Two year old Mia in green dress lying on floor

What are you thinking about?

I had a million blog ideas filtering through my mind last week… many of which were incomprehensible, induced by Tuesday’s feverish brush with influenza.

Tribute to the Demon Barber

I fell madly in love with the morbid humor of “Sweeney Todd” after seeing the stage musical in 1994, and thought it would make a perfect tribute to Halloween.
For many years, I was disappointed over the lack of attention Sweeney received, and hoped that someone would decide to adapt it for film.
That is, until Tim Burton and Johnny Depp got their grubby paws on it… and now I almost wish they’d left it alone, because the purist in me screamed over every altered syllable and omission. Okay, I suppose the movie was fair enough, in spite of the glaringly absent lyrics to the main theme. 😛

Little boy wearing pink fairy wings

Fairy Jake sporting his manly pink wings

My TinkerBeau

Another Halloween story I almost told involved Jacob’s decision to wear the pink fairy wings that I originally purchased for his sister’s ballerina costume.
He insisted on wearing them all day, even while playing outside, as if the neighbors needed any further excuse to gossip about the crazy cat family.

His fascination with them didn’t surprise us, since he does occasionally like to cross-dress in Mia’s clothing. I humored him, once, by allowing him to wear the red dress he begged for, after seeing it hanging in her dresser. I assume his mimicry is a method of emulating her, as the two of them share a strong emotional bond. A mere 16 months apart, they look almost like twins, and Jake worships the ground Mia walks on.

Little boy wearing a floral shirt

Jake dressed himself today, in Mia's shirt.

When a Facebook friend posted a link to this blog post, which recounts a five-year-old boy’s desire to dress like Daphne from Scooby-Doo… well, I just had to read about his mother’s frustrations and leave a sympathetic comment.
Apparently, a few hundred other people decided to do the same…
I had forgotten to un-check the box marked “Subscribe to Replies”, and within 10 minutes after posting, my inbox was flooded with comments from other readers.
193 to be exact.
They were still pouring in as I hit the Unsubscribe link in my e-mail.

50,000 Twitter Followers

Which leads me down the treacherous path to a rant about blog marketing.
This is the time of year when businesses great and small are encouraged to connect with their potential customers by writing helpful, engaging articles such as “10 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Raise”
and “Tips for Cooking the Best Turkey Your Family Ever Tasted”.

Everyone knows that spamming with sales advertisements is O-U-T, so let’s cram relevant keywords into each attention-grabbing post and self-proclaim ourselves experts in the field of ___-Blah!

Admittedly, I subscribe to a few of these myself… but one such piece of sage wisdom, written by a business consultant, told a fictitious shop owner selling knitting supplies that she should only write about knitting, post some tutorials and tips, and god-forbid do NOT veer off into discussing how Tim Burton movies leave her unimpressed… unless she can relate it back to knitting somehow.
And how would you do that, exactly?

How do you form real relationships with people, and get to know the person behind the needles? Sure, thousands of people might follow her knitting tips… but would any of them think about her outside the knitting sphere?
When a wise-crack commercial comes on, or when their mother-in-law drops in for an unexpected visit, when they discover the best recipe for blueberry cheesecake…. will they excitedly rush to their computers to e-mail the Knitting Tips business owner? Doubt it.

I don’t care how many e-books she sells. I’m not interested in gaining 50,000 Twitter followers who are looking for advice.
If I want to sell you something, I’ll just say …click here and buy my art… otherwise, I’m just sitting here talking to myself. Or typing to myself rather.

For the record, I’m no expert… unless you want to read “10 Ways To Convince the Neighbors You’re Nuts”. (#4. Dress the entire family in pink fairy wings)

I’m the anti-marketing sort… not because I believe in the unsung success of “not marketing”, but simply due to the fact that most marketers come across as superficial, kiss-butt-to-get-a-sale zombies. Especially the sales reps I’ve met through working retail. Sparkling vampires, with the exception of one.

Tired little fairy boy in Mommy's arms

Tired from flying, he lands in Mommy's arms

Do Fairies Fall Down?

Ironically, yesterday I wanted to blog about vampires… although not the sparkly kind, of which I know blessedly nothing.
Rather, I was thinking about emotional vampires, and draining relationships in general. Those people who delight in tearing us down and making us feel worthless, and the people who place us on impossibly high pedestals and worship our golden images.

These are two sides of the same void – using us to bolster their own lack of self-esteem – and it’s best to avoid them both.

Obviously we wouldn’t want to surround ourselves with people who disrespect us, or cause us to continuously doubt ourselves, however we need to be
equally cautious around folks who refuse to recognize our genuine flaws and stubbornly cling to the belief that we represent perfection.
Unfortunately, as an imperfect human being, you are fated to disappoint them eventually, and your failure will devastate them. The tower will crumble, and you’ll find yourself bitterly rejected and abused, worse than if they’d held no faith in you whatsoever. It’s a long fall from Heaven.

We mustn’t ever lose sight of who we are, in the face of intimidation, seduction, or influence… a reoccurring theme on my mind this week.

Whether I blog about the faithfulness of movie adaptations, the self-confidence of a 2-year-old boy wearing pink fairy wings, or the pressure to be “relevant” and SEO savvy… it all boils down to “keeping it real”, remembering our strengths and weaknesses, and not compromising what makes each one of us unique.

Even if it means combining four separate topics into one post… although I’ll suggest that you read this accompanied by a 103 degree fever, wherein these ramblings will make perfect sense. 😉

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