Friday, September 05, 2008

How It All Went Down

[Warning: this post probably won't be of interest to the general public, but only to a handful of people who know me personally. Apologies to the rest of you.]

Wow--two Internet smackdowns in one week! And my mom wonders why I'm thinking of giving up my blog.

Way back in June, I wrote a post that unintentionally offended Christopher's and my friend Jordan, to whose blog I linked in my own essay. Jordan misconstrued my link to mean that I was using her as an example of a distasteful life, when what I actually intended was to merely cite Jordan's discussion of the idea of having "margins" in one's life and, truly, thank her for spurring me to consider this idea and my own blessings. Jordan was upset about and hurt by my post, and, according to her, so were a number of other people who read my writing and then contacted her personally to discuss their mutual outrage--I guess old college friends or other mutual acquaintances of the two of us who read both of our blogs.

Jordan didn't tell me she was upset with me at the time. I only found out three days ago, when I happened to read her blog, where she discussed the whole thing. I was shocked and mortified to find out that I had unwittingly offended a friend--especially to find out in this way; Jordan knows that Christopher and I both read her blog and would surely see this post. My original post was completely misinterpreted; I in no way meant the things Jordan thought I did. (Honestly: I am SO SICK of working moms misconstruing my statements of "I am so happy to be home with my children" to mean "...and you are wrong to not be home with yours.")

I immediately wrote Jordan a sincere, profuse e-mail apology. I also posted a heartfelt public apology on her blog, with the sincerest of intentions.

Jordan has decided to delete my apology from her site. She has also chosen to leave up her Tuesday post which inaccurately puts an awful lot of ugly sentiments in my mouth. She says she deleted my apology because it was triggering all sorts of subsequent disrespectful (to me) comments on her blog, but if that were truly the case, she could have deleted the disrespectful comments and left up my apology.

I don't know why Jordan doesn't want her readers to see or know about my apology or about the fact that she misunderstood the meaning in my June essay. But I do want any of our shared readers/friends to know that I have tried in the most genuine way I know how to make things right with her. I've consulted with Christopher--who is far more level-headed than I--all week about this scenario and what to do about it. (By the way, his comment to Jordan's blog was deleted as well.) I don't like the fact that Jordan has left up her original post, which makes me look like a judgmental bitch for things I never said about her, but all I can do is continue to apologize for an honest mistake, and hope that others take the whole story into consideration when forming opinions about it.

I'm not perfect; I don't always write super-clearly and I no doubt open my yap way too much, but one thing I don't do is willfully hurt my friends. Nor do I negatively judge other mothers for choosing lifestyles that are different from mine.

Thanks, and that's all.


Mnmom said...

If you are like me at all, you will agonize over this for at least 3 more years. What can you do besides apologize? Not much. I also hate when women themselves pit us against each other.. stay home? work? part time? full time? all depends on so very many ultra-personal factors that no one can judge, as you've said. Big hugs to you today.

Mnmom said...

PS - I reread your June post and don't see anything offensive to a mom with an outside job. I believe your friend perhaps read it wrong, truly. I think I know you well enough to say you would never disparage someone else's parenting choices. This is indeed unfortunate.

Shan said...

Yeah, you'd think someone who's known me for over 15 years would know me well enough to say that too, mnmom. (Sigh.)

Anonymous said...

Because of this, I'm finally leaving you a comment. I've been reading your blog for a couple of months. (You've actually inspired me to start my own, which is still on my list to do of course, because my 45 minutes of mama time everyday is usually spent on something more dire like shaving my legs or tracking down the lost hello kitty sock.)
The blogosphere is a fickle friend, worse than the preschool playground some days. I'm sorry you've been thwapped twice this week with hurtfulness. Please remember, though, that this negative stuff in generally more about the insecurity of others and less about you. (Though, I know it doesn’t feel that way in your heart.)
I’m determined to find a way to blame this on the RNC. Don’t you think? --Sara

Shan said...

Ha! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Sara, for the smile.

And also for your warm words of support, and the reminder about the insecurity of others.

Laura H said...

I heard a couple years ago from CBC radio a program about girl culture and how conniving, manipulative and MEAN girls are to each other. It was such a great program I wish I could hear it again as a parent of two girls. And your situation is proof that we don't (as a general group) ever outgrow these traits.

I remember in high school sitting with my mom at the kitchen table, and she was crying and telling me how the ladies at her work were spreading lies about her. She didn't know why, she didn't know what she had done to become their target. My MOM, the friendliest, most outgoing person I know. And here she is at 40-something years-old still feeling like she's in sixth grade. Save us from ourselves!

Shan said...

Seriously, Laura H! When Ruth read this post, she said to me, "I can't believe people are abusing you in cyberspace--YOU, the nicest person I know! It's just like junior high!" Well, I'm not saying I'm the nicest person ANYONE knows, but I DO feel like I'm in junior high again. And who wants to be there?!

donna said...

*sigh* I'm sure part of the problem is also that things are in writing (vs. being spoken) which increases the chance of being misunderstood (both on your part and on Jordan's).

Shan said...

To Donna: No doubt. Although, in the end, "I'm so sorry. I'm totally sorry. I did not mean what you thought I did, and I am 100% sorry." seems pretty clear to me.

I will now drop the subject, hopefully forever.