I’m Not a Ghost, But Yesterday I Played One in Real Life…

This isn't me...I'm a lot taller! (photo from daddytypes.com)

Have you ever had one of those days when you wonder if you’re invisible, a mere figment of someone else’s overactive imagination?  That was my day yesterday…all day!

It all started in the morning, after I arrived at the bookstore and sat down at my computer.  As per my routine, I updated our store’s Facebook page with a “Today in History” fact and a book relevant to it, and added a daily quote about books.  Then I opened my Hotmail.  Since it was Monday, there were lots of new blog posts to comment on…

I opened the first one, read it, typed my comment and posted it.  Everything was going swimmingly until I reached the fourth new post.  I read the post, chuckled heartily, wrote a pithy reply and hit the “Post Comment” button, making sure to tick the box so I would receive notification of further comments.  The page refreshed, and my clever comment had disappeared into the vast realm of cyberspace, never to be seen again!  After a few choice words (none of which were nice), I reconstructed my response as best I could, and attempted to repost.  ARRGGH!  Gone!  I thought, “Maybe it’s my computer.”  I rebooted, and reopened all my windows.  Version #3 of my formerly hilarious comment was a mere shadow of its earlier incarnations, which I suppose doesn’t really matter, because it vanished too!  I gave up on that one…I was sure that person’s blog had technical difficulties.

I opened the next new post in my e-mail.  Another brilliant post!  I congratulated the writer on his wit and writing skill, and sent my compliments hurtling once again into Never Never Land!  I tried once more (are you familiar with Einstein‘s definition of insanity: doing something over and over and expecting different results?).  Remembering one of the tag lines from The IT Crowd, “Have you tried turning it off and on?”, I not only rebooted, but flipped the router off and on as well.  That should do it!

With my Hotmail window reopened, I clicked on another new post.  This one was about blogrolls, a topic dear to my heart.  I offered my input in a couple of paragraphs, and confidently “posted” my comment.  NOT!  I looked around and briefly considered sticking my head in the oven, but our microwave was far too small…Instead, I sent an urgent-sounding e-mail to WordPress Support:

Subject: My Comments are Invisible!

I made comments on other people’s blogs (multiple times).  I saw: NOTHING!!! (one time when I was smart enough to copy and paste a comment before I sent it, I got a notification that it was a duplicate comment…still nothing showed up!).  I expected my comments to be visible!
I have cleared my cache and rebooted my computer (twice).
Help please!!!

A little while later, I got a nice e-mail from a “happiness engineer” at WordPress apologizing for the “inconvenience” (at that point I’d been trying to post comments for more than an hour!) and advising me to send details to Akismet (the spamcatcher).  “They’ll be able to sort you out.”  I really hoped that somebody could…and maybe they could fix my problem with commenting while they were at it!  I sent a similar e-mail to Akismet, explaining my difficulties and imploring them to do everything in their power to remedy them!  I continued to read new posts, but knew that commenting on them at this point would probably be useless…I also wrote this post so that my friends would know that I wasn’t ignoring them on purpose.  I contacted a couple of the bloggers via Facebook, one of whom told me that my comments had ended up in her spam bucket.

In the afternoon, we had some of our regular customers come into the bookstore: a couple of book dealers from Fredericton accompanied by a friend who was a book collector.  The collector inquired about books by Mika Publishing (which happens to be located in Belleville, Ontario near where I grew up).  I checked our database, and found we had a Mika book about Lunenburgh, and asked Dad to locate it in its box with the other Loyalist-related material.  I went into the other room with one of the book dealers to find something for him.  Dad came back with the book and asked me what he should do with it.  “Show it to the guy who asked about Mika books!” I replied.

“Why…is it Mika?” Dad asked.

“Yes!” I answered, barely concealing my annoyance.  Is this thing on?  After Dad left the room, the dealer I was talking to burst out laughing…

“I wouldn’t have believed that if I hadn’t heard it for myself!” he said.

“Multiply that by 9 hours a day for 11 years,” I answered.  “And he lives with me too!  It’s a wonder I still have my sanity.”

Jim came and picked up Anna and I, and we headed for home.  Hope had an appointment at the after hours clinic for 6:15, and we would have to hurry if we wanted to eat before we left again!

We bolted some Sloppy Joes and fries, and arrived early at the office.  The doctor wrote a prescription for Hope.  We took it to the drugstore and dropped it off…the woman at the counter told us it would be ready in about twenty minutes.  To kill time, we went to the dollar store and looked for things that Hope and Brianna needed for school projects.  We amassed quite a pile of stuff between the three of us, and took it to the checkout (there was no one there).  Eventually a clerk came from the back and called to us from the other counter, “I can help you over here!”

“I was afraid of that!” I answered while smiling through gritted teeth, as I tried to scoop up our 57 items to move them.

“Oh, I can help you with that,” she said, cheerfully.  We paid for our purchases and went back to the drugstore.  There were six people in line at the prescription counter…Hope and I took our place at the back of the line.  The customer who was holding up the line had a prescription that her insurance company wasn’t covering the full cost of, and she couldn’t seem to grasp the fact that she needed to ask her doctor to call them.  We’d been in line more than ten minutes when one of the pharmacists came out and asked if anyone had any questions or if we were all picking up prescriptions.  No one had any questions.

The pharmacist asked, “Who’s next?” and a lady who’d been standing off to my left (not in line) piped up.

“I’m just here to pick up my prescription.”

I thought, “That’s what we’re all here for, Lady…that’s why we’re in this line.”

She continued, “I was here before…I just came back!”  Guess who got served before I did!  I had Hope pinch me to make sure I really existed…

When we got home, I went to my computer and opened my e-mail.  Still no response from Akismet, but I decided to give commenting another shot.  I picked a blog I’d already tried to comment on, and typed a message about commenting earlier, explaining that the comment had probably gone into the spam.  I crossed my fingers and toes as my mouse hovered over the “Post Comment” button.  I clicked it.  SUCCESS!  Hooray! 

Apparently, I’m not a ghost after all!


Filed under blogging, books, family, rants, satire, shopping

58 responses to “I’m Not a Ghost, But Yesterday I Played One in Real Life…

  1. Jeanne Heuer

    I can see you now. Either you are real today or I can now commune with the spirit world. Geez! what a frustrating day. Hate when that happens.

  2. What a day, Wendy!
    (and now I want sloppy joes…)
    I appreciate that days that are bad…are usually REALLY bad! Might as well get it all out of the way in one day, rather than stringing things out for a week.

    glad you are back among the hale and hearty–

  3. Yes, you’re real. It’s the day that’s unreal….. 😉

  4. 1959duke

    Blogging can be so much fun if your into self inflicted pain!

  5. What a day! Thank goodness yesterday is over and you are no longer an apparition!

  6. I can’t think of a pithy response but I wanted to comment so you know you’re not invisible down here!

  7. I love that you asked Hope to pinch you to make sure you existed. That’s quintessential Wendy, right there.

    If it makes you feel any better, your lovely comment on my post today is present without problems. Isn’t it nice when problems correct themselves?

    I hope all the Gremlins in your computer leave you alone for a while.

  8. It was a lovely post, Maura!

    Apparently, the problem was with Akismet (which caught all my comments yesterday morning, but didn’t catch the spam from “easylifestyles” that you and I both just got!)…pull up your socks, fellas!

    I am happy that the issue is fixed now!


  9. Well, I am still not sure that you are NOT some big-boned biker buy with bushy beards… ^_^

    Welcome back.

    “Happiness Engineer” That’s what I want on my next biz card.

  10. What a frustrating day, Wendy. You’re certainly not invisible, nor a ghost, but it must have been the pits feeling like you were!
    I’m glad you’re real and glad to see that your comments are hitting the spot again, as always!
    Sunshine xx

    • I’m glad everything’s back to normal now too, Sunshine…it was something like being on a desert island…short of sending personal e-mails, I really couldn’t communicate with my blogging buddies!


  11. When you were a kid, did you ever play the “maybe this was all a dream” game and keep working backwards? To translate this to your modern day context: Maybe yesterday never happened and you just dreamed it. Or, maybe you never blogged and it was all a dream.

    Or, maybe this is just something farm girl me used to do.

    Glad you’re back!

  12. I’m sure there were lots of times in my life when I wished things were a dream (mostly as an adult!), Leanne! It would indeed be sad if I’d never met you guys through blogging!


  13. Being invisible sucks. Unless you do something really embarrassing in front of a lot of people and close your eyes and think “I would like to just disappear” and then you do. But that never happens. I’ve tried it.

  14. I’m glad you weren’t invisible on my site! I bet you felt like Patrick Swayze in that movie, you know, the one where he’s a ghost. Oh, I can never remember what it’s called.

  15. thejaggedman

    Great post Wendy! I usually have nice Mondays which would make me invisible in a way. I became very visible to Monday yesterday and it should me much attention in only a way Monday can: Flooded utility room, hit a huge rock with the van, found and fixed a coolant leak on my car.At this juncture invisible sounds real nice!


  16. Oh no, John! Your day was much worse (and more expensive) than mine was! Yikes! I hope things are on the way to being back to normal by now. Usually, Tuesday is my “bad” day! Today has been not too bad…


  17. What a day! So happy you’re back among the visible. 🙂 Diane

  18. One of the amazing results of being invisible is that we can make things we touch become invisible, too. Sometimes my entire car vanishes while I’m driving it, causing other drivers to unknowingly aim themselves straight at me. Have you ever gone through the endless process of ordering something online, and when you’re all done, there’s no record of the transaction? Where did it go?

    By the way, your comment was in my spam folder. Thank you.

  19. It’s great SEEING you today, almost in real life, as in outside of SPAM! Bless your heart! I think I may have given up more easily than you did———

  20. Good grief Wendy – you had quite a day! I couldn’t help but feel for you in the sitch with your Dad. With my mom in my guest house, we have MANY moments like that! Glad everything is better today.

  21. Jess Witkins

    Glad to have you back, Wendy! What a day you had! Shall I make you a bologna sandwich and pour a glass of chardonnay? ;D

  22. I was sitting here sharing in all your aggravation and then it occurred to me: maybe, especially these days, invisibility might work in our favor. Of course we have to let go of the idea of getting service or getting things to work or communicating meaningfully but…as long as there’s still beer, could it be that bad?

  23. There are a lot of days I wish I were invisible, Murr (like when the kids are whining about something)…

    I don’t really like beer, but a nice glass of wine (or three) would help me forget all of my technical issues!

    Thanks for reading!


  24. The ‘net elevates our spirit and confounds us to the point of murderous rage at times, doesn’t it?

  25. “The doctor wrote a prescription for Hope.”

    What a great line. If only life were that simple.

  26. You’re so clever, Todd, that I had to read it three times before I got it! DOH! I was thinking, “I had a lot of great lines in this piece…did he miss the one about the oven?”


  27. Welcome back from Akismet!

  28. That happened to me before.
    I didn’t realise what it was at the time though so i opened a new blog.
    Glad you got your problem sorted it can be quite worrying at the time

  29. This happened to me a few weeks ago. I kept commenting on other sites, but none of them were showing up. It lasted almost a day before it started working again. The same thing happened two days later, but only for a few hours. I never figured out what the problem was.

    • I don’t know what the problem was either, GG…I’m just glad they got it fixed! I’m happy it’s not just me this kind of stuff happens to…

      Thanks for stopping by!


  30. Yes, I’ved had many Invisible Days!
    It’s almost embarrassing…because one feels like a Dork.
    Thank goodness I’m not the only Dork!!

  31. Oh Wendy — your comments are some of my favorite! They should be given some sort of special code, like a first-class ticket, so they always appear! Sorry your day went so miserably… hope tomorrow will be much better. For now: Congratulations! I just awarded you with the Versatile Blogger Award (it’s a fun little award passed around within the blogging community). Here’s the shortlink: http://wp.me/p1jBAi-ct Looking forward to reading your “fun facts!” –Melissa

    • Thank you, Melissa…I’m happy my comments have stopped being relegated to the spam bucket. I am honoured to accept the award from someone whose writing I admire so much! I’m really going to have to think to come up with stuff that I haven’t already told people though…


  32. Okay, this explains it. I had three of your comments in spam that day and I couldn’t figure out why. That’s really strange.

    Here’s something else that happens occasionally. My settings are such that people who have had comments “approved” before don’t have to have them approved again, but every once in a while I’ll have to approve these commenters again even though they comment frequently and have previously been approved.

    Wow, that wasn’t as confusing in my head as it came out in text. Hopefully you can decipher it.

    Glad you’re unspammed, Wendy.

    • Me too, Chase! Sorry about sending you multiple comments on the same post…it wasn’t until I messaged Kathy on Facebook that I realized the comments weren’t actually disappearing, but just going directly to spam (do not pass GO…do not collect $200!).

      I always check my spam file, because I have had real comments dropped into it…I don’t approve my comments before they’re published, but I have deleted a couple that I found offensive or just plain weird!


  33. One of ‘Those’ days huh?? Have had my fair share. I’ve made myself rather invisible these days…not out of choice, but circumstance and I don’t see the situation letting up any time soon with Ishaan on summer-break…sigh. I miss my Life!

    I’m glad you did get sorted in the end – a Miracle 😀 This has happened to me too and I agree with you…there’s nothing more irritating than having to rewrite a comment you’ve just put down! Of course the fact that I can’t remember what I wrote not a second ago doesn’t make it any easier 😛

    Hugs, H.

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