(Originally published in the San Diego Reader February 15, 2012.)
You know that commercial where a man and a woman sit across the table from each other, engaged in what appears to be an intimate conversation, but the guy keeps sneaking looks at the football game playing on the phone in his lap?
If you ask Kevin Williams, husband of San Diego blogger Deb Williams, he’ll tell you, “The guy in that commercial is Deb. She pretends to pay attention to me while she’s checking — I’m not sure what — her blog statistics or something.”
“Yeah, I know,” Deb says. “The truth is, I’m in front of the computer way too much. That’s my life, and it’s not always well perceived.”
It’s the week before Christmas, and we’re dining on salad and a large pot of minestrone soup at the Williamses’ family home. Seven-year-old Toots, the elder of the couple’s two daughters, sits at the table with the grown-ups, cramming overly buttered bread into her mouth. Booger, her five-year-old sister, watches television in another room.
When I met Deb last August, I found out within the first ten minutes that she takes antidepressants and that her husband claims not to recognize her if her face isn’t bathed in the blue glow of her laptop. We were at R Gang Eatery on Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest, discussing obsessive blogging with three other female local bloggers and “Twitterati.” When the food came out, all four women snapped photos of their strawberry-basil salads, chicken sliders, and tater tots, but it was Deb who, 20 minutes later, admitted that she was forcing herself not to check her phone to see if anyone had responded to her food-pic tweet.
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