Really?!

I’ve been known to laugh out loud about stupid, random things long after they have occurred.  Like the time Rich and I were out to dinner with our friend the brain surgeon who, out of the corner of my eye,  I could see was struggling to close the oversized tri-fold menu from which we were ordering.  We were sitting next to one another so my view was purely peripheral and it was not until he became exasperated and mumbled, “I can’t close this fucking menu” that I cracked up.  That happened months ago, yet I have, on many more than one occasion, been reminded of it (like, oh, I don’t know, when I see a menu?) and proceeded to crack up all over again.  And there was the incident during which my coffee date, who had just shared the bizarre oddities he has noticed about himself as he has gotten older (he just turned 50) began frantically darting his head around the room as though there was something chiming or chirping or buzzing or ringing only to be told (by me) that it was utterly silent.  Granted, that just happened two days ago, but I am still laughing about it.  Similarly, I believe I will be laughing for a while over the time I received the first negative comments to my blog.

In my admission that I was struggling to come up with anything truly blog worthy, I had the audacity to post (on my blog) a silly rant about my curls and a (likely temporary) decision to embrace them.  The entry was fluffy, did not touch on the specifics of any real issue surrounding my child who has identified as transgender, or my frighteningly close to eighteen year old’s travails, or my marriage or my sanity yet it was, apparently, the most offensive of all the posts I have ever written.

Here is the first comment, which, I must admit, initially (like for a nanosecond) saddened me and made me second guess my egregious decision to post what was on my mind:

I found your blog when I learned that a friend’s child was dealing with transgender issues. I was hoping that your blog would give me more insight into what the family faces in order to provide support where it is appropriate. In general you are not sharing much information and your blog posts are vague and uninformative…should I keep reading or are you now reconsidering your original intentions?

Here is the first response I wrote:

Really?  Go fuck yourself.

And here is the one I posted:

I am sorry to disappoint. If you go back in the blogs you will see the adventure that is all part of living with a child who identifies as transgender and if you think a bit about each post you will see that they all do, in fact, shed light on what a family goes through during this process. Admittedly, some posts are more “vague” and “uninformative” than others, but so, too, is life with a child of any kind – transgender or not.
It is entirely up to you whether you want to continue reading or not. I would love to have you, but certainly don’t want to waste your time.

Not gonna lie: I kinda wish I had stuck with the first one.  But, alas, the day was young and I would have another opportunity soon enough.  Among the many positive and supportive comments yet another one popped up:

Hair care products? Really?

My first and final response:

Yeah, really. Sometimes life feels like a train wreck and something as ridiculous as a good hair product can make an otherwise shitty day just a little bit better. You are seriously offended? Wow…I file that under: your problem, not mine. That said, my hair looks spankin’ and my day was better as a result. That is all part of this whole parenting game: doing whatever it takes to make it just that much easier.

Which, in my mind, was as close to “Yeah, really.  Go fuck yourself” as I, being a classy lady, was willing to go.

Now to the part that makes me laugh.  I have written sixty posts, of varying levels of depth and intense honesty which have had well over 100,000 views and over 1,500 comments (and this number does not include the comment thread on HuffPo or The Boston Phoenix!) none of which were as offended (and offensive) as these two.  In fact, over dinner last night I was telling Rich about them and we literally started to laugh.

Really?  I have written of my “daughter with a penis” and my hysteria over finding an appropriate bathing suit (for her, not for me, although that could be a whole blog unto itself…), of my fears and concerns for her, and frankly our family’s, future and not one, but two readers took offense at my discussion of curly hair????  It was funny.

This is a kinda big deal, actually.  A few months ago, I would not have seen the humor in this.  (Oh, who am I kidding, I might not have seen the humor yesterday or, frankly, tomorrow, but whatevs.) The fact that I was able to this time, however, signaled to me a newfound strength that I have apparently built within my psyche.  At no point did I say to myself, “Bad Julie…you goof” rather I realized that it is actually these commenters who are the goofs and not I. I think I may need to thank my therapist for that.  (Note:  I have not identified either one, though I do have that power should I choose to exercise it.  Further, I had the choice to not approve the comments, yet I did.  One more point for me?)

So, thank you off-centered readers for providing  another tidbit that made me laugh which I am sure to revisit in my head (probably while sitting at a red light admiring my curls in the rearview mirror) and find funny.  I hope y’all deem this entry  acceptable.

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62 thoughts on “Really?!

  1. Embracing your curls while all around you the world is whirling out of control is wonderful! Being nice to yourself is the hardest thing for any mother to do as we worry and fret about our children’s (and our husband’s) happiness. Good for you!

  2. You make my day all the time. Hair care products can make the life of an parent possible so I applaud the use of you favorite one! I will, in fact forward it to all my curly girl friends!
    Go curly girl!

  3. The strangest thing happened this week. This is the third blog I read that had a day with the haters. Hopefully these things really just come in 3’d b/c my head hurts from the ignorance. I actually wrote a post about haters today and now realize that I gave them more attention! Rats. Foiled again. BTW – I have wavy/curly hair and totally appreciated the hair stuff.

    • Oh, there are plenty of haters out there, particularly when it come to discussion of a ten year old transgender kid. What cracked me up with the hating over the most ridiculously benign blog I have ever written. What up with that?

  4. I think I just might stop reading your blog, simply because you didn’t actually tell those nitwits to go f*** themselves. 🙂

  5. Julie, you GO, girl! You are so right on track and it is inspiring. These people need to quit taking the world so seriously. Nobody is going to come out with their child who is identifying as transgender and talk only about irrelevant things… obviously there’s more about the transition in the blog. That remark was just silly.

    I think you’re doing a great job both on your blog and with Jessie, and I know that no matter how much of a transition state you’re in, there are times when you just have to think about and write about something else. Hair is a good topic, as far as I’m concerned, although my bad hair days are when it won’t curl no matter what I do. 😉

      • Ah, but you never have the issue of looking like you have a pinhead because your head looks too small for your body. It’s always something, especially hair. I’m just glad I have plenty, even if it’s naturally stick-straight and very fine.

      • I will acknowledge that it is probably better to have curly hair that I can make straight than trying the other way around (which everyone says stinks), but my mother would be the first to agree that my thick, curly and plentiful hair, while the envy of many, is the bane of my existence.

  6. I’m totally satisfied with your first response, Julie! It’s your blog. Period. Hey, …. there’s another subject for a blog- your period! Wonder how many comments you’d get about that!? I could rag on and on about mine. Lol! Seriously.. the world has enough trouble without people looking for it! Keep blogging!

    Has the novelty of being able to be herself worn off for Jessie, or is every day still a new ” girl” experience for her? Just curious, for myself, I know I would have bounded out of
    bed each morning at the prospect of a “new
    girl day” ahead of me had I been allowed to be
    who I was inside, when I was her age! Be grateful you live in the world of today- you have done all that’s necessary at this point for her to grow up well adjusted and confident. You are an awesome family!

    • It is an interesting question about the novelty of being Jessie. She is a very very complicated creature so it is hard to tell what is still novel and what is old hat by now. I can say this: she hardly ever bounds out of bed. That could be due to her nocturnal ways, but, again, who knows?

  7. Bwahahahahaha! The first commenter/bitch-er made me laugh so hard! “You MUST delve further into your intimate familial situations (possibly at the expense of your loved ones) so I can be MORE SUPPORTIVE of MY friend’s private struggle.”
    I truly hope that is not her version of being supportive… 🙂

  8. I totally would have gone with Really, go fuck yourself. Of course, I’m in my 50’s and am now know to say how I really feel. I have curly hair, and sometimes it just needs to be blogged about. Good on ya.

  9. I was directed to your blog by Dazee, and just wanted to say I’m a transman, ftm. Although I’ve mentioned this on my blog, it’s just a very small part of who I am, and my blog is just about me as a person, not about what’s between my legs or not. Good for you that you’ve made your blog about your journey as a family and not just focused on one aspect of your child’s gender. I think your approach is right. 🙂

  10. Can I tell them to go f*** themselves? People like that have TOO much time on their hands…….Didn’t have a curl until the last few years, menopausal shit or what? I may need that product soon, please keep writing.

    • Was wondering when you would chime in! Start experimenting with product now – it is a lifelong struggle that you get to start now.

  11. Julie,
    I admire your perspective and ability to keep humor as part of your life. It really is the best medicine. As I shared my new found journey w/ a friend over lunch she told me about your blog, which I have just started to get caught up with and I personally want to THANK YOU from the bottom of my HEART & SOUL for embracing your children for all they are! I would love to meet you one day! Just shy of my 3rd wedding anniversary, the love of my life came out to me as a transwoman – my world crashed all around me – it’s been almost 4 months now since I heard those words and i’m still working through all that I feel, but most importantly I am trying my hardest to keep it all in perspective – the one I claim to love is finally truly HAPPY and it’s clear as day to me. He faced his biggest fear & came out, he didn’t end his life & for that I am eternally grateful! Seeing 1st hand the emotional internal battle the one I love was going through and then to know the WHY was a relief and a OMG all at the same time! So, when I was told about Jesse & her amazing family and especially her mom for having the courage to blog about your families journey, I was comforted to know that I am not alone in my roller coaster of emotions day to day. Know that there will always be those who will never understand, but then again most fear what they do not know. My hope as I go through my personal experience is to make a difference in the world….. As you are!!!

    Best
    LG

    • Wow! I am not sure how to even respond to this. What an adventure you have ahead of you. I hope you will keep in touch and let me know how things are progressing. This is a crazy ass ride, but you can do it! All the best to you!

  12. the fact that you even take the time to do this blog at all is helpful and wonderful in and of itself….keep it up…people who are expecting each post to be some kind of miracle answer for the things that are bothering them need to get real. This is about life..and I appreciate just hearing another family’s perspective no matter what the topic of the day.

  13. I have to chime in here to say how much I LOVED reading this post. Humour is essential for life, and all of the comments considered (whether they “made the cut” or not for posting) are apt and generally excellent.

    I must have missed the comments the first time round, but this follow-up post gave me cause for shameless amusement as well… mostly at the thought that The Offended are more than likely older than me, and yet they seem not to have considered the fact that it’s “your blog, your rules”, and you’re certainly not responsible for boosting their ability to support those around them. Not to mention the fact that taking offense at The Lighter Side of the topics covered here is the digital equivalent of holding up a giant sign emblazoned “MORON IZ ‘ERE” with an arrow pointing downwards… or something to that effect, for all the sense it makes.

    And with that, I will promptly stop typing… 🙂

    -JC

  14. First…in response to this post. The only thing that comes to mind is, “You ROCK, Julie.” (and yet, I usually dislike using those popular lines….) Long live Julie, long live your incredible sense of self, your insight, your ability to articulate the challenges and struggles you face day-to-day that help so many of us face our own, long live your amazing sense of humor. You do, indeed, rock, Julie. Seondly ,

  15. Seondly… to LG above. You made me cry. You, like Julie, sound like an amazingly kind, caring and generous human being. I wish you well.

  16. Ah man, so much chuckling going on on this sofa right now. I’ve been blogging for just over a year and received my first crazy-person comment last week – I also suppressed the “really? Go fuck yourself” urge. Well done us!

  17. “My hair looks spankin’! ” Oooohhhh, love it, love it, love it! Keep it up curly top! If I stumbled across your blog as the parent (or friend of one) of a trangender child I would think it would be a JOY to find that another parent lives a normal LIFE amidst the unusual challenges presented by parenting a transgender kiddo. Are you supposed to be at home crying into your soup? Are you supposed to be serious and directive because your readers are paying you a hefty sum to guide them down this road less traveled? I think NOT! Long-distance love you!~Shaun

    • Good point, Shaun! It was just a moment of normalcy which, apparently, I am not entitled to enjoy! Back at ya!

  18. You are a classy lady indeed! Well done.
    Your revised response to the first poster is a model of restraint, composure and common sense, you’ve just become my role model!
    If that had been me I probably wouldn’t have replied at all out of the fear of coming off as completely rattled, or something, not sure. You posted a great response.

    • Thank you. I admit my initial reaction was one of a bit of fear, but I quickly got over it. That, my dear, is the result of having a great therapist. Highly recommend it to all.

  19. I like your blog so much that I have nominated you for the Reader’s Appreciation Award. It will appear in my blog tomorrow. You can check it out,to see what is involved. 🙂
    Julia

  20. Seriously? Really? In my humble opinion, if you aint got humor and/or good hair day vs bad hair day stories, you aint living the dream or an authentic life! We ladies are all about the hair. And a meteorologist confirmed that for me this weekend when he actualy talked about the day being a good a hair day. Gotta love a guy (yes a guy) who knows what’s important and who caters to all the viewers, be it men or women! Sometimes you need to lighten the load, yours or ours, with crazy ass stories about other things besides your family or your kids. We’d be insane without those little tidbits of info or stories that resonate so deep within our hearts! So Jules – you keep writing about what makes you laugh, what makes you cry, what tickles your fancy and all things vain! I’m still reading …. and so are others! Just sayin’. xo Caren

  21. “Really? Go fuck yourself!”… Love it! I love reading your blog, sometimes I cry, most of the time I laugh. Thanks for all of it. If people don’t like what you have to say they can all just piss off.

  22. It’s ALL about the hair. Look good to feel good is the number one rule of customer service so I’m not sure why it’s any different for parenting. You can’t be phenomenal without looking equally so. Besides, Miss USA last night, (Rhode Island) stated that transgendered should be allowed to participate in beauty pageants. So really, great hair care can lead to HUGE opportunities. 😀 And yes, all other naysayers can go ef themselves. 😀 😀 You so strong! So proud of your skills, so proud. 😀

    Pink.

    • I heard about that — she got the tough question and took the prize. Love it! As for the hair, right now it is curly as all get out, but in a gigantic poofy ponytail so not looking so phenomenal…

  23. Great as usual..Much love from Michigan to you and your family, Julie. I enjoy reading your posts and am glad to have stumbled across your page.

    Charlene

  24. I went out and bought some of this magical Ouidad, and my curls are 50X bouncier, and I swear my hair feels thicker (can a hair product really do that?)

    But in all seriousness, I just want to thank you for sharing your perspective. I love reading your blog. Take care of yourself, do right by your children (your words!), and THEN worry about blogging. If that means taking a break or writing about your hair, then that’s what needs to happen.

    Danielle

  25. First of all, I absolutely love reading you, because you tell the truth. And of course, the truth is always not just one thing or another, but both. It’s a mix of good hair days and bad, of funny things and serious things, and embarrassing things. And anyone who doesn’t appreciate that… let them go read something else.

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