There’s nothing like getting a call from your mother in the middle of her work day while you are unsuspectingly sitting at home playing play-dough with your three-year-old and feeding your insatiable baby his lunch.
“What is this, young lady?” she demanded when I picked up the phone. “Did you really write this?”
“Huh? What do you mean?” I asked as I continued to shred string cheese for Jake, being careful not to mix play-dough onto his highchair tray.
“One of the teachers just came down to my room to tell me he had no idea that my daughter was in an open marriage!” she hissed.
Ok, ok, so there may have been a slight misunderstanding that occurred yesterday.
Did I forget to tell you guys that I just joined Babble as the newest love + relationships blogger on their new relationships channel? Yes? Well, yay, I’m a new love + relationships blogger! I’ve been really, super excited about the job and looking forward to flexing my writing muscles, so to speak, and writing about a few other things other than babies and pregnancy. (Not that I don’t love writing about babies and pregnancy, of course.)
I’ve only been with Babble for a week and written precisely only two articles. I’ve been trying to come up with some interesting topics, since I’m so brand-new there and it’s important to get a readership going, right?
But apparently I went a tad too far.
It all started when I was reading this book that I rented from the library in which the author was giving an overview on the history of marriage and included an entire chapter on disproving why monogamy was important in a marriage. I thought it was pretty funny stuff, shared it with Ben over dinner, and then thought, Hey! This would make a great article!
So I wrote it up, included some pictures, and titled it, “5 Compelling Reasons Why Marriage Isn’t Meant to be Monogamous.” Obviously, the title was meant to be attention grabbing for a reason and I listed the 5 reasons that the author laid out and then–and this is the important part--in my last paragraph I said, “nope, sorry, not buying it. I think marriage should be monogamous.”
Except when Yahoo decided to add the piece to their homepage, they initially also edited out the last paragraph so it looked like I was totally and completely in support of open marriages and more than likely, as the over 3,000 comments pointed out, a lying, cheating poor-excuse-for-a-spouse.
And the fact that I was splayed all over Yahoo as a proponent for open marriages not only prompted my mother to have a heart attack at school, but also caused me considerable concern considering that I have a book deal with a Catholic publisher.
I was so embarrassed and made several panicked, soaked-in-terror-sweat phone calls to try to iron out the situation.
Luckily, it all got worked out (Yahoo added my last paragraph back in, phew!) and my publisher doesn’t have any immediate plans, as I feared all day, of dropping me.
But the whole thing has left me with a sick feeling in my stomach.
Because the truth is, I just want to be a writer.
I don’t necessarily want to put my entire life out on the Internet, with the weirdo commenters of Yahoo Shine to have open access for a free-for-all judgment fest on me. It feels like there is no separation from writing and me personally, because so many of the sites I write for expect you to promote your work, which requires a readership, which requires blogging, and the circle goes `round and `round.
It’s scary to think that based on one article I write, there are countless numbers of people forming opinions on me, thinking they know me, maybe even looking up my space here.
For the first time, blogging and writing suddenly seem scary.
And one last time, for the record, I don’t support cheating on one’s spouse.
Hear that, Mom?