To Comment Or Not To Comment

Here are assorted musings on one topic.  Make of them what you will.


For the past few weeks I’ve made a point of reading new-to-me blogs– and then leaving a comment on the blog.  I’ve found that I’m not alone in doing this.  Many people have stopped by The Spectacled Bean for the first time during November and have left me a first time comment.

I appreciate that effort very much.


I know that I’ve seen some bloggers write about how easy it is for them to visit someone else’s blog and toss out a comment.  (Or to hit the “like” button available on some blogs.)  For them interaction via comments is a given– and they do it as a matter of course without any hesitation.

I envy their ability to get involved so easily.  I’m not like that at all.


For me, an introvert, it takes a bit of effort to leave a comment on someone’s blog.  Perhaps that’s how all introverts feel.  I don’t know.

All I know is that I’m self-conscious about inserting myself into someone else’s life.  My goal is to encourage with what I say in a comment, but I’m never entirely sure that I carry out my goal.

Good intentions, dubious results.  Perhaps that’s the reality of all earnest people.


I realize that there are always lots of people who lurk on my blog.  Through my stats info I see you out there.  You arrive here at the same time every day, from the same place, and stay long enough to read what I’ve written.  But you never interact with me.  I don’t take it personally– and honestly, I rarely even think about it.  I understand that’s how some people consume blogs– detached and anonymously.

It’s safer that way.


I’m always concerned that there will be a misunderstanding about what I say in a comment.

I try to be clear and specific in what I say in comments, but without visual clues there’s no way to know exactly how what I said is being received.  And it’s this sense of vulnerability that slows me down when commenting.  I want to tell my truth and I want to do it with grace– while honoring the thoughts of the blogger who has written the post in the first place.

It’s a delicate balance to do.


My Three Rules

A couple of weeks ago I found this delightful post: “I’m better than Gibbs. I only need three rules.”  It’s written by Jo White aka Mediamum.  I like what she has to say and how she says it.

Reading her post got me thinking about what my 3 rules might be.  Here’s what I decided.

~ ~ • ~ ~ 

1.  Arrive pre-amused.

Swiped this idea directly from The Little Book of Letting Go by Hugh Prather.  Attitude is everything, no?

2.  Embrace complexity.

I started saying this after we moved from a smaller city to this here big city where nothing is straightforward or easy.  Instead of whining about everything, I adopted this point of view.  It has served me well. 

3.  Say thank you.

It’s good manners.  It’s a prayer.  It makes your mother happy.  So why not demonstrate your grasp of successful interpersonal relationships and say it, huh?

~ ~ • ~ ~ 

What are your three rules?  Or do you have more than three a la Leroy Jethro Gibbs?  Please share in comments below– or on your own blog.  We’d love to know.

Too Soon

Christmas in the post-War United States
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I went to the hair salon to have my hair highlighted and cut.  Someone had decorated the salon for Christmas already.  Everywhere.


Some of the decorations I recognized– like a fake pine garland with bulbs and bows draped over the top of the mirrors.  I recognized the canned Christmas songs playing endlessly.

But I couldn’t figure out what the large objects suspended from the ceiling were– nor why they were hanging over each stylist’s work counter.  In their way.

J, my stylist, saw me looking at one of the large Christmasy objects and said:  “You don’t know what that is, do you?”

Me:  “No.”

J:  “It’s a Christmas tree, fully decorated with bulbs and icicles, hanging upside down.  The ornament on the top– or bottom depending on you perspective– is supposed to twirl around in a circle all the time.  But mine’s broken right now.”

Me:  “Huh?  That’s… well– OH MY!”

J:  “You did a nice job of saying something pleasant.  Most people aren’t that nice about these trees.”

Me:  “Why do you have them anyhow?”

J:  “The owner was an interior decorator before he did hair.  He thinks that all this Christmas decorating is stylish and trendy.  He thinks that it’s clever.”

Me:  “Huh?”

J:  “I know.  Don’t even try to think about it.  It’ll make your head explode.  It’s ugly and it’s too soon.”

Me:  “Yes it is.”

After paying for my highlight and cut, I gave J a big tip.  She’s going to need all the help she can get to make it through a holiday season with an upside down rotating Christmas tree dominating her work space– and confused, outspoken  customers commenting on her boss’s stupidity cleverness.


Weekend This & That

  I tried three new recipes.  One, Roasted Grape And Pecan Stuffing from Ladies’ Home Journal Nov ’11, was a keeper.  The other two, which I found online, were not worth the bother.  So it goes.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  I’m still fussing around with what to do about the drapes in the eat-in part of the kitchen.  Bay window, round table– and I’m indecisive about how high to hang the drapes.  All sorts of variables for me to fret over.  Life is in the details.  

√  I made us mint juleps with the end of the mint from our herb garden.  The weather forecast says that we’ll have a hard frost this week, so I doubt that the mint will be there next weekend.  Waste not, want not.

  I went with Zen-Den to a professional football game on Sunday afternoon.  The weather was in the lower 60s and Luther Vandross sang the national anthem.  We were in a box with a mellow group of people.  No stress, no fuss.  Just comfy seats and good food– watching the home team almost win.  Every little thing gonna be all right.

A Glimpse Within

In the course of getting to know a person have you ever seen a photo of the inside of his or her home and:

  1. knew immediately that you two were on the same healthy wavelength & moving to the same vibe?  Or,
  2. knew instantly that this person was not mentally balanced & that it was time to walk away from the relationship?

I’ve had both situations happen to me in the last month.

I’m not talking about judging the decorating style of a home as acceptable or unacceptable according to your own vision of beauty.  That’s subjective.

I’m talking about seeing how things are put together in someone’s home and realizing that this is not how self-aware, sane people do things.  That all your vague, non-specific doubts about this person have been confirmed by one glimpse within his or her home.  That he or she is, indeed,  just as crazy as you sensed he or she might be.   

My message here?  Pay attention.  Trust your gut.  Live happier.

If only I’d known this at a younger age, I could have avoided lots of awkwardness and craziness.  But I didn’t.

Now I do.