Saturday, March 15, 2008

Capitalized: A Response

Well, it's been a fun weekend, hasn't it?

Thanks so much to all who came to my defense after my scathing review Friday. If I had any hurt feelings in the aftermath of the vicious coal- raking, they have since been replaced with the kind words many of you left as comments. Thanks for having a sister's back.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about the short amount of Bite's review that was actually reviewish. I did, after all, intentionally submit my blog for an outsider's opinion. And so let's address the items that were not tainted by her bitterness.

1. Capitalization (or, my lack thereof): I never realized this was an issue! Is it really annoying? Let's vote and see what the results say.

2. Blog style: Sorry, haters. This ain't changing. Not in this lifetime, at least. First, I'm a dummy when it comes to computers. Posting and the occasional link are about all I can handle. How could I even begin to tackle installing a template? (And don't go suggesting I use one of those ready made blogger ones. Those things are worse to me than a blank white page.) Second, who has the time to sit and search for (let alone create!) those fancy templates? Pleez, if I had that kind of time I'd take a nap!

3. That brings me to the hottest topic which was my bio. My bio, of all things! My bio, the blurb I wrote in about 30 seconds as I took the leap into blog land.

I was stunned to discover that my short description of myself proved to be such an annoyance to so many. I guess, after reading it through their eyes, I can see how it might look like I'm a whiny, spoiled brat, ungrateful for what I have.

But this is the truth.

In my experience it is certainly not "en vogue" to be a mom who lets her shit hang out. On the contrary, I've been frustrated to find that my fellow mothers seem to be in a competition against each other, everyone clamoring to be the most perfect, the most coifed, the thinnest, the perkiest... you get the picture.

Day after day, I wonder what is wrong with me as I drag my rumpled ass to drop my son off at kindergarten and face the fresh, smiling faces of the other mothers as they drive up in their spotless SUV's, their well manicured children in tow. Is no one else exhausted, like me? It is rare and refreshing when I meet another mother who is open about her struggles in a stressed out life and willing to admit that she doesn't have everything together.

That's where I was coming from when I wrote my little blurb. I was just trying to show the other moms who might encounter my blog that it's okay if they're not perfect and to be the (blog) face of someone who really is not. I had no idea my words would be taken any other way.

So, I'm so sorry if I've offended.

I'll consider writing something different. But with the way my life goes, I might not get around to it for a few months or so.


ross said...

lower case makes your blog hipper, plus you save all that unnecessary wear on your shift keys and you can type faster. in japan, everyone is smarter and more tech savvy, and they don't even install a shift key on their computers. at least that's what i heard. you rock! keep it up. not the caps though, just the ... rock.

rents said...

If we have learned anything in the past eight years it is this. Never apologize! Just say "mistakes were made". Or "I'm sorry if you were offended"
And you have nothing to apologize for anyway.

daysgoby said...

Honey, if you were well-pressed and chirpy I wouldn't relate so well...

and things would be a lot less funny.

And seriously, a plain white template is MUCH (so much) easier to read than some of the created ones with the whirling, blinking whizz-bangs everywhere...

marymurtz said...

From an old English major ("Do you want fries with that?") I would say capitalization helps.

BUT the bio? Don't change a word. I loved it the first time I read it, and it rings authentic every time.

Now I need to go in the other room and let loose a string of profanities toward some blog reviewers; it's still not out of my system.

Rob Friggin Brandt said...

Meh, give the hater a kick in the crotch. Capitalization? Is that really all that can be said negatively? Wow. Yours is the most honest and true blog as is.

Thus, since yours is honest, you need to change everything. May I suggest more internet lingo? LOL!! something more like

I t0ta11y fr33ked out! ROTFL! /g\ And the K wet the bed!
IMHO he can STFU, OMG, did I just say Th@t about my child?! LOL!

Ok, maybe not.

Live, Laugh, Blog said...

Honey, I read your blog every day. I find it entertaining and intelligent. I don't care that there is no capitalization. I don't care that your hair isn't done, or that your house isn't clean. Lord knows, I could use a new hairdo.....and a maid. I'm a stay at home mother myself, and believe me, your bio isn't about complaining, it's about life. Everyone gets tired and frustrated, no matter what they do. Do something day in and day out, eventually you have a moment where you wonder just what you were thinking in the beginning. We stay at home moms are thankful for being able to stay home with our children, but if we need to complain every once in a while about how our day is going, or how our children are behaving, so what? Working people complain about their jobs all the time. We don't come back at you for not being thankful to have a job! I guess what I'm saying is this. Your blog is entertaining. Your writing is intelligent and funny. If I were you, I wouldn't change a thing. To hell with that review. Your loyal readers are the ones that are important, and we've been reading your blog, as is, for quite some time with no complaints!

Anonymous said...

Damn my comment didnt post! Anyway you Rock and keep doing waht you do, i love it!


Lara said...

I find the lack of capitalization annoying. Not terribly, but somewhat. I much prefer normal upper/lower case. But it's not something worth ranting over.

The profile bio... honestly, the message was fine in my perspective, but the 3rd person sort of made me nuts. But don't worry, I won't go off on a rant at you. I'll just silently sit here pulling out my fingernails. ;)

And the content? OMG I love your little views of life with your kids. They are wonderful scenes of the insanity that life with small children involves. The only post I DIDN'T like that I've read so far was the one that she highlighted... that your sources of inspiration were gone. I really hope you don't get your whole identity from your kids... there is so much more you COULD blog about. Maybe even let us see a glimpse of that occasionally? I know you primarily are a mommy blog, but it's ok to stray occasionally.

Templates? I despise anything too busy, but yours really shows no personality. A little color... a small header graphic... something... anything would make it more you. And trust me that is a good thing. Your words show so much life, I just wish your blog could match it a little. I'm sure you have any number of readers willing to help if you just ask.

There is my review, for what it's worth.

And my biggest tip? Just keep enjoying the craziness those little people cause in your life. It's gone far too quickly. Remember the times when you pen yourself in the dark closet for a moment of alone time, and they come looking for you, thinking you're playing hide-and-seek with them. Later on, if nothing else, it gives you great stories to tell them!

Beck said...

I think it's funny. They review that people aren't personal enough and then they say to you that you shouldn't focus so much on your life and type some posts about others.

For example: I could type a post about a hot date with Garrett where we tried a not-so-delicious meal and came back to our home still hungry and bit drunk. Based on her review, I would need to include my great thanks for first having someone to go on a date with because there are many single people out there. And then food, well, sadly we live in a world where many people don't get to eat everyday, so how dare I possible complain that the restaurant was bad. I was lucky to eat. And drink. And have a home to go home too.

I am completely aware of all the disparities in the world, and I work everyday to change them. However, we all deserve to have our space to express our own personal stories.

Sorry that you got that review (and most likely found the link on my blog). When mine got reviewed, i read the commments and your reviewer said to my reviewer, "thank god you got the wedding blog, I wouldn't know what to do with that bullshit."

Go figure. Keep posting just as you are.

Mick Montgomery said...

As a fellow Blogger, I find this blog to be one of the best online. Do not change one thing on it. The lack of caps is what makes this unique and it completely flows with the theme... you have minutes not hours to devote to this... and the lack of SHIFT KEY usage is a clever nod to the overall experience. Change the blurb about yourself, only if you get bored with it.

Anonymous said...

Please don't change a thing. And please don't add ANY graphics to your blog - it already takes 27 minutes to open (dial-up). I love your insanity - it's quite a refreshing contrast to when we were growing up! and... I really don't want to read about what happens when your inspirations are at grammas. If it's ok with you, just take a break from blogging till they get back! :o) -Amy

Sue said...

I support you too. Love Bites has serious issues.

Jan B said...

I was amazed at the fall out from your review. I ended up writing a post which springs from the whole episode. So thanks for the blog fodder. Lord knows I wasn't capable of coming up with anything else today!

I like your blog. I offend people from time to time too. I love Ask and Ye Shall Receive, but I think that this was a case of your reviewer really wanting a life change and having been a working mom for 13 years prior to my current SAHM stint, I can understand that, but it went too far. It's not all wine and roses being a SAHM and too few people see that. They only see us in snapshots, but we know what really goes on. I wouldn't change my life, but I get bitching rights, just like every other working person!

Anonymous said...

Capitalize. Please. I just can't read blogs when the don't capitalize. Though it's not nearly as annoying as ALL caps. See?

Also - just to clarify. I'm the infertile who made a comment about your bio. That bio is a brief little snippet - and it does sound somewhat whiny. Put in context, it sounds much more reasonable. When I worked in daycare (which I did for years) the "perfect" moms often had the most unhappy children and the "messy" moms had the most well adjusted kids. There's a definite correlation. If you don't have time to go get your hair done, you're doing something right. Don't change that... you'll have plenty of time when your kids are grown up to go get pampered, and you can't get back these years. I'm not saying you should never make time for yourself - you absolutely should. I'm just saying... the kids are your priority right now, and that's wonderful. That's how it should be, after all.

So when you look at those "perfect" women remember that no one is as perfect as they seem, and in fact, the ones who go to such extremes to look the role, to seem the perfect, put together super mom are usually the ones who are truly not great parents. They see their kids as an extension of that perfection - and as I am sure you know, no matter how much you love them, children are not perfect anymore than adults.

It's a lot of pressure to live up to - being the trophy child. I've seen it firsthand in my many classrooms and it's sad and sometimes tragic.

So celebrate your messy hair or rumpled clothes or your kids mismatched socks as a sign that you're doing something right... and when they go to the grandparents' take the time to do nice things for yourself!

Karen MEG said...

I thought your lower case was stylistic. I'm usually very anally retentive about stuff like that, but hey, don't sweat the small stuff. I've stumbled on your blog before and I think it's very brave of you to have submitted your blog for that review. Or maybe you were just a little drunk LOL!

It looks like you were caught in the crossfire of that modern age-old mommy war. I'm so sick of that. Why can't we all embrace each other for our own life choices. Instead of releasing the inner bitch whenever someone decides to be honest and open with their feelings. I don't get a sense of your complaining at all...and if you do, it's your fucking blog so you can if you want to. It's more tongue-in-cheek if anything else. I was concerned about you finding inspiration from things other than your kids. I struggle a bit with that myself on occasion - but that's life. You shouldn't be torn down because of it.

Hey, this blog is about you, your life... don't change a thing unless it's something you want to do. For yourself. End of story!

Sorry for the novel. I'm bookmarking you, just so you know ;)