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March 22, 2011

An "Unsavory" Life

So, I've recently begun dredging up stories from a rather challenging time in my life. (How's that for an understatement?). A reader emailed to say at some point: "This is getting unsavory."

I tried to find that email and ask her what she meant by "unsavory."

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has several definitions of "unsavory."

--Insipid
--Tasteless
--Disagreeable
--Distasteful
--Especially, morally offensive

You know, I can't really argue with this reader. There are aspects of this whole episode and beyond that are insipid, tasteless, disagreeable, distatesful and morally offensive.

There are aspects of my life that are insipid, tasteless, disagreeable, distasteful, morally offensive. I do not live the Rob and Laurie Petrie Camelot suburban life.

On the morally offensive side, crimes were committed in my story. Tasteless, disagreeable?

I am airing some pretty dirty laundry, but most of that is psychological, emotional. There is no blood, nudity or graphic violence. Also, I am not presenting information for shock value.

It could be that, as a blogger, I am something of a public figure in and around the Walnut Creek community, as editor of Walnut Creek Patch. Maybe if I were not in this position, my story would not be unsavory. I would just be some pathetic blogger trying to get attention.

Oh well. I'm going through the past and writing about it because it is 1) interesting to me 2) healing for me. In one form or another, I've been in survival mode and not done all the mourning and reflecting that I needed to do to get my bearings in life.

I have heard from people who say that my writing about all this is useful to them, too. Maybe they live with a family member who has a mental illness. Maybe, they, too have been through some major upheaval in their personal lives.

It's true that writers are basically self-serving--like most of the rest of a humanity (but that's another argument, and one my husband and I have once in a while). I do have a public service motive. I do want to write stories, articles and blogs that might be of use to other people.

But if a reader finds what I'm writing to be "unsavory," well, I supposed I'm not doing her much good. So, she'd do better to stop reading.


9 comments:

Deborah said...

When I worked at the Washington Post, they used to say that if you wrote a story and everyone was happy with it then you didn't write a good story. The most compelling topics are always controversial, Martha.

Anonymous said...

Keep writing. :)

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your story. It's touching and honest. Keep writing for you. You will find healing

Michael Fernandez said...

Humbug! This is real life. Not the Cleavers. I admire you for your writing talent and commend you for your openness. Informing people is a high art.
If you touch just one person suffering like this or living with someone suffering, then you have outdone any critic or naysayer.

lorrielovesparties said...

Thanks, I had a crappy Mother's Day after finding out my husband was "sexting" some woman at our church. (a supposed friend) And then had the gall to blame it on me. But yours is some serious stuff. Please take care of you and your child(ren).

Anonymous said...

Now I see what you were talking about/refering to when my family was going through a terrible and public tragedy in May 2009. God Bless. Another mom...

AKA Soccer Mom said...

Thanks very much, Another Mom. It means a lot that you posted.

Anonymous said...

Keep writing, please.

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