The Mythical Hobbit

Did you know there is steam coming out of my ears? ACTUAL STEAM. You could hold up your wrinkled silk blouse next to my head and it’d be ready to wear to church in no time! And your granny would be all, honey! Look at you all fancy!

Let me begin this by saying that I have been called all sorts of names by anonymous and not so anonymous people on the Internet, names I won’t repeat here so as not to hurt your delicate ears. And one that keeps being hurled at me is Bully. Heather Armstrong is a bully! She bullies! Look at her bullying! Because I have a website with a large audience, and whenever I say something about anything, that audience wields torches in its honor! AND THEY EAT PEOPLE!

I once was speaking at a conference and had a huge misunderstanding with a fellow blogger, a wonderful, funny person who caught me off guard in front of 1,000 other women, and because I had my brain suddenly fall out of my head, because I stood there tongue drooping, empty-eyed straight into the headlights and couldn’t form words, that misunderstanding blew up like a nuclear bomb right in my lap and then spilled right on over into the mommyblogging world and HOO BOY, was I a bully. I take full responsibility for the stupidity of my response there on that stage, that response being NO RESPONSE AT ALL, for not being quick enough on my feet and in my head to put two and two together and realize the misunderstanding, but the fall out continued for several months and there was a lot of late-night crying. Justified fall out? Probably. I’m stupid and human and make mistakes. Sometimes terrible mistakes. That was one of them. I hope she forgives me.

But I don’t think in any way that I was a bully. I was just smacked in the face with something I couldn’t form words to respond to, in front of 1,000 women. And I knew during those horrifying, seemingly endless seconds when the words wouldn’t come out of my mouth that I would read horrible things about me on the Internet for months to come. That is one of the hazards that I fully accept about this job, one I have learned to live with. Any movement of my hand or head can be deliberately misinterpreted and then manipulated to make me look like a monster.

Wow, when I started writing this entry I thought I was going one way, but here I am going in the opposite direction. We bought a $1300 washing machine from Maytag two months ago that stopped working the week after we bought it, and after going around and around and in an out of a mind-boggling maze to try and get it fixed, I finally escalated it to Twitter. And guess what? BULLY! This was supposed to be about that debacle, but I’m going to save that story for tomorrow. Because I think I just realized that there was this other loose end that needed me, that needed me to say something. Here on this website. Finally. And there it is. And I hope she understands.