The final word
Yes, I chose to write publically about my response (my thoughts and feelings) to a particular comment. In this case, I had a fairly (hah!) negative response. In hindsight, perhaps I shouldn’t have.
It doesn’t really matter to me what Mike’s response may be to these last few posts – I realise I haven’t allowed much time for him to have read my email and to formulate a response, should he choose to do so, and I do hope he does. I reacted in a particular way to his comment, was so compelled to write about it here and ask for readers’ comments, and yes – there has been an interesting range of responses. I’m pretty much over it now. These last few posts have not been my way of telling you all that you must always agree with me or that you must always analyse your comments thoroughly, you know, in numbered point form :), before you hit the Submit button – or else incur the wrath of tfp. For whatever reason, the comment really got to me, whatever its intention and this has been my honest response. Maybe if I had a public relations manager (hah!) he or she would’ve been imploring, “No,tfp, I beg you, don’t do it! Don’t show everyone your darker side! It will be the death of your blog!”
I do try to respond to people’s comments and emails because I think if someone has taken the time to write something to me, I should at the very least acknowledge it, have a little bit of a dialogue with them, respond in some way. I suppose the problem with Mike’s comment was that because I was so peeved, I felt that to give a neutral and unproblematic “Thanks for your suggestion” type response would not resolve my annoyance at what I perceived to be a very patronising message. You will have hopefully noticed I keep saying things like “I felt” “I got the impression” “I interpreted” “I perceived” – I’ve chosen these phrases because that’s exactly what I’ve been writing about, my personal response and interpretation.
I was sufficiently peeved that I couldn’t just let it go and not respond at all. Some people can do that, I can’t. If my life or job security depended on my letting something go, well, then yes, of course, I would. But neither apply in this case. There have been too many times in my life where I’ve wanted to discuss or challenge someone’s point of view but have chosen not to – for example, at my friend MK’s hubby’s birthday party – but I chose not to start a challenging discussion because I didn’t want to spoil what was supposed to be a special night for someone else – the night was not about me. But this blog is very much about me. It is intensely personal, despite what we may try to achieve with our blogs, they are personal expressions of ourselves. (And yes, it is strange and interesting that complete strangers would read and respond to them, but hey, they do! And some of them even become friends, which is lovely.)
I didn’t think a sarcastic reply-comment would be sufficient either, as (as you read in the previous post), there was a fair amount of detail in my response – I had reasons, which I explained, for my response. I could’ve emailed him directly rather than posted about it publically here, but as I said, (quoting myself) “I was genuinely interested to see what people thought – if they responded to Mike’s comment in a similar or completely different way to me. I thought it would generate some interesting responses (and I think it did!)”.
Well, now you know for sure (and I’m sure some of had suspected, as there have been many signs) – I take things seriously. Yes, I am pedantic, and I analyse (yes, some say over-analyse).
I won’t say any more about this unless directly prompted to do so by anyone, and in such a case, I will probably just respond directly to individuals by email to save your eyes and brains from further pain. Mike, if you’re reading this, I honestly am over whatever feelings of annoyance or insult I felt (which you may inadvertently caused with your comment and advice), and I am happy to talk about this further with you or not at all. And, believe it or not, I bear no hard feelings – because I’ve worked through my response (albeit rather publically, here) and I’m fine now.
EDIT, 20 Nov 2006: To minimise confusion:
The Commentgate (or Garnishgate, whichever you prefer) Post Links:
The original post, to which the comment in question was made.
My invitation to readers to comment on the comment.
My detailed analysis of my response to the comment, and my personal take on The Garnish.
The final word from me. I’m over it, really. But thank you for the interesting and thought-provoking discussion.