On being mean

A handful of people have let me know that they thought my post about Zoe was mean-spirited. My first reaction was: Moi? Mean? But I was only having fun! And perhaps having a laugh with Zoe! You people really need to look at the world as I do. In a whimsical and laugh-filled fashion! Tra la!

But then I thought some more. People were telling me I made fun of Zoe for no good reason. And here I didn't think I was making fun of her at all. But, then, who was I making fun of? Was I really writing those emails from a place of goodwill and bonhomie?

No. No, I wasn't.

I'm annoyed by these emails. I get them constantly. Anyone who blogs gets these pitches a lot, but once the column started, they ramped up to an unmanageable degree. And every time I would respond graciously, and tell them, look, this is a personal column, I write about my kid and my painful gas, I'm not going to interview Elizabeth Banks although she sure is pretty--but the queries and pitches kept on, and keep on coming. Even now that the column is defunct (I'm only on the website now, not the print mag). So you know what? I was annoyed with Zoe. Not with her specifically, but with Zoe the symbol for every single PR person who would email me 5, 6, 20 times a day. I was.

And when I wrote that silly email, I thought she'd take the hint and not reply, but then she did, and her reply was so pleasant and yet also completely clueless, I was a little giddy and amazed. Did she know what I was up to, but choose to ignore it? Was she going to keep up this charade for as long as I did? Or did she simply not read my previous email? So I wrote the follow-up, at that point honestly and truly just trying to amuse her.

Also, I suspected she hadn't read the previous email, and I felt a little like I did in high school, when I would work on these complicated science lab reports and put all kinds of insane directions in the middle of the report, just to see if the teacher was actually reading them, and he never commented, so I ramped up the crazy for the next report, but nope, he still didn't notice, so then for the third report I just drew cartoons of a farting pig for pages and pages, and those he finally caught. So it was kind of like that.

And then I was sick with the flu and felt like I should put something up, and there you have it. Not my proudest of moments. I completely am okay with that post being a misfire for some of you. (Steph, come back!) Zoe: if you're reading this, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I made you the butt of my dumb joke.

I don't mean to, but sometimes I do venture into mean-girl territory, and it's not an area I enjoy exploring. I'm a nice person, as most of us are, but I also have a lot of anger, as most of us do, and sometimes it hits the wrong target.

Speaking of which, here's something that's been bothering me for, oh, a loong while: Jenny McCarthy. A year or so (?) ago, I was in a Momversation about autism and vaccines, and I told Jenny McCarthy to go fuck herself. I know a lot of people decided I was some kind of a folk hero for saying that, and thank you for your support, but to be honest I feel shitty about it. It's one thing to tell Andrew Wakefield where he can take a flying leap: the man consciously, purposely misled the public and wasted untold resources that were funneled into study after study on the nonexistent, fictional link between autism and vaccines. He's a worthy target. But Jenny McCarthy, misinformed as she might be, and I do know she hurt many other parents of autistic children with some of her statements--she was fighting what she fully believed to be a good fight. She was wrong, but she wasn't malicious, and didn't deserve my wrath. And I'm sorry.

And I'm sure she has better things to do with her time than watch old Momversation episodes, but nonetheless, that's been bothering me, and I wanted to get it out there.

Whew! Thank you, everyone, for keeping me honest. I love you guys.