This is the problem with avatars. My picture is this bright orange, smiley rendition of myself in Microsoft Paint. Which works well when things are good. Saying happy birthday, celebrating after a positive beta, congratulating someone on clear tubes after an HSG--all good uses for my avatar. But when the post is serious, when you are trying to give support as the shit goes down, it is a little disconcerting to have that bright, smiley picture in deep contrast with the words.
It's interesting to look down the comments on any given post and judge the appropriateness of avatar to words. There are belly shot avatars there to console someone after a pregnancy loss. Or a picture of a dog used as an avatar that is left on a post discussing the loss of a pet. It's a little strange, nu, when you stop and think about it? Of course, the same avatar is the perfect avatar for a different situation. Like my own.
I thought about replacing my orange picture with a neutral head shot. Straight mouth revealing neither happiness nor sympathy. But then I thought about how a happy face is like a stopped watch, correct two times a day if not more. A monotonous face is rarely appropriate unless you're answering a question like "do you take cream or sugar?" So I scrapped that idea.
Changing avatars based on the comment I leave would tack a few minutes onto leaving each comment, ensuring that I leave fewer and fewer. I'm not even positive that's possible to do. And I considered going a different route--something that worked in all cases--a star or a leaf--something that conveys no emotions. But how would it look if we were all inanimate objects? And there is something about the human face--even in cartoon--that creates the voice. That makes you imagine the very real person who is saying these words to you. Because, on the other end, we are all very real people.
So I am back at square one, with a orange, happy avatar, sometimes leaving comments on very sad posts and feeling this discordance between the frozen look on my cartoon face and the heartfelt nature of the words. Tell me what you think as I pour you a drink.
As always, it has been about a month since we met, bitched, cried, comforted, and caught up each other on our cycles and lives. Pull up a seat and I'll pour you a drink. Let everyone know what is happening in your life. The good, the bad, the ugly. My only request is that if a story catches your eye, you follow it back to the person's blog and start reading their posts. Give some love, give some support, or laugh with someone until your drink comes out of your nose.
I have a ton of assvice in my back pocket and as a virtual bartender, I will give it to you unless you specifically tell me that this is simply a vent and you do not want to receive anything more than a hug.
So if you have been a lurker for a while, sit down and tell us about yourself. Remember to provide a link or a way for people to continue reading your story (or if you don't have a blog--gasp!--you can always leave an email address if you're looking for advice or support. If not, people can leave messages for that person here in the comments section too). If you're a regular at the bar, I'll get out your engraved martini glass while you make yourself comfortable. And anyone new, welcome. I'm glad you found this virtual bar.
For those who have no clue what I'm talking about when I say that the bar is open, click here to catch up and then jump into the conversation.
Martini shaker in hand and a midori sour for myself on the bar. Who else is drinking today?