Anonymouse

Here is a comment that I received on Wednesday’s  post.

God your life is envious. Traveling, take out, days at home. Get a job lady.

Its probably the 20th time I’ve gotten a version of this. Some of them have sported better grammar. Some more loathing. All are anonymous.

Here, in no particular order are the thoughts that flash through my brain when I get that comment:

  • A job isn’t what I am seeking. The word job sounds grind-y, neither inspired nor meaningful for the world. If you need to work to survive you should get a job. I do not. So I will do other things with my time and money that hopefully make life better for me and for my community than if I worked 9-5 at a cash register somewhere.
  • Why read this blog if it makes you pissed? This is not required reading for anyone.
  • Trying to reconcile the variety of good fortune that makes it possible for me to not need a job with the emptiness that I feel, perhaps in part because I don’t have a job is complicated. And I shouldn’t have to review it every damn post.
  • Its not like you have to be very fortunate to have a packed suitcase. The majority of us have packed a suitcase for one reason or another.
  • Why, again, do I write this blog? It is such a mixed bag of clarifying my thoughts, making connections with people and feeling like an asshole. The fundamental navel gazing nature of a blog without any thematic or educational purpose outside of myself can be boring even to me. Ultimately though I think I can be the best mother, investor, marketer, developer, decorator, connector, friend and wife if I keep on thinking through this shit.
  • Everything takes practice. I cant just think/write something once, have an aha moment and just straighten out.
  • I don’t generally use this space to celebrate my achievements. I could switch that around. Sort of like smiling in an attempt to change your own mood. Would that make you think I was less of a spoiled whiner?
  • Why do I care?

That’s the bitch of it. Sometimes I really do care. Here is another example of some constructive criticism I have received:

I follow your blog and it’s hilarious. You have to be the most bored, complaining person I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Ya don’t work, you have tons of free time, you complain about vermont, you complain about the weather, you complain about your kids. What do you enjoy? Anything? Your blog is a broken record of misery

This was even before I wrote the post complaining about my boobs!

I’ll keep writing. You decide if you want to keep reading. And if you are going to write a comment that doesn’t pertain to a particular post go a ahead and leave your name…that way I can get right back to you.

Published by

Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

26 thoughts on “Anonymouse”

  1. At first it looks like he’s calling you a lady. Except there’s a comma missing, which means he’s stating you should get a “Job Lady”. Who wouldn’t want a Job Lady at their disposal? Brill!

  2. God I envy someone who has the time to leave a negative comment on a blog post at 10:26am. That person should get a job already.

    I love your blog. Keep writing!

  3. Anna – I read your blog every day and I love the fact that you contribute every day! Keep it up and fuck those people who just troll…why say something negative when a life well lived is the best revenge.

    Whenever you see a comment like that on your blog…just type back – “jealous?”

  4. Anna, the comments are anonymous because the people writing them know you, and the community we all live in is small and close. We watched you piss away money at the waiting room. We watched you flail at the art hop. We watched you dump money into houses on the lake and make other poor decisions and then just laugh it all off like it was nothing. We’ve been in your house for cocktail parties, chewed the fat at local fundraisers, and heard you drone on and on about how hard your life is and how miserable you are. The internet is an anonymous place, but chittenden county is not. It’s not good to burn bridges here. We all see each other at school functions, parties, events, walking our kids, at restaurants, etc. You think your blog is such a compelling story about how open and honest you are and how hard your plight in life is, but for the rest of us it’s somewhat sad and rather hurtful. We go to work every day from dawn to dusk, trying to scrape a living together and live in VT, pay the mortgage and have some fun on the weekends. You clearly take your life for granted and flaunt it online for the rest of us to be jealous of. Shame on you. Yeah, we have time to comment on your blog, but it’s late at night after putting the kids to bed, getting caught up on work, and finally click your blog to see what Anna said today. Keep on writing, because it’s really amazing to read such a callous and out of touch member of our community ranting online. And if you do leave for the Bay Area or Austin or Denver, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    1. I would say the part of this that I disagree with most strongly is that I take my life for granted. I appreciate sharing your name, so I can be sure to drone directly at you when I see you at my house next time.

    2. Bill –

      Why do you read this blog if you hate Anna so much? Why would you go to cocktail parties at someone’s home who you are very jealous of and clearly despise?? THAT seems hateful.

      I work a full time job as does my husband and we aren’t wealthy and I don’t find this blog hurtful in any way. I find it hilarious, refreshing and honest. God forbid someone tell the truth about the life you wish you had, Bill.

      Is Anna supposed to apologize for having money? Should she hide the fact that she has money? She is a writer, when she writes should she hide that writing because it refers to the fact that she has money? Would that make you feel better? Would that be more acceptable to you? Give me a break! No one is forcing you or anyone else to read this blog or go to her cocktail parties. We all make choices, Bill and you have chosen to continue reading and apparently attending events at Anna’s home, so don’t be a dick.

      You have clearly never suffered from debilitating depression as you seem to think people who have money aren’t allowed to be sad. Clinical depression isn’t being sad, it is a life threatening illness. If Anna had Lupis would you judge her for the days she had to stay in bed or wasn’t able to do anything? I think not. Mental illness is no joke. I sincerely hope no one in your immediate family has or develops a mental illness as your capacity for empathy around it is clearly nil.

      Just because someone can be anon on the internet doesn’t make it the right thing to do. I’m sure you don’t want your kids to be bullied online, so I would ask why you, a grownup, and an example of how your children will behave is bullying other people online?

      1. It is really and truly hard sometimes to read about all of your money and think, if only. It’s painful even, when I just want to sit at home and make things. But what I love about your blog is the clear reminder that although we’ve all been taught that money is the answer to happiness, it really isn’t. I find it honest, not flaunting. And we know that in our hearts, don’t we? Life continues with its ups and downs and struggles and gifts no matter what level you’re at. Yes, I’m jealous. So painfully jealous that you can do these things, and I think I can do it better. Then I have a day to myself and I watch netflix all day. Turns out having many choices does not always solve everything – and maybe it’s not money getting in my way. And, you are a gifted writer. And, I object to your list of “failures” from Bill above. So cruel. By what measure? Oh right… money.

    3. Hi “Bill C”,

      I debated about commenting on this post, but your comment has swayed me. I too live in this community, and specifically, Shelburne. Before I was actual friends with Anna I was a patron of the Waiting Room. I knew of Anna by her community and philanthropic efforts in and around Burlington. A few years ago we were introduced by mutual friends and she and I became friends over the months that followed. What I have appreciated most in knowing Anna is her candor and honesty – about what she thinks about me, everyone else – and mostly, herself.

      Your comments concern me. First of all, you state that you attend the parties that Anna hosts. So, you are posing as her and/or her husband’s friend. Why? If you find her “droning” hurtful, then man-up and talk to her about it. Or, choose not to be her friend – don’t attend her parties, don’t chat her up at fundraisers, and steer clear at the soccer field. You are not required to hang out with the Palmers. There are lots of people I don’t want to spend time with in OUR community and I don’t. If you are a REAL friend, you’ll figure out how to talk to her in an honest way. Since you reference your children in your comment, I would suggest that you model the type of friend you want them to be. That’s a win for everyone.

      Secondly, you’re naive to think that Anna has not a care in the world and does not struggle to get her kids in bed, the bills paid, and laundry done… like the rest of us. She does not “flaunt” her life. If you live in Shelburne (or, the surrounding towns) you’ll see that wealth and (most importantly) how people choose to spend their money is “flaunted” all over the place – people driving luxury automobiles, stay at home moms/dads, the size and location of one’s home, etc. Anna is not unlike a lot of our neighbors. You’re just choosing to pay attention to her because perhaps more than some others because she is an open book on her life through her blog and social media posts.

      Your last “don’t let the door hit you,” statement is so cavalier. Anna’s ideas and her charitable contributions would be missed by many in our community. And, for your sake, I hope that it does not effect any of the not for profits that you care about, as someone will have to take up the slack there — maybe you?

      Bottom-line? If you can’t appreciate Anna’s blog for it’s quality writing, then don’t read it. If you can’t be a real friend to someone, then stop being a poser. This community would benefit from people being honest with themselves and others in a kind and respectful way.

      My best to you. Seriously.
      Nicole

  5. And piss away money?!?! Are you kidding me? You clearly don’t know Anna at all. She gives away more money to people/projects/non-profits than anyone I have ever known and I don’t mean actual dollars, I mean proportion of income, which in her case happens to be lots of dollars.
    I’d love to match up her proportion of giving with yours, Bill.

  6. I woke up thinking about this post (that I read yesterday). Money can make things easier but it does not bring you happiness. Appearances aren’t everything and the older I get I know that everyone has their crap. No one’s life is perfect – no matter how much money you have.

  7. I really admire anyone who is willing to put herself out there publicly. I can’t do it, I don’t have thick skin. Women, especially moms, who blog publicly seem particularly susceptible to deep-seated insecurities and petty jealousies of other women who have taken different paths. From years of reading columns, blogs, etc. online I have come to believe that those who comment anonymously in a negative way are the biggest cowards out there. They get a feeling of moral superiority from trying to take someone down. It is appalling. They would NEVER in a million years say these things to someone directly, or attach their name to most of these comments. Their lives are so unfulfilling that they get a thrill from taking on an alternate online persona, and they get off on the controversy they stir up. ignore them, don’t engage them, because that is the ultimate insult to them. I know many bloggers and columnists who no longer allow anonymous comments – they have to post via Facebook. It doesn’t completely silence these people, but they can no longer be anonymous or secretly judge you at the supermarket.

  8. Why are people suggesting that if they disagree with Anna or resent her they shouldn’t leave a comment? Isn’t that the whole point of a blog? And if you don’t want anonymous comments, force people to use their real names. Nicole, I’m sure there are a lot of parties you go to, that you really don’t want to go to. You go because of obligation, work, networking, and other reasons. Since when is disagreeing with someone’s opinion a reason for not commenting or having a voice? I thought that was the whole point of forums like this. Bill, you could be a little nicer, but I support your voice and views.

    1. I don’t think anyone’s suggesting that dissenting views shouldn’t comment. But doing so anonymously seems to give people permission to be assholes, and is just cowardly. It’s one thing to leave a random, innocuous comment anonymously, but to be intentionally cruel behind a mask is obnoxious and immature. If someone feels emboldened to share seriously dissenting and questions viewpoints, they should own up to it like Bill did.

    2. Hi, Tina.

      I think that all conversation – in support or not – should be allowed on a blog. And, I think that people should have to identify their Facebook profile with their comment. That would cut out a lot of the online shenanigans.

      I should have clarified in my initial post that that is the way I think. My comments were directed toward the sentiment that Bill posted, which I found to be hurtful to Anna and unkind – and without real purpose – other then to tell her that he did not find value in her being part of the community.

      Regarding the parties that I attend: there are many events that I go to that I may not want to, but I have to because of work or because I want to support a non profit. That said, I try to live with integrity and I do not go to people’s homes if I am not their friend or I feel the way Bill C feels about Anna. That’s disrespectful to them, and would not hold true to my core values.

      Best,
      Nicole

  9. Tina –

    I’m not suggesting people who disagree shouldn’t comment at all. I am saying that people who despise Anna (As Bill C. CLEARLY does) aren’t required to read her blog. I think there is definitely a way to say you don’t agree with someone without being cruel. I don’t believe BIll C. would say those things to Anna’s face, so why say them online? Why be a bully? I recognize that Bill C. is miserable, so there is nothing I can say that will make him more miserable, but that doesn’t make it OK to bully someone. Ever. And that’s what his comment is, bullying plain and simple. He was not giving constructive criticism or “disagreeing with someone’s opinion”, he was intentionally trying to be hurtful and was attacking her character. Completely different ballgame.

    When I read something online I think is “callous and out of touch” I rarely, if ever comment on it unless it someone I know well and would say those things to them directly. Why? Because it’s mean and I don’t gain anything from being mean.

    1. So the blog is only for people who agree with Anna? This is how the internet and blogs are set up Maura. It’s a dialog. The blogger posts, and the readers comment. If she doesn’t want comments, disable comments. If she or you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

      1. Tina –
        I’m just fine in the kitchen it’s not too hot in here for me. I’m happy with a little heat and no anonymity. How about you? If what you and Bob are saying is so righteous and true and you are truly interested in a dialog use your real names. First and last. I’ll go first – Maura O’Neill. I live in Essex Junction and I’m a real person who would be happy to meet you and “Bob” at Next Door Bakery on Monday for some real dialog. Because, you know, I am not afraid of disagreeing with people on the internet in a thoughtful way, but if I’m going to sling some shit in someone’s face (like you and Bob are doing to Anna) it’s going to be in person and not anonymously on a blog.

    1. Sorry I have been silent today. I’ve been in class, mostly offline. I knew that I would make both friends and enemies with this blog, just like I do in life. I think anyone should be able to post whatever they want, and that’s why I have approved every comment. It is all part of making this public. If I didn’t want responses I would just keep a journal. That said I was upset by bill’s comment this morning. I think Maura and Nicole did a better job than I of rebutting what he wrote. Although there is certainly some truth to it, at least I assume so or it wouldn’t have hurt so much. It is a bit alarming to know that I have hosted someone who obviously loathes me…and by hosted I mean in real life, not on here. Your assertion bill that everyone who reads and comments on this blog is local is incorrect. I will take a screen shot of the analytical if you are interested, but over 90 countries and every single state is represented in the readership of shelburbia, and in particular that anonymous comment that sparked the post was not from Vermont. I don’t know who it was, and he/she might know me, but the IP address implies that we don’t bump into each other regularly. In any case these are small details. I appreciate the reading and the commenting. I would just ask that no matter how much you dislike me you try to imagine my kids, or yours reading what your write. Is it still something you would stand behind? If so, go ahead, if not, maybe try to tone it down a bit. I’m feeling pretty glad I didn’t have a big holiday party this year…pretty sure I don’t want to be buying you any more cocktails.

  10. Anna, now you’re sounding hypocritical. The title of your blog is “sex, drugs, diets.. Shit requiring attention”. You talk about sex with your husband in the blog, about many other kid inappropriate topics, but then you scold Bill for his words. It’s not adding up. This is such a hilarous situation and is really showing the true colors of all these comments, but most of all Anna who is clearly affected by the comments even though she says she is not. Hey everyone, thicken up your skin a bi, it’s just a blog.

  11. Kasy – It doesn’t seem like you actually read the comments people have made here because NO ONE is saying people shouldn’t comment, including Anna. As a matter of fact she actually thanks people for commenting and says: ” I think anyone should be able to post whatever they want, and that’s why I have approved every comment.”
    And is this: “…try to imagine my kids, or yours reading what your write. Is it still something you would stand behind? If so, go ahead, if not, maybe try to tone it down a bit.” (aka: don’t troll) such a high standard that it will muzzle people?!?!
    If not saying something on a blog that you wouldn’t want your kids to read is too high a moral standard for anyone then I would suggest it’s time to reevaluate since any comment you make here is accessible to your kids, everyone’s kid who has access to the internet.
    But you know, get thicker skin you whiney babies. Perhaps everyone should put their first and last names on each comment, so we can send the comments you make to your children, so they can see what you write. I mean, since everyone will have such thick skin and all. Sunshine, it’s the best disinfectant.

  12. Wow, these are exciting comments and I have to step away from my computer so I can’t read them all. I read (or don’t read) many stay at home Mom’s blogs about how friggin perfect their life is. It is fake and in no way based in reality. I love your blog. Money or not, you are being real. That is righteous. Now get your ass to Colorado. 🙂

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