Coffee Talk: Talk Amongst Ya-selves

Mike Meyers / SNL — Coffee Talk with Linda Richman

The other day I had a long conversation with a dear friend of mine who happens to be a writer. She is very talented, has a successful blog, a great sense of humor, and an adorable newborn. As we were talking about the stories she writes on her blog, she mentioned that she didn't always write exactly how she felt about things, or left out certain phrases or subjects because she thought her employer (mind you, she freelances for "her employer") might read it at some point and might not like it. So I kindly pointed out that the chance of them actually reading it, and the chance of them thinking it was in any way offensive enough for them to actually say something to her about it, and the chance that anything would happen with her job, was miniscule. Not that the topics that she was leaving out were offensive in any way, but just opinions or feelings she had. I urged her to go for it, say her opinions, write down the details that she had left out, basically be herself and don't be afraid of what might happen. This is not to say that I don't think you should carefully think through and research topics, but once you have formed an opinion, don't feel like you can't share it in a respectful manner.

I feel like, as women, some of us feel like we can't put our opinion out there. And those of us that do sometimes get unfortunate labels attached to us. Similar to how really successful ambitious women can be labeled as bitchy among other things, when if a man did and said the exact same things, it would be considered normal. Call me bitchy if you want, but I am an ambitious woman that plans on being pretty darn successful, and as much as I hope to not do or say anything that really is bitchy, I do plan on being myself, making smart decisions, and sharing more of my opinions and thoughts. In defense of all of this, there have been some amazingly successful bloggers and personalities that really put themselves out there, state their opinion, and aren't afraid. They are smart and careful enough to not divulge too many details and maintain some sort of privacy, but if you read their blogs or watch them on TV, you feel like you know them. The best example of this is Heather Armstrong from Dooce. She is smart, hilarious, drops the f-bomb, and is very very successful. Will I be the next Dooce? Financially that would be nice, but I don't think this column will take that much a personal route. I don't know, I guess we'll see. I'm going to let this column be organic and evolve.

I wanted to start an editor's letter type of column on MIMI+MEG to have a space to discuss things that come up that I deem worthy of writing about. It may be serious or even humorous, but I wanted to deepen the MIMI+MEG experience. I definitely don't consider myself a writer by trade. I did graduate from arguably the best journalism school in the United States (University of Missouri—Columbia), and I still reference the binder from the best grammar class in the world taught by Jen Rowe. She may cringe while reading my blog and think, How did she ever pass my class? because writing grammatically correct is obviously not my thing. Sorry Jen and my editor/writer friends and colleagues Heidi, Kat, Sandra and Teresa! But similar to the way many other bloggers write, I write like I talk (or think in my head), and I still have to look up in my trusty binder when I should use that or which, who or whom, and I probably don't always use them right anyway! Sorry grammar nazis, but that's just the way it's going to be unless at some point I get paid a lot to write a column and in that case, I will probably take Jen's class again. But the writing experience wasn't what I was trying to get out of a journalism degree. I really wanted to be a magazine editor, and that may never happen, but on MIMI+MEG I am the editor, and I love it.

Once I decided I wanted to do a column I started brainstorming names for the column and topics I wanted to discuss in the column. Brainstorming names for things is something I really enjoy doing. I don't know why, possibly to a weird level, but brainstorming ideas that I have passion for, really gets me off. I have a major appreciation for the creative minds that brainstorm the names of OPI nail polish colors. I love how they take the concept of a place, and then do do an line of nail polish inspired by that place, then come up with clever names for the polishes. Currently the Texas line is out with names like Do You Think I'm Tex-y? and Houston We Have A Purple. I'm also working on a new blog with a client and now friend of mine that has a genius concept behind it. I'll let you know when it's live, but I've had a ball coming up with column names with her. I think that sums up how much I get a kick out of clever names. And I'm finally getting at why this column is named Coffee Talk. Literally as I write this I'm drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks (grande, one pump of pumpkin, no whip). There's one reason for ya. I do love coffee, but that is waaaaaay too boring of a reason. The name is really because I wanted to inject some humor up in here! I instantly thought of the SNL skit Coffee Talk with Linda Richman back from the early '90s (am I dating myself?) when Mike Meyers says "talk amongst ya-selves" or "I'm a little verklempt" or "here's a topic... discuss". I thought this skit was hilarious and for some reason it came to me, that was the name for my column. (See visual above.)

True story, I just put the last few sips of my Pumpkin Spice Latte in the microwave to heat it up, and I left it in too long and it basically exploded all over my microwave. This is something I do frequently, burn things and/or mess up anything in the kitchen.

So why am I doing this column? What am I hoping to get out of it?
I'm hoping to create a dialogue with you, learn your feelings and opinions, discuss all different types of topics, inspire and challenge you to follow your dreams and passions (as pageant as that sounds) while I simultaneously follow mine, and we'll see where it goes from there. No big grand end goal in mind, but I also want to inject some humor and personality into MIMI+MEG. Life is too short to be so serious all the time.

Talk amongst ya-selves,

P.S. That took way longer to write and edit than I thought. Writers should get paid a lot.


C.Flower said...

I loved every second of this!

Here's the thing with writing longer posts: people read then and appreciate them, but sometimes they don't take the time to comment. So don't be surprised if you generate more comments when you post a picture of a fancy handbag. It doesn't mean your readers aren't loving the column. It just means it's easier to write a quick "I love that bag!" Than it is to digest and respond to a longer, meatier post.

I remember Coffee Talk well. Referencing an SNL skit from the '90s does not date you. It puts you in your late 20s, which means you're still wildly young and hip.

You date yourself if you reference Bonanza.

So, yeah. The column rocks. Kvetch away!

Jenn said...

Coffee talk was a favorite SNL skit of mine. Mike Meyers is a comedic genius I think. I like the idea of this column.

Gabrielle said...

What a wonderful idea and inspiring post Meg! I had been thinking about doing a similar columns but as you say, they take a lot of time. Props to you for taking the time and for being yourself! It's hard to put yourself out there in blogland sometimes.. Well done! X

Your Southern Peach said...

It is very, very hard to share our personal thoughts and feelings via our blogs!!! It's something I struggle with a lot, particularly when it comes to my kids.

However, that being said, some of my most "popular" posts have been those where I really open up and share parts of the real me.

I look forward to participating in "Coffee Talk" and I love the title too.


Maegan Hamilton said...

I enjoyed this topic so much, it says a lot about where I am right now in my own journey of starting a blog as well as about how I have been feeling about speaking my true opinions and speaking my mind lately. My sister and I were just discussing this very topic. I sometimes feel that I don’t have an outlet for my actual thoughts and opinions. I sensor myself all the time depending on my audience at the time. It’s something I am trying to improve because if I can’t be myself who can I be? I really love it when something has had me perplexed and then the universe shows me something like this that I really needed at that exact moment. Perfect timing. Look, now I’m getting a little verklempt. This has brought a smile to my face, more please!

p.s. I have been brainstorming names for my new chocolate lab puppy and it really is so much fun. My bf and I have had many laughs throughout that whole process.

Fashalina aka The Hyperbalist said...

Meg, remind me to tell you a story about this. I don't need to go into alllll the details in the comments section of your blog, so I'll tell ya more in person, but this was just such perfect timing....because I am UNapologetically myself on my blog...I ramble, I drop F bombs LEFFFFT and right, and say ridiculous things because that is honestly just who I am. I have a category on my blog called "Good shit you should know about" (hahhh), which I use when I am writing about new bands, books, designers, or anything new and cool that I want my readers to know about. This is just how I talk, but I DO get paranoid and self-conscious when I meet bloggers in person who I know are the total opposite of that...they don't curse, they are prim and proper, they say things like "these shoes are DARLING!" while I say "these shoes are fucking sick" haha, and I get so nervous they are going to write me off because I am crass and filter-less....butttt I still don't change anything because it just doesn't feel right to hold back. The thought you articulated to your friend is so simple but SO SO true and smart-- you can't be scared of what MIGHT happen....because it only *MIGHT* happen! I can't be assuming or fearing that the tamer bloggers will judge me for my use of f-bombs...we are who we are. Although....I DO feel like it's harder to get mainstream recognition if you are the filter-less type. It bugs me that it is that way, because I think behind the walls of a blog or a magazine, people curse, people talk about 'taboo' things, people talk about sex, etc., but the vasssst majority of mainstream blogs don't. We should just start changing that...! There's power in numbers. : ) Thank you for writing this and just...being yourself. And I TOTALLY agree with C.flower up there...don't be surprised or hurt or disappointed if you get less comments on the meatier posts. She's totally right- people find it easier to comment on a post about "cute shoes", but it does not mean they didn't read your whole piece and connect with it! xoxo

Megan (MIMI+MEG) said...

Loving this discussion so far! The good thing about comments is, the number of comments I get on a post, small or big, doesn't make me feel validated or anything. As much as I LOVE to hear what everyone has to say, I don't post to get comments or see how many comments I can get. That's just not the point of blogging for me.

I figured I needed to take my own advice by being more of my sarcastic self on MIMI+MEG, in addition to my style and taste for interiors, fashion and art.

Maegan, I love that you used verklempt! I about died laughing when I read that! And I'm glad this was perfect timing for you!

As far as what you share on your blog, I think you should just do what feels right to you. You definitely don't have to write about things to be you. If you are more of a private person and your blog serves a certain purpose in your life that doesn't lend to sharing your thoughts, that's great!

Amy Zehner said...

I LOVED reading this! I can relate so much, especially since I am drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks as I speak (or more appropriately, as I type!) Although, mine is a venti- I tried ordering a grande but the woman behind the counter informed me for only 20 more cents I could get a venti..thinking only about how great of a deal that was and NOT about how many more calories i'd be ingesting, I of course went with the uber sized latte. However, now its getting cold and seeing as how I am sitting in a Barnes and Nobel I dont have access to a microwave that I can accidentally explode it in (also sounds like something I would do- did I say would do? Have done.) Ok I have talked entirely too much about this starbucks.

Ashley Fine said...

Oh my gosh! You read my mind. Great post:) The really creepy part? I also went to Mizzou's J-School and had Professor Rowe. I absolutely adore and idolize her, but she scares me at the same time. I just referred to her last week on my blog about writing grammatically correct. I have this fear of her seeing my blog one day and cringing. I can't wait for more "Coffee Talk".

artsyforager said...

GREAT idea! I just found your blog recently and am enjoying your posts. As a ( relatively ) new blogger, I also find I'm occasionally censoring myself, not even aware I'm doing it most of the time!

The hubby and I watched the 90s SNL retrospective this weekend. Coffee Talk was one of my faves from that period. Actually anything Mike Myers did during his time on SNL was genius.

Erica said...

Clearly speaking my mind is not something I have a problem with on Design Blahg :) But I couldn't agree with you more! The more honest I get, the better my blog gets, and the more people seem to respond to it. I even find my writing gets much better when I'm really getting down-n-dirty and expressing an opinion or emotion that I'm passionate about.

Preach on!

I have a lot of nicknames, my favorite is Megs. said...

I am excited to read more! Whenever a blogger goes through this should I/shouldn't I write more or express myself more on a design blog or a fashion blog, I always encourage it. The blogs I love the most are the ones that I can identify the blogger without seeing the header because I recognize their "voice."

C.Flower said...

I'm so glad you're generating some buzz with this.

Christi said...

Brillant, just brillant

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