Sunday, August 07, 2005

Fan Mail

Oh, I just love signing on to the computer and finding lovely fan mail waiting for me. You can click on that link, review my post about Lance Armstrong's failed marriage, then scroll down to the comments and read the last one from "Eleanor." Or you can just keep reading.

Here's what the gracious "Eleanor" had to say:

Wow, Mel! It was suggested that I visit your blog as it was shockingly judgmental and narcissistic! I am happy to see that this is indeed so!

Do you really think you are in any position to judge a man you do not even know? That would be like me saying, "well of course she is opposed to divorce, she is after all a pastor's wife". I am curious, does your personal experience cloud your perspective on the subject? Do you really feel that you are qualified to make such statements about a man you've never met? One would think losing a father to melanoma would enhance your "sensitivity chip".

Forgive me if I sound harsh. But who died and made you God? If you were as Christian as you purport yourself to be you would seemingly stand a little less in judgement! I don't see that. In the immortal words of Atticus Finch, "You just don't know until you have walked around in someone elses shoes." Why not spend a little more time figuring out why your kids get harassed on a regular basis and back off Lance!


P.S. George Bush is despicable, but of course you support him. You are after all, a pastor's wife!!!

Well. Let's give "Eleanor" a round of applause for speaking her mind. I hope she feels better. (I would direct my comments directly to "Eleanor" in email, but she failed to leave her email address. I know. How shocking.) So, follow along as I address "Eleanor" (who reminds me so much of someone else, hmmm, who could it be?):

"Eleanor" . . . you have so many questions, and yet, already answers. You know my husband is a pastor--a fact I haven't mentioned recently (not since July 8) and in fact, something that has no bearing on my posts. You know my father died from melanoma--even though I haven't mentioned that since September 22, 2004. Strange that you find me so repulsive, yet you've spent so much time reading my "narcissist" and "judgmental" blog. How that must pain you!

And yet, dear "Eleanor," your comment reeks of judgment and self-righteousness. Have you never heard the words of an old Indian prayer that say, "Oh, Great Spirit, grant that I may not criticize my neighbor until I have walked a mile in his moccasins."?

I find great hilarity in someone doing the very thing they accuse me of doing. I was merely wondering in my original post--"And sure. I know. It takes two people to make a marriage work and there is no possible way we can assign fault. Marriages, even celebrity marriages, are private. Who knows what happened behind closed doors? But I can't help myself. When the world showers confetti on someone for grit and sheer determination, I can't get past wondering what the ex-wife thinks about all this. And how the children feel seeing daddy holding hands with someone who is clearly not their mother."

How does Lance Armstrong's ex-wife feel after standing by his side for the more than five grueling years? How do his children feel? Does his seventh Tour de France victory have all the sheen of the previous victories in the eyes of his ex-wife and his little children? I don't know. But I wonder.

Apparently, wondering is just too much for sweet "Eleanor." She gets all sputtery and starts to confuse wondering for judging.

And then she expresses such great concern about my children! How sweet! (I can guess that "Eleanor" was the type of girl who in her younger years used to taunt other kids who were different than her. After all, here she is, judging me, a "pastor's wife." What impeccable behavior, a credit to society, really.)

But I digress. Let me answer "Eleanor's" questions:

1) Do you really think you are in any position to judge a man you do not even know?

Yes. I do believe I am in a position to comment about the marriage of a public figure. Do you really think you are in a position to judge a woman you don't even know? (That would be me.)

2) I am curious, does your personal experience cloud your perspective on the subject?

What do you think? I stated that it did. Do you have a problem with reading comprehension? Because I can go back over that part if you need. Now. Do you think your personal experiences shape your perspective? Clearly, they do. Everyone's personal experiences shape their viewpoints. Duh.

3) Do you really feel that you are qualified to make such statements about a man you've never met?

Wait. Didn't you already ask this? Well, here's the thing, "Eleanor." This here is a blog, where I speak about my life as it relates to the world around me. I am extremely qualified to express my own viewpoint on current events. In fact, I'm an expert on what I think about things. I'm an expert on what it feels like to be a child of a divorced parent--my parents racked up six divorces between the two of them (and their assorted spouses).

4) But who died and made you God?

Oh, such originality. I'll have to say "none of the above."

Now, for your last comment about President Bush . . . I'd like to know, "Do you really feel that you are qualified to make such statements about a man you've never met?"

"Eleanor" . . . thanks for stopping by. Next time, feel free to leave an email address or a link to a real blog or a self-addressed stamped envelope. Otherwise, your words are like passing gas in the wind. Stinky for a moment, but worth less than nothing.

Love and kisses,

p.s. I stand by my original statement. I can't help but wonder about how Lance Armstrong's children and ex-wife feel when they see him on television with his new girlfriend. I know I hated it when my parents broke up, but perhaps some people really enjoy going through life with divorced parents. I know it always gives holidays that extra-special complicated something you just can't get from a mix!

p.p.s. "Eleanor," can I recommend you read Elements of Style as soon as possible to help with your little punctuation problem? Take care!


Blogger Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

Wow, Mel! You score high on the snark-o-meter! ;)

Actually, I think you made some valid points there. Sorry you had such repulsive fan mail but thanks for giving me a good laugh.

4:04 AM  
Blogger Shelly said...

You are a hoot girl!

I'd just like to say that I am not a Pastor's wife, but I had some of the same thoughts on the Lance Armstrong thing that you do, especially in light of some of the things written about him previously.

Even if Lance's marriage was a "bad" one, it's still hard for the kids to be put in the situation they are in now and considering that the whole world is watching, and who the girlfriend is......

5:22 AM  
Blogger MJ said...

Well Mel... i have to say eleanor seems a little defensive ... makes you wonder.

Anyway i agreed totally with your post bout lance, it was written eloquently and a reminder that sucess here on earth most certainly doesnt equal the same sucess in heaven with God.

Yes winning the race is an impresssive thing but at what cost to his kids and his first wife?

Keep writing, i really enjoy your blog.

MJ - happily married for 12.5 yrs and counting, cant wait for 50!

5:55 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Wondering? Judging? Semantics?

Certainly you can wonder all kinds of things in your blog, it's your blog after all, but how boring it would be if everyone agreed with you, yes? Now, you were a leettle judge-ish in there too...just a smidge...a little bitty smidgens of judge-ocity...

You seemed a bit hard on Lance while also admitting you have no idea who is to blame. You say 'he can't even keep his marriage together.' His wife might be the 50 ft. Woman Who Ate Pittsburgh for all you know. Just because he's the man doesn't mean he has total control over the situation. Just because he's famous and you think you kind of know him doesn't mean he has control. Add intense fame to any marriage and you've got a recipe for disaster. (You can start singing that song 'Fame' now. After 30 years I have no idea what the lyrics are. 'Faaaaammmmee what your life is in the loo-oh.' Really, what does he say there? Fame turned David Bowie into an incomprehensible mumbler. See how that works? Imagine what it does for a marriage.)

Lance Armstrong's divorce proves one thing...he's human.

As for the Bush comment...Um, I hate to play devil's advocate (well, not really) but I'll refer you to No. 1 on that.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I enjoyed this, Mel!

6:39 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Extremely well said, as always. Keep saying it.

Why, oh why, do people who already seem to KNOW that they don't agree with your view of things continue to read your blog?

I just might NOT be the world's most boring person after all.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Aw, Mel, have I mentioned lately how awesome you are!! I think you're great and I think what you think is what makes you a great Pastor's wife and mom!! It's a shame when a person can't even write their own personal opinions on their own personal blog without getting blasted!! But, you defended yourself quite well, and with such humor! I love it! Have a great day!

8:06 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Just as an aside, I read Lance Armstrong's autobiography and decided from that I didn't much care for him. He seemed quite proud of his many indiscretions. I hope he has changed.

Eleanor's rage may have been effective if she had made a dignified, coherent argument. As it is, she merely offends.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Christi said...

Bravo, Mel!

12:39 PM  
Blogger Julana said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Julana said...

Thanks, Mel. :-)

Anyway, I think the post you did on Lance Armstrong was a good one. A blog is a place where the blogger is free to express his/her own opinion, within reason.

Maybe Eleanor doesn't quite appreciate that particular amendment (free speech). It's America; it's your opinion, and you're entitled to it, just as she's entitled to hers.

This country is pro-choice regarding selection of the president. Millions of people chose George Bush. We're not all ministers' wives. What explains the rest of us?

5:10 PM  
Blogger KGrams said...

Way to go Mel! I enjoyed your post on Lance Armstrong and did not see any problems with it.

If I did or would have a problem with anyone's post, then I would simply stop reading and go elsewhere. Hmmm, maybe we should explain that to Eleanor.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Angi said...

Sheesh, you handled this a lot better than I would have. I mean , doesn't it just bug the snot out of you when people throw the "pastor's wife" thing at you? I know it does me. I mean, just because our hubby's are following the calling of God, does not in any means make US perfect. :(

When reading blogs, I try to remember that they are just one thing...THAT PERSON'S OPINION. It's not like it's chiseled in stone and we all have to conform our opinions to it.

I've had this type of thing happen on my blog too, one reason I'm glad it's password protected now. I control the snarkies! lol.

7:44 PM  
Blogger red fish said...

I think someone as affected by divorce as you have been has a right to wonder on her own blog how Lance's children are feeling.

I'm so tired of pasotor's wives being stereotyped. My friend Rose was married to a pastor who was not only an ardent Republican, but routinely lobbied the state legislature. Rose remained a Democrat and worked for the Democratic State Treasurer (who was a godly man and member of our church.) Pastor's wives are people with their own opinions, not mere reflections of their husbands.

I wouldn't be surprised if Eleanor is a feminist who teaches her daughter that women have minds of their own at the same time she is assuming that some women don't.

I'm sorry for whatever happened to Eleanor to make her so bitter toward Christians, Republicans, and those who are saddened by divorce.

Keep blogging, Mel. Whether I agree or disagree, you have a right to your opinions on your blog, and you express them so eloquently.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Demented M said...

Do you think sometimes that people who act like Eleanor have just never read blogs before and do not get the point? Blogs are all about opinions and thoughts and observations. What else should they be? A recitation of the dictionary?

The thing I'm curious about was her comment that she was directed here to see exactly how narcissitc you were by someone else. What is up with that? Is there like a yahoo group where everyone talks about you? Weird.

There are stupid and mean people everywhere, don't let them push you around, that just teaches them they can get away with it.


6:31 AM  
Blogger The Dung Beetle said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:07 AM  
Blogger The Dung Beetle said...

I don't understand why people waste so much energy on hate-mail, or in this case, mean-spirited comments.

While I find very little common ground with Mel, I see no reason to club her over the head just because we have opposing views on 90 percent of everything. I read her blog because I enjoy hearing diffrent perspectives and alternate lifestyle choices, even if they are things that I'd never do myself. Isn't that the point of blogging?

One more thing: If Bill O'Riley somehow accidently ends up on my TV screen, I don't curse at him... I simply change the channel. I invite "Elanor" to "change the channel" to something that she finds more agreeable.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Darling said...

People throw the word judge around like it's the final word on everything. People think that if they can accuse someone of judging they've relly scored a point. But wait. The Bible many times tells us to judge. In I Cor. Paul tells the people to judge for themselves; does not nature itself teach you that it's a shame for a man to have long hair?" Yep that's what he says. He says to judge for yourselves when you see that.

It also says by their fruits ye shall know them. Ah my, now isnt that judging to say someone should have taken more care with their marriage? No. It's judging by their fruits! Exactly what we're told to do.

The verse that all non bible believng people know like the back of their hand is the verse in Matthew 7 that says, Judge not that ye be not judged." Because they dont read the Bible they think thats where the verse stops. It doesn't. You know what else it says? It says "Judge not that ye be not judged for with what measure you judge ye shall be judged."

You see it's a caution to us to be prepared to be judged by the yardstick that we judge others. If we are not afraid of being measured by the judgememt we make of others than judge away. In other words if you are consistent in your life and can stand under the judgement than go ahead and judge for yourself, just be sure you can handle the judgeing back.

I thought your analysis of Lance was spot on! And I have no problem being judged by the yardstick I'm judging him by which is his failed marriages!

11:42 AM  
Blogger Eleanor said...

My, would appear someone can dish it out, but cannot take it! Not surprising. Happily the "subtle" message of my post was not lost on you. My comments were intentionally rude, arrogant, inflammatory, and harsh to illustrate a point. Just like everyone, you really don't like being judged, stereotyped, or ridiculed. And yet, having spent considerable time reading through all your posts, you do this quite a lot. As do all your friends it would appear. Don't assume this is the way I ordinarily dialogue with people of contradictory beliefs. Quite frankly, you just pissed me off!

To be fair, my comments on The Commander & Chief were indeed based in my personal reality and thus, I have fallen victim to the evil judgement monster in all of us...touche! I still, however, think he is an ass!!!

Hey, one last question. Did I miss some internantional rule of blogging that requires that persons who leave comments of opposing beliefs must leave their email address? No one who agrees with you leaves their emails that I can see. For your records I can be reached at...

Toodles, Eleanor

p.s. You should have been a school teacher. You seem obsessed with punctuation.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

Wowsa. B.J. reads your blog to learn about your alternative life style! (Now that requires an exclamation point!)

11:09 AM  
Blogger Reloaded said...

I saw an interview of Lance Armstrong once on TV. I have never met him personally. Here is my take on the man. He is (was) driven by cycling. It was his singular focus and passion. An obsession really.

And I know first hand, from having worked in various dot-coms, that obsession, especially concerning one's career, can easily override all other concerns, including marriage.

I find the whole affair (Lance's divorce) unsuprising, and I also believe your original post to be quite balanced.

I found Eleanors' questions offensive and baiting. In fact, I find Eleanor verbally abusive. No respect in her words to you. In fact, it was mostly scolding and shaming.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Eyes said...

Egats... I hope you don't think Eleanor is me. Do you???

8:56 AM  

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