Have you ever had a random stranger say something totally rude to you? Just get up in your grill with a comment so vile or inappropriate that it leaves you stammering "what...what?" as the stranger saunters off -- probably to get back to tormenting a puppy or acing out disabled people for prime parking spots?
Afterwards, perhaps you talk yourself into feeling sorry for that rude stranger - after all, a stress level like that will lead to an early grave. Still, the memory of that insult can suddenly pop into your mind at odd moments weeks later, leaving you shaking your head or rehearsing the snappy comeback you didn't think of until Rude Stranger had roared off to his jerk convention in his hideous orange Humvee.
Yep, those moments are priceless...ah...learning experiences. Now, imagine having one - or even more - of those moments every single week.
The brains behind one of my fave mom blogs - Dooce.com - has just revealed that hate mail sent to her popular site is so horrible she has had to seek help just to deal with it.
Sure, this blogger, Heather B. Armstrong, isn't for everyone (though she's clearly for thousands; she's considered by many - including the Wall Street Journal - to be the nation's top parenting blogger). Her postings are hilarious - vulgar, sure, and profane, definitely, but hilarious all the same. One of my favorite regular features is her occasional round-up of (and response to) reader hate-emails, many of which are incredibly insulting and deeply personal. I've always marveled at the humane and oddly dignified way she responded to these critics (if one can be dignified while accusing someone of living on a toilet).
I've also felt encouraged by her site's incredible popularity; after all, if that many parents have that good a sense of humor, it can't be all bad. But that popularity has been a two-edged sword, apparently; Armstrong tells the WSJ that she now deals with hate mail by printing it out and running it over with her car.
Sounds like therapy to me.