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My Mortal Enemy, Part Last-th

OKAY so I am going to wind up talking about M.M.E. (if I can, considering how long winded I am) because I don’t really want to THINK about It more. I got a bee in my butt about It because I turned down a speaking gig I wanted to avoid It. And that made me mad at myself, for letting it GET to me. But …whenever I am in Its presence It does Its best to covertly make me feel as small as possible. It worked.

Around it, I helplessly revert to the awkward, socially backwards, outsider, geek, weirdo 13 year old I used to be, which is, incidentally, the last time I can remember another human being setting out to be so systematically awful to me in such petty, ridiculous ways. It laughs and acts like I am INSANE when I try to talk to It about Its behavior directly, it is OVERTLY mean whenever we have been in private or with Its inner circle, and when others are around it is SO charming and delightful that no one notices It taking little digs at me or shutting me out.

I won’t sink to It’s level, and it is never OVERTLY cruel to me in front of witnesses. It is clever and VERY VERY VERY GOOD at this. I feel I am not It’s first. I am NOT good at these kinds of games, and do not wish to become the kind of person who IS, so I end up feeling….that sick pit of the stomach feeling and creeping away ASAP.
SO… giving up the gig ALSO made me very, very, very mad at It.

Now, in the comments, many of you best beloveds earned the name by wondering how someone could POSSIBLY hate me. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

That is SO sweet, and THANK YOU, but LORD I can be irritating. I am the walking definition of high maintenance. I have a big, loud personality, and sometimes I clash with other loud people, and sometimes I click with other loud people, in which case we join forces and become SUPER LOUD and then lots more people hate us.

That’s normal. I myself meet people I just don’t like, period. They just rub me wrong. Some people just smell wrong to me, and I smell wrong to some people.You can’t be BFFs with everyone, and when I meet a person I do not care for, my policy is to be polite and to NOT invite them to be my BFF. Or even to lunch. If I don’t like someone, I still can be respectful and kind and remember they probably don’t like me much either. I can still work with them.

People like to hang out with their own kind…I like the ones who get my jokes, who are interested in the things that obsess me. I like animal people, game people, and people accept me as I am, with all my many many many flaws: my easy weepery, my forked, blazing, flashes of black lightening temper, my FLEET of neuroses (and here fleet is an understatement – I have THE SPANISH ARMADA of Neuroses) .

Also I have a HUGE amount of personal dignity, combined with a tendency to be HILARIOUSLY physically ridiculous. I run into things and knock stuff over and fall down and crash into walls and spill and break stuff, but I HATE to be laughed at for it, because I am so genuinely self conscious about it. My gracelessness feels like—a HUGE Jimmy Durante stule nose. There is no way not to notice I have it, but it hurts me if you point and laugh.

Ever seen a cat try to jump up on the table and miss and hit the wall with a smack and slide down it? HILARIOUS! But if you laugh, the cat goes all tail lashy and stalks off and won’t speak to you for three days? That’s me exactly. Except I am not a cat, I NEVER make the jump, I ALWAYS hit the wall. SO. My friends have to pretend not to notice a LOT of potentially hilarious things.

RELATED DIGRESSION: I used to feel VERY VERY sorry for Scott for being married to me. Because if *I* was married to me I would now be in prison for stabbing myself in the face.

I am DIFFICULT and SO bat-crap crazy that a goodly portion of my every day is spent running in panicky circles, crapping crazy bats. But you know, I have known him a LONG time, so I met all his girlfriends. I came to realize, looking back, that I am his TYPE. If it hadn’t been ME, it would have been some other artsy-fartsy-P.I.T.A loon, and SHE might be even crazier and not love him properly or understand how SUPER GREAT he is.

ANYWAY, to un-digress, my point is, not everyone is going to like me. And I can be thoughtless and bull-in-a-china shoppy and I can run people over in my mad enthusiasm for whatever bizarro thing I am feeling madly enthusiastic about, which changes every other living second causing hairpin enthusiasm turns.

But the thing about My Mortal Enemy is, I did not have TIME to irritate it. It hated me before it knew me. It had decided long ago. Sad thing is, I was EXCITED about meeting It. It has a rep for being lovely and kind, and I admired its work.

Like, our paths first crossed at a small dinner, where I was seated with only It and two people it already knew. I had brought my favorite book by it, hidden in my capacious purse, hoping to ask if it would sign it. After that dinner, I put that book in the trash on the way out, unsigned.

When I was seated at Its table, beside it, It said a cold hello, then put Its elbow on the table, turned away from me, and proceeded to engage Its friends there in charming, rollicking delightful banter. I was shut out and ate mostly in silence. I tried to join the conversation, but It never let me in. I said maybe four sentences in twenty minutes, and then went to the restroom. When I came back, all three were laughing a little, in a way that said plainly that they had been talking about me.

“We’ve been talking about you,” It said. “We decided that you must have had a VERY happy childhood.” It said this as if having a Happy Childhood was like having infectious scabies.
Everyone laughed. I smiled uncertainly and stammered out that I supposed I had.

“Told you,” It said, and gave Its friends a knowing shrug. They all laughed again and literally ELBOWED at each other, cutting their eyes at me. BANG! I was back in middle school.

And THAT, best beloveds? Was the high point. That was the nicest It has ever been to me. Endless, ongoing needling every MINUTE we cross paths, where I always feel dumb, and pushed outside, and the butt of secret jokes.

I TURNED DOWN A SPEAKING GIG I WANTED OVER IT! Nice money, too, and that would have been good to have. Upshot? I am SO SO SO SO MAD at It.

But madder, I think, in the end, at me.

For letting it GET to me. For letting it win. I let it win. I let MEANness win. I let 13 win. I let my own insecurities win. And I know – this is AWFUL, but honest – I know if I come up against the same choice, take a gig that puts me in a place where I have to work with It or just stay home, I will probably let It win again.

I can’t take the heat, so I let It have the kitchen. Bleh.

57 comments to My Mortal Enemy, Part Last-th

  • Leandra

    Damn. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a piece of information as badly as I do this one. Mostly so I can not like this person, whomever he or she may be. And possibly so I can throw his or her books in the trash, too.

  • I honestly hate people like It. I have encountered people like It. It never ends well because I too run when faced with It. I’m so sorry you have had to miss out on something good just to avoid It. And I’m with Leandra, I want to know who It is so I can also toss It’s books away.

  • Ruth

    If we knew who It was, we could all go to our local bookstores and hide all Its books behind other books in the wrong section.

  • Beth R

    I suspect I don’t have any of It’s books, but I still want to throw them in the trash.

    I’m so sorry you’re stuck in the middle of the mean girls scenario. You’d think we’re too dang old for this nonsense, but as soon as you start getting more than one personality in the room (especially artsy writer/performer types), you run the risk of this happening.

    For what it’s worth, *I* think you’re a pretty tulip and I just LOVE your magic pants – you look so authorly in them! {{{{{Joshilyn}}}}}

  • Megumi

    The sort of behavior you have described makes my skin crawl. I guess It never got the memo that we are no longer in middle school and that we treat people with respect and dignity? If you would have taken the gig, the hand-wringing leading up to and the gut twisting during would not have been healthy. Leaving the kitchen with dignity intact to go cook elsewher is not a bad thing in this circumstance.

  • I agree with everything everyone else has said. It sounds horrible, and reading this took me straight back to the 9th grade when I got picked on nonstop by a group of girls for absolutely no reason whatsoever! It brings back all those awful feelings. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. We all love you very very very much, Joshilyn Jackson!

  • It is obviously pathologically jealous of your beauty, wits, incredible writerly talent and outstandingly bright, shiny, amusing and lovable family. It hasn’t the brains or the guts to torture you directly, and takes refuge in the adolescent behavior at which Its emotional development is permanently stalled. Only the teeniest, tiniest of people take pleasure in making others feel small.

    I get you on the feeling angry with yourself for your reaction to It, but applaud you for taking the high road. The air can be a little thin up there, but the spectacular view (and closeness to heaven) are worth it.

    And…if you feel like descending to the low road, I probably still have a 94 year old Sicilian great uncle who was a mob enforcer. Just offering.

  • Chris of the Woodwork

    I am inclined to call this person bad, bad names that rhyme with female dogs and what weeping pustules of poison ivy do. And to expound further upon her heritage, because I feel certain no male character would be this catty and conniving. She must read the blog, and if so, she must recognize the portrait you’re painting is indeed her. Of course, it could be that she can’t see through all the green in her eyes. How very hateful of her to be this way.

    I think from now on I’ll just stick to reading dead authors and you, thereby ensuring no further income goes her way.

    I got a little Southern in me, too.


  • Oh, Preshus. I want to pet your crazy hair and sob crazy sobs with you. How very, very hateful of this person (and I agree with Chris, aka #8, above – it reeks of woman). It makes me stabby and murderous. I have an actual guess of who it might be but I don’t want to guess out loud and besmudge the name of the person should I be wrong.

    You will keep us apprised of your public appearances, yes? I will actually be in Atlanta for a whole week in September for work and would love to taxi to see you at a bookstore or something if you’ll be appearing while I’m there!

  • Maybe you could email me the name! YEAH, that’s the ticket! OR post it to my blog! Since I have to approve posts, it won’t automatically show and then I could write a story about boycotting dickheads and douchenozzles (pardon the angry, mean words) and in that way it wouldn’t be directly linked to you. REALLY!

    I make it a point to NOT support meanies in anything. ANTHING! So.

    ALSO! “I like the ones who get my jokes, who are interested in the things that obsess me. I like animal people, game people, and people accept me as I am, with all my many many many flaws: my easy weepery, my forked, blazing, flashes of black lightening temper, my FLEET of neuroses (and here fleet is an understatement – I have THE SPANISH ARMADA of Neuroses)”

    This is me, btw. ME! Just soes you know, that some of your readers just GET you. We just DO. <3

  • Jessica

    I’m the same way. I can be prickly and loud and effervescent and all that. Not everyone takes to me, and I don’t take to everyone around either. But that’s okay, because that’s how the world is. I have a hard time understanding why anyone would treat you this way, other than jealousy. Apparently they don’t dislike you, as they don’t know you (and my personal policy is “How can I dislike them when I don’t even know them?” and vice versa), but they can most definitely be jealous of you and your loveliness. I mean, do THEY have Best Beloveds? Or just plain ol’ boring followers? Heck, I liked you and your blogginess before I even knew you were an author, so you’re obviously just a really cool person in general.

    I wish you hadn’t let IT get to you, but I also understand not wanting to engage IT and give IT any more middle-school ammunition. I didn’t realize that acting like that could make adults feel powerful, but they really need to get a hobby if that’s how they get their kicks once they are over the age of 13. Apparently they are upset that you had a normal childhood, so they are hellbent on making sure your adult-hood is less than wonderful.

    A little note to IT – Here’s a clue: Joshilyn is happy even without your approval. She has a wonderful husband, a wonderful family, and wonderful fans and friends. She doesn’t need your approval!

    I don’t know if you’ve checked into the Mario Marathon, Joss, but maybe that would give you a nice chuckle. 😀 Gamers raising money for kids is probably something IT would never support anyway. 😉

  • erinanne

    I have met you many times, Joshilyn, and you have never been anything but lovely and kind and encouraging. Which I think is a testiment to how happy and wonderful your childhood was, and it makes me sad that It obviously didn’t have the same. It couldn’t have, because if It had, then I doubt It would have been so inclined to mock you.

    I am sorry that It has you so rattled, but remember that you are respectful and kind even to those you might not always care for, and that makes you the kind of person that we here would rather hang out with anyway.

  • I can’t believe so-called grown-ups do such things. I don’t mean I don’t believe YOU, I mean I don’t believe that people think that is in any way OK. I hope telling the story helps you get the poison out at least a little.

    I don’t think you let It win. I think you chose not to let It get further at you, and I think that is a self-preserving move that you should pat yourself on the back for.

    Also, if you e-mail me the name, just the name with nothing incriminating in the message, I’ll get rid of any books by It that I should happen to have.

  • IT’s loss. You have better things to do (play with your kids, kiss your hubby, write fantastic books and endlessly convoluted but simultaneously entertaining blog posts) than waste time trying to please someone who won’t be pleased. It is not failure to choose to avoid a situation that will make you feel bad. You made a decision about what is best for you. You win.

  • Michelle-who-is-Shelley

    Okay, first off, I am with Leandra. It is now going to drive me bat-crazy that I don’t know the “who” in this story.

    Secondly, your first three paragraphs also happen to accurately describe my relationship with my mother.

    Thirdly, I think most of your Best Beloveds here are outraged on your behalf not because we think that everybody must like you, but because we know through your writing on this blog what a HUGE heart you have and how much you love your husband and kids and are so willing to share your faults and crazies with us so that we feel less alone. Based on that, we can’t comprehend how someone (a grown-up, no less!) can be so deliberately cruel for no reason other than because IT can.

    Maybe if you don’t want her to keep you from speaking engagements, you can come up with a plan so that the next time you might run into her you will have your own posse with you? From what you have written about them, it sounds like they can be formidable (Karen of the New York tough-talking).

  • Mir

    Listen, there’s letting ugly people win, and there’s knowing and respecting your own limitations at a given time and place. I know this feels like the former, but it’s really mostly the latter. I am PROUD OF YOU for knowing that gig would be too hard right now and turning it down. It sucks. Your MME sucks. But at the end of the day you are responsible only for you, not for that hideous IT, and you made the right choice in a sucky situation.

    There will be a time when you face IT again and you will smile and be cool and feel genuine pity in your heart for IT. Just imagine what IT’s life must be like for IT to act that way as a full-grown adult. Trust me, you’re the one who wins. xoxo

  • Julie

    The hardest part of reading this? Recognizing that I WAS that person a long time ago. My friends were all the same way, and when I finally realized we just weren’t very nice people, I walked away from the friends. Turns out without their influence, I’m a very nice person. Our paths still cross from time to time, and here we are in our 40’s, and they still act this way? It is sad. I know it is sad, I see how pathetic it is, and yet, when they turn on me (which they always do) I still feel self-conscious, weird looking and flubbitzy.

    But the part of your post I like best: the clutziness. That is me. I fall down while standing still, I trip over everything and nothing, I drop everything. One time, in a Starbucks, I put my hand on a chocolate bar (not sure why, I don’t think I even wanted it) and the next thing you know, candy bars were literally flying through the air. Everyone with me fell over laughing, because to this day, I’m still not sure how it happened. Did my hand have some kind of seizure? Did I start to fall and caught myself by throwing candy bars? It was so weird, and embarrassing. Not my most embarrassing moment at all, but one of the more puzzling.

  • Neal

    I am one of those people that wonders why people go to this much effort to be this nasty: it seems like so much work compared to being nice… or even just ignoring everyone.

    I can understand avoiding this person given how they make you feel. But I do hope you get to the point where you will not avoid events or things because of this person. Because it’s sad that you were not able to do this event, which I am sure you would be brilliant at, given how entertaining and great you can be in your blog and in your books. At some point, I hope you will realize how small this person is, and how it is not worth you getting this upset over them.

    And I say this as someone who has avoided events because of people who would be there. I shouldn’t let them control me so much, either. Best of luck and keep up the good work.

  • I had a great response in my head all ready to type out down here, but then I had to go and read all the other comments first. So I will sum my reply up nicely with this: What Mir said….

  • JulieB

    Holy Crap Batman! That is some mean shit. What an asshat.

    Just reading that took me back to 13. Blech. The stubborn, bull-headed 46 year old me wants to say don’t let that asshat win, but the enlightened, almost self-actualized me says Mir is really right. It may never be an issue again, but if it comes up, it will be a different time and place, and you can do whatever you want. I’m in awe of all the things you do, with a family to boot! Turning the gig down wasn’t a win or lose, it was just what you decided, and that is good enough. Full stop.

    *I still think the MME could be male, only because I’ve had similar experience with condescending males and old-boy networks. And this reeks of condescension. And asshattedness.

  • JulieB

    Oh, and if I were the hosted at that dinner party and I knew that had happened, I’d be _really pissed_.

  • This really, REALLY is what surreptitious voice recorders are for. Disguised as lame cellphones or salt cellars. At least you could giggle with your friends and maybe counteract the poison…?

  • Em

    Julie B, I’m guessing female. I’ve never met a man THAT catty. My guess is this chick got a little success and now thinks her sh!t don’t stink (sorry for that. I was trying to think of another way to say it but it all revolved around poop. Blame my children). Problem is (for her), in businesses such as yours, you can be here today and gone tomorrow. Not you, Ms. Joshilyn, lesser folks like It. And it is a long way down when you haven’t been nice to people. Everything comes around. Do I have any cliches left? No. I think that was all of them.

    I’m sorry that you missed your speaking gig. I probably would have done the same thing. I feel disingenuous when I am nice to people I can’t stand. I don’t have the spine to tell them I can’t stand them so I just avoid. People who don’t like me, I try in vain to impress forever. I wonder why that is. I think I owe you a copay and I think I’ll be back next week.

  • JulieB

    @ Em, hee, I know the influence of kids. I think it was the elbow on the table thing that made me think male. A sort-of territorial space claim move. Of course, I have heard “Mabel, Mabel” chanted in my direction more than once, so I could be very wrong. 😀

  • Cheryl

    Wow – that is awful. I totally regressed to my 13-yr old self while reading this, and could picture the person who did this to you – looked exactly like my eighth grade MME. I read a LOT of books, and have a huge room full of them in my basement, and now I really want to go through those shelves and pull out any that your MME may have written. It would break my heart to throw away a book – but in this case, I think I would really enjoy it!! NO NO – I know what I would do! I would find a mailing address and mail those books right back to your MME with a little note about how I will only read books written by nice people from now on! You are an amazing and loving woman, and I truly think we could be friends – I bang into stuff all the time, especially the coffee table we have had forever in the same place, so we could really have a lot of fun!!!

  • edj

    sadly, i can totally, totally relate. if someone is mean to me, i revert right back to 13. Sigh. i wish i could be all suave, and rapier-witted, and get her back with a telling thrust that would show her for the petty person she is…leave her writhing. sadly, i only think of the proper retort hours and hours later.

    i, like others, cannot imagine anyone being like this to you. except i kind of can…no reflection on you, just a reflection on the world as it is. possibly she is jealous of you.

  • <3 Mir. She is SO right on here. Better to take yourself out of a potentially damaging situation and continue on than get hurt with this petty (or not so petty) crap.


  • I suspect IT feels a wee bit threatened by you. The snotty chicks (I agree, female, definitely female) simply don’t acknowledge the Losers. They only attack those who have the potential to overthrow them. They’re also hunt in packs, which shows how craven they are.

    That being said, Mir is right and chosing your battles is the best decision ever.

    However, you know you’re gonna run into IT again, these things are inevitable. The Universe has a wonky sense of humor. So go into the bathroom and stare into the mirror, grab your theatre days and practice your “Oh. It’s you. *yawn*” look until you can call it up in a heartbeat. Then add a small, dainty, pitying smile. Toss in a quick, impersonal nod, and then turn slowly (we clutzes must NEVER spin haughtily; falling on one’s butt is thereby insured) and saunter away. And never look back.

    You are a star, and even if you don’t know it, rest assured we do.

  • Ooooh. OOH! So mad for you right now. So. Mad. But also…pleased for you, too. Sometimes people treat me in a similar manner…not in a concentrated, continuous stream of b*stard-ness like MME seems to be doing, but just in fits and starts. And I inevitably find myself thinking it must have been something I did, or didn’t do, or it’s because I am in some way Not Good Enough. It makes me happy to see that YOU are not in that silly, whiney, insecure boat and you know that it’s totally on MME and absolutely nothing to do with who you are at all. So good for you! And also…there will be a special circle in hell for the condescending a-holes. Probably involving papercuts and lemon-juice.

  • Oh, I am queasy about It. I want to step on It’s toes, which is not the point here, I know. But still. Jerk.

  • I don’t know whether you and I would click in person, though I absolutely adore every one of your books. I say the first part so you won’t think im just kissing your hind quarters when I say that it’s crystal clear this person is jealous. A happy childhood? Well obviously you haven’t SUFFERED for your art! Try this little trick, try viewing the person as having a serious illness (b/c that’s what so much venom is: self poison) if you can view her as truly ill, it will zap her power, just like when Dorothy dumps the bucket of water on the WWW. It’s worked for me before, might work for you. Sorry you are the target of this horrible campaign.

  • kimberlyHdM

    I’m so sorry to hear about the rise of the dreaded MME. The few times I’ve met you, you’ve were always so helpful, engaging and gracious in your willingess to assist and encourage a novice writer. Maybe in some odd way there is a backhanded, left-field, through the looking glass compliment in this singling out–MME recognized you a the wonderful writer, educator,wife, mother friend,and neurotic armada fleet commander that you are. And MME cannot handle the truth of it all.

  • I am not a loud person but I enjoy being around loud people because they take up all the attention and people don’t look at me. I don’t like being the center of attention. BUT I don’t like to be ignored either. That’s just plain rude. I am a psychiatric social worker and work in a community mental health center. There are coworkers who will walk by me and just pretend I’m not there. I used to allow this but now I put myself right in their path so they have to look at me and acknowledge my existence. “Good Morning!” is a wonderful phrase to make them respond to me.

  • DebR

    I’m late to the party but mostly what I want to say is What Mir Said (YES, Mir!!).

    Also, a dash of what Leandra said. While I totally GET why you’re not naming IT by name here, I still fervently wish I knew who It was so that if I own any of It’s books I could throw them away and give them horrid one-star reviews on Amazon and if I don’t own any of It’s books, I want to be sure to not ever buy any of them because I do not want to contribute to It’s success in ANY way, not even by one teeeeeny-tiny percentage of a royalty check! Willful Meanness is unacceptable.

    PS….The clutzy thing? Oh Lord, can I relate! I decided a long time ago that the thing with me is that I spend so much time in my own head instead of in REALITY that I’m often not truly aware of exactly where my body IS – I mean exactly what space it’s occupying and what’s nearby (if that makes any sense at all). I’m constantly bruised from bumping into things (and so used to doing it that half the time I don’t even remember where the bruises came from!!) and I can trip over DUST MOTES. I spent most of last summer in a “boot” because I broke a bone in my foot tripping over my poor old cat. Sigh… I KNOW I have to look ridiculous and I GET why folks might laugh, yet I am genuinely hurt (although I try not to show it) when/if people laugh at me for my stumbles & fumbles. So yeah…I SO get that part. My middle name will never be Grace.

  • Shelley

    You win when you acknowledge and respect your own boundaries and emotions. It loses because It will never have the opportunity for you to be Its friend.

  • Jan in Norman, OK

    If you ever see It again, stand up very straight and tall, look It straight in the eye, and, with just the tiniest sneer on your face, in the back of your mind say these two magic words: Bite Me.

  • I’m pathologically confrontation-averse, so two tricks that work for me with Nasty People: imagine the Nasty Person spontaneously combusting, consumed in a huge, fiery pillar of flame. Whoosh! Crackle! And what’s left? A curiously small pile of ashes which the wind disperses into nothing at all. This works wonders to get your blood pressure under control when you’ve just been stung.

    Second, append “May his/her name and memory be erased” to any mention of the Nasty Person’s name. What’s worse to us humans than disappearing without leaving behind anything that others will remember us by? I guarantee you Mortal Enemy lives in quivering, slobbering fear of just this, and saying it will make you feel much better.

    For the speaking engagement, I’m so sorry. But consider that smart people play to their strengths and minimize their weakness whenever possible. What you did was to minimize your weakness by choosing not to be in a situation where you knew Mortal Enemy could work you. Not coincidentally, I think, you played to your strengths by posting about it. When you know how to handle Mortal Enemy (and you will figure that out, I promise), then you can meet it from a position of strength. And a position of strength doesn’t necessarily require confrontation, although pistols at dawn might be interesting.

  • Jean

    Mostly nothing to add, others have said it. However, I have an additional speculation about It’s reason for meanness, besides jealousy or generic meanness or a need to feel superior to try to shore up It’s inner smallness or insecurity. Perhaps It has picked you out for It’s meanness because some character in one of your books pegged It and revealed It’s inner smallness to It in some way. In any case, it may help to keep in mind that we almost always hurt each other from our weaknesses. We use our strengths to do the hurting, but the need to hurt comes from weakness. I figured this out way back when, before you were born, and I’ve found it helps me recover when someone has taken a jab at me. Doesn’t prevent the jab from hurting, but it does help me recover, and fend off the next one.

  • Aimee

    IT is jealous. IT had a poopy childhood and can’t deal with the fact that you can write beautifully and yet you have a family and friends who love you. IT can’t deal with the fact that you have an entire stable of best beloveds who would storm bookstores coast to coast, finding ways to feature your books and hide ITS books, if only they knew ITS name. IT is a small, stupid, small, mean, small, petty JERK. You, on the other hand are lovely. Oh, and PS, everything Mir said.

  • Jenn

    Ugh, I know that outsider, geek, weirdo feeling well. I lived with it through most of my childhood and I apparently miss it because I find myself feeling it even when I shouldn’t and it’s not warranted. I think that by stepping away you’re saying you have better things to do with your time than spend it in the company of a small-minded, mean and petty person who’s goal is to undermine you at every turn. You’re saying that the money is ultimately not worth it. It’s one thing to be accidentally run over by meanness and another thing to volunteer for it. So yay for you! Now I’m off to the mirror to practice my dainty, pitying smile.

  • I bet It’s mom wasn’t a fan of wire hangers.

  • Kathy

    I agree with what Mir said. This is not a fail. When you’re ready you will come across IT and smile kindly and say with a touch of pity and concern in your voice “And how are you today?” as if IT is perhaps recovering from a bout of Junior High crapitude and surely must be on the way to growing up.

  • DebR

    Kathy said: “When you’re ready you will come across IT and smile kindly and say with a touch of pity and concern in your voice “And how are you today?” as if IT is perhaps recovering from a bout of Junior High crapitude”

    Or perhaps syphilis :::angelic smile:::

  • rams

    Just the initials?

  • Lulu

    Good on ya, Miss Joshilyn — recognizing and choosing to avoid toxic people is a healthy response, IMNSHO. As is avoiding occasions where you know you will be treated badly.

    And the good karmic points you accrue by taking the high road are priceless! Too bad they can’t be traded in for an effective voodoo doll…

  • IT (which I am assuming stands for Insolent Turd) can’t stop you from doing anything, but you can certainly choose not to spend time with people who behave like petulant little snots. No shame in avoiding a situation that will make you miserable.

    Personally, I’d completely ignore it from here on out. And if forced to acknowledge it, act like you can’t remember its name.

  • I just figured out who IT is: Draco Malfoy!

  • Ninja Assassin here, reporting for duty.

    (as long as you don’t mind a klutzy ninja assassin, I don’t mind being laughed at, just please have to decency to wait till I’ve regained consciousness)

  • Brigitte

    Luckily, I strongly suspect I have never read any of ITS books. I like to imagine that the people who wanted to hire you for that engagement read this blog, and are right now, in a Holmesian fashion, deducing who IT is, and secretly spreading the word so IT will no longer be invited to such things. A nice fantasy, anyway!

  • Aimee

    DebR — HA! I vote for syphilis too. That CAN affect the brain as well as other parts. nodnodnod

  • Wish I had helpful advice for you on How To Deal. The only thing that has ever worked for me is wearing amazing dresses and fabulous heels to work every day and repeating to myself over and over I AM SIX FEET TALL AND BULLETPROOF.

    I think that, in part, this worked because I am actually six feet tall (BEFORE the heels). And also because my mortal enemy was a BOY. Yes, we ended up dating. HOW did you guess?

    But on the girl thing, I have no insight. It’s happened to me and it tears me up every.single.time. I do everything I can to avoid that person.

  • Lori B.

    This post made me sick to my stomach – the same way I felt almost every day of sixth grade due to my MME. The fact that you wanted to meet her, and you thought she was a nice person, and you even brought her book to get signed makes me even more sick. I’m sorry. I wish I could help.

    I’m with all the people who thinks she’s acting this way because she is insecure and/or jealous. She has to tear you down to buid herself up and all that. It’s pretty sad when you think about it that a grown woman is acting this way, but it’s hard to remember to feel pity when someone is actively being a jerk to you!

    Just remember we think you are terrific, and love your books, and think you are a brilliant author, and love your craziness (b/c you make us feel more normal), and think you are pretty, and love the color orange (Go Vols! 😉 and support you in a healthy on-line, not stalkerly way.

  • Barbara

    As a response to the “Did you have a happy childhood” question – I wish you had replied “Yes I did, but you obviously didn’t”. Mean girls! Just keep hoping that whole karma thing kicks in soon. I wish you could give hints so in case we have financially supported this MME we can stop buying books if we ever have. Keep writing, keep speaking, put yourself out there.

  • I remember that years ago you posted about an author who was not nice, and it was a male. I suspect this might be your MME.

    I’ve met you more than once, and I love your mind and your sense of humor and the way you describe things (pooping trees for fall!). I suspect that you are very much like my oldest daughter (who I adore but who feels I am her mother and therefore horrible), which is one of the best compliments I can give because my oldest daughter is awesome and loud and according to her oldest friend on facebook, “when you wake up in the middle of the night to get water, she is the one most likely to be standing on the table dancing wearing the leopard thong.” Also, she could get her boobs stuck.

    And this post makes me sad because some future event could have been that much better because you would have been there if only….

  • Kristen De Haan

    I am sorry Sam reads this because I have so many colorful metaphors that I feel about it (really, it doesn’t even deserve a capitol on the first level of its itedness!) and what it has done to you – but they are not fit for YA eyes or ears. I feel angry about it all the way to my tippiest of tippy toes. I’ve met you in person, I’ve talked to you, I’ve known you now for more than 10 years, and I think that it is a — oh drat. again, can’t put it down – but just imagine the cussingist cuss you can, and that is the word that goes right there!

  • Been AT THE BEACH for a week, so I am also late to the comments. . .I know the feeling of which you speak. . .and I wish you never ever NO NEVER had to feel that way again. Ever. (And it seems WORSE when it sneaks up on you unawares in the earliness of your 40’s when you THINK that kind of thing is done). That being said, when you are in It’s presence again remember the following:

    1.) husband who adores you
    2.) smart, brilliant children with their own quirks who adore you
    3.) smart, sassy posse full of friends who adore you
    4.) big ole’ bunch of Best Beloveds who adore you
    5.) you aren’t perfect, but you know who you are
    6.) and not ONLY does Jesus love you, but you are his favorite. 🙂

  • Kacie

    Just *Hugs* because I think everyone else has it covered.