I had a long phone conversation today (and I am not a big phone person; I'd much rather e-mail) with a woman who found out about me because of, uh, the recent article in the Ink.
I stood in the lobby of the movie theatre, missing the movie (which I don't care about), the cloying smell of steamy popcorn and grease in the air. I pulled my jacket ever tighter against the gusts of cold wind coming from the hard-cranking air conditioner, but I was absolutely comfortable.
I ended up talking much longer and more intensely than I expected because the call was important.
The woman on the other end of the phone was wonderful, and we had much in common, and I had great concern for her story, which she so graciously shared with me.
I'm not going to say what we talked about (it was business), but what was most striking to me was her stated belief: "I found you for a reason."
There is a reason behind all of this. People keep telling me that. I keep forgetting.
Another recently-made friend told me yesterday (or was it earlier today? The days are blending together) that,"The test comes before you understand the lesson." I'm paraphrasing; it was something like that.
As a teacher, I'd hope that would not be the case in any class. But life is a different story.
I just checked my Twitter messages, and another virtual stranger just told me, "You have so many friends you don't even know yet."
That's heartening. Is it true? Perhaps. People from all over the world are writing to me and cheering me on. I thank them all.
I have received so many very kind e-mails and comments sent to me via my blog.
So, too, the mean ones keep coming in; I think it's a calculated attack. The comments don't even make sense. It's like people were told to bug me with certain lines.
For example, someone just tried to criticize me, in a very snarky way, for calling Bush "Bushie" in my model speech. Um, I didn't even do that. How about you actually read it?
Plus--even though I have zero love for George W. Bush, that's what the man and his wife Laura call themselves. They like that nickname; it's no dig. It just means I know that because I'm well read.
(And "Poppy" is what he calls his dad. It's a family name, and well-known fact. It's not a put-down. I think Poppy is a far better politician/person than his son.)
Whatever... as a webmistress recently explained, "The ultracons like to dominate the comments." The more noise they make, the more important they can pretend to be.
It doesn't change the fact that only 25% or so of the population thinks they know what they're talking about.
Even Catholics are bitterly divided, with one segment decrying the intolerance of the other.
Which way will the Catholic church go? Time will tell. Perhaps it will split. (I am not advocating that; I'm just wondering out loud.)
I have no interest, as I've told people, in debating the finer points of conservative vs. liberal. If you ask me, that's a total waste of time. We think the way we are first told to, then--as I hope--we think for ourselves. However that works out, it's probably the way it should be.
We will never be of the same minds. Our society is bitterly partisan, utterly divided. I wish it were not so, but that is not to say that I wish all people believed the same thing.
Think for yourself, as I always tell people. But don't tell me how to think. I've already made up my mind.
If you don't like it, don't listen. You will not change me. You will not silence me.
My opinions are as valid as yours (and vice versa). If it makes you crazy, don't let it. I won't let you affect me, either.
Rather, I'll just enjoy the kind, supportive words I've received. They keep coming in. There are many of us of similar minds, and that's great. It's good to know.
As for those of you who believe the opposite--it's not like I don't know you're there. Rest assured, you have your own forums. Enjoy those. Use them. Otherwise, though--please take it outside. I have a book to finish and a new one to start.
The notoriety you're giving me works well for me, even if it can be somewhat annoying to deal with. So I guess I can thank you, too, nasty commenters. You've made me famous, at least for a while.
Is that what you wanted?