My name is Helen Slayton-Hughes, and I am writing a SHLOG, entitled:
NOW THAT I AM 85.
The first installments are ready and waiting to be “published”!
For months I have hesitated to publish them, in the midst of all the serious/dreadful/infuriating things happening in the world. But I don’t want to reach 86 (87? 88?) and find that I’m still hesitating – and for the same reason.
So what the heck – I start now
1. WHY A SHLOG?
At first I thought I would write a BLOG, but that field is overcrowded. On the other hand, I do not know of anyone who is writing a SHLOG, unless her name happens to be Victoria Smith-Hanson, or Beccala Surrey-Hop. A SHLOG it is, then.
(Two people so far have suggested that the correct spelling should be SCHLOG, but I think this would require that my name be something like Slayton-Chrysanthemum-Hughes, or Slayton-Corncob-Hughes, which, as we know, it is not.)
2. WHY DO I FEEL IMPELLED TO WRITE ONE?
Certainly NOT because the world needs it.
And not because it will be of practical benefit to anyone.
No—it is because I have lost my tribe.
I’m mostly an actor, and in recent years the TV show Parks and Recreation allowed me to recur as Ethel Beavers so many times that I began to think I lived in Pawnee. Now that Parks and Rec. has ended its run, I know, I accept, that Pawnee was an imaginary place, its people a beautiful dream of tribal connection.
WHO WILL READ MY SHLOG?
Just as I was mourning this loss, I read a blog by a blogger –Aaron Baldasare by name – who counsels: “Find Your Tribe!” (How did he know?)
He says that when writing a blog (or in my case, a shlog) for optimum satisfaction you should not seek QUANTITY (half a million readers and the advertising revenue that accrues). Instead, seek QUALITY. Reach out to those five or six peculiar souls who will share your most esoteric enthusiasms. They will be your new tribe!
One of my enthusiasms is the composer Erik Satie. It is said that as he took his last breath, he whispered “Ah, the cows!”
Now I begin the search for those few readers who – if I should whisper, dying, “Ah, the cows!” –will know exactly what I mean.
The first installment of my SHLOG (out in a few days) is titled:
“Now That I Am 85: I Wish I Had a Little Husband in the Bedroom Down the Hall.”