Wednesday, June 29, 2011

To Offend....Or Not!


Well I am over half way through my work week this week. Today will be a long day and then tomorrow I will be in the home stretch of a four day weekend. I can almost smell the pool chlorine and sulfurous firecrackers from here. Ahhh sweet summer!

So I would like to say a word (or several hundred) about blogging. As most of you know....I have been doing some form of blogging/writing/journaling since I was old enough to write my own name. It has been just this last year though...that blogging has become a daily occurrence. It was a New Years resolution of sorts to set a goal and stick with it. It was one of several....but this one was the only one that seemed to stick. For those who blog....you will understand that a blog is a part of you. It is your thoughts, ideas and creativity all rolled into a piece of work that is put out for the world (depending on your number of followers) to see. Bloggers.....like artist, musicians and entertainers leave themselves very vulnerable to the world by putting such a large and important part of themselves up for praise or criticism. But for most of us.....knowing that we can influence an emotion, a thought or a mood makes the possible ego blows worth every second of it. 

So here's the deal. Along with putting a part of yourself out there through blogging....you also have to put on your big girl panties and be willing to take whatever interpretation the individual reader takes away from your blog....and also the praise or in some cases criticism that follows. It is just part of the deal. Many bloggers will either disable comments or regulate comments (not allowing them to post until the blogger has read them and approved them). Those that don't regulate often delete that which is unflattering. I however feel that praise is great....but criticism is even better! Why? Because first of all...it shows that you got a reaction from a reader. Good, bad or indifferent....it was still a reaction and a strong enough one to invoke a comment. Second...it pulls bloggers out of the sense that everything they blog is perfect and there is no room for improvement. And finally.....comments....especially the less than flattering ones....make great blog fodder. 

In the last 150+ days I have gotten many comments. I don't monitor my comments before they post and I don't simply get comments on my blog. I have gotten comments through fb, instant messaging and email. For the most part they have been positive, but every know and again....I get the ones that let me know that all in Lisaland don't agree with the queen! Often it is a perception thing and sometimes I simply rub someone the wrong way. It happens and that is okay. I honestly think the only time I would ever remove a comment from public view is if it were there with no other purpose than to spam or was offensive (funny word) to other readers. Aside from that.....it is a free country and you are entitled to your opinion....and I would like to think I am woman enough not to fall apart over a little criticism. 

So this brings us to a blog I wrote the other day Fix Me. If you read me....then you know the blog I am referring to. It was my take on that day and my life....as are almost all my blogs. Apparently though....that day I rubbed someone completely wrong....and yes....OFFENDED them. In fact....I offended them so much that they felt the need to reiterate how "offended" they were....numerous times. For some reason though, they did not want me to know whom I offended as they left the comment signed Anonymous!  What is more....Anonymous was so sure that I would be offended at how offended that he/she was....that I would just delete the comment and go off licking my hurt feelings and blogger wounds in some corner. Oh contrare! I not only kept the comment....but I have chosen it to spotlight and blog about. So here is Anonymous:
 
I am a professional blog reader. Well, I do have a full time job but my favorite past time is reading blogs. I like your blogs usually, but this one not so much. I think it struck me wrong. I know all of your other comments are glowing and positive, so I am sure you will be deleting this one but I really thought you needed more feedback than just the usual ego stroking I see you getting. First of all I was somewhat offended by the fact that you suggested marrying someone for any reason other than love. I know it was tongue and cheek but you never know who is reading your blog and who might take you seriously. To suggest marrying someone for personal gain is so shallow and offensive, I think there might be a reason you need a dating website to find a man. What man wants to be married just to be used. It's offensive. I know that may sound harsh but your blog was offensive. I also know that you have difficulties in life but why does that stop you from learning to fix your own mower or put up sheet rock? The fact that you whine about needing someone to do those things for you is also offensive. Does it every occur to you that lots of women don't have a man around and have to do those things for themselves? It kind of gives strong, independent women a bad name and that is offensive to women everywhere. I am sorry if this comes off as harsh and like I said I know you will probably delete this, but I thought you ought to know that your blog offended one of your readers. I wish you had a "I didn't care for it" box that I could check. I still like you and your blogs, just not this one. It was offensive!

Hmmmm......I have to admit, when I first read this, I was taken aback. Had my words really offended this individual so much that they had to use the word offended a dozen times to get the point across of just how offended they were? Apparently! It actually made me go back and read the blog several times to see if it truly was offensive. After several reads and a few other comments posted from others.....I came to the conclusion that this comment like all others was all about one persons perception and someone finding intent in my words that they themselves placed there. After careful consideration (okay....about 30 seconds worth)....I decided that today I would answer this comment with a retort of my own. So here goes:

Dear Anonymous: 
First of all thank you for reading. And since you do read...I am sure that you realize that my blogs are in fact tongue and cheek most of the time...this time was no different. However....after saying that, I make no apologies for not being able to find the time or money to do all that I need to do. My blog is my venting place and those that read come to commiserate, to count their own blessings and sometimes just to sit back and laugh. To suggest that I might in fact marry my next husband not so much for love but for his handi-man skills should actually offend no one but perhaps my next husband...and only then if he finds what he gets in trade to be lacking. (I am talking about my cooking...get your mind out of the gutter!) However...you may have a point about the reason I need to find my next husband on a dating site. I will definitely take that into consideration. So Anonymous....as you can see, I have zero desire to delete your comment...in fact it has been the brain child for today's blog and for many comments in the past 24 hours. I do feel bad that you chose to be offended not once but a dozen times by my words but unfortunately that is where my contrition ends. Bottom line is.....I am who I am and I write how I write and if you find me offensive.....perhaps you should just remove my blog from your professional reading list.

Now I am tugging up the big girl panties and moving on to retro commercial Wednesday. I have to end this last Wednesday in June with an amusing commercial compiling smoking , beloved cartoon characters and sexism into one umm...errr...entertaining short spot! Here are the Flinstones and Winstons. Have an awesome Wednesday. 



4 comments:

Marni said...

Well can I love this more then once!! I would like to be one of those that say your blogs are a daily reading for me. Makes me laugh, sometimes brings a tear to my eyes, makes me realize how truly blessed I am and then yes there are those blogs that just make me sit back and scratch my head (no not from bugs) and just think. Isntthat what you want? To make people laugh, cry and just think? Yes people are going to be offended at some things (we that know you know better) that you blog about. But REALLY....what was said was crazy. AND if you're going to take the time to be offended THAT many times....be brave enough to sign it!!!!
And P to the S Honey, Ms Offended 12 times....get a sense of humor.

Mama Spaghetti said...

I once read, in an article directed at beginning bloggers, that a defining moment in your blogging career is getting your first very negative comment and how you respond to it. With the how you respond part being most important.

So, great job! I only hope I can remember to be as graceful as you when (not if, I know it will come) I get a terrible comment.

Anonymous said...

Glad my criticism helped your blog out. I told you that I like you and your blog but I was offended. I didn't realize how many times I said it though. You act as if I chose to be offended. I don't think that is something you choose but more like a right! I have the right to be offended and to say I am offended by something. It seems though that my offense is not felt by others which tells you what shape our world is in morally. I will continue to read your work because that is also my right but I will also tell you when I don't agree with what you have to say. Luckily that is not to often. Oh and thanks for not deleting me. You have more character than I thought. Glad I was able to help your blog.

Becca Rowden said...

I thought your "comeback" was well put. You put it a lot nicer than I would have! I would also marry a man for his money and handy-man skills! Why do you think I am with Andy?! LOL JK!! Have a good weekend!! :) Wyatt and I Love you!