Merry Blogmas: The Top 80 Posts of 2011


You know those lists that seem to come out several times a year? Those lists that you pretend not to care about but secretly check hoping maybe they surprised you and put you on the list without telling you? Yeah, those lists.

It’s not to put down anyone who makes those lists. If you look at them, they are usually filled with some of the best and brightest writers out there that always manage to have beautiful portraits alongside their blog name. Either there is a correlation between being a good writer and being a beautiful person or someone is really good at Photoshop.

(Trust me, I like the photoshopped me better than the regular me!)

And we don’t want to be on those lists anyway, right? We don’t want to be compared with all of those fabulous writers. And besides, if we actually made the list then we wouldn’t be able to rant about how unfair it is. In the immortal words of Groucho Marx:

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

But we do want recognition for our writing. It always seems the best posts are the ones that get overlooked. We write a silly little 5 minute post about how our puppy pooped in the foyer and get a zillion comments. And then we write a super poignant post about life, the universe, and everything and we’re lucky if our grandma reads it.

There are so many hidden gems out there that go unnoticed. Sometimes it’s because we’re lousy at self-promotion and nobody really knows about it. Sometimes it’s because readers today are simply overwhelmed with content.

I decided to do something about it. I decided to create my own list with user-submitted content.

Is my list subjective? Yes. It’s my blog and I have an opinion.

Is it exclusive? Yes. You had to submit your post for consideration.

Will anyone walk away feeling bad? I hope not. This is meant to recognize some of those gems out there and share them with you.

Over the next four days, I’ll introduce you to some of the best 80 posts of 2011 that you probably never read. And many of these are can’t-miss-must-read-where-has-this-blogger-been-hiding kind of posts. You see the posts that make you laugh, make you cry, and most importantly, make you read.

In the meantime, I thought I might share with you some of my favorite posts from my blog this year. Some are funny. Some are tearjerkers. Some were just written in the purity of the moment and I’m proud of all of them!

1. A New World Order: Rules of Etiquette for 2011

Really, I think this is a timeless post that I should just repost every year.

“I’m no Emily Post. You know who that is, right? Miss Manners? Wait. Let me start over. Do you know what etiquette is?

I’m thinking that a lot of people don’t. I don’t know if it’s a generational thing or cultural thing. Were people not raised right? I don’t know but it’s time to set things straight. Let’s make some changes for 2011. My changes. Let’s call them my suggested rules of etiquette.”

2. Twitter Followers You Love to Hate

This post garnered a lot of comments. And while the landscape of Twitter has changed a lot this year, one thing is certain. We all share the same annoyances on Twitter.

“I like to keep things positive as much as possible. So I hesitated to use the word “hate” in the title of this post. But then I thought, aw, shucks, let’s just have fun with this one.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Twitter. I even gained a little notoriety writing an off the cuff post about it. But I’m going to be honest, effectively managing your Twitter following can be pain sometimes. Why do I care?”

3. Goodbye, my friend

This was written just hours after my kitty passed away. It was full of raw emotion but was so cathartic for me to write.

“We last saw you alive eight days ago. Your hearing wasn’t what it used to be. Your vision was nearly gone due to age-related cataracts. Your body was failing you. But I was still hoping it wasn’t your time.”

4. life is a bus we board

My first attempt at poetry. I wasn’t trying to be good at it. I was just trying to get out how I was feeling. Our neighbor unexpectedly died of a heart attack and it left me feeling very reflective.

“life is a bus we board
from different stops,
at different times,
headed to different destinations.”

5. If I Could Write A Letter to Me…

I wrote an electronic letter to myself in 2009 and had forgotten about it when it was magically delivered to my inbox this year. The letter revealed unexpected foreshadowing and made me reflect on how far I’d come.

“Have you ever gotten a letter from yourself that you wrote two years ago? No? Well, that’s what happened to me today.

I have been known to be a little sign-up happy from time to time. Someone sends me a link to a website or new app and I click over. Sounds cool, looks nice, so I click around. Next thing I know I’m signing up for an account and not really even knowing what for. So as you can guess, I have some email problems.”

6. How do you people find me?

If you’re a data nerd like me, you can get endless hours of entertainment from looking at the search terms that bring people to your site, usually inadvertently.

“If you have Google Analytics, you have the ability to see the keywords, or search terms, people use to find your blog. I check mine every so often, not to optimize my blog but really to have a good laugh. And then I need to share them with you.”

7. It’s not me, it’s you.

Yes, this post is full of subtext. Yes, it was inspired by real-life friendships. But I found that it resonated with so many other people.

“But what I find is I seem to be on the receiving end of a lot of passive aggressive behaviors. I tend to attract these types of people as “friends.” These are the people that say something that is so full of hidden meaning that you don’t know if you’re being paranoid or if they really just told you your house is a dump. Call it a back-handed compliment.”

8. Parenting by the Poolside, Part 2

The community swimming pool is always a a sociological experiment in parenting observations. Unfortunately, this one particular day at the pool ended up in a phone call to Child Protective Services.

“Today, I had a particularly needy child all over me. We were in the shallow end and Evan and I were playing. She kept joining in and inserting herself right in the middle of our fun. I tried to be polite and encouraging. She even started grabbing on to me like a child would grab her mother.”

9. 10 reasons I can never get to bed early

Night owls unite! I found that a lot of people out there are my people and we all sort of feel the same way.

“I like to stay up late and get up late. I’d actually like to be up and at ‘em early in the morning and enjoy a full day starting with the solitude of the morning. I can get up but I’m certainly not at ‘em. My peak brain time is 4pm to 10pm. Fact.”

10. The Sad Little Tree

It’s amazing how one little tree can be so symbolic of peace and harmony and then turmoil and trauma.

“Charles and Shelia moved in next door a few months after we bought our house. It was a new section of the community and all the homes were being newly built. We met them after we had moved in and after construction had begun on their house. From our first meeting, they seemed like a nice enough couple but we knew we wouldn’t be best of friends. And we were okay with that.”

Thank you for indulging me. I hope you enjoyed one or two pieces of my little corner of the blogosphere and I hope you stop back to see some of the fabulous posts I’ll be introducing you to all week.