Wednesday, September 28, 2011
With all of the stuff I write about my wife, you’d think she would be chomping at the bit to read my posts.
You’d think she’d want to know if I’m telling the world about any of her odd little activities, like her exercising in the car, her fear of bugs flying into her ear or anything else I think is funny enough to write about.
You’d think that, and you’d be wrong.
Since she typically knows what I’m going to be writing about she doesn’t have much interest in reading about it.
Tammy: Why do I have to read it? I EXPERIENCED it.
Those Are My Only Choices?
Often when she reads something I wrote she tells me that I got some of the details wrong or gets mad that I didn’t write it the way she wanted me to.
But I still keep asking her to read my stuff, typically before I publish them, because I’m horrible at finding my own errors.
Since I work at a publishing company, there are times I can get someone there to proofread what I wrote (Thank you, Lisa Sunshine!).
But I don’t always have that option and when I don’t I’m faced with a choice: ask Tammy to read it or read it myself.
The Struggle Within…
Choosing to read it myself comes with its own struggles and challenges.
This weekend I wrapped up my Movies and Me Don’t Mix post and I decided I’d read it myself since I had mentioned something my wife might not like.
So I sat at my computer and prepared for the dreaded re-reading.
When I’m re-reading something I wrote it’s not done in the same way that I’d read a book, because if I read like that my Brain starts messing with me.
Brain: Oh, I know what this paragraph is about so let’s skip it.
Brain: No, no, don’t be silly there wasn’t a word missing there, it’s fine.
Brain: I was there when you were writing this remember? So don’t worry about it because I know what you meant to say.
I found myself in the same struggle Saturday night as I sat at the computer with my hands folding my ears over my ear hole and my face less than a foot away from the screen in an attempt to ignore all of the distractions – the TV was on, Jake was asking Tammy questions, Grace was trying to figure out what movie they should watch, etc. – and concentrate on re-reading what I had written.
In order to get around Mr. Know-It-All, I have to read what I wrote V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y and typically out loud. If you saw me during this process, you’d think I was a grown man learning to read.
It’s the only way I can throttle back my brain enough to find mistakes, but he doesn’t go without a fight.
Brain: C’mon man, pick it up. We got stuff to do.
Me: Shut UP!
Brain: Why you gotta read so slow anyway? You know what it says…
Me: I said SHUT UP!!
Brain: What?! What are you doing?? Oh man, you’re reading that sentence again…
Me: Should I have put a comma there? Lemme read it again to make sure.
I wish I could tell you that I fought the good fight and my Brain let me be. I wish I could tell you that — but this is no fairy tale. (From one of the handful of movie quotes I actually know.)
Down Goes Frazier, Down Goes Frazier
I didn’t even get halfway through my re-reading of Movies and Me before tapping out and asking Grace for help. I couldn’t have Tammy read it because I wanted to see if she’d find the part where I admitted to deleting movies without her knowing. So far she hasn’t acknowledged it.
I told Grace to let me know if she made any changes while she was reading and went to the kitchen.
When I came back over to the computer I saw her typing something but she didn’t say anything about it at the time, so I asked what she did when she got up.
Me: Did you change anything?
Grace: I made a few changes.
Me: Oh, OK. Where?
Grace: It wasn’t anything major so it’s OK.
I heard my Brain laughing as I sat back down at the computer and contemplated Round 2.
I scanned through a portion and found one part where Grace made a change. But I ended up posting it without knowing ALL of her changes because I couldn’t take another round of self-induced torture.
If you want to relive your youth, I’ll proofread for you! E-mail me a word file; I’ll proof it and send it back to you. (With corrections marked so that you can accept or reject them.) Just a thought! 🙂
I go through the same mental dialogue when I re-read my posts. Glad I’m not the only one ready for the Funny Farm.