Tag Archives: Social media

My Biggest Fan Doesn’t Read My Blog

My husband spent two days with his best friend, hunting and making homemade sausage and beer.  During that short time I managed to get bored enough with life to get into my first official online cockfight with several completely insane total strangers.  This all played out in the Comments Section of an article about mountain lions in South Dakota.  Why did I do it?  Why didn’t I know better?  I should have realized that everything I wrote, no matter how factual or rational, was going to be used against me by bat-shit crazy people, because that is the Law of the Comment Section.  But, like I said, I got bored, I had nothing better to do, and I just…couldn’t…resist the Comment Section!

Two things we MUST take from this story: 1) you will rarely walk away from Comment Sections feeling good about yourself, unless you are a psychopath, and 2) I have a serious problem with cat people, and they with me.

While I was at work I received a text from my husband asking if I wanted to meet him for lunch, and I responded “yes!” because after two days, I felt like I hadn’t seen him in forever, and I kind of wanted to tell him about the mountain lion argument.  I was a little embarrassed about it being out there on the Internet, but not ashamed about sticking to my beliefs.  It was the first time I had been publicly and personally attacked by absolute strangers who also happened to be absolute jackasses, but it likely wouldn’t be the last.  I will have to get used to this if I want to continue blogging, especially about issues that are controversial.  The problem is that stupid people might be my Achilles Heel when it comes to tackling those controversies.

When we slid into the booth at the restaurant my husband looked at me with a slight smile and said, “So I saw that crazy discussion thread about the mountain lions this morning.”  I stared at him.  The dude never looks up anything on Google+.  Then he really blew my mind: “I read your blog too.”  Oh crap.

“What, my ranting in my last post?” I asked feebly.  I really didn’t want him to start reading my blog during a particularly bitchy time in my life…

“No, I just looked at your photos of the snow in South Dakota.  They are nice, except they are not all from the same snowfall.  One is from a later snowfall, maybe in February.”

“Oh, okay.  I was going to write a post about how you are my biggest fan but you never read my blog.  I guess it still counts if you just looked at the pictures.”

“Yeah, I like them.  I also really liked how you handled those ‘whack-a-doos’ on that discussion thread though.  They were wicked and condescending to you but you held your own and you held the higher ground!  And you told them too!  That was some funny shit!”

So dealing with the nightmare of the Comment Section aside (that may be a separate post — seriously, communication is whirling down the toilet because we can’t have respectful, intelligent discussions online) you may be asking why my husband doesn’t read my blog.  You may be thinking that he is kind of mean for not supporting me by logging in religiously and then patting me on the back every time I post something, or for not jumping in and helping me fight crazy whack jobs online.   The opposite is actually true.  He is so supportive of me that he stays out of my business — out of my blog — and lets me do my thing.  And that is the best way for him to be a fan.

When I first mentioned that I wanted to blog I was worried how he would react.  I was more afraid that he just wouldn’t care.  Instead he told me that I have talent and that I should do what makes me happy.  When I started writing stories featuring him, I wondered if he might get insulted because I was making fun of how crazy our family can act.  Hey, the truth is pretty damn funny.  I was even more worried that he might become a bit of a back seat driver, always asking me why I had chosen to write something a certain way instead of how he had imagined that I should have written the story.  Or he might feel obligated to always read and love every bit of shit that I produced, even the especially shitty stuff.  Let’s face it folks, this is no Hemingway.  In all, I was scared that my blog might make us both feel encumbered by obligations to be a certain way to each other instead of just being ourselves.  But, honesty won the day!  I told him I did not need constant reassurance; he told me he probably wouldn’t read the blog every day.  And he has given me the best advice about my writing that I could EVER ask of anyone.

Two weeks into my blogging he asked, “Have you made any money yet?”  And I said “No honey, it really doesn’t work that way.  On WordPress I don’t get to make money, and I have like, ten people reading my blog right now, so I practically don’t exist.”

A month went by and he asked “When can you make money for your writing?”  And I laughed, “I wish I could make money for this!  Remember what I told you?”

“Yes,” he grumbled, “but you really should get paid for what you write.”

See why he is my Number One Fan? While I was being eaten alive by the mountain lion lovers (kind of ironic because I had a feeling most of them were vegan) he was the only one who was out there wanting to stick up for me, but he held back because it was my battle.  I told him today that I learned an important lesson, which I should have remembered anyway.  No matter how neutral you try to be, you can’t post in a Comment Section and expect NOT to be attacked by a hypocrite.  Even when you are not looking for a fight, when you are only trying to state an idea or support something you believe, you WILL be attacked on a personal level.  You will be cruelly judged by strangers, and it doesn’t matter what you say to defend yourself.  Any further comments made in defense of yourself will only make the attacks worse.  You just have to expect it in this day and age.

“But, I also learned this today;” I told my husband as we left a tip on the table before exiting the restaurant, “I don’t have to explain myself to anyone, especially not to total strangers in some random Comment Section.  If I know who I am, that is good enough!”

Remember that people.

— G

Don’t Be a Dick on Facebook

This is dedicated to a good friend who was inadvertently caught in the crossfire of a really stupid “discussion” on Facebook this week.  Names have been changed for humorous purposes.

Today’s lesson is: Don’t be a dick to my friends on Facebook (I won’t abide it).


Dear Diary, today I was a huge cock…

So this is my life, weird but true.  Yesterday my husband demanded that I unfriend (on Facebook) an obscure in-law because he indirectly (and then directly) insulted a close friend of our family and also her son, who just so happens to be my ex boyfriend from high school.  Just a typical Sunday morning at our house… Here is the story, coffee around the table style.  Me: “I ‘Liked’ a picture that had special significance to me, simple as that.  Next thing I know, I’m in a “discussion” with this condescending person who I don’t think I’ve ever met!”  Hubby: “Just unfriend him, he will only cause problems.”  Me: “It gets worse.  Mrs. D was offended by some inflammatory comments he made.  Rather than just stop posting, he began directing the comments at her, and then he managed to also insult her son.”  Hubby: “He did WHAT?!  Oh you unfriend him right now.  No one insults ‘Dirk’!”  Me: “Yeah!  Wait, what?”  Then things just got weirder.

Why my husband cares so much about a dude that I dated 15 years ago…well that’s really more of a Bro Code Army thing but it added to the sweet, sweet awkwardness.  The hubby, very emotional about the whole ridiculous mess, was flailing around yelling “Who is he to say anything  judgmental at all about a true American hero!!”   But the hubby’s right — you don’t harass the mother of a war hero, especially when — now lean in —  you’re a total stranger!!!  Okay, so here I am with a husband who seems to have a man crush on my ex boyfriend and a justifiably angry mom/friend on one side, and this random pretentious  in-law from hell on the other.  What to do?

I tried to shut down the conversation.  Nope, diplomacy made it worse.  I considered my husband’s demand and the consequences of allowing this relative who I don’t even know to run rampant all over my Facebook posts obliviously bedeviling my other friends.  Yikes! Then I remembered how my old boyfriend, by then a brother in arms, would come visit me at my camp in Iraq in 2003 when he wasn’t busy kicking insurgent ass (and also probably being awarded medals of valor).  His reputation is above contempt and his character is certainly above scrutiny or snide remarks from a total stranger on Facebook.  A comment and link addressing PTSD, presumably for ‘educational purposes’ was waiting for me when I logged back in.  Oh…HELL no!  People, don’t give unsolicited advice about PTSD to veterans or to the parents of soldiers, especially after you have already pissed them off!  Clearly this guy couldn’t take a hint.

I said to myself “No, I don’t abide this kind of bullshit at all!” and I unfriended the obscure relative, explaining why (ie: you have managed to insult one of the world’s finest soldiers and his mother, therefore welcome to my shit list).  I apologized profusely to the mom/friend who got caught up in the whole mess, and she was very gracious about it.  After all, the fact that she and I have been friends for about fifteen years accounts for something!  Good, lasting friendships are hard to find and worth fighting for, even if it means cutting loose the people that hurt our good vibes…and allowing our husbands the occasional man crush (‘Dirk’ is pretty awesome).  Yep, we do things for our friends.

If you take nothing else from this story, please remember two things:

1) Don’t be a dick on Facebook.

2) If your husband seems to have a man crush on your high school boyfriend, (I know it’s weird) just go with it.  Men never have made sense to me.

— G

Afterword: Normally I wouldn’t include additional information to a published post unless it proved crucial, but in this case there has been abundant interest expressed outside the blog, compelling me to provide extra explanation. 

All kidding aside about my husband having a man crush on a former boyfriend, this particular person is a treasured friend who was one of my biggest cheerleaders during crucial times in my life.  When I joined the National Guard he strongly supported my urge to serve.  After he joined the Army he told me that I was one of the people who inspired him to do so, stating that if I could do it then so could he.  Not many high school sweethearts go their separate ways and remain friends, but I have always felt that he was there as a comrade many times through my life.  The fact that my husband has tremendous respect for this person speaks volumes about his character and the friendship that has endured for many years after our high school days. 

It pained me greatly to see this friend and his mother, also a very dear family friend, put under a microscope on a public forum by a total stranger with an elitist attitude.  In our family we have one rule that encompasses all rules: “Do the right thing.”  Once that rule was applied to the situation, it was not difficult to decide how to handle the rude stranger.  In the two days since, many memories of my old friend have come flooding back.  Truth be told, I haven’t really thought of him much in years, mostly because I know he is doing well, and also because I really like my husband (I love him too!).  But he really was there for me, even when I didn’t want him around.  And I know that he looked out for me at times when I didn’t even realize it.  Because of him, my National Guard unit was much safer during our deployment in Iraq.  I will always treasure his friendship and hold tighter to my friendship with his mother. 

So, as I said before, all joking aside, this was a matter of doing the right thing to show respect for friends who have always been there for me and my family.  We do what is right and we look out for our own.