WARNING: This one gets a little personal, and it’s really written for a few ignorant idiots. Trust me, I think you’ll realize whether I’m writing about you very quickly. For those I’m not addressing, don’t worry about it. That being said, here we go.
Yes, I’ve been away for a while. There’s a reason for that.
The first is, I honestly don’t like this whole “social media” thing. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer a face-to-face conversation. Maybe over a coffee. Second best? The phone.
But when it comes to Facebook, Twitter and all the others, I understand their function in our society, but I don’t like them. I do them because I’m going to need to get myself out there when I’m published. So social media is a necessary evil.
But the second reason, and the reason for this particular blog, is more serious. I’m not typically one to air my personal laundry out there (see the whole “I don’t like social media” thing above), but when I find out what’s happening, I have to say something.
I’ve written, deleted, written, rewritten and deleted this a few times. And I’m also breaking my personal rule of not committing something to public view when I’m still emotional (read: pissed off) about it. But it’s been well over a week and it ain’t getting any better. So, for better or worse, read on for my rant.
I am so sick and goddamn tired of other people reading what I write, then taking it and twisting it, running to my mother with it, and causing crap in my life. I’m asking you to stop. Now. Today.
And this is my test. And you know what? I’ll bet you a lot of money I get a call on this from mom giving me shit.
What is it with people? Do they have nothing better to do with their lives than to stick their noses–and their misguided opinions–into everyone else’s lives? Seriously? Do any of us…and I’m including myself here…live such squeaky clean, problem-free lives that we can actually be that one to cast the first stone?
I have a few close friends. I know a fair amount of what goes on in their lives. They know a fair amount of what goes on in mine. But they are a very select few and I only share with them because I know they’ll keep it to themselves, just as I do with their information. I trust them. They trust me. It takes a lot of years to build up that kind of trust with me.
And then along comes these people (don’t worry, I won’t “out” any of you, you know who you are) who think they know me, think they know my life, think they know more about what’s best for me than I know myself. But they’re apparently not confident enough about their opinions to share them with me. So, instead, they run to my immediate family and start spewing their crap everywhere.
I share a concern about growing older, and I get a call from my mother. “Am I a burden to you?” she asks. She heard about some parts of the blog (taken out of context) and called me. Guilt. Tears. Worry.
My wife and I joke around a lot. We’re highly sarcastic with each other. And we’ve also been together for 24 years, married for 20. We’ve had our ups and downs as any long-term marriage does. But we’re still together and stronger than ever. And my mother says, “Do you know what your wife writes about you on Facebook? Terrible things. Nobody finds them funny. She’s belittling you. Everyone thinks so.”
My brother, whom I’ve rarely talked to in 15 years (I have my reasons, I won’t bore you with them), calls me and part of the conversation goes like this:
Brother: “Remember when I called you before you got married? You remember what I said to you?”
Me: “Was that when you called me at three in the morning, stoned, to tell me I was pussy-whipped?”
Brother: “Yeah (remarkably, no trace of shame here, either), you remember what else I said?”
Me: “No. Probably didn’t care much to listen to you.”
Brother: “I said you could do better than her. And you know what, brother? I’m still saying it.”
This from the person who hasn’t even seen my wife since 1996.
(And seriously…what brother says that?)
Here’s what I have to say to all of you (and I know it’s a very small percentage of who are reading this…I’m not including all my readers): Either grow a pair and tell me to my face what you think, or keep your useless opinions to yourself. Don’t go running to my mommy. I’ve already got enough issues with her not accepting anything I do after twenty years of marriage, I don’t need you to pile more shit on top of it.
My greater family has a lot of things wrong with it. Divorces, drug use, alcoholism, depression, and a lot of other stuff that I could mention, but won’t. No one’s closet is clean, including my own. But I haven’t gone out and pissed on anyone else’s families, so leave mine the hell alone.
My family seems to forget all the things my wife has done for them over the years. The list is too long to go into here, but trust me, she’s bent over backward for both my brother and my mother. To no avail.
I’m happy, my kids are well-adjusted, I’ve been married for over twenty years. I love my job. I love my wife. Remember especially that last one, people, because it’s important. It means you can think what you want, but if you slag my wife, you do it on very slim and likely highly erroneous information. Those that have taken the time to know her, they like her just fine.
Those that haven’t taken the time? I don’t give a shit what you think.
Your opinion of me and mine doesn’t matter.
It’s no secret that I haven’t talked to my sister since 1983. I haven’t had much to do with my brother since 1996. So if you’re trying to break that last link to any family I’ve got, keep going, you’re doing a hell of a job. Should give you a real sense of accomplishment.