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Kitchen Sink

You Probably Won’t Like Me Anymore After This

April 8th, 2009

The other night I lay in bed quite unable to sleep. Nothing was wrong, as it usually is when I wake up in the middle of the night, no racing heart or sweaty boobs, I just couldn’t sustain drowsiness and so awoke at one a.m. open-eyed and bushy-tailed. And then I did what I always do when this happens: I cracked open my laptop kept under the bed for just such occasions. I browsed blogs, checked stats (modestly unchanged from the week before) and followed links. And in the midst of this process, I learned that Dooce’s new book made the New York Times Bestseller list and that she’d be on Oprah the next afternoon.

 

Just then, the dark, dark claws of jealousy gripped me so tight, my stomach roiled and gurgled from the sheer intensity of it. Now usually, I can swallow such envy. During the day, I’m able to marshal the resources it takes to actually be happy for someone who’s accomplished what I hope to myself. I am much more reasonable in daylight, I assure you.

 

But this was after midnight and I found my id up and looking for a fight, while my rational brain stayed dormant and mute.

And so it was. No way at that hour could I process that this unimaginable success came to someone who does what so many of us do everyday: blog and parent.

 

But, but… Of course it’s more than that. I know. I do. Dooce is a talented writer and savvy marketer. She is a brand. And she lives up to it.

 

It’s just that how did it come so easy for her? There are so many other brilliant writers out there without book deals (I am not one of them. But why am I destined to be in the upper echelons of mediocrity? Why God why?). 40K a month in advertising? Are you kidding me? She doesn’t interact with her readers other than to tell them when she’ll be signing books! She’s kinda snotty and smug! She celebrates irreverent parenting! She thinks her apathy is funny! She phones her writing in more often than not these days!

 

SHUT IT, ID!

 

(For the purposes of this post, my id is represented in italics and unindicative of my true self.) (Or is that what the id is? Your true self?) (Who is this Eckhart Tolle guy? I think I need him to call me.)

 

See what I mean? Ugly, ugly jealousy. With big slimy teeth and dripping acid saliva. And talons! You should see its ragged yellow fingernails.

 

Anyway, as I anguished in bed, right there at 1 a.m., I noticed sinister shadows moving across my window blinds. I thought maybe there was a full moon and that my window might be open to the wind, causing the fluttering darkness. But no.

 

Now I’ve thought before that haunts plagued my home, but I’ve never actually seen anything untoward. This time though, there was no denying. Flying shadows! In my home! By my bed!

 

Oh wait.

 

Maybe the light from my laptop was casting shapes on the blinds?

Yet I’d closed my laptop several minutes before, and the shadows now flitted across the dresser and the door to my bedroom.

 

This could not be happening.

I jumped out of bed and into the living room where my husband slept on the couch because my succulent sinus hacking drove him away a few hours earlier, forced him awake and made him hug me to squeeze out the jealousy juices with unconditional love.

 

It seemed to work because the shadows did not follow me onto the couch where I stayed with The Rock all night.

 

And you know what I think?

I think that my evil jealousy manifested outside my body and created a poltergeist embodied by dark shadows.

 

Seriously, that’s my theory.

 

So Dooce? I’m really very happy for you (I’m trying very hard to mean this, honestly and truly.)

Keep up the good work.

 

And meanwhile, I’ll shine a light into the hideous nether regions of my soul.

 

So no more poltergeists.

Id? (May I call you Malthazar the Awful, He of the Acid Saliva?)

Do we have a deal?

 

I’ll give you a ham treat.

I know how much you like to gnash sinew between your vampiric canines.

 

On April 8th, 2009, stoneskin said:

I’m not really here to read or to comment. Just wanted to let you know that I’ll be signing books at Borders on Saturday…

As far as I know the majority of ghost sightings have been attributed to laptop lights

On April 8th, 2009, Blognut said:

I don’t even know who Dooce is, and I refuse to go look because Oprah nauseates me and I’m not going to be checking out Dooce just because nauseating Oprah talked to her.

Not that I’m bitter or anything.

If it means anything at all, I still like you Deb.

On April 8th, 2009, Kizz said:

The other day you said we might be twins. After this I have to say MIGHT? MIGHT!?!?!?!? Separated at our conjoined birth, baby.

On April 8th, 2009, Danielle said:

FWIW, I still like you. And I read you, I don’t read Dooce…

On April 8th, 2009, Danielle said:

Oh and btw, I am also seeing dark shadows in my rooms with no laptop present. I am convinced we are also haunted.

On April 8th, 2009, SHE said:

I’m coming out of hiding this week JUST to tell you that I LOVE YOU! I stopped reading Dooce a while ago, but I STILL READ YOU! And even though I was committed to not blogging or going near my computer this week, I thought it IMPORTANT enough to let you know that you are loved. YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE LOVED! ALL OF YOU! EVEN THE PART OF YOU THAT YOU DESCRIBE HERE! Because you know what, you are HONEST and vulnerable and wonderful, and I connect to you right at the heart of who you are!

So there. Still loving you today!

On April 8th, 2009, SHE said:

OH, and did I say that I think you’re pretty too! You are!

On April 8th, 2009, Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy said:

We talked about this, but I’m glad you wrote about it. I think so much depends on being in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. DO NOT change your voice (the inner or the outer!) I have not read Dooce in ages. I’m a little annoyed with the Oprah thing because there are more “every mom’s” than there are Heather Armstrong’s. But, like you, I don’t begrudge her the success she’s had. It will be time for someone else to have their 15 minutes soon. And I will be first in line for your book signing.

On April 8th, 2009, Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said:

Those shadows? It was me. I was going to steal the laptop from under your bed because I’m jealous of you and your talent. But you had to wake up and nearly catch me, didn’t you?

On April 8th, 2009, kate said:

i think it might be bad feng shui to keep your laptop under your bed at night. i also think i might not know how to spell fegn shui.

i also think you know yourself better than most people. you see you. clearly. and you see the parts you don’t like so much. that? is what makes you so good. in general and as a writer.

On April 8th, 2009, foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) said:

I hear you…

I also watched that particular episode of Oprah, which kind of goes against my ‘no Oprah’ stance, but…sigh…I did. Here’s the thing. The whole episode made me uncomfortable, and the focus was on motherhood and how we can apparently drop the ball as soon as a child passes through our body. I know there were ‘extremes’ and ‘liberties’ taken with the questions posed, but it felt like motherhood was being turned into some doofus sitcom. I don’t know…I’m rambling, and like I said, it was my opinion of the show, and I thought if these women are financially benefiting from their words, there’s no reason all of us aren’t rolling in the green.

so rambling now… :)

On April 8th, 2009, slouching mom said:

Actually, after reading this, I like you MORE. So there.

On April 8th, 2009, Twenty Four At Heart said:

I don’t usually watch Oprah, but I watched that episode. I thought it was very disappointing. Apparently you aren’t a mom once your kid passes the age of 5 … every mom she talked to was pregnant or had little ones. I’ve got THREE TEENS and guess what Oprah – it gets harder than changing diapers and nursing!

As for Dooce … good for her. (bitch – just kidding!) I do have to wonder if any bloggers coming on the scene now could ever achieve that type of success though. You know, now that there’s millions of women blogging ….

On April 8th, 2009, Cactus Petunia said:

I don’t watch Oprah, and I read Dooce strictly for the pictures of the dogs :-) Her parenting skills are pretty lax at best… I DO read you every day! Keep on writing and inspiring the rest of us, wouldya?

On April 8th, 2009, Mama Mary said:

I L-O-V-E your honesty. Have you seen Wicked? My skin turned a similar shade of green to Elphaba’s when I watched the show. But in between gagging on my acidic saliva and rolling my eyes to the very very very back of my head, I smiled for her success. The show as a whole gave me anxiety actually, rather than comfort, but that’s Oprah for ya. Keep on keepin’ on, by the light of your computer or by the light of your shining stars.

On April 8th, 2009, aaryn b. said:

I still heart you, Deb. I disagree with your Id, but love that speak your mind, a characteristic I respect.

Personally, I don’t think it’s mandatory that we always agree with everything written by those writing the blogs we love. And that goes for Dooce, just as with any other author. I haven’t loved everything she’s written and am not exactly wowed by the current emphasis on pregnancy and parenting, but I am a fan nevertheless and I’m in awe of her success.

Heather has worked hard to build her business and anyone who’s tried to write daily content and keep it interesting, entertaining and well-written can attest to how difficult it is. She puts herself out there to be harshly judged (“Her parenting skills are pretty lax at best…” Really? Wow.) and yet, she’s done a lot of good for a lot of people by doing so. And if you venture into her archives (the ones still accessible after she removed old posts that hurt people she cared about, causing not a little upheaval in her life), you’ll find that things weren’t/aren’t always easy for her. She has suffered the slings and arrows of being a ground breaker, making it easier for the rest of us to navigate the cyber world of blogging.

Interestingly enough, Heather came to a small party at my home once a couple years ago and shortly after that, I had the good luck to meet another very popular blogger. Of the two, Heather was–hands down–the more kind, more generous, more real person.

Rather than being jealous, I think women should be rooting for her, applauding her and then emulating her as we strive to realize our own dreams, whatever they may be.

Go get, ‘em, Deb. There’s enough room for you at the top, too. ;)

On April 8th, 2009, Da Goddess said:

I officially *heart* all those who have openly stated their anti-Oprah stance. I feel so much better knowing I’m in good company.

As for Dooce, I used to read her every six months or so back when I first started blogging and then not at all. Good for her and the book deal. But hear me now and listen later, Deb: I LOVE reading you and I’ve been doing it consistently and for a much longer time. Dooce may have a book deal, but you have real live friends AND fans.

By the way, the shadows? I banned them from my house for the next month. I’m tired of them. They always leave such a fucking mess. The ghost cat chases the ghost bunny (and have I mentioned how much I hate ghost poop? Even the ghost animal kind — it smells just as bad as the real stuff), knocks over lamps and tables and stuff. And then the big ghost owner comes through, makes all sorts of ghost food, and leaves REAL dishes in my damn sink. It wouldn’t be so bad if the dishes were used and washed, but nope. Oh, and ghost food on real dishes? Sticky.

Glad they’ve taken up residence with you.

Don’t blame me if they leave stinky poop everywhere.

On April 9th, 2009, Steph said:

I’m with Melanie – Dooce had a LOT of help in getting to where she is. It’s not necessarily about how awesome she is (I think she’s mediocre at best, and please Dooce-Legion, come to my blog and tell me I’m wrong, I ain’t skurred), but the fact that she did it pretty much FIRST. (And how much media coverage did she get for the whole being dooced thing?)

Dude, I read you. I don’t read Dooce. ‘Nuff said.

On April 9th, 2009, Midlife Mama said:

Phhhht. Dooce. Who needs her. I’d prefer to read you any old day over Dooce’s crap. She’s arrogant and shallow and ridiculous. It just goes to show that the American people (and Oprah, too, apparently) have really crappy taste. You rock! And you’re lucky to have a hubby who doesn’t mind being woken up for a hug. ‘Cuz Dr. Jekyll, if woken up in the middle of the night, would insist on more than a hug. ;)

On April 9th, 2009, San Diego Momma said:

Oh boy, I feel ashamed of myself, but thanks all for your comments. I am especially reading Aaryn’s over and over because it’s a good way to turn my envy around into something positive.

Thanks everybody for not completely despising my immature ooginess!

On April 9th, 2009, Green Girl said:

You’re a better gal than I am. I don’t read Dooce. I just pretend she doesn’t exist.

On April 9th, 2009, Kizz said:

The lesson I try to force myself to learn from Dooce is that she’s a fine writer, a fine photographer, etc. etc. and she seems like a nice gal. So are you (I know you’re a nice gal, I got to have dinner with you!), so am I and so are a million other bloggers out there. Dooce, though, is also a wonderful marketer. She knows how to target her message and work on her web site with content and ads and everything else. She’s a brand and she’s learned to work with that to make her dreams come true. Those are the parts I have trouble with and I read her hoping that some of that knowledge will somehow rub off on me.

On April 9th, 2009, matteroffactmommy said:

deb, you speak what a lot of us feel. and to me, that’s beautiful. :)

On April 9th, 2009, vodkamom said:

Hey Deb- guess what? I felt the same way YOU did.

Does that make us bitches? perhaps.

However, it’s nice to dream………

xoxoxox

On April 9th, 2009, vodkamom said:

Oh- and YOU are a damn good writer. DAMN GOOD.

On April 9th, 2009, vodkamom said:

and should I say that I’ve Never read dooce? I’m not kidding.

On April 9th, 2009, frogmama said:

Dooce schmooce. I heard she picks her nose and eats it.*

*I’m jealous too.

On April 9th, 2009, the mama bird diaries said:

Not like you? I like you more. I just love your honesty.

On April 9th, 2009, JCK said:

AARGH…those middle of the night shadows…and what comes out of the darkness. We all feel it.

On April 9th, 2009, Me said:

Think about this. She didn’t start from scratch. She had connections in the entertainment industry, and that never hurts. She was out of work for a long time and had plenty of time to work her blog.

and if you want to get technical –

She skyped into Oprah. She wasn’t sitting next to Oprah. There is a difference.

I’ve browsed her blog and haven’t found anything to connect with. I connect with you.

On April 10th, 2009, aaryn b. said:

I read this today and instantly thought of you. And I will say that, while standing firmly by my comments about Heather Armstrong, I agree completely with this assessment of the episode of Oprah on which she appeared. Granted, I didn’t see the whole episode (just annoying clips on the Internet), it didn’t take much to glean the value of the one hour program. Let me know what you think. I’m curious.
http://thewomenscolony.com/confessional/2009/4/10/the-reinvention-of-motherhood-by-mrs-g.html

On April 10th, 2009, Jenn @ juggling LIfe said:

I agree with your italics. Who knows my some people score and some people don’t? It’s just the way it goes.

On April 11th, 2009, Eden said:

I could get her book for free from Amazon Vine. I chose not to. Her writing is flat and uninteresting.

If you wrote a book, I would pay full cover hardback price.

That’s the difference.

On April 13th, 2009, Barrie Summy said:

You know what I love about your blog? It’s all you. xo

On April 14th, 2009, Auds at Barking Mad said:

I love this post because it’s bone crushingly honest, unlike HA’s newest book…which is little more than recycled blog posts. And there’s not an ounce of jealousy there when I say that. I actually went out and bought the book…a book which will now occupy a space on the lower book shelves until I decide it’s time to put it with the stuff that goes to Goodwill or in the garage sale.

Honesty and originality is what sets you apart from the Dooce’s of the world and what makes readers like me able to feel like we are connecting with you versus just “reading” you!

XoXo

I’m not sure how it is that she is so celebrated when she’s really not that original any more.

On April 14th, 2009, Bridget Smith said:

I had been thinking something similiar about the whole Dooce thing recently…of course this was before the major book deal. Then there was my travel blogger colleague who was offered a luxurious stay at the Four Seasons Aviara, yes, that raised the green eyed monster.

This self published book author who has sold about 20 copies labors in obscurity.
Perhaps some day the Four Seasons will call :).

Hugs to you D,
Bridget

On April 15th, 2009, Dana said:

I read Dooce and happen to like her. My eyes still bugged out of my head when I heard $40k in ads. I think Oprah should have had Pionner Woman on…do you read her? She interacts BIGTIME and I can’t help but ADORE her.

On April 16th, 2009, * TONYA * said:

You totally deserve to get a book deal. I’ll stand in line and wait for your autograph when you are rich and famous and making 40k from advertising :)

On April 17th, 2009, Myra said:

Did it ever occur to you that everything is relative? That you – “in the upper echelons of mediocrity” are looking down at people who would love to bask in your coolness?

That could be me. I’m just sayin.

AND you’re a nice, giving and sensitive person who actually interacts with her readers. :)

On April 18th, 2009, Sugar Jones said:

Okay, I could’ve written FADKOG’s comment. I don’t watch Oprah, but I knew what the subject was, and I knew that it wasn’t just about Dooce, but also Chookooloonks, Cool Mom, and others, so I had to tune in. What I was perplexed by was the whole “secret lives of moms” thing. I mean, the last thing we are is secret. But I think we might be to the rest of the off-line moms that we run into at the grocery store… the ones that ask us how we are… and then you know for sure they’re not reading your blog because they would know that your life is great or falling apart or whatever.

I think Dooce, however polarizing she is, is blazing a path for all of us. She can only write for one publisher, right? And now…

The Secret is out! ;)

On April 19th, 2009, PAPA said:

Deb, I was out of town so i missed this…but i’m glad i caught it now…this is awesome…i love how honest you are and as the comments indicate you have TRUE friends/fans not simple sycophants… i especially like this comment: Dooce may have a book deal, but you have real live friends AND fans.
Thanks for having the courage to write about this!!!
p.s.s i would also buy a book you wrote.

On April 24th, 2009, Nicole said:

I came to comment on this post and tell you that I second everything you’ve said and felt in this post. Then I hesitated. Then I thought I’d write what I thought and just not leave my blog address so my comment boxes didn’t get vandalized by any Dooce advocates.
Then I read everyone else’s responses and was relieved that I wasn’t the only one!
I’m not anti-Dooce by any means but I don’t connect with her writing like I do so many other blogs.
I also have other views on her personality but I’ll keep those to myself.

I haven’t been reading your blog very long but I’ve enjoyed every little bit of what I’ve read so far.

Let me know if you get a book deal. I’d totally snag a copy of that.
I wouldn’t wait until it went on the clearance table either ;)

On May 2nd, 2011, San Diego Momma » Blog Archive » Sage said:

[…] been here before and likened the icky envy and inner angst to feeling like demons who roost in your soul and darken […]

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