loving a writer

“God help ‘em.  Little did they know a writer was in their lives.” 

An ex-boyfriend of mine made me take it all down.  Once upon a time, on stephanieklein.com, lived a story about my getting caught with my pants down.  I was 12 years old in the story; it was long before I even met my boyfriend.  Yet he worried, “what if my parents or friends read that story?  You have to take it down.”  Then he tightened his lips and tapped at the computer monitor.  But I don’t wanna; it’s mine and has nothing to do with you.  Tap.  Tap.  I felt like a victim being coerced into writing a suicide note right before her slaughter. 

I took the story down.  That was my second mistake; my first was not deleting him, instead, just for asking. 

When he first read it, he was a little uncomfortable—the way anyone would be if they were reading about their current, or even former, love interest’s involvement with someone else.  But at least he had the good sense to breath and realize it happened a long time ago, having nothing to do with “us” or even “me.”  He was more bothered by the idea that someone else in his life could read the details of mine. 

I felt amputated.  I really did.  But you’re not letting me put it out there, and it’s a story I want to tell.  The content of the story isn’t me anymore, but the writer before you, the one who has the need to tell it, is who I am now.  He wanted to keep her all to himself. That, or he was ashamed of who she was. 

My next ex-boyfriend (God I love that phrase) did the same thing with this teflon of a story

“You don’t want to read this one, baby.  You’ll hate it and never want to touch me again,” I warned.  And he believed me, so he didn’t read it. 

“But why, then, do you have to put it up on your site, Stephanie?  I mean, dear God, woman, can’t you, out of respect for me and for us not do that?”

No.  How about that.  No.  It wasn’t about how much I loved him, and it really wasn’t about how much he loved me.  I have to be true to myself, to my gut instinct, and everything in me told me to post it.  I loved writing it; it’s a story I love to tell… it’s about the disappointment we feel when we’re looking to make a connection.  It’s not just about fingers and carpet burn.  This is what I do, who I am.  It has nothing to do with us, until you make it about us.

I don’t believe "art at any cost."  I also don’t believe if it comes down to art or being a gentleman, it’s always best to choose, "gentleman."  It depends on the reasons, on the hurt or pain that might be caused.  It’s case by case.

Know what you’re doing when you get involved with a writer.  Know it’s not about you, even when the story is about you.  It’s about the need for the writer to tell it.  And if your skin isn’t thick enough to deal with it, perhaps you should do some traveling.  Work on a thick-as-a-mitt leathery tan. 

I’m not going to compromise and not do my thing for a chance at some relationship.  If it’s the right relationship, he’s not going to give a shit.  And, then I’ll write about that too, and it won’t cost a thing.



  1. I think that really holds me back in my writing. I want to be more oblivious, but it is hard when you feel like you have to attend to everyone else. In fact – it is impossible.

  2. I love you! Being true to yourself begets being true to others. No apologies…most likely many "you're welcome's." …so, thank you.

  3. Fuck, FINALLY! When Hemingway wrote "Sun Also Rises" all the principals in the novel (thinly disguised under different names) became majorly pissed. Some (Gerald Murphy and wife–two of his benefactors) renounced their long-time friendships and disappeared out of his life. We all know who/where Hemingway ended up in the subsequent years; we have no fucking idea who Gerald and Sara Murhpy were (well, most of us don't).

    As a writer I compromise nothing. Nothing and no one is immune. They may be disguised (as well as I can), but they're not immune.

    Rock on.

  4. Write on! Never compromise….at least not about your writing. Compromise on what restaurant to eat in, what flowers to have on your wedding table, what movie to see this Saturday night, but never about your true feelings. Take it from me (like who the f*&k am I, right?), when you compromise your true self, things just snowball into an avalanche of despair and utter tom foolery, as well as a life filled with shenanigans. Like words from a country song 'she changed her mind when she couldn't change me'. Keep it real up in the hizzhouse (herzzhouse)! WORD!

  5. Funk that! We should only be dating women that have blogs. It's like an open book exam. And dating a writer is awesome. You're with someone vastly superior in intellect and taste, yet apparently they like you, so shut up! All you have to do is not have BO and try not to say anything too dumb.

  6. "So yeah, know what you’re doing when you get involved with a writer. Know it's not about you, even when the story is about you. It's about the need for the writer to tell it. And if your skin isn't thick enough to deal with it, perhaps you should do some traveling. Work on a thick-as-a-mitt leathery tan."

    I like this. I'd like to quote you if I can. I lost a friend because I wrote about her, and how I felt about her alcoholism. I didn't even use her real name, but she knew. She won't speak to me anymore. Oh well, her loss. I'm not about to stop what I'm doing because of one person.

    You go girl, you're the bestest!

  7. The nice part about being unattached, for you, is that you now can post all of these posts for us to read and remember. The difficult part, for myself, being married, is the thin line between self-expression and respecting my partners wishes and dignity.

    But oh the stories that go to waste!

  8. It's not about feeling the need to self-censor. And it's not about someone else telling you what you can and can't write. It's not even about your "art." Indeed, artists get so damn sensitive and defensive when they feel that their "freedom to express" is being challenged. What you miss is that no one is seeking to restrict that freedom. Rather, all that is sought is some exercise of objective common sense and good taste.

    Are you saying that nothing is sacred? Are you saying that a friend would risk exposure if he/she confided something in you and asked you to keep it under your hat? Is there nothing that could overcome your declaration that nothing is off-limits? If so, that seems pretty selfish.

    Seems to me that discretion is still the better part of valor.

  9. A blog is a personal journal. She is writing for herself, yet we just happen to be reading all of her thoughts, memories, and feelings.

  10. Stephanie:
    This whole writing thing is still a new to me so this question may come out of a lack of experience more than anything else. I get the idea of needing to write about almost everything. The question is this; is writing really the point or is someone else reading the writing the point? Otherwise, why is it important to put writings like "Wet Spot" on a blog as opposed to in a personal journal? Just trying to figure this all out. . .

  11. If you can compromise in a relationship about a silly little thing as an old article, then you probably can't comprimise about anything else either.

    IMHO this article (together with others) show that you are not just looking for Mr. Perfect, but for Mr. Totally-Absolutely-100%-Perfect.

    Good luck with that !

  12. That first "can" up there must be "can not" !

    How is that for a first post, lol.

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