Helluva Record

So my dearest and most beloved girlfriend Ashley has introduced me to the newest form of blogging narcissism known as the "stat counter." This simple little tool allows a blogger to see how many readers are going to their site on a daily basis, thus gauging the site's popularity. Of course in ascertaining the site's popularity what really is going on is that the author is actually ascertaining their popularity as a writer. "Ooooo Read me! Read me! Like me! Like me!" A high stat count for the author translates into, "Yes, yes, you should anoint me your king/queen and bow down to the almighty brain that feeds life into the listless monitor screen before which you sit." Conversely, a low count would be interpreted as, "They hate me and want me to drink Drain-O." The logic to this is a little off, but the basic thought process is nothing new for writers, artists, singers, etc who want some assurance that what they are doing has at least some degree of meaning for others. Nothing wrong with that. Knowing that what we do and what we create finds a place in this big world gives us a sense of satisfaction and belonging.

Take Ashley for example. Periodically she will flip open her laptop. "127 and it's only 7pm." she announces. She'll put the dinner plates in the dishwasher and check again, "131, good!" Thirty minutes later, "Hmm 132? Something must be wrong." The routine is similar to that of husband being forced to watch Grey's Anatomy but trying to catch the score of a major football game during the commercial breaks. Once the game clock hits zero (meaning bed time) Ashley checks the final tally for the day. If it's high then I find her scepter and Ashley goes to bed happy and thus Ron goes to bed happy. If the count is low then Ashley goes to bed sad and thus Ron... well, Ron waits till Ashley brushes her teeth, then he hides the Liquid Drain-O and clicks onto her bog page as many times as he can to inflate the count knowing that Ashley will double check the count after emerging from the bathroom ("Wow, 79 people read my blog in the time it took me to brush my teeth! Yay, me!") ... and thus Ron goes to bed happy.

I have to admit I have been tempted to add the stat counter tool to my blog. When you check the counter it's formatted into all these bars and graphs that can be sorted and arranged and rearranged plus there are colors - lot's of them. If I'm a sucker for anything - anything aside from cool hand bags, back packs, legal pads, ripped up designer jeans, Star Wars toys, superhero cartoons, Starbucks hazelnut lattes and organic peanut butter - I'm a sucker for glittery, shiny, multi-colored graphs that arise from data that I have created ("Mmmmmm, glittery, shiny, multi-colored graphs from data I have created, aurrrrrrrrrrg!"). Despite the temptation I have held off. Ashley, knowing my weakness, is not much of a help as she regularly flashes me the screen shots verifing the random numbers she's blurts out in tourettes-like fashion.

"Honey, I don't need a stat counter on my blog. It's very easy for me to count to three or four." I reason this to her with a reference to the fact that only she and my family read my blog, which I write so infrequently that I can't maintain any consistent readership thus further justifing no need for a stat counter.

"Ooooo, look! 219! That's the third highest count I've had for a Tuesday this year." and she starts to close the laptop but pauses for a moment. She looks down at the glow stretching out from the sliver of light created by the monitor and then she presses it shut. The metallic click triggers what I know is coming. "See Honey, how it works is, the more you blog, the more people will read your blog and the higher your blog counter goes up." The periods in her sentences come in the combined form of a smirk, shrugging shoulders and her eyes rolling up toward the ceiling. It's adorable.

"Ohhhhhh, that's it huh? Right. Got it."

Catching the sarcasm in my voices she gets up. "219. That really isn't as good as last Thursday's 221." She frowns by making pouty-lips. "I'm going to brush my teeth now," and off she goes to the bathroom, while I reach for her computer.

In the big scheme of things I started to think of the stat counter for my own life and it goes something like this:

35 years and 8 months on this earth
1 Mother
1 Father
3 Sisters
3 Brother-in-laws
3 Nieces
1 Nephew
3 Marriage proposals
2 Accepted
1 Marriage
1 Divorce
3 Sons ages 8, 5, & 3
1 Incredibly gorgeous, loving and talented girlfriend
Up-teen former girlfriends (necessary to find 1 incredibly, gorgeous, loving and talent girlfriend)
A ton of good friends
3 Really close friends
1 God
1 Saviour
1 Guiding Spirit
30 MG of Vyvanse once a day
50 MG Lamictal once a day
25 bucks spent per week on Starbucks Lattes (Ya, $100 friggin' dollars on coffee a month!)
3 Jobs in the last year
2 Job resignations in the same time
1 Middle finger
$734.87 in "re-appropriated" office supplies
4 Address changes in a year (Houston, Chicago, Arkansas, and Houston)
6 Different cell phone numbers in a year
431 comic books read in 9 months
Innumerable experiences and

1 pretty good life.

PS. Ya, and I added the stat counter to my page.... 14 hits and it's only 11am! Woooo Hoooo!

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