A couple of weeks ago, I submitted a comment to the New York Times website about David Brooks’ May 30th column, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. Well, the comment was selected as a highlight. As the result of having THE WIFELY PERSON SPEAKS signature, the blog suddenly had a spike in traffic, and I got a whole lotta emails from both sides of the fence, including a very interesting one from the editor of Minnesota Public Radio’s commentary webpage.
Seems they like me enough over at MPR to invite me to become a contributor. I was stunned. I actually didn’t know what to say. Me? Speechless? Well, folks, it does, on rare occasions, happen. I called the number in the email and had a lovely conversation with the editor. He asked that for my first piece, I expand the Brooks comment. Sure, I told him, not a problem!
I spent the rest of the afternoon basking in that glory until the junior son came by to fix the tractor (see Gas Lines and Gas Bags.) I showed him the email from MPR. Without missing a beat or saying a word, he forwarded it to his wife and his brother with the comment, “Mom's going to spout her crazy on the radio!”
Oh, that’s right! Wound me to the core. The happiness balloon quickly deflated. Here I thought his dad and I had inculcated him enough to appreciate our brand of crazy. Apparently not.
Well, last Tuesday, MPR published my first commentary. I was tickled to see my picture up on the website. And no sooner was the virtual ink dry than the first scathing rebuttal appeared. Oh, this fellow did not like me at all. He even besmirched my sobriquet saying,
“One thing is certain, we aren’t going to get solutions from a conservative dinosaur who still defines herself via her husband (the Wifely Person? Seriously?)"
Others quickly rushed to my defense. I was amazed; people out there took my side while I got to sit back and watch. Of course, not everyone agreed with me, but I didn't care. I had stimulated debate and isn't the the true function of a commentary page? I was in heaven!
Turns out this is one of the unexpected joys of being out in the blogosphere: people get to rail at me and I get to enjoy it! I had no idea how much fun I was going to have with this thing. But I’ll tell you something…the real fun is in the feedback. The comments, complaints, criticisms…it doesn’t matter what it is; I’m becoming a response-junkie.
If there is a flip side... and gee, isn't there always?... it’s the difficulty in deciding what to write and when to write it. There are, unbelievably, some opinions I’d rather keep to myself and do. Sometimes it’s a bit of a balancing act, but hey! if it was easy, everyone would do this.
And so, as I stroll off into this self-referential sunset, here’s the link to MPR: To An Older Worker.... and no, that’s not the title I gave it. Do leave a comment, email a complaint, or just send me a raspberry….but feel free to feed my junkie monkey!
The Wifely Person's Tip O'the Week
If you ever find you've lost your voice, find someone to make you laugh.
Your voice will come back.