I was worried about the downside of going public with my name on the internet, but I discovered that there are upsides too.
Back in 1981 and 1982, I spent a college year studying in England. It was a truly wonderful time, both socially and academically. One of my closest friends from that year was a woman who had been randomly assigned to me as my flatmate. (Indeed, I became good friends with all four of my flatmates.)
My friend, whom I’ll call Julie, was a pistol. She was a few years older than I was, well-traveled, phenomenally well-educated, and possessed of a zest for life that I’ve never seen in anyone else. Being around Julie was always fun and often quite exciting.
We corresponded for a few years after I returned to America. She went to China for a year, back when it was still a closed country. Her descriptions were gorgeous. I also remember her writing about going to villages where the residents had never seen a caucasian woman. They were friendly but would follow her down the street just to try to touch her hair. China has changed a lot in the intervening almost-40 years.
Eventually, though, our correspondence trickled off and, by the mid-1980s, we lost track of each other. I eventually found Julie again thanks to the internet. We became Facebook friends but the contact remained sporadic. I know she’s my friend in England and she knows I’m her friend in America, but that’s really all we know.
Today, though, I received a beautiful, old-fashioned religious Christmas card from Julie with a nice, long note inside. In it, she spoke about our lovely correspondence and how our busy lives eventually got in the way. Halfway through her letter, she changed subjects, speaking about the situation in England:
What a year! COVID, BLM, XR — can’t take much more! Worked like crazy all year, while public sector workers “work” from home on full pay and others are on endless “furlough holiday” on 80% of salary.
Reading that, I thought to myself, “My! I don’t want to assume too much, but Julie sounds like a conservative.”
Had I read a little further, I wouldn’t have had to make assumptions. This is where a little boast comes along and I feel pride for finally having started to write under my own name — although not officially here, because Bookworm Room will always be my alter ego, not my ego:
Do hope you are the person writing articles for “American Thinker.” They’re good!
I’ll be writing back soon to say, “I am that person! And thank you so much for the praise.”
What’s so delightful is that, while many people in my past are hardcore leftists and that’s not going to change, innumerable people whom I like tremendously are proving to be closet conservatives. I also hope that through my example — one of the world’s biggest cowards finally going public about her conservativism — that they too will come out.
I say this because one of the things we’re seeing is that conservatives have allowed themselves to be driven out of public institutions — and the results have been awful. We need to stop being cowed and start pushing back.
Image: The student apartments in which Julie and I lived haven’t changed a bit.