Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

You just gotta wonder

Sometimes I have to just shake my head at the insanity of the mommyblogging world. A blog I have read for a couple of years, Suburban Bliss, has lately been filled with self-recrimenation and a lot of self-hatred. Melissa, the author, spends a lot of time venting about her weight, her parenting, her husband who is hotter than she is (according to her commenters), and how much she hates her job at Blogging Baby. Well, I don't blame her about the Blogging Baby job, I don't know how anyone with any sanity can write that drivel day in and day out without developing serious ulcers. But what bothers her, she continually states, are the BB comments. She's constantly complaining about the comments she gets. Now, being the nosy person I am, I went right over and looked at the comments for the past month of posts. Yes, some of them are stupid and inane. That's understandable when you're writing posts that are often very judgemental of other people's parenting choices. You gotta expect that if you're getting paid to write about parenting.

After another tirade the other day, I left the following comment on her blog:

I read your site because I like what you have to say, despite the fact that you obviously don't like me or what I have to say. That's ok, my skin is pretty thick and I don't really feel the need to argue a point on a blog, which is why I rarely comment.

But I have to ask a couple of questions. Is it possibly to move to another blog within Weblogs, one that isn't so controversial and is easier to deal with? Could you manage that and still being in the income you need?

Can you find a job blogging elsewhere entirely? There are jobs out there for professional bloggers. I blog on 26 different professional sites for my job and I can promise you that my job is going to need more bloggers as we grow. No way can I keep up with that volume.

Is your commitment to blogging about parenting only, or can you consider blogging about other things?

Do you have to read the comments on the Flog? Is that part of your job description, or can you just ignore them? I know that I rarely read any comments on the Flog because I don't think they're really relevant to my lifestyle.

And lastly, are the comments that upset you directed at your personally, or are you just taking it all personally because you're upset? I know that you blew my head off the last time I commented and your response was pretty harsh considering what I said. Since you don't know me from Adam, I thought it was pretty funny that you made such a harsh statement about me without even taking into account that what I said is my OPINION, and even if you don't agree with it, it doesn't make me a bad person.

Maybe you need a vacation from all blogging for a bit. I don't know if you can do that financially, but if you can, would you consider it?

Now, I see absolutely nothing offensive in this, nor do I see anything nasty or even remotely confrontative. I did say that she was exceptionally rude to me because of an earlier comment, seen here:

I don't think tv is evil either and my kids have learned amazing things from tv. I grew up without a TV and I think it did serious damage to me socially. I pity any child that has to grow up with a sanctimonious parent that will only buy hand made toys, wooden stuff, and pooh-poohs TV and media. They have no clue the damage they are doing to their kids socially. None at all, nor will they listen because they KNOW they're right. Blech!

But, with that said, I don't believe in DVD players in cars either. I know people think they're great, but heck, I drove across the entire US with 2 4th graders and no DVD player and we had a blast. It was the best trip ever. We had toys and games and stuff to do, but a lot of car travel is trying to make up things to entertain each other. I'd never wreck that experience for my own kids with a DVD player. I get why people want them, but they're so not for our family.

And her response:

I couldn't disagree with you more margalit.

"They have no clue the damage they are doing to their kids socially. None at all, nor will they listen because they KNOW they're right."

Not watching tv will not damage your child. Watching tv will not damage your child.

Perhaps people don't accept your opinion as fact because they have their own opinion. It's not about being 'right' or 'wrong' it's about what you choose for your own family.

It's insulting to anyone to be told they are making the wrong choices in parenting their own children. On either side of any debate.

Did you think my comment was nasty, insulting, and judgemental? No, I just stated my opinion, based on my personal experience. I guess that's not to be allowed on Suburban Bliss. I don't leave nasty comments ever, even on blogging baby. Not that I haven't been tempted, because I have, but I just don't. The comment above is about as harsh as it gets.

This is the third comment I have left on her site in the past month. Following will be her response. Now you tell me who is having a hard time and who is just unable to be polite or even pleasant. Can you spell bitch? I can...M E L I S S A. And yet, I took it because I thought she was having problems and maybe she needed to just vent, even more than she usually does. HA! What a fool I was.:

I think Missy has a great point, and you're just getting caught in the flogging. FB has changed tremendously in the past year and it isn't for the better. The simpering over expensive products, the constant flogging of personal agendas (Yes Karen, we GET that you adopted, now move on), the lack of understanding between different cultures (Stefania, you're NOT Jewish, even if your kid attends the JCC preschool), and the mean-spirited judgemental attitudes that come pouring out of some posters (Dutch, we get that you're uber cool but you don't know shit about living in the real world), plus the unstinting slant to the left coast is SOOO much cooler than the rest of the universe 'tude tends to be quite the turnoff. It isn't YOUR writing per se, it's the whole feel of what FB has turned into. I think some of the mistakes made over the past year can be rectified by pushing more writers like you, who don't have the whole left coast hidden agenda and who are living a real life in the real world.

I also think that no matter what, people are going to be assholes when it comes to discussing parenting issues. It's just a given.

Missy, just because someone is FAT doesn't mean that they're bitter. Fat does not equal jolly or mean or anything else. It's what a person weighs, and not who the person is, what class they are, or what they believe.

Note that in MY comment, I said they needed more writers like her at FB, because I honestly think she was almost the only one who writes there that I can stomach.

Here is her delightful response:

Margalit, I think it's impossible to please certain people.

Karen was asked to come on board because the adoption community complained they weren't represented.

You complained about the under-representation of the Jewish faith so we've tried to cover that more in what ways we can since we are not of the Jewish faith.

You complain about the over representation of the west coast but we have an even representation with me in the midwest and two other international writers.

Again, it's very frustrating to take your kind of criticism because it's IMPOSSIBlE TO WIN.

Let me just add that I wrote to BB in December complaining about the oversaturation of Christmas posts for 6 full weeks before the holiday, and another couple after the holiday, while there was, I believe, one post about Chanukah. So they decide to 'rectify' the situation, not by asking for guest Jewish bloggers to post about their holiday preparations for ANY of the upcoming Jewish holidays, but having a avowed athiest who sends her 3 year old to a JCC preschool become the Passover expert and post Pesach recipes. How insulting is that? They couldn't find ONE Jewish blogger on the whole internet that might write a post about Passover? And Jews who read blogging baby are supposed to be oh, so thrilled, when they get to read a crumb about such an important holiday written by Stefania 1/2 Italian 1/2 Korean and NO PART JEWISH Butler? Maybe I can write all about the black experience for Karen Walroud? What's the difference?

No pleasing me? Just get a JEWISH writer to write about Jewish topics. Preferably one that has stepped inside a synagogue in the past 20 years, knows something about Judaism, and doesn't write about how they celebrate Christmas with a Hanukah Bush. (Yes, BB did have a couple of posts about this and no, the didn't see the irony or the insulting nature of this.)

This is the insane part. She BLOCKED my comments. I mean, I know she's a hurting buckaroo, and I know she's miserable in her life. Man, she goes over and over and over about how she hates this and that and the other. Her house sucks, her neighborhood sucks, her husband often sucks, her weight sucks, her job sucks, blah de blah. But to block someone for simply disagreeing with them, after taking the time to make helpful suggestions? Anyone have a prescription pad handy, because this woman needs some serious antidepressants.

The funniest part? I was writing her a congratulatory comment because she quit Flogging Baby and found another gig. I was actually foolish enough to try and congratulate this person because I'm glad she's found something that just MIGHT turn her back into a human. And she blocked my comments.

She's SOOOOO off my blogroll.
Digg! Stumble It! JBlog Me add to kirtsy


Blogger David said...

blog wars?
the sequel - "too lame to link"
the prequel: I was blogging when you were in diapers

this is all funny - michele sent me

29/4/06 6:48 PM  
Blogger Shane said...

Man - don't you just hate weasels and whiners? God knows I do.

29/4/06 6:49 PM  
Blogger Chatty said...

I was just going to say that. I would have stopped after the first one. I used to read that blog a long while ago. I can't remember why though. I think maybe now it's a good thing?

Michele sent me tonight. Always a pleasure to visit you margalait!

29/4/06 6:52 PM  
Blogger honestyrain said...

i find it hilarious when bloggers complain about comments. because unless something is specifically troll like whyshould it offend you so? if you don;t want opinions, turn commenting off.

here via michele.


29/4/06 6:53 PM  
Blogger Carmi said...

Sometimes, there's just no pleasing people.

Pat yourself on the back, comfortable in the knowledge that you tried. There are plenty of other folks out there who will be more receptive to feedback like yours.

My ears are always open. And if I disagree with anyone who leaves a comment, it will be with the same respect with which the comment was left in the first place.

Glad your skin is still thick. Glad you're able to turn it into a lesson for the rest of us.

29/4/06 6:59 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Wow! A little controversy to spice up my weekend! I'm sorry she blocked your comments. That sucks. I'd kick her ass off my blogroll too.

29/4/06 7:09 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Oh yeah, Michele sent me.

29/4/06 7:09 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I'm with honeystrain - if one can't can't take the comments that aren't there to flatter and serve as mini-yes-men/women then why does one seek traffic and comments to begin with?

Michele sent me over to ponder that one.

29/4/06 7:34 PM  
Blogger Dave2 said...

I've lost count of the number of blogs that I've dropped because the person writing wasn't enjoying themselves anymore. When you tune in and all the person does is bitch and moan constantly, why would anybody want to stick around? I'd consider being banned a total blessing. :-)

29/4/06 9:20 PM  
Blogger utenzi said...

Michele sent me to Boston, Margalit. Too bad it's not Jamaica.

Parenting is one of the most divisive of jobs. Everybody has an opinion on how to do it right and everybody is wrong. LOL

Weirdly enough, the first thing I noticed when your blog came up, Margalit, was that Suburban Bliss was crossed out but still active. I have no idea why I noticed it. I've never been to the blog but it jumped out at me.

I actually don't find Melissa's answers to you all that objectionable or extreme but I suspect that the worst aspect to it is the continuity of the drama, which of course I can't see. It's like infighting in families, to outsiders it seems trite but to the folk inside the family, those issues are important. In any case, I hope that the two of you can keep from arguing should you be reading one anothers work in the future, Margalit.

29/4/06 9:58 PM  
Blogger jane said...

Life's truly too short to be bogged down with people who just choose to find the negative in everything. You did your best, your intentions were good. Hopefully she will find some other bloggers that she can relate with or that will put up with her whining.

29/4/06 11:26 PM  
Blogger BSumner said...

People get paid to write about how miserable they are and how much their life sucks????

Dammmmmmmmmmmmmmn.. sign me up. I can so write about suckage. (that's almost arousing, isn't it?)

30/4/06 1:26 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

What Utenzi said! :-)

Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday.

30/4/06 8:15 AM  
Blogger Dr. Cissa Fireheart said...


I went to the site and left a comment on the topic that was there. I found it ironic...but anyway...I know that I get somewhat critical comments sometimes, and sometimes (like on my last post) what I say is construed wrong and people leave somewhat negative comments. If I just think they are misunderstood, I will clarify in a comment of my own, but sometimes I get really upset and offended and take a break from blogging for a couple days. But completely ignoring/blocking a person from comments? That's just stupid. That girl is taking her work into her personal life a bit too much. Maybe you can complain to the powers that be at the site...but I am sure you thought of that already....

I didn't know you blog for a living! That is a cool cool job. How the heck do you get into that? Is there a link you could send me in my email? I would LOVE to be able to do that, make money for blogging I mean...I looked on your site for an email link to mail you personally, but I couldn't find one. Of course...I don't have any coffee or tea this morning, so I am not as alert as usual.

Hope your weekend is great. The weather's been nice, so I am sure you are. Take care....

30/4/06 9:39 AM  
Blogger WendyWings said...

I did a post a long while back about popular bloggers and questioned WHY some of them were so popular , Suburban Bliss was actually one of the blogs I had in mind when I wrote that lol.
I never did name any names ( well until now)
Auditions are now ON at my blog. Come one come all. Well at least YOU can come and anyone else who wants too :D

30/4/06 11:57 AM  
Blogger Fizzy said...

Wendy directed me here today
hello I have come over from Wendy's Auditions.
I see fromyour profile that you lived in England ... where was that?
I have read your post and as a "newbie" I am a bit confused but I think that blog is all about free speech. I hope that this all gets sorted for you.
have a good day

30/4/06 2:04 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Gah. That kind of stuff drives me crazy. Who could read that on a daily basis? I'd count myself lucky that my comments were blocked... lol...

Here via Michele today!

30/4/06 2:15 PM  
Blogger catheroo said...

Sorry you got blocked from commenting because when I read comments on blogs, I like to see differing opinions.

Michele sent me today.

30/4/06 2:30 PM  
Blogger craziequeen said...

Hi Margalit....

just popped in to check you are ok after visiting *my* blog....

You seemed a little breathless, lovey!



30/4/06 3:33 PM  
Blogger rashbre said...


A lot has been happening. My interest in blogs and suchlike it to look for positives whilst learning from debate and discussion.

There will always be situations and people who choose to disagree with one another. when it spirited and objective, then it can be fun. When it gets personal, it isn't.

I suppose the trick is to spot the difference, but that is easier said than done.

Its already dark here in England. Have an excellent remains of Sunday.

And here via Michele.

30/4/06 3:39 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

Some people ONLY see the negative things in the world and in people. I pity them. She obviously didn't read your comment fully - or maybe she is simple.

30/4/06 3:50 PM  
Blogger srp said...

I've gotten slammed a couple of times for my comments, mostly because I have a more conservative opinion, but I do see both sides of the subject. Everyone is allowed their opinion, if mine doesn't agree with yours (just figuratively speaking), that is ok as long as you respect its mine, I have it and I'll keep it no matter what someone says. I've found that there are just a couple of sites I avoid because my comments were met with something similar to your comment. Yes, ostrich here, avoid it, simple, economical (one less site to visit), even blood pressure. There are others that will occasionally put a post out there that I know there is no way to nicely comment. I avoid again. There is nothing wrong with avoidance at times. :)

Maybe she is just having a really, really bad year and her husband has called her a beached whale one too many times and he never takes her out to eat and those kids she has all day just will not put the toilet seat down. Who knows.

I'm here from Michele today.

30/4/06 3:56 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

Back, via Michele (cause I got skipped!)

30/4/06 4:06 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

Here from Michele's.

Sounds like some major drama has been going on. You tried to offer your opinion and certain advice where you thought it was needed. That's all you can do, if she's blocked you maybe it's a good thing and will save you the horror of having to think of more advice in the future.

30/4/06 4:23 PM  
Blogger Grins said...

And the mommy blogging war continues with some. I think some are so used to negative comments that they jump at anyone that doesn't shower them with kisses. Casuality of the medium perhaps.

30/4/06 4:40 PM  

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