18 November 2014

With All My Snark

cold and exhausted

Sometimes I don't respond to a comment for a day or two because I don't have reliable internet access. Sometimes I don't respond to a comment for a day or two because I need to chill.

It's nearly winter (even though in my neck of the plains-meet-foothills we keep reverting back to Indian summer -- and that's NOT a complaint), so perhaps it was high time I join my hardy outdoor flowers for a nearly freezing night or two and put myself on ice.

weeping tulip

Or attempt to address my emotions with what I hope is a gut-busting response...

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

I've been blogging now for five years, four months and one week. I've been publishing free snowflake patterns since September 2009. In all that time, I've had six anonymous comments that brought me to tears and made me want to quit blogging altogether.

And now, because I've turned off anonymous commenting (due to spam, not because of rude, mean people), I have a new flame to add to the fire of warmth this cheerful, giving time of year.

I recently experienced an email exchange with a not-so-happy reader, and nothing I wrote could calm the volcanic eruption of criticism. On the bright side, at least this person wasn't anonymous.

As I attempted to keep my cool and be professional and understanding, a list I wrote back in 2011 to humor myself after one of the snarky anonymous comments came to mind.

Another Ho-Hum Day in Paradise

Why is it jerks know just when you are at your lowest? Why is is some people think kicking a downed man (or in this case, a grieving snowflake designer) is so pleasurable? Five of the six unfavorable comments came while I was least prepared, able and willing to deal with snottiness. One landed on my blog while we were attending the unexpected funeral for my brother-in-law. The next came while one of my closest friends was dying of ovarian cancer. When my sister-in-law had to be isolated during her radiation treatments when she was battling cancer, I should have expected the meanest comment of all. But I didn't. I should have anticipated another zinger the day I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disorder due to trauma to the disc. But I didn't.

So, when that sixth mean comment arrived and I wasn't writhing in emotional pain and struggling to escape a vacuum-tight atmosphere of hopelessness and discouragement, man, did the humor muscle kick in full bore! I composed a list of potential but unpublishable responses, which in turn enabled me to compose and publish a kind, gracious response.

While trying to chill out during my most recent round of Cafe Mean Expresso, the list came to mind again. Remembering specifically Star Wars-influenced Number Five got me through the roughest part of the exchange, and I was able to blow off my hurt feelings and frustration without returning insults in kind.

Here is my face-saving list from when the anonymean sixth comment seeped through the spam cracks.

How To Chuckle Your Way Through Rude Comments

1. Is there an easy way to put non-handknit, dirty, smelly, used, worn, acrylic socks in the mouths of rude people? Or tie their fingers together so they can't type?

2. Dear Anonymous: Because my sole purpose in life is to please you and because what you want is all that matters in the world, I will now go harass a grasshopper or two. Thanks for making my day! (I'd been berated that week because I'd tongue-in-cheek blogged about stomping on the swarm of grasshoppers devouring my garden.)

3. Um, read the sidebar, which gives step-by-step instructions, plus how to change your computer settings back when you're done, complete with a link for how to easily print without having to change your computer settings. Or be unselfish for a minute and donate to a worthy cause (the fight against multiple sclerosis) and get a whole pdf booklet of snowflake patterns you can easily print on white paper. That's in the sidebar, too.

4. Don't just look at the pretty pictures. Take a minute and read why the pretty pictures are there. You might learn something. Or maybe your brain will explode and you'll be able to leave me alone.

5. These are not the snowflakes you are looking for. Move along.

6. Can you see me rolling my eyes and sticking my tongue out at you?

7. Do a search for free snowflake patterns on easy-to-print blogs. I'm sure you'll come up with something.

8. This ain't amazon.com, Lady.

9. Ante up for my annual secure server fee, monthly internet fees, phone bill (because I am dial-up powered), electric bill, my aging and ailing computer, my software, my sleepless nights, my crochet hooks, my thread and the reading glasses I just had to buy so I can keep going, and I'll consider redesigning my blog to please someone who doesn't give a hoot about anything published here but just the friggin' patterns. For about 10 minutes. If I'm in the mood. That doesn't mean I'll actually change anything, but I do promise to briefly think about it.

10. I'm too busy climbing mountains and riding my bike to respond right now, but take a number, and I'll get right back to you.

11. I'm not getting paid for any of this.

12. Using this pattern without fully intellectually digesting the heavily researched mountain history that inspired this pattern is punishable to the fullest extent of the law.

13. I'm going to write a mountain history next week, and you have to design your own snowflake to go with it.

14. Why don't you invest all the money you've saved by using free patterns to enroll in a beginning computer class?

I felt so much better after I composed this list, I wondered if I should save it and publish it on my blog one day. Laughter is the best medicine. Now if only we could find a way to make it cure cancer and multiple sclerosis...

Immediately after looking up this list and rewriting an introduction, a friend sent me the video below. THANK YOU!!! I had to go to an internet cafe to view it on my phone, but man, is it ever right on target!

25 comments :

  1. As a long time lurker, I am breaking my silence to say that I am appalled that anyone has the gall to criticise someone who shares her artwork (both patterns and pictures) so generously with the rest of us. Thank you for inspiring me to crochet again, and for the stunning photographs of your corner of this planet!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shonnie! Thank you for breaking your silence. I appreciate your loyalty and your kindness. I hope I can always keep coming up with good stuff to publish...

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  2. lmao, I'd like a few brains to explode and leave me be. True, not getting paid at all. I've had a few recently, they are nothing but a pain in the butt. I just ignore now and they burn them self out, looking foolish in the process.

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    1. Wouldn't the exploding brains make a great poem, Pat? Or photo? Or, I got it, one of your cute little movies!!! Get on it, Dude!!!

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    2. I cannot wait to see what you do with this one. But wait is exactly what you will make me do. With my luck, the post will be in 2016!

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  3. Wow, I had no idea you were attacked by someone on blogger, and you of all bloggers, very unfair. I know a blogger or two that possibly ask for such rude behavior but, like you said, you offer all goodness, beauty, interesting topics, and all those snowflake goodies for others to design if they desire. Some people need to be taken out with the trash and buried away.Your list is right on sister, and the video (I've never seen her before) I really liked her suggestions, (but of goodness, she's so beautiful I can see where she might get attacked by jealous viewers) and the other clips she offered, perfect too. Especially her friend ranting about get out of my house! What a riot he was. My own two favorite words are actions I'm using more and more lately. Disconnect and delete! I do agree on behalf of all those ill behaving folks that can't be kind, okay give them a second of my time, to see if I am at fault, (I'm human) but like we've all read somewhere, usually people that find fault with you about something, it's that very thing that effects them personally. More thoughts to chew on to help blow off our anger. I'm a fan of writing my true feelings out and immediately after either burn or delete it. I hope that sad sack gets to read this, and that they cower away and end their days in a hole, away from the reaches of Blogger, nobody needs them. One last thought, and if that person is following along I'll probably be his/her next victim, but hey, as much as I love nature and wildlife and bugs, I have been known to kill a few grasshoppers dining of my vegetables, and causing havoc in my greenhouse! Hey, it's my house and they weren't invited so they can get the.................! out of there! Enjoy your day dear blogger friend, remember there are much more of us kind folk out here!

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    1. Thank you, Karen. You are so right. There are so many more kind, generous and fun people out there than the sad sacks craving attention. I hope my nasty reader doesn't give you a hard time, but if by chance the snot does sneak onto your blog, you know where to send the little jerk.

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  4. Don't forget -use the delete key liberally ;-) I hope your icing out was a blast - you cover such gorgeous country - and those rams - wow!! I want to capture a shot like that - except I have to probably go someplace to do it ( that was my snark) I enjoy your blog and your photography is spectacular!!!

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    1. I almost chickened out and pulled this post last night, Alycia. I wasn't sure I could pull of the humor. But you and the other commenters have made me feel it's okay to blow off steam once in a while, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone.

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  5. Amen! Love the list! I have "met" more friends through blogging than I have through "real" life.

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    1. You know, Charlotte, now that I think about it, I think I have met more friends through blogging than through real life, too, because you meet so many more people via blogging than you can ever meet in just one place!

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  6. You are amazing for putting all of this content out for us! The crochet, dying, biking, photography - it all inspired me to life a little more, do a little more, and keep joy in my life! You're doing great!

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    1. Wendy, that was beautiful! Thank you so much, and you keep right on keeping on, because it does make the world a better place!

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  7. I just found your site and I am amazed at the number and variety of beautiful snowflakes you have made and shared. Thank you so much for that. I love the little crocheted bear in some of your photos. Is that a pattern you sell, too?

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    1. Thank you, Carol! I wrote up a pattern for one little thread bear, and it's in the "Hanging By a Thread" pdf snowflake pattern booklet benefitting the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. You can read more about it here. My newest booklet will be released sometime next month.

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  8. Well girlfriend, you certainly share your creativity openly and freely, which is a positive generous quality. The fact that this is not enough to stop some self centered clown holes from nastiness is amazing to me. You must be strong or the universe would not keep testing your strength to go on. It's unfair, unjust and undeserved. All the positive comments don't undo some nasty ones, but here's hoping the ones you receive for being brave enough to put this in a post outnumber the ugly ones. Thanks for making me laugh (still laughing at the goats on the trampoline) and say wow at the sights you've seen and captured for us. LeeAnna at not afraid of color

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    1. Thank you, LeeAnna! My dad always used to say one Aw Crap erases 20 Attaboys, only he used different words... As I see it, any Attaboys erase the Aw Craps, hands down. I guess unless they get me on a bad day. Thank you for being so supportive.

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  9. Well, here is a cyber huggle for you my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle! Here's one right back at ya!

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  10. I'm in a hurry this morning because I have to be at work in an hour. But I just had to tell you I LOVED!!! your blog this morning. You go, girl! Tell all those rude, mean people just how pathetic they are. I cannot believe someone chewed you out about stepping on grasshoppers - really?

    It touched my heart when you mentioned me. That was such a scary time for me, and you were going through so much then... thank you for always being there for me.

    I watched the video. I liked her video so much I subscribed to her YouTube Channel. I like her sassy attitude. (:

    I hope you have a fabulous day. Love, your SIL.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to make my day, Sis! I'm so lucky to have you in my life. Thank YOU for always being there for me! Glad I was able to find something new to cheer you. I hope your day is wonderful, too!

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  11. I just don't get it! How can anyone find anything nasty to say here? Every time I visit I'm inspired and touched by the beautiful things you share. I truly don't understand, except to say that some people are just mean...mean and jealous, would do anything to inflict pain on someone's world. Sadly I've met a few of those too, and it reflects so much more on them than it does on any of us! I love your snowy photos in the post above, btw. We're just starting to put on warmer clothes, so with most of the rest of the country covered in white, I can't say I'm jealous. I just think they're lovely, that's all.

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    1. Thank you, MJ! I agree with you; some people have nothing better to do than be negative. I'm glad we're not in the category! And I'm glad you're not having to deal with snow right now! I love winter, but I don't know that I was ready for it yet this year. :)

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  12. I really like #12!

    Seriously. Some people need to get a life. Isn't it funny how people can complain about something they got for FREE? We see it at work all the time.

    For what it's worth, I have always found your blog to be a) clear and readable; b) easy to navigate; c) inspiring; d) full of fascinating information; and e) abso-bloomin-lutely BEAUTIFUL.

    Here is what I'd be tempted to say to the complainers: "It's MY blog, dammit! I can publish whatever I want!" :D

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Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

All spam is promptly and cheerfully deleted without ever appearing in print.

I apologize for turning off anonymous posting for a while. Too much garbage coming through; hope to get anonymous comments turned back on after a short break. If you don't have a Google account and need to contact me, please use the email address in the sidebar. Thank you!

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