Editor’s Note: This blog entry was written in August of 2010. So, if you found it through a Kelle Hampton Google search, read it and lose your shit, know that you are losing your shit over something that is old news. -MO2
Reading a discussion thread about yourself is not easy. Knowing that I’m being discussed, do I click on it? Do I want to know what is written about me? Eight years ago, I made the mistake of reading what was written about the real me on Rate My Teacher, a hideously cruel website where students anonymously air their grievances. It took me weeks to recover from the hateful things teenagers had said about me (some of them fair criticisms, but not phrased in constructive ways) and I vowed to never log on again.
And speaking of fair criticism, that is pretty much what I’ve read about me and my little blog. If I come across as bitter, it’s because I am a little bitter. I own that. My nickname in college was “Bummer Girl.” My therapist gave me a book called “Positivity.” How’s that for a hint?
One thing that rang particularly true is that I am an attention whore. GUILTY AS CHARGED, MADAME. I’m sure that this is meant to be derogatory. No one ever calls you a whore and means it as a compliment.
For 14 years, I was the middle of 3 children. Then my mother remarried, and I acquired a stepsister. Four years after that, my father and his second wife added yet another daughter to the family, making me the second-oldest of five girls. Attention whore? You bet. I would do anything for attention. Through trial and error, I discovered that being pessimistic and contrary was the most effective tactic, and I stuck with it for years. My oldest sister was hilariously funny to me. I particularly remember her referring to something as “louder than when Dad steps on Legos in the morning,” and thought, “I want to be witty like her.” My desire to be noticed among five girls took the path of darkly funny.
I also loved correcting my friends’ grammar. I will be forever grateful to Aaron in high school who informed me that it was irritating and offensive and that people hated me behind my back for it. I stopped doing it to my friends, and made it my career.
Similarly, I learned over time that biting sarcasm in the classroom, while satisfying to me, is hurtful to the students. Somewhere out there in the world is a young man who had the courage to tell me that he thought it sucked that I was so mean, and I believed him. I’m softer now, but I still won’t let you get away with SHIT in my class.
And I get to be a little mean on my blog.
Today I visited with a former student. One of the many things we discussed was high school girl drama. Ever the teacher, I told her that it doesn’t end with high school. Girl drama takes many forms. Somehow, I have managed to make a nemesis out of another blogger (okay, it was completely intentional). To me, she’s like the prom queen, and I’m the drama nerd. She hangs out with the football players and is the darling of all the teachers. All I ever hear is how PRETTY she is and how SMART she is. She wins all of the awards and has her picture all over the yearbook. It’s all just high school bullshit. But I need it somehow. It feeds some part of me. Maybe the part who is still hurt that the cheerleading captain never condescended to speak to the likes of me except during the week she was running for homecoming queen.
There was only one thing to do. Be very, very slutty and date all of the guys she liked. Worked like a charm (high-five, Chelsea Handler).
So, I guess that DOES technically and figuratively make me an attention whore. Any writer who seeks to be published could be considered such. Narcissistic too. You must have a touch of both in order to believe that anyone other than your grandmother wants to read anything you write (although my grandmother didn’t). And while I don’t consider myself a “mommy blogger,” I do certainly exploit both my child and my husband for material to put in my writing.
Constructive criticism can be transformative. It can cause a person to stop belittling her friends or hurting her students. Talking shit can be cathartic and hilarious. And there is room for both.
I can NOT believe her toadies can actually make those comments on that site without any sense of irony. That site should be called “Enjoying Pimping out my Kids so My Ego Can Get a Daily Hand Job”.
I actually hope that I’m nowhere on her radar. Luckily, knock on wood, her minions haven’t bothered me in a while.
Wow! (she says as she exhales slowly – and just a little sadly!)
I recently (as in the last week) found your blog – and looove it! (Someone at my favourite scrap-booking website, 2Peas posted a link!) You are funny, you are insightful, you are definitely caustic – but, I am accustomed to caustic. My 35 year old daughter has been exposing me to ‘caustic’ pretty much every single day since sometime before her 2nd birthday – when she began to string words into complete sentences!
I’m retiring at the end of the month – and when I have time to sit and sip my morning coffee – until noon if I want(!), I’m going to go back and read your archives, so as to get to know you a little better and enjoy you more!
I found Ms. Hampton’s blog – also through 2Peas (I really do more with my life than spend time on 2Peas!) 🙂 – about the time her youngest was born.
I was deeply touched by the post about the birth of her youngest……and I just kept going back.
I comment, from time to time to her “leave a reply” invitation…..and I do tell her that I thoroughly enjoy the part(s) of her life that she sees fit to share….I think her kids are adorable (as are most kids in this world) – and I’m happy for her, that she has, what appears to be a pretty joy-filled life….
Having said that, I don’t consider myself one her minions – I don’t think that my comments are at a Grade 4 level – heck(!) I would have given myself Grade 6, at least! 🙂 I’m not sure why, as one of your commenters has suggested, Ms. Hampton should ‘reach out to you’. You certainly haven’t reached out to her…I acknowledge though, that you’re not suggesting she should reach out to you.
I’m also not sure why the need to ridicule someone else’s work/blog/offering/sharing/whatever!
If people don’t like what someone has to say, it’s an easy matter to ignore it! Ridiculing it, I don’t ‘get’…….That’s that whole ‘girl drama’ thing….Don’t understand it? Don’t like it? Don’t approve? …….. then, let’s ridicule the hell out of it – and maybe it’ll make us feel better. I’m not aware of many instances where ‘feeling better’ has been the result – but, maybe it works for some.
In this crazy world, isn’t there room for everyone? …. the optimists, the pessimists, the realists, the funny, the not-so-funny, the good spellers, the terrible spellers, the caustic, the kind, the mature and the immature, the attention whores and the shy wall-flowers? Can’t we all support each other – instead of insisting that not only is our way better – but, your way is so lacking, that it’s a wonder you can manage the coffee pot, every morning….
Anyway, I have rambled on enough for a first post……….for any post, come to think of it…..
I love your blog – and will be back………….Rosemary
Rosemary, Yes, I agree with you. However, ridicule is something that some people like to read. Many of my favorite writers are satirists both classic (Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde) and modern (Jon Stewart, Chelsea Handler). I enjoy writing it. It’s not all I do, but my posts about Ms. Hampton ended up getting a lot of attention, so I wrote a few more. I am a writer and I’m in the business of generating readers.
The comments on this blog are not those of the author and do not necessarily express my own opinions (legal disclaimer 🙂
I have no desire to be “reached out to,” trust me. And yes, there IS room for everyone in this crazy world. I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for reading!
Shellie, one of the forums was a crafting site of all things. Twopeasinabucket. The other was the bump.com.
I was surprised that Rik/Poppa addressed the comment.
The nice thing about having a blog is that you are the master of your own universe and can send abusive comments right to the trash. If I were Ms. Hamstead, I would have deleted the comments about my blog tout de suite. Why not?
Yes, all kids are adorable! Nature made them that way or we’d have no way to deal with all the pooping and the screaming! My kid is adorable. To me, she’s perfect. But geez, you’d think these were the most stunning kids to ever grace the earth. Again, CUTE KIDS, sure, but 700 plus admonitions that they are the most gorgeous kids ever? It is quite over the top. And that’s what I find so parody worthy!
I think Kelle keeps the comments because it creates even more attention from her minions. It’s the poor Kelle rant and the more the better for Hampton. It’s pretty clear that this woman wants a reality show so badly. She wants her life on camera just like the reality whore Gosselin and others. Sad for the kids. Momma is a bored houswife looking to get all the attention she needs so badly for some reason.