Monday, May 23, 2005

All I said was.....

On the dangers of commenting...

Came back from a rainy weekend in Pau to discover that a couple of people had criticised a comment I left at Petite Anglaise�'s blog so I'm feeling a little bruised. She had made a rather sad post suggesting that she was splitting up from the French father of her little girl (whose blog psudonym is Tadpole). A Brit living in France with a Frenchman and a child about the same age as mine — this obviously struck a chord. I left a comment saying

"Are you really, really, really, really sure? She’s such a tiny tadpole and it’s so difficult growing up with your parents apart"

Later someone wrote "Please ignore comments like Lesley’s above. Only you know what is best for you, not anyone else. My parents divorced when I was five and I turned out just fine.", and then someone added: "I just saw Lesley’s comment. Tadpole won’t even remember when you were together and so many kids’ parents live apart that she won’t feel like the odd one out. If anyone makes any comments like that again just remember that they’re speaking from the experience of a different generation."

This first of all made me feel a little guilty for voicing my gut reaction. Then I thought, shit, you're allowed to comment even if you're not saying the same thing as everyone else. I don't know this person from Adam, I only read her blog, and I don't know her bloke either. Perhaps he's awful and she's really nice. Perhaps it's the other way around. Perhaps they're totally incompatible. Perhaps they were made for each other. But then none of the other commenters know them either. I simply got the impression that she sounded a little nostalgic about the failing relationship. Now if you feel nostalgic, that means to me that you're not entirely sure about your decision. And I'm sorry but children do regret it when their parents live separately. It's a momentous decision.
I decided that I had learned my lesson and that I would no longer leave comments on private and personal posts made by people I don't know. So why did I leave a comment this evening after a further post confirming the break-up wishing la Petite Anglaise good luck in her new life?


Nancy McKeand said...

I think maybe the comments in response to your comments are one of the ways we distinguish between blogging and journaling. If you cannot comment honestly, then maybe it wasn't really a blog in the first place.

I am glad that you didn't stick to your decision not to comment on strangers' blogs, though. It's important that we reach out to each other even if we hold differing opinions -- or maybe because we hold differing opinions.

Sarolta said...

Dear Lesley, I couldn't but agree with Nancy. I'm glad you reacted the way you did. Splitting up is not something one should do without considering all the options carefully. Children suffer when their parents are unhappy. You didn't do any harm I'm sure.

Deborah said...

.........they're speaking from the experience of a different generation"

well yes, what other experience can you speak from if you are not the same age ....there is a lot to learn from other generations, surprise surprise

(that would be my reply to the silly comment made about yours Lesley)