Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bully for you, chilly for me

Do you realize this blog has existed since 2008? TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHT. In July, that was five years. And I've been checking out some of the blogs of people who have become (relatively) successful in the quilt world and have found that many of them started around the same time. It was like a whole bunch of us collectively plugged into the Matrix and were uploaded with the instructions to make quilts and start blogging about it. Except the difference between me and them was that they were all "Here's my tutorial for for sewing on a binding" and I was all "HOW THE HELL DO YOU MAKE THESE SEAMS STRAIGHT? FRICKIN' LASERS?" I got a magazine column out of it; they got fabric lines and book deals.

I mention this only because I've been thinking a lot about fame recently. Well, quilt world fame, which is not the same as regular world fame, in that there's generally no singing or posing for magazine covers in one's underwear. Yet.

David likes to tell the girls that mommy is famous, which always makes their eyes get a little bigger. But then we have to have a discussion about how famous mommy actually is.

David: Mommy's famous.

Kids: Really????

Me: No.

David: C'mon. You're a little famous.

Me: No, I'm not.

Kids: How famous are you, Mommy?

Me: I am not as famous as Selena Gomez. I am more famous than you. But our plumber is more famous than you, so that's not saying anything.

Kids: Do people want your autograph?

Me: No.

Kids: Do people want to take your picture?

Me: God, no.

Kids: Do people want to meet you?

Me: They think they do, then they slink away, disappointed and disillusioned after glancing at the black pit of nothingness that is my actual personality.

(pause to define "disillusioned," "black pit of nothingness," and "personality.")

Kids: Well, don't you want to be more famous?

Me: Who wants ice cream?

This conversation came up again a few months ago when two different people in close succession referred to me as a "rock star." In both cases, I had to check a couple times to make sure they actually meant me. I certainly don't feel like a rock star. God knows I don't look like one (unless you count Meat Loaf). But it was so sweet to be thought of that way, I had to announce it to my family.

Then, in the last couple of weeks, I've had more people refer to me as "a name." As in, "You are a name in the industry and companies will want to work with you." And when I hear this, I always think, "Aw you're so sweet...and so wrong." I have absolutely no idea how to gauge my own...let's not call it fame—let's say "infamy." I am always being encouraged to approach people at Market like they're gonna know who the hell I am and like they'll be all, "Oh, it's YOU! We love you! You're so...marketable." I pretty much assume that a) nobody knows who I am, and b) if they do, they don't want anything to do with me. First of all, I am oddly-shaped. I don't know; I just always assume this is working against me. Second: I have major bitchy resting face. It's a handicap. And third: I have managed to offend a lot of people in the last five years, some of whom are pretty well-known in our little world. And not just for the cursing either, but for my columns! And to that last point, there's stuff there I can't even tell you about, but it's enough to give me pause every time I contemplate even commenting on someone's blog or responding to a post on Facebook. Being incredibly shy AND outspoken at the same time makes for an odd (and oddly shaped) stew. It's why I suck at self-promotion.

Anyway, to anybody who ever called me "famous"—thank you. I appreciate each and every opportunity to make my kids think I am far cooler than I actually am.

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