Saturday, December 22, 2007

Oy VEY the traffic

A quote from my Honda post ended up on the front page of Boston.com. It was only up there for a few hours but it generated some really cool commentary about cost effective, energy efficient car options. I would like to thank the kind strangers who gave me their constructive comments on car shopping.

It also garnered a lot of vitriol and spite and random kind words from an on-line community that I choose not to name here. I have a site monitor that tells me where the traffic comes from and hundreds of hits were coming from this one URL. So, I checked it out. Then I clicked off the page fairly quickly. Anonymity makes people brave and ruthless.

I am shocked. Who does that? Who would take the time to read some random person's deliberately inoffensive blog and rant about it? My stay at home mom lifestyle is apparently offensive to a lot of people. I really thought the mommy wars were in our heads, but there they were in black and white. The funny thing is that I'm no longer a SAHM. I have a real job again. I just haven't updated my profile yet.

I know this blog is fairly relentlessly upbeat. That's not because I don't have problems or trauma. It's because I don't believe that the Internets are a place to air your dirty laundry about your mom, your husband, inlaws or employers. I view this blog as a grand writing exercise in which I try for the most part to count my blessings. I've seen many boring blogs along the way that I don't like. But it would never occur to me to to take the time to slag them off somewhere else.

I didn't ask Boston.com to put my blog up there. They just liked what they saw and quoted me. This blog has been featured in the Globe before. But I think that was more due to the fact that they wanted to write about a Somerville blog, that was written by a woman, who had contact information easily accessible. I don't think there was a long list to choose from.

I probably shouldn't even be taking the time to respond to it.

5 Comments:

Blogger Downpuppy said...

What a tease! Personal dirty laundry, a whole online community of vitriol, nasty comments - and no juicy details.

Where do you go sledding?

6:30 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Trust me. It's not something I want to share.

We usually go sledding at the Academy of Arts and Sciences. We may make a trip over to Fresh Pond tomorrow. They have a great hill there.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Downpuppy said...

Fresh Pond is exciting! Between the height of the hill and ending up in the swamp...

I avoided the trip there yesterday, & missed the Big Crash. A. was riding with a friend & the friends mother. Friends mother broke her glasses on the wipeout.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Hi, I'm from the online community that you mentioned, and I was the one who was criticizing your blog.

It definitely wasn't all of us. Most people there disagreed with me.

I was mostly just venting my own anxiety about the state of the economy, and housing and the issue of gentrification. I'm sorry that you saw it and was personally offended.

I was bothered by some of your posts disparaging East Somverville, particularly Somervilles decision to locate one of the better public schools there. Also, the post about the bakery in East Somerville. It seemed that you didn't respect the fact that poorer families care just as much about their business and their children and their children's schools just as much as you care about yours.

This may be just "baggage" on my part, I may be reading more what you would call "vitriol and spite" into your posts then were there. My boyfriend comes from one of the poorer families in Somverville and I came from a middle class family that fell on hard times.

I am sorry I was insensitive to the adjustments you have been making, but I ask you to be sensitive to the adjustments that other somerville families are making as well.

Do get involved, if you have any spare time :-) The folks in the arts groups and public gardens group etc. are pretty nice folks.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Hi Robert,

Thanks so much for taking the time to write. If it helps, I'll clarify on some of this stuff.

My beef with Capuano being in East Somerville is because it's at one end of the city and therefor is cut off from 3/4 of the city by the McGrath O'Brien. It's really important to me to walk and bike places and the location of the school makes that impossible. I'd be pissed if it were over near Foodmaster/Route 16. I think it's FANTASTIC that we have such a great school in that neighborhood. There's a LOT of kids there that would really benefit from that program.

But the structure of the school is a pretty big F-YOU to working parents whether they are wealthy or poor. There is no transportation, and very limited afterschool and the program only goes until 1:00. So, you'd need a nanny who can drive to partake in the program if you work full time. Do you see what I mean? And for a family in my situation, where we really need a Pre-K for a 5 year old, it's really frustrating that logistically there is only one school.

Not sure about the bakery you're talking about. The only time the word bakery appears here is when I was lamenting about the demise of Baby Watson and other independent business in Harvard Square. Was it the cake decorating store? That was East Cambridge, not East Somerville.

Anyhow, I accept your apology and please accept mine if I seem insensitive to my community. I want to raise my kids here because of the diversity. It's a lot like Cambridge was in the '70's and '80's when I was growing up. We are very civic minded for the most part. (My husband was original founder of volunteersolutions.com) But at the moment just getting through the days is about all we can manage.

Once the kids are older we plan in being super involved with the public schools and figuring out other ways improve our community for everybody who lives here.

7:49 PM  

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