April 26, 2007

BLOGTONIA



















I've been thinking about this idea for a while now. Sitting back and observing some behaviors {in myself and others} has finally pushed me to take this post out of draft and publish it. What got me here is not a new concept or a new set of thoughts so I wouldn't pop any corn if I were you.
I was in church this week and noticed the difficulty that women, in particular, have admitting weaknesses and imperfections {I'm sure men have the same problem}. It's sad really; we are all imperfect in our own way - yet we tend to see ourselves at our worst and everyone else at their best. It's really a trend in most social circles or networks - even the blogosphere.
Bare with me for a moment. I read a handful of blogs pretty regularly. Most are owned by women. All of these women are well accomplished; they cook fabulous meals, keep a spotless home and always look perfect. Oh, and most of them have thriving careers as mothers, artists or business leaders. Or so it seems.
Clemantine has no tag for "disasters" or "things I suck at" or "absolute failures". And why would I want to spend anymore time even thinking about these things? They suck enough when I'm actually going through them; I don't want to come home and share them with the world. Having said that, I think there is real value in understanding that everyone has moments of failure and embarrassment and disappointment. And it helps when we are willing to talk about it.
This is where I come in. I don't think my concept is going to save the world or anything. But it might just help one or two people out there come to grips with their own flaws and be okay with them; they are in such great company, after all.

Let me introduce you to BlogTonia:
My sister recently said to me, "I'm afraid to bring my girls to your house because they might break something." Now, it's important to note that aside from a few pieces of furniture and a rug, my house is empty. There is barely anything but a dish to break. But after reading through my posts, she assumed my house was totally put together, full of many of the expensive things I post about {er, dream of}. Without really thinking much about it, my sister has come to know me as BlogTonia.
BlogTonia is always in a good mood, sees the beauty in everything and everyone. She rarely if ever disagrees with her darling husband and usually has most things under control. Oh, she also moved into a beautiful home and knows exactly how she wants to outfit it. Did I mention she always has fabulous and expensive clothes and rarely worries about anything? Blogging has created lots of perfect women and BlogTonia is one of them.

Meet real Tonia:
Real Tonia often wakes up mean and ready for a good argument. She often wears a white v-neck Hanes undershirt {at least 2X per week} to work and never irons anything. Real Tonia has gained a few pounds so she, in truth, has about five pairs of pants she can fit into, barely. She's not happy about this and it's one of the things that makes her mean. Real Tonia picks at her cuticles, eats chips-n-salsa for dinner when her husband is traveling, currently has a sink full of dishes and wears Chuck Taylors more then just on casual Friday. She forgets people's birthdays, waits until the last minute for everything, and runs consistently at least five minutes late. She puts on sweats the second she gets home, sometimes sleeps with her makeup on and will admit at times to going to bed without brushing her teeth.

Well, anyway, you get the point, right? What I'm trying to explain is that what some of you have come to think is real, isn't. And while I'll probably go on thinking that all those perfect blogging women still exist, I'm bursting my own bubble.

What you can expect from Real Tonia:
BlogTonia will always be there because to write, always, as Real Tonia would put me more in the category of Plath's The Bell Jar and that's just not light lunchtime reading. But Real Tonia will try to be a bit more honest about things. If I try a project and it goes terribly wrong, I'll say so. If I have a mishap or crazy experience, I'll share it. The important thing is that I become a cohort and NOT an unrealistic girl with a house full of breakable things.

Update: What do you think of the idea of Tagging other bloggers to "get real"? Read more here.

17 comments:

jordan said...

This is a funny post.

PS: I didn't think your house was together yet because I knew you'd put pictures up when it was ready. :)

tiffany said...

Hurrah for being real! Thanks for this post, it's great!

ali said...

My favorite post of yours yet. Way to put my very own thoughts into words; you've got an easy-to-read way of writing that I and I'm assuming many others connect with. (These were all things I was milling over as I was putting my post for today together, but didn't have the time or energy to address.)

Three cheers for RealTonia! Though I heart BlogTonia too.

p.s. I bite my nails terribly. But don't expect to see a photo of them on my blog!

Emily said...

tonia you are the perfect combination of real and blog tonia. they are both the best to be with all the time. thank you for all your thoughts and words in blog and in person. they are important to me as i'm sure they are to many other readers and friends.

Kristin said...

I know we talked briefly about this night but I feel like a 2 week seminar could be dedicated to this topic. Thank you for writing something like this. For accepting RealKristin- the good and the bad. For having the courage to be RealTonia - the good and the bad. And for allowing us all to meet BlogTonia - she always has something to make me smile or ponder.

MissEm said...

I hope you don't think I'm one of those perfect women bloggers. I'm so not! I really eat way more more mac'n'cheese than any human being should :)

Tonia Conger said...

I'm glad you eat Mac and Cheese MissEm. Although I'm sure it's French cheese and organic pasta, right? I'm glad to know that I'm among such wonderfully flawed ladies!

hyb said...

I think it's great to have a blog reflect things you'd like to have - it's a wonderful thing to dream. The important thing is to not get bitter with your real life over not having those wonderful things. I've enjoyed your posts, and those of many others, about beautiful things, and they have on many occasions brightened my day!

Amie said...

To my duplicitous friend: I'm glad we can discuss the fine nuances of a good lip gloss. I'm also glad that I could tell you my nose hurts today cause I've got an internal nose scab. ew and yay!

k8 said...

THAT was a really awesome post. What a perfect way to sum up something I have feeling lately...there are some amazing women out there in blogland but it helps to realize that we are all only posting the very best things. I find the blogs that resonate best are the ones that can admit to a little imperfection here and there.

Chloe Elizabeth said...

Amen! Although I think "real chloe" shows up on my blog a little too frequently. I guess it depends on the week. But I am totally guilty of thinking, "I wish my life was as cool as So And So's, because then I could die happy."

little special said...

this is a great post (found through alilovescurtis) + i totally get what you're saying. i've only just started blogging but already feel i don't really come accross as myself - more how i want people to think i am. i'll definitely think of putting more of the 'real' stuff in from now on......maybe just not too much of it!

xx

alyson. said...

very cool post indeed. I stumbled on your blog via ali loves curtis, and must say, I am looking forward to reading more. you have such a "real" way of writing about things.

ferardandy said...

thank you, i can really identify. some people can surf the blogs and get inspiration, but for me, i end up feeling inadequate. thanks to ali for putting this on her blog, too!

Julie said...

Nice post. You have a good point - something to think about! In UT, its a disease that's catching.

kat said...

great post. I think a lot of us can relate. Good to see someone put these thoughts into words :)

Kerry said...

Loved this post - sometimes I am afraid to post about my not so perfect world and when I do I often start with an apology! Thanks for this post - it was perfect for this not so perfect blogger!