Saturday, October 24, 2009

TAKEN SIDES


If you've already read this post and are just back to peruse the commenting, as I know some are prone to do, I'd encourage you to catch the UPDATE on your way down to the comments; it adds a little je ne sais quoi to the whole affair . . .

When it comes to my family, I'm fiercely defensive. Fierce to the point of ferocious. Like a tiger. Or a lion. But not a lioness. They don't look as scary without the mane, and I'm definitely the scarier cat.

Allow me to provide evidence.

Whitney wrote this post. A humorous post on how her son, Jack, misbehaved (rather badly), such that Whit and Ethan felt compelled to frighten him into remorse. (For context--and entertainment--I recommend you read the post; won't take you but a minute.)

Whit knows when she writes something like this she's going to get at least one comment or email from some reader reprimanding her for being something akin to a rotten mom. Sho' nuff, for here's what I found on that post this morning:


And here was my response:


(Please forgive the few out-of-character typos; when I leave comments while on my iPhone, the droppings are always a tad wonky.)
Harsh on my part? Oh, sure. Over the top? Very likely. Was Devra pretty stupid? In my opinion, yes. I know a social worker or two. And I even like them. (You two know who you are, don't you?) And I am quite sure they don't wander around the Internet tossing out instructive comments to people they don't know.

Do you want to cross me or mine? "Righteous" intentions be damned: probably you don't.

•••

UPDATE

Because Remarks from Sparks is more suited for controversy than my sister's food blog, she put an update on the post, deleted the comments from Devra and me along with the subsequent ones--including one from our Rabid, and closed off further commenting.

But, lucky you, I took screen shots of the comments now eradicated and have posted them here for your entertainment and tasty, calorie-free snacking (check it out: snacks courtesy of Rookie Cookie). You should know that I'm not doing this against Whit's will; she knows and encouraged it. Because, like I said, her blog is about what to eat. Mine's the one built on opining.

Comment immediately following my response to Devra:


My response to Squid:


And Rabid's helpful analogy, which, of course, I love:

40 comments:

Jessica said...

Whitney refers to you as her mean older sister for a reason, Megan.

Seriously though, a rule I've learned to follow over the years: if a family isn't in your office for an appointment, zip your lips about how they parent. Or, in this case, move your fingers away from the keyboard.

Nice work defending your people.

Lars said...

I don't think you were over the top at all. I would have gone much further only because she gives us in the human services field a bad rep. In the field or not, only certain circumstances call for lecturing a parent on how they are raising their child. I know this and I don't even have spawn.

I blog stalk a good chunk of your kin and from what I can tell, and I am damn good at reading people, any kid birthed into your clan is one helluva lucky child. This woman needs to shut her damn pipe hole and worry about her own kids and perhaps become a stay at home mom. I say this because I am now concerned about the damage she is doing to others out there.

Shelby Lou said...

Not to be a pest and not to start a fight, but she seemed like she was just stating an opinion. To me she made it clear that it was different with every child, she was just sharing her knowledge with the crowd. I think you were right to defend but maybe a TAD bit harsh on her. We all know people are entitled to their own opinion, sometimes they use their opinions to hurt others, sometimes to just make them think differently, and more often then not people share their opinions without thinking twice. Personally, I'm just sharing my opinion for you to maybe think differently. Trust me, I'm not getting my hopes up, but hey. You asked for my remarks. Right?

I always feel like I'm going into a lions den when I post a comment like this. Please don't eat me!

Shelby Lou said...

oh and PS. I think Whitney is awesome, and I loved this story... I do that to my little cousins all the time. Well, stuff like that. I thought that post was soooo funny! I even showed my mom and sisters. :D ok.. I'm done.

Lars said...

Shelby Lou,

Megan is a vegetarian so I doubt she will eat you ;) Maybe give you a verbal beat down but I can't imagine her getting her Donner Party on.

Sorry Megan, your play place I just thought it was too funny to pass up.

rookie cookie said...

When Ethan read your response to that comment, he said, "I would rather have a gun held to my head than be bitch slapped like that. Her vernacular is amazing." I couldn't agree more.

My response to all of this? Muddled. I am getting a lot of hits from random message boards and people saying, "It's a public blog and people can have opinions." Well, it's MY public blog and I can delete whatever I want. Just because I posted something doesn't mean I welcome opinions. I actually hate them for the most part.

Lucky for me, I am confident in my parenting. While I think that Devra's comment was a little weird in that she doesn't even know me and she is tossing around social-worker advise, I am not effected by it. It should be known she e-mailed me apologizing for offending me. But by all means, I am not.

rabidrunner said...

Oh. I don't believe she was leaving her opinion. She had her social worker badge on. She's going to save the planet one blogger at a time. I've met the Kin too. Anyone born into Yer Kin is so very blessed. So very lucky. So very polite. So very respectful of others and the way others do things.

Incidentally, my kids say "please bless that we won't go to jail" every time they pray. Why? Because they watched that do-good film "Forever Strong.". Go figure.

rabidrunner said...

Megan, you are correct. We (or at least I) come here to take comfort in the fact that being perfect is not a necessity or even a possibility.

meg said...

Yo, Shelb. (I'm into nicknames for people I've never actually met offline. Lars is Larsie. Jessica is now Zestica. Feel honored.) Whitney's blog isn't the right place to share "knowledge with the crowd." It's not a parenting message board. It's not a blog on how to be a better mom. It's a friggin' food blog with a smattering of funny, sad, or interesting parental anecdotes.

You're right, the chances of me thinking differently on this one are slim. People like Devra who hop throughout the blog world leaving instructional comments to people they don't know are wasting their time and honestly making ninnies of themselves. You are different, Shelby because your reading this post isn't an isolated visit to my blog. You know the blogging Megan, which means that you understood when posting that comment that I might lambaste you. Not going to happen though. I appreciate that you have context. Devra apparently does not. Context is incredibly important in any kind of interaction; it's actually what allows someone to act with authority and give relevant advice.

Now can someone please tell me why the upgraded Firefox is making everything on my blog that I've put in italics bolded as well. It's not happening in other browsers and didn't start happening until I upgraded last night. C'mon Firefox, I've loved you for years; I want to keep loving you.

meg said...

Larsie, I'm a vegetarian when it comes to animals. Eating people might be an exception.

You know that I don't eat any meat, but I saw this t-shirt that I really want. Reads:

Vegetarian*







*except for bacon.

Hilarious.

meg said...

Oh, and you know that I live forty-five minutes from Donner Pass. I'm not even going to tell you about the whacky rituals we enjoy up there.

Freaking awesome.

rabidrunner said...

Donner Pass?! We should go to Donner Pass!

Lars said...

Megan,

Reno use to be my stomping grounds so I did indeed know that. I was going to make a quip on that but decided to refrain since I thought the rest of the readers might think I was taking my joke too far.

Did you know there is a nude beach up at Tahoe? Oh the things you can see in Nevada.

I love the shirt. I will have to share a funny story as a fellow vegetarian in regards to meat with you sometime. You will have to wait since I would hate to shock you two days in a row with my potty mouth.

rookie cookie said...

I forgot to tell Rabid how much I loved her comment. LOVED IT. Especially because she said poop. She obviously has children.

meg said...

Sons specifically, Rookster. If you haven't already go read about her pee science experiment: http://www.rabidrunner.com/2009/10/science-fair-anyone.html

Lars said...

post edit- used to*

I am writing a research paper and the brain is on the fritz.

Sure there are more errors but that was the standout.

meg said...

Lady Lars, no need to correct or apologize. Ever.

rookie cookie said...

BTW Meg, I do like that you are posting all of this. It gets it off my blog and put onto one where it is far better suited. Plus, you have some of the most resilient readers. I say resilient readers because if they are still around, they can take the heat you throw. You should make a badge for your readers that says something like "I still read Remarks from Sparks even though she offends me and I might not agree with what she says".

Nate & Erin Bigler said...

Sometimes I think you're mean and don't understand it. Today I still think you're mean, but I like it! I don't really have strong opinions about your sister's blog. I've never tried a stunt like that, but only because I dated Daniel Fuja in highschool. Remember him? Smart and geeky? His mom tried something similar and look waht happened to him? Smart and geeky. I guess there are worse things...maybe I ought to add "jail" and "orphanages" to my big bag-o-tricks.

meg said...

Erin, that's awesome. Of course I remember Daniel. He was in my ward and they lived just on the other side of our back fence. When I was like seven I was on the swing in our backyard twisting around and around and my long hair got twisted up in the ropes. I freaked out and started screaming for help. I still remember the vision of his mom vaulting over the fence to save the life of whatever child was yelling bloody murder.

Admirable that you find me mean and still drop by.

meg said...

Emailed to Whitney from our friend Tricia:

holy blog drama!!!! I was reading your sister megan's blog from my
phone tonight (i can't read all the juicy stuff...the print is too
small) but I got the jist of it.

I can't post comments from my phone to her blog for some reason, but I
thought you might like to know that I remember reading your original post and thinking "right ON!".

I wanted to tell you that on at least two occasions I've had to have a
VERY serious conversation in the car with Ava about freaking out &
incessantly and angrily kicking my seat or screaming bloody murder
while I'm driving, or not strapping in her booster....and you know what
my threat is?...the Police Station!!!! and guess what? it works!!!
every time.

I've gone so far as to stop driving,and turn the car around toward the
station, and drive! and if it came down to it I would march her
defiant little arse right in there & have her sit down with an officer
to talk about safety while driving!

I have NO problem instilling a little healthy respect for authority,
along with some fearing for their lives, tossed in for good measure.

I'm sorry that people are hassling you. do they have anything better to
do? like social working? because it sounds like there is a very bored
know-it-all lurking in the blogosphere.

feel free to publicize my support. and even if u don't, just know that
after megan is through with them, well, nevermind. you won't need me after she's through with 'em.

rookie cookie said...

I love Trish using "defiant little arse". Adorable. I can picture long-haired Tricia marching tiny little long-haired Ava into the Rancho police station.

And wow, Daniel Fuja. Didn't he carry his school books in a luggage-sized rolling suitcase? How do you date someone like that? Like does he kiss? I just don't get it. And what do you talk about? Science class? Chamber choir? Really though, I am quite interested.

Jessica said...

geez, i go to yogurtland for a minute and i miss one helluva party!

my favorite part about this whole thing: Devra's blog (when you click on her username) is for some blog where she spouts her mommy advice.

The tagline for the blog: Ditch the guilt, keep the kids.

And yet, she's passing out guilt like it's going out of style.

Damn nosy social workers. give the rest of us a bad name. (and by "the rest of us" I mean me and Larsie, of course).

meg said...

Where's my yogurt?

Jessica said...

sorry dude. it would have melted on the way to Reno.

but you know I would have brought you some if that wasn't the case.

rookie cookie said...

Megan is a yogurt fiend. She had a hot, sexy love affair with Golden Spoon for a while.

Lars said...

She hoards it like a squirrel Megan you'll never see it. She really loves that yogurtland.

Jessica I had a good hearty laugh over the tagline myself due to the irony. I was half tempted to email Megan to get her remarkable opinion on it since I do love her thoughts.

No joke, I do just fine giving myself a bad name I don't need Devra adding to it ha ha.

Jessica said...

Rookie,

ahhh, then yogurtland is the place for megan. even hotter and sexier than the golden spoon.

they give you a massive bowl, you choose as many flavors as you want from the 10-12 they have. you add as many toppings as you want. then pay by the weight. spectacular!

meg said...

I hope you don't pay by your own weight. I'd break the bank.

Jessica said...

HA, we actually had that discussion tonight.

what if they weighed you upon entering and exiting and charged you that way?

I'd never go there if that was the case.

(and YOU'D break the bank? i think not.)

meg said...

This should be said: in my old age (yes) I've come to realize some things I like about myself. One of them is certain attributes of my face. I have petite features. I have grey eyes. I longish lashes. I have a very nice nose. I don't have a mustache. I have a definite jawline (why the haircut works for me). And when I gain weight my face is the least-affected area. All this means that you have no idea about my bank-breaking ability; all you every get to see is my high-upper self--the smaller part. I'm an elephant when you move down further.

Jessica said...

Since I'm headed to bed, I'll do my best not to argue with your further. I've learned it's impossible to argue with us girls about weight.

But I've seen pictures of you on your blog, my bite-sized friend, and you are tiny.

But I'm gonna leave it at that. Because just as I know you're tiny, I also know you could kick my ass.

good night.

Amanda said...

YES! Way to defend your sister. For some reason, I think we women like to go around giving eachother guilt complexes about our choices (including parenting). Way to call it out and beat it down. That is what family and friends are for.

(Yeah, I'm late to the game. Just catching up on this one...)

Erin said...

Daniel Fuja...oh boy. Yes he did carry a bookbag the size of a small commuter plane--constant thorn in my side for 4 years. Thanks for bringing that up. I still consider it an accomplishment that I convinced him NOT to wear Mr. Bean t-shirts within a 10 mile radius of me or Provo High School, but nothing could be done about that darn bag.

Dating someone like him is kind of intense. At the very least, his mother was intense. Regardless of her good intentions she scared the crap out of me. Which is why I've been hesitant to employ any of her so-called tactics. Right now though, Daniel's simultaneously finishing up like 3 PhDs and an MD and is married to a very sweet woman who enters Betty Crocker bake-offs and keeps them well supplied in sweet treats. So like I said, there are worse things.

Chamber choir is defintely on the list of sanctioned topics, as are Seminary council, G-rated movies, and ping-pong (yeah the game). I don't remember discussing science class specifically as I can hold my own with a test tube and beakers, but he did occasionallly help me with my math homework.

As far as kissing goes...yes someone like Daniel Fuja does kiss. And if pressed I'd admit it was not at all unpleasant, if my memory serves me correctly. It's not really something I like to dwell on though. I've pretty much blocked out highschool and the subsequent two years and it takes quite an effort to drugde up my hopelessly awkward past.

[Morgan] said...

wow.
all i can say is that it kills me that people (say, devra) take something SO hilarious, so damned serious. sheesh.
i get really sensitive when i hear someone critique anothers parenting. i guess i want to believe that every parent REALLY is just doing their BEST.
not. true.
i know whitney doesn't need me to say it, but i'm going to say it anyway.
if anyone knows just exactly how his mother loves him (and father) it's mr jack cookie.

(also, i didn't have the desired time to read through all 34 of the comments this post generated, so forgive me if i'm missing out on something and my comment is way off base:)

Weezie said...

Love Whitney and Ethan's tactics. Love your defense of your sister. I wouldn't have been you if you'd responded in any other way. I know I'm totally late on the remarking, but if Whit were my sister, I would have done the same thing. Fortch, my sissies' blogs are just pictures and grandmotherly comments.

theflanfam said...

This is really funny to me because my sister in-law is a social worker and she is always giving us advice. She doesn't even have kids! I'm a bad mom if my kids don't walk by the time they are 1. I'm a bad mom because I homeschool. And the list goes on.

So, how do I get you on my side?

Ashley Thalman said...

I want to talk about Daniel Fuja and how I grabbed/slapped his butt (Buffy and Tricia as my witnesses) during a choir concert. I had to. He was so tightly wound that I literally needed to take care of it. RESULT: He probably still hates me and I am now friends with Erin, who was not friends with me when she was kissing Daniel.
That freaking bag full of books. Wow.

rookie cookie said...

My dad read all of the comments about Daniel Fuja and laughed his head off. He told me that Daniel Fuja earned every single Boy Scout merit badge available. ALL OF THEM.

Every year when Halloween appears on the calendar, I think of his mother Irene and how she always handed out frosted cookies as treats. Her children weren't allowed to go trick or treating. Instead, they stayed home and made cookies for everyone.

meg said...

This is so awesome I just don't have words to describe it--a post I put together on drama from Whit's blog has turned into a conversation about Daniel Fuja.

Priceless.