Blog milestone… let’s celebrate!

Have you seen the movie Little Shop of Horrors?  It’s an excellent musical comedy that makes some very important points about accepting others as they are… and the dangers of feeding carnivorous plants. And don’t forget about the dentist.  This dentist:

{Image Source}
{Image Source}

But really, isn’t the job of any dentist to inflict pain?  All I had this morning was a cleaning and my mouth and ego are still sore!  My mouth because of all the scrippity scraping (ugh, hate that part) my ego because despite brushing, flossing, and mouthwashing religiously (more than religiously even– I only go to church once a week, after all) I still get chastised for not doing well enough.  Do you think a dentist has ever said to anyone, “great job! keep up the good work, pearly whites!”?

Doubt it.

And please don’t tell me that your dentist does.  I can’t handle the jealousy right now.

But seriously, criticism always kind of hurts and for a long, long time, I have had a notoriously thin skin.

But…

BUT…

Last week I reached a major blog milestone: first criticism!  (Out loud and to me, anyway, who knows what else has been floating around out there?)

A friend of mine (and really, a friend, I’m not being sarcastic this time) gave me my first dose of criticism.

He had two issues with my blog: 1) tapestries are for women and 2) I am spending far too much time writing far too many words when there are clearly better things I could do with my time.

Fortunately, my response to the two-fold critique was a pleasant surprise, especially to me!  Let me demonstrate.

My response circa 2005 (assuming I would have screwed up the courage to start a blog in 2005– ha!):  Dang it!  I picked such a lady name!  Tapestries are totally for women and I turned off half the population by making it something so girly!  And all of my posts are way too girly too… who wants to hear about women’s issues anymore?  What is wrong with me?!  And why am I spending so much time on this thing?!  No one reads it, no one likes it, no one likes me, and I should just give up.

Sigh… that person was annoying.

My response circa 2013 (because I did screw up the courage to start a blog in 2013– ha ha!): Really?  Tapestries are for women?!  What does that even mean???  And perhaps I should mention the fact that it was a man who brought the under the tapestry analogy to my attention in the first place!  And don’t even get me started on the fact that the things that are “women’s issues” are really just issues that affect women and should matter to everyone.  And the choice to spend time writing this blog is just that– a choice made by me, for me, on how to spend my time.  I enjoy it, it’s cathartic, and it’s fun for me and my friends!  Don’t like it?  Don’t read it.

Granted, what I actually said to my critic was a bit more toned down.  I talk a big game here, not so much in real life.  Also, all that may have been considered unprofessional 😉

Notice the difference in the tone?!  Ahhhh… that. feels. good.

The things is, what other people think of me is really none of my business.  And although it’s cliche, the negative things that other people say to me, or about me, really say a lot more about them than they do about me.  Perhaps my critic has misconceptions about gender roles and related insecurities.  Perhaps he also has some very strict ideas about how time outside of work is best spent.  Whatever it is– those things are not my problems.  What a relief!

So, congrats to me on surviving… and THRIVING… despite the criticism!

Although, I have to admit, I am a good flosser, and my feelings do still hurt a bit about that…

 

Later gators!

15 thoughts on “Blog milestone… let’s celebrate!

  1. Yikes! I already have a phobia of dentists–that picture isn’t helping me any!

    Good for you for such a great response to your first official critic! I think you had a very positive and measured reaction, and I’m glad his comments didn’t make you doubt what you’re doing here. I, for one, really enjoy reading your thoughts and hearing about what’s going on in your life. I hope you’ll continue to spend your time doing this, for as long as you find it enjoyable! 🙂

    1. Have you seen Little Shop of Horrors, Lara?! It’s so awesome– Steve Martin sings a whole song about being a crazy dentist, I love it!

      And it’s with the generous support of viewers like you (thanks for the line, PBS!) that makes me able to have a good response to criticism. Finally! So thanks for that!!

  2. 1. Love Little Shop of Horrors
    2. You are not alone, and dentists are sadistic torturers who utilize barbaric methods despite their claims to “advancements”
    3. Love, love your blog, but I could be biased since I am a woman ; )
    4. We can all relate to reactions to criticism and overcoming weak responses – thanks for sharing a good example

    1. I love it when so called Men belittle names that should be reserved for “Women”. Calvin Murphy, NBA Hall of Famer, won a National Championship as a baton twirler.

      Rosie Grier, 3 times All-Pro football player, who is 6 ft 5 in and 290 pounds enjoys macrame and needlepoint.

      For those who don’t know me. I was larger the Rosie Grier and have played or coached football for over 30 years. I mention football, because I am also happy to say I watch the ladies on the View daily, listen to Josh Groban often, know how to cook, and love being a Father to my kids, kids from my extended family, and also a number of past players. At 6 ft 6 in, I not used to hearing people talk about my activities that some might be classify under the “Woman” label.

      And, I love reading your blog.

      1. Ahhh!! CJ! I love you so much!!! Thanks so much for those AWESOME examples!! Thank goodness it’s becoming so much easier to be a woman who likes traditionally “man” things and a man who like traditionally “woman” things! Definitely the result of my generation being raised to think it’s ok by you! Thanks so much, CJ!!!!!

    2. 1. I know, right?! Feed me, Seymour!!
      2. Seriously. Dentists. Definitely not a job I could stomach.
      3. Thanks, thanks, thanks! And seriously, women, get back to your lady tapestry! Or something!
      4. You must be the queen of that! Year after year in that torture chamber of a lab and you must EXCEL at handling criticism!

      1. Stuck in my head now : ) …..
        I’ve given you sunshine, I’ve given you dirt. You’ve given me nothing but heartache and hurt. I’m begging you sweetly, I’m down on my knees – Oh please, grow for me

  3. Rach,
    Kudos to you & your 2013 self (Rachel 2.0?!)! I LOL’d when I read “Tapestries are for women?! What does that even mean???” (one of my favorite responses to nonsensical comments!)…by the way, if you do figure out what that means, please share on your blog that is wordy and FANTASTIC! 😀

    1. Thanks, Shelley! I love being Rachel 2.0! Way better– so many of the bugs have been worked out!

      I will definitely make sure to share when I discover the origins of this lady tapestry 😉

  4. Emma has a toy tea pot that talks. When you tip the tea pot to pour it makes a “liquid filling a cup” sound and then a woman with a british accent says, “Mmm, Mmm, more please!” After I read your blog posts I say in my head (in a british accent), “Mmm, Mmm, more please!” 🙂

    1. I love that the teapot has a British accent. Perhaps if more baby toys had British accents our children would grow up much more refined. We should market that.

  5. Ok- first off- I love this Abby who is so sweet and funny ;). After I read too many Agatha Christie novels, I speak in my mind in a British accent and vernacular 😉

    Mostly though- I love this post and your celebration of you! One of the things I LOVE about blogging is that so many people do it and so not everyone will connect with everyone’s blogs but some will connect with some and I for one am grateful for that bc I simply have no more time to read! Ha!! Love this 😉

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