In a post from yesterday (last one standing), a commenter wrote in to say that she doesn’t like this blog because “people can smell schadenfreude, envy, self-pity and rationalization a mile away.” Although I don’t understand the motivation behind “scolding” comments, she has a point about that particular post, as it was all about how other people, in this case NoMos, had let me down. I gave a fuller response in my reply to her.
Ultimately, though, I have to stand by my perceptions and “speak my truth.” When I look up books on Goodreads that I love, some people love them, and some people hate them. If you are going to write anything beyond bland cliches, I figure you have to have a tough hide.
Perhaps some readers will relate to my experience and breathe a sigh of relief that they are not alone; that is one of my primary motivations behind writing this blog. Others might become angry, which probably warrants some self-reflection. Others might not relate at all and my experience won’t ring true for them. If there are older, single NoMos out there for whom that is the case, I’d be happy to hear from you, as that could offer a fuller portrait of this strange territory.
I think that commenter’s reaction was harsh and frankly pretty rude. Having said that, I certainly don’t agree with everything I read on other people’s blogs — sometimes I write bitchy, dismissive comments just for the sake of venting, but I always refrain from actually posting them. Why? Because a blog is a place for personal reflection, and I respect that. There’s nothing “wrong” or “invalid” about an author’s feelings and emotions. How could there be, if she or he is genuinely feeling them?
The way I look at it, a blog author is doing the Internet a favor by letting outsiders be privy to his or her inner narrative. We can choose to read them or not, of course. But the author cannot (and should not) be held accountable for readers’ reactions to that narrative. Constructive, diplomatic discussion is quite another thing, and as a fellow blogger I know I always welcome those sorts of comments. But where on earth does being nasty get you? Nowhere… not on blogs, and not in life.
Yeah I find some comments kinda rude, but I let them through if sincere. I only block the ones where they are just flaming me. But I do agree that “constructive, diplomatic discussion” is a better approach. As I’ve mentioned before, I love the Gateway Women forum, because they have managed to maintain that there.
I can never understand why commenters (or bloggers or article authors – I’m thinking of one in particular at the moment) find personal attacks necessary. If they don’t like what you’re saying, then they can leave. Or they can raise the issues in a polite, rational way.
I think your motivations (very similar to mine) for writing your blog are commendable. Don’t let one inarticulate angry woman get you down.
Sometimes I wonder if my general negativity keeps people from reading or commenting on my blog. I actually lost a “friend” that said I had a bad attitude and was mean. Sometimes my motivations aren’t as pure (I just need to vent) and those posts probably do come off as bitter and bitchy and mean. But other times, I want more NoMo’s to drop by. To know that they’re not alone, and to let me know that I’M not alone. I also want to share my experiences to help others, whether they are NoMo’s or Mo’s of what have you. I do have to say that the fact she left a comment means that you struck something in her that left her feeling uncomfortable. Perhaps she has ditched a friend or two of her own? Don’t let it affect you or your writing, because there are plenty of others that need it.
Was your lost friend a NoMo?
For people ostensibly disapproving of personal comments, you’re not bad at the ad hominem (and sexist) attack yourselves (“scold,” “inarticulate angry woman.” I am waiting for “shrew” or “crone” next). Are you sure you can have it both ways? Invite people to have “constructive, diplomatic discussion” while you rake the entire world over the coals on this blog and others like it? I guess so, if you have the enablers on cue, buffering you at every turn, telling you that you are always justified in your endless grievance against the world (Don’t you wonder what’s in it for them? Don’t you wonder if all the soporific murmurings – which require no investment on their part — are merely what they need to hear about their own stations in life?).
Or –or! — you just might be receptive to a bit of truth telling, take it on the chin, and try to fix what is broken. If I were staring down the second half of my life with no close actual friends, I know which path I would choose.
It turns out that there is more than one last standing and all six of them are here. You should get together in real life and be friends. You could complain and seethe to your deluded hearts’ delight, until you end up secretly resenting each other. Because that’s the club you want — and you are the exclusive members. Enjoy.