Friday, April 29, 2011

anonymous schnonymous

So this is what it's come down to?  It's strange really.

Just hang with me while I ramble about this because I think we need to start a dialogue.  I think people need to start really thinking about this.

I've been fairly lucky in my blogging career to have had fairly few nasty comments left on my blog.  It seems to me, that if you have more than your mother reading your blog, you are a target.  And these nasty comments are, almost without exception, left anonymously.

This is what it has come down to.

I recently had the displeasure of taking a highly annoying flight from Houston to Denver.  I had the window seat and just as I was getting settled in, I looked up to see the biggest wannabe gangsta headed straight for my row.  Now I don't know, maybe he was a true gangster.  Maybe he was drug running. Who knows. But I wasn't happy when he sat down in the middle seat next to me.  And I was even more unhappy when as I was bending over to get my book, the girl in front of me quickly reclined her seat right into my head. Then she proceeded to turn on rap music without headphones.

The isle seat in our row remained open and I kept thinking that gangsta boy would move over but he wasn't budging. In fact, he was getting closer to me.  And then someone started farting.  For real.

So I'm setting there, crushed up against the window, with my shirt over my nose trying to read my self-help book with rap music playing.  I was getting so annoyed I actually thought in my head "Hey Snoop Dog,  you are soooo up in my grill. Yo bettah step off and scooch on over before I pop a cap in yo ass."

Sadly yes. That is what I thought. Shameful.  But I didn't say it, because well, he was right there, up in my grill.

But I might have texted it to him.


So I stewed the whole flight. And then when the plane landed and we were waiting to get off he turned to me and said, "Can I ask a question?"  I said, "Yes" hesitantly. I thought he might ask if it were me farting the entire two and a half hours, but he said, "Does this plane go to Sacramento?" And I happened to know that it did so I told him yes.

He then said, "So I can stay here?" and that's when I noticed his hands were shaking. And so I said, "Yes, you can, but depending on the lay over time you might want to go to the terminal and get something to eat."

Blank stare. So I said, "You can get off the airplane and go into the airport and get something to eat if the plane isn't leaving for a while."

And then he got it and I got it. He was scared to death.  He had probably never been on a plane before. He didn't know that he could move over to an open seat.

So maybe he was scared because he was running drugs. But my mom sense told me he was just a kid, trying to be cool.

And I was so glad I hadn't been cruel.

Because I very easily could have been. I'm never going to see that kid again. He didn't know my name or where I live or anything about me. I was anonymous.

The thing is there really isn't any such thing as anonymity. When you do something cruel or kind to someone else anonymously, you join a collective group. You become part of a whole that is known as either the "The Kind" or "The Jerks".

So we don't know your name. You are still a member. And chances are, your family and friends already know you are a member.

Can you hear your children playing in the other room? Is you spouse out in the yard? Are your friends across the street?

You are on the other side of your computer screen, but you aren't alone.

Some of my friends have turned off the comments on their blog.  They just don't want to deal. But I like feeling connected. I like feeling like I've created a cyberspace where people come and talk. I like to think of it as a vertiable "Cheers" on the web.

You know, where everybody knows your name.


This post is dedicated to Leslie Sutter, who might very well be the social media director for "The Kind".


Melissa Moore said...

What an inspiring message to read before my day starts! I have found your blog to be my "Cheers".

Nancy W said...

This is awesome April! Well, except for the farting ha! How can I get teary eyed while reading a post with farting in it? You truly are a joy to read! Thanks for saying what so many of us feel! Hugs from Conroe (Houston) Texas ;)

mjatpc said...

Well said.

Perry said...

Just impossible to not L<3VE the Secondsister! : )

Thank you for YOU!

~ Anonymous (ya, right)

Michelle said...

I agree....VERY well said.

Leslie Sutter said...

Wow Rockstar!!!! (or should I say red bull ??) Loved the post. You got it, knocked it out of the park. Really. Loved the way you came to it all and in the end you too joined a group: wise, insightful and kind. Not bad for a days work or a bumpy flight. Like the "Cheers' song says we all "want to be where we can see our troubles are all the same". Well the welcome home folks because here, in this space you have found an authentic voice. One that is willing to look and see and feel. Lucky you. And to you my dear secondsister and to that big idea and open heart, I say.........Cheers!!!!

Rosie said...

Wow - what a great and inspiring post!

Elizabeth said...

I love it. After debating for a bit on whether I wanted "freedom of speech" on my blog or the sick feeling in my stomach that came from nasty comments from those kind, I decided to not allow the anonymous comments.

Jessa said...


Sandy B said...

Here is my motto for the rest of my life, adopted from Plato - "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Loved your post.

Amanda Daybyday said...

I like this post a lot!

Sue said...

Thanks so much for writing this post.

debbie - no running with scissor said...

Wow! I needed to hear that story....the idea of not judging people on face value - gave me chills! Thanks!

annie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
annie said...

Secondsister - You are extremely talented in so many ways. I think that "anonymous" must secretly wish they could be as amazing as you are!! : ) You are a gifted writer and artist! Thanks for always being wise and honest and funny. I love your blog! - Annie

Jennifer Rogers said...

Hello from Johannesburg, South Africa. Have not been a reader of your blog until now... MY LOSS! You are thoughtful, observant and a real treat to read. I will be back.

mmessner444 said...

G*R*E*A*T post...

ngaire Bartlam said...


Anonymous said...

So there I am searching for jewelry for Mother's Day and linkity link I hit this blog. This is a strange navel gazing world. You write something intimate, share it with the whole world then let the praise rain down. Those comments that are distasteful are deleted. Boring. Come on people. Step it up. Dissent. Start some interesting conversation. Do it anonymously. Seriously So Blessed Nailed it, right down to the Etsy!