Imagine, as you must, that I get a pile of shit every day from drive-by readers who want to bitch me out because they honestly believe I write this blog to entertain them. Now double it. I of course get your average, "You're a jap, and so self-centered" missives, and then the slightly meatier, "Where is your sense of obligation to the world?!" outraged ALL CAPS kind of memos. Throw in the occasional, "I hope you get cancer" email along with the ever lovely, "leave him now," advice. "You've lost your edge" makes me laugh, along with "Where's the old Lisa?" The old Lisa, if you really care to click through the archives, wrote about antipersperant and sushi and makeup and hair products,and jokes too. Thanks.
We all go through phases. Bad hair, bad pains, bad day, bad color schemes, bad friends, bad manners, sure, bad spelling. There are wilder times, It sucks! I can't take it anymore times, cozy happy content times, crisis, recognizing how much we need to change times. It's all part of who I am. Bad hair color times. I forgot that one. I'm a complainer sometimes who wants to vent about her vagina or fat or missing her friends or dog, yes, even though there are people dying from hunger and disease. Wants to bitch about her husband. Wants to dream up the perfect cozy home and uses the blog as a route there. Wants to make a list of wants, however frivolous from how to set her dining table to nail polish color to the best belt for jeans. Worries about her job as a mother and just wants to get it down, on the old-fashioned Internet. Wants to capture sweet moments with her children, wants to take photos of them . Wants to just be me, not be ON, just be. And that's why I started this blog, and it's what I intend to continue to do, despite the emails stating, "Single women or women who are not as fortunate to have a charmed life would not relate. I am as fortunate and find it boring. Being a who I am is what drove me to write this to you." Oy. Christmas is two months away and when you pass by Gracious Home their Christmas wares are already in the window. It's not even Halloween! It seems premature for you to be writing about that already." Again, my answer is, I don't post to keep up with the season. I write about what's on my mind and what I'm feeling, and I don't have a boss who approves it, to see if it's what others want to think about. So despite how well-intentioned you may be, and I appreciate that you are, try to understand that I do this for me, to just let loose and be able to have this space as mine public. Yes, public. Public because I happen to know people enjoy it, but more importantly, because I happen to know people think because of it. And I think in the coming weeks, you'll see a whole lot more of that unsesored me (even if it's a full week of drunk emails from my past, or lists of all the material things I want, or all the things I'm thankful for, or all the things I can't afford but want to. Definitely a post or twenty with every single sentence beginning with "I" or "Me" or "My." Because I can. Because this is mine. BecauseI want to, I expect to post more, though very little of it will be polished and well-written, simply because between magazine writing, book writing, and TV writing, I plan to use this space as a sounding board and vent space, as I did when this blog began. Because I rant doesn't mean it's the end of our friendships!
There are the "How do you deal with all the horrible shit people say to you?" emails, which I might as well address--because giving all the attention to the "When you write about the 'beans' and how content you are with life, it's dull and boring," emails isn't fair--where readers are asking me for advice on how to handle it, as they're just now getting their first taste of it. I could say something about thick skin and a good cream for that, but the truth is, like everything else you get enough of, you simply become desensitized. And then, if something does bother you, you might use it as a lesson, figuring out what you can learn about yourself by reading your reaction. Why am I letting this bother me? More often than not, it truly is YOUR PROBLEM, not mine. But if something really does bother you, try to figure out why you're so hurt by it. Usually, you'll come to this conclusion: is there truth in it? And if so, does it bother me enough to change? And that's all we really need. Seriously, the assholes in our lives really can be our greatest teachers because they force us to look within and kind of self-test, do a status check, on how we're feeling about who we are. Mean people do suck, so make them suck to your advantage. Make 'em suck the good parts. It's why I'll simply start replying, "bite me."
Some people even think they have good intentions. They believe they're somehow helping you, offering you their unsolicited advice, cloaked behind a simple, "Well, since you put yourself out there and keep comments open, you must want to hear what I think." What many people miss about this, and many other popular blogs, is we're not, or at least I'm not, ever writing hoping to delight people. It's my account of my life. Sometimes I use the blog as a tool... because I WANT to. I ask for opinions or thoughts. I want to know what people think their own private sexy looks like, what their favorite cookbooks are. And sometimes I use the blog to vent, simply a moment in time, captured in a little white window on a computer screen. And then everyone chimes in, how dysfunctional I am, what a wretched speller, how horrible I am, what a great mom, bad mom, patient mom. And maybe it's all true. And maybe it's not. Does it even matter? Maybe it's all true. Maybe none of it is. Maybe it just depends when you catch me. But really, who cares? I think we all read to learn something, or to make think of something in our own lives, pasts, presents, nexts. We sometimes read to feel less alone, to say, "Yes, that's it, that's totally how I feel right now, and I've never been able to say it!" And of course we read to be entertained. But the job of this blog is not that. It's stories of my life, sometimes in the past, and sometimes just a place for me to get down a moment in a moment.
I love writing, keeping a record. Interacting. I love meeting people through the blog, feeling less alone, and I can't say how much it meant, truly, when I was in the knee-deep of it with illnesses, and could at least have this outlet and connection to lean on. And I did. Many bloggers might be above that, say they don't care. But I do... when it comes to support and help and love. I love that. Actually, I can only think of one or two girlfriends who I didn't meet online, or through another friend I met online. It's an exceptional tool, but by no means is it meant to provide entertainment. I'm glad it does, glad to receive the sweet emails and comments letting me know I tasted good with their latte, but the "I liked your blog better when you wrote about" I write about my life. As is. I hope you can understand that, and if not, if you find it less than satisfying, simply move on, or wait for my next magazine article or book. I have to be true to who I am and the things that interest me now. I'm not perfect. I don't do tricks... and I rarely bite. But I can.
By Stephanie Klein