See, I’ve got this friend, Örlygur. We’re in choir together, and he’s part of the crew that I study with each day on campus. I’ve generally studied alone, but something has changed about finals in the past couple of years. In actuality it’s probably me, and I now need some peer pressure to keep myself on track. This fateful day we were all sitting together, typing away on our laptops, or circling irritatingly uninteresting words in books about theory, when I turned to my friend, Maureen.
“Ooh, guess what! I got a new country yesterday.”
“On my blog. I got a view from a new country.”
“Nice! Which one?”
“Ooh, never would have guessed that!”
“Wait, what?” Inserted Örlygur. “You have a blog?”
“Oh. Yeah, I keep a tiny blog I don’t tell anyone about.”
“What? But you just told me.”
“Noooo, I told Maureen because I got a new country. She knew because I asked her to read a post one time. I wanted to make sure I didn’t sound too whiny.”
“Well, what’s your blog called?”
It was here I faced an ethical dilemma. As of yet, I’m not doing anything to advertise or put my blog out there. I’m using this as a space to practice writing, editing, storytelling, and consistency. I’m very interested in what other people think, but this is still primarily a resource for my own slow development. With that said, it’s incredibly fun to see how many people look here in a day, and where they are from. This week, I got another country, Algeria, and am so very excited. That brings me to a grand total of 7 countries, and I tell Maureen whenever I get a new one.
In summary, I’m not advertising affablebrabble, but intensely like when people read it. So what, you may be wondering, is the ethical dilemma?
Well, on the one hand, Örlygur is my good friend, and I would welcome his perspective on my writing. On the other hand, I absolutely love to play a good game, especially the long-running practical joke kind.
Can you tell which one I chose?
“Örlygur, I can’t tell you that.”
“What? Why not?”
“Well, then I couldn’t write about you on my blog.”
His face was priceless.
“Just kidding! But I’m still not telling you.”
“Never mind, I’m just going to find it myself.”
“Good luck with that.”
He, of course, accepted that for the challenge it was, and began typing away on his computer. I should have felt bad for distracting him away from studying for finals, and I could have let it lie, but I didn’t.
“You’re not going to find it.”
“Oh, yes I am.”
“Maureen, is he going to find it?”
“Nope, there’s no hope.”
He looked suspiciously between the two of us. “You look so incredibly smug right now.”
“That’s because I’m winning.”
“Oh, it’s on.”
I bet I did look smug. I’m still smug, because much like Yogi, I am smarter than your average bear. Örlygur also likes to note that my modesty is unparalleled.
We established basic information and ground rules. The blog isn’t under my real name, but I have a photo of myself on it. Örlygur can’t creepily track my IP address or any other form of cyberstalking, and he can’t harass the answer out of Maureen, or the deal is off.
“If you win” I said, “I will buy you coffee on 5 separate occasions.”
Wait for it…
“but there’s no hope for you.”
Örlygur took a few breaks, but spent ages searching everything he could think of, like ‘Iceland and Alaska’. He googled ‘how to google search effectively’. He even combed through my Facebook pictures and ran them through a photo recognition program. Unfortunately, if you go to the About Bettina section, you will note the only photo I offer of myself includes massive sunglasses over nearly a third of my face. That is not an accident. For someone with a public blog, I also have a keen sense of privacy. The photo is definitely me, but you’d probably only recognize me if you know me.
As we headed up to a coffee counter the other day, I asked Örlygur if I owed him coffee yet. His. Face.
I’m definitely winning.
I know you can probably feel the cloying smugness I radiate through the internet, but bear with me a little longer.
Since it’s been finals, and Christmas is coming right up, I’ve given Örlygur until February to win this challenge before I just tell him about affablebrabble. But here’s the thing, I’m going to be equally happy if he finds it or not. He doesn’t believe me, and he probably shouldn’t (see smugness), but Örlygur wants to read my blog, and that alone makes my day, week, and month.
I have this fantastic friend who is interested in reading more about me, and the things that interest me. He may decide my writing is whiny and oh so bad, but he’s willing to take the risk, and if he decides to tell me something was interesting, or that he liked a bit of writing, I’ll know he genuinely wanted to tell me.
See, I’ve got this friend, Örlygur. He puts up with all my practical jokes, gives me the thumbs up on my lame dance moves, and still wants to know a little more about me. One day, my friend may find my blog, or I’ll tell him when time’s up, but here’s the thing: Örlygur already won, he just doesn’t know it yet.