A friend sent me a link to what I believe is the very first open letter addressed specifically to ME. And what makes this special is...IT'S A HATE LETTER.
I receive a couple dozen messages/emails every week. Almost all of them are from women who have found my blog looking for support and help with divorce and single parenting. And I love them. Each and every one. I try to answer each one, although with my puppy-like attention span and work and ALL THESE KIDS I sometimes forget. But I do read all of them.
But hate? I have never been on the receiving end of hate. Unless you count my very first Twitter fight last month, which was oddly invigorating and shameful all at once. I'll discuss that one later (yeah, I took screen shots and everything. I devolved that evening.).
Of course this was in response to the article I kind of wish I'd never written, the 7 Things You Totes Need to Stop Saying piece. I mean, I know it was a joke and thankfully most of you knew it was a joke, but apparently there is a small slice of the population that doesn't understand how these jokey things work. And apparently this slice of the population squats on Tumblr. Which I will never understand, so I guess that kind of levels the playing field. As long as we all stay on our side of the internet, things will be fine, right? I'm over here with the mom-types, sharing crockpot recipes, discussing suspicious moles and talking about which house on Modern Family we'd most like to live in (my vote would be for the Dunphy's, of course). The angst-ridden riot-grrrrl banshees can stay over there with their kittehs and Dr Who memes and keep talking exactly however they want. Because at the end of the day, nobody cares. Including me.
I should mention at this time that had we been given the chance to be BFFs, these women would probably choke on their soy/extra espresso depth charges to learn that I adore Dr Who, Sherlock, Buffy and Star Wars. Yes, I'm a closeted fangirl myself although pressing issues such as raising four kids on my own, my impending unemployment and a horrifying resurgence of my adult ADHD occupy most of my time, I try to keep up with that stuff. Shocking, huh? (BTW...are you as pissed about the remake of Robocop as I am? It's not Robocop without Kurtwood Smith and Nancy Allen, grrrr!)
Here's my reply. Sorry it's late!
I am 47 years old. I'm glad we now know how old we both are. I was excited to hear that someone had invited me to perform intercourse on myself! It's been a while since anything intercoursey has happened to me so you can imagine how this got my bells ringing. This is the first time anyone has suggested that my ear be on the receiving end of a f*ck, and although I'm flattered by the request I'm going to have to say no thank you. I usually don't draw outside the lines when it comes to all things eff-related, so I'm going to let my ears be for now. Thanks again for the suggestion.
The thing about being over 30 and using the internet is that most of us are over 30 and are well aware of what to take seriously and what to take not-so-seriously. All the listicles and "Top Ten Ways To..." blog posts are not directed at you (unless they are, like your letter to me, specifically addressed to you). They are thought bubbles floating in cyberspace. I continue to find these shrill, defiant responses to my article as some of the funniest things I've come across in a long time. I used to imagine all of you sitting in coffee shops or on futon couches, angry spittle dangling off of your lip rings as you so zealously defend your right to keep saying feels and I know right and whatever else you think I told you was now off limits.
But lately, I've been getting a vision of 30-something women with Braveheart facepaint, clutching their kittehs to their chests, their "Team Cumberbatch" t-shirts soaked with sweat that reeks of indignation and wounded feels.
Kitteh clutchers. That's what I dub thee.
So fuck* you. Only not in the ear. Pick a different orifice. I will continue to write about whatever the hell I want. And no apologies if someone takes it the wrong way.
No love right back at ya,
Jennifer Ball, aged 47 and a quarter
And now I'm done discussing all things totes-related. Thank God, amirite?
*for the record, I dislike using the word fuck. I feel as though women like Roane and other people who toss it out as casually as "like" have ruined it. There is no power behind it anymore, and that makes me sad. Because when used wisely, it's a pretty good word.