"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

Picture Me in My Underwear? Write On!

We have three beautiful windows in our family room that overlook our back yard, and the lush forest behind with stunning, California live oak trees. But because those windows face to the southwest, we have to have the windows covered at least partially during the hot afternoon sun.

Enter our favorite window covering: The top-down, bottom-up (TDBU). There are two great things about the TDBU blind. The first, is that it can be lowered from the top down.

Our window in Top-Down configuration.

The second position allows us to raise the shade from the bottom up.

Our window in bottom-up configuration.

We particularly like the top-down aspect of this window covering. Why? Because it allows a tremendous amount of privacy. I can walk around the family room, without a shirt on if I choose, and more importantly, in my underwear, without the neighbors having to run to their cell phones to call 911 for my indecent exposure! :) *he blushes with embarrassment*

This is the age-old question for writers. When I’m blogging, I find myself struggling with which configuration I should offer in my posts: Do I maintain my privacy, remain comfortable, and not expose my deepest thoughts, emotions, or feelings? Or should I throw everything out there; including my “deepest, darkest …?”

I vacillate on these thoughts frequently. And wonder whether to throw caution to the wind, or play it safe. I guess for me, it comes down to this: Does anyone really want to see me in a great pair of Hanes boxer-briefs?? :)


  1. Hmmmm, what a question. I think that words work so much better than pictures sometimes!

  2. Throw caution to the wind and write away… of course I am still trying to do that myself.

  3. Wow. Deep…

    Personally, I tend to swing both ways: Some days I’m totally a top-down blogger, shamelessly revealing it all — whether it be my insecurities, my regrets, my passions, etc. I’d say my blog started in a very top-down way, revealing the crazy path to my blindsiding divorce. Even the story behind it (how my marriage ended with a brick) was hard to write and revealing, illustrating its top-down nature.

    But then, when my ex sued me to stop the blog, I became a bit more bottom-up … if for no other reason than NOT to give him something more to attack me with! So a lot of my more snarky analyses in recent months have been slightly less personal — or more bottom-up.

    I guess if I were offering advice, I’d say you should totally do what makes you happy. You may start out with one approach, deciding mid-stream you’d like to swing the other way, then finding out you’re not comfortable there and would rather return to your safer (bottom-up) ways.

    It sure seems to me you’ve hit a stride, regardless of the level of tease! And I have to admit: I always pictured you as more a tightie-whitie guy myself…


    • Your thoughts and advice are always thoughtful and appreciated!

      I’m sorry that you had the ex sue you. I read about the brick incident – such a catalyst, and one of the best pieces you’ve written, Mikalee.

      I think you’re dead-on about doing what makes you happy in terms of writing. I too, sometimes feel more open and other times don’t want to get too deep into things. And surprise, surprise … I hide behind humor :).

      I’m glad you feel I’m resonating with my writing. I never know unless I hear something back from writers I have a lot of respect for, and you are definitely there.

      Oh, and ouch on the tightie-whities! 😉

  4. My father in law subscribes to my blog. I’m as open as I feel like being in a conversation with him. Sometimes I have to work on my phrasing …

  5. I say bare it all. I try to be respectful and have understanding for another person’s experience. Most of us want the real deal. Anyone can write the safe stuff and a lot of people are happy with that. Personally, if I walk past your house and I see boxer briefs through the window, I’m likely going to be walking my dogs on a regular basis!! I might even carry the binoculars for a little bird watching!

  6. Write what you want and reveal only what you feel comfortable with. Be happy with your posts… after all they are out in the big wide web for everyone to see.

  7. Say what you want. Anytime I regret something I write…I just blame it on alcohol, the kids or temporary insanity.

  8. There are so many ways to look at this, are we being generous with our exposure or are we being rude, indecent? Personally, I like to write naked, it’s where my heart takes me. But I post very little of what I compose as I am modest by nature (my husband didn’t see my cleavage until our 10th anniversery). I think if we can turn our indecency, if that’s what you want to call it, into something like a “nude study” we can get away with more. There are people who vomit up words, and want to share this with others. We all go through that projectile writing phase, as sometimes we need to expell what our bodies can not digest. I’m not sure that’s something I would like to share, but there are plenty who do. It’s their choice. If I were to do so I would need to make sure the puke was balanced with ample wit and charm. If that’s possible. I think it helps if we have somehow metabolized a bit of our work before we publish it, this way we don’t rely too heavily on our readers to digest what we ourselves cannot. If I swallow my story first, it make me feel less invested in whether my readers savor it or spit it out.

    That said, you seem to me a gifted writer. Whatever you have to say will most likely be graciously consumed :) .

    • Your poor husband – 10 years :)!

      I like the way you phrased the aspect of metabolizing a bit of our work before publishing it. I agree with you 100%. It shouldn’t just be spit up. “… balanced with ample wit and charm” – I love that, and I think people appreciate that.

      Thank you so much for the feedback. Your thoughts are always appreciated.

  9. Blogging for me, is like being married, you think you’ve only taken one important person on board your Ship of Life but actually it’s the whole caboodle of In Laws (be they they Friends or Family – no one is an island) that are also going to need your love and respect. I’ve often thought of starting up a secret blog for the ‘dark’ stuff – and some air tight pseudonym – but it would be a very self centered, emo – meme blog and how many people what to see those kind of ‘briefs’?

    I find it amazing how you seem to be able to touch on the nerve of the problem that I’m wrestling with at any given moment, we too are looking for blinds for our freshly built living space and I’d never seen these TDBU before, fantastic idea! – really, I was just going over a piece and had to take it to my Censorship Board who doesn’t see any problem with publishing it ‘as is’ – seems my personal ‘external observer’ might be a little like yours and tends to over analyse and take too many variables into account. Your content is good and seems to strike a chord across a broad spectrum – probably because you’ve taken the time to think, before you write, before you publish – Thank You for another great post.

    • Great insight. Thank you for saying that I touch a nerve with something you’re grappling with. It’s pure, blind luck! :) I too, run my content over and over before determining if I should spew, I mean, publish it on my blog. I’m grateful when anyone reads my posts, and to actually like what I write is very meaningful.

      Oh, and definitely go with the top-down, bottom-up shades. You will LOVE them!

  10. Hmmm, I guess it depends on what you feel comfortable with MJ. Some people like to bare all, some are in their Sunday Best. I like a relaxed pair of comfy jeans :) Whatever the style, it comes through in your writing no matter what you may decide to ‘wear’. I say throw it all in as long as you’re comfortable with sharing…expose your wardrobe MJ!!!

  11. In England you see a lot of these top down blinds, they are very practical when you live somewhere where the houses are generally a lot closer to each other then in California and right on the road sometimes. It never fails to amaze me that some people have houses that have people walking RIGHT PAST their windows and don’t cover them. Something else that is popular in these types of houses is “net curtains” – hideous but effective.

    Anyway, you will probably guess that in theory I will say that you should always keep an air of mystique – and you never know who’s reading. But in practice some of the best writing is that which is most personal.

    • The houses are very close together here in California, so the blinds work well.

      I agree that some of the best writing out there is influenced by something personal. It doesn’t have to divulge everything about the writer, but giving some insight helps.

  12. Hmmm, hanes boxer briefs you say? I like a nice pair of comfy jeans from time to time. I agree with Mikalee and do whatever you feel comfortable with. Some people like to bare it all while others put on their ‘Sunday Best’. I’m not afraid to let people see me in my PJ’s as long as they see that I am a grown up and can dress myself occasionally. I also hide behind humour, but that is what I am comfortable with. I originally started my blog with the idea that I would share my random thoughts that seem to take over my mind at times and it has just naturally evolved to be what it is and what I enjoy writing about. I love what littlesundog wrote in reply. I’m with her!!!

    • I like your writing style. I think I lean more toward jeans and a t-shirt and maybe the boxer briefs showing a little bit occasionally :)! No sagging, though. Yah, I can’t get too far away from humor. It’s like a shield for me.

  13. Quite an interesting window dressing you have there.

    And I often struggle with the same question. Do I publish “my deepest, darkest…” for all to see and read, or do I remain cautious with my private lifestyle on the Internet. I think a word of caution should be this…

    Know that whatever you post online will be there forever…like forever forever. Unless WordPress’ servers crash or some unnatural natural disaster occurs, content of your “deepest, darkest…” will forever be accessible by any of the 7 or is it 8 now…billion people in this world.

    When I’m in the mood to rant, I think twice, as I do not want to air my dirty laundry online, so to speak. I always ask myself the question, “Do I want 7 billion people to see this?” If not, I regress. If so, I post away!

    Hope this helps Michael.

    • Very good advice, Joe. I once heard someone say in the AF, that before you do something tonight, think about what your mother would say if she saw it in the paper the next morning. Your question above is a good one as well. There has to be some filter. I want to be real, but not rude.

  14. Great post Mj. :)
    This one is one of the funniest and honest post i ever read.
    There is nothing wrong to expose your deepest thoughts, emotions, or feelings. If someone do not want to read that then he/she can. A person can’t write keeping the readers in mind. Rather i will prefer to read someone’s writing , if that person is giving me a chance to read his mind.

    • Arindam,

      So true my friend. As writers, we cannot write with our audience in mind. If we do, we’ll be sure to disappoint as we’ll start attempting to target a particular audience.

      As writers, we write what we feel is right, what we want to write about, etc. If someone chooses not to read it, so be it. But if you write for yourself, write because you like to write, and write because it makes you happy, then you’re writing for the right reasons.

      A lot of writes and rights :-)

      Take care Arindam.

    • Thank you, my friend! Your point about getting a chance to read the writer’s mind is a very good one. I try to be honest and open, but I also don’t want to be truly offensive. I do use sarcasm and humor quite a bit, but don’t want to take it too far.

  15. Haha, love the comparison here. While I don’t literally want to see you in your underwear, figuratively speaking, I always like to read posts from people who write from the heart. Emotion from the writer draws the reader in, at least that’s what I think, which is why I always write about personal experiences and things going on in my life. I like my readers to feel engaged and a part of my blog because that’s how I like to fee when reading others. Great post!

    • Hey, thanks Jim. I value your opinion, as well, since I like reading your blog and your style. I think the personal experience is what pulls us together and connects us with each other. And so many things are common to us all – family, friends, injury, birth, death, work, etc.

  16. I struggle with this all of the time! How much are you really willing to let the world (read: WHOLE world) know about who you are deep down? Good question.

  17. Hey MJ, if ya have a hot body, any eye candy whether it be in a Hanes boxer-brief or … would be a real treat I would say. :)
    As far as writing, I would agree with those who commented here…whatever makes you happy and comfortable is probably your writing from the heart.

  18. I find the best way for me is to just write what I feel. Many times the deepest darkest’s are the things I can barely admit to myself, so how do I write about them?

  19. Really great analogy. Go for the boxers!

  20. Well, I have revealed my age, so not much more to do 😉

    Seriously, though…. blogging is a way to express your feelings and opinions, but one should always be careful about exposing too much, lest others find weapons with which to hurt you. I have seen flare-ups at some blogs over that and it saddens me to see how friendships can die because of a misunderstood opinion.

    Also, go with boxer-briefs. Rowr!! 😉

    • Boy, that’s very sad that you have seen people going at it on blogs. I haven’t seen that yet, and hope not to. I could never purposely calls someone out in a post, or hurt someone. It’s just not me. I do like to reveal my personality and who I am. Some may not like me and what I write, or how I write. But others hopefully will. I’m not a good writer, having been self-taught, but I’m trying to learn by reading a LOT of you good bloggers out there. So … boxer-briefs it is! :)

  21. Somebody one rod e that you should only share 75% of yourself in a relationship, hold back 25% for yourself. At the moment I am no where ear the 75% mark but do wonder what the 25% should be.

  22. Ah, Mike- I say, as much as I love your posts, leave the briefs for your bride. You never know if the deepest things will haunt you later. haha!

  23. Oh my goodness, Kate. Thanks for the link, I think!?


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