My son has such a friendly, happy-go-lucky disposition, even when he is in the midst of a toddler semi-meltdown, that sometimes I think he must have figured out a way to mainline sunshine. His happiness is so precious, and so foreign to me, in fact, that I feel like I need to treat it with special care–like, wrap it in bubble wrap and surround it with plastic peanuts, and stow it away somewhere, so I don’t step on it and smash it to pieces when I’m looking for the pet hair attachment to the vacuum cleaner.
Just being around him–especially on a day like today, where he is all smiles and lovey doveys for Mommy–makes me a happier person, makes me want to believe, like he does, that people aren’t evil cesspools or bottomless pits of need. In fact, if we have a really good day, like when we go to My Gym or something, and he plays on the slide, I catch myself starting to assume that people will do the right thing, or the nice thing, or at the very least the basically CIVIL thing, when the need arises.
But then something will happen and I will come crashing back to earth, disappointed with myself and everyone else, unsure of where to place the blame, and wanting (even if just a little bit) to come down with some kind of fatal illness so I don’t have to deal with the bullshit anymore.
So I am writing this here, rather than screaming it, because as much as I believe it to be true, I would like for my son to at least have a shot at growing up and not believing and/or knowing that
PEOPLE ARE DICKS.
Clearly I have had some bad people experiences lately. Some are of the run-of-the-mill, road rage, cutting in line, pissing in your cheerios variety, and some are peculiar, head-scratching moments of dickdom that have finally built up, boiled over and now–well, sorry, but you’re all going to have to feel the wrath.
I don’t like most people. I am not a nice person. And if you have met me, and you are under the mistaken impression that I am a nice person, it is likely that this is because I don’t say what is going on in my head most of the time. I am very good at hiding my emotions. Yes, they pass this skill out to WASPs–along with highball glasses, madras shorts, and an affected forgetfulness of numbers of houses owned–at birth. One time my stepbrother said something to the effect of “Anna is really not so bad.” My mother told him that he thought this because I hadn’t “shown [my] teeth yet.” That seems an apt description.
As you probably know, last week we started running the New York Times Crossword on this site. Despite what some people in the interwebs think, I am not enough of a moron to think I could take property from the Paper of Record without their permission. But, for the sake of argument, let’s say I were that idiotic–would I also have the audacity to go to other sites and promote the fruits of my thievery–you know, to increase the chances of getting caught? Apparently not one, not two, but more like ten to fifteen people thought that I might do just this thing, and felt it was their duty to do/say something about it.
One of these valiant, high-minded
blowhards readers even took it upon themselves to spam half the Times’ email list, as well as the publisher of the Times’ crossword applet that we use, alerting them to my “feeble” attempt at stealing their intellectual property. Since I don’t have clearance to discuss the finer points of this particular incident, I will just have to say that the end result was in my favor. Which is not a surprise, since I OF COURSE did much research on using the Times‘ crossword on my site, and went to great lengths to procure the rights to do so.
But this did not change the fact that when I got the email from this asshole, I was headed into the gym with Mini, checking mail on my crackberry while we waited for the gym daycare to open, and totally not emotionally ready for such an attack. Since I started this blog, I have been expecting (hoping for?) some kind of character assasination/critique of parenting/indictment of superficiality and/or spending habits from readers. Not that I would relish these kinds of attacks either, but I felt confident that they WOULD come at some point. But this particular sucker punch came out of left field, and was delivered by a frustrated graduate of a certain prestigious university who pimps out his fifteen year old book about a weeny whiny pseudointellectual pseudotopic (that is not even politically relevant any more due to advances in science and technology) on a fifth rate html site that he couldn’t even design himself. Add that to the fact that he works a Dilbertesqe day job where it is likely he has to regularly kiss the asses of more talented and successful people ad nauseum, and you have a Central Casting character sketch for the movie adaptation of The Sociopath Next Door.
So, yeah, sucks to be him, but leave me out of it, dude.
Then, like we’ve been talking about late, I’m on Twitter and have a lot of reservations about it. But I have been working very hard on this blog, and though I know it is unreasonable to expect overnight meteoric success, I feel like there should be some kiind of expectation of collegial behavior among bloggers, no? I read a lot of blogs. A LOT. And truth be told, many of them I don’t even like, I just read them because I know they are popular, and I am not so arrogant as to think there aren’t things I can learn from someone who is successful. If this person is successful at something and I am puzzled as to why, then IMO it is all the more important that I try to learn from them. So I read, and read, and comment, and comment, and participate as much as I can, when I have something to offer.
Now, I don’t expect everyone to come to my blog because I went to theirs. Nor do I expect that people will come to my blog, like it, want to stay. Sometimes they will, sometimes not. That’s life.
But if I send someone a direct message with something directly pertinent to something they have written about–or tweeted about–something they have directly asked for help with, or something they specifically take an interest in–say, something they write a weekly column about, then I think it is not unreasonable to expect some kind of acknowledgement of my message. Just something like, “hey, really, thanks.” Or even, “Oh?” I do not expect friendship. I do not expect them to even be interested in what I have to say. But SOME VERSION OF PUBLIC POLITENESS, DON’T YOU THINK–AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF COMMUNICATION, OR SOMETHING, IS NOT TOO MUCH TO ASK. For God’s sake.
People like to say that the blogosphere is like high school. Uh-uh. The blogosphere is more like a bunch of people who were loser dorks in high school, who get spilkies at the prospect of finally being the ones in power. They love nothing more than to abuse power the same way that they had power abused on them. So a lot of them are asshole dicks without any sense of common courtesy. Like, if people marginalized you at one point, you jump at the chance to do it someone else. Wow. Super grown up.
I don’t have a point with this post. Just feel like ranting so that I don’t take it out on my family. I’ll be back to my usual, charming, morbidly depressed self tomorrow.