Periodically, someone points out to me that somewhere on the Web, a conversation is taking place about my writing and my personal life. One such discussion is apparently hopping now in Usenet.
For the past few years, these conversations have generally taken the form of people active in mean
, nasty "childfree" ( as opposed to childless) newsgroups and e-mail lists laughing about the fact that I ended up divorced. They seem to find some irony in this, despite the fact that I've never handed out marital advice to anyone. (Their definition of irony seems to be straight from the Alanis Morrisette dictionary
Their poorly reasoned point appears to be that, because I write about parenting, my marriage should have been divorce-proof. Or that because at various periods during my marriage, I was happy and believed I would remain happily married, it's just hilarious that it turned out I was wrong. They openly revel in the sad parts of my divorce, about which I've written some essays.
But here are two newsflashes for my bizarro online critics:
Newsflash #1: I'm happy. The divorce was really hard and painful, but it's over. I'm healthy, young, STILL love being a mom, and am enjoying a fun social life, a great job, my house, my dogs, politics, good beer, loud music, my knitting, horses, friends and just life in general. So save your schadenfreude for somebody else.
Newsflash #2: If you read the comments from these people, the truth eventually wiggles out; they don't care whether I'm married or not, happy or not, a mother or not, or right or wrong about various issues upon which I have an opinion. No, in fact these people are mostly bitter that I get paid to write and they don't.
Unfortunately, that's not something I or anyone else an help them with, since to become published, one must be able to write well on topics people actually care about, rather than simply engaging in online-groupthink-navel-gazing with a bunch of malcontents who already agree on how rotten the world is. At the very least, an aspiring writer should understand what's ironic and what's simply unexpected or incongruous (as in, "that woman who wrote a book about attachment parenting is now divorced")
Get a life, folks. Mine's taken.
Hugs 'n' kisses-