I came of age in the 90s. Sarcastic, dry humor and a general sense of negativity about the world came standard with the flannel and limp hair. While I've certainly grown out of my grunge phase, a streak of darkness remains. I'd say I'm equal parts light and dark these days, and I think my blog reflects that---looking over my posts a see a decent balance of heavy, vent-y posts with lighter, grateful ones.
Most of the blogs I read regularly are similar, because I like reading real, and real is mixed and messy. I do, however, occasionally foray into sunshine-and-roses-land, full of precious photos and the unbridled joy of a perfect life. You know the type; recipes and crafts are often involved. Advice on being perfect may be given. I recently came to realize that some people hate on these blogs, enraged by the perfection, demanding reality and smugly gloating when some less-than-perfect detail of the blogger's life comes to public attention. I don't get this...I read these type of blogs knowing full well that I'm not reading about a person. I'm reading about a brand; a carefully cultivated image that is projecting a slice of life, but by no means the whole pie. I think its the blogger's right to write whatever she (come on, its always a she) wants to write about, as long as she isn't deliberately deceiving anyone out of money or energy (i.e. faking her child having cancer so that people will set up fund-raisers, etc...).
I like occasionally reading the light. Its fun, it encourages me to notice the good things, teaches me to be grateful (which does not come naturally to me, a complainer at heart), and sometimes the recipes are really really good. There is also the so-called "aspirational" angle...if she could sand and paint all her kitchen cabinets and replace them by herself while her four kids were home all day, I can do it too!
Then there's the other side---the seedy underbelly of life can be s&*t and I'm going to complain about it on the internet in hilarious and inappropriate ways. These can be fun, too, because...hilarious! And also validating in either an "OMG Me too, I'm not a freak!" way or a more Schadenfreude-type "OMG At least I'm not dealing with THAT!" way. Again, I've noticed that these bloggers have haters, tending towards the "you are a terrible mother" "your children will read this and hate you" type, all for such sins as declaring that 3-year-olds can be freaking annoying or that changing poopy diapers totally blows. Again, appreciating these blogs requires a little reading between the lines. CLEARLY she loves her children more than life, she's just blowing off steam (and maybe generating a modest side income) writing about their shenanigans. Mentioning the sunshine-and-roses part would ruin the vibe. I don't buy the whole idea the complaining about motherhood is novel or stereotype-busting...not in 2013 anyways. Maybe 10 years ago it was "fresh" to talk about how hard it all can be, but these days comments (that I just saw on a "motherhood is hard"-type post yesterday) "you're so brave for putting it out there! I've never heard anyone talk about this before" are just...puzzling.
My favorites, as I mentioned, are the mix. I particularly love a surprise sappy post from a generally misanthropic grump (and I do love misanthropic grumps) or a lets-get-real heart-pouring from a typically upbeat gal. Those seeming contradictions drive home the truth that we all contain multitudes, and we all likely have a story to tell. And do I ever love to read stories.