You can ask the people who hear me cackle from the down the hall at work.
But, I am the first to admit, I can be humor-impaired from time to time. If you were to ask my closest friends, they’d likely tell you that I really have mellowed in recent times. I think the events of the past year helped to strengthen my psyche (although, strangely, I do cry much easier now at sappy things on TV. Go figure.) But sometimes, I can still get a stick planted somewhere in my anatomy, and it takes me a while to dislodge it.
Last weekend, the proprietor of a humor website decided to post my blog profile picture with a critique of my appearance and a slam of my blog. In particular, he took a swipe at a post where I’d discussed the failing health of a family member. It was weird. Creepy actually. I have no issue with him reposting my profile picture, which was just me in my winter hat. (He even mocked my hat. WTF?) Fair Use laws support his right to post my photo with “commentary.” It wasn’t as if my photo was a secret. And I know I’m not exactly gorgeous. I’m just a fat 40-year-old woman with glasses and, periodically, a limp. BFD. Why and how this stranger came across my blog, I have no idea. I can only assume someone found me somehow and decided that I was unattractive and that, for some reason, was worthy of comment. The only reason I found out about this was that I followed an unfamiliar link off of StatCounter.
The photo - and hat - in question. The hat was really expensive, by the way. $65. (It's boiled wool from Austria.) I bought it for myself when I got a promotion about 8 years ago...
It did bug me that this person would direct folks to that specific blog entry on my site, especially as it touched on something sadly personal, but again, that’s his deal. I guess if I’m on the steam train to Hell, he’s likely on the bullet train. I chose to respond to him with a fairly upbeat comment. Free speech is free speech. Whatever. All I can do, in demonstrating that I'm not a humorless troll, is to kill 'em with kindness. But when I posted that response, I saw something that bummed me out. Someone else had left a comment, noting that all the blogs mocked were crap – uninteresting and rambling garbage. Usually, I wouldn’t have blinked, but the commenter was someone who shares a “blog friend” in common with me. I'd seen her name on my friend's blogroll. I would have figured that she might have seen mine. (Apparently not.) And so, I wrote to her. Why, pray tell, did she think my blog sucked so very much?
A day later, I got a rambling response. Oh, I didn’t mean your blog! I meant the others. And, uh, actually, I never even went to your blog. I’m not a hater…
Uh, okay. So, just for your entertainment, you dis a pile of strangers? That’s weird. I did not respond to her. (For the record, I did visit her blog – I especially enjoyed the entries that were just photos of her yellow lunch bag and her kitty cat. Wow! Now, that’s entertainment!)
In response to all this, I pulled my friendly welcome post to the new readers who visited after my most recent WAMU commentary. (I had received a handful of “Hey, you suck!” e-mails by then.) I replaced my cheerful message (complete with welcome mat images) with a fairly terse one, with a link to the post I wrote about my mother. I’ll take any opportunity to share my mom’s story with people, but I’ll admit, it was also sort of a preemptive “F U” message to anyone coming to my blog from the "humor" site. I was daring them to say my mother’s story was uninteresting, rambling crap. I’m not about to win any prizes, but I’m not that bad a writer, either. And, screw them all, I totally dig my winter hat.
So, along with feeling a wee bit under the weather, I’ve also simply been annoyed for the past few days. Figured it was worth explaining my absence. I’ll get my sense of humor back in place, and all will be well.