1/3/14

And the Butthurt Began...How Some People Totes Overreacted




I'll set it up for ya: I posted a very light-hearted, fluff post here on my blog a little over a month ago. "7 Things You Totes Need to Stop Saying if You're Over 30 (Oops, there's one of them)". It was pretty popular, one of my most popular posts, in fact. A few thousand views in just a couple of weeks, which is huge for a small potatoes blogger like me. People who read it, mostly my target audience (women in their 30's and up), loved it. Got lots of fun feedback, lots of LOLs and suggestions of words to add to the list.

People read it in the manner it was intended to be read: LIGHTLY. God, I hope nobody saw that title and hunkered down for a serious read. I mean, if you see that title, do you think to yourself, "Ah...this is sure to be a thoughtful, deep, probing article about the linguistics of women in today's culture!"? If you do, you have my sympathies. I wonder if you also thought "13 Going on 30" was a film about the accelerated maturity of prepubescent girls due to growth hormones and antibiotics used in today's factory farm industry? It's not rocket science, folks.

And then, Huffington Post Women picked it up. Ran it on a Sunday morning. I, of course, shared it on my personal facebook page and on my blog's facebook page because, you know...self promotion and all.

I had things to do that day, real life things, so I didn't know how my seemingly innocent post was spreading like crabs in a frat house. When I peeked at the facebook later that day, I had a bunch of notifications from friends telling me that "Totes" was going crazy.

Curiously, and very cautiously, I checked it out on the site. I have a love/loathing thing with Huffington. I hate that they use people's work without compensating them, but love their reach. Some of my most loyal readers found me via HuffPost. You cannot buy that kind of exposure.

The love/loathing thing goes for the comment sections there as well. For some reason, Huffington Post seems to attract a particularly vile batch of internet readers. Nasty, trollish readers. Not everyone who comments there fits that description, of course, but an alarmingly high number of them do. Likewise for their facebook "fans".

I've learned my lesson after having several pieces published there: don't read the comments. I always read the first few, just to sort of gauge the general reaction my post is getting. Sometimes I'll engage with the readers via the comment section, thank them for reading and sometimes I plead my case to the haters. I get a little interaction in and then I back off. I shut my laptop and that seamy side of the world disappears.

And so it went with the Totes piece. I refused to check out the comments, even though my friends were reporting back to me: "Holy shit! It's going crazy" and "Some of them are getting so mad...it's hilarious!" and "You were just told to go fuck yourself!".

The response I received here on my blog was unanimously positive. Thankfully, most people who read it in the HuffPost and then journeyed here to check me out did so in a friendly, civilized way. There were a few who didn't like it, and let me know, and I engaged with them, too. In a sort of civilized way. Here's one exchange that I thought was kind of funny:

I'm turning 30 this week and I learned almost all of these phrases from people older than me. There were jokes about abbreviations like; totes, cray, belig, etc in Vice magazine like ten years ago. I'll change when I feel like it and y'all schoolmarms can deal with it. You love yoga pants and martinis and think that Pearl Jam is cool, your opinions carry no weight.
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  1. Bummer. I wrote this with the intent of changing the way you (yes, specifically you, anonymous ) talk. So much for my evil plan.

    Your rejection has broken my heart. Tonight's martini will be dirty, with extra tears.

    Hey, happy birthday.
    Delete

School marm?  The irony is, I REALLY AM A SCHOOL MARM! And enough with the yoga pants. Is it too late to add "yoga pants" to the list of things that everyone on the planet should stop talking about?

Here's the thing that makes me laugh about these comments: they are so damn serious. Like, these women (all seeming to be in the late 20's to mid-30's) read my farcical, giggly post and thought that I was actually on a language warpath, that I was out to eradicate these words from the English language. These people read my words and somehow came away with the idea that I give a shit about how they talk.

I read one comment (yeah I know, I had to peek at a couple of them) that accused me of bullying women (??). And another guy, Troy from Santa Cruz, posted on my facebook page: "It's nice that women have someone like you to knock them down a peg. All they normally get is love and acceptance, so your criticism is very refreshing. Keep up the good work." Oh Troy. I bet you pee sitting down, don't you?

The ones I loved the absolute most, though, were the comments that said "I have never said any of these words before but you'd better believe I will now! And the author can go fuck herself!" This type of comment led me to imagine packs of 30-something women roaming the streets in cities across the country, carrying torches and screaming out "AMAZEBALLS, MOTHER EFFERS!" and "I KNOW, RIGHT? MY FEELS ARE ALL MAD RIGHT NOW!"

I also imagined that the majority of these chicks are driving around with Coexist stickers on their cars.

Bottom line is this: say what you want. I don't care. Nobody cares! Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing, but let's keep in mind that it goes for everyone. Even people who like to poke fun at society now and then. I am pleased to see that my skin has toughened up, and even getting told to go fuck myself by perfect strangers rolls right off my back. In fact, it makes me (and my friends) laugh. Girls, I've faced divorce, poverty, bankruptcy and foreclosure. Believe me when I say that the self-righteous indignation of a few overgrown adolescent harpies doesn't faze me in the least.

Now I think it's best if I stick to writing less controversial pieces. I believe I'll start with one called "10 Things You Totes Need to Quit Wearing if You're Over 30: The Jeggings Stop Here"

Namaste, internets.



70 comments:

  1. Well, you know what they say, "If you can't say anything nice, say it anonymously in the comments section of HuffPost." I've been on there a dozen times or so, but they've only promoted or tweeted/FB it out a few times (totally lame. If they don't promote it, what's the point?)

    Anyway, people will ALWAYS find something to bitch about. If you say the sky is blue, they'll say you're a smutty school marm who clubs baby seals and pushes elderly women off curbs. But for the record, I loved that post and TOTES agree with all that you said. Screw the trolls ;)

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    1. I love the quote! And I feel ya re: posting your stuff but not promoting it. Makes zero sense.

      You know what? I'm going to own the smutty school marm thing. Don't know if I have the stomach for seals but I do have a lot of repressed ageism feels so the old lady/curb thing should be easy.

      Thanks for your support, Abby!

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  2. Don't worry about it and keep doing what you are doing. I visit your blog daily and if I am away from my computer I check it on my phone. Rang in the New Year with my divorce finished, a name change, and who knows what 2014 will bring and I need to keep being inspired which this blog does.

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    1. Hey you: CONGRATULATIONS. What a fresh clean start for a fresh new year :) I will bring on the inspiration...I need some too!

      Thanks for reading!!

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  3. Your 'coexist' comment is spot on, imo! Some of the most horrible verbal attacks I've seen lately are coming from those who scream "tolerance" the loudest.

    Could you add athletic headbands and ugg-type boots to your list of "...Things you Totes Need to Quit Wearing ..." That'd be great, thanks

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    1. Amen Tracey. The hypocrisy is amusing, isn't it? And I'm hanging my head in shame whilst putting on my Uggs! I think the fact that they are ancient and came from Unique thrift store makes it kind of okay, though. Right??

      Thanks for reading :)

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    2. You can wear your uggs with your head held high :) I'll forgive you, cuz, yes we gotta keep our popped tag items, haha!

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    3. Hey! Those of us who live in the frozen north wear Uggs because they're WARM!!!

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    4. Anonymous .. I too live in the frozen north. It is just my personal opinion.

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  4. I am really glad I read this during lunch time when my door was shut because I completely lost it when I read:

    This type of comment led me to imagine packs of 30-something women roaming the streets in cities across the country, carrying torches and screaming out "AMAZEBALLS, MOTHER EFFERS!" and "I KNOW, RIGHT? MY FEELS ARE ALL MAD RIGHT NOW!"

    I finally composed myself and read the "coexist comment" and lost it again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the only laugh I will probably get until at least 6 pm tonight.

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    1. Ha! And your comment made me smile! Thank you. I hope you find some other laughs before 6.

      Thanks so much for reading!

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  5. OH.MY.GOD. I'm dying laughing over here! Hilarious. Those who read and comment on every article in Huff Post need to incorporate a few more hobbies into their lives. Or volunteer at the local humane society and jump on Bob Barker's cause and chant 'spay and neuter your pets'. There's something to TOTES get worked up about.

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    1. I know, right?? I wish I had the interest/time/energy to become emotionally invested in the words of others.

      And word about the spay/neuter. The kids and I binge-watched Pitbulls and Parolees a while ago and I now want to adopt every single abandoned dog in the world.

      Thanks for reading, Kay :)

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  6. I don't picture them driving around with Coexist stickers. I picture them driving around wearing bling on the back of their jean pockets. Which, by the way, needs to cease over 40. For reals.

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    1. Ugh, blingy butts are totes not okay for the over 40 set. For reals.

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    2. Auuugh. Blingy butts are definitely not for butts over 40. And you know what else? Men need to stop wearing those heavily embroidered jeans. With Affliction t-shirts.

      Hey...maybe I should do a men's post....hmmmmm

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  7. Totes amazeballs! ;) I personally loved your initial post. Who gives a rat's ass what those pretentious Guiliana Rancic wannabes say.

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    1. Jillian, that is really funny you mentioned Guiliana...one comment I read said something along the lines of "GUILIANA SAYS THESE THINGS ALL THE TIME SO I DON'T CARE WHAT THIS PERSON SAYS". I bow before Ms. Rancic. I think. Maybe.

      Thank you for reading!

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  8. Laughed so hard I peed. Now I'm off to the drug store pushing little ole ladies and young women aside to get to the depends.

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    1. Oh no. That "just peed my pants" smell is so hot. I'm sorry.

      Thanks for reading :)

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  9. I'm going to start saying "dagnabit" to counteract all the new gobbledygook.

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    1. I heard a good one on Jeopardy the other day (yeah I watch Jeopardy):

      Ragamuffins. We can do this, Whitney.

      Thanks for reading.

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  10. Replies
    1. I love that someone I love loves this so much!

      Thanks for reading, lady.

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  11. #1. You really should write that post!
    #2. Your response to ANON was so freaking funny. So much for evil plans.
    #3. I have also written posts about language and people get very very defensive. I also wrote a post about Hanukkah decorations and one about party favors that pushed one couple in my family over the edge and now they barely speak to me and unfriended me on FB. (Even unfollowed me on Pinterest. Their anger was DEEP.) So . . . weird things get under people's skin. Best thing to know--we can't control that. And it's really not about us at that point!

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    1. #1.: Are you kidding? There would most likely be attempts on my life. Or tee-peeing of my yard.

      #2. My evil plans were once again ruined by a meddling anonymous.

      #3. Are you kidding me? The post about Hanukkha decorations??? And you know when someone unfollows you on Pinterest that they are totes serious about things. Dang.

      I've always respected your opinions on how to deal with the negative. And for the most part, I follow your (and other big time writers) advice about not poking sticks at the monkeys. But there is a little part of me who wants the last word. I hate that part but she's strong. Especially after she's had her coffee.

      Thanks so much for reading, and for being part of this crazy post. I hope you got some new fans out of it!

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  12. Fist Bump with an Explosion! (#8???)

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    1. Sweet Jesus. ARE PEOPLE STILL SAYING THAT? I think it might be just guys wearing embroidered jeans, right? Please?

      Thank you for reading, Barb!

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  13. Someone linked to that HuffPost post on facebook. I laughed as I found my way to your blog. I stayed up too late reading the blog hoping my laughter wouldn't wake the kids or husband.

    I am changing all I say and do because of what you write. or not.

    I am laughing though. Thanks for making life a little funnier.

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    1. Christine, you got it! I want to change the way you talk, dear. Thank you for drinking the koolaid.

      Seriously though, thanks for reading. Keep on laughing!

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  14. So glad you were able to knock women down a notch ;) oh boy!

    I love your posts! Keep them coming. Maybe someday I'll visit Erin at work so I can meet you in person!

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    1. Emily! You need to come visit. And bring that adorable smushy baby when you do.

      Thanks for reading :)

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  15. Your genius and refreshingly authentic. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. Your honest observing eye clearly hit a sore spot. Keep it coming. I need the simple pleasures of a good laugh in my day from time to time.

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    1. Aww..thank you Erika! I don't get "genius" very often. Okay, never.

      Yes, quite a sore spot. Who knew? Don't mess with the ladies and their slang, bitches.

      Thank you for reading!

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  16. Isn't it sad that so many of these fools are so damn humor-challenged? They REALLY didn't see that your (excellent, and hilarious) post was very tongue-in-cheek?? Oh my, they are going to have very lonely, sad, empty existences...and they aren't half so smart as they think! Oh, and not only only does "Troy" more than likely pee sitting down, honey...I think he probably has a vagina. (Maybe he'd like one of your tampon-themed posts better? LOL!) ROCK ON my friend!

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    1. The thing is, the smart ones over-analyzed it. This was one post which required very little brain power. In a way, I'm kind of sad that of everything I've written, this was the one that went nuts. But that's okay...there's no such thing as bad publicity.

      And I got some new Hausfrau readers out of it. THE MORE THE MERRIER.

      Thanks for reading, Jenzi!

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  17. I love everything about this post, especially your martini, extra dirty with tears.

    I had a few FB friends share the link to this and I was like, "Hey, I know her!"

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    1. I won't lie. That martini was a little salty. But delicious.

      That's funny about the "I know her". I had friends telling me about seeing it shared from all over the country. Very surreal experience.

      Thank you so much for reading!

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  18. I really think some people enjoy getting angry. I mean, just because we're all entitled to our opinion, does that mean you have to go to someone's blog and yell your opinion at them in an angry and insulting manner? I thought your blog entry was amusing, and even though I'm sure I do say some of those things on occasion, it never occurred to me to be offended!

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    1. EVEN THE ALIENS GET IT! Seriously though, thank you Angel. I am always baffled by the need to leave negative comments. If I don't agree or like something, I move on. I guess my feels aren't as big as they ought to be.

      Thanks for reading!

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  19. Im so mad at myself for taking a break & not keeping up on your blog. This shit cracked me up! I'm turning 31 next month and this is all great stuff to know. Id seriously hate to be 'uncool' at the local Starbucks. You know, where all the cool kats hang.

    Also, please please. ..fucking please write that post!

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    1. Lin!! I've missed you :) You should print the original post out so you know exactly how to talk. Those baristas can be brutal if you're not doing the right thing.

      Thanks so much for reading!

      Delete
  20. Omg, this was ALMOST more funny than the original post! I can't believe people got all serious about it! I loved it and think those serious people need to get a grip.

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    1. Thank you Deanna! And I ditto your sentiments: less seriousness. All around! Life is too short to foam at the mouth over this crap.

      Thanks for reading!

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  21. teehee...Coexist stickers are EVERYWHERE here where I live! I never thought your post would get nasty comments! I loved it. Boy some people take their lives too seriously.
    My family has been totes mcgoats enjoying the cray cray Sprint commercial with James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell. I think they do a fine job of showing how language like this really sounds.

    It's worse than Valley Girl speak. Like, you know what I mean? Gag me with a spoon!

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    1. Moon Unit is 48 now. I think. I loved Valley Girl-isms! Barf me out the door. Wait, was that part of it or is my awkward 15 year old self coming out?

      I love, LOVE that commercial. And for the record, I hadn't seen it when I wrote the original post. My home skillet Lisa Allen pointed it out and it made me guffaw out loud. Hottie.

      Oh and re: Coexist. I was once almost run off the road by a Volvo staionwagon with a Coexist bumper sticker. In the Trader Joe's parking lot of all places.

      Thanks for reading!

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    2. Ha, Sounds like you live in Ballard.


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  22. I found this blog from a friend who posted the link to the "totes" post on Facebook and I'm so glad. Today's post just makes me like you more. Thanks for the laughs and keep doing what you're doing!

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    1. Oh Cathi, thank you! I'm so glad you're here :)

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  23. The totes post is what brought me over from Huff Post to your blog. I loved it and as a mother of a 20 year old and a 17 year old, I get it that my kids don't want me using their lingo. Regarding the rabid comments that you get from Huff Post, Twitter and elsewhere, I think that it is a negative trend that the cyber crowd starts bullying when someone states an opinion. God forbid when the opinion is controversial, politically incorrect or just plain incorrect, then out comes the lynch mob.

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    1. Thank you, Tina! And I'll add to that: crazy what qualifies as controversial. I've written far more "serious" things that didn't get so many feathers all ruffled. I guess it's because I told them to stop doing something. Nobody puts baby in the corner, and nobody tells the women how to talk!

      Thanks a bunch for coming here, and for sticking around. Glad to see you!

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  24. hands down you have the best blog I've read in years and that HuffPost article brought me here. keep writing!!

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    1. CityGirl, thank you so much. That means a lot to me.

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  25. I really appreciate this post! I came here from your "totes adorb" post on huffpost and I love it already. I recently published a blog that made it's way into the huffpost blog too, about paying the babysitter, and people were just so mean and vile about it. So reading this post helped me gain some perspective: if people are going to be nasty about a post about ugly words, they are going to be nasty about everything. Ugh. People. Thanks, and keep it up. You are a great writer!

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    1. Jan, thank you so much! Do you have a link to your HuffPost piece? Looking forward to reading your stuff!

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  26. I read the Huff Post for entertainment. Especially the comments. You should write an article just about those clowns.

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    1. Holy crap. Can you imagine the feedback on that one???

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  27. Every person I shared that article with loved it. I read the Huff Post comments for entertainment. Ya, I'm weird. You now have a forty something male following you (jeez, that would have sounded creepy 5 years ago)

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    1. HA! Thank you. Is it creepy that I love this comment? Thanks a million for being here.

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  28. Dude, I am Totes loving this blog. People can be cray - cray. They Totes need to chill out. Am I right?
    Thanks for writing. This 40 (gasp 42!) year old, almost divorced mom of 3 is really enjoying reading it.

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    1. AND THERE'S ONE I FORGOT! Amirite? Ammiright? Dear god. Yes, you're right, dammit.

      Thanks Tracy :)

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  29. Oh dear! The oringal post had my snorting coffee out my nose, and as a well past 30 woman who has used both the terms 'amazeballs' and 'I know right,' I wasn't offended in the least. The follow-up makes this infinitely better though! You, hausfrau, completely rock my socks!

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    1. Awww thanks, Anon! I'm glad you stopped by.

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  30. A) Love the post; B) Keep writing the stuffs!;

    C) I heard/read that a lot of forums are going to make it mandatory that commenters, who hide behind the anonymity curtain feel free to leave completely rude comments, have to post their info to comment on articles. While I know peeps will work around it, it is a start. I have also noticed that there are more shows, stories, etc., bringing up etiquette, manners or shall I say, the lack there of, and how there needs to be a revival of the teaching of manners.

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    1. Thanks Zanne :)

      HuffPost did that recently...required every person to sign up w/ a facebook account if they wanted to comment. I've seen a lot of those stories too, about the rudeness of online society. In my case it's kind of funny but I have read HORROR stories about people being harassed online. It's out of control!

      Thanks for reading!

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  31. If you tweet, I suggest you follow @avoidcomments. It's an entire account dedicated to this very important issue. And I quote, "Nobody on their deathbed ever said, 'I wish I had spent more time reading internet comments.'" BOOM!

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    1. I do tweet! And I just followed them :) Boom indeed, my friend.

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  32. Omg! I didn't know you wrote that piece! I'm in love! I found the blog on a friends fb and shared it on my page with the confession to my 14 yo son that I shouldn't be using words like"," since I'm"too old." He agreed.
    Thanks again for the laugh and you now have another loyal reader

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  33. ha! "spreading like crabs in a frat house!" so funny!

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