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Sometimes the hostility and contempt towards me isn’t mired in jealousy. It’s often anchored in rejection. A scorned acquaintance who believed we were friends, a guy I’d rejected, the current spouse of one of my exes, a friend of the woman who’s now with an ex, a friend of one of my exes, family members of exes, someone my current husband rejected… they’re all here, still invested in my demise. Why?
One man, for example, comments on this site, full of anger, twisting his non-existent mustache, hoping for divorce, for failure, for shame, for bankruptcy, for friends to reject me, for me to be dumped on my ass, for me to be “put in my place,” somewhere low, kicked off some imagined grandstand, in fetal position, humbled. Why? Because I rejected him years upon years ago. I couldn’t even tell you his name, if I didn’t have his wooing match.com emails to me stowed away in an old email account. But why? Why go through the bother. “For entertainment” is a balls-to-the-wall lie. “She complained about the bread sticks, or lack thereof on our date, and the waitstaff found her unbearable.” Then why do you still bother reading her blog?
“Trainwreck” gets the gong, too. Another lie. Because when you watch, say, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, you’re not personally invested. You don’t truly care. It’s casual entertainment, as you sit back and SILENTLY shake your head. “Hot mess” then you change the channel or watch as you flip through a magazine. I don’t believe you feel the same intense rage toward a reality television “personality,” as you do toward someone you know, or knew, or “know” only through an ex or friend done wrong. Because then it’s mildly personal, and their “fall” secretly thrills you in a way… wait for it… you can’t really thrill yourself. Because if you could, you’d be over it. Over them, you’d wish them the best because you truly wouldn’t care. If they have a delusional marriage of dysfunction wouldn’t stir you. Horrific self-serving mom, poor kid, but it’s their journey. If you were fulfilled in your life, you wouldn’t take an interest in the downfall of hers. You wouldn’t wish her well or ill. Instead, you let your obsession with her be your entertainment. The way some people make online dating a window-shopping experience, even once they’ve found “the one” because it’s become habit and entertainment, just something you do. But it’s doing nothing for you but feed the shit you should be over. You can’t let go.
Then there are hater sites, dedicated to making hate a sport, a dog pile of name-calling, with people spending their energy, even their free time that can be used toward any type of entertainment, trying to one-up each other in the language of mean. “It’s entertainment” may be true, but is that really how you want to enrich your life? I’d argue that you weren’t read to enough as a child–somewhat said as a blow, but really, there are worlds out there that engage your mind, that challenge you, invite you to do better. There’s a whole world of opportunity, of creating, of things you can do to better yourself. Why not spend your energy there?
And a good part of the stir is often times just plain projection. Yes, things you don’t like in you, you’re quick to call out in other people. Want to know exactly what an enemy’s weakness is? Pay attention to how he attacks you and you can cut to the quick of his insecurities. Attacking me with “you’re shallow,” or “you’re lying about not being embarrassed over your husband being in trucking not finance” reveals exactly what scares YOU, what matters most to you. It says that you’d hate to think that anyone would think of you as shallow, that you worry about what other people think of your status. “Mention some brand names why don’t you” says that you’re insecure because it bothers you that much, enough for you to comment on it.
I make fun of things that scare me, I do. There are also things I don’t like, like tuna fish and strong accents from the Bronx (sorry Carol, I love you, just not your accent xo) not because I’m jealous, not because I’m insecure of my own accent and not because I’ve been hurt but because of preference. I wouldn’t go out of my way to read a blog and continuously hate-vomit chunks of negativity all over it over a simple preference. There are 31 flavors, after all, and it’s okay not to like me. Even I don’t like me some of the time. But be honest with yourself. Your “occasional drive by” visits to my site aren’t really about me; they’re about your need to feel important, to feel better about you.
So when people suggest you “get a life,” they’re not off course. Get your own happy, fill your life with more positive things, enrich your own world in lieu of trying to tear down the life of anyone else. Whether it’s me, or your ex, or your asshole neighbor who lets his dog shit on your yard, let it go or you’ll live the rest of your life in rubber soles convincing yourself that you have one.