blogging geek

An Open Letter to My Most Loyal Reader

To my dear anonymous friend:

I started this blog a year ago, without consideration at all to the concept of readers or followers.  I almost made a private blog, but it seemed highly unlikely that someone would just stumble upon me and then subscribe.

Subscribe to what? There’s naught but madness here!

But of course you know all that, because you’ve been here from the very beginning.

I received my first email from you less than a few weeks after my first post.  You never comment, and process of elimination suggests to me that you don’t even subscribe– but your emails (sent at least monthly) show that you read every single word that is written here.

I think you’re my most loyal reader, even though I don’t seem to do anything but annoy you.  That’s why I’m writing this post, in lieu of a final email to you.

It seems a fitting sort of flair.

Firstly,

I’d like to tell you that it’s okay.

You can be frank in your dislike of me because I don’t mind honest opinion.  You of all people should know that by now.

All emails can be tracked back, you know– and the way you write “RaRaSaur” (the way I did when I first started blogging) is a dead giveaway.

The anonymity is unnecessary.

Secondly,

Thank you. You’ve inspired some of my favorite posts, prompted some of my most thorough proofreading, and lit a match that created several fires of friendship.

sea otterYou said that my first tagline was false advertisement, that calling my husband “The Husband” was sexist and demeaning, and that baby sea otters do not turn into dinosaurs.  After thinking about it– I changed my tagline, started calling my husband by his name, and dropped references to being a baby sea otter.

Don’t get me wrong– I didn’t and still don’t agree with you.  But you prompted me to think about things that have made a very real difference to my blog, and I thank you for that.

Thirdly,

Just for old time’s sakes, let’s address your last email.

You say that I hide from conflict.  I most adamantly disagree.  (See what I did there?)

You say that I abuse exclamation marks and emoticons in the comments, and overuse words in my posts.  You are correct, though I’d rather be too warm than too severe– and I can’t always manage finding my way to the middle ground.

You say that I pretend to love everyone, but also secretly have favorite readers and bloggers.  I certainly didn’t intend to be secretive.  To be clear, I most definitely have favorite readers and bloggers.  That doesn’t mean I don’t love (nearly) everyone who pops by.

You say that I am often too vague about strife in my life because I am wearing a mask of happiness.  If I’m vague, it’s only because upsetting topics distract people from the real issues of the world like coffee cups and muppet babies.

Also, I’m just a happy person.  I know how annoying that sounds, but it’s true.

Fourthly,

Goodbye.  I spent today sorting my email folders.  When I saw my first email from you from nearly a year ago, side by side with your email from this week, I realized that it is time.

Smile, my favorite hater– this picture is just for you.

It’s time to do other things now.  It’s time to write emails to people who enjoy reading what I write.  It’s time to do a little less defending and a little more creating.

I hope, one day, you can look at this picture of John Stamos and smile at the weird centerpiece of our friendship, laugh at the mullet that has become our awful inside joke, and grin at all the energy we spent trying to meet somewhere in the middle of our two vastly different personality types.

It’s my fault that we didn’t.  Like I said, I can’t always manage finding my way to the middle ground.

Thanks again for everything, my anonymous friend– I hope you find nothing but kindness and cheer in your future.

xo!
Rara

124 comments

    1. Aw, thanks. I struggled with the decision to stop replying to the emails… and then thought, all that time invested warranted something more than just the “block” button. I’m glad it translated. 🙂

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    1. You went to spam again– how strange! Aw, thanks… I tried patience, since he was never cruel… just… nitpicky and upset. This last time, though, it just occurred to me that we’d never really see eye to eye. It was a strangely anticlimactic way to end things…

      Thanks for reading 😀

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  1. great, great, great!! I had a similar but different problem that I cannot elude to on the internet. Suffice to say I had to be very aware of what I wrote in a public arena, The upside of this was I though harder about how I wrote, and I even made myself feel more compassion in the process.. So I ended up growing as a person and writing better. Some philosopher once said something about learning more from enemies than friends. and I now know that is true!Friends affirm me, this person didn’t and there were changes I needed to make, Not the ones they thought, but they were there.
    And thank yo for your help in sorting out my button. Still not quite there with the others but I am sure i shall one day!

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    1. It’s true. I try to have friends who would call me out on crazy or errors, but the perspective of someone who is trying to nitpick at you is a valuable one. You get to see things from an entirely different set of eyes. Like you, I didn’t make the changes that were suggested or for the reasons they were suggested, but it *did* make me change. For the better, I think. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and no worries on the button help. If there’s something I can do about the others, let me know. 🙂

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    1. HOORAY! I have to say that I’m always quite happy to visit my blog and see so many 😀 ‘s and exclamation marks around. I think it makes things quite cheery!! 🙂

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  2. “You tell ’em, Steve-Dave!” Sorry, it’s a quote from a movie, but it seemed oddly appropriate and funny in a quirky way 🙂 I love how droll this open letter is; I imagined you were whistling a tune merrily to yourself as you wrote it, stopping only to quietly laugh at some silly memories you shared with this “anonymous” person. And, I don’t know if I ever mentioned it, but I did really love your post about the coffee mug 🙂 SO beautifully written.

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  3. Here in Ireland we would call him “a big eejit or a gobshite”, both are mildly offensive, but both mean someone who doesn’t engage brain before speaking,,, or in his case writing. I could not have put up with that amount of negativity on what is your own site. He would have got delete, delete, delete from me. In fact as I type I can feel my blood bubbling, and it is not even my issue. You are a real lady (I’m hoping he thinks that is sexist and demeaning). Well done. Oh and just to finish off,,, I love you. :):):) as I know he likes emotion and emoticons!

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  4. Brilliant, as usual.

    I have to wonder if there is some sort of full moon phenomenon going on in the blogosphere. My issues, this, some other things I have seen happening… I’m still new to this, so maybe it is really a cyclical thing when it comes to negativity boiling up to the surface?

    IDK. I wonder if my “friend” thinks they won since I basically just started over, but the truth is they inspired me to rediscover why I love this place/space.

    Keep on keeping on, my Dino-friend.

    Love,

    A grammatically predictable emoticon, ellipsis (and parentheses) abuser B-)

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  5. Oh this anonymous friend of your’s seems like a real nut 😉 You know sometimes you like criticism more than appreciation …. But when the criticism starts causing more destruction rather than construction, this is the best way to get rid of it, what you did 😉 Really amazing 🙂 xx

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  6. What? A year? Wow, I couldn’t even put up with 3 mails in the same vain. A year? Ok, that’s why your the coolest blogger out there. By the way, I bit the bullet and took the moderation off of my comment section! Thanks so much for the inspiration. I got more ideas from you then probably any other blogger out there. Great letter!

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    1. It’s true, and you have no idea how much time I spent thinking about a picture for this post related to that general theme. (I was like– strolling cat, whistling cartoon man, panda riding a rocker?!) Once I decided on the leaping umbrella man, I decided he definitely needed to be leaping across gotham city, so I did a quick erase of his background and tossed him there. 10 minutes on a post. 30 on internet browsing and picture assembling. I’m a dork. 🙂

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  7. You’re a beautiful woman. And I, for one, take a great amount of inspiration from your incessant happiness in the face of life’s downsides. Dino-RAWR!

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    1. Thank you, Melanie! 🙂 Even in the face of dark moments, there’s always so many shining sources of light around. It’s hard not to stay relatively chipper, 🙂 Rawr!!

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  8. Just by your blog…your writing reads that you are awesome person! Amazing breakup, lol, and you had me laughing so hard with the John Stamos photo!!

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  9. Well done, rara. Compassionate, honest and mutually honoring of yourself and the perspective of the other. Courage, dear rara. That’s what it took and you stepped fully into your heart. 😉

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  10. Genius. You are genius. You are happy in a coffee cup and dinosaur and baby sea otter kind of way. And your truths are kind, to the point and wonderfully unharsh. Lessons we could all learn. I hope he/she did.

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  11. Fabulous. Simply fabulous. I have never invoked the emotions that you invoke on your posts so I have never gotten any emails like you received from Anonymous but you handled this so doggone well! As for overusing exclamation marks and emoticons? What the heck? I live for those!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You, as usual, rock ! Thanks for the witty and always entertaining and thought provoking posts. So glad I found you.

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  12. great letter. i can’t believe someone takes the time to continually write to criticize. I haven’t had that experience yet. i’m counting myself lucky. definitely time to move on!!

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  13. Baby sea otters don’t turn into dinosaurs? My entire world view has been challenged here.

    I’m still amazed this person has been emailing you for a year with just criticism, yet never commented. That’s just so weird. Good for you exposing the little troll to the light of day, and for moving on. And John Stamos? Have mercy. Guy still looks good (esp since he lost the mullet) and it’s how many years later? Oh, almost forgot. 😀 😀 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!!!!!!!!!!!ELEVENTY!!!!!!

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  14. I really do read everything. And usually love it. Sometimes, it’s not my favorite thing you’ve written … I guess they can’t all be favorites. But you always make me feel warm and fuzzy — that’s not as easy as it used to be. We all have to let stuff go. I think it means we are alive and moving down the trail.

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  15. Rara,
    The manner in which you chose to handle this was great. You write beautifully and don’t forget that. Xo.
    CB

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  16. Good morning rarasaur! I am so sorry this happened!! I have been in and out of your blogosphere and love it… I will keep up more and send positive thoughts. I have often wondered about writing more and doing less with photography- I am not sure I would be able to tough it out- as you have. As always, you have my best wishes, and admiration. 🙂

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    1. 🙂 Thank you kindly! I grew up with that expression, but hadn’t heard it in years… though I think the variation I was raised with was closer to “You can catch more varmint with honey than with vinegar.” 😀

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  17. I love emoticons , call husband ‘ the husband’ and love sea otters..:) n I love being happy in blog world and happiness is the reason I read your blog.:) you are very patient with such email senders, Rara. 🙂 loved this graceful post. Take care and keep spreading happiness 🙂

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  18. So you had an anynonmous nitpicker? How strange my friend. He must have been very jealous of your wonderful writing and personality. But sometimes a change is necessary, I’m sure he will find someone else to nitpick away at. He must be very lonely. I also use too many exclamations and emoticons. Ah well, so be it!!!!! 🙂

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    1. An anonymous nitpicker is the very best way to explain it. 🙂 Time flies, though. I didn’t really think about it being a whole year of nitpicking till I saw the emails side by side.

      There’s nothing wrong with a few exclamation marks, I always say, 😀 They make things look much… happier!! 😀

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  19. As I read your open letter, I wondered, “geez, if the person hated your stuff so much, why did they keep reading it?” Did you know this person in real life? Still, I can’t imagine why someone would invest so much time in the company of negativity. (Unless no one else would hang around 🙂

    P.S. I love all kinds of smilies 😛 and punctuation – especially exclamation marks, which indicate enthusiam!!

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    1. Nope… as far as I know, very few real life people read my blog– my hubby, my boss, a stray cousin or two. Even then, most of those are very recent additions… though it wouldn’t take too much sleuthing.

      It’s totally possible that he blasted off 10 emails and just came back to me because I would reply, haha.

      I was hoping to turn it all around and make nice, but it never seemed to happen. And hurrah!!! for smilies– they really do brighten things up! Yellow is such a pretty color. 😀

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  20. Brilliant way to handle this! You know what I don’t get? Why someone who apparently so frequently dusagrees with you would bother coming back to your blog at all– why not just move on? It makes me suspect that this person was actually finding something of value– but could never admit that. A sad misuse of energy, I would say.

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    1. I would hope he was finding something of value here, or maybe it was just one of those things– like how people who hate Rush Limbaugh still watch him. I think it might be just a personality clash type of thing– which, yep, was a lot of energy. I was hoping I could turn the tide one day, but when I realized I couldn’t…. I thought maybe it was best to just let it go so that I wouldn’t be misusing my energy. 🙂 Thanks for reading, Lindy!

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    1. Thank you! I was pretty proud to make it through a year, 😀 but of course it only happened because of the support of awesome people. Thanks for your readership and awesomeness. 😀

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    1. Thanks, Elyse… yep, I have no idea. I don’t know the last time I gave more than a minutes thought to a stranger’s use of apostrophes. 🙂 We live in strange times! I really do think it all comes down to the anonymity of the world.

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        1. Yep, I can’t imagine being a kid in these times. It’s weird to think many of them may never know the face of their bullies. It’s also weird to address someone via an email– because words are so permanent. I don’t know if I’d want proof of what I said to anyone who said something unkind to me when I was a teenager. I’d hope it was reasonable and graceful, but who knows?? Permanence and anonymity are always circling nowadays… it’s not a great era to be a teen. Nothing makes me more glad to be nearly 30!

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    1. I don’t know WHAT it is. My hubby’s way more offensive than I could ever try to be, haha, and he never gets any sort of angry email. I get them regularly, and have since the beginning… though most are resolvable. Maybe it’s just my blog name. That’s about the only thing here that’s stayed the same. 😉

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  21. This is such a wonderful letter. I don’t expect your ‘friend’ will understand it, though. Anyone who reads a blog and emails to express opinions rather than commenting publicly is a little strange.

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    1. Probably not… but at least I feel like I did my part. And instead of replying to a possibly fake email account… I feel like he’ll definitely at least receive it. It just felt too weird to just end it without note or comment at all.

      Thanks for reading, Sarah Ann! 😀

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  22. I personally like the use of John Stamos as a gift/offering/final inside joke. 🙂 This must have been hard, but it sounds like it is time and you have done it very well with integrity and humor. 🙂

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    1. 🙂 Thank you. I pretty much love using John Stamos’ picture everywhere I can… I think it’s the most re-used picture on this whole blog. 🙂

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  23. Fabulous. Absolutely brilliant! I am clapping! What a fantastic reply.
    As an aside, I can’t imagine anyone having anything to dispute about your bloggy space. To quote the great Winnie-Poohan scholar, Tigger: “Impossibibble.”

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    1. Thank you, AR, haha! Yes, I hardly delve into anything controversial. It’s all mostly nonsense here, but I suppose it’s possible (possibibble? :)) to abhor nonsense. 😀

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  24. Well, you know what they say, you haven’t really made it until you’ve got your own stalker! Fortunately for me I have only upset one person enough for them to be really vitriolic, and that went straight to my spam filter. 🙂

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    1. Haha, this started when I had maybe 4 followers, so I think it’s probably less about having made it and more about… all those dang smiley faces. 😀

      I do get exceptionally vitriolic emails, but those are usually resolvable misunderstandings. Still, even then, I find it odd that someone the take the time to write a rant email. It seems exhausting. 🙂

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  25. I was thinking about this a few months ago. Why are we most inclined to address, thoroughly, the negative comments, the negative vibes, the general poo-pooing, and so inclined to swat away the kindness like a persistent fly; to not believe it, to think it falsely flattering or something similar? (Of course, I’m largely self-projecting). But great response; I can never be so balanced to “mild hate” mail.

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    1. I love this question. It’s the sort that will spin my hubby and I around for hours, as he tends to be on the darker side of the life color spectrum so we lean differently on such topics.

      For me, it’s largely the specificity. When someone is being positive, it can often be vague… like, “You’re quite pretty” as opposed to “Your eyes are really sparkly.” When someone is being negative, it’s rare when they just say, “You’re not that pretty”… it’s more likely that they’d say, “Your nose is a little larger than most, but I suppose you do what you have to do.”. I always feel the need to address specificity– whether its positive or negative, but just because of the way humans communicate… it tends to be the negative. 🙂 There’s been a few posts on the ‘sphere saying nothing but kind things about me and I made a page to include them (under Above & Beyond Love : https://rarasaur.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/thank-you/). Sometimes I get all emotional about it and do a full post, too, but it always always seems braggy even though I’m not the one saying that I’m pretty swell.

      I much prefer to receive the enraged hate mail, and I get good share of that from one-off sources. I find that I can usually resolve issues with this. This guy, with the annoyed-mail, was a struggle… still, I had faith we could meet in the middle and I still do. I’m just no longer interested in investing the energy in that direction…

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      1. Hmm – I think you hit it on the head when you mentioned the bagginess of it. Accepting the positive almost assumes a sort of agreement. “Ahh, yes, I am quite intelligent and insightful; and yes, my farts do indeed smell of roses. You are quite perspicacious. Thank you for noticing my majesty.” The specificity thing is a goodie, too. But I struggle to, shall we say, contain my shit, when someone has completely misconstrued… something, anything; especially when their analysis is so blatantly wrong/vague/off topic (but still specific).

        I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no point in explaining myself, cause you can’t please everyone, and not everyone’s gonna listen, or even be open to listening. (Even though I usually can’t help myself and let the shit fly).

        What I don’t understand is how anyone could get narky at a typing dinosaur? Foolery!

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    1. Haha, oh, there are so many who take issue with one part of the blog or another. This one just happens to be less hate mail and more… annoyed-mail… and is the longest running, but yep. It happens, 😀 Thank you for being shocked by it, though, 😉 Haha! Meow!

      Like

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