Monday, August 08, 2005

I am a formulated projection. Love me.

A comment from the last post. From an Anonymous Person.

"Leonie, I've read a few of your entries and you seem like a really nice woman. However, I kinda get the feeling honey that if you just relaxed and really put yourself across, rather than a formulated projection of the kind of person you think people would find interesting, your "column" could be sincerely engaging. "

Breathe. In through-the-nose-out-through-the-mouth. Br-r-reeeeea-the.

Think I'm relaxed now. Right then, put myself across. (Drums fingers thoughtfully)

Since you left me no name I am going to make you one up. I think you sound like someone who is well-intentioned but annoying, and who give people fashion advice when they don't want it. Or who grimaces and says "Honey, your split ends are TERRIBLE! When did you last get a good cut? LAST YEAR? Oh my GOD! Every six weeks, honey. Every six weeks." Or who reminds other people that they're supposed to be sticking to that diet they announced five minutes ago, and so maybe they shouldn't eat those three tubs of ice cream. I know people like you. Not very well, though, because I am invariably the one on the wrong end of the ice cream spoon and you people make me feel all bad. Like the girl who asked me whether I thought that a white string bikini was REALLY a good idea (it was) or the person who said, upon seeing me with my fringe for the first time, "Huh. well, I suppose you're lucky, with your face you could pull off even worse" (the words 'backhanded' and 'compliment' spring inexplicably to mind). I have decided
to name you Sybil, after Sybil Fawlty. Even though I secretly MUCH prefer her to you because she has a sense of humour, and while I'm sure you're very nice and your sense of humour impeccable, I have no evidence of it so far.

So, Sybil. You say I need to put myself across. Well, I AM doing that. I think that anyone who knows me in person can vouch for that. Just the other day, in fact, my friend Laura told me that she'd read my blog. She said she liked it because she could imagine everything that I've written coming straight out of my mouth. I assume that you, Sybil, mean that maybe I'm not being completely honest about who I am, that I am not representing every aspect of my personality here. You feel that I am picking bits of myself and moulding them to create a person or persona I would like to be seen as.

Yes, you're right. I am doing that.

But so are you, Sybil. You don't write your name at the end of your comment. This is perhaps because you want your comment to come seemingly out of the Internet ether, a piece of well-meaning advice from a benevolent stranger. Why did you call me honey? Because you don't want to be harsh, you don't really want to upset me, just gently offer me something that maybe I cannot see myself. That's why I'm not upset, because you manipulated your words to give me the impression that you are a decent, albeit a little misguided, person.

That's just what I'm doing, and what everyone does, everyday. I choose my words to represent the parts of myself that I prefer, or tell stories I want people to hear. True, I have not told the WHOLE truth about myself.

But if you like, I will tell you some things.

I am competitive.
I am proud.
I am impatient.
I am sometimes vain.
I have the capacity to be a bit of an academic snob.
I have the capacity to get very depressed, and when I do I am very self-destructive.
I am over-sensitive.
I am really really terrified of wasps.

And other stuff as well. So, if that stuff doesn't come across when you read an entry about sex-toys or stupid quizzes, I am sorry. But bear in mind, Sybil, that perhaps it might be a little bit deliberate. That I don't want to dwell on the parts of myself that I dislike because, well, why should I?

Oh, right, to engage you.

Because you feel, when reading my words, that I have created a formulated projection of an 'online personality', that maybe doesn't truly represent the REAl Léonie?

I AM sorry, because I would like to be viewed as honest and open, and I would like for you to like me. But, then, if you don't, if you think I am superficial in my writing? Fine. Whatever. I don't want to know, frankly. Write your own blog, Sybbie (can I call you Sybbie?), then give me the link, and show me how it's done.

Or, alternatively, just don't bother. Just go away and stop annoying me.

I'm glad you commented, though, because it meant that Paul posted this response:

"Oh, and Anonymous? 'Honey'? [cue obscure springer-esque finger clicking motion] Léonie rules. And your patronising post sucks. So bog off."

If you knew Paul you'd know EXACTLY why the image of him doing an obscure springer-esque finger clicking motion is so funny.

Also. Column? In inverted commas? It's not a column. I don't do a page a month in Woman's Own or Take A Break. It's a blog, a weblog. Some people like them, some people think they're narcissistic bollocks. There is one being set up, apparently, every minute. But it is what it is, and I will not apologise for it. And also? Using inverted commas to be non-specifically derisive and patronising annoys me.

So, yeah, bog off. Or should I say "blog" off?

(I'm so sorry)


Blogger Leah said...

What a dope. Though, "Using inverted commas to be non-specifically derisive and patronising annoys me," is now one of my favorite quotes.

1:43 pm

Blogger Doug said...

Luckily, I'm not engaging enough to draw random comments from people who feel the need to mask thier identity. However, those people really suck. I hope he/she (probably a she, I'm going to be real sexist here, but woman tend to be the people who makes comments like the one made) reads you current post. I'm sure it will shine them on.

2:04 pm

Blogger peashelle said...

Hee! You are awesome. :D

2:57 pm

Anonymous Chris said...

Was this the same "honey" who shrunk her kids?

3:23 pm

Anonymous Jenny said...

I do love you. Take that, anon! :P

8:34 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As homestarrunner would say, "I will never ever ever write a song about Sibbie."

Being Southern, I can't stand rudeness. And rudeness masked with patronizing little endearments like "honey" just make me want to drop kick someone.

She got the first line right, you do seem like a really nice woman. The rest of her comment was complete crap, to put it gently. What, after reading a couple of posts she thinks she knows you well enough to know you're projecting? Sounds like someone just signed up for freshmen Psych 101. Grr anyway, enough of that. I think this journal is awesome the way it is and it has become one of my regular reads. So, to quote a junior high yearbook kind of comment.."Leonie, you rock, don't ever change." ;)


9:33 pm

Blogger Bug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:55 pm

Blogger Bug said...

To continue on the Springer-esque theme, "you go, girrrl!"

11:56 pm

Anonymous Euan said...

That is by far the most patronising comment I have ever read.

On the other hand, it's not the scariest commenting I've ever read. This is.

Would you want to travel with him?

12:27 am

Anonymous number1hypocrite said...

Very well written, Leonie. I'm very proud of you, and how clearly you projected your true inner self through this last entry.

I hate these people who comment annonymously. They should all bog off (I'm guessing this is a bad thing? I don't know, I'm from the States.) and leave us columnists alone.

2:45 am

Blogger Bug said...

Ok, I just went to Euan's link. Oh my fucking god. That guy needs some VALIUM!

5:04 am

Anonymous Paul said...

Hehe. What a loon. Nice work Euan.

Mike? 'Bog off' is a polite way of saying 'p*ss off' so that (a) I can get it through my work server, and (b) I can't be accused of abusing our favourite anonymous patroniser (just, y'know, roughing her up a little). Hope that clears things up. Wasn't aware it was a purely British term, but it is quite quaint so I shouldn't be surprised :-)

9:26 am

Blogger Léonie said...

I'll see you all in six months. Just off on a bike ride with my new boyfriend. I think it's his gentle passivity that really turns me on. And that hairline (shudder of pleasure).

9:50 am

Anonymous Dave T said...

Hi lé.
Havent read your blog for a few weeks cos been busy working & trying to buy a house in Ireland. Seems like it's been eventful as eva. What a patronisin muppet. What i dont get is why a random stranger would feel the need to be so endearingly 'helpful' What's the motive? I may start giving shite pop-psyche advice to strangers on the tube. We northern monkeys do terms like 'duck', 'honey' and 'pet'very well.
I havent exactly been lé's best mate over recent years (although its all smiles now) but i can assure any anons gathering in force that she has a very engaging personality and a truly severe case of waspaphobia.

However your hairline comment wounded me deeply. it's not my fault I'm too sexy for my hair

12:12 pm

Blogger Doug said...

I see "The Crush" has turned into "The Boyfriend". Nice!

1:38 pm

Blogger Dancinfairy said...

Just found your blog whilst enjoying my new past time at work ( reading other people's blogs and doing no work! ) and just want to say you come across as very honest and open and I for one am sending cyber daggers to anonymous.

Keep it up I will definately be coming back.

3:29 pm


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