Tuesday, January 09, 2007

That Not So Fresh Feeling

Remember that post where Simons said I ought to talk about douching and menstruation a lot and nobody would read my blog anymore. Here it is.

Yesterday was pretty uneventful, with work, a trip across town to the Haight, and a late afternoon of cooking coq au vin in my new braiser, compliments of Little Miss Nobody.

The roux smelled heavenly. The browned chicken thighs sent the dog into a whining spasm. I helped myself to a really delicious zinfandel while I cooked, plus used almost half of a bottle of good chianti that we’d accidentally left uncorked overnight and let spoil. The wine and pearl onions and mushrooms were delicious with our fat organic chicken (since old wizened rooster was unavailable). I steamed the rice with some of my rich chicken stock and delicately blanched some haricot verts and brussel sprouts to go with it.

Simons walked through the door and remarked how wonderful the apartment smelled, and poured himself a glass of wine for a relaxing dinner. And just as I was putting fork to mouth, I asked him how his day was and he dropped this bomb.

“I got a call from Mr. X at work today. Z emailed him your blog about the ball and Mr. X was really upset. I told X that I don’t read your blog, and he told me that I ought to and asked me to tell you not to write anything more about it.”

Indigestion accomplished.

Here’s the thing. I have known Mr. X for a long time and genuinely like him and think his wife hung the moon. So I’m pretty offended that 1) he ruined my coq au vin. I worked really hard at that dinner and didn’t get to taste a bite. 2) The fact that after Simons politely said he didn’t read my personal blog, because it would make him uncomfortable and make me censor myself, something my excellent husband doesn’t ever intend to do, Mr. X instructed him to do something that would come between a husband and a wife. (Um, hello?! What would Jesus do?) And 3) I haven’t even been to the damned ball yet and already this secret society is attempting to put this woman in her place.

Once I’m there, I understand that there are things I’m not allowed to do, and I’m not gauche enough to flout its conventions. I’m not that tacky. But attempting to silence me on my own blog is rude, wrong and chauvinist. If they don't like it, they can go to some other website and read something else. I was done writing about it, but now I’ve got my back up.

And I have to wonder why people are getting mad about the opinions of one little girl in San Francisco. Why are people so defensive if I’m writing about my own personal conflict with popular Southern traditions…lots of them, not just this one?

Clearly if they’re already telling me to shut up, and white males are already sending messages back and forth about my presumptuous online journal, I was right to be conflicted. Something stinks in Denmark, people.

My sister tells me that it’s important to maintain relationships so that our children will be able to join this particular society, and honestly, I am not sure I want that. I don’t know that it’s the best example of the kind of citizenship I want to encourage in my children. I’ve been considering adoption rather than natural childbirth, and supposing we adopted a child of another race or culture, I wonder how welcome he would be. I wonder she would fit in Charleston’s schools, its clubs, its businesses, its organizations.

I love Charleston, despite and even because of its turmoil. It’s home. My home, and I’m allowed to think and write whatever I like about it. My in-laws are so excited for us to be there, and I love them for being that way. Since last night’s brouhaha, I feel badly that I’m not as excited as I’m expected to be for this honor. It’s not that I don’t recognize that it is one. There are a lot of girls who would have given their eyeteeth to be in my position. I appreciate that fully. You have no idea.

But I was the one selected- ME. And they chose a bride who was a feminist, a liberal, a chef, a writer, a do gooder, a runner, a knitter, a smartass, an idealist. They chose me. That’s who they’re getting, and I’m not going to suddenly be someone else.

I’m going to go, and I’m going to dance and have fun, and I’m not going to talk about my blog with anyone, so I deeply hope that no one is gauche enough to ask about it or hint or do anything else that will make me uncomfortable and force me to say something quelling. I haven’t been rude, so it will be up to someone else to throw down the gauntlet of tackiness. I consider this matter closed.


Agricola said...

You go, girl!

Jen said...

This made me sick to my stomach (in sympathy). To me, it seems just plain mean for Mr. X to have emailed your blog to others, unless he was telling them how awesome it was. If he doesn't like what you have to say, he should have just kept it to himself. It's not like you were standing on a soapbox in the townsquare voicing your opinions. You are posting them on an ANONYMOUS website.

Honestly, sounds like you are handling this perfectly. Everything you said is 100% right on. Go to that ball and wow them with your charm!

barbie2be said...

you are absolutely right to be outraged.

just remember, they chose you. so that means that they have to take you "warts" and all.

your blog, while in the public domain, is still your blog. if they don't like what you have to say, they don't have to read it. but free speech is one of our basic rights.

The Sorority said...

That was one lovely looking dinner! Too bad Mr. X ruined that for you because I was trying to figure out how to eat the picture.

Don't change a damn thing about your blog and I can't wait to hear about the soiree (the good, the bad and the ugly).


Wordnerd said...

Amen, sistah! And that's coming from a southern, non-liberal, writer wannabe. You go be YOU. And have fun doing it!

(Oh, and I'm hungry as hell for coq au vin now, thank you very much...)

Anonymous said...


damian said...

Sorry to be a dumb aussie, but are you joining the Klan or something??? It alls sounds very suspicious to me.

Are they going to sacrifice a goat at the ball? Geez, I hope they don't blackball me from the club for commenting!

Kelly Love said...

Sing it, sister! I don't even have words for how angry that stupid white male bullsh*t makes me, but I'm glad you found some.

Please, never shut up.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

First, my mouth is watering and waiting patiently for my weekend with Chef to see what the hell he's going to make me to eat, since I've been eating leftover enchiladas from the weekend. Second, well, screw em. Keep writing. Third, well, screw em.

Jemima said...

I can't believe all you people bothered scrolling down to read a post about douching. Sickos!

Jemima said...

Oh, and to clarify, Mr. X isn't the one forwarding my blog post around. It was Mr. Z.

Mr. X is a pretty laid back character with a good sense of humor. In all likelihood, Mr. X was obliged to call by an outraged and censorious Mr. Z, who was concerned that I was revealing secrets about the society and requested that I be chastened...which obviously I am not.

Alexandrialeigh said...

Chastened? Never!

Oh, by the way, if you would like a lid for your Le Creuset, let me know. I bought a glass one for mine and it was money weeeeeeeell spent. Or did yours come with one?

Horrible Warning said...

Wow, I guess growing up in California, with liberal parents, has made it easy to forget that that kind of thing still exists.

What you wrote? Awesome. Have a wonderful time.

Heather B. said...

I'm assuming that the 'ball' is like a cotillion or something and therefore very structured and full of history and tradition and bleh. I skipped mine and never was that fond of them all together mostly because of the 'inclusiveness' or lack there of.

Even worse that someone would point a post written about such and then chide you for your opinions of such. Awesome.

Marcheline said...

Okay, Jem -

Firstly, I am SO in favor of you telling all of those self-important douchebags (see, you were writing about douche!) to stick it where the sun don't shine...


If you are going to go to the g-d ball, then I suggest carrying a folded up tee shirt in your pocketbook in case things get ugly. A tee shirt that says "Down With This Sort Of Thing" on the front.

If the shit hits the fan, just put the tee shirt on over your gown, take off your shoes, and guzzle a couple cocktails. Give'em a night to remember.

- M