Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Even Downtown, Voices Carry

Readers, I need you to help me decide something.

About a month ago, a blog of mine ran in a magazine. It wasn't the entire blog, just part of one. And it wasn't a great blog to begin with. Of the 550 blogs I've written, it was my 550th favorite. But the magazine chose it and they bought it. I offered to write them another one, such was my innate suspicion that this wasn't going to end well for me, but they wanted that one and, overriding my fears, I let them have it. For what it's worth, they paid me $500.

As a pessimist, it's always comforting when things work out even worse than my worst fears. Scores of emails later, I now understand that I am a mean, elitist, stupid bitch. Also, I hate librarians. And I'm an idiot. And I'm mean. And I'm also a bitch. Yes, a few people have written in to say it was possible I was just having a bad day. I was having a bad day so I'm very grateful to them. And let me assure the people who now complain that I'm the MEANEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD, and a BITCH, that I'm certainly having no fun now.

My regular readers know my blog was never meant to be a hagiography. If anything, it's quite the opposite because I am usually a knucklehead and report my knuckleheadedness with frequency and precision. Also, I don't edit out readers' comments even if I come off badly because, hey, what the heck. But after the first fusillade of complaints on the Good Housekeeping article, I posted my own reply in the comments section explaining that I had never been a fan of the original essay, that I hadn't chosen it for publication and that it had been edited for space. I can't say cutting two-thirds of the piece rendered my behavior any less defensible, but it didn't help.

For weeks now, I've let people comment here. I happen to be a big fan of the First Amendment and if readers worked hard enough to articulate an opinion about what a collossal ass I am, they deserved the chance to be heard. But it's been weeks and I'm flinching whenever I hear the sound of an incoming email. Today's hate-letter was from yet another librarian, saying she was cancelling the magazine to all twelve of her libraries and--need it be said--would never buy another book of mine, which I guess is her prerogative as a librarian.

I know it hardly seems to matter at this point, but the pointless little power struggle I originally experienced wasn't actually with a librarian. It was with a clerk. And it may sound a bit "some of my best friends are librarians" to mention this, but I've been an avid library patron since I was old enough to not gnaw on books. I can clearly remember Rita, my first librarian in the San Vicente branch in West Hollywood, helping me pick out books. My daughter received her first library card (a featured player in this particular controversy) when she was two years old. We visit a library at least once every week. Over the years, I have done a lot of volunteer work for libraries. I love libraries. They made me the person I am, which should cause added consternation in those people who hate me.

Such is my desire to make it right with libraries (and such is my overwhelming desire to go back in time and have written a blog about kittens that week) that I am donating the my magazine fee to the Los Angeles Public Library. I'm not doing this so these people who now hate me will like me. That boat, she sailed. I'm sure many of them had never heard of me before and will never see this blog and would sneer at the gesture anyway. But this entire experience has been so unpleasant that the only way that I can possibly start to feel better is to give the money to people I may have unfairly offended.

So here's my question to you:  Is there a point where I can close the comments? I'm sure it's "elitist", "bitchy" and "mean" to even consider this but, quite frankly, I'm very tired of being kicked. Part of me thinks closing the comments will just rile certain people up. They will accuse me of being as dismissive of them as I was of the library clerk with whom they obviously identify. I'm even willing to consider that most people commenting are going to be friends or regular readers, who might say some version of "You served your time. You can close the comments." I'm willing to take my lumps without another peep if even one person makes a good argument for keeping the comments open.

In sum:  I posted a mediocre blog and I'm sorry the magazine bought it. Repeat that a thousand times. I wish I had written it differently, more in keeping with what I actually felt, which was a meditation on bilateral pettiness. But I'm not sorry that two years ago, I was frustrated by a trivial encounter with a bureaucrat and I abided by my original promise to my readers when I started this blog: whatever I wrote about, I would tell the truth.

One woman wrote in that she was appalled at what I had written. That word struck a chord with me. "Appalled" is powerful word, especially when it's levelled at you. Personally, I'm appalled by the fact that 16 million children in the US go hungry each day. If one particular blog continues to appall people, maybe I should continue to give them an outlet.

What should I do? You tell me.


Blogger Thumper said...

I'd close comments for a couple of weeks, then very quietly open them back up and see what happens. It's a shame people aren't taking the time to read more of the blog and really get where you're coming from...

2:51 PM  
Blogger Sara J. Henry said...

Close the comments. Period. Life is too short.
PS We love you.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

For crying out loud...

Don't people have more important things to do than complain about fairly decent human beings?

Close the comments. Give yourself a break.

Unless, of course, you're feeling particularly like beating yourself over the head with a baseball bat over and over and over...

Personally, I'm good enough at keeeping my self-esteem in the toilet. I don't need help from scores of ignorant, unread masses.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Sherri said...

Close them. You're under no obligation to let the world dump on you. Period.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Karyn said...

I know you want the other blog post to die down, but after reading through the comments I became so angry that I left two more. With that said, I can see why you could want to shut it down... the back and forth could go on forever.

BUT I just want to say that I think people are over-reacting to what was clearly intended to be a humorous blog post.

ALSO, any librarian who decides to not carry your books and Good Housekeeping because she's PERSONALLY offended by something they say has no business being a librarian. Libraries are public institutions supported by the people. She is no better than a book-burner, in my opinion, and should be reported for censoring material. She is the one who is perpetuating the stereotype of the mean librarian, not you or GH.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous AB said...

Well, I am a fan so I'm on your side, and I say close it. You know what's weird is that I was at the dentist and leafing through a "Good Housekeeping" and saw that article. I actually thought, of all the insightful things she's written, they're publishing that? Not that it was bad writing, I just thought it was an odd representation of your work. In my business life, I do a lot of work with public sector groups, including libraries. You will NEVER make librarians happy. They are some of the most picky, unpleasant, petty people in the world. (Go ahead, librarians, yell at me...I'm expecting it. THIS IS MY OPINION, NOT QUINN'S, but trust me, I've got stories, if you want 'em. You know Tammy 2 from "Parks and Rec"? Not so far off the mark.) So I think part of the issue here is not just the tone of the article (complaints, petty or no) but the particular industry it targeted, as perceived by some. I know that wasn't the point - libraries themselves. But if I've learned anything about the internet, it's that a) people miss the point; b) people love to complain about petty things and turn it into a personal attack on themselves; and c) you will never make everyone happy. General life lessons, too, I guess, but I would turn the comments off. It's your personal space, and frankly (librarians should know this, especially), "freedom of speech" only applies when you are talking about criticizing the government. You're a private person and people do not have a right to become abusive on your own personal page.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

OK, I'm sure you know this already, but the social worker in me feels compelled to point it out: the reactions you're getting aren't really about you. You just accidentally ended up as the punching bag on whom librarians and various other folks are taking out their frustrations. It sucks, and it feels horrible, and there's no excuse for people dumping their stuff on you like this. But if it helps, please bear in mind that is *their* stuff, ultimately, and is not really any reflection on you. The decision to disable comments is yours, and I don't think anyone could blame you for stanching the flow of misplaced vitriol currently clogging your inbox. But as someone who reads your blog often and comments very infrequently, if comments are going away, I wanted my last one to be one of encouragement. You're doing an awesome job. Thank you. (PS The librarian to whom I am married says everyone needs to get over themselves ;-)

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Danny said...

Oh my God, that sounds like a nightmare, and so unfair for someone who worships the written word, books, and libraries as much as you do! I think you should add one more comment explaining (again) your thoughts about this and why you're closing the comments and then close them so that your comment is the last one. Why continue to torture yourself with those misguided remarks? I've had negative comments directed at me plenty of times on various sites. Sometimes I find it amusing (someone called me a "douchebag" in response to a review I did on MSN Movies) and other times quite upsetting (the litany of attacks I received for a light-hearted post I wrote about my own "bris" on Huffington Post). In the latter case, I ended up deleting the entire post, it was that bad.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous lori n. said...

I for one think you should ignore the mean comments, keep the cash and keep writing! Nothing you have done deserves the flogging you've recieved, I read the article and thought it was funny, not rude or demeaning to librarians, clerks, or whoever else decides to get all up in arms over it.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Debbie St.Amand said...

You don't have any further obligation to let people beat up on you just because they disagree with something you've written. Close the comments, or at least quit reading them. (Think celebrities who refuse to read the tabloids.)

Also, you wrote about a situation that would have frustrated any one of us. You don't deserve to be browbeaten for that!


4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Close the Comments! I read your blog for you, not for the comments that people leave. The Cult of Quinn supports you - everyone else can take a flying leap.

5:01 PM  
Blogger knit one, knit two said...

Your blog, your choice. At this point they're just beating a dead horse.

(FWIW I hated the hatchet job GH did to your post. I think they just wanted an excuse to write cluck you in their magazine.)

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) I love you. :)
2) Close the comments for the time being.
3) People, get a life! It's a blog entry! That was massively hacked in the editing!
4) We still love you. :) And the pets. And consort. And daughter.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Lord Lillis said...

I have a question: why do you care what these people are saying? Any knucklehead can type his 2¢ into a comment field (indeed, one is doing so now) and too often a "smart" commenter just means he knows where the "¢" key is.

Close the comments or don't close the comments - either would be considered proper "netiquette". But that still brings us back to: who cares? One great aspect of blogging is that the blogger decided who the audience is. Blog for yourself. Blog for your circle of friends who cackle around the second bottle of merlot. Blog for posterity. What anyone outside that group thinks should be considered a piece of trivia - like who won the world series in 1994.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Definitely close them! People are bringing their own baggage into your anecdote - cut 'em off!

6:43 PM  
Blogger Kenneth Urban said...


You seem a remarkable woman and blogger. I respect you a great deal and think that you should close the comments. It is right and good to draw attention to poor customer service, as you did. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway."


7:16 PM  
Blogger StaceyEsq said...

Close the comments. Joke 'em if they can't take a fuck.

7:17 PM  
Blogger alexandra snyder said...

I have loved your blog for quite some time and felt compelled to comment for the first time after reading this post....

I read your book in basically one sitting when I was vacationing in Martha's Vineyard a couple of summers ago. My best friend at the time read it first and I have very fond memories of us sharing your stories together and laughing out loud. We immediately started Googling you after we finished and were thrilled to find out that you wrote a blog! Now we could enjoy your hilarious stories all the time!!!

I tell you all of this to encourage you and remind you of all the "fans" you have out there. You are a gifted writer and I hate to see that you have come under such criticism as of late. And it is your prerogative to turn the comments off! I looked back at that post and had to exit because I couldn't stand reading the nastiness---I can only imagine how you feel!

Be encouraged and know that you have lots of readers who absolutely love your posts!

8:17 PM  
Blogger Twisted Susan said...

My aunt told me that others' opinions of me are none of my business.
I agree.
Close the comments.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer Ouellette said...

It's fine to close comments to particular post after a given amount of time, IMHO. It's also fine to moderate comments, and delete particularly abusive comments (or ban certain commenters altogether). Yes there will be cries of "CENSORSHIP!" but this is nonsense. This is your blog, your virtual living room. You are not obliged to tolerate rudeness, particularly when you've gone out of your way to make what amends you can. They've got the whole damned Internet where they can vent their collective spleens. Heck, they can start their own blog specifically to complain about what a terrible person you are.

But then I would say that -- I'm not a librarian. :)

Seriously -- close comments, just for now or forever. You'll be happier. I, too, hate that feeling of dread when an incoming comment notice comes in. Life's too short. Make yourself happy.

11:51 PM  
Blogger gjb said...

Your blog, so do what you like. If it was mine, I'd close comments on that post for good. I will still be reading your blog, no matter what happens with the comments.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anna D said...

I'd close the comments.

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Close the comments. Sounds like it got out of control and you're taking a beating undeservedly. I agree with the person who suggested that you write the last comment and then close them. Then people can move on and start hating someone else with little to no thought or reason.

4:29 AM  
Blogger Lisa Beliveau said...

I just left a long, supportive response and lost the whole thing when I went to post it. The gist was, you don't deserve to be anyone's punching bag. Close the comments, and don't give them another thought. I don't know you, but I am sure you are a lovely, kind, and generous person. Some people are always going to blow things WAY out of proportion, so try not to care what they think or say.

Hang in there!

5:19 AM  
Blogger Petula Poppy said...

Love your blogs - never upset by any of them.

Life is short - Close the comments if they are bothering you.

7:05 AM  
Blogger ChrisinNY said...

I commented on that post where you revealed the debacle/hate. Of COURSE you should close the comments. I would actually not only close but delete all the comments. Who needs hate? I also would not donate the fee to the library (and would consider never doing business with GH again, but that's me). YMMV.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

It's okay to call a complete stranger a bitch, but what you said was unconscionable?! Only on the internet, folks. You were annoyed with someone who relished her power to enforce arbitrary rules. Anyone would have been exasperated. Would your critics have thanked the clerk for steering them onto the path of righteousness? Doubtful.

You are the Grand Imperial Dictatress of the blog. It's your right to silence the angry mob so you can get back to recounting your (mis)adventures to an appreciative audience. Please do.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hatchet job by the magazine did a diservice to your stellar writing. However, you have probably learned a lesson about letting another entity edit your writing, so something good probably did come out of this fiasco. I vote to close the comments because I seriously doubt someone will post anything new or inspiring. Please keep writing in your voice; it sometimes lifts my othewise uninspiring day! (Note: particuarly fond of the xmas posts).

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Alyson: Common Sense, Dancing said...

Close the comments.

I adore your writing and your blog, and regularly forward a link to your posts to friends who can relate.

I'll reiterate Twisted Susan's aunt and her "others' opinions of me are none of my business," and add, "why are you all compelled to share them with me?"

Life's too short....(and Librarians of the world might indeed rejoice -- you got people reading!!)

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what you should do, but I just want to say that I read that blog, and frankly, it didn't seem all that bad. I love the library too and use ours a great deal. With that said, I have also witnessed terrible behavior by some of the libary volunteers/employees. I have commented about it in a survey for the library. I don't know if it's budget cuts, being underpaid and overworked, or what. But, just because one works in a library doesn't mean one is a saint.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Close the comments. You have no reason to subject yourself to constant hostility.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I'd vote to close the comments, but you should be prepared that people will find other ways to voice their "complaints" - either on other blogs you post (if you only close the comments on that one), through your email, or even through another website. People are really flippin' brave on the internet. In fact, a majority of the comments probably came from people who would never say something like that to your face. So shame on them. Sometimes, (the royal) you just need to step back from the internet.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

It must be difficult for these folks (who are writing nasty e-mails to you) to go through life being perfect. I guess they never ran a red light, forgot to mention that the cashier gave them too much change or have had something they said be misunderstood. And most of all, I guess they have never used someone else's library card. It's a shame that by opening yourself up to the public you have to endure a lot of "stupidheads". Sorry, I slipped back into speaking like a child for a moment as I thought it would be fitting to all of the childish Quinn bashers out there. Shut down the comments and move forward, you have no more time to waste on small minds. Sometimes I hate the internet as it gives so many mindless souls their few minutes of self proclaimed fame to rant on someone's perfectly written blog. Continue on with your fantastic writing, and I for one have got your back.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems unanimous. Closing the comments is about the only way to shut some people up. Trust me. I understand. I used to write a column for the Sunday newspaper, read by about 500,000 subscribers, and so when someone didn't like what I had said and wrote in...yep, the newspaper published it in the Letters to the Editors. Very difficult for me as well. There's a theory called the dumptruck theory and I believe it is sadly alive and well in this situation. Those people who got a parking ticket and then a run in their pantyhose decided to take it out on YOU because they could dump on you. So sorry. Love ya lots.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Rosalita said...

Close 'em. You've made your thoughts known, and anyone who is a regular reader here knows the magazine chose a controversial post. Why? Who knows. I'm with the poster AB who wrote above "I actually thought, of all the insightful things she's written, they're publishing that? Not that it was bad writing, I just thought it was an odd representation of your work." Exactly. What we do know is that you are very much appreciated here. Enough with the negative commenters; it's so easy to criticize from anonymity. Actually, this post today has spurred me to write you specifically to say "You go, girl-- you're the funny in my life, and I love your writing." Keep it up!

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Germaine said...

I am a librarian and I say close the comments if it makes you feel better. I read the blog and the article and they did not offend me on any level. Yes libraries have rules, but I have seen clerks and librarians turn into little dictators and not give an inch, which is ridiculous.

Love your blog and your book, and eagerly looking forward to the next one.

Move on- life is too short!

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Marti said...


This is my first time commenting. I've enjoyed your blog so much since I found it a couple of years ago. You have a great gift.

Since I'm sure you don't write this blog to ADD stress to your life, and clearly the comments are doing just that, then I would say shut down the comments. I know I'll come visit no matter what. Those rude turkeys need to get a life.

By the way, I love that the cat's names came from Anne of Green Gables....we kindred spirits have to stick together.

12:14 PM  
Blogger MamaB said...

HI Quinn
I haven't read your blog or commented in awhile but I remember that original post! I liked it then though I haven't seen how it was edited for the article. I say close the comments (I would have a hard time not reading them as well).

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Close them or quit reading them. Life is too short. Stop wasting it on jackasses. BTW, ditto what Karyn said, too.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Mitzi said...

Quinn, honey, you've taken your lumps; time to move on. I support the first amendment but there are people who really need to keep their opinions to themselves just so everyone won't realize they're that dumb and petty. I had a similar experience with a power-hungry librarian clerk. She didn't like the fact I put a DVD into the front desk slot, where people were supposed return the DVDs. She thought I should hand the DVD to her specifically. Whatever. I laugh at her still.
Life's too short to be other people's whipping child.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh for the love of God...really? I can't believe you are still getting nasty-grams about this. I actually just started reading your blog when Jen Lancaster posted a link from her blog a couple of months ago...and have been reading the archives as I can. When I read the original blog about the librarian...it didn't seem so much about librarians as it was about petty little people who love, love, love to throw their weight (however small it may be) around.
I'd close the comments on that particular post...but I hope you will allow comments on your other entries.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Maureen Puffer-Rothenberg said...

Gracious dear, close the comments.

F*** 'em if they can't take a joke.

I'm saying that as a librarian, and it comes from the heart. :)

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was your blog was published that directed me to your site. Go figure.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Another Joan said...

I'm with the "CTC" team - you aren't the issue, the lousy editing is (as an editor, I am "appalled" that they didn't run the final past you prior to publication). Although I haven't looked at a GH for years, perhaps all of us need to spend a few minutes letting that publisher know how disappointed we are?

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phooey - I (normally) find the comments on your blog almost as amusing as the blog itself so I think it's a pity you're being put in such an unfair position. It's almost like reading comments from the family!
Having said that - I agree with whomever said 'why would you want to keep hitting yourself over the head with a baseball bat over and over again! Close the comments and give yourself a break. (Maybe try to open them again in a couple of months?)
I also agree with the comment that any librarian who is a self-appointed judge of what the public may or may not read does not deserve to be in such a position!
Yours continues to be the best blog I've read - keep up the good work!

2:51 PM  
Blogger Yvonne A said...

StaceyEsq already posted my first thought but if it were me, I'd close the comments, at least on that post It's not worth spending your time and energy dealing with small minds. I read your blog for your witty writing, not the comments. Those folks will find a new target. They always do.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Caron said...

I'm not a friend or a regular reader. I want Lord Lillis to tell me where they've hidden the cents sign. I found your blog recently after I rewatched The Goodbye Girl, which is a favorite. I read the post about the brouhaha just days after a librarian explained their stupid rules to me, but I didn't jump into the fray. Now I will join the masses to say close the comments and even keep the money.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Oh definitely close the comments. And then try to let the whole thing become a dim memory.

Some people just have too much time on their hands, and so many of them use it to be haters online. Of all people, you are one of the last who deserve to be a target for that garbage.

But the haters don't care. They will say nasty things about one's looks, one's weight, one's children for crying out loud - and that should be off limits, if anything.

I almost suggested you delete the blog. But, hopefully, there are a few who follow a link to it who have the brains to notice the difference between what you wrote and what was published.

Do you think this whole episode might be a delayed karma backlash for eating that jar egg? Hmmm....

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Melodee said...

Yes, close the comments!

Who knew that some librarians would take things so personally? Wow!

I once closed comments on a blog I posted about a pug service dog named Tina because the proponents of pug service dogs took great offense when I questioned the legitimacy of Tina the Pug Service Dog.

You gotta do what you gotta do.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Nancy in PA said...

I am a former library volunteer, a former library employee, and an avid library user (as a homeschool mom and for personal use). I say the compainers are WAY overreacting to the whole thing. Even with my background, it seems to me that anyone who doesn't get that it was a HUMOR piece (which started as a 'venting' blog post that was never intended for official publication) about your frustration over your bad experience with ONE clerk is totally missing the point and needs to back off. And any librarian who cancels book or magazine orders over this is showing a spiteful misuse of power. Those ordering decisions are supposed to be about what the people want to read - not what the librarians see fit to allow. If they cancel GH and your books, yet continue to supply the garbage books and magazines I have seen in some branches (some of which border on porn - "But people WANT those to be available," they tell me), then they should be reported by their patrons to the ALA and every other professional orgazination that exists for librarians.

Close the comments. And close this one, too, or they will just start posting here. I also agree with the person who said to leave the last comment reiterating a brief apology and clarification of what happened. You have apologized (for something that was not entirely your fault), offered a more than adequate explanation and a peace offering to boot, and it needs to be over - for everyone's sake.

6:32 AM  
Blogger Kyddryn said...

For the record, I don't hate you...I think you're wonderful. Sometimes bad days collide and even wonderful people fumble their grace. Life moves on and so should the rest of us.

Close the comments. You are under no obligation to make a target of yourself. If people want to feel better about themselves by lambasting someone honest enough to admit her bad day, they can go elsewhere. Unless you feel the need to be tortured, don't give the anger a place to roost.

Shade and Sweetwater,

6:36 AM  
Anonymous ɹǝƃƃolquǝʞoʇ said...

I totally get it and your post prompted a support post on my blog:


1:29 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

Close the comments. Because Judy says so.
I did not even know anyone still read Good Housekeeping.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Jonelle said...

What I find most ironic is how all the pissy comments from irate librarians did far more harm to their professional reputation than anything Quinn wrote. I've always been fond of librarians and inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. Now, not so much.

I say leave the comments open. Give these people enough rope...

9:07 PM  
Blogger StevenIre said...

Someone may already have mentioned this, but it is ironic that Quinn’s education blog has wallpaper of shelves full of books that cannot be checked out (I tried with a mouse click.) I agree that blog post comments should be locked but before you do, might I suggest that you cut and paste this same wallpaper over the offending comments, that way if these writers revisit they will receive the unmistakable impression that their borrowing privileges have been revoked at this library.

11:04 PM  
Blogger Joy! said...

Gah, I missed the whole thing, but it sounds especially dreadful. I wonder if the mag accidentally on purpose set you up to stir up some controversy - some editors aim for a certain "tone."
It's disheartening that attempts at apology and explanation are met with further nasty comments. I agree with Thumper: give yourself some breathing time and bring comments back later. You are under no obligation to take on other people's hatefulness. I'll still read whatever you've got to share with us!

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have written a few opinion pieces for my local paper and after the first one, decided I would not read the comments left on the newspaper website or the emails sent to me. People can be so mean! And even though I know I should not let what strangers say bother me, it really hurts my feelings.

Close your comments for your own sake!

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Susan said...

Quinn-don't spend another day worrying about this. You have big fans out here....my best friend and I make sure we always read your blog and talk about it and laugh. Keep writing and stay true to yourself...I would put this one to bed and move on...
P.S. I do miss your tea videos.
Susan-Williamsburg, VA

3:13 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

It is easy to tell you to not give a crap about what others have to say, but I've been there, done that, so I know how it FEELS. If it helps you out in any way, close the comments. I didn't see anything wrong with the article, nor the original draft. All I see is a bunch of uptight individuals who have absolutely no sense of humor. I think THEY were all having a bad day when they read the article and chose you as the punching bag. Keep on keeping on because your work is fantastic. Not only am I entertained by it, I am intellectually stimulated as well. :-)

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Amber said...

I strongly, strongly believe that if something is making you unhappy you should shut it down.

Especially if they're words from a bunch of humans who are judging you based on the tiniest microcosm of who you are.

(I'm late to the party and there's another post of yours in my reader so maybe all has been resolved, but I will spout off anyway.)

Favorite cliches that may have some bearing here:

1. Life is too short.

2. Other people's judgment says far more about them than it does about you.

3. When in doubt, look at cats on the internet. Think to yourself, what would this cat do? Pretty sure the cats would bat a paw at the computer and then roll over for a nice nap.

4. I'm not convinced #3 is an actual cliche. BUT IT SHOULD BE.

For what it's worth, I think you're lovely.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Kathy from texas said...

Ignore them. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that's all it is. An opinion doesn't make it true. I get you, I love reading your blogs, I take nothing seriously. Too many small minded, up tight people in this world. But without them you wouldnt have your blog fodder. Stay strong, keep writing, you bring a smile to my heart, thank you!

2:34 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

I want to say on other sites the owner is able to close comments on one post and keep it open on others. The owner closes most commenting on the pictures of her children (some she allows) and has her reasons for opening and shutting comments on other posts. I am sure she is on a different blogging service than you but just thought you would like to know it is possible. Maybe contact blogger and ask if they can add that feature?

8:35 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Smith said...

I did see that article in Good Housekeeping and I was so excited for you to see it published. If people want to bitch, let them do it elsewhere. Close the comments so you don't have to see it. Don't let the haters get you down!!!

9:13 AM  
Blogger MrsDoodlepunk said...

I read your blog every day, or every time you post something new, whichever comes first. I love reading what you write. You are a good writer. Loved the librarian story, too. It wasn't about a librarian - at least, in my mind - but a person who needed to feel powerful. And anyway, now I read that it was actually a clerk at the library counter? Those people who need to feel powerful are all over the place and funny as can be when written about by someone with the gift you have.

And the silly librarian who canceled the subscriptions to the magazine is just that, silly. If I lived near her library, I would organize a gang to go in and inquire at the desk about your book and put it on reserve. tee hee.

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Lisa Z said...

I find it so odd that anyone in the library cared which card was used to check out books. As the adult you would be held responsible for anything checked out on your daughter's card. Our library routinely checks out books on my card for my daughter and books for me on her card. We both reserve books and when the nice clerk goes to retrieve those books they are usually checked out on the card which is on the reserve reminder. I took that whole incident to be not so much about the library as anyone who takes authority a little too seriously. I would hope everyone at the library wants to be encouraging about reading and happy that people are still utilizing their services. E-books could end brick and mortar libraries as easily as book stores.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Jboo said...

First time commenter -- I read that blog and thought -- how odd --our librarian recommended I use my daughter's card in case I returned the books late as the fine is lower for kids! Works for me! Plus, my brother is a librarian and he says that most librarians are thrilled to have people there and checking out books!


12:18 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Don't let people beat you up, Quinn. I read the library story quite awhile ago (just reread it now to freshen my memory)and it was funny then and it still is now. Anyone who reads your blog knows that you speak with humor and snark. It's a perfect combination and I wouldn't change a thing. That said, if the comments are hurting you - Close them. Life is too short and you are too good of a person to feel bad because of a blog post. You rock!

3:25 PM  
Blogger Nelle said...

My dear Quinn - Never in my entire life have I *ever* said/done/written a thing that could even remotely be considered offensive, so I am not sure how I could possibly advise you but, of course, I will try...

Don't let the bastards get you down! Yes, we all step on a few toes along the way, sometimes even inadvertently, and we feel bad and want to make amends but, really, you've paid your dues - library and otherwise - and now it's time to move along. Consort and Daughter are the people you love - and who love you back. The rest of us can go straight to hell.

The next time someone tells you that you stink, take a tip from the late Leo Buscaglia and tell them how very sorry you are that there is something terribly wrong with their nose!

Now, come sit beside me and tell me more about how you got rid of Daughter's head lice with a dose of Miss Clairol...

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...


I am coming late to this blog entry, as I tend to check in with you once a month or so and catch up on any back posts I missed.

If only you could leave the comment section open but NOT READ any of the posts... but, we all know THAT'S not going to happen. (like turning your eyes away from a train wreck...) :)

So what can you do? Sometimes, Quinn, you just have to shrug your shoulders and say, "Meh."

I'm a fan.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Stickler Shock" piece is the only thing I have ever read of Quinn's. Yes, 2 months late, but that's what's in the doctor's office.

Nice to see you admit you beat up on a clerk. My library would not let anyone but the cardholder check out items. Why? Because too many people don't return items, run up fees, then use everyone else's card in their house, and the taxpayers are out a lot of materials and fees to replace them.
Your fans think you can do better than this piece, and I hope they are right. But this one was a stinker.

8:54 PM  

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