Sunday, December 6, 2009

Shameless Flag Hussy

First and foremost, let me say that this blog is all about writing. That's the only reason I do this. But. Did you see that sexy little flag counter down on the right hand side? Let's talk about that bad boy.

I first saw that on someone else's site and I thought: Hey, I like flags. I love flags! I'm going to get one of those for myself. It started out that simple.

I’ve always had something of a flag fetish. Ever since I was a child I’ve poured over geography books and dreamed of traveling the world. Though I know very few people who live overseas, the thought of international flags populating my blog was exciting and somewhat romantic to me.

Shortly after I published my first post an American flag popped up on my site (expected), but so did a Canadian one! It was only day one and I felt so international. I told Jim that I had 4 Canadian visitors. He said they were probably spiders from search engines whose servers were housed in Canada. I told him to go away.

About a week later, I had an ingenious idea. My boss was in Israel. So I sent him a link to my blog and invited him to visit it while he was there (I’m sure he had nothing better to do) and that’s how I got that sharp-looking Israeli flag.

It then occurred to me that Seroj, who works as a handyman with our agency, was born in Armenia. Armenia! Now that is a flag to covet. So I began to follow Seroj around and suggest that perhaps his distant relatives would be interested in reading my blog. He seemed mildly acquiescent, but this may have something to do with the fact that I oversee payroll.

Nevertheless, an amazing thing began to happen. The Universe must have picked up on my flag lust because people from around the world began visiting my blog without me having to do anything! Or maybe this was because I had listed my site on Blogcatalog, Google’s blog directory where you can sign up to receive free viruses. Suddenly, I had flags from Indonesia and Egypt and Kuwait! I was feeling quite cosmopolitan. And hey, more visitors = more feedback on my writing!

While I’ve been to other sites that have thousands of visitors and an impressive scroll of flags, I try not to be intimidated. After all, most people have been at this blogging business a lot longer. And it’s not as if I live in Switzerland or Belarus or some international nave surrounded on all sides by hot little flag-bearing nations. I’m in Kansas (sigh). And we all know it’s best to refrain from comparisons against others (a philosophy long embraced by artists, special ed teachers and men in locker rooms). So I keep reminding myself that the vast flag accumulation on other sites is really unimportant. Ultimately, it’s all about me.

I actually have two counters on my blog. One day, my second counter showed I had a visitor from Greece. But, get this. My flag counter didn’t catch it. No Greek flag! The injustice. I felt violated.

If I were really desperate I could go trolling the internet for blogs in some obscure country, stop by, leave a sincere comment (Hey -- nice widgets!) and more than likely the blogger would be curious enough to check out my site. And that's how I got my flag of Nepal.

But that's a hell of a lot of work just to get a little flag action. As I write this, I have 21 flags, and that should be enough. But it's not. I want more. And I want it bad.

My friend Celeste fails to understand my flag obsession. She doesn’t even have a visitor counter on her blog. She could care less. Celeste also ran a meditation center for several years. She lives with cats and burns incense and eats seaweed. I am impressed by her ability to rise above matters of flesh and pennant, but I just am not there yet. “Isn’t the whole idea behind your blog to write?” she asks. Yeah, writing, writing, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah!

Sometimes, at night, I lie awake and think about that Greek flag.

I can't believe I'm the only one wanting a little flag love. Surely, there are some other bloggers out there whose scrolls are feeling a little empty.

So come on, darlin’, how about you and I engage in a little consensual flag exchange? I’m feeling seriously intercontinental. I know you're out there in Paraguay, Myanmar, Bhutan, Yemen, Mozambique. Look, you don't even have to read my blog. All you have to do is click on the link. No one will know. It's just between you and me.

I just need. A little flag.

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  1. I understand your flag obsession. I bought four 3X5 foot international flags off the internet and hung them on the walls of my room. Why? It gave me motivation to travel and still does. I really want to see the world and I feel that it gives me a connection to the places I hope to visit one day.

  2. What flags did you get? I want to know where you're headed next!

  3. hehe, That is why I have the feedjit thingy on my sidebar it is so I can see where people have come from and how they found my blog. I don't know anyone in Greece but I will see if I can send my friend over from the Netherlands so you can have another flag. x Kim

  4. Now I'm sitting here staring at your flags.

  5. You have an Israeli. I don't think I have an Israeli yet.

    If you get a second one, let me know. I'll dig out a Togo and do you a swap?!

  6. It seems your blog has been around the world!!! Great adventures I hope!

    Take care.


  7. So sorry - it appears you already have the UK so I'm afraid I have come empty handed. If it helps I once went to Denmark so I think you should can use that?

    you write very well, I look forward to reading more :-)

  8. Kim - you sent me the Dutch flag?! Mwah!
    Veronica - they're pretty hot, arent' they?
    Glen - Thanks for stopping by. I'll always take some more Union Jack!

  9. Oh - I have my obsessions. Remember the movie sound track that played all day, every day, over and over and over? They just aren't about flags, but I respect yours. Just can't really get into it.

    But now I'm afraid of all your flags. I think my international reputation might be suffering from your description of me as a seaweed-eating, incense burning cat lady...

  10. Well, Celeste, the gauntlet has been thrown. Now I'm just going to have to write a post about you to correct the misconceptions I've created. :-)

  11. Hey Matthew - I want your Togo. I have friends who have friends in Israel. I can arrange for a flag for you.

  12. I'm in the UAE at the moment. I figured you'd appreciate that. I'm not sure how obscure it is, but I see that I'm the first hit on your site from this country.

    I think the flag counter is cool and I might get one too. Thanks!

  13. CC - Woo hoo - U.A.E! Thanks for the flag! Buy an island while you're there. Dubai needs the economic boost.

  14. I confess.... I'm a flag junkie, shamelessly and unabashed. Do they have groups for people like us? "It's been three weeks now, and I haven't had a new flag....."

    Some of my most coveted are like; Mongolia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and some of the less expected African nations.

    Go for it.


  15. I just left you the German flag (I hope it didn't get eaten like the one from Greece) but I saw you already had it. Well, now you have 2.

    I really like your blog by the way :)

  16. Loys - thanks for the German flag (and the compliment). AV - the first step is admitting we are powerless. I must confess, I was intimidated by your flag roster. You should be proud. You are my sole So. American flag representative! You are my continent!

  17. hi, how many flags u have, how do i post flag here?

  18. Hi Tushar - Google, through the magic of big-brotherish IP tracking, already knows that you visited from India and has placed a hit on my flag counter. So thank you! I'll hop over to your site and give you one of those rare US flags. :-)

  19. As soon I stop laughing I am going to contact every last person in my address book and get you some more flags!!

  20. I remember the day my first international flag popped up, a few days after I started the blog. (I should say, I'm not counting Canada, even if I know better.) It was from Spain.

    I called up my friend from down the street and asked her, "Did you tell someone from Spain to about my blog?" She was confused why I would even ask. I said, "I have a Spanish flag, I have a Spanish flag! Can you believe it? Someone from Spain is reading my blog!" Then I had to explain the whole flag counter thing, which is like explaining the punch line to a joke. It ain't funny anymore.

    I sat there reveling about it, until a few days another friend reminded me exactly how many people there are in the world in comparison to how few flags there actually are on my blog. (No comment.)

    I have to admit, I still think it's cool every time there's a new flag.


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