Last week, I upset a lot of people. It was never my intent to hurt anyone and for that, I owe all of you an apology. I am truly sorry. I would never intentionally use my words to injure or harm or to marginalize.
I make plenty of mistakes. I will be the first to tell you that I am an imperfect person. And I’ve I spent a lot of years writing about my imperfections and the imperfections of marriage, motherhood, and being a woman. I wrote all of it with the hope of sharing common experiences that resounded with many of us and, if all went well, making people laugh. It is, after all, a humor column.
For more than half a decade, I have put my story and my family out there for all to read about. And judge. In that time, I have been called a terrible mother, a terrible wife, a terrible woman, a terrible all-around person, and a terrible writer. My husband — who happens to be the love of my life, my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, and my biggest fan — has been mocked and derided. One person even went so far as to call my children names. My. Children. (I did mention this is a humor column, right?)
Readers have told me I have an awful marriage and should get a divorce. Commenters have said they feel bad for my kids because they have me for a mother. I’ve even been attacked for not gardening properly (even though the entire piece was about how I don’t garden properly).
Keep in mind that I don’t write for some national news service. This is my home. These are my neighbors. This is where my kids go to school. This is where we live.
I’m not sure when we became so angry and cruel as a society. Maybe we always have been and social media has just given us the outlet for our vitriol. Whatever the case may be, I’m tired. I don’t have it in me anymore.
And so this is it! I want to thank all of you who’ve laughed with me. To all of you who sent me emails, commented, and shared your experiences, I loved it! The camaraderie was felt and appreciated. I hope I helped you laugh (instead of scream) when your husband couldn’t find the milk that was three inches from his face in the refrigerator or allowed yourself the luxury of hiding in the closet to eat the last piece of Halloween candy. So please, if you see me at the store, feel free to say hello. Except don’t be offended if I just nod and smile. I’m probably eating peanut M&M’s that I’m trying to hide from my kids.
It’s been real, y’all.
Oh you didn’t think I’d leave without a recipe, did you? I think this is perfect for the occasion. Check out splendidtable.com for suffering bastard — a great drink. And from the Irish girl in me, an old Irish blessing:
May you always have…
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire
Editor’s note: In her blog last week, Laurie Nigro compared her husband to a “homeless person.” She was certainly not making fun of homeless people, but a number of people chastised her, some quite harshly, for the comparison. We decided to take the blog down; it was fair criticism. I should have used better judgment as an editor and decided against publishing it in the first place.
But Laurie surprised me when she told me she wanted to stop writing her weekly blog. Rest assured I tried to talk her out of it. It’s been successful and she has a dedicated, sizable following. Her work has earned her first place “humor column” awards from the Press Club of Long Island. She had never complained to me about the things some readers were writing to her in emails and comments.
I regret her decision but I understand it. It’s no picnic being called all sorts of ugly names, as I know from experience. And having penned a weekly column for the News-Review for 10 years, I know how tough — and tiring — that grind can be.
Over the years, Laurie’s blogs regularly made me laugh so hard I cried. She’s used humor and insight to shed light on many important, difficult things about growing up, being married and parenting. I know a lot or people are going to miss this Sunday morning read and I’m hoping Laurie decides to return to the blogosphere someday soon. In the meanwhile, I hope this respite gives her a little extra “me” time in her very busy life. – Denise Civiletti