Illustration by Roxanne Ignatius/Torontoist.
Lauren White is starting to feel the pressure.
On Thursday night, she’ll be hosting a party to mark the ten-year anniversary of her widely known and much-loved/hated blog, the hyper-personal internet-cum-life saga that is Raymi the Minx. She’s taken care of the planning and string pulling pretty much by herself, and in an email exchange with Raymi a few weeks earlier, sensing the approaching calamity, we ask how she thinks she’ll be feeling come November 11: “Two words: mental case.”
Nevermind the rest of the decade—throughout which, friend or enemy, she’s helped blaze a trail through the world of personal blogging to become a consistent and dependable source of compellingly voyeuristic content in a transformed, oversharing medialand—it’s been an especially crazy twelve months for the twenty-seven-year-old Toronto blogstar.
Almost exactly a year ago, a guest post from Raymi herself right here on Torontoist marked both a significant ending (the break-up of her engagement, which you may remember as Globe-worthy news), and a new start, relearning how to live a solo city life. Embracing the increased media and reader attention while grieving, and going in and out of at times harrowing—and, naturally, minutely documented—highs and lows, Raymi continued to transform for all to see. From burlesque dancer to server to, most recently, a gleeful and prolific restaurant/service reviewer about town, it’s still clear that the comfort that Raymi’s loyal readers find in her specific consistency isn’t in jeopardy.
“I’m still pretty immature and cynical…people are still reading me and I am still writing. I evolve as you and anyone does. You get smarter and wiser yet more set in your ways. [People] are going to say the same shit about me in the comments ten years later, nothing changes. I’m just making more money I guess and I’m slightly more insane.”
Raymi calls the decade an “understandable milestone,” and so it will be observed. “I just want people to have a good time. It makes sense as I am a party machine and I frequently party at Wrong Bar with Melodie and Lucas (roommates, best buds) so you know it’s going to be a shit-show good time, and if no one else is on board for that they’re missing out.” So, what will go down at the blog party?
“I want this party to simulate the inside of my brain,” Raymi says, and that includes (take a deep breath now, because this is sort of crazy): high-end catering, free booze stations, varying entry-fee levels of gift bags that Raymi sourced and assembled herself, some of her art and clothing for sale (as well as trinkets and other accouterments around the place), a performance by her dad’s Beatles cover band with Raymi’s vocal accompaniment (“He is beyond honoured to play Wrong Bar,” Raymi tells us), hosting/MC duties by local comedian Dom Pare (“to alleviate stress and pressure off me from train wrecking on a microphone”), and an additional open-mic welcoming of roasts. [ : Raymi emailed us after this article was published, to tell us that the MC has since changed to John Hastings.] “Also,” she finishes the breathless description in a stark statement of her oft-tossed-aside human fragility, “I may make a speech which will probably make me cry. Ugh.”
It’s another page in the life book Raymi’s writing—and will likely end up in her literal book, the one that she’s presently working on about how to be famous on the internet. “I’m going to start dumbing myself down a lot less now. My week away in the sticks by the Laurentians made me realize how smart I am and how silly I’ve been, getting caught up in the ego of blogging and that entire culture. Instead of worrying about what others think about me, they’re the ones who should be worried about what I think of them.”
For fun, we ask Raymi to use one word for each of her blogging years (that’s ten, in case you weren’t paying attention) to sum up how her online presence has changed her over the years. She answers as we’d expect her to—but in eleven words, of course—with that brash humour and vulnerability. “My blog’s a birthing sac, containing me. Am I ripe yet?”