Category Archives: Blog News

Five Actual Romantic Lessons from the Life of Ruth

Note: This piece was originally published on my Patreon last May. To celebrate my 1 year anniversary on the platform, I decided to dig into the archives and share one of my posts on my regular blog. 

Confession: I missed out on a lot of Christian Purity Culture because I found it so mind-numbingly boring. But in the last 24 hours I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole so to speak.

I’m writing a play about the life of Ruth. Writing a play is a great way to really dive into Scripture, because you have to get to the root of what people were actually saying, putting it into as simple language as possible. I giggled and giggled to myself, because Ruth legit just asked Boaz to marry her.

“Wouldn’t it be funny,” I posted on Facebook, “if there was a Christian dating advice book based on the story of Ruth? Ladies, find a rich guy, sneak up to him while he’s sleeping, and ask him to marry you.”

Well, it turns out that I really am out of the loop on the world of Christian dating advice books. Because there are plenty, my Facebook friends informed me. Books with titles like…

  • Lady in Waiting: Becoming God’s best while waiting for Mr. Right
  • Boaz, the Promise and the Wait
  • Lord, is Boaz lost? Or am I just in the wrong field?
  • She was waiting on Boaz and lost a real man
  • Your Boaz will come
  • How to be found by the man you’ve been looking for

And I don’t know, maybe there’s some good advice in those books. But I’m weirded out by all the references to “waiting,” and to Boaz “coming.” BECAUSE THAT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENED IN THE STORY OF RUTH.

My roommate had Lady in Waiting on her bookshelf, so I read it…and by “read” I mean “skimmed” because I still find it boring…and wow. Okay.

Lady in Waiting is based on an idea: If you just “wait,” not chasing after a boy at all, not going to Bible College or whatever just because there are eligible guys there…if you focus on following God instead…if you stay a virgin…ta da! The perfect man will just…appear. God will bring him along, and somehow, magically, you’ll be all married and stuff.

And look, I can see how that sentiment might be useful for teenage girls. They have plenty of time. Focusing on their spiritual life instead of their romantic life, learning to wait on the Lord, that’s solid. My primary beef with the book is this dubious connection to the life of Ruth.

Like, there was a whole chapter dedicated to the importance of remaining a virgin until you’re married. Is this a Biblical concept? Sure. So just use plain Scripture to back up your point. Don’t use the story of Ruth. Because Ruth was not a virgin when she married Boaz. Why would you go on and on about how special it is to save this one special gift for your husband, and then base your argument entirely on a romantic story where Ruth’s “special gift” was gone? 

Yes, I’m irritated.

Moving on. Can we get good romantic advice from the life of Ruth? I think we can. Here are five ACTUAL romantic lessons I’ve gleaned (hee hee, see what I did there?) from Ruth.

1. It’s okay, even good, to get married for practical reasons.

I think it’s fair to say that Ruth and Boaz were genuinely, madly in love with each other. It’s not stated in Scripture, but it’s implied in the way Ruth gushes about how kind Boaz is, and Boaz enthusiastically agrees to marry Ruth and then rushes off early in the morning to get things settled with his relative who technically has “first dibs.”

But Scripture makes it very clear that their romance was about practicality.

First, from a survival standpoint. The only way for Ruth and Naomi to not starve was for Ruth to work, dawn until dusk, picking up random bits of grain that the harvesters had left behind. It was heavily implied that Ruth was in grave danger of being raped while gleaning. Boaz says “I have told the men not to touch you,” in Ruth 2:9, and later, when Ruth tells Naomi about Boaz’s kindness, Naomi says, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with his girls, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed” (Ruth 2:22).

So basically, singleness for Ruth was not a time of patiently waiting, finding fulfillment in God instead of a husband. It was a time when she was, except for the kindness of Boaz, in daily danger of rape and starvation.

Second, while Naomi implies in Ruth 1:8-13 that Ruth will have difficulty finding a husband in Israel, Boaz implies in Ruth 3:10 that Ruth could easily marry a younger, perhaps handsomer, man than himself. “You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor,” he says.

Lady in Waiting uses that statement as proof that Ruth didn’t “chase boys,” even though she’d literally just asked Boaz to marry her, LOL. From context, though, it appears that Boaz is complimenting her on choosing a practical husband, one who could provide for her and be her kinsman redeemer, instead of just going for a hot guy.

And obviously, the times are much different now than they were in Ruth’s day. Singleness does not mean rape and starvation anymore, thank God.

But there are still tons of practical reasons to get married. Companionship, sexual satisfaction, children…I mean, maybe you don’t think you need children, but who’s going to take care of you when you’re old?

Ruth needed a husband for practical reason, so she found a practical solution. Why shouldn’t we do the same? If you need a job, or a car, or a tooth pulled, you don’t just sit around “waiting,” hoping it will magically happen to you. You make an effort to overcome the obstacles in your way.

(Added caveat, since this is my real blog where people still frequently misunderstand me: of course I think you should be in love with the person you’re going to marry. Obviously. I’m just saying, we should’t be ashamed to admit that we want marriage for practical reasons too, and we shouldn’t be ashamed to look for practical solutions.)

2. Be a person of character. Seek a person of character to marry.

Lady in Waiting talked a lot about being a woman of character, like Ruth. I think this is solid. Boaz’s comment about Ruth choosing him instead of the younger men makes me think that he probably thought Ruth was very pretty, able to snag a hotter guy if she wished. But he mostly admires her character. When he first meets her he praises her kindness to Naomi (Ruth 2:11), and when he agrees to marry her, he says, “all my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of character” (Ruth 3:11).

But it irritated me that Lady in Waiting implied that if only you did everything right, you would end up with your “prince.” “When you picture the perfect man for you, what is your prince like?” The book asks on page 56. “To marry a prince, you must first become a princess.”

Who says we get to marry a “prince?” Boaz was no “prince.” He had good character, sure. He was able to provide, and he was very kind. But his comment on “younger men” makes it sound like he wasn’t the youngest or hottest man available.

Ultimately, just as he chose Ruth because of her character, Ruth also chose him because of his character and usefulness. This idea of waiting for your “prince” is kinda weird, not Scriptural, and certainly not practical.

3. Let others meddle in your love life

An enormous aspect of the story of Ruth that we usually brush over is the way that Naomi meddled. 

I mean, sure, Ruth did some pretty brazen things like spend the night with Boaz (innocently) and ask him to marry her. But it was 100% Naomi’s idea.

After my first point, where I argued that we should think more practically about marriage and not be afraid to “make something happen,” you probably wondered, “Does Emily think that girls should ask guys out? What is she really saying here?”

What I’m really saying is that I think we should let others meddle in our love lives.

And parents, married people, concerned aunts, I think you should meddle. Set people up on blind dates. Invite single people to your parties so they can all hang out and get to know each other. Chatter with your married friends about the single people they know that might be good matches for the single people you know.

I mean, obviously if the single person expresses discomfort, back off. But I just think it’s weird that our culture is all about single people, on their own, with no help whatsoever from meddlers, finding their perfect match. I guess it’s because the USA is the most individualistic culture in the world. But it’s honestly not that practical.

4. Your spiritual life is more important than your love life

This point, central to Lady in Waiting, is actually true. And it actually can be backed up by the story of Ruth.

Like I said before, it’s a little hard to say how many marriage options Ruth actually had in Israel. Naomi implies that the options are limited, while Boaz implies that Ruth could have married a younger man than himself.

However, it’s clear that whatever Ruth’s options were in Israel, they were worse than her options in Moab. Naomi’s motive for sending Ruth home was all about the provision and protection she’d have there. “May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband,” she says (Ruth 1:9).

Instead, Ruth chose God. “Your people will be my people, and your God my God,” she says in Ruth 1:16.

She chose God, even though it put her in danger of starvation and rape. And I think that is extremely powerful.

5. It’s okay if your love story is weird and unconventional.

This right here is why I ultimately love the story of Ruth and Boaz.

Lady in Waiting tries to skew Ruth’s unusual courtship method as a common practice of the day, hardly worth noting. Heh. I find that unlikely.

I mean, come on. It’s just so weird. There are no other courtship stories like it in Scripture.

Furthermore, the book of Ruth implies that Ruth was in a very unfortunate, sad situation, because she did not have a man to advocate for her. Not only did she lose her husband, but she lost all the men in her husband’s family, and she left her own brothers and father behind in Moab.

You could use the story of Ruth to argue that women should chase men, and ask them out, or even ask them to marry them. You could, alternatively, argue that Ruth only dared to do such a thing because she had no man in her life to find a husband for her.

But I think the most obvious takeaway is that romance can happen in very strange ways. There is no perfect cookie-cutter formula to finding a mate.

And that, I think, is what annoys me most about books like Ladies in Waiting. They imply that if you just do everything according to their foolproof plan, everything will turn out okay for you. And then they stretch and pinch the bizarrely beautiful romance of Ruth, trying to make it fit into the perfect mold they’ve created.

That’s not the point.

The point is that things go wrong, but God’s redemption is still there. Romance is bizarre, but we work with what we’ve got. There are countless ways you might end up with a kind husband or wife who is a good, practical match for you.

And will it involve sneaking up to them in the middle of the night and asking them to marry you?

Well, who knows?

 

In April 2019 I launched my Patreon, and it has been the most amazing, wonderful experience for me. Much, much more so than I could ever have imagined.

First, because that extra bit of income every month, though small, is steady. Most of my writer income is extremely unsteady, so having one thing I can count on is a blessing. In one year I’ve been able, while charging only $1 a month, to earn enough to buy a camera to make YouTube videos with, pay for my domain name, buy and ship some fun giveaway items, and pay for other odds and ends related to this blog.

But more importantly, my Patreon has allowed me to grow as a writer. At first I was only posting opinionated pieces. But then one month I posted an extremely vulnerable essay I’d written about a friend who’d cut me out of her life. I ended up taking that one down, because it was just too personal, but it started me on a path of experimenting with openness and vulnerability in my writing.

My Patreon supporters don’t always agree with me, which is good and healthy, but I’ve never felt misunderstood by them. What a gift. And their response to my vulnerable writing was so encouraging that it fundamentally changed how I wrote my book, and even how I process my life. They made me feel like my feelings matter, and that meant everything to me.

All I’m saying is, it’s been a good year, and I’m so grateful.

Up until now, my Patreon has been like the parable of the workers in the vineyard. Every post I’d ever written was available, so someone who signed up in March got the same content as someone who’d been signed up from the beginning. But I’m going to start taking posts down once they’ve been up for a year. So on Thursday, I’m going to take down my first post, Is Toxic Masculinity a Thing? And on May 13 I’m going to take down How Mennonites Set Women Up to Reject the Head Covering. Etc. You get the picture. (If you want to subscribe to my Patreon, you can do so by clicking here.)

And lastly, April is drawing to a close, and with it, the April Blogging Challenge is ending! Mom will post tomorrow, I’ll post on Wednesday (probably with another video) and Mom will close the month with a post on Thursday. Thank you so much for following along, and be sure to hop over to Mom’s blog and catch up on all her posts that you might have missed!

Your Darkest Secrets May Not Be Safe

woman holding no comment signage

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When I was sixteen, I wanted to keep a diary, but I was terrified of other people reading it. Also, I couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts. So I began typing up my diary entries and emailing them to myself.

That way, they were protected by a password at least.

However, I used to have nightmares that I would accidentally press a wrong button, and WHOOSH! All my deepest darkest secrets would be emailed to real people, not just myself.

It never happened. But the nightmares were terrifying.

That’s what I’m reminded of right now, because I accidentally posted an unfinished draft I wrote last fall.

Thankfully it didn’t contain my deepest darkest secrets. But it’s still embarrassing. And it still gave me that feeling of WHOOSH! Can’t take this one back.

Here’s what happened:

Last fall, I had a really cool dream, and it gave me a fun book idea that merged with a book idea I’ve had for years. I was really excited about this. I wanted to drop all the projects I was working on, and focus exclusively on this new idea.

(I didn’t. But later, I did use the idea for my NaNoWriMo book in February, where I ended up hating it before I even reached 30,000 words because I forgot to put humor in.)

So I pulled out my phone, and started to write a blog post about what it’s like when a shiny new idea jumps in my brain and tries to take over.

Now, let me make it clear that I have endless ideas but limited follow-through. Which means that I have many, many unfinished blog post drafts. Right now, I have 107 drafts on WordPress and 24 drafts in the notes app on my current phone. This one was nothing special, just one of the many.

But this particular draft, about new ideas bounding in and trying to take over, I must have written when I was not connected to the internet. It was saved to my phone as a “local draft,” but was not saved online, and because of this it always floated at the top of my “drafts” tab on my WordPress app.

Okay. So then today happened. And I’m still very baffled, but here’s what went down:

I got a notification on my phone that someone had commented on my last post, “Endings and Beginnings.” I clicked on the notification to read the comment, which brought me into my WordPress app.

After reading the comment, I clicked over into the “Reader” tab to see if Trudy Metzger had posted anything recently. After scrolling down and seeing that I’d already read everything, I exited the app.

Then I went on Twitter. As I was scrolling through the tweets I saw a tweet from myself, posted one minute prior, linking to a blog post.

“This is strange,” I said to myself. “I haven’t posted in like, a week.” But I clicked the link, and it went to my blog, and there was this unfinished blog post from last fall.

Now, I have no idea how I managed to accidentally post it. I’m baffled. It must have posted while I was bipping around in the WordPress app, but it wasn’t like one slip of the finger would post an entire blog post. I would have had to click “My site,” and then “Blog Posts,” and then “Drafts,” and then “Publish.” That is four clicks.

Frustrated, I immediately deleted the post. My blog automatically links to Twitter and Facebook, so I went on Twitter and Facebook and deleted the links. One person had already “liked” the Facebook link.

Sigh.

Then, I realized that everyone who is subscribed gets it emailed to them automatically. And there is no undoing that.

SIGH.

Then I went of Facebook again, later, and there was ANOTHER link automatically posted. Multiple “likes.” One comment saying that it was a broken link, and the suspense was killing her.

DOUBLE SIGH.

Okay FINE. For those of you who desperately want to know what dumb unfinished draft was accidentally posted, here it is in all it’s glory:

It happened again. A new idea, shiny and bright and big, came barrelling into my brain, tossing her glossy hair and dominating all conversation.

I keep zoning out, completely missing my friends’ conversations, as I play around with plots in my head. More than anything, I want to start this book. This new book. Because surely this is the best new idea that ever existed.

But I’ve been ’round about this town before. And I know that while I’ve been gifted with gallons of ideas, I only have about half a teaspoon of follow through. Every new idea ends up the same way: a beginning. That’s all.

I’ve been working on a middle grade novel since this summer, and I’ve been trying so, so hard to keep going even when it feels boring and riddled with plot holes. “I can fix it in the second draft,” I tell myself. “

That’s it. An unfinished thought, ending with a quotation mark that has no quotation behind it.

Hope you’re happy now.

I’ll be over here having nightmares about old diary entries accidentally posting on my blog, or something.

Blog Changes?

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I’m starting what could be considered a “bonus blog.” It will feature more controversial/opinionated topics than I typically post on here, but you won’t be able to access them unless you become a “patron” or supporter of my blog on my new Patreon page, for $1 or more per month.

If that doesn’t sound like your jam, no worries! Things here at The Girl in the Red Rubber Boots will carry on as before, completely free.

Over the years, I’ve stopped blogging about a lot of my more opinionated ideas. I’m not as thick-skinned as I like to think I am. “Viral” posts attract readers who have no idea who I am, no need to spare my feelings, and no qualms about arguing with each other in my comments.

My hope is that putting these posts behind a paywall, even an extremely cheap paywall, will prevent them from going viral. Any feedback, corrections, and disagreements will come from people who are at least a little bit invested in me already.

Currently I don’t earn a dime from blogging, which was never an issue to me until this year. I didn’t really see blogging as a “business.” I still don’t, really, but now spending time to blog is actually taking time away from my other writing business ventures. And I’d like to have some blogging money to invest back into the blog.

(Besides normal stuff like doing giveaways and paying for my domain name, I’d love to buy a camera and expand into video content. We’ll see!)

Anyway, for these reasons, I set up a Patreon account. Patreon is a way for fans to directly support Internet content creators. It operates like a monthly subscription, only you choose how much you want to pay every month. $1 a month is the lowest Patreon allows me to charge, so I have one $1 a month tier. You can pay more if you like, or just give the $1…it’s totally up to you.

In return, you’ll get access to the opinionated/controversial posts. I’ll post at least one per month, hopefully two.

My first Patreon blog post is titled “Is Toxic Masculinity a Thing?” In that post I explore the term “Toxic Masculinity,” talking about why the term exists, if it’s a real phenomenon, if there’s such a thing as “Toxic Femininity,” and, most fun of all…my opinions!

Sound interesting? Head over to https://www.patreon.com/emilysmucker and click the red “become a Patron” button.

 

Technical Difficulties

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I’m still planning to post part 2 of my trip to Seattle (You can read part 1 here), but I ran into a weird issue that I’m trying to resolve before I proceed with my regular blogging schedule.

Here’s the deal:

I have my blog set up to automatically post to my personal Facebook profile. I almost always delete it immediately, and then manually post it to my personal profile and my blog page, because I like how it looks better. But sometimes, if I’m lazy or have a bad connection, I just let it automatically post.

I got an email yesterday from WordPress, telling me that after August 1 they weren’t allowed to automatically post on a personal Facebook profile anymore, because Facebook is trying to crack down on spam. But I could still automatically post to a blog page. I figured I’d have to switch it over, but didn’t think too much of it.

Then, this afternoon, the link to my latest blog post was removed from both my personal profile and my blog page. They told me it was spam, but I looked over their community standards on the subject, and could not figure out what I’d done wrong.

I contested the charge, and they said they’d manually review. I haven’t heard back from them yet.

I posted about it on Facebook, and someone suggested that Facebook may have flagged it as spam because it automatically posted. Based on the email I got from WordPress  yesterday, that seemed plausible. Now, both posts were actually manually posted by me, but it did automatically post before I deleted it, so maybe the Facebook algorithm said “this is spam” to itself, and then deleted every post that looked like it.

That’s the only explanation that makes any sense to me.

So, this is a test post. I’ve set it up to automatically post to my blog page, and I’ll see if I have any problems. If that takes care of the problem, I’ll post Seattle Part 2 tomorrow evening (August 1).

But if you, my readers, want to take precautions, you can always subscribe via email by clicking the box to the upper right. And if you want to follow my blog page on Facebook, you can do so here.

Hopefully everything will get resolved soon.

The Weirdest Idea I’ve Ever Had?

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I mentioned in my May Life Update that I’d like to move away from Oregon. I’ve just been here a really long time, and I figure if I can make it as a writer, I can write from anywhere.

Right?

Of course, the difficulty is deciding where to move. The way a church or community looks, from the outside, can be so deceiving. There are “liberal” churches where everyone judges each other and no one goes into missions, and there are “conservative” legalistic-looking churches that are totally chill with people just being themselves. I had a terrible experience once with a church that looked much like mine, from the outside, but inside was this whole culture of “ha-ha-no-big-deal” racism. Yes, racism. 

I realized, upon reflection, that I don’t want to just pick a place and move there. I want to try out a bunch of places.

So here’s my weird idea:

What if I spend a year or so living in a different place each month?

Of course, it’s still true that I don’t know where the good communities are. Help a girl out?

I’m open to just about anywhere, although at this point I’m mostly looking at Mennonite communities in the U.S.A. I would maybe consider Canada as well. Right now, while I’m still building my career, sticking with my tribe seems like a good idea. I’ll wait to live in Thailand and England and Venice and Kenya until I’m a bit more established. 😉

So here’s where you come in. If you live in a community that you think is awesome, PLEASE send me an email at Jemilys@gmail.com, with the following information:

1. Where do you live? Tell me a bit about your community.

2. What sort of lodging would be available for a single girl who wants to stay in your community for a month? Does your aunt have a basement apartment? Are there a group of single girls living together in a house down the street from you? How much would a month’s rent be? (I’m chill with approximate guesses, for now.)

That’s it!

Thanks for your help. Maybe I’ll write a memoir about the experience or something. We’ll see 🙂

P.S. I just realized that the title is a bit misleading. I have had much weirder ideas than this. But this may be the weirdest one I’m actually going through with. This is weirder than crashing a party at a college I don’t attend, right?

Adventure Boots

“Do you think I should take my rubber boots on this trip?” I asked my brother Ben, as we planned our camping adventures.

“You might as well, if there’s room in the car,” said Ben. “They might come in handy.”

Sure enough, the first trail we hiked was soggy and muddy. I ran back to the car to change from my tennis shoes into my boots. Ben, who had no boots, stepped in a particularly bad patch and was in mud up to his ankle.

“I am literally the girl in the red rubber boots!” I thought happily as I skipped down the trails, stomping through the wettest patches just because.

I guess I’m just full of adventures these days. Last week I went to the Redwoods with some friends I barely knew, and this week I went to the southern Oregon coast with my brother Ben. I mean, I was lucky enough to get two weeks of spring break this year, so why not? Ben reads all the Bill Sullivan books and finds the loveliest places.

I lost my heart to Cape Blanco, though. We went there because it’s the westernmost point in Oregon, but I loved it because it looked like how I imagine the Scottish highlands might look.

The rolling green meadows sloped down to the ocean. “Ben! Let’s go down to the beach!”

“I think there’s a path around here somewhere,” he said. But we couldn’t find it.

“Ben! What’s that little white building over there, on the hill below the lighthouse?”

“I don’t know, maybe it’s a WWII bunker.”

“Let’s go check it out!”

“You go–there’s no path, and I don’t want to get my shoes all wet.”

I lolloped off, once again so happy to have brought my boots. It reminded me of being a kid again, and how exciting rubber boots were. I still remember my first pair. They were purple, with yellow soles. You could go anywhere in boots. Boots were for adventuring in.

I didn’t even have red rubber boots when I titled my blog, and I only now have a pair because I wanted to live up to my blog title. I wore them as a fashion statement at first, but now, more and more, am actually wearing them for practical things like slogging through muddy grass.

I went up to the funky bunker thingy and looked inside. I have no clue what it was there for, but I sort-of wished I could clean it out and live in it.

From there I made my way down to the beach, which was nestled snugly into a curve of the cape. It was only when I reached the beach that I saw the path. It was a faint thing, winding up the meadow and looking for all the world like the lovely little paths in The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle.

And so I trudged up the path, and thought two thoughts: “I am glad I brought my boots,” and, “I am going to come back here and write and write.”

Just a note about this blog: I never wanted to start a separate Facebook page for my blog because that felt, I don’t know, vain or something, but I’ve finally decided to go ahead and do it. Mainly because I want people to be able to subscribe to this blog without A. having to check their email, or B. friending me on Facebook and getting all my non-blog-post updates in their feed. So if you want to subscribe to me via Facebook you can go to https://www.facebook.com/emilysmuckerblog/ and “like” the page.

I’ll still be posting my blog posts to my personal page as well.

About Last Blog Post, and Other Things

Okay, I have a few topics to cover today. I have homework to do but I feel like doing a blog post instead, so I’ll indulge myself. 🙂

Topic #1: My Latest Blog Post

First let me say that yes, I am aware that I misspelled “obsession” as “obession” in the title of my blog post. I found it humorous and ironic, but I was kind of annoyed that, even when I fixed it on my blog, the misspelling lived a long un-fixable life on Facebook. I imagined that everyone saw it but couldn’t point it out for fear of coming across as a fake intellectual. 😀

The blog post had one of the most interesting responses I have ever received. Some of the response was expected, and some was quite unexpected.

My post perched on the edge of devaluing education and intelligence in general. I toyed with the idea of putting in lots of disclaimers about how important education is, and how I think intelligence is a worthy thing to aspire to, but in the end I didn’t because that wasn’t what the blog post was about.

I expected this to slightly bother some people who really do value intelligence, and like to read and share things that make them think. I thought I might make them paranoid that their very real aspirations to learn more would be perceived as “fake.” And I did get a little of that, though not as much as I was afraid I might.

So maybe I’ll add one disclaimer: I you are a “fake intellectual” at heart but are sharing things that are actually interesting and bring more information to the world as a whole, while being respectful to those who disagree with you, then great. I don’t like “fakeness,” but I do think good things can come from a place of fakeness. For instance, being kind to someone you don’t like.

However, things that establish your intelligence primarily by labeling an entire group of people as “stupid” have got to go.

There were, however, two very unexpected responses that pleased me immensely.

First, several people admitted that the post hit really close to home for them. I don’t think you guys understand how rare this is. We have a tendency to construct a reality around ourselves, applaud the things that fit this reality, and squirm away silently from the things that don’t. I don’t think I have EVER written something that said, essentially, “you’re doing something wrong,” and had the response be, “oh, you’re right, I am.”

In fact, I don’t know if I have ever responded this way to something I read. The things that actually change my mind usually happen from a slow chipping away at existing ideas. Or, if I do suddenly realize that I’m wrong, I don’t usually have the guts to advertise it.

The other thing that surprised/pleased me was that I got a few private messages about the post.

I’ve often wondered about how the dynamics of blogging (especially blogging about controversy) would change if the only “commenting” option were to message the author directly. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “You should just try it! Disable comments! Tell people not to comment!”

Well, the thing is, many people depend on Facebook to see my posts, and if no one comments on Facebook not nearly as many of my friends will see that I’ve even posted. Yeah, stupid Facebook algorithms. Oh well. I really do like comments, so I don’t mind.

However, private messages are also very nice. So, if you have something to say about my post that you don’t necessarily want to make open to general discussion, feel free to message me on Facebook or send me an email. But also, comment. Either one works. (Or both.)

Topic #2: Contact Information

I added a “contact” tab for that exact reason. My email address has always lurked somewhere around the blog, but I decided to lodge it in an easy-to-find location.

Topic #3: About Me

I keep clicking on the blog links of people who comment on or like my posts, and then being disappointed to find that they have little-to-no “about me” information.

Well hello kettle, my name is pot, because I also have little-to-no “about me” information. You’d think that if I’m narcissistic enough to blog about myself I’d take pleasure in constructing a lengthy essay about who I am. But it still feels weird.

Any help from you on this matter would be appreciated. How do you decide how to describe yourself? When you read the “about me” page of bloggers, what info are you hoping to find?