Internet trolls. Not as cute as the toy kind.

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Writing on the internet is sort of like wandering into the middle of a busy road. Stand there long enough, and you’re going to piss someone off. And they will probably yell at you and maybe even make disparaging comments about your mother. The only difference is that the cars could hurt you whether you let them or not.

Well, that, and that the cars may be looking out for your best interest while the internet wordsmiths are often just being dicks.

Last week, an original Oddly Well Adjusted piece was on the front page at Huffington Post Parents. It was sort of tongue in cheek, as they tend to be (come on. What else am I here for? Certainly not my math skills.) and written with the assumption that those who read it could loosen up on the serious and take a break from turning that nugget of coal into a diamond with their buttcheeks for a second. For the most part, I was right.

Then came a new friend. I’ll call her Humorless Sally.

I outlined in the article 5 things that I, as a parent, do not feel obligated to do. Five free passes to not feeling guilty because there’s a veritable shit-load of things I DO enjoy doing with and for my kids and guilt serves no one.

Humorless Sally called me a “selfish bitch who knows nothing about kids” and informed me that I need to “man the fuck up”. I find her kind fascinating. For one, that’s a pretty serious assessment to be made about someone you’ve never met and therefore based on an 800 word humor piece. Second, I don’t have time to schedule a haircut, let alone play Internet Oracle and use valuable moments to tell complete strangers what a heap of doo doo they are via a keyboard. Maybe she’s magic AND immortal. Maybe she’s a really bitter unicorn. I responded gracefully and ended with my customary “Have a nice day!” which actually means “Eat. My. Shorts.”

The internet has given miserable, bored, and otherwise ignored individuals license to spew forth, unfiltered, garbage they would NEVER say while physically surrounded by functioning members of society. I know this because daily I stumble upon unintelligent diatribes littered with hate speech and name-calling and I can’t recall the last time I saw someone pick a fight in line at the bank about one’s willingness to craft with their children or their stance on immigration laws.

But it’s the way mothers can attack one another that truly leaves me scratching my head. Why is it so hard to believe that we’re all doing the best we can and maybe what’s “best” for us isn’t always the same thing?

I’m not the sort of person to let an internet troll tell me who I am or am not. No one, behind a screen or in front of your face should have that sort of power. Reserve it for yourself. (And maybe Aaron Paul. I’d let that guy tell me whatever he wants about myself. Good Lawd.)

And, just because, I’ve made myself feel better about the entire incident by imagining that Humorless Sally and others of that ilk DO walk through life the way they appear online. Like this:

Humorless Sally at the playground: “YOU! OVER THERE PECKING AWAY ON YOUR PHONE! What is it about only bearing witness to the first 450 ‘Watchmemommy!Look!Look!WATCHTHISWATCHTHISWATCHTHIS’? How dare you look away for 5 minutes to check your email and make a grocery list? You don’t deserve a flea ridden dog, let alone a CHILD! I watch my children until my corneas bleed. AND I LIKE IT.”

Humorless Sally, behind me at the coffee shop: “Heh. Coffee. Amateur. You don’t just wake up energized by the sun and the glory that is raising children? Do you not love them enough to get out of bed without the aid of caffeine? You should be ashamed of your drug addicted self. You’re a DISGRACE to the flawless mothers like myself.”

Humorless Sally at the pool: “I don’t care that your child is wearing a coast guard approved life jacket. She was just 4.5 inches away from you and you actually had the BALLS to BLINK.YOUR.EYES. While talking to your friend! You’re scum. Scum that can’t be bothered keeping her toddler safe because she’d rather flap her lips about selfish gossip!”

Humorless Sally standing next to me at my husband’s recent rock show on a boat: “You brought your CHILDREN to this? It’s on a FERRY for christsakes. You want them DEAD don’t you? I bet you couldn’t find a babysitter and since you’re a self centered LUSH you just brought them anyway. I’m only here because I got on the wrong boat. I thought this was a Save the Children fundraiser. And Rough Francis is CRAP. NICKELBACK FOREVER.”

Oh man, you guys. That feels so much better.

*Have a nice day!

(*not sarcastic. I love you guys.)

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Look what a monster my daughter thinks I am.

amateur comedian, professional bullshitter. will take pay in baked goods once already rich.

  • Tessa

    So many good lines in this, making her out to be an all around curmudgeon is perfect, I dont envy her family! Those damn people, I hate how my brain wont let me remember all the good things people say as much as it remembers that one ‘sh*t head who says something bad (Im taking slinging shirts at the farmers market, some people make strange comments, not about my parenting, thank god). I dont know how some of the big bloggers do it, you need some massively thick skin and a comment delete button ;)

    • OddlyWellAdjusted

      Seriously! I don’t envy that aspect at all. But I’m learning to let it go. Plus, I get to practice my snappy comebacks.

  • Nancy

    Corneas can’t bleed. Do some fact checking next time you are ignoring your children for your own selfish betterment.

    • OddlyWellAdjusted

      Man the fuck up, Nancy.

      • Nancy

        Trying madly

  • http://zhoag.com/ zhoag

    Huffington is basically a country club for Internet trolls. I post and then just watch and wait. It’s kind of amazing. The next writing accomplishment beyond attracting dedicated trolls, of course, is experiencing your first full-on internet takedown. These usually occur on the weekend and almost always on Twitter, where swarming and pile-ons are especially effective. You will laugh at how ridiculous people are and then also cry a little bit. But it will be ok.

    Dude – FRONT PAGE AT HUFFPO ‘RENTS!!! CONGRATS!!!!!

    • OddlyWellAdjusted

      Oh goody. I can hardly wait!

      And thank you, my friend!

  • Lisa Sadikman

    I read your piece here and totally LOVED it. Congratulations on publishing on HuffPost and try to forget those haters even tho I know it makes your heart drop when you see a comment like that. I get them too. Just means you’re writing something worth arguing about :)

    • OddlyWellAdjusted

      I just noticed that a reply I wrote last week didn’t show up! Thanks so much for the solidarity. Logically I know it’s not just me, but it’s nice to confirm it. And thank you for being a normal member of society.

  • Astrid E.C. Hedbor Lague

    As a lunch blogger, I can’t tell you how many snarky and trolly comments my friends and I have dealt with – the customary “ain’t no one got time for that!” response always makes me think “But, you have time to troll the internet and leave mean comments about other people’s lunches? Hmmmm.”

  • Jason Spears

    People dislike difference, but what really drives them insane is when being different actually seems to be working out for someone else.

    • OddlyWellAdjusted

      This is very true. What a bunch of nit wits.