There are a few things I would love to write about on this blog but the truth is I am a little worried about doing so.
There are many tales to tell, mostly funny and amusing, and some things that have irritated me or continue to annoy me. I would love to write them down but there is one thing stopping me.
They involve people I know.
I have a thick skin and can tolerate a fair amount of abuse, either funny tongue in cheek banter or even on occasion words spoken in spite because of a difference of opinion, an argument or whatever.
The problem is that I really don’t know how thick skinned other people actually are. Worse, I have no idea if they would mind seeing a story about them appearing on a blog in cyberspace that a lot of people may stumble across.
Regular readers know that I have actually written about a few people, notably Mrs PM, as well as my sons. I’ve also mentioned people in passing, usually involving an amusing incident in a light-hearted post.
However, I have hidden their names behind a pseudonym; I’ve done exactly the same with myself too. My name is not really Plastic Mancunian – in case you were wondering.
Nevertheless, even when I have mentioned people hidden behind a silly name, I have wondered whether they actually read my blog and if so what they would think if they actually recognised themselves.
It’s happened on one or two occasions.
I walked into a pub one day to meet some mates and one of them said:
“OY! You wrote about me wearing a bloody dress!”
The fact that quite a few people knew that he wore a dress once was irrelevant. I didn’t even give him a pseudonym – I merely mentioned the fact that I knew a guy who wore a dress to see the Rocky Horror Show and allowed a photograph of him to be taken.
Worse, I think I was the person who circulated the photo around selected people in the office – a double whammy if you like.
And now I’ve mentioned it again he might even bring it up YET AGAIN!
“YOU UTTER ARSE! YOU’VE DONE IT AGAIN! ARE YOU OBSESSED?”
Of course I’m not obsessed and I apologise once more in advance.
This is the dilemma I have. Over the years certain people have truly annoyed me and some still do, particularly in the work environment. And I am itching, absolutely itching to pour scorn on them via the medium of the blog.
I guess that for those in my past who I do not class as friends or those I simply haven’t seen for years, the problem is not too bad. I would hate to have upset a work colleague because of a few ill-chosen sentences just to make a point – even if I disliked the fellow in question.
So I am torn; torn between an evolving need to write about people I know or have known and a desire to remain a nice guy and leave people alone.
I don’t think it’s so bad in the case above where I am simply taking the piss out of a friend. I wouldn’t mind if people did that to me – I do enough of that myself.
It is an inner conflict that needs to be resolved.
This is one of the reasons that I was disappointed that my blog was discovered in the first place. Initially I wanted it to remain completely anonymous, devoid of any photographs of myself, so that I could regale the world with tales of work, life and the universe, mentioning everybody I knew without fear of reprisals.
Thinking about this logically, I shouldn’t be worried at all. I’ve read autobiographies where the author has made it perfectly clear how he feels about the people in his or her past. It’s worse in this case because the author has actually named names and not been kind enough to protect them behind a pseudonym.
So why should I care?
I care because I think I am a nice guy and even though I may not be keen on the person in question, I feel a moral obligation to leave them alone rather than splashing their name, albeit a pseudonym, on a blog that anyone can read.
I sometimes even wonder how Mrs PM will react if I mention her in a post (and I never say anything bad about her).
Not everyone is like me. Not everyone would like to be seen as a joke or the target of a Plastic Mancunian rant.
Do you see my predicament? I could open up a whole new area of bloggery if I allowed myself to stop caring about what people would think if I were to write about them.
It’s one to mull over I think. Perhaps I can dig into the distant past and hope that people don’t recognise me or themselves.
Over to you, dear reader.
What would you do?
Would you avoid writing about people you know for fear of upsetting them – even if you are not sure whether they read your blog or not?
Actually, part of me is tempted to lose my own anonymity on this blog.
But that's an inner struggle for another day.