If this is the only way to get you away from your computer and that cursed blog to which you seem addicted, then so be it!

Do you remember that delightful classic, The Scarlet Letter? Naughty Hester wore a red “A” pinned on every piece of clothing she owned (roughly 3 garments) to broadcast to everyone in her village (roughly 30 people) that a married man lusted after her. His lapels were “A-less.” Stitchery and shame were quite popular among Puritan women. Lusting after women and passing judgement on lust-worthy women were manly pursuits. If you missed the book or the movie, I just saved you time and points in trivia games involving literature. (NOTE: I probably missed some important details and skewed a few plot lines, but so did the movie.)

See? It's all her fault! Look at the seductive way she's dressed. That poor man just can't help himself as he grabs her from behind and over-powers her. She has all the control.

The Scarlet Letter stood for “adulter” not “awesome.” It was a way of stigmatizing women in the hopes that they would stop teasing weak, married men who couldn’t control themselves around all those corsets and layers of heavy fabric covering women from neck to toe.

I’m feeling stigmatized by some people in my Village, but not for the reason Hester was. I should use my quilter’s skills and fashion a bright, bold “B” to pin on my garments. The “B” stands for Blogger and is the Scarlet Letter’s Kissing Cousin (being so close to “A”). My Village assumes I’ve gone to the “B” Dark Side along with legions of others who waste their time in front of a computer screen when they could be doing something productive like watching Reality TV or playing bingo.

Here’s how I know I was Hester’s cyber-hussy equivalent:

  • When I talk about writing, my Villiagers lean in; when I talk about blogging, my Villagers slowly back away with worried expressions;

    Let's get the heck out of here, Ralph, Lorna has finally lost her marbles.

  • My Villagers express concern that I’m becoming one of “those people” who spend all their time on the computer, develop agorophobia, and paste newspaper clippings of government conspiracies over my walls (which is totally unlikely because I don’t read the newspaper).

    This could be considered recycling or DYI home decorating, but whatever...Some people will always judge.

  • Regardless of my explanations about how blogging is an effective way to get my writing “out there,”  Villagers seem suspicious–like I’m justifying my obsession with World of Warcraft 4.2.

I do NOT look like this at my computer. I have a lap top and I drink only herbal tea. So there!

A few of my Villagers, like a few of Hester’s friends, support me. But, by and large, my Villagers think blogging is just like cruising online porn sites–a terrible waste of human potential and will ultimately lead to trouble.

"It's so horrible! It's so awful! I have to keep watching to see if Lorna gets any worse."

Labels are dangerous. Once affixed (like the embroidered “A” or “B”) they are loaded with meaning that is impossible to sway. Perhaps I need another word for “blogging” that my Villagers would accept as productive and appropriate for a 53-year-old former sociology professor.

Technotyping (TTing)?  “I spent 4 hours ‘Ta-Tinging’ today. It was great!”

WebPublishing (WPing)?  “Wait just a minute, I have to finish ‘Wee-Pinging.'”

InteractiveWriting (IWing?) “If I care about it, I-Wing it!”

I don’t know, I better get my needle and thread out…

I tried to go to bold new places where I'd never been before, but only a few understand my mission. It's hard to steer a star ship through the blog-o-sphere with only a skeleton crew.

Do others really understand your blogging or do you feel misunderstood, judged, and in need of a defense lawyer because you spend hours a day blogging?