Monday, December 13, 2004

Not the Meaning of Life

Sometimes I think I might be too sensitive to criticism. Okay, well maybe that was a teensy-tiny understatement. I'm hoping that when I turn forty (soon, very soon), I will care less what people think about me. I think it will be true because I care so much less now than I did when I was thirty. And when I was twenty and in college, I cared so much about what people thought that I never left my dorm without my hair flowing freely and make-up on my face.

The problem with being sensitive to what people think of you and keeping a journal on-line is that people read it. And then when they read it, they form opinions about you. And yours. Which is all good. Except for my teensy-tiny pathologically crippling problem about being oversensitive to criticism. Or even perceived criticism. As a part of this disorder, I remember the snotty comments more clearly than the kind ones.

For instance, remember that anonymous commenter took me to task for my tongue-in-cheek (mostly) movie review of Fahrenheit 9/11, here,, the one who then criticized my mothering skills because I mentioning that two of my children were adopted?

Or how about not long ago when another anonymous commenter who told me to "shut up for awhile!"?

Within the last few weeks, a fellow blogger actually pointedly removed me from her blogroll because of a link I have on my blogroll. Ouch. The reasoning behind her move doesn't make it hurt any less.

Well. It's certainly one thing to write about your life, but it's another to find yourself open to judgment and comments from people who have you all figured out, based on what you choose to write. This isn't fiction, people. I am writing directly from my guts. And when my guts get snickered at or critiqued--or even if I mistakenly, crazily assume that's what's happening--I tend to get a little defensive, I guess. So, you'll have to forgive me if I snap off your head or give you a dirty look or even just get a little wordy in my defenses. Clearly, it's a personal problem for which I should seek psychiatric care, but I just don't have time between all the demands of ironing pants and wiping the 2 year-old's runny nose.

Defensiveness is another of my issues. Yes, I'm just a barrel of laughs to actually live with. Ask my poor, male chauvinist husband. It's a good thing I'm so witty and cute or he'd toss me to the curb, probably. At least he should. If he could lift me.

Well. Anyway. I was going to write about The Meaning of Life, and I even got started and quoted a newspaper and opened up my Bible to Ecclesiastes, but then my head started to throb and I thought more about my overreaction to comments and criticisms and then I thought, WHO DO I THINK I AM, TACKLING THE SUBJECT OF THE MEANING OF LIFE? And so I went to watch Road Rules, Real World challenge for a few minutes until the panic passed.

But still. The Meaning of Life post will have to wait until I regain some equilibrium. Or until I figure out a way to calm my inner-crybaby.

10 Comments:

Blogger Trish said...

I'm sure you already know this because you're an intelligent, thoughtful person (see, no criticism) but those nasty comments have less to do with tearing you down as they do with making the commenter feel better about themselves: Look! At me! I'm morally superior! To you!

3:01 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

Fuck people and their opinions. Join the "I don't give a shit" club with me, I am saving you a seat!

4:19 AM  
Blogger Demented M said...

Trolls will be trolls.

The only way to vanquish them is to laugh long and hard and make fun of them. Banish them with good cheer while showing off the big stick in your hand.

The lady who decided you weren't Christian enough... is she God? Does God speak to her? Has God appointed her judge, jury, and executioner? You know they have medication for that these days.

Anytime someone starts trying to out-christian others, you know they are a nutjob. Christianity isn't a holier-than-thou contest, but unfortunately too many people don't understand that.

I certainly hope if they end up in heaven that God will do me a favor and send me to Hell.

Instead of being upset, think good riddance. She thinks she's punishing you for being who you are when in actuality it's a reward. Because of who you are all the shallow, judgemental, insincere people don't stick and Thank God for that.

Hugs
M

5:06 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

You're right, Mel, I have formed opinions of you based on your blog. You want to know what they are? I think you are hysterically funny, very insightful, a great mom who struggles with the day-to-day, much like we all do, and sometimes wishes she were a better mom, a compasionate friend, an amazing wife and you allow yourself to become vulnerable to the masses when you write so truthfully. I get that your husband is not male-chauvinist just because he doesnt' iron his pants, I get that you have an incredible marriage and you love each other lots. You do so many amazing things for the people around you, I wouldn't worry about those out here that don't really understand what you are saying or that you are merely making a point or that you are writing so as not to allow your head to explode. I see Jesus in you.

5:47 AM  
Blogger WordsRock said...

Mel, I love what you share of yourself here on your blog.

I second Smoov's advice. I wonder if she'd save a seat for you and me both?

Suzanne

9:45 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Hi Mel. I enjoy reading your blog and have come by every day for several months! I appreciate your honesty.

I also read the blog of the woman who removed you from her blogroll. I don't think it's because you are "not sanctified enough, not Christian enough for her." I interpreted her post about blogrolls as an honest introspective on her own accountability and discernment on this matter. Her comments to her commenters (and the post "Lessons Learned") also show that she might have been a bit strong in her original post. All of this to say--I don't think you need to feel attacked, especially since the woman was not accusing you of having anything questionable in your own posts. :)

11:09 AM  
Blogger Hillary said...

Melodee,

Apparently I am the wrong type of "person" to read & respond to your Blog. I wonder what the right type is? I have silently followed & enjoyed your Blog for well over eight months now and only recently, bravely began posting comments. A mistake I wonder if I am making again here. You seem to have taken HUGE offense to my post on ironing pants and for that I certainly apologize. I am a little peeved that you didn't bother to mention that I complimented you AND your husband in the opening comments, but whatever.

I guess before I sign off for good (fear of being publicly slammed has won out over bravery) I would like to point out one little inconsistency in "The Meaning of Life". You know, I bet if you look back through some of your posts you will find you are just as critical, snide, crabby, and human as the rest of us mere mortals. I bet if you read through the tattooed mom entry you'd be surprised to find a little snottiness of your own. Or how about all those potentially hurtful comments about your "friend" with all the money, and homes, and cars you'd worry that she might actually read them and if she did would she still be your friend?

Be clear, this is not an indictment of you. It is just ironic to me that you can say whatever you want because it is your Blog, but the rest of us can only respond if we agree. You describe your Blog as you guts, not fiction. What about the rest of us with guts whose posts differ from your own? You chose to make this Blog of your life public and with that all the garbage that comes along with it. I never intended to be lumped in with that garbage or some of those anonymous yahoos, but it seems clear that only the select few (SMOOV) can post in contrary to you and not get put in time out.

Again, I did not intend to hurt your feelings and apologize from the depths of my toes. I only wished to share a few raw, gut emotions of my own. BIG MISTAKE

11:20 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

Hillary, thank you for your comments. I'd like to discuss this with you further, but not in the comments section of this blog. Email me if you'd like.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

p.s. This post was called "Not the Meaning of Life." I'll get to the Meaning of Life later.

2:41 PM  
Blogger QQ said...

What the hell did I miss?

5:45 PM  

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