Maybe I’m Dumb

What if the creator of this meme... meant to misspell "paid"?

What if the creator of this meme… meant to misspell “paid”?

I move the mouse to the Publish button and click.

Sometimes, my stomach hurts right then.

It hurt when I published the virginity post. It hurts whenever I admit to crying. It hurt when I told you I’m a liar.

Other times, I think I nailed it.

I liked my underdog post. I liked my Sure, Marriage Sucks; But Does it Have To? post. I liked my post about The Secret.

When I’m in love with a music album, I almost never agree with the singles the artists choose to release.

My favorite movies often don’t jibe with public opinion.

I don’t particularly enjoy Pablo Picasso’s work. But several of his paintings have sold for more than $100 million each.

Freshly Pressed

Yay me?

I don’t know.

A WordPress editor emailed me a couple days ago, notifying me that my Clean Copy post had been chosen as an Editors’ Pick for Freshly Pressed.

I have no idea what kind of traffic that will generate. Maybe a little. Maybe a lot.

But I do know how I feel about that Clean Copy post.

I think it’s a big, fat wanker festival.

I want to tell stories here. I want to explain to you who I am and why. I want to talk about my failings as a husband and father and human being so that others might benefit in some way by avoiding my sins.

I want to make you feel something, when possible. And God-willing, entertain you.

All the while, my neurosis remains. And more and more, I was seeing my mistakes and typos, and realizing that people were seeing them, each time thinking: What a suck-ass writer this guy is!

My old classmates see it and think: That’s why he was a B student!

My friends see it and think: That’s the Matt I know!

And strangers see it and think: What a stupid turd. Why would I read something this clown wrote ever again?

So, I felt the need to defend myself. I thought that maybe by telling you that I write this stuff in about an hour over my lunch period at work all while trying not to let co-workers see what I’m doing for fear of having to disclose my personal writing to them, that you might forgive my mistakes. That you might think I’m not a moron.

But what does any of that matter?

If you’re going to build a car, build one that doesn’t break.

If you’re going to make a sandwich, make it taste good.

If you’re going to write with the intention of sharing it with others? Make sure your shit is buttoned up. Not your shirt. Your shit.

It’s not that hard for me to take a little extra time to make sure you’re not reading stuff my kindergartener could write. (Just kidding. I’m soooo much better at writing than my five-year-old. We have contests and I always win and then I eat his cookies.)

A portion of everything I just typed is true.

First Impressions Matter

Right?

I think they do.

Who am I?

I’m a divorced guy working my shit out. Trying to raise a son. Trying to grow as a human being. Flailing about and being kind of a dork along the way.

Need proof?

Because I let my laundry pile up like an asshole, I didn’t have a lot of my preferred clothes available to wear this morning.

So today, I’m wearing pleated khaki pants and a shirt that’s too large and not cut properly so it blouses out a little at my waist. I look like a total dick.

I don’t really give a shit when I look like a dick at work. I don’t look unprofessional. I just look like I don’t have any fashion sense. Which may or may not be true.

The reason this matters is because a friend of mine really wants me to come to this business networking event after work today.

I have too many chores to do, but the main reason I didn’t want to go is because of my outfit.

For real. Like the time I almost didn’t go out because of that cut on my face.

So you know what I’m going to do?

I’m going to leave work early today. And I’m going to drive to my house. And I’m going to change my outfit before driving downtown for this networking event.

To quote myself: I may have serious issues.

The Real-Time Blogger

As I type, my post went live on Freshly Pressed. They update it on the hour. And they did so at 1 p.m. EST.

UGH.

This is EXACTLY like this bullshit outfit I’m wearing.

I’m really not an asshole everybody! I know how to dress myself! I just don’t respect my co-workers enough to dress nice for them on a regular basis!

I feel like I need to apologize for what is one of my least-favorite posts—and that it kind of misrepresents the types of stories I prefer to tell.

But that raises the question I started with: What if I’m the idiot with bad taste?

What if my high opinion of my opinions is totally unwarranted?

What if everything that looks white is black, and everything that looks black is white?

What if Conspiracy Keanu really isn’t as hilarious as I think it is?

I just picked up a handful of new followers. Within a few paragraphs here. Whoa.

All these new eyeballs and brains. Watching. Judging. Evaluating whether I warrant their precious time.

It’s a new thing to worry about, everyone. A new thing to trigger my neurosis.

You know what, though?

I don’t really think I have bad taste.

I think maybe these WordPress editors just make mistakes like the rest of us. Like when I let typos slip.

They’re only human, after all.

And I understand how debilitating that ailment can be.

If there’s one thing in this world I’m sure of? It’s that I recognize awesomeness when I see it.

It’s the Good Shit.

And this is good shit. This opportunity to connect with more people.

To exchange ideas.

To grow together.

To make this entire brutal exercise worth the effort.

Not the writing.

The living.

Tagged , , , , ,

21 thoughts on “Maybe I’m Dumb

  1. You’re only missing your own awesomeness because of yourself. Because it is yourself. Seriously, Matt. How many people have to tell you how good you are before you believe it??? Clean Copy was great. It’s smart, it has a great title, and it gets people thinking. Why in the world would the WordPress editors NOT put on Freshly Pressed?

    Like

  2. Do we ever get our shit together because maybe we accumulate to much stuff that clutters our life’s?

    On your point of clothing:
    I am not a follower of fashion, however when I feel like I am dressed properly, then I have more confidence and I am more comfortable. Today I went to get some semi-formal clothes for a business function. I had to ask the “visual specialist” to help me. Number one what is it with clothing stores that they employ stylist or what ever you want to call it, secondly I don’t have an adventurous fashion sense. Give me black pants or chinos. So after getting a great shirt and pants, I do feel more prepared for this silly function.

    On the Clean Copy, well done on just being asked.
    Picasso is in the eyes of the beholder, and I clearly don’t have the correct glasses to see the beauty.
    Lastly your reasons for blogging, inspires others just because I think your posts are real.
    Ivan

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I’m not a fashion guy. Not by a LONG shot.

      But I don’t like looking like an asshole, either. There’s a happy medium. And that’s where I like to live.

      Today, I reside in Asshole Land.

      Thank you for reading, Ivan. Always. Appreciate it very much.

      Like

  3. OHkls says:

    Congrats Matt! Now go network and celebrate!

    Like

  4. knace says:

    YES, Yay, you!! Take a deep breath and smile, Matt. You are a very talented writer and now many more people will know it. Maybe someday you will, as well.
    I was thinking if they hadn’t featured The Day the Music Died on- was it the Daily Reader? I would never have had the pleasure of reading your blog. What do you think about that post? Did you have the same feelings about it? I was blown away by it. (I don’t like that phrase but I can’t seem to think of a better way to describe it) I think a lot famous artists, writers etc. don’t agree with what their best piece vs. most popular piece is. Maybe Clean Copy isn’t the most deeply personal of your posts, but it is still excellent and something every writer on WordPress can relate to.
    Just promise when you are rich and famous, you will still be your warm, funny self with a kind word for everyone- and by everyone, I mean me. ;)

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Not looking for fame. But I could definitely use a few extra dollars.

      I need a million more of you, I guess. At this pace, that will only take me a thousand years or so, and maybe 300K more posts. No problem!

      Appreciate you. Very, very much.

      And I did like The Day the Music Died posts. They matter to me. That day changed everything and will define my adult years.

      I’m glad you liked them.

      Like

  5. David says:

    Welcome to the great pile-on of Freshly Pressed where quality people find your blog and dig it immensely and less-accomplished folk wonder what you did you so right in order to emulate it. I don’t know which category I fit in, but this is about you, not me: Congratulations on the attention. You’ll do just fine!

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Appreciate it very much!

      My WordPress app has been REALLY busy today.

      Good problem to have, I think. Unless you write a bunch of embarrassing things.

      Oops.

      Like

  6. rtimmorris says:

    This is great. So honest! I’m not one for hyperbole, but I may have found my favorite blog.
    Thanks for this.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Be careful!

      We only just met!

      Before long, you’ll be reading some sappy old story about my failed marriage, another Q&A with a five-year-old or some preachy nonsense about being a decent human being.

      And you’ll think to yourself: “Who the hell is this idiot. And why did I think I liked this shit?”

      I just hope there’s a chance for us to still be eFriends afterward.

      I appreciate so much you taking the time to read this stuff. I cringe at the thought of you elevating into anything more than the daily musings of some vertically challenged guy.

      But I’m flattered all the same. Thank you.

      Like

  7. writerlyone says:

    Hey that’s awesome that you got picked. Congratulations.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Thank you, young lady. Really appreciate it.

      Hope you’re doing well, down there. I’m driving to your neck of the woods this afternoon. Spending the weekend with college friends.

      Hope you have an excellent weekend.

      Like

  8. […] WordPress editors decide what you’re doing matters, and they give you a nice attaboy. […]

    Like

  9. ali says:

    Just want to let you know that I’ve started reading your blog from the beginning, and it’s really helped me. I’m in the process of divorce, I have a 3mos old son. Not ideal. But I love reading your blog, just thought I’d let you know (:

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I’m very sorry you’re going through all of that. I appreciate you taking a minute write me this note. It means a lot to me that people sometimes care about what’s been written here.

      Like

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