At most all blogging sites, invites come in a pre-formatted style. Yet, there are those handful of people who prefer to be original and rejecting the words provided helpfully by the blogging site staff, insert their own, giving the invite a personal touch. That’s a sure fire way to get the attention of the invitee and impress him/her in the bargain. Having been blogging for a couple of years now I have had occasion to receive both kinds. Albeit the boring and standard invites from the ‘lazy’ ones have been the norm rather than the exception, I have received well written original ones with just the right amount of personal touch as well.

What takes the cake are those invites with too much personal touch. Some of them swear eternal love to you and lifelong friendship (oh give me a break!) in their invites. Yet others provide you their cell phone numbers and want you to call them pronto, restless to start off on that journey of love and ‘fraandship’ without much ado. The best are those invites that send you into paroxysm of helpless giggles.

The funny invites.

Thoughtlessly have I sent most all of them to the cyber dustbin, wherever that is, with a click of that all important delete button. It was only much later that the possibilities inherent in some of these weird invites struck me. They would have made excellent forwards to bug all your friends with. Having not yet been hit by senility I can recount a couple of them that I absolutely loved.

One of them had been from this guy who described himself as a photographer. As someone interested in photography, what his interest in grasshoppers was I wouldn’t know. Not of course that grasshoppers are unworthy of being photographed. Excellent subjects highly worthy of attracting any photographer worth his salt with their antennae (which are almost always shorter than the body and sometimes filamentous), ovipositors (short again), hind femora (typically long and strong and fitted for leaping), membranous hind wings and….

Oh I can go on and on about our beautiful insect friend here. But I gather you get my drift. The grasshopper in no way is an inferior subject of study for a photographer. But funnily enough, this particular one didn’t want to immortalize this insect of the sub order of Caelifera in the order of Orthoptera (Phew, I hope I got that right!) by capturing it with his lens.

He wanted to eat it.

Ok, I may just be going overboard when I said that. He didn’t say he wanted to eat it, but rather he was willing to, in this invite he sent. And pray, why was he willing to do that?? If, his invite read, I was not impressed by his blog page, he was willing to swallow a grasshopper, a live one at that. The lengths people go to just for someone to accept an invite amazes me! I didn’t have the heart to call the boy’s bluff and have him swallow that live grasshopper, that fine specimen of insect of the sub order of Caelifera in the order of Orthoptera.

No grasshopper is going to enjoy sailing down the gullet of a human washed down with water, tea or something even stronger. I am quite sure that the poor grasshopper, in all probability hadn’t been consulted beforehand or it even had a say in the matter when tall claims and reckless promises were being made by this smart kid. My heart went out to that fine insect of the, yes, sub order of Caelifera in the order of Orthoptera for having to sacrifice its life for me, for sadly so, impressed by his page I was not. So I quietly slunk away. Shhh…

Now on to another invite.

I know I have a bit of astigmatism and with age setting in I have to have my reading glasses on to read the fine print. But, but… as far as I know I have not yet been afflicted with partial blindness. What makes me wonder, you ask?? Most blogging sites have a space assigned for your display picture either on the left, right or center as the case maybe. I had mine duly posted in said space. The invite that came said that the sender thought I looked beautiful. Awww…. I am hoping that whoever it was he was not afflicted by short-sight, astigmatism, long sight, partial blindness or any other eye affliction. I’d like to think that his vision was puuuurrfffect. Yippeeeee!

Oh yeah, nothing like a few ‘beautiful’s thrown in an invite. Boosts one’s ego tremendously and makes you float and gloat if you are into that sort of thing. Since I am not, I only had to worry about the floating. That’s why I have this brick, yes red one, tied to my leg at all times, to stay grounded. But this first part is not why I was perturbed about my own eyesight.

The invite went on to say that I had a ‘beautiful’ body.

That, I must say, had me stumped. I looked and looked at my display picture. I could only see my face, the eyes, nose, lips therein and my tresses, no competition for Rapunzel those tresses, but tresses in their own right. For the life of me I could not see my body. *Sob sob* My eyes I realized were much worse than I thought and off I dashed to fix that appointment with the ophthalmologist and to get new glasses.

Now there is this other set of invites that come and are sent to the cyber dustbin. They have a common format that reads, “I looked at your profile and well, I liked what I saw. So, my name is Blah Blah. I think we should be friends. You should check out my other profile, I’m always on over there: http://——————– (my username is blah blah). Then maybe we could chat sometime! Talk to you soon, Blah Blah.”

At Yahoo, where I blogged, you have the option of keeping your blogs private, for friends or your network only which is what I had done. All that any stranger could see of my blog page were the lists giving my preferences and the rss feeds. I was left wondering what it was that she, (oh it was a she alright or maybe a he in she’s form, who the heck knows!) saw in my profile that impressed her. Then it hit me.

She was impressed seeing the ‘Lists’!

She was amazed that I watched Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and such. She thought I was awesome coz I read Wodehouse and love Scarlet Pimpernel. She thought I was the cat’s whiskers coz I listened to Ryan Farish and ABBA. On second thoughts I knew I had been wrong there. Hmm… then I got it, how could I not have known. She was impressed by the RSS feeds giving the latest news! “California under renewed state of emergency” it read that day. That’s probably when she whooped with joy, cried ‘My Soul-mate!’ and sent me that invite. How sweet.

©Shail Mohan 2007