There’s a lot of things I should be doing right now. I’ve got to prepare the notes for my last writing class. I’ve got a book to finish editing for the wonderful Lydia Peever. I’ve got a bunch of my own stuff I need to edit.
But I got completely sidelined by a tweet tonight, and I know it’s going to continue to burn and eat and gnaw at me until I get this out. And normally I wouldn’t do this in such a public fashion.
But I saw the notice across my BlackBerry quickly, became quite shocked at the sheer insensitivity of it, then put the phone away. I told myself if she direct messaged me, I’d deal with it in a similar fashion.
But I got back to my computer, pulled up Twitter, and there it was. Out for all the world to see and my name flagged in the message.
What’s the tweet that’s got me so pissed off? From @FirminMary, I got the following:
@TobinElliott God Bless Aunt Hannah. I think she’d have loved my book Deadly Pleasures See reviews http://maryfirmin.blogspot.com
Now, the Aunt Hannah that she’s asking God to bless is my aunt that passed away two days ago. I wrote about it here. And to be honest, I hesitate to write those blogs because it’s not my mother, though it’s someone I loved and I don’t ever want to misrepresent them or offend the immediate family, but I went for it. I can only write what’s in me, what’s honest and that’s what I strive to do with posts like that one, or my Aunt Betty and Uncle Merle.
And this one hit me hard for some reason. I mean, yes, she’s family. I grew up knowing Aunt Hannah, so of course it’s going to hit me. But this one hit me harder than expected. There’s certain people that just somehow seem immortal. They’re too nice, or too stubborn, or too loved to die. And yet, we’re all mortal.
I’m not explaining myself well here. Let’s just say Aunt Hannah’s passing hit me damn hard.
And that’s fine. It’s part of life. I can deal with that.
What I can’t deal with is some scum-sucking, anything to hock my book, asshole writer who suddenly thinks we’re best friends because she grew up within two hours of me but now lives in goddamn California and thinks it’s totally fine to hijack what I hoped was a heartfelt piece about a great woman to sell her fucking book.
Not on my time, you soulless bitch. I’ve seen some low shit in my time…really low shit. But this ranks way up there for unbelievably unfeeling, insensitive, actions. To not give a shit what the family’s going through who might read that tweet, never mind what I’m going through, to completely cast aside any concern for the family’s grief because, by God, she’s got books to sell, product to move.
And to presume–to fucking presume–that she might know what kind of book my aunt would have enjoyed…and then to play on my sympathy about it. Oh, well, if Aunt Hannah might have enjoyed it, well, hell, she’s not around to read it anymore, but I better pick up a copy for myself and everyone else I know so I can hand them out at the fucking memorial service. Maybe if I’m lucky, I can get Mary Fucking Firmin to autograph each copy and work in some droll witticism about Aunt Hannah for no extra cost.
To my regular readers, I’m sorry for all the invective here but I was furious when I started this and, as I get farther into it, the anger’s just growing.
So it’s likely better if I just stop here.
Just to let you know, I sent her back two responses.
The first was
@FirminMary Wow. Really? You read my tweet or blog about my aunt dying and you choose to use it to hock your book? Real fucking classy, lady
And the last one was
@FirminMary Congrats. You’re my next blog.
Then I blocked her market-chasing ass. Personally, I don’t give a shit whether she reads this or not, but Mary, if you do, I hope that tweet was worth it. You’ve made the biggest enemy of your life, you piece of shit.
Hope you enjoy this little bit of press you drummed up.
And I hope–I fervently hope–that someday, when you lose someone close to you, someone comes along and tries to spin that into a way to market something to you too.