Mea Culpa

I’ve added what Word Press calls a widget over on the right; it’s called blogs I follow. For some reason Word Press thinks I need to follow myself, so that’s there, as well as Word Press itself. It won’t let me delete either one, which detracts a bit from my favorite blog, by my friend Terry, but at least she gets a nice picture of herself.

Terry is a real writer, not just a blogger like me. She’s in a whole bunch of newspapers and has published several books. I think she’s also wiser than I. The other day she wrote a post called “Cynical? Sarcastic?”; which, in its antithesis, called to mind myself.

In the midst of what sounded like a painful massage the masseuse asked her if her writing was cynical or sarcastic (kind of an odd thing to do while causing pain, it seems to me). Terry wrote:

The words kept echoing in my ears. In all the interacting and people-watching I have done in the course of my career, I have never seen anything that would prompt me to write in a cynical or sarcastic fashion.  In fact 99% of the time what I see is either funny or uplifting. 

imagesThat’s not me, unfortunately. I rarely write about anything uplifting. Maybe not sarcastic, but cynical? Yes. And snarky. That’s me. A curmudgeon.

About Anne Lamont, a perfectly good writer and a nice person I’m sure, I wrote:

I heard Anne Lamott on Studio 360 this morning, and although I have very mixed feelings about Anne Lamott, mostly tending toward extreme dislike, and although she does seem quite odd, with her (white, old lady) dreadlocks and wound-up affectless voice …

Or Heather Armstrong, whose blog, despite what I wrote, I’ll probably add next to my widget:

I’ve been feeling exasperated with Heather Armstrong lately (and why do I keep reading, you might ask), the one whose blog makes so much money her husband quit his job just to manage her business and who has two great (well, maybe) children and two cool dogs and a huge fancy new house (office design sponsored by Verizon), what with her bragging about getting to meet Arcade Fire one night, and hang out with some theoretically beautiful model (I thought she was pretty ugly) just a few days later (not to mention the Verizon plugs) …

About Andrew Breitbart (though really, he deserved it, and he’s dead now anyway):

When Andrew Breitbart died, for some reason I thought there might be one less crazy paranoid voice in the world, but no. His defense of beleaguered Christian straight white people who can’t speak any other language lives on at his site, to which I’m not even going to give the courtesy of a link.

About George W. Bush, too many to list; and even about myself:

I learned from the Times this morning that you can’t have more than 5,000 friends on Facebook.

That’s a relief. That means I only have 4,997 more friends to find.

I had to join to view my son’s photos, and then I decided it was okay to be friends with my daughter and her college roommate, and then I forgot about it for awhile. Every so often someone plaintively asks to be my friend, like my brother or Chip’s best friend from high school or a really cool female ob/gyn we met on vacation in Dominica; and then Yahoo periodically reminds me I’ve left all these people hanging; but every time I test it out, by looking at my three friends’ pages, I emerge half an hour later wondering who and where I am.

So let’s see: if I added three people, it would be another half hour; if I found 4,994 more people, I could spend 832 hours immersed in their lives, which would take a little over a month if I never slept.

If you look at my Facebook page, which you won’t be able to because you’re not my friend, you’ll see two pathetic little comments on my wall (I’m still not really sure what my wall is) from my daughter’s college roommate, wishing me a happy birthday and, one year later, another happy birthday, commenting that no one else had written anything on my wall in between.

But, finally getting to the point of my title, yesterday I was not only sarcastic and cynical and snarky, but I also stole a picture without permission from a very nice woman with a site full of great recipes who was so unsnarky herself she wrote me to complain.

I felt bad.

But, sadly, I see I really can’t promise a kinder, gentler me. In this self-flagellating search of my blog, I came across this from, get this – nearly four years ago:

I think it’s fair to call me cranky, as Terry did the other day – it really is pretty cranky to dislike people praying for me, and piling on poor beleaguered Heather Armstrong adds yet another notch on the curmudgeon scale.

My friend Connie, who taught me the meaning of the word curmudgeon by both word and deed, was exceptionally cranky. She was exasperated by people fanning themselves with their Playbills in a Broadway theater; complained about my messages on her answering machine speculating about where she was; and walked out of a movie, sighing loudly, because it was too violent.

Her crankiness got worse and worse, and then she got Alzheimer’s. So Terry I’m going to try to stop, to be more kind and thoughtful – just as soon as this hellish heat wave ends.

It’s going to snow today; no heat wave – but I’m no better.



This entry was posted in My so-called-life, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Mea Culpa

  1. Pingback: In which I add another blog to the blogroll | Celebrating Time

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