At first I was highly intrigued and quite honored. A Freshly Pressed Blogger personally contacting me. ME ?! It all started about a week after my blogging here began – – I noticed I had one view every single day coming in from a very faraway, exotic country. Cool, I thought. Then the View turned into a Follow. Cooler! I noticed the award badge on their site (Coolest!) and so I read the piece that was Freshly Pressed and I became Freshly IMpressed!
Her first comment to me was extremely flattering, praising my humor and suggesting that with a little of her advice and a few tips, I too might follow in her footsteps. “Lead the way,” I thought.
That was the beginning of constant interactive comments on both our blogs and she seemed very amused by my posts. She loved my parody post about the Movies , as well as the one about opening a new kind of restaurant that had an “unusual” Menu. Then came the message that stepped just a tad outside of the normal “Blogger Zone.” Had I ever been to her country? And guess what? California was someplace she’d always dreamed of visiting some day! Hmmm, I wondered.
Is this blogger just a wee bit mixed-up and is now harboring the notion that WordPress morphed into HomeSwap.dotcom?
Nonetheless, I’d been working on trying to be more affable lately, (plus working on using the word “affable” in my blog) and it was true that I had an extra bedroom since my divorce. And I DID live in a city that boasted such tourist draws as SeaWorld, Legoland, a world famous Zoo, plus beautiful beaches. And was just a Mickey Mouse-sized hop, skip and a jump from Disneyland. What the heck.
When I met her at the airport, she couldn’t wait to show me all the delicious apricots from her homeland. How did she get past security with all that fruit, I wondered? The drive home witnessed her hanging her head out the passenger’s side like my Labradoodle , oohing and ahhing at every street corner.
And then abruptly she rolled the window up, her hair still lacquered into place, and turned to me in an expectant manner.
Houseguest: So. . . Say something funny.
Me: What do you mean?
Houseguest: Make me laugh.
Houseguest: No, you’re doing it wrong. You are not the audience. You’re supposed to be the comic.
Houseguest: You’re not funny at all. Can you even tell a joke?
Me: I don’t think you are allowed to heckle a writer. Are you?
Houseguest: See? Once again, not funny.
Me: (Swallowing hard)
Houseguest: You’re just a One Hit Blogger, aren’t you?
Me: (Shoulder shrug)
Houseguest: That’s right. You wrote one crummy piece on how to not blog like an old Fogie and suddenly the world’s your stage.
Me: Not an Old Fogie. It was an Old Codger.
Houseguest: Whatever. Just drive.
The week was starting off splendidly. Yep, you heard me. But how could I have made her stay here any shorter than that? When you come from that far away, two whole days are basically devoted to travel.
Once settled into my home, she immediately made a break for my bedroom and logged onto my own computer! I could hear the typing from my kitchen. Hard, definitive, angry strokes.
I distracted myself with calling a friend….
Friend: That’s unbelievable. Tell me more.
Me: When we got here, the first thing she did was roll around on my sofa, sniffing it intently. Read the Red Text on my About Page if you are wondering why she did that.
Friend: Oh I know why. I remember you writing about that. Wow, what a piece of work.
Me: Her or my About Page??
Friend: LOL. You’re sooooo funny! What a hoot!
Me: That’s another thing. She says I’m unfunny. She was expecting a cross between Tina Fey, Erma Bombeck and Lucille Ball.
Friend: Nah, you’re more Carol Brady.
Me: Thanks a lot. And she doesn’t even speak with an accent. I am wondering if she really is from that country. Or was ever really Freshly Pressed?
Friend: Freshly Pressed? What’s that?
Me: When your writing gets read by millions. It’s something I’ve always….
Friend: Gotta go! The kids are running stark naked down the street, handing out cookies to advertise our next garage sale. We’re expecting a big crowd.
When my houseguest from another country (?) finally emerged from my bedroom, she wore my good black dress and casually sat down at the table, announcing she was starving.
Houseguest: I checked on your computer. You were never hacked like your blog about hackers claimed you were.
Me: And your point is ?
Houseguest: You’re a fraud. Did you ever really have that incident happen in the dressing room when you went jean shopping?? Are you even the one writing all those blogs?
Me: Of course I am. Haven’t you ever seen a movie that’s based on true events? They bend the truth a little for drama. I do it for humor.
Houseguest: So what IS true about you?
Me: (blushing) That’s kinda personal.
Houseguest: You’re not even quite as old, fat, ugly, stupid or as disorganized as your blog makes you out to be.
Houseguest: And are you even having an affair with your mailman?? Like it said in Paying It Forward Backfires?
Me: Well I do know my mailman. And I sometimes put on a clean shirt to fetch the mail.
Houseguest: Haven’t you ever heard of Truth in Advertising?
Me: But I’m not selling anything!
Houseguest: (looking me up and down, noticing empty ring finger) Oh no?
Me: Listen you, whoever you really are. There’s not like a “Blogger’s Code of Ethics,” you know. I can write whatever I want. True or not. I love blending fact into fiction to give my followers a laugh.
Houseguest: You’re just scared your life is too boring to tell the truth. You can’t handle the truth!
Me: (looking around for Jack Nicholson) So, what are you going to do?
Houseguest: I’m going to blow the blog whistle on you. Publish a long post announcing just how misleading you are. You won’t have a follower left in hell by the time I’m done.
With that, she flounced off toward my bedroom and I heard the door slam and lock. The ferocious typing resumed! I’d seen the movie Pacific Heights. How was I ever going to get this woman out of my bedroom, let alone my house?
Wow, I thought. “The truth IS stranger than fiction.”
Me: (thru the door) Yoo Hoo. What are you doing in there, Strange lady?
Houseguest: Blowing your cover. How’s this for a title? “San Diego writer is NOTHING like her blog!”
Me: Oh Please. Please?? (the word sounds similar to….) Police! I’m calling the police.
Houseguest: Dream on. Nothing you ever say or write is true. What an imagination. No cop is ever gonna come out here over this.
I watched as the officer’s brows raised incredulously when I gave my account of what happened. He made no move toward my bedroom to arrest her. His partner simply said, “She sounds like a real character.”
“But…but…you have to handcuff her! I can’t have her ruining my blogging career before it even starts. And she eats more than all three of my teenage sons put together.
“Ah hah. Maybe you don’t really have any teenage sons??”
“Never mind that,” I said, flushing (I swear it wasn’t a hot flash!) “She can’t stay!!”
Both men tipped their hats and said in unison, “Sorry Ma’am. But you’re the only one who is capable of getting rid of her. You’ve always had the power all along.”
I looked down at my feet. No glittering ruby shoes. There was only one way to guarantee that everything turned out okay in the end. To make this “houseguest” disappear and ensure that I wouldn’t come off as a liar in my own blog. That’s it! Certainly everyone has heard of this . . .
“Life Imitates Art!”
It just had to work! I sat down at the kitchen table and without hesitation, logged into WordPress. With the same amount of determination, exactness, and aplomb as my houseguest, I typed the ideal title:
“The Quest For the Perfect, Freshly Pressed Houseguest!”
“Dear Readers: Would anyone like to visit San Diego? I have a spare bedroom in a really fun city. Please come with a carefree attitude and know that not everything you read is true ….. blah, blah, blah.”
When I put the finishing touches on my post and added a few images, I walked to the back of the house and opened the bedroom door . . .
My houseguest had completely vanished. All that remained were a few fresh apricots on the desk – – definitely from the tree in my very own backyard.