On Toilet Paper And Violating My Family’s Privacy Online

My husband has a thing about butt squeezing. Squeezing my butt in particular. He tried to explain this fascination to me a few nights ago.

Him: I just… it’s squeezable! Ya know?

Me: Yeah, I get it. It’s squishy.

Him: No, no, that’s good – it’s squeeezable!

Like a new roll of toilet paper. Awesome.

Him: Hey, don’t knock toilet paper. I love a new roll of toilet paper.

And then we laughed and laughed over the fact that my ass reminded my husband of a glorious roll of toilet paper.

God I hope I remember this conversation in the morning.

Him: Oh shit. You’re going to blog this, aren’t you? Sometimes I feel like I’m being recorded.

And that’s what the rest of this post is about.

I didn’t ask my husband’s permission to start this blog. In fact, I’d probably been writing it for months he looked at the URL himself. I wasn’t hiding it, but neither of us thought of it as any big deal.

He still doesn’t.

Occasionally he’ll make a joke when I get a gift or an ad check in the mail and tell me I need to get my ass back on that computer and start earning my keep. He would also like me to tell you that if anyone wants to send him a motorcycle, he will buy his own helmet. And he doesn’t come right out and say so, but I get the impression that he thinks it’s cute that his wife has made friends on the Internet. That (and a “mmhh, that’s nice honey” response once in a while) is about the extent of his fascination with the Internet.

I obviously didn’t ask my children’s permission before I started this blog either. Nor did I discuss their privacy when I started talking about them. Because they are my children and I am the parent and I get to rely on my own judgment to make that call.

No, this blog was not a family project at all.

This blog was for me. It was about me and my perspective and my outlet.

And it may very well have stayed that way if people hadn’t started actually reading it.

But they did start reading. They read about me and my life. And about what motherhood is like for me. And about my marriage through my eyes. And about all of the various people in my life – as written by me.

And, as is the nature of the blog, they started to have an opinion on me… and my life.

It started off well.

All the encouragement and well wishes and LOLs were aimed squarely at me in the beginning, as rightful owner of The Blog. But because I wrote about my family, the commentary started to extend to them as well.

“Ooh, you’re husband is hot!” they’d say. And Jared would prance around the house and say “damn right I am. Those people know what’s up!”

“Hey, someone said I was cute too,” I’d remind him. And he’d concede that “well, yeah, you’re not bad. But clearly they’re coming back for this tasty piece of man meat,” and continue with his I’m So Fine Rooster Dance.

Overall, everyone was happy.

Of course, you can’t put your life out on the Internet and expect that everyone will love you forever.

Wait. That’s a lie. You can very much expect that everyone will love you because why the hell wouldn’t they want to bask in the glow of my awesomeness? But the Internet will be quick to point out the naivete of your ways.

Oh yes, the Internet – with it’s anonymous haters, not at all anonymous haters, religious well meaning bigots, and just plain ol’ run of the mill crazies – will readily remind you that you are not, in fact, universally adored. At all.

And nothing is off limits. The very same topics that you discuss candidly in front of a supportive community are fair game to the hecklers. You cannot enjoy the emails applauding the stamina of your marriage without having to endure the misguided speculation about your relationship being a dysfunctional farce. You don’t get to read the comments about how cute you are if you dare to put your face in the public eye without having to swallow the playground level digs about anything that is perceived as being “wrong” with you.

As Mrs. Garrett would say, you take the good, you take the bad, you take it all and there you have, the Facts of Life.

While this is something *I* have come to terms with in regards to how it relates to and affects me, I’ve started to think seriously about what I’ve dragged my family into without their express consent.

I’ve asked Jared about this. I’ve told him that people will say that I’m a bad wife and that our marriage is a sham. I’ve told him that some people think that Adam and I are having an affair. And his usual response is to roll his eyes and snort a little before stopping and pretending to appear very concerned.

“Wait. Do they still think I’m hot?”

“Well, yes babe. But they are also saying that your wife is sleeping with another man and that your marriage is a lie.”

“Heh. Awesome. Even crazy people think I’m hot. What can I say? I’ve got Universal Appeal, baby!”

And then there is more rooster dancing.

Obviously I can’t discuss this seriously with him.

But I wonder, am I setting up the people who mean the most to me to be fodder for someone else’s criticism? It’s already too easy for strangers to forget that they are not merely mocking a blogger, but that they are ripping on the family life of two innocent children. My husband – who is not only innocent in all this, but shamelessly supportive of it – has already had his ability to think for himself called into question publicly.

And how far will it go?

I’ve read some horrendous crap about Dooce’s daughter and Sweetney’s family. And while my first thought was “wow, that’s pretty fucking low, those are just kids people are slamming!”, I also conceded that their parents put them out into the world to be judged. Certainly they didn’t expect anyone to judge them cruelly (because seriously – kids!), but that was a naive idealism they were quickly cured of.

Is it just a matter of time before someone starts bashing my kids for something?

Is Jared prepared to deal with the harsh reality that someone might not think he’s hot?

It’s one thing for me to say, “meh, some people don’t like me. Some people do. Such is life.”

But is it fair for me to make that decision for anyone else?

Speaking of how I am The Queen Of The Segues, tomorrow Avitable and I will be discussing being Open vs. being Guarded. I wonder who will be falling on what side of THAT issue. Listen to this week’s episode at 9pm EST or download last week’s to catch up at TalkShoe

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