Sunday, November 05, 2006

It's not me, it's you. Internet.

Over the past couple days, a site I read religiously got a fair amount of attention for a post regarding pregnancy, maternity, body image, many subjects that every woman can relate to and therefore spout off about until the cows come home. I commented, someone disagreed, someone else agreed, I commented again, there was more dissent and some incalled-for critique and then I just said Fuck It. It wasn't worth it. I tried to make a point, it was sort of misconstrued, so I tried to clarify a little and make another point, then the whole thread unraveled and I didn't even know these people I was talking to and it was an entirely unsatisfying exercise.

This medium, the internet, it's taken the place of telephones, coffee shops, clubs, friends, families. And sometimes it's just a complete fucking pain in the ass. Some of you that read this site - I know you. In real life. And some of you have been reading here and I've been reading your words long enough to get a very good feel for who you are, but then there are some floaters out there. Some people drop in, drive-by, if you will, give unsolicated advice and then wander off to the next flashing sparkly thing. I don't fault these people, you people - if it's you, for these blips on my radar. It's what happens out here, but it's not satisfying to you or me, is it? Don't you want to know what my expression was, as I read your words?

I mean, there are only so many fill-ins for real face-to-face communication. The whole *fill in what you're doing between the stars* substitute for shrugging, frowning, rolling your eyes, all those important actions you need to really see to make a point and see if your point was made. Then there are the acronyms for laughing, laughing hard, laughing SO freaking hard. But really, are you laughing? I have no idea. And then, when I say something important, I need to see if you're nodding - if you touch my arm and lean in to follow up with your own excited agreement. Or if you lean back and look out the window, arms crossed, mind far away...

Well right now, the internet is not providing me this service. I was more pissed that I couldn't actually converse with these people, because I respected what they had to say, even in their dissent. I just wanted them to see my earnest furrowed brow, or my smirk when I was being a smart ass. And I didn't want to have to spell it all out between a couple *'s.

Note: My brother is cracking up right now, I promise. He's reading this and going, "Well, Prissy, how about stepping away from the damn computer?" Okay. I will. The kids and I are going to Pat and Heather's to watch some football and shrug and frown and cheesey smile at each other...


Blogger Ortizzle said...

First of all: love the picture! :-)

I know exactly what you mean by misconstrued comments on internet. And when the dialogue takes a wrong turn, it certainly can become a meaningless volley of diatribe. But, that said, I think that happens face to face as well. With people you maybe don't know so well: it's easy to misread body language, too.

And having said that, here's a funny thing: I know I've only been "out here" for a short time, but I actually do get very clear mental pictures of the people whose blogs I read regularly. The smirk, the furrowed brow, the hands pulling the hair out by the roots. ;-)

I can't imagine too many people misinterpreting you: your writing is pretty crystal clear to me. Maybe it's a sense of humor thing with people who don't get it. I'm sure, though, that I am with the great majority who think you are an extremely clever wit, and there ain't any "t's" left uncrossed in your messages. I can't tell you how many times I have about choked on my coffee with laughter and the one-liners you have left in the comments section (of my blog and others). You're one of those lucky people who doesn't need to put *smirk* between the asterisks.

11/05/2006 5:01 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Thanks, Ortiz, but clearly you're just trying to get in my pants.

11/05/2006 5:08 PM  
Blogger meno said...

I read that exchange, and then decided that brave Sir Meno would bravely run away. (Monty Python reference.) I just hate that when someone has anything remotely critical to say, it's always anon. And then they get nasty.
It's so much easier to take offense than to try and understand the other opinion.
And it did suck, for me at least.

11/05/2006 5:13 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Meno, you wuss! Anyway, I wasn't as dismayed by anon's criticism as I was by my inability to have a good discussion about the whole thing because of the inherent hurdles in blog-comment-conversation.

And for everyone else, I'm not trying to be all secretive about it - if you're curious about the discussion it's at Esereth's:

11/05/2006 5:18 PM  
Blogger Orange said...

*nodding with agreement*

*feeling empathy--been there, felt that*

*amused, but not to the point of actual out-loud laughter, by footnote re: your brother*

*liking you a lot*

*but not trying to get into your pants*

Over in crosswordland, there have been some cross words over the last few days that could be interpreted as being pissy remarks aimed at me and my crossword blog. I've opted to stay out of the fray and let my work speak for itself--though that doesn't mean I ain't talkin' trash via e-mail to sympathetic people. Like "My theory? He was drunk out of his gourd when he wrote that." Or "He thinks it's not fun? It'd be a lot more fun if he weren't so damned cranky." But the cranky and inebriated angry people? I'm leaving them be. Let them stew in their own fetid juices. I typically regret saying anything when I do enter the fray, though it takes such restraint not to join in.

*also liking how you flag...what? new posts? something else?...with "Stepped Up" in the blogroll. You're all fresh and sassy, Mignon.*

11/05/2006 6:17 PM  
Blogger Ortizzle said...

O.K., I went over there to see what all the fuss was about. Mmmmm... Ms. Anon should audition for understudy for the part of Bree Van De Kamp on Desperate Housewives. She'd be a shoe-in.

Changing the subject: "Get into your pants?" Mignon, how *could* you? Now my *secret* is out. Damn. *blushing.*

11/05/2006 8:43 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Mignon, I totally, completely agree with everything you posted there, and I totally, completely agree with your post here.

And I think it's just fine to feel that pregnancy sucks. I know I do. It doesn't mean I'm not happy to be pregnant, and it doesn't mean that I'm not thrilled about impending motherhood; it just means that I would like to be able to tie my shoes in less than 17 minutes, or for my back to stop hurting long enough to sit vertically through a meal.

Pregnancy, regardless of how wondrous and/or miraculous it is, is a physical condition that takes a toll on one's body. When men experience physical conditions that take tolls on their bodies, no one begrudges them a little complaining. I think that expecting pregnant women just to shut up and be happy goes against both progress and nature.

11/06/2006 5:31 AM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

Okay...I've got to go read the post/comments that inspired today's post. I'm betting people are just being too sensitive and are taking you the wrong way.

11/06/2006 9:20 AM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

I read this post.

I read that post.

I read those comments, and yours, too, and nodded my head emphatically along the way.

I love the picture. I dig the hair.

I wanna get in your pants.

11/06/2006 11:13 AM  
Blogger V-Grrrl said...

If they could just see the hair, they'd get you!

11/06/2006 11:24 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Orange - *frowning in your general direction, indicating my displeasure at being forced into this inadequate means of communication* and yes, entering the fray is so thrilling as you spew the words in your comment rectangle, then, as I said, unsatisfying when the antagonist gets the same amount of airplay with his/her inevitably lame response - it always feels shitty arguing with lame-asses in comments

Ortiz - I don't know this Brie person, because the wardens don't give me tv time in the evenings. Even on good behaviour.

Arabella - I know, right? It sucks for you, it pretty much sucked for me. Maybe it didn't for someone else, though... I was just saying it's not fair for us to criticize what someone else is feeling. That's where the mommy wars get nasty.

Wordgirl - I don't know that they were being too sensitive. Just not paying attention. Which is worse?

MamaT and V, really? I made my best effort to pat it down before the picture, but I think it looks like it's trying to escape my head.

And MamaT and Ortiz. No you don't. They're not particularly clean. That's one good thing about the internet - y'all can't smell me...

11/06/2006 11:37 AM  
Blogger Esereth said...

Seriously, next time you come as far west as Portland (not Pendleton....Pendleton is not condusive to conversation) or GOLDENDALE, we shall sit and trade facial expressions.

I have a make-believe of your voice. It's a little hoarse, like Jodi Foster when she was a teenager.

And thanks for everything you said on the thread. Your advice almost always sinks the deepest, and is the most reasonable.

11/06/2006 12:24 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

I commented about this on Arabella's blog too. *Shrug* She was first on the reverse blog-roll. Don't be a hater.

I think we should all take pictures of ourselves with various expressions and then start adding them to our posts instead of all the *s and "lol" crap.

Aw crap, I said "crap." Think Anon is going to hunt me down now? What with being the cussing police and all.

11/06/2006 1:40 PM  
Blogger mamalujo1 said...

"a pretty good feel for [me]"!?!?!

Bring it on baby. I got a pretty good feel for you too.

Actually, I'm pretty shy in real life, pretty quiet and unassuming, but here I feel like I can let my hair down some. I hope I don't ever come across as too crude. I'm comfortable, in this wierd anonymous way (well, you and Tink know "who" I am anyway).

Good grief. I'm such a goober.

11/06/2006 2:03 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Es, that's funny, because I am hoarse right now. From yelling my drunk ass off at the Griz game this weekend. Normally I sound like an 11-year-old boy. I was told this by a telemarketer once. And yeah, let's get some brekky at Cup'n'Saucer.

Tink, I thought the Cuss Police Anon was pure comedy. What in the freakin fuck? I would have loved to speak to that nutjob in person.

Mama, I can tell it's been a long weekend with your daughter... goober?? Public shy, closet exhibitionist. You guys are a-dime-a-cocksuckin-dozen.

11/06/2006 4:41 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Mignon--you're absolutely right. If someone is having a sunshine-and-roses pregnancy, then good for her. I applaud her. She'd just better not tell me to shut up and be happy.

11/06/2006 5:00 PM  
Anonymous LetterB said...

I think everything has been said that can be said on this subject so I will just say: THAT IS THE CUTEST FREAKING PICTURE!!! I WANT TO EAT YOUR SON!!!

11/06/2006 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm smiling.

Now I'm itching my knee.

Now I'm thinking about eating something.

Now I'm thinking about how much I like reading your blog entries.

11/06/2006 7:26 PM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

I want to eat Mignon. Hey, someone had to say it! (And I wanted it to be me.)

Hee hee, the cuss police. I never get any of those in my comments, though I suppose you should be careful what you wish for. Anyhoo, Esereth did a nice job of defending the cussers gracefully.

11/06/2006 7:56 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Great post...great picture and remember what your brother tells ya! My sis is so anti-blogging I don't even talk to her about it anymore. She thinks it's all so horribly shallow and pointless since we'll never meet anyone we chat with and who care what we think about anything?? She's definately NOT blog material. You put a great deal of energy and thought into your answers and I always look for them. I don't always agree with 'em -- but so what? That's just part of the human experience!

11/11/2006 2:12 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

Damn, I go away for a while and the internet explodes.

I don't know who posted about not loving pregnancy but whatevah. It's not a picnic, no matter how much you wanted it and I don't think not loving pregnancy means you won't love your child. Some of it just sucks. And it really jacks your body up, which I suppose I knew in the abstract but oh hell no. And I haven't even hit the third trimester yet.
That said, I am having, thus far a pretty good pregnancy compared to some. I feel pretty lucky.

11/14/2006 6:14 AM  

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