Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reaction shots

I must've gotten 20 emails and IMs and Facebook messages yesterday about Wendy Atterberry's pity-party story (still not linking! Google and read the cached version if you must!) about how I am obviously an miserable singleton looking to justify my miserable little life by pretending to be happy as I am -- including from a guy I like (who likes me), who thought it was fucking hilarious. He said, because he is great:
the woman she described is not you. i've certainly met those women, but you are not it.
From the people that don't actually know me, I think the reaction can be summed up as some measure of insulted on my behalf (thanks!) and insulted at the thought that single women are not coupled because they simply don't try hard enough to be -- and that their singlehood (which they feel she automatically deems problematic) can be solved with a little make-up, a cute skirt and a couple nights out on the town or a profile. For instance, one response I got:
i'm too angry after reading her column to write anything remotely intelligent or coherent about why she is a horrible human yet i feel how despicable she is with all of my being. i'm sure you have many, many more intelligent and insightful things to say about that. atterberry is a brainless wonder, pandering to a sect of people who want the return of the good old days when men were men and women knew their place.
I think she falls into the "insulted" camp.

But my other friends were actually pretty bemused by the whole thing. Here's my best friend for the last 13 years (a dude).
This made me chuckle, especially since I don't see much similarity in anything the writer assumes and you, especially the 'don't go out and meet people' thing. What if there really are few decent guys to date? Is it anti male for me to say that I think there's a lot of men out there that I wouldn't want anyone to date because I've met way too many douchey guys that I couldn't even in good conscience recommend to people I know for a one nighter? There's always [hot guy friend who you had a flirtation with] but he's married now I think. Course, I could always let you know about [hot dude friend you made out with once]. Anyway, you've probably seen your mention but I got a kick out of it.
Because, see, the thought that the article is about me cracks him up. Also, if you live in Boston, he is awesome and single, so, you know, it's real easy to find my email address.

Anyway, for everyone that emailed me and asked why I'm not responding on Jezebel, or why the site isn't responding, I repeat: Wendy Atterberry is attacking me in order to make a name for herself and promote her site, and I don't need to help her -- she's certainly provided me with zero incentive to do so, let alone to ever link to anything on her site again through Jezebel (and I'm about the only writer who has despite their general snottiness to our site and me in the past). It is hard to write interesting things on a daily basis that encourage people to read your work and link to it -- God knows I know -- but The Frisky has featured interesting pieces from good writers like Rachel Kramer Bussel and even Susanna Breslin ("caterwauling about the patriarchy" cracks aside) and I've not minded sending them traffic or encouraging people that read me to think about them and their work. I don't see as where I have any incentive to continue being collegial like that.

And, on top of it, when I've said that there's nothing else to do but laugh at a piece that offers advice to women like "always look nice" and "go out a lot" so that dudes will notice you and you can fulfill your life-long dream of living happily ever after with your Prince Charming, I meant it. You really have to laugh at that shit. I mean, if Wendy Atterberry is happily engaged, you know, good on her. I wish her no ill will in life, feel neither pity nor Schadenfreude (nor really anything) at her romantic situation or the fact that it makes her happy/sad/whatever --I don't assume that her happiness or lack thereof has any bearing on my own. As I've written about Jessica Cutler, Ann Althouse and Jessica Valenti: their happiness has no bearing on my own, and their marriages neither validate nor invalidate my life choices. That my willing contentedness with my singlehood (and my willingness to write about it) rather obviously doesn't inspire the same benign apathy in Wendy Atterberry, well, that says a lot more about her than it ever will about me.

That said, she did make my original piece my most-trafficked piece yesterday, so her attack on me just enabled me to justify to my bosses my lunch date yesterday with the fabulous Becky Sharper and two important pieces today that will not do great traffic but are, to me, more important than who is or is not participating in the Wedding Industrial Complex. So there's that, too.


Britni TheVadgeWig said...

Ok, so I Googled and read the piece. And honestly? She must have read a completely different article of yours than I did. I didn't get any of those things from it that she did. And to say that you're pathetic for enjoying "single girl" things like drinking from the carton or watching Murder She Wrote late at night? Ridiculous. And at what point in your post did you say that you were unwilling to give either of those benign, harmless habits up if you ended up meeting someone that was bothered by them (not that you should have to, but you get my point)?

She's an idiot. You, on the other hand, rock.

BeRightBack said...

The thing that's so icky is not only that it is so off-base and unfounded (as well as weirdly constructed - why would you use two people who are basically agreeing with each other to demonstrate what you're calling two opposite attitudes, one "happy," one "crappy"?), but also that it wants to be so down-and-dirty and personal. Why else would she have included the "testimonials" dig, which she would have had to have read this blog, not just Jezebel, to have seen? So the whole pose of the article is not just disingenuous but explicitly wannabe-mean-girl-style mean. Ugh.

And of course, you are so right: she doesn't deserve engagement or response or, heaven forfend, a link. And besides, which of you just wrote an article for Ms.?

Anonymous said...

Did you see her article
("How Joan Holloway of 'Mad Men' gave me confidence") on CNN about how everyone thinks she looks like Joan Holloway from Mad Men???? !!!

-- She took full opportunity to tell the world that all of her boozebag friends thinks she resembles Joan Holloway from Mad Men.

Whatever, Wendy is a self-absorbed, vain bitch anyway -- who looks NOTHING like that delicious Hottay Joan Holloway! Yum!