I don’t generally blog about my personal life here, unless it’s in the service of a larger point (or if I meet a member of The Faces). But this week I’m taking part in something that allows me to talk about a couple things that I’ve been looking for an excuse to discuss.
Next week, I’ll be getting married. So, of course, my fiancee Erin and I started a website about it: scottanderingetmarried.wordpress.com*. I explain the reasons why we did this on the site so I won’t re-iterate them, but suffice it to say doing this allows people who won’t be at the wedding (which is everybody) a way to experience it, while still allowing us the freedom to focus on the two of us coming together in marriage. I think having the site actually enhances that. There are two ways to really understand something: teach it to someone else or write about it.
This isn’t a new idea. Plenty of people have wedding websites, though most of them document the events up to the day of the wedding, not necessarily the day itself. Still, I’m sure there are people out there who have taken this idea much farther than we intend to. Yes, we’ll be Twittering throughout the weekend; no, we won’t be Twittering during the ceremony; and no, we won’t be streaming it live. We’ll leave that spectacle to someone else. Maybe Julia Allison** once that dear girl settles down.
For me, this is the last garrison to fall in my efforts to limit the amount of “me” that’s out on the Internet. I wrote about this last year when Erin and I decided to stop keeping details of our relationship off her blog. Most of you know that, in addition to being a published author, Erin has quite the following online. A lot of wonderful things have happened for her as a result, but a few not-so-wonderful things have as well. Knowing how difficult relationships are in the first place, I didn’t want to invite scrutiny or criticism of us by making that part of our life public.
As Erin pointed out to me, part of who she is involves writing about her personal life. And if I was going to be in a relationship with her, I knew I needed to accept that. But Erin’s also never been the type to take a warts-and-all approach, so generally it’s the good stuff that makes it onto ejshea.com, not the rough stuff. In the year or so since my relationship with Erin has been online, I haven’t found occasion to regret it, and I’ve been the recipient of some lovely comments from her peeps.
Regardless, I don’t see myself following her lead. I’m quite happy with this blog being about issues of culture, rather than all the wonderful things that happen day-to-day with Erin (and our dog). Still, I’m enjoying the change of subject.
It would have seemed like an obvious omission to not mention our wedding site here, especially since I often write about online culture. As I’ve said, if you do what I do for a living, it’s pretty much impossible to not leave a big digital footprint. And with Facebook et al., even the stuff you did ten years ago is out there for public consumption, nevermind the stuff you did ten days ago. So it’s best if you embrace it and learn how work with it, as working against it is futile.
* If you want to set up a quickie blog-based website, and want maximum flexibility in working with various “Web 2.0” widgets, avoid WordPress like the plague. You can’t add a Twitter badge (the RSS version of Twitter feeds looks like ass) and I couldn’t embed an Imeem playlist. Yes, the layout is clean and sharp. But almost everything we’ve tried to add, aside from a Flickr badge, has been a major pain in the ass. Maybe this changes if you use a local install or spring for the customizable CSS, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the cheapest, easiest solution is still Blogger.
** Am I the only person who didn’t know she was from Wilmette? Man, that really explains a lot.