I consult my WordPress dashboard at least once a day, to track how many people visit my site, which entries they click on, and what search terms have led them here.
Turns out that most people are directed here by searching for “Arby’s roast beef sandwich.” Seriously. At least one person a day pulls up Google or their search engine of choice to find some nutritional information and, perhaps, artful photography of Arby’s roast beef sandwiches and, instead, finds my blog. This baffled me until I used the handy search box at the bottom of my webpage and discovered that I have written about Arby’s six times. And the fact that I’m writing about these sandwiches again only means that the problem will continue.
Once in a while someone visits the blog and surfs through a bunch of old entries. It could be a regular reader or a stranger. I have no idea. But this happened today — hello, mystery person who read my old entries! — and I can see their progress as they click through my service with Americorps, my early years of graduate school, the first throes of dissertation writing, then job market disillusionment. And then job market disillusionment again. Sometimes I read through the same entries this mystery surfer has read with a mixture of bemusement and debilitating humiliation.
I’ve considered keeping the oldest entries underneath passwords, but that’s a little ridiculous. And too much work. I’ve also considered adding a “greatest hits” section in the widget menu, to guide chance visitors to my less embarrassing entries, but this is both egotistical and probably useless.
Although, while considering the greatest hits option, I did run across a few entires that made me chuckle — usually ridiculous and sometimes very short posts that encapsulate the comedy of errors of graduate school. Like this one. Or this one. I also ran across a few that made my stomach drop with a sudden pulse of remembered anxiety. So many posts include the sentence “I heard from Danny today,” a statement that now reads like a relic of his tour in Iraq. And then there was the Hurricane Rita entry. While I don’t want to relive that moment of borderline craziness when a police officer pulled me over after nearly 48 hours in a traffic jam, it is a little interesting to reread it. It’s like some strange modernist novel.
Waiting for Godot staged on Texas interstates.