autumn leaves

Sometimes blogging is awkward, and by “sometimes” I mean “all the time”

So, the new neighbours moved in on Friday.

Actually, they moved in mere hours after I published that blog post about… well, about THEM, basically. And how I was totally going to become BFFs with them, only not really, because now when they ask me what I do for a living, I’ll have to say, “Actually, I write about YOU on the internet. I hope that isn’t going to be awkward, is it?”

And, of course, it WOULD be awkward. Because it’s always awkward when you tell someone you’re a blogger.  Even if you haven’t recently written a blog post detailing the totally imaginary world you’ve created, in which you and your husband are Chandler and Monica, and your new neighbours are Rachel and Ross. No, wait, I think I’d rather be Rachel? Because she had better clothes? But then, Monica kept a REALLY clean house, and could be pretty uptight a lot of the time, and… yeah, I’m Monica. I am SO Monica.

Even without that added complication, though, telling people you’re a blogger is an exercise in awkwardness a lot of the time, and being introduced to new people (Or NOT being introduced to new people in this case, because I hope you all realise I’m not ACTUALLY as obsessed with these new neighbours as I’m making myself sound here: they just started a train of thought that I can’t seem to get off…) kinda forces you to see yourself through new eyes.

In my case, what I see is… actually kind of weird, really. I mean, I don’t even have the comparative luxury of being a beauty blogger, say, or a food blogger – both of which could be made to sound almost ‘normal’ – almost like working for a magazine, really, but one you own, and have full responsibility for. No, I’m stuck with the admission that I take photos of my outfits and post them on the internet. Mind you, if people think THAT’S strange, at least I can follow it up with, “Oh, that’s not ALL I do, obviously! No, sometimes I also write down my innermost thoughts, and post THOSE on the internet!” Because that’s not weird AT ALL, is it?

So, now I’m just wondering if there could be a way to make my blog seem even WEIRDER to people who don’t know me, or don’t know about blogging? Like, as well as taking photos of my outfits (GOD) and writing about my life on the internet (SERIOUSLY, WTF?) maybe I could, I dunno, regularly go out into the street and shout the name of long-dead rock stars, say? Because THAT would be pretty strange, and, oh yeah, I’ve been doing that too, this week: sorry, new neighbours! Welcome to the street, though!

Luckily there is a non-crazy explanation for this one: we’ve been looking after our friends’ cats for a few days, and one of the cats is called Elvis. (I know, great name, right?) It’s the cat, not The King I shout for in the street, but of course, the new neighbours don’t know that: and now I come to think of it, the OLD neighbours probably don’t know that either. T

his explains a LOT. Like why we get Christmas cards addressed to “Terry and family”. And why Terry knows all of the neighbours by name, and has been inside all of their houses, but I never have a clue who he’s talking about, and secretly suspect that any time we come up in neighbourly conversation, everyone will be all, “Oh, the man in that house is so nice! Lovely, friendly chap! Wife’s a bit of a weirdo, though: hardly speaks to anyone, and any time you DO see her, she’s out shouting about Elvis…”

Er, I really hope the new people don’t read THIS post, either. That really WOULD be awkward, wouldn’t it?

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  • Lie. Lying is the best solution to these types of troubles.

    When you meet them just say, “Hi, I’m Amber. I’m your neighbour. I’, currently woking towards a PhD in medicine [that’s a normal job, right?] and I regualarly help out at animal charities in my spare time.

    Also, I have this mad twin sister… Who is also called Amber. Her hobbies include yelling about dead rock stars and blogging. Don’t ask to see us together…” ?

    October 20, 2015
  • Myra


    If you think calling Elvis is weird, how about calling Microwave so all the neighbours in a perfectly normal suburb can hear you. Our cat had a perfectly normal cat name, until our son returned from uni and as soon as he saw the little ball of bright orange fur, all stuck up as kittens’ fur does, he said it looked as if it had been nuked, we’d better call it Microwave. Needless to say we never had to give our surname to the vet, he was the only Microwave ever.

    October 20, 2015
    • Liz in Paris


      Microwave is a fabulous name for a cat! Our dearly departed one was called Checkmate (OH’s a major chess genius and trainer). But Microwave is excellent. Especially for a kitten with spiky orange fur!

      October 20, 2015
  • Im glad im not the only one with neighbor….issues 😉 I was at Target the other day and my next door neighbor recognized me from behind AND remembered my name. I was like, who is this lady, she looks so familiar! Ive only been her neighbor for four years. And at least she talked to me. Most of the time my neighbors ignore my awkward attempts at waving hello…

    I only hobby blog, but I NEVER MENTION IT. At least you get paid to do it! I feel like that makes it better. (There was this zombie movie, Juan of the Dead, where this girl says she is a blogger, and it had nothing to with the plot or anything and everyone was like cool, whatever, like she said she was a nurse, or hr manager, or cashier or something normal. It made me happy)

    October 20, 2015
  • Haha, I’ve been a bit more open about blogging in the last few months and to be honest, the response has been great. It seems to really intrigue whoever I tell and they end up asking me LOADS of questions about it which actually makes the awkwardness of meeting someone new a bit less. Because I actually have something to say, woo!

    Corinne x

    October 20, 2015
  • That was so funny! And the other post about your neighbours, I can relate so much. I must confess I’ve done that before (imagining becoming really good friends with someone). I don’t know, maybe I would just like to skip the getting to know part directly to the good friends one, how great would that be? And about saying you’re a blogger, I think it only brings curiosity to the conversation, maybe they could even be flattered by having blog posts about them!!

    October 21, 2015
  • Hey Amber I told my friends about blogging before i told anyone else. Being a performance poet, MC of a spoken word night who is also a transwoman and political activist they know i have opinions on everything so i think it’s fair to say none of them were really surprised.

    Love And Best Wishes
    Gayle X

    October 21, 2015