Sunday, April 26, 2015

An Editorial

If You Can't Say Anything Nice ...

I was once told that when you visit someone's blog, it's like you've been invited to visit their home, & you should act accordingly.  Somehow, I can't imagine being invited into someone's home & then being rude to that person in any way.  For example, if they were to show me a quilt they had made for their child, & I thought that quilt was the ugliest thing I had ever seen, would it be nice of me to tell them that?  No, of course it wouldn't.  I would instead find something nice to say about it. And if during our visit they were to tell me a story about how they got so fed up with trying to get their roses to grow that they just dug them all up & put them out on the curb on trash day, would I sympathize with their plight, or would I tell them what a horrible person they were to throw something away that someone else may have wanted?  I would, of course, sympathize with them.  This is a part of having manners.  Being kind. Being a decent person.

Likewise, when I visit someone's blog & I disagree with something they've said or something they've done, I mosey along my way.  What purpose would it serve me to belittle someone, call them names, accuse them of being lazy, or wasteful, or thoughtless, or ???  It's none of my business.  If I find that their blog (or their home) is not a place I enjoy visiting, I simply don't visit there anymore.

A long time ago, I learned "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Apparently not everyone has learned that.  

The Great Blog War of 2013

Most of you will remember the great blog war of 2013.  I'm really not sure I can call it a war.  To have a war, you need to have two warring armies.  This war had just one.  I had just gotten out of the hospital after having heart surgery.  I was struggling with a cross stitch design &, as I often do when I'm frustrated about something, I wrote a humorous post about my pathetic inability to get this design to look like the model photo, & I jokingly added that the model stitcher must have chosen their floss colors & stitched the design in the dark, then didn't remember which colors they chose so they just chose some colors randomly to include with the directions.  I even included a sentence or two about how I loved this particular designer's designs.  The designer (long established & popular in the cross stitch world) saw my post & wrote her own post about it making her feel inadequate as a designer, wondering if she should give up designing, & reaching out to other designers for comfort.  Her followers turned into a mob of hatred against me. These people knew nothing about how long I had struggled to get this design right, how frustrated I was, what a perfectionist I am, etc.  They knew nothing about me at all, yet I received dozens of emails so nasty ... calling me names, telling me the designer should sue me for defamation of character, & telling what a lousy stitcher I must be.  

When I read the designer's post & saw that she had taken mine out of context, I immediately removed my post & sent her an email explaining to her that she had always been one of my favorite designers, & that my post was a put down of myself, not of her.  I even pointed out where I had written how much I loved her designs (which, for whatever reason, she completely ignored).  I apologized for inadvertently hurting her feelings, & told her I had removed the post. Yet she continued to let the war go on for an entire week after receiving my email, before she posted simply that she had received an email from me & she was letting the situation drop.  She never responded to my email.  

One week after heart surgery ... during this one-sided war ... I had a small stroke.

The Yarn

A couple days ago I posted a photo of  a sock which I attempted to burn in my kitchen sink.  The title of my post indicated it was "Frustrating Knitting Stuff."  I received a few comments, which I posted, & then I received more comments, which I did not post.  

If anyone knows anything about me, they know that I will stick with something until I get it right.  I did not just knit this sock once, discover I wasn't able to get it right, & then try to burn it.  I spent three weeks knitting, frogging, knitting, frogging, & knitting & frogging again.  I hated the yarn from the start.  I don't know what possessed me to buy it when I did ... whenever that was.  I hated the pink & blue combination, & it felt rough in my hands.  The yarn split constantly while I was knitting with it.  I looked up reviews of the yarn on Ravelry.  Everyone posted glowing reviews.  My skein must have been a lemon.  

After three weeks of knitting, frogging, knitting, frogging, & knitting & frogging again in order to get this sock pattern to be the way it was supposed to be, the yarn was a mass of splits & pills.  No one could have re-knitted the yarn if they wanted to.  I could have just thrown it in the trash bin & been done with it, but no.  I enjoy entertaining my followers.  I thought seeing the end of my frustration with this sock, with me trying to ignite it in my sink, would give my followers a laugh. Some of you did laugh.  Others made comments & sent me emails telling me that I should have passed the yarn along to someone who could have used it, that perhaps I should try knitting something else other than socks, telling me that I was childish & ridiculous, & accusing me of being wasteful.  

Where Were They?

I know they shouldn't, but emails & comments like these never cease to amaze me.  Many of these people rarely, if ever, comment on my blog.  They never commented to say "I hope everything goes well" when I had my first & second heart surgeries.  They never commented to say "I'm sorry" when Sophie passed away.  But I post a silly photo of me trying to burn a frustrating knitting project in my kitchen sink & these people come out of the woodwork to tell me what I should have done with some stupid yarn ... yarn which I bought & paid for with my own money & can therefore do with it whatever I like ... & to call me names.

The Future of My Blog

The great blog war of 2013 changed the focus of my blog.  Whereas I always enjoyed posting funny stories to make my followers laugh ... all of them obvious put downs of myself ... I started to obsess over every post I wanted to publish.  I don't even publish half the number of posts that I used to. To this day, every time I publish a post, I ask myself "Who's going to be offended by this?"

No doubt some people are going to be offended by this post.  I feel sorry for these people.  I will pray for them.  They must have sad, empty lives when they feel they need to criticize others, call them names, etc.  

A few of the blogs I follow do not accept comments.  Perhaps the blog owners have experienced the same sort of criticizing & name calling that I have.  If I continue my blog ... which I will need to do if for no other reason than to post my book reviews ... I will perhaps likewise turn off my comments.  Of course that won't stop the emails.

35 comments:

Robin said...

Oh Shirlee! I do hope you don't turn away from blogging. I find your posts inspiring, thoughtful, and not the least offensive. Those who send those critical comments and/or emails must be unhappy or like to create unhappiness in others. Thinking of you!

Robin in Virginia

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

I'm so sorry, Shirlee. I have seen so many nasty comments throughout blogland over the years and it always makes me sad. {Hugs}

Vicki said...

Please don't stop blogging! Several years ago, one of my favorite blogs all of a sudden went private. I had read her for years, commented when I had something worthwhile (in my opinion) to say, and had even won a couple of her giveaways. I knew she had issues with rude commenters, but was still shocked when she disappeared. I was also disappointed when I was not invited to follow her privately. I don't understand why some people are so rude when commenting. It hurts me when a blogger has an experience like yours. I'll continue to be a faithful reader as long as you write!

Angela Tucker said...

Your post makes me sad. I was also taught that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything. Unfortunately, the internet has made the less kind people of the world more bold. It is easy to mean when there is no accountability. I enjoy your blog and your sense of humor, it is a lot like my own. You cannot control others, only your response to them. Prayer is the perfect answer.

CraftyGurl said...

Thankfully I have yet to have bad comments left on my blog but if I did I would, like you just delete and move on. I chuck it up to people being unhappy "Misery loves company" is that the saying?

I have however had people correct my grammer and spelling, I know I am a bad speller and make grammatical errors and rarley use spell check.

I would not turn off the comments but whatever is best for you.... I did not see the burning of the sock post but I find that funny I ripped up a stitched piece because I got so tired of frogging it! done and moved on LOL

I hope you have a good weekend and like Taylor Swifts song says....
"And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate
Baby I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off" :D

Lynda Ruth Bowers said...

Never mine them dear, I so enjoy reading your blog and will continue too. I love your comments and hope you continue to blog. big hugs Lynda Ruth

marly said...

Sorry Miss Shirlee. I get them too. You can remove your email from the public profile to avoid them if you close comments. Just don't close your blog!!! I miss those old posts and the corresponding visuals.

Daffycat said...

People never cease to amaze. I've learned to fake a pretty thick skin when it comes to blog comments and the hullabaloo caused by misunderstandings and differences of opinion.

Sarah in Stitches said...

Oh, Shirlee, I'm so sorry. Some people are just nasty and have nothing better to do, obviously. I thought it was hilarious and was looking forward to hearing the full story. I really hope you don't stop! You always make me laugh :)

Maureen said...

~sigh~ Shirlee, I fear people take themselves waaaay to seriously any more. It also seems the anonymity of sharing opinions via computer rather than face to face has made some put aside that important rule you mentioned. Knowing your talent and your quest for perfection, I chuckled and said to myself oooh this must have been a tough pattern if Shirlee's giving it the "firey sink treatment".
I remember back in grade school, if a few kids acted up in class it could cost the rest of us our recess time. I hope you won't let a few kids acting up stifle your blog writing and ruin the enjoyment we get visiting here with you. Maybe change your email addy!

Karen said...

Shirlee, it's a sad commentary on what the relative anonymity of cyberspace has done to our society. People who would never say a mean thing to someone's face become incredibly rude when hidden behind a nickname and an avatar. I'm sorry you had to deal with such nastiness.

JulieF1962 said...

I love reading your blog, though I almost never comment. I don't comment on anyone's blog--don't really know why, I guess I just like being a lurker. I don't usually read the comments on blogs, so it wouldn't bother me at all if you shut that part down. But I hope you'll continue blogging because you have a lot to offer your readers--beautiful pictures, inspiring crafts, interesting reading. Don't let the turkeys get you down! Oh, and I quit buying that designer's patterns after I read what happened on here back in 2013. Her response to you left a bad taste in my mouth.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMMENTS!!

(I was deliberately shouting that bit). You are hilarious and very self depreciating and everyone who comments regularly loves you and your quirky sense of humour.

As you say, these lurkers don't offer anything positive or nice or sympathy when times are hard, they just wanna hate.

I think it is possible to block people from your blog, maybe you could consider that as an alternative.

Go Team Shirlee!!

Vickie said...

Oh man! I support you Shirlee. I always have. Please do NOT stop blogging.

Mother of Mayhem said...

I am sorry that you have gone through this not once, but twice. I always enjoy reading what you have to say and will be sorry if you do not continue. I don't blog but I "lurk" and read many stitching blogs. I always think that your opinions are thoughtful, intelligent and funny. I wonder what stitchers would think if they knew that I have thrown out WIPs, patterns, etc. when I get disgusted with mistakes, etc. I guess they would think that, I too, was being inconsiderate in not passing them along to others.

I have hosted several giveaways on a well-known ONS site. I was shocked when, in the course of email communication, a fellow stitcher asked me to lend her some OOP charts from a well-known designer. I told her that I had not even stitched them yet and I wasn't lending them to her. I was
treated to the same type of behavior that you are experiencing so I can empathize.

Hang in there.

Karen in Maryland
kmkelch@comcast.net

Kaisievic said...

Oh Shirlee, I am so sorry to hear that you have received more nasty emails - what is wrong with people? You are such a lovely person and I would have thought it was obvious it was all done in a spirit of fun (and frustration). I love to read your blog every day and I love to read your funny stories. Just ignore the naysayers - that is what you have to do. All my love and support, Kaye xoxoxo

Debbie said...

Shirlee,
I enjoy your blog.

Just continue to be you. Blog for yourself, always.

Have a good week!

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Well said Shirlee!!!
I say continue to do what you've been doing ~ it's your life. My Mom always said turn the other cheek ~ remember you have a delete button!!!
I enjoy reading your stories from time to time ~ I know if I'm having a bad day I can count on you to brighten it a little!
Blessings to You
Robin

Stitching Noni said...

I am so sorry to read that you have had such a horrible time with comments and people taking your posts (words) out of context.
I am like you.... if I don't like someone's post or I disagree with something they say... I just move on and don't comment! There is no reason to make nasty comments... As the old saying goes - if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!
Hugs xx

Blessings in the Country said...

I'm sorry that you have had hatred thrown at you. Then and now. I agree, it's your yarn, if you want to burn it, that is your choice. Besides, if you didn't like the yarn, why would someone else?

I didn't comment on that post because I'm not into burning anything, I would have recycled the bad yard for stuffing. But I also TOTALLY GET that it frustrated you to the point that you just wanted to "kill it with fire!" (Have you heard that term before? I like it. LOL) We all deal with frustrations differently!

To the mean people who come here, shame on you! There are so many other worthwhile things to raise your voice about that are more worth your time!

Grace said...

I am always surprised that people can be so negative. I have also read NieNie (Stephanie Nielsen) speak of the cruel things people say to her. It is sad that this kind of meanness goes on. I do hope you not let it affect your posts because I really enjoy them.

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Oh geeze louise, some folks need to get a life! If you want to set your knitting on fire for giggles who's business is it but yours?! I mean, really?!! Haters are gonna hate and those of us who "get you" are here everyday. Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox now.

Kathy C said...

I've always enjoyed reading your blog...even the "Great Blog War". I thought then as now that your comments were "tongue in cheek" and not intended to criticize anyone. I hope you continue to blog so I can continue to enjoy! Have a great day.

Frances N said...

So sorry that this unpleasantness has taken place...There is already so much that we MUST deal with in life--the last thing you need is any extra, unnecessary garbage from anyone! Please know that you are loved and appreciated. Your blog is informative and very FUN! It is enjoyed by many and would be truly missed by many!
People use being busy as a reason for being thoughtless or uncaring, but they never stop to look at how busy all the kind people are, too!!! Ignore them....they aren't worth wasting happiness on!

Terri said...

I also enjoy your blog and I agree with what you've said in this post. I am so sorry you had to go through all of that, especially right after heart surgery! Some people!

Hugs!

Angela CG said...

I am so sorry that you have had to read through those awful posts and emails. I have read both of your "Burning" posts and laughed because I recognized the frustration of a fellow stitcher who is a perfectionist. I don't remember if I commented on either post, but I want to thank you for putting yourself out there for us so that we know we are not the only ones who become so frustrated with ourselves and the project we are working on. Most of the time I am one of your silent stalkers, but I do enjoy reading and laughing with you.

Alyssa F said...

Shirlee I'm so sad this happened to you! I admit I was little confused about the sock picture (not knowing the story behind it) but I thought it was funny. Sadly, I think so many people nowadays hide behind the anonymity of the internet as an excuse to say mean things. No matter what anyone else says, always be yourself!

gracie said...

It is a shame that there are some people who think they are above it all. I have on occasion received emails that were deleted so quickly I hurt my fingers! I as well as many others enjoy your company here on your blog and when you visit our blogs. Please do not let those who are inconsiderate to change you.

Julie said...

I am wishing and hoping that there is a lovely post here in the very near future... I really enjoy my visits here.

And ... this is the exact reason why I don't pass on the blog awards due to bad emails I received in the past, it can be very hurtful.

{hugs} x

Kaisievic said...

P.S. DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMMENTS AND DO NOT STOP BLOGGING, PRETTY PLEASE.

Michele Inman said...

Oh dear, so sorry about this. I rarely comment on any of the blogs I follow but I do enjoy reading them. Yours is one of my favorites so I do hope you continue. {{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}

Jo said...

Shirlee, Please don't turn off your comments because of the meanies. I enjoy reading your blog and the stories are such a delight. I wish I knew how to make a blog.lol Keep up the good work and you will accomplish whatever you put your mind to.

Hugs to you,
Jo

Rosemary said...

Wow, there are some people who can really take things to an extreme. Yikes. I hope you don't stop blogging, I enjoy seeing what you're working on and it's nice to have real stories of real people's experiences. Not all projects are sunshine and lollipops. Some are just a matter of By God, I'm going to finish this thing!!!! LOL

Sally said...

Oh Shirlee these people clearly have very sad lives! Please, please don't stop blogging or turn off comments. I know I may not comment very often but I love reading what you've been up to and oh boy do I feel your frustration with yearns, threads etc etc. You don't have a bad bone in your body and you are one of the nicest, kind hearted people I know in blog land. Keep your chin up my friend.

Maggee said...

Last I heard, we all have FREE will, and can do what we like with OUR belongings. Not everyone recycles used up yarn, or partly stitched cross stitch projects, for goodness sakes!! I have more to say, but not here. But--the main point I want to share with you is try not to not let the people who are so stoopid take away your joy and happiness in what you craft, think and share. Don't give them that power! Big Hugs to you, my very good friend!