The Hess Report


Friday, February 20, 2004

But Why?

I answered this in brief a while ago, but I feel that it deserves a full explanation now. What's the point? There are multiple points and here they are in no particular order...

The diary function. Of course, it's not really a diary, because that would be gay, and I'm not. But there have been a couple of times when I've started writing a report, then due to the process of writing it, changed my mind by the end. If I changed it in a clever way, the Report stands. But if it's just your everyday change of mind and there was nothing particularly revelatory about it, then that Report goes into the bin and a new one takes it's place. I've found that forcing myself to structurally organize enough to write something down helps me order and clarify my thoughts. So, the diary thing.

Distant communication. If you lived next door to me I'd bug you with all of this stuff in person. I'd whine about the belligerent idiot at Einsteins' Bagels, or force you to watch my kids put on a play every night. But you don't, and this is where the carry-over from the old Hess Report days comes in. Ten years ago, the Hess Report went out as a monthly email. Then it withered to a yearly thing. Then it died. Believe it or not, people still asked me about the emailed Hess Reports years after they stopped. I hope they're happy now.

An insurance policy against my contract killing. Someday, my daughters will both be teenagers, and they will no doubt hate my guts for a period of several years. When things get bad, I'm going to have a friend of the family or an uncompromised “cool” relative show the girls what they “found”. Hey look! Your dad wrote all this stuff before he was forty! He was funny. He really loved you guys! And maybe they'll read it, and realize that I'm a human being, and not a boyfriend-frightening, fun-destroying taskmaster from hoary bowels of Hell. And call off the hit.

I'm vain, or something. What makes a person think that anyone else would enjoy reading something that they wrote? And use their minuscule spare time reading it? For fun? I don't know. It certainly means that something is not quite right. Or maybe that's a bit harsh. Maybe it just means that something is a little different, although if it were put to a vote, I'm not sure which position would win. Would all of this be interesting or funny to someone who didn't know me? Once again, I don't know.

Oh man. This is just too much navel-gazing, even for me. Now I'm embarrassed. But I'm going to post this anyway, just for the record. It's like my grandmother said to me: “Just write what you want and don't listen to anyone else.” Can do, Nan, although my version of that phrase has bad words in it, and seeing as this is for my kids someday, I'm not going to repeat it.

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