820,880 Minutes

I have a soft spot for dad blogs.  There, I said it.

Maybe it's because they're typically funny as all get-out, maybe it's because I'm a tramp who likey the boys; I don't know.  What I do know is that I've read some pretty amazing stuff from this awesome group of guys who have braved the rough waters of the parent-blog world over the years.

I also know that I have pretty strong feelings about father's rights, and that I'm torn over that within myself.  For example, I'm all about the right to choose, but I counter that with a pretty strong feeling that if the guy isn't an asshole drug dealing wife-beater, he should have a say in that decision.  How do I balance that within myself?  I don't. I have very very strong feelings about what seems to me to be a unfair bias within the court system to automatically grant custody to the mother in divorce, regardless of who's more fit a parent.

Yes, I am totally projecting my own issues here, thanks for noticing.

Maybe what it comes down to is that I grew up in a world that didn't really dole out the great male role models with any frequency, and I find it refreshing to read the stories these fathers have to tell through their blogs, to read as they share their joys and their heartbreaks and their triumphs and their struggles.  It restores my faith in mankind.

So when I read this the other week at Gaming With Baby, well; let's just say I ached a little bit that day.  I can't find the words for what it was about Will's post that struck me so hard, and I won't try.  It's a beautiful post, in a really heartbreaking, coming full-circle sort of way, and I couldn't do any sort of it justice by trying to sum it up.

I nominated 570 for Petroville and Suburban Turmoil's Perfect Post award for October.  I really encourage you to go give it a read.

Reality Checks are Awfully Hard to Cash

A few weeks before I left for BlogHer, I started hearing the murmur. The grumble about how it's a clique, a self-congratulatory A-Listers club, how those people think they're so much better than everyone else and how we'd never be caught dead going to that thing. Granted, this murmur comes from a small group, but they're vocal. They have anonymous hate blogs set up just for BlogHer chatter.


Really?


I'll admit that the words "I am so not cool enough for BlogHer" have come out of my mouth. The words "I am WAY too cool for prom" and "Gawd, I'd never want to be a cheerleader" also have. Why? Because I am an insecure moron, that's why. I worried for a long time that no one would like my blog, I worried that no one would ask me to the prom, and I worried that I'd never actually MAKE the cheer squad. So I just never tried.


I am so not sad about the cheer squad thing, btw.


Anyway, I was talking to my friend Loralee about BlogHer before we left, about the negativity we'd seen surface, about some nastiness she'd run into that kind of affected her personally. And then she forwarded this link (which is dead, because she closed down her blog, but still. It was awesome).


I started reading this post, written by a woman I'd never heard of before, and instantly my big, long, sharp pointy-finger started doing its big, sharp pointy-finger thing. I slowed when I read this:



I see you all the time, and you never make it in my group—or clique, as you so scathingly might prefer to call it. (For some reason, groups of friends are verboten these days, apparently.) You stagger away, stung and confused, convinced that we’re all just a big bunch of meanies who didn’t think your hair looked nice enough. Because believing that is easier than taking responsibility for the way you act. Believing that is easier than forgiving yourself for letting your feelings dictate your actions. Believing that is easier than taking a hard look around and realizing that maybe it’s your own damned fault.

I came to a screeching halt when I read this:



If you are that person or have ever even kind of resembled that person, this list is for you.

*choke*


I read that YOU, and I started over. I started from the beginning and I pointed that awful finger right back at myself, and I took a pretty decent bitch-slap. And Schnozz, thanks for that bitch-slap.


I read somewhere that the traits we hate most in others are the traits we are the most afraid to admit we possess. I, for one, will willingly admit to being guilt of that. For judging someone for doing something I do 23 1/2 hours a day. For climbing on my moral soapbox. For being an insecure bitch. Insecurity is the least attractive quality, if you ask me, and it just so happens to be one of my most predominant ones.


I took that post of Schnozz's to BlogHer with me, and I kept reading it over and over again, saying, "Dude, just this once, just let this shit go and have fun. Just go in there and know you should be in there, that you are just as good as everyone in that room, that you have nothing to worry about."



I did exactly that. Just ask Schnozz. I tackled the poor girl when I saw her. I tackled everyone when I saw them. Some, well, some I tackled PLUS.



I pushed my shoulders back, checked my insecurities at the door, and had a fucking blast. I made a ton of new friends. I concreted a ton of old friendships. I walked right up to people I admire, people I look up to, people who maybe intimidate me a little bit (my fault, not theirs.) I didn't care; I just put it out there. And I had more fun than should be legally allowed. I made a total horse's ass out of myself, I laughed until my poor bladder couldn't take it anymore, and no one snubbed me, no one looked down their nose at me, even before I read that post and they all knew who I was.

All because of one blog post that totally smacked me upside the head and said, "Um, check it, yo."

Every time I read another blog post, Tweet, whatever, about what bullshit BlogHer is, what a nasty, cliquey thing it is, I want to ball this post up and shove it down someone's throat. But, well, that's not very classy, now is it? But I do think that maybe it should be mandatory reading for, well, just about everyone. Because maybe it'll make you understand where your troll is coming from (a troll is someone who goes around bashing people on their blogs. They tend to be nasty to the n'th degree), and why it's really important to just ignore them. Maybe it'll help you understand why someone is talking shit about you on their blog, in the bathroom at work, or AT THE PTA MEETING. Or maybe, just maybe, it will make you realize something about yourself, just like it did for me.

And with that, I nominate Schnozz's post, simply entitled The Reasons, for Suburban Turmoil and Petroville's Perfect Post for July, 2008. (And I thank Schnozz, profusely, for saving me from my own damn self.)