Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dear Anonymous Commenter,

Recently you left a comment on my blog post, Sometimes Blogging is Hard. I wanted to write you an email, but since you left no return address... I have to use the only forum available to me which you could potentially read.
Also, I think it will be good for others to read this blog post -so maybe they can get a better feel for who I am, and why I blog.
Your comment said this:

"I really like you, who you are, as a person, but I think that you are not the same person who writes this blog. Often you seem so arrogant and self-satisfied. I reckon everyone could use a bit more tact -even if it is YOUR blog. If you wanted it to be a place where you said whatever the hell you wanted, you wouldn't be trying to make this blog popular. Truth is, you want readers and you want a well-known blog. All writers know that they have an audience. You should come to terms with that or make a private thought journal. You have an audience so write for them. For every person who thinks you are "hilarious" there are probably 10 more people who think "this was weird. Why does she think she's so awesome? Everyone has difficult times, that doesn't make her a martyr." You are a good person, you can be funny, people do love you. Practice a little self-control."

I would like to address every single part of this comment individually. Piece by tedious piece.
Let's begin.
You said, "I really like you, who you are, as a person, but I think that you are not the same person who writes this blog."
Okay, first. Do I know you? If so, then why is this comment anonymous? I've been trying to figure out who this could be all week! I keep calling and accusing people of being this commenter.
Secondly, you are wrong. I am exactly the same person in real life as I am on the blog.
Allow me to offer some proof. If you do know me, then you might also know some of my family, many of whom also commented on that blogpost.
My mother:
 My father:
 My grandma:
 My other grandma:

And, because you don't have my phone you couldn't have seen the comment from my sister who texted me, "I thought your post today was bloody brilliant!" Notice that with the exception of my dad (who accuses me of being more not less offensive in real life) everyone says "We love you and accept that this is who you are."
These people have all known me for 22 years. They have known me through every stage of my life. They know what I am like.
I am like this.

Okay. Part two. You said, "Often you seem so arrogant and self-satisfied."
This is a valid point because I am pretty self-satisfied.
I don't know if I would describe myself as arrogant, but that is an okay opinion for you to have of me, if that is what you think. However, in relation to your last sentence, you seem to be saying that I am MORE arrogant and self-satisfied on the blog than in real life.
Which is, again, just not true. I have really good self-esteem. Super good. I think that I am a really fun, likable person. I think that I am good looking and well dressed. I think I am smart and funny.
I also think that there's NOTHING wrong with that and that more women should feel that way about themselves. I was recently talking with a friend and said "I have a hard time understanding women with low self-esteem. I think, if you don't like something about yourself - change it! Or figure out a way to accept it. But maybe that's easy for me to say because I'm smart and pretty and funny."
Kaylie laughed, and I realized that she thought I was joking.
But here's the deal:
I wasn't. Almost all of the women that I know are smart and pretty and funny. They have amazing talents and are kind and likable. I seriously don't understand why they don't see that.
But I don't think it's wrong of me to be "self-satisfied."

Then you said, "I reckon everyone could use a bit more tact -even if it is YOUR blog. If you wanted it to be a place where you said whatever the hell you wanted, you wouldn't be trying to make this blog popular. Truth is, you want readers and you want a well-known blog."
Yes. I agree. In fact, I said that was something I struggle with. I want to write whatever I want, but I also want to be tactful and I don't want to hurt people's feelings.
I DO want a well-known blog, however, I also believe that it is impossible to accomplish that by only saying "nice" things. Nice is blank. Nice is bland. Nice is a word that you use to describe people who do not make an impression on you or mean very much to you. They are inoffensive, sure. But they are also uninteresting.
I would like to be a kind person. But I don't want to be a nice person.
(Also, if I've used the word nice to describe you before, please don't be offended. Sometimes I use it to mean "kind," even though I try not to.)

Then you said, (and this is what really irked me) " All writers know that they have an audience. You should come to terms with that or make a private thought journal. You have an audience so write for them. For every person who thinks you are "hilarious" there are probably 10 more people who think "this was weird. Why does she think she's so awesome?"
Yep. I have an audience. The majority of the people who read my blog are women who I do not know. They have children, or are trying to have children or may someday WANT children. There are lots of women who read this blog because they have twins and want to know how I manage.
Or who can't even imagine having twins, and want to know how I manage. I have over a thousand individual people click on my blog every single day. And most of them are not my mother, or my neighbor or my teacher at church.
They are the people that I am writing for. And if they didn't want to read this blog, then they wouldn't. That is the magical beauty of the internet. No one is forced to spend time on websites they don't care about.
I am not writing this blog specifically for my friends and family, which is why it sometimes is hard for me to have to censor the blog around them.
I got SO MANY emails from women that I didn't know, asking about breast feeding twins, and I kept putting off writing about it on the blog because I knew that some of my family would think it was awkward to read about.
And when I finally wrote about it on the blog, I got (literally) dozens of emails from women about it, in addition to all of the comments that the blogposts got.
And even though you claim that only 1% of the people who read this blog think I'm hilarious, let me give you an actual statistic. On the post you commented on, YOU said that you don't think I'm funny.
And 13 people commented saying I was funny. And another 6 people commented saying that they agreed with me.
I do not want to appeal to everyone in the entire world. I don't need everyone to think that I'm funny.
But I do appeal to some people.
And that is who I want reading my blog, not you and everyone who thinks I'm "weird."
(Note: I AM weird. That's okay to think. But you get my point. If you don't like it here, you can leave.)

You said, "Everyone has difficult times, that doesn't make [you] a martyr."
Did I come off as though I wanted you to think of me as a martyr? My mistake.
Sometimes I complain about things, like lack of sleep, or lack of food, or having to censor my blog, but I don't want anyone to think that I'm looking for their sympathy. Sometimes I just want to scream my head off, "I HAVEN'T SLEPT IN DAYS!"
I'm pretty sure that any mother understands that. (Commenter, are you a mother? I'm leaning towards no.)
I don't think I'm having a harder time than most people, and in fact, I probably have it easier than many, because I have a good husband loves me, and who has a job. I have family and in-laws nearby who take care of me. I have pretty well-behaved (if sleepless) babies. I have a church congregation to bring me food and pray for me. And I have a blog that generates TONS of support for me, and lots of strangers who write me nice emails and send me presents. (Seriously, you readers are awesome.)

And lastly, commenter, you said "You are a good person, you can be funny, people do love you. Practice a little self-control."
First, thank you for admitting that I am a good person who can be funny, and that there are some people who love me. That was generous.
Secondly, that WHOLE blog post that you commented on was about how I practice self-control all the time and it can be frustrating. I seriously end up deleting about half of the blog posts that I write because I'm worried that someone will be upset by it, even if I think that it's harmless.
I would like the people who are needlessly offended by things to practice a little self-control. Stop being offended.
It's a choice.
I, for example, have chosen to be offended by your comment.
But not a lot, because I can take it.
I would like to compare your comment to when a high school girl says to a friend "That dress looks pretty on you, it really flatters your bigger figure."
It seems like a nice thing to say, but everyone knows that you're being mean.
Aaaaanyway. Please comment away.
But fess up.
Who are you?
Seriously. Do I know you?
It's driving me crazy trying to guess who you are.

.

27 comments:

Chris Spencer said...

This person's comment reminds me of Fast Sundays: sometimes the crazies (those who only show up on Fast Sunday and insist in bearing testimony every month) just need a forum to say whatever they want without restrain. They show up out of nowhere and want to give their two cents on every topic imaginable.

Becky, you should know better than to indulge this individual with this waste of a blog post. Like Fast Sunday, when you give the crazies a forum to go nuts, they will go nuts. Everybody has an opinion (even me at times). Ignore the crazies and move on.

Mama Mandolin said...

As your blog grows, your anonymous comments will get meaner and more frequent. At first it's hard not to take personally but you have to try. You'll drive yourself nuts trying to figure it all out but usually it's just someone looking to pick on someone else for a moment.

I mean, I've been told I look like a whore. I've been told I'm annoying. And most recently I was told to shave my mustache LOL!

Jen said...

Anonymous commenting is annoying, but I leave it set that way on my blog, too, because I know some people who don't have accounts and don't want them, but they still want to comment. But they sign their name in their comment so I know it's them.

Come on, Mr. or Ms. commenter. If you're going to give a critique at least own up to it.

People think that so much more is okay when they don't have to sign their name to it. But it's not. If you wouldn't do it or say it if people knew it was you, then keep it to yourself. End of story.

Brittany said...

Chris' assessment made me laugh out loud. It's SOOOO true! Sometimes I hate the 'safety net' the internet provides for people. It allows them to be well...a little bitchy. {insert shocked emoticon}

Amber said...

I recently found your blog through another and I love your posts & your photography is amazing! Don't let the "haters" get you down!
Btw I am 24 years old & have 14 month boy/girl twins.
Your boys are so handsome.

BleuMoon said...

you could always block the anonymous commentators (not sure how to do that though) If they can't show who they are, then they shouldn't be allowed to comment. I know it is somewhere in the settings for your blog.

Kristin said...

um...yeah. you ARE hilarious. If you don't like something, stop reading it! It's like all the haters on Youtube videos or something. No one forced you to "waste 3 minutes of your life" watching/reading something. Since when is it their place to correct anyone else? Let's all fix ourselves first before we go out pointing fingers about "tact". :) Ah, irony makes me laugh!

Sharon said...

my tip: i started deleting mean comments on my blog as soon as i read them. puts the power in my hands and it helps me forget about it. i'll keep the comments of people that disagree with me, for sure, i'm all for discussion. But the mean ones? Delete!

Sara0421 said...

This is excellent. I am 23 years old, engaged, and have no kids.. but I know someday I would LIKE to. We have never met, but when I found your blog I was hooked. I only hope I can be such a cool mom someday. Keep being yourself, otherwise why bother blogging? :)

melifaif said...

Wait....I think we are all agreeing you are freakin' HILARIOUS...right!?! Um, right!?! RIGHT!!!! Write on sister....

Kiley said...

I don't know you, but I wish I did cuz you are freakin hilarious and I love how blunt and honest you are :)

Jana Floyd said...

Ok.. I did not write the comment listed above, and I am one of the (mostly) anonymous readers of your blog who is a mom and wonders how you make it work with twins. I once emailed a new local morning show and told them that their jokes were corny and it grated my nerves to even listen to them. This was a reflection of my own inner struggle with insecurity, and not about their jokes at all, really. Now, I cringe that I ever did that, and I am totally comfortable with myself. Corny jokes no longer grate my nerves. :) I suspect the anonymous commenter is much like I used to be, and unhappy with themselves in some way to have such critical *anonymous* comments. Do not take it personally, they most likely just need some maturing and self-love.

Kristine said...

I never leave anonymous posting and find it a bit annoying when people post rude and hurtful comments. If they don't like it, they should stop reading it or shut up.
Ps-I love your blog, and I'm one of those moms who doesn't know you and one "who can't even imagine having twins." :)

Sarah said...

I think we might have had an English class together once upon a time. I stumbled upon your blog and have been following ever since. I don't agree with everything you say, but I like the majority of it. That's why I keep reading. If people don't like things, they can unfollow and move on with their lives. Also, I completely agree with you about the self-esteem and women thing. I'm a self-assured woman, and I really like myself and think I'm attractive and funny. Almost every woman I know does NOT feel this way, and I can never relate because I think they're just as awesome as I am and don't understand why they don't agree. It's baffling.

The Stanley's said...

Your blog is honest.

When I read your posts I find that sometimes I shake my head, sometimes I nod my head, sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry, but always I see honesty.

You are a person who isn't afraid to open her heart and share. Not many humans know how to do this. It makes them uncomfortable,
but it makes me admire you.

Shawntae said...

Mean people suck. Mandey is right as your blog grows so do the anonymous commenters. They can be very very brutal! I had to turn my anonymous comments off and approve all my comments because it was just getting out of hand! I think you are a amazing mom and so freaking hilarious! I live in Utah too and would love to hang out with you cause I think you are a awesome person. Don't let this person get you down. Just laugh it off instead as hard as it may be or take action and don't allow them to comment on your blog. :) There is no room for negitive people here.

Kayleigh said...

i've been stalking your blog since november and still love it. this makes me want to read it even more. you tell 'em, becky.

Destiny.Amethyst said...

I second "The Stanley's" comment!

Boni Lady said...

I agree with everyone else. I love reading your posts. I am a fellow mother of multiples- mine are 2 1/2 years old (b/g). I can totally relate to your posts so I really enjoy reading them! I think that if someone has such a hard time with reading what you write, then it's their own fault...they choose to read it! If they read it, then they have to deal with what you write!

Don't listen to ignorant posts... just keep writing. Don't change who you are or how you write for the cowards who can't even identify themselves. If someone "knows" you and feels like they have some right to talk to you like that, they should also be honest enough to say who they are! Just sayin.....

Celia said...

Keep doing what you do! I just think it is ridiculous someone would actually come to your blog just to say something rude. If they have a problem with something, WHY READ YOUR BLOG!? (other than the fact that you are awesome)

Chris said...

Becky,

it has always been thus. we love precocious funny kids who say what they feel. we tried to always have a home where anything could be said. sometimes that led to embarrassment for me, because I really did not want to participate in talks about "feminine" stuff and lots of other topics. your mom and I would sometimes listen to the honesty from you and wonder "how does she have any friends left" but the truth is you have so many people that love you for exactly that quality. I want to cut the commenter a little slack because sometimes I feel that we aren't getting the whole Becky on the blog. That is not to say we aren't getting the real Becky, because those of us who know you know this IS the real Becky, but there is so much more to the real Becky. I think that we see the freaking out, super happy, frazzled, ecstatic, scared, content new mother Becky because that is the center of your life right now. I can't wait for your readers to start to see more of the intellectual, hippy-ish, artistic, talented, caring Becky. I love when you write about strawberries or pie, and I think, eventually, your boys will give you a chance to do that. Until then, I will eagerly await your next blog because - you're so damn funny.

Shum Girl said...

Don't let yourself get so worked up about mean comments. First: That's what the commenter wants and second: mean comments mean your blog is growing and getting popular so congrats. Bad publicity is good publicity.

suzie said...

Dear Becky,

I try not to read your blog because I am definitely someone who is offended by it. I peek at those sweet little boys and then jump off. Which has always been so strange because you are so dear to me otherwise. Dear dear Becky, who showed up on our doorstep and made us friends. I have always thought your brazen confidence was so admirable/shocking/hilarious and your lack of any insecurity so mystifying. I think maybe part of it for me anyway is the the nature of digital media. The way you speak doesn't offend because somehow it is disarming to hear you openly love yourself while poking fun of your quirkiness. It's completely endearing and it makes me miss you! But I think some of that gets lost on the blog for me because you lose the person and just get the words, and you lose some vulnerability and warmth and that unconditional acceptance of others that makes you so easy and comfortable to be around. It's a lot easier to hear you talk so favorably of yourself because you are just as generous of others as well, but it's a blog, so you lose the second part, the part that puts people at ease. You're ok, but they're ok too.

But at the same time, I think your core value, honesty, is going to make people dislike you. Anyone who is honest is going to be disliked by some. I think negative feedback is absolutely a positive sign because it means youre being true to yourself. I get secret satisfaction when someone doesn't like something I do because that way I know I'm not changing my behavior to please others, which is something I struggle with. So, I'm youre friend, and I'm offended by your blog. But please keep writing it because ultimately it is for your own thoughts, imperfect or otherwise. I feel like you should be able to say what you are thinking and feeling and let people deal with their own issues. So, I'm going to try not to read it, but offend on my friend.

Denise Hogan said...

Becky, I've been following your blog right when Melissa told me you had twins. I love it! You are so very talented. I have told others to go to it because you do such a great job writing and how you say it makes me laugh oftentimes.
I truly believe this type of person is jealous of your talent. I wish I could write like you, BUT I am not jealous, only happy for you and your style, expression and your WORK as a mom and writer. I am not able to do it, but love to read about you and your life. You will look back and be so pleased you took the time to chronicle everything since it all goes by so quickly. You are a special person and the same on the blog as off -- very refreshing!!

Denise Hogan said...

The most important thing I forgot to say -- CONGRATULATIONS on having twins!!
I was so ticked at the person's comments I just started writing to tell you how much I like your blog that I neglected to say how adorable your boys are and how lucky you and Travis are. What a sweet family you four make. Thanks for allowing me/us into your life at this exciting time. Love to you, your parents and grandparents.

Sugardrive said...

oh my. anonymity is cowardly in this case. such a strong opinion for a nameless/faceless being hiding behind their computer.

well-played beck-ster. well-played. :)
i, for one, heart your blog.

Becky said...

I was referred to you blog earlier this week and I am obsessed! I spend a not small amount of my day reading your blog. I started at the birth story and have been reading every post since then. I love it!

And, I agree with you, the commenter must not be a mother. Because all mothers know that what you are feeling and what you write about is just honesty about motherhood... x2. Please keep writing the same, I love it.