On the soapbox . . .
Over the years as I’ve written a public newspaper column and now an internet blog, and learned there just isn’t one Public, but instead it’s thousands of individual people and they all have different ideas. Thank goodness.
I’ve written about many subjects and have been scolded, snubbed, praised, censured and given every other kind of criticism. When I’ve written about liking all kinds of weather, I’ve been scornfully told that weather can be terrible, heartless and cruel and that I am foolish for having such a view.
A sentimental, nostalgic column about Mother’s Day is always a catalyst for calls querying “What’s wrong with Fathers? And Grandmothers?” Not a thing, not one thing, but I can only write about one thing at a time.
A pattern for making an absolutely lovely, different, afghan brought complaints from those to whom ‘dc, sc, and yo’ were pure Greek, and recipes given too often bring complaints that, after all, ‘we don’t stand over a hot stove’ all day, so knock of recipes and write something stimulating.
So . . . I ran onto a stimulating book written quite objectively (I thought) about the LDS Religion (where I was born) and no one, no one, NO ONE liked it. But me. I was a traitor to my people; friends disapproved and said I should be ashamed of myself. A few non-LDS friends applauded my ‘bravery’ (oh, they don’t know me!) and, though I was only quoting from a book, wow, wow, wow.
I once wrote that I considered a deep, heartfelt tribute to the President of the LDS Church but made no attempt to hide the fact that he was 90 plus years ‘old’ but, you should have read my mail. Did they want me to write as if he were a teenager???
I wrote about the differences between sex and love and thought I’d have to leave town. Such basic emotions seemed quite an ordinary topic, but no, no, no. I was tempted to publish the letters I received. With names, included. Revenge would have been sweet.
I’ve written about dogs so often that everyone knows I have no patience with them. It’s no secret that I don’t like what they do my lawn and, once, even took physical means to put a stop to making my place a doggie ‘rest stop’. I’m not violent, but you’d have thought I’d castigated mother-love, apple-pie, the Fourth of July, and Christmas.
Well, lets see. I’ve mentioned a few times (quite a few?) that men don’t wear halos and that, in any marriage, there are days, (weeks, months, years) when you both wonder why in the world you ever thought that institution was so great. The roof fell in. I never knew there were so many ‘perfect husbands’ around here, and , believe it or not, one of them told me that, after all, it is women’s duty to adjust to life. No fooling.
When I get off on to some ‘weird’ subject such as reincarnation, I smile to myself, for even while I’m writing the words, I know there are going to be people shocked and appalled to think anyone in this valley could read and study such things. Much less write about them. But I smile again, for I am far from alone.
I’ve screamed about our government and been shunned with stern looks by both Republicans and Democrats. If I speak out for one Candidate, I’m told I’m stupid and no matter what I’ve said about any approaching item up for vote, I know I’m going to be ‘wrong’ for someone.
Which finally leaves me writing for no one but myself, and my ole newspaper boss, who was a most trusting, tolerant, open-minded man. “It’s not my column, Ethel, It’s you they’ll phone or write to. Not me.”
But, ya know, I loved and still do love hearing from you and save every letter sent, and if you don’t agree with me, have patience. If I tear into your favorite theme, just think, “Well, there goes Ethel on her soap box again. She’ll be back to normal next week”. And ever so often, I am. Bye.