Tuesday, February 21, 2012

{her, and what we should do about her}

SHE IS SO UGLY.

i'm not even going to try to sugarcoat it. some of you might think i'm being mean, but i need to get this out there.

she's rude, and smelly, and terrible to look at.

she's got pimply, cratery skin that she tries to hide under gloopy inches of foundation and blush; her mouth is the size of a dump truck, her ears stick out from her face like giant kites that could whip her off into the sky at any moment, and her face is just slightly green. she's a copycat and a phoney. she's loud and belligerent. actually and frankly, to put it delicately: i can't stand her.

so i really don't get why she's often featured on so many of the fantastic blogs i follow. i don't understand why she has so many facebook friends or why she's got everyone twisted around her knobby little finger. 


now, before you cringe and balk at the blatant name-calling; before you put trembling fingers to your faces to check your skin and ears and mouth for fear that i am talking about you; before you start formulating comments in defence of the aforementioned "she", hear me out because i grew up with her. i know her in real life. i met her in elementary school and i've known her ever since. 

her name is Jealous, and she has been stinking up the internet lately.

{i'm going to take a sharp left here, but we will arrive back at the point momentarily.}

there have been, in the last few months, a surplus of blog posts complaining about pinterest, about facebook, and especially, mostly, about "perfect blogs" and the "perfect lives" these blogs portray. complaints about bloggers painting a pretty picture of their lives and not being "real", by hiding away things that they struggle with or any dark secrets they might have. you know, things like dust bunnies and depression and crying babies. 

these irritated/angry posts never sit right with me. at the surface, probably, it's because i don't like feeling like we are automatically obligated to share every detail of our lives just because we're involved in social networking. i didn't start this blog to share my inmost thoughts and ideas with everyone and anyone who happens to stumble on it. i started it because i like to write, i like to doodle, i like to see what other people are coming up with and enjoy their creativity. why is it wrong for me to clean my kitchen before taking a picture of it for my blog or only post pictures of myself that i think are somewhat flattering or not write about the parts of my week that had me in tears? 
i clean the whole house before we have company. i put on make-up before i go out in public. i don't walk around in the grocery store wailing and crying and taking random strangers by the arm to share with them each sordid detail of my last few weeks--and i don't feel like that's an act, i don't feel like i'm putting on a show or pretending i'm perfect... i just kind of feel like i sort of have maybe a right to my privacy {i know, right? how dare i}. it's my choice how much i want to share, and if i feel like sharing a cookie recipe and picture of my spotless living room, i suppose that's what you're getting. 

if i DO feel like sharing something sad, or revealing a part of my heart to you {because yeah that happens sometimes}, i guess you could call that your privilege. not your right. say thank you, take from it what you will, but don't expect this to become an online diary. 

but the point is not that. 

the point is that after reading five or ten blog posts about the evil perfect model/couple/family/mommy blogs that are infiltrating the blogosphere and making us all feel like pond scum, i got to thinking about why they would bother us so much. i mean, i'm not exempt. i have this same relationship with a few blogs, the whole love/hate thing where i don't want to stop reading because they have such neat ideas and recipes and patterns, but i cringe every time there's a new post because the blog author is so much more creative, beautiful, put-together, etcetera etcetera, than...

oh. 

we've come full-circle. 

it's me.

i am Jealous. 
i want there to be something wrong with these people. i want there to be dust bunnies, or depression, or crying babies. as though somehow that would make all the rest of the perfection sting me a little less. 

and that is what is so ugly about her: Jealous is not just a feeling. 

she's someone who gets right inside your rib cage and smokes a cigarette, and the smoke climbs up your throat and into your head and it clouds your vision and makes you angry at other people for having nice things, for being who they are, for living out their full potential. what could be inspiring and beautiful is twisted into something that injures you and makes you bitter. the smoke rots your insides and wrecks your heart. 

i know that there are those who go overboard. the every-other-minute in-your-facebook statuses GUSHING about the perfect husbands and the beautiful beautiful beauty of pregnancy and amazing lives and houses and vacations... but those are not going to go away. 

and the only thing you can really do about them is deal with yourself. 
learn to rejoice with those who rejoice, even if they have something you don't. learn to be inspired by someone who can do something you can't. learn to love others enough to be happy for them and wish more good things on them. 

and, if all that is too hard for you right now, shut down your computer and go for a walk.

55 comments:

  1. Suzy, this is why I love you so much! You're simply saying what everyone is always thinking, that jealousy sneaks up on us all. We just have to realize that while social networking may make us feel that others have happier lives than our own, just stepping back and realizing what YOU don't write in your blog may be the same situation for them. We all have background noise, sometimes it's harder for some to let the world listen to it.

    <333

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    1. ooh, is that a triple scoop ice cream cone?
      {but yes, i think you're pickin up what i'm puttin down. :D}

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  2. This post is so awesome I am jealous that you wrote it first...

    Okay, okay, not really, but it is wonderful and so are you.

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    1. hahaha well thanks. you are wonderfuller. :)

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  3. I really love this. And it is absolutely something that I see both sides of. I don't think that people should air all of their dirty laundry and complain and gossip--but I also think that there is a point in blogs where you have to get real as well.

    I try to remember that when I write my blog. Sometimes I think I share too much, and other times I share too little.

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    1. oh, i completely LOVE when a blogger is real and shares stuff. i'm just not an overly open person like that and i don't think it should be an obligation, you know? if i wanted to do a straight up cooking blog and never even mention a single personal event, i think that should be ok. :)

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  4. Wow Suzy. Thank you. This is so challenging and humbling, and so beautifully written. What a lesson I need to learn. It's tough, because to some extent - the blog world is similar to how High School was, and that just stinks.

    xoxoox

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    1. IT IS SO MUCH LIKE HIGH SCHOOL.
      i can't even believe it sometimes. cliques, comparisons, popular kids...bah.

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  5. suzy, i'm so glad you wrote this, because you worded these thoughts better than i am able to. this is exactly what i've been feeling lately -- both the frustration that others are making a fuss, and the parts where i am actually the one with the problem. i had to put away my laptop and phone the other day to keep myself from facebook because it was about to make me have a meltdown. dramatic, i know, but you understand. it's all so silly. we shouldn't care so much, compare ourselves so much, but sometimes it's so hard to avoid. i know for me, Jealousy just kind of creeps up behind me all sneaky like, and before i know it she has made herself at home, and i don't know how to make her leave. thanks for being the one to finally just voice this, it's always encouraging to know you're not crazy and other people feel the same way! and your'e so good at writing things out with clarity.

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    1. oh my goodness--the facebook meltdown thing, i totally get that. that happens to me daily.
      but after writing this post i got on there and practised feeling happy for people. it actually worked! success!
      haha, but thanks for the kind words.. :)

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  6. What I don't get is if the blog annoys you or makes you feel jealous or rubbish or whatever--and believe me when I say I have been there--then just take a break from the blog, just stop reading it for a bit, and then have a look in a week/month/year/never.

    They aren't forcing themselves on us, we choose to read it.

    And when I feel like that I know normally it is because I am feeling down about something or finding something difficult and its easier to blame it on someone else.

    So well said Suzyy--totally agree!

    Probably just needed to say that rahter than rambling on and on and on.

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    1. haha no totally. and we are lucky in the blog world to be able to just not read. but i think it's a good thing to not just avoid stuff like that--i mean, it's a real life issue too right? {for me it is, big time!}

      but you're so right--for all these frustrated bloggers writing these angry posts, i do wonder why they go to such elaborate measures to tear down blogs they "hate" instead of just unfollowing and pretending they're not there...

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  7. well said, Suz. It's so hard to fend of jealousy but if we don't, she'll eat us from the inside out. Also, I'm not sure if I would WANT to read people's inner most thoughts on the internet ...

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    1. I KNOW RIGHT. haha. :) i've definitely stumbled across blogs where i'm like, "why, why, why do i need to know this about you?"
      example: yesterday, a girl recorded her temperature, and every. single. mucassy detail of what her cold was doing up in her throat, as well as any other symptoms and guesses as to what could possibly be wrong. {my guess: cold/flu combo}
      but i was so confused. like, am i a doctor? do i need to know this? is there going to be a test?

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  8. Yes yes yes yes. You have a beautiful way of getting things said that I didn't even know I was thinking, but as soon as I read your posts I immediately know that I have always agreed. Thank you for being one of those bloggers/people I simultaneously envy and adore.

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    1. aw, thanks for the kind words. :) i envy & adore you back!

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  9. spot on. for me it's all one big juggling act-trying to find the balance between the real and the ideal. I like the way you think : )

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    1. aw, thanks sarah! {and thanks for leaving a comment so i could find your blog. it's lovely.}

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    1. you're still here! i was so worried after you posted that post on monday {i think} that "glitter bunting" was code for "suzy krause".
      i'm so happy you haven't gone.

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  11. Excellent post. I too follow some of those crafty blogs, and I find myself getting a bit petty, sometimes. But then I realize I have a choice, as you say, rejoice with their good fortune and talent, or unfollow them. No one is making me follow them and it is up to them how much and what they want to share on their blogs. What we all need to remember is this internet thing is the public square and whatever we put out here is the same as shouting in the large shopping center (mall, downtown, Walmart, Target. etc.). So what a blogger chooses to share is his/her business.

    Jealousy is unbecoming. Where women are concerned we need to learn to support one another and not tear each other to bits. That's just too easy. Let's rise above and rejoice with each other, cry with each other, support each other.


    You said it well. Thank you for the reminder!


    Lily-Thinking Thoughts

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    1. very well said. i really wish we could all think like that...can you imagine a room full of completely non-jealous women? i don't think it's ever happened in history, but it could be fun...

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    2. It would be so fabulous!! Let's work together to spread the word!!

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  12. this. was. awesome. and so, so, true.

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  13. THANK YOU. Good God, since when is a blog supposed to be a freaking diary? You are allowed to share as much or as little as you want, thank you very much.

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  14. YES! Thank you so much for writing this post. I've totally been there wishing I had the time/patience/want/needed creativity to be able to knit my own jumpers. But I just don't have any of those things, and then I wonder why I'm getting jealous when I don't even want to knit my own jumpers. I also totally agree that you wouldn't just grab someone in the street and pour your problems out to them so why should anyone have to do it in the blog world?! I hate all these "rules" for social networking, it's so difficult to do the right thing sometimes!

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    1. OK.
      this is so rabbit trail-y, but i have to say this:
      i had NEVER heard someone refer to a bunnyhug as a jumper before, until i went to scotland. and then my aunt complimented me on my "jumper" and i looked at her all flabbergasted and said, "my....pants?"
      but then i found out that pants means underoos.
      sigh.
      all that to say, i'm so proud to know what you're talking about when you say jumper.

      but the point is not that.

      the point is YES. rules. who makes the rules? {the popular bloggers, that's who.}
      i wish there were no rules. back in the day there weren't. and it was better then.

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    2. Wow, I totally didn't realise that jumper was a British thing haha. But yay I'm so glad you know what one is! Although maybe I'll just abandon jumper and start saying bunnyhug because that is SUCH a great name. And just to flabbergast you further, I say pants to mean pants like you mean pants. Pants has lost all meaning to me now I've written it that many times.

      But as you said, the point is not that.

      The point is - let's make our own rules.

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  15. This is just so beautiful. I love how you describe jealousy. It's exactly how I feel when she's biting at me ankles. You, sweet blog friend, have a way with words & doodles! So very, very impressive!

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  16. this post! THIS POST! No one has said it better. You hit this on the head from our little convo a few weeks ago. I think we have all gone through this at one time or another. And it's all about how we react to it and what we take away from the lessons we learn. Oh and I've definitely taken that walk before and it's always the cure. Thank you Suzy for sharing these thoughts! You, lady....are awesome!

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    1. haha! i think your blog post about it was the final thing that made me what to write this. :) so thanks for the inspiration. you're fantastic. :)

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    2. Aww! Thanks! your sweet! I love that we can all inspire this. It's like you said everything I couldn't put into words! I think you are fantastic!

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  17. ''and, if all that is too hard for you right now, shut down your computer and go for a walk.''

    bahahahaha AMEN!!! :) loved reading this...

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    1. aw thanks kara. :D i enjoyed the enthusiastic amen. that was nice.

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  18. This is SUCH a great post. I love the part about how you clean up before people come over, put on makeup, and don't walk around crying & telling your life story to strangers. Sooooooooo true!

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  19. ah!! Yes, yes yes! I love this post so much. :)

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    1. aw, thanks for the kind words jodi! :D

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  20. if I could stand up and give you a round of hearty applause in real life I would (although it might seem weird to those around next time I see you!!) This is so true! I always try to remember that sometimes I really feel all warm and fuzzy about my life - and sometimes I am trying to FOCUS on the warm and fuzzy...not necessarily HIDE the truth! Great post, TOTALLY loved it! [I not only clean my kitchen before I share a pic of it, I also try and brush my kids' hair before I take their pictures too!! ;)]

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    1. i would just love it if you would applaud me next time i'm working in the info booth...{haha}
      and i like how you put it--there is such a difference between hiding something and choosing not to focus on it. inDEED.

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    2. {maybe i should take the analogy even further and mention that i do have those friends and family that i don't feel i have to get dressed for, or clean up the house for. but those people earn that place. inDEED.}

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  21. I am giving you a standing ovation for this post! Yay!! Yay!!! So true, and real...and well written! I not only clean my kitchen before I take a picture for my blog, but I brush my kids' hair too! (and sometimes dress them in matching clothes!) LOL!!

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  22. And you want me to join facebook....after reading this I truly don't think I need to. :) I loved this post, especially the part about not writing things too personal. Sometimes I feel guilty about that...but your logic is bang on!

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    1. but jennnnn that's not the poinnnnnt....
      the point is that facebook is a really useful tool. it's how you use it and how you respond to it that makes it good or bad. right? right.

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  23. Awesome post! And I'm loving the comments, too!

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    1. i've been loving the comments too--i think that might be my favourite part of blogging, the feedback. :D

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  24. You put into words what I haven't been able to decide how I felt. That makes no sense, but it's true. I like being optimistic and dwelling on nice things, and sometimes reading about how someone might have had a hard time and got through it. I don't want to go on a person's blog to feel more depressed about what I wish I was. I am glad I found this post because I was starting to feel like the only one who wanted it to be ok that I like those "perfect" blogs. I keep saying: Spring is coming!

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    1. aw, thanks for the comment brenda! well said. :D

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  25. So freaking awesome. I love this and feel the exact same way, and I think you are just an amazing writer. <3

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    1. oh garsh. thanks caitlin! :) you are so freaking awesome.

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  26. AHHH! this is such a wonderful post! i feel like i can relate to it such a ridiculous amount! { as can many others based on the comments!!!} well written:) so honest, and so true.

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    1. aw, thanks samara! {what a cool name. you should be a movie star.}

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