The idiocy of this post. Here is deal. When I decided I wanted to actively blog again, a well-known blogger told me the following:
“Beth, if you ever wanted to become something again, or even be excepted into the blogging community, you owe your public an explanation. They need to know what happened between you and Dooce.”
The ridiculousness of it all, is that for some reason I feel like I (owe you an explanation, that is). Hmmm. Still working on that.
So . . .
Here is my first conundrum, and probably why I find blogging a most paralyzing situation. See, I have not been sure what to say or how to say it. Likewise, I feel weird sharing. I am also terrified of the backlash. I have experienced gas-lighting, and it ain’t fun.
That being said, it is true. For me, 2006 was horrific! My fertility was heartbreaking, my late miscarriage nearly ended me, and dealing with the rise of the mommy-blog-nation FREAKED me out.
Instead of pushing back, or holding my ground, I fell apart. I make no excuses. I am a real human being. Fertility hormones are crazy. Late miscarriages suck! Dealing with other mommies (in such a new and public way) was difficult (at best). Was it hard for you?
Many folks in the blog world understandably associate me (or long ago did [wink wink]) with Dooce and her wildly successful website, DOOCE DOT COM. Of course they do. For a time, Dooce often chose to write about me and my family in a public format. That is it. In private-friendship world, I would not chose to air this story. BECAUSE this WAS NOT a private friendship, I feel compelled to address it publicly. And because the world’s most famous and most successful mommy blogger chose to write about me, my husband and my sons, I feel obligated. Isn’t that weird? I think it is.
I also think that is why I am feeling the pressure now. Dooce can remove the posts about me from her website (has she?), and I can take my blog down (I did), YET those posts will always exist — somewhere.
I keep trying to wrap my head around it and to push myself through it. I also realize that Dooce has written about many, many people. I think it is her formula and it is brilliant — drama online (where she casts herself in the role of victim). Her relationship talk completely draws the reader in. I think at some point I ceased being a human to her and simply became character in her online story. And for a time, she often wrote about her BFF, Beth of crazyus.com. I was on display and I was not certain what to do with all of it, would you?
I hope you will cut me some slack. I don’t think many people in the industry have. Yes, I benefited from the light Dooce cast on me, but I also have felt the dark and uncomfortable shadow of my association with her. See, because she publicly wrote regularly about me, when Dooce had an opinion, my world assumed I thought the same. Behind the scenes it was different. I was always walking on eggshells, fearing that I would upset her. I always did. It was absolutely crazy. I have never had a friendship quite like this. I could do no right. It was creepy. I learned and felt her cold and unforgiving wrath: no one crosses dooce.
Oddly now and because she wrote about me, and because people still associate me with her, I feel (and have been told) that I owe you an explanation. Do I? I am not sure. What I do know is that our relationship was prominent in a public forum, so maybe the public is where it needs to be worked out. Thoughts?
Of course my foray into blogging and dooce’s super world was strange. And by strange I mean exhilarating, fun, weird, and horrible. And yes, I liken this particular friendship to a low-rent form of Oprah talking publicly about her friend, Gayle. However, there is one big difference. When Oprah and Gayle fight, they seem to work it out. In contrast, Dooce and I had a falling out. The end. Then I took my blog down, and you never heard form me again. Here is what I got out of it. A former neighbor of both mine and Heather’s told me this:
“Beth, Heather is telling everyone you up and moved to Park City because of her.”
First, I have no idea if his gossip was true, but it makes a great story, doesn’t it? Second, what the what? We were building a house for two years before I took my blog down. Ah, but third, the actual truth is not dramatic. And we mommy bloggers love the drama, don’t we? It is more compelling for people to hear that I ran and hid from dooce than my actual realty: I moved and was sad because I had a late miscarriage. I chose to get myself healthy and took my blog down to focus on my dudes and to cope with my sorrow. Well, I would have been smart if I did run and hide, but that just isn’t true.
Likewise, after I moved, I assume you never heard Heather talk about her BFF friend, Beth again. But because she talked about me publicly before I took my blog down, and because people keep asking (publicly and privately), I keep feeling (like my blogger friend suggested) that I owe you something.
So I ask you,
“Why do I feel this way? Why do I feel an obligation to you?”
[insert soothing, gentle and peaceful chorus here] MY ANSWER: At this point I believe history has adjusted reality. I do not think any of this really matters, does it? In some ways it really doesn’t.
Then again…Wait. It kind of does. I, not, you, have suffered the extreme dark-side of Heather’s anger. As a result of falling on the wrong side of dooce, I have been shunned, ostracized, lost opportunities, called an embarrassment, someone who invaded her life, a kiss-ass trying to earn favor with dooce, blah, blah, blah. For instance, I love how common friends say that she and I are only friends because of blogging, omitted the long history Heather and I share. I am continually contacted regarding her. Recently I was told where she lives and asked if I could go and take pictures of her trash can. Another friend emailed me to lecture me on her divorce. As far as I know, she refuses to make amends with anyone she gets angry at. In contrast and from my own experience, when you make amends, you have to look at yourself. I like to tell myself that she cannot look at herself because it would be too much. If she did make amends with all the bridges she burns, she may collapse, or better, may actually heal, forgive and realize that we can share the world together, that we are all cool, troubled and of value. I have no idea, but perhaps thats the zone she thinks she needs to exist in for her success. It does make me sad. I really liked her way back when. I am a good and loyal friend. I was a good and loyal friend to her. It is too bad that stupid neighbors and stupid internet people perverted our relationship. It sucks that so many folks tried to use me to get close to her. It totally is lame that she can trust me for the person I am. Why can she write so openly and not give the rest of us the same platform? I never quite got it. I did not like she constantly telling me that she was convinced that I thought she was the bane of my existence. Sorry for using the word, “retarded,” here, but that is just retarded (very foolish or stupid). Really.
Moving forward, taking deep breaths, and oh thank God — I am glad I am here where I am now. I am grateful for what I have learned. I forgive myself for not getting it.Who did? Blogging was new. I never anticipated I would be walking in those particular shoes.I only wish I wasn’t such a pussy. I am learning to be better about standing up for myself instead of letting myself get caught up in the crazy.
Now I live in Park City. When we moved here I did not know a soul. It was terrifying and exciting. I did not have to talk about my blog so I didn’t. Consequently, no one I see has any idea that I blogged or that I knew Dooce. People here care about skiing, raising an Olympian, money, age prevention and exercise. And if they do know who Dooce is, they do not know she was ever my friend. Here, I am known as Kyle and Eli’s mom, Dave’s wife. We are known as the family who built the green house next to Rob’s. We are the family that took our kids to Hippie Pre-School, and the crazy family who travels the world. These days the fact that Kyle nearly died and was bitten by a copperhead snake is what people in our offline world want to talk about. Of course, it has been nice.
Here it is. If you want to read my stuff, I would love to have you. I am inconsistent. I no longer know dooce. I am certain she no longer wants to know me. Yes, we still have several close friends in common. And yes, I think it is bizarre. I would think by now that we could move past this. I have. I sent her a letter when Kyle was sick. I have sent good wishes her way. Namaste even to her. Seriously, I can’t give this situation any more power (if that makes sense). And because I am an eternal optimist, I hope everything will once again be right in this world (yes, including a peaceful resolution with Heather). That being said and because I am getting way too old to believe in happy endings, know that I am not holding my breath.
PS I may keep rewriting this post until the end of time. I am ok with that. That was one crazy ass time of life!
[to be continued]
Part 4: the summary
24 thoughts on “I’m an idiot Part 3: Dooce and Crazyus”
Thank you. I am enjoying reading you again. I’ve thought about you often…especially since your son’s health battle previously. You sound very centered and peaceful.
Truth be told I found you through reading Dooce. I stayed because I love your tone, voice and perspective. Discovering that we have a common bond outside of the blogosphere was a precious bonus to me.
I’ll respect you if you blog, I’ll still respect you if you don’t. You are you and that’s something special.
Ditto what Sunny said. Yeah, Dooce might have “put you on the map”, so to speak, but you’re the one who kept yourself there. You’re easily relatable, you’re honest to a fault, and you built friendships, not followings. (Is relatable a word?)
I still read Dooce on occassion, but I have to admit that her celebrity in the blog world is off-putting. She’s no longer the funny, awkward goofball we were all in love with back then. Oh well.
Blogging is a weird thing…you build a rapport with some people, but you build a real connection with others. I still communicate with several people from the days when I blogged a little more “popularly”, and I wonder about those who shuffled off to greener pastures when I stopped. Eh, whatever.
Glad you’re writing again. You’ve always been a favorite.
Sunny, truth be told, I actually attach you to Bruce Christy and/or all of our Franklin Covey connections. Another truth be told, we should really be thanking Steve Jobs (may he rest in peace) and his Segue-riding-partner, Steve Wozniak for our connections. If it were not for them, we would have no Apple store to go to where our paths would cross. I am still hoping for the ladies’ Night/pedicure Extravaganza! Thank you for your kind feedback and for appreciating me for what I put out there.
Funny Lula I was telling Dave about you today. I am grateful for you and am grateful you reached out all those years ago and am grateful you cared on and off line. You are an amazing woman and friend!
Love your perspective
I was probably one of those who stumbled upon Dooce.com and then stumbled onto your blog. I honestly can’t remember. I do, however, appreciate each of your blogs for different reasons. It’s hard to put into words.
I have commented before that I was SO excited to see you pop back up on my Google Reader. I’m always so touched by your honesty, your storytelling and your photography. (Plus I learned of the song “Fix You” on your blog. So powerful to me, and it hit home with me last year with my brother. I always remember that moment of linking to those great lyrics.)
I’m so glad you are back to blogging and back to a good place. Perspective can mean everything.
Lots of interesting thought provoking stuff, Beth.
I always considered you one of those bloggy friends who was kind and flawed (in a beautiful authentic way) and writing honestly about life and who did appreciate the people who were part of the ongoing conversation of the blog. I remembered you fondly through the years and even sent an email once just to say that I was thinking of you and wished you well. You never replied, but I assumed it was because you either didn’t remember me and/or you were just sticking to your radio silence.
The Dooce thing is interesting and I wonder if your take on it is revealing 😉 The way I see it, Dooce – someone I still appreciate and am happy for – was a character in a book I was reading. She had her own chapters. You had your own chapters. For a while you showed up as characters in each other’s chapters and then one day you never appeared in each other’s stories again. Hmmmm, curious!
The voracious reader in me wants to understand the motivation behind these story developments. And then shortly after that, your chapters just stopped being written at all. Your story was unfinished. Like someone had torn pages from a book I was reading, I craved to know how certain plot points resolved or pivoted. I longed for characters I was familiar with. I needed either a continuation or a proper denouement!
So, that’s why I’ve always been curious about why you and Heather drifted away from each other and also why the chapters just stopped cold.
I often wondered if after the last miscarriage (that you wrote about at the time) it was just so painful for you that you just couldn’t face discussing the situation anymore or if those of us who had gotten pregnant around that time had made it hard for you to continue to participate in this blog’s conversation. I remembering longing to see how you fared so I could know that this beautiful person whose story I read daily was healing and OK.
It’s lovely to see the story of your journey from there to here and beyond. Your family was never far from my heart, as crazy as that sounds from a women you really don’t know who lives at the other side of the continent!
Leanne, Hey there. I want to thank you. Thank you for taking the time to reach out (again). What a thoughtful and beautiful reply. You are perceptive and I love how you articulated this situation. I appreciate your point of view and am grateful.
Please forgive me and know that I make no excuses. Way back when, I did not respond to my email. I honestly did not know how. I was so sad and knew I had to focus my energy on Dave, my boys and getting them through the day. I honestly did not know what to say to people. I was confused. Looking back I could have said, “Hey, I am in a tough spot,” and trusted that people would get it. With my energy so low I had to let go of a lot of things in my life, one of them being my blog. That being said, I have never forgotten the love and kindness that was directed my way.
Most people were awesome and well intended and because of this, I am willing (maybe a little late) to take a stab at again. So thank you! I mean it!
Thank you, Amy! It means a lot to me!
Whatever the blog journey is/was, I’m just glad you’re back!!
Busy Mom, want to meet me at Cinnabon to celebrate? You found your debit card & I am blogging again – woot!
I’ll be right there!
See you soon. I’ll be the one asking for extra frosting and then licking it off the top.
Loved your writing way back when and love it now. Thanks for coming back.
Thank you Caroline!
Beth, I am glad you are writing again. I have periodically checked CrazyUs every few months to see if you returned. You have written things in the past that have really stuck with me. Glad you are in a good place and back at it.
Robb & Mika, Thank you for sticking with me. It means the world to me!
It sounds like you’ve learned a lot over the years – and definitely one of the things to learn about this medium is to find where your boundaries are (which may be different than other people’s boundaries) and stick to them. Your friendships with people are yours – past and/or present – and the details of those aren’t something you owe anyone, least of all the internet.
I’m glad you’re in a good, healthy place, and back doing something you love!
Your wise as usual. I know you get it and have traveled this road well. Thank you for your words of advice. Boundaries rock and thank you for taking the time to be there!
She hasn’t deleted you. Go here and read backward. Glad you’re back and that Kyle is better (he is, isn’t he?)
Cindy, You are funny! Thanks for the link! That is such a great picture. Good times!
Kyle is much better. Thank you for asking and thank you for checking in. 🙂
I’ve missed you! I was building a small following back then & fibromyalgia took it away-hard to be funny or interesting when you have this 24/7 painful disease.
Btw I took a look at the “she hasn’t deleted you” link and it’s …
Best to you and your family & what a beautiful house!!!
Lorrie, Thank you! It is nice to be missed. I think I have lost faith in myself. I keep listening to everyone say that no one reads blogs anymore. I am so glad you do! You made my day!
as far as the “she hasn’t deleted you,” link are you talking about a link Heather Dooce had up? I am confused. And are you saying that she deleted that specific post about me?
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