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April 27, 2010 / Brittany Hendrick

The erstwhile is ersatz

Why is this post public? Well, I’m reconsidering publicizing my writing again. Besides, like everyone else, I’m allowed an unadulterated vent every now and then. Don’t worry, it’s not all venty. In fact, the point is not to vent but to explain my reconsideration.

The direction of this post remains the same, as I’d planned it. However, the introduction has changed slightly, and I chose to omit a chunk of it, out of respect– not to the person I intended writing about– but to someone else. Also, the redacted subject is impressionable and has unwittingly fallen into an ugly little world. It wouldn’t be fair for me to lambaste that person over naivete. I feel a twinge of sympathy… even though I have good reason not to. So, I guess it is out of respect to those two parties. I’m way too nice.

First, I’ll lightly explain why I went private at all:

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a private person. Even in this medium, I artfully balance sharing versus maintaining privacy. Not that I live some secret, double life. But, Jesus, people, you have to preserve some part of yourself in this Age of Overexposure.

Basically, knowing anything about me– or knowing more about me– is a privilege. That privilege is earned through trust. When trust has been earned, I am open. It’s a simple, uncomplicated process.

When I detect that my trust and openness have been compromised, I withhold, and staunchly guard my privacy even more; people lose all privileges. That’s also a pretty logical process.

Over time, the people taking advantage of my trust began adding up. You do the math.

For example: why should Charlie– the story behind this nickname is too egregious to share (you might die of laughter)– some base, empty, smarmy, insincere, selfish, cowardly, classless, disrespectful, dishonest, deceitful, arrogant, predatory, hypocritical, unethical, sociopathic cad whose actual history is not as tall as the tales he tells, who has the mentality of a 20 year old, who should be ashamed and embarrassed of his flagrant behavior, and who’s always “performing” because he’s too chickenshit to be truthful

(in case my disappointment wasn’t apparent, in short: who isn’t the person I thought he was)

–or anyone else out there for that matter–

affect what I do here???

They won’t.

To handle behaviors such as those exhibited by Charlie and the like– excessive want for attention (yawn), and playing games (the feeling of being roped into something)– it doesn’t matter what you do. If you react, it’s rewarding their behavior; if you ignore, it’s rewarding their behavior. When you’re up-front and talk about it, they deny/deflect/play dumb to your face. Yep, more rewards. And if none of those strategies work for ’em, they’ll project their issues onto you (and behind your back). Fun. You can’t win with people like that. So why bother at all. I am too old and tired to have to practice tactical ignoring on seeming adults, a device typically reserved for use on children.

Shitty people of all kinds are everywhere, and I can deal with that just fine, usually. But what I, still, at 31 years old, grapple with is why people go out of their way to attack and cause problems when there needn’t be any; or worse, MAKE UP STUFF THAT IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING TRUE. All pathological liars forget that their lies catch up with them. Always.

I don’t live my life that way, and I’m happier for it.

I’ll defend and assert myself, certainly (when not ignoring). But it’s not my nature to arbitrarily stir up shit and drama and strife. I don’t know why people do that– well, I do know why: power borne from feeling threatened borne from insecurity borne from not enough of the right kind of attention as a child from Mommy and Daddy.

What I don’t understand is… doesn’t it get old and tiresome, living that way? Who the fuck has the time and energy, besides teenagers? People who carry those, uh, “qualities”… do they think they’re “cool” and “attractive” to others? (hint: it’s not– not to anyone worth a damn, anyway)? Do they enjoy being disliked by many? Do they even know they’re disliked? Do they go to bed thinking they’re the most awesome things on Earth?

Maybe I’m more grounded, less desperate, more confident, less egotistical, more independent, less bored than those who have a blatant, anxious need to blaze a trail of shit wherever they go. I don’t like it when people make their mental/emotional instabilities my problem if they affect my life negatively.

I don’t even know why I bother obscuring people’s identities and their true characters behind metaphors on this blog– not a one of them deserves protection or amnesty. And it’s not like they’re celebrities (though, in their own minds, they think they are). I should be writing Blind Items for tabloids.

ANYWAY. Before this turns into yet another psycho-social commentary…

The reason I’m reinstating this site has nothing to do with my defiance/defense toward the aforementioned, never-to-be-mentioned-again hoi polloi. The decision derives from something greater than me worrying about… unremarkables.

Mom liked to keep bits of schoolwork and report cards throughout the Montessori and elementary years, the cute and prideful items, to look back upon when we’re older. It’s a good thing.

Recently, I ran across a “conference checklist” of mine from Kindergarten. It says this in the teacher’s comments section:

Brittany continues to do her best. I am especially pleased with the progress she has made in creative writing.

See that! This is why my site will be public once again. Twenty-five years ago, it was spelled out for me. Wow. That is something I cannot ignore.

Also, I know I’d be disappointed if, say, Michael K at dlisted.com took his website away. Not that I get thousands of hits a day like he does– but that doesn’t detract from the fact that people out there do enjoy reading what I write.

And writing is an artform. People forget that sometimes. Probably because everyone knows how to write– you can write your name, a note, a letter, an essay. But not everyone can write well. It’s not just about poetry, fiction and imagination. It’s about how you say things, too (ironic sentence. If there is one word I hate to see in poems, it’s the word “things”). That’s partly what makes Writing an art; and at that point, you may call yourself a writer. Everyone can write, but not everyone is a writer.

So, I am going to continue working on my art here, publicly, as art is meant to be shared. It doesn’t have to make me famous. All it has to do is fulfill me and whomever else reads it. Gosh, the very first entry I made on this site talks about why I’m here to begin with. Almost forgot all about that. Guess I needed a retrospective kick in the ass. Thanks, Mom!

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. montessorimatters / May 8 2010 6:49 am

    Wow, I could’ve sworn you were talking about my boss. 🙂 Glad you decided to go public again, the world needs more snarky & brave writers.

    Like

    • Brittany Hendrick / May 8 2010 1:27 pm

      Haha, maybe! We all know people “like that.” …which is why I leave some bits vague. With that universal appeal, there is something everyone can relate to.

      Thank you for reading, and for the encouragement.

      And I agree: Montessori does matter.

      Like

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