have nothing else to say. Yeah, I had a good post on Monday about the stump, but it’s all been down-hill since then. I have no idea what I’m going to write about for tomorrow. I planned on doing a graffiti piece as part of my Haitian art series, but I don’t have all the photos yet and I can’t deal with hours trying to upload them this evening.”
“Why don’t you write about your driving?”
“What about my driving!”
“Richard said you hit a parked car as you were pulling out of the office this morning.”
I’m stunned. Utterly and completely not believing what I’m hearing.
“That’s not possible. I would have know if I’d hit a car.”
“I’m just telling you what he said.”
She’s not mad that I may have damaged our car. She genuinely thinks I should write about this.
And the fact of the matter is, she’s probably right.
I’m not a good driver. I hate to drive. I think owning a car is way, way over-rated—especially in a country where the “roads” (if you want to actually dignify them as such) boast craters the size of swimming pools—canyons that could swallow a mid-sized SUV, then take on an economy car for dessert.
But I promised yesterday to emphasize the positive about Port-au-Prince, and this post is not so much about highway maintenance (and streets that double as public toilets), as it is about my pathetic driving and Sara’s pending sainthood.
When I was an undergraduate and drove to visit a friend for the first time at her home, I was so focused on getting there, that at one point the police pulled me over for running three stop signs.
The officer approached my car in disbelief.
“Lady, you just ran three stop signs. You didn’t even slow down.”
I wanted to justify myself by asserting that, of course, I hadn’t stopped, I was busy counting. (My friend had told me to turn right after the third sign.) Not exactly the queen of multi-tasking—at least not on the road.
When I was driving from Kentucky to Oklahoma a few years later, I asked my friend in the seat next to me, if the lights on the car were, perhaps, not working properly. It was just past dusk.
“It just seems so dark!” I insisted.
“That’s probably because you’re still wearing your sunglasses.”
So, it’s true. I’m not the best driver in Port-au-Prince, but I’m also far from the worst, in a place where driving skills may be the worst I’ve encountered on the planet.
Yes, it’s possible I hit a car without noticing—busy as I was trying to prevent the road from swallowing my vehicle whole).
And, yes, Sara is saintly in her tolerance of both bloggerly rants and driverly mishaps.
But, honestly, what’s up with the stats?
(at certain times of the month)
Sounds like your numbers are pretty good, Kathy…I’ve been at this almost a year, and I’m happy any time I get more than 100 hits a day…really good days, it might hit 150! Around 80 is an average day for me…
Funny stories about your driving (hope you haven’t hit any houses without noticing…LOL!)…
Thanks for sharing that, Wendy. Maybe things aren’t so bad and I should be less greedy. I was just getting used to such high numbers that the dip scared me. Probably it will all even out.
Love the comment about hitting the house! TOOOOOO funny, Wendy!
I’m sure all of our stats go up and down, Kathy – you’re not alone!
I love your tales of driving mishaps – and how you poke fun at yourself so matter-of-factly! How will you know if you hit another car?
The potholes on the roads in Zimbabwe are so huge, they say that sometimes you can see a giraffe’s ears just sticking out the top of them! And that you can tell if a driver is drunk – he or she will drive straight on Zimbabwe’s roads. Perhaps the same is true of Haiti? hahahaha!
Have a lovely weekend
Then you know what I mean! I love the Zimbabwe example. Will have to share that one with Sara!
Hope you enjoy your weekend, as well, Sunshine!
I love this. It tells me that I’m not the only one posessed by stats (and yours are phenomenal). I used to check all the time. For me, a stellar day was reaching 80. When I switched to a private host, I no longer got stats. It’s actually a huge relief. I don’t know if 10 people read in one day or 50. It’s all good. Zen.
Thank God I’m not alone! As a writer, I just want to know that people are actually reading–that I’m reaching an audience.
But, yes, Zen!
The stats are always changing! I try to not look at them (no, really, I hold my hand over the entire right side of my screen). 200 is AWESOME. I typically get somewhere in the neighborhood of… less than that 🙂
Your writing is entertaining and informative, and from what I can tell you have a loyal group of commenters. Like me, I’m sure they say “I need a Kathy storyfix” daily! Don’t worry about the numbers!
Your numbers should be soaring, Tori! You are one of wittiest writers I know–even among my favorite funny ones. I promise you are the next big mommy-blogger!
I quite looking at the stats some time ago…I figured I was going to write any way so why bother.:-)
You’re a better man than I am woman, Charles. I want people to read. I too would write anyway but readers keep me motivated and engaged. Maybe I’ll get over that!
Sorry should have be ‘quit’….shouldn’t write before finishing the first cup of coffee. 😉
Oh, the dangers of commenting without coffee!
You know, I have a friend who has never once looked at her stats. She just writes for the love of writing, and she doesn’t want anything to discourage her. I wish I could do that. To me, blogging is just as much a conversation with others as it is an exercise in writing. I’m with you–I need to know I’m not just talking to myself. Thank goodness for the comments section!
Amen, Maura! For me it’s become so much more about the conversation, since I started blogging. I have always written, always journaled, but blogging is so much more about audience, about dialogue. I had no idea before I began this that I would love it so and adore that aspect in particular.
You crack me up. don’t worry about the numbers…mine are generally up near 150 these days…but some days, it feels like no one is out there…
that’s when i have to reconnect with what it is i am after–recognition? or…the love of writing?
once i let go of the need for the numbers, my numbers go back up.
I know I’m obsessed and, I guess, spoiled. I had just come to expect significantly higher numbers, so the sudden dip distressed me–because I worried that it said the writing had deteriorated, so people weren’t reading. Alas, I’m a worrier!
Lol, sounds like the rest of the blogosphere has already said what I was going to say. So I’ll say this instead: holy cow, 200 is really great! 😀 The other day, I hit my all-time high of 95, lol. I can’t even imagine getting 200!
Whenever I read a blog, I try to leave a comment or at least “like” the post so that the writer knows that I read it. Of course, sometimes I fail…like…all this past week. Sorry about that. I really enjoy reading your blog, and the writing seems to only improve! When you do have the opportunity to wrestle with the internet connection and all those pictures, I can’t wait to see them! 🙂
(Do you think that Sara would share her saintly award with Robert? He’s also disproportionately patient when I’m at my craziest. Where did we find these incredible people?)
I feel certain Sara would share the award with Robert! We gift it to him! And, yes, I know I’m probably doing well–I just have these periodic lapses. Panic sets in. I fear I’ll never write anything decent again. You know how that goes.
At any rate, certainly share the award with Saint Robert. Hope you all have a downright heavenly weekend!
As everyone else has pointed out, you’re doing well. 🙂 I’ve been blogging since 2006. The stats go up. The stats go down. Often there is no rhyme or reason for it. They only really pattern is to be found in weekends and big holidays when they often go down because people are busy enjoying their weekends or holidays.
This was hilarious. My driving is almost as bad. I failed the behind-the-wheel test when I was 17 not once but four times. My father, who was a police officer at the time, finally called a friend and asked him to pass me. I shouldn’t be behind the wheel at all. lol!
Oh, Robin, I love you for sharing your driving expereince! Thank you. I’m not always bad. Sometimes I’m almost good, but often enough I’m really, really bad!
I too have noticed the weekend dips. Thanks for reading my rant and taking the time to respond!
Your driving reminds me of a friend who once drove off with a railroad crossing gate attached to the grill of her car- she got a little close to the rr crossing…
That’a too funny! I guess she did get a little too close! Did she know it was attached or was she oblivious to it?
Hello– I found you while looking at some political stuff with H. Clinton meeting with preval tomorrow….. glad I did!! Hope my hit helps your spirits!! I was in Haiti when Baby Doc arrived… on a medical mission volunteering with HerNow.org. The picture at the top of this looks to be the artwork of a tap-tap, no?? I LOVED the art in Haiti and bought many of the recycled metal pieces from the artists on a street market near P-ville. You live up near Kinscoff?? We went to a small village– turn right after the Teleco sign going up to Kinscoff– drive till you can,t then hike about a 1/2 mile down hill…. Boucan is the name, I believe, but no one could say for sure. We treated and saw all the kids and most of the villagers. Planning a return trip 2/19 for followups…. Love your blog.. will continue to read!!
Your hit absolutely lifts my spirits! Glad you found me. Actually, I don’t know Kinscoff–probably should but I don’t. We live on Monge Calvaire, just above Petion-ville. It was so strange when Baby Doc arrived! What was your response?
And, yes, the photo is of a tap-tap. I am going to do a post on them, just haven’t gotten to that yet.
Are you a physician, a nurse?
Thanks so much for reading and commenting–and sooooooo glad you’ll come back!
I get a little blue if I have consecutive days when my stats are in the single digits … they just look so LONELY, you know? That sad little “3” sitting all by itself with no company makes me feel all sniffly. Different scale, same problem. I hear ya. (And more importantly, I read ya.)
I failed the written test once and the driving test twice before passing it with an 80, the bare minimum in the state of Washington. Although that one time was hardly my fault. I had the DMV tester who looked like Carrie Fisher and had the basic personality of, well, Carrie. You know, the head-spinny one. She told me to “Take the first left” and I thought she meant the first actual ROAD, not the first gap between those treacherous little islands – WHAT possesses people to plant shrubs in solitary confinement in parking lots? Do you know? Does anybody?
I was going to say something about being easily distracted, but it looks like I pretty well covered that already.
See, Bee, even your comments here are funny! You crack me up! I’m don’t always pay attention the way I should, but my sister is WAY worse than me at locking herself out, locking her keys in, or just plain old losing her keys. Thanks for the great comment!!!!
I’m busy with one of my two part-time jobs today, so I commented on a break from doing some editing for a small publishing house here in Oregon. So I only had enough funny for a comment, not a blog post – you got all the funny today, check back for more tomorrow when (hopefully) my funny points will have refreshed themselves.
If my sister locks herself out or in, she just breaks in. My sister ROCKS.
So glad I got the “funny!” Thanks for sharing it, Bee! Hope the coming week brings you lots of laughter—-
It’s hard to see the stats go down after they’ve been very up! Do what I do. Ignore the stats! 🙂 Does your writing make YOU happy? If so, that’s all that really matters. (Yes, I’m trying to convince myself too!)
Yes, I do love the writing, but blogging has made me more aware of my audience and enjoy the interaction. I think it’s spoiled me, Terri.
I agree with what all the others have said. Don’t worry too much about the stats, just enjoy the writing and you’ll attract new readers. Bloggers that have got really huge followings (a) have been around for a while and/or (b) do reviews of everyday products i.e. not the kind of blog you are writing.
I know of one blogger who managed to get a job writing a weekly column for a newspaper back home. She’s British, but living in Finland. So she’s kind of their “foreign correspondent”. Maybe you should try to get something like that too?
But be careful what you wish for! Bloggers who have huge followings, usually don’t maintain a close relationship with their readers.
I love the idea of getting something going with my home town newspaper. That’s actually a really great idea–maybe even ask their website to pick up my blog.
You are right–I shouldn’t worry about the stats. However, I do. Hate to admit it, but it’s the ugly truth. Maybe in owning up to it, I’ll begin to care less.
Did you notice some other comments on stats in the WordPress Forum (or somewhere on the site…), bloggers commenting that the stats seem far off at times? I suspect this could be one of those blips. Take those stats with a grain of salt (and maybe throw some over your left shoulder before you get behind the wheel!) Keep writing Kathy, I am reading and always enjoying.
No, Deana, I hadn’t noticed. Thanks for letting me know. And it’s good to know you’re reading and enjoying. That’s what matters!
I just read this post aloud to my boyfriend. Life as a blogger’s significant other does sometimes require saintly qualities. I can also relate to your angst about driving as I have similar issues here in South Africa.
PS – I agree that 78 hits is a decent day!
How funny. I will have to share your comment with Sara. She will agree. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment! Hope you’ll stop by again—————–
I’ve been lurking a bit, but wanted to say that I enjoy the quality of your writing immensely. I am a bad blogger, and a bad driver, and I don’t particularly worry about either one of them, as long as I keep my kids safe. I used to have an anonymous blog that got a few hundred views a day, but I found the effort of maintaining it was taking away from the joys of my real life, so now I honestly put very little effort into blogging. But yours is clearly a labor of love.
Thanks so much for deciding to share today. It’s great to know you’ve been reading and getting something out of my blog! And, to be honest, I’m a TERRIBLE driver! Sounds like you are a GREAT mom, though! I can’t tell you what it means to hear from you! Thanks so much!