I work for the government, so I’m used to being disliked by at least half of all Americans, and the vast majority of the rest of the world. I’m also used to keeping a smile on my face while random, anonymous strangers criticize and berate me. (These are the valuable skills that you learn when working for a Congressman.) And I assumed that the verbal browbeating that I get on the regular from members of the public would be good training for maintaining a blog. I was wrong.
Most days, I laugh off or ignore the ever growing number of negative comments and e-mails because I understand that criticism is a part of creating Internet content. But when I’ve worked a 60-hour week at my Hill job, 15 more hours at my other job, struggled with my law school applications and spent the rest of my free time penning three posts a day for CHS, I run out of patience for the din.
I know that this blog isn’t perfect. And I don’t expect you (Stephanie, Suburban Sweetheart, etc.) to stop expressing completely valid, contrary opinions in the comments. But there are three types of complaints that I would like you to stop. Because these three complaints make me want to do something rash like click the DELETE BLOG button in Squarespace and kill the monster that I’ve created.
Threatening Emails. You would think that it would go without saying that you shouldn’t send a complete stranger threatening, profanity-laced e-mails, but you would be wrong. I average about one per week. And if I don’t post on the usual schedule, that number triples.
I don’t know what shocks me more, that anyone would send an e-mail threatening to physically harm me over the content on a fashion blog, or that they would send that message from their work e-mail account. Probably, the latter.
Either way, if you are ever so angry about something that you read (or don’t read) on this site, I encourage you to take a breath. It’s just a fashion blog, no one will die because I don’t think flip flops are appropriate work attire. At least, I hope not.
Personal Attacks. With this one, I’m not concerned about myself so much as I am about the other commenters. This blog has a very liberal comment policy. The only rules are no spam, no swearing and no going after the other commenters like they’re a pair Jimmy Choos at a 75-percent-off sale.
I’ve been deleting quite a few comments as of late, and I’m sick of acting as the playground monitor for a group of adults. I really don’t want to get into the business of blocking IP addresses, so let’s all just simmer down a bit.
The Grammar Police. D.C. is populated by many well-educated people. And while I hold three bachelor’s degrees, a master’s and work on Capitol Hill, I was an apathetic student who somehow earned a journalism degree without learning how to proofread as I write. That probably shouldn’t be possible, but I digress.
I have difficulty with homophones. I use prepositions at the end of my sentences. I love nothing more than to start a sentence with a conjunction. The passive voice and I are BFFs. And I am so addicted to adjectives and adverbs that someone should develop a pill.
Basically, I know that there are grammar rules, and I learned most of them, but I am indifferent to their dictates.
I graduated from elite private schools and I have the job that I dreamed of having when I was four, so my lack of grammatical obedience clearly hasn’t hindered my educational or professional success. In fact, outside of my freshman English comp class, this site is the only place where my allegedly heinous crimes against the English language have been worth mentioning.
My criminal acts are due to the fact that I write these posts in the wee morning hours after I’ve finished working two jobs, and probably should be sleeping. And since I’m usually in a hurry to finish so that I can head off to bed, I don’t always proofread. I almost always spell check, but that’s usually all that I can muster.
If my linguistic misdemeanors are too much for you, I implore you to stop punishing yourself. Feel free to flagrantly violate your office’s Internet usage policy by reading someone else’s site during business hours. Or at the very least, I ask you to please stop leaving backbiting comments and penning condescending e-mails.
The bottom line is that I don’t care. I don’t. And if you care enough to waste one minute of your time articulating your disdain in written form, then you should know that your guttural screams are falling on deaf ears.
Doubtless, many of you are better grammarians than I am, and I understand if you wince at my issues with know and no. But if my lack of diligence in this area is too much for you to bare in silence, please allow me to show you the door. The grammar Stasi are no longer welcome in this establishment.
I’m proud of the website that I created, and I’m humbled that so many people enjoy reading it. But Dr. Frankenstein is calling a timeout on the threats, the profanity, the personal attacks and the grammar inquisition. I hope that you can understand why. Even the most experienced whipping boy eventually grows tired and responds.
And because I wrote this post hoping for a break from the negativity, just this once, I’m going to disable the comments section. I love you all. But Mama needs a break.