Best Blog Comments of July 2012

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the conversation that is this blog with their thoughts and insights this month. We are very, very close to our 10,000th comment here on jameystegmaier.com. We’re going to commemorate that comment (wait, why am I speaking in plural) with an in-depth analysis–yes, a full entry devoted to that one comment. Which kind of makes me hope it’s something as simple as “LOL :)”. Because I will analyze the hell out of “LOL :)”.

Here are some of my favorite comments from July:

First, I’d like to commemorate The Time My Mother Was Funny (I called her after I laughed at her comment to tell her, “Mom, that comment was actually funny!”) This is in response to my exaggerated post about how I learned as a kid not to dial 9-1-1 by accident:

Here is the story (as I remember it):

We left you home alone for the first time. You must have been… maybe 2 years old, maybe 12, or maybe 18 (whichever gets the best laugh).

You apparently heard a noise outside and ran out the front door and down the driveway, we found you in the morning, crouched down in a ditch near the a neighbors driveway :)  (for the readers — we usually entered in the back door and our drive way is about 1/2 of a foot ball field long.

Since this incident we have never left Jamey home alone again and we have found that he never needs a phone, his legs will carry him through the panic.

Here’s Katie laying the smackdown on my entry titled “You Are Not As Interesting as You Think You Are” (Emma followed up with a similar comment about pets and their owners, which is equally true):

There could also be a sub entry called: your child is not as interesting as you think they are. It took me a while to figure this one out too. Yes, kids do stuff sometimes that is funny and interesting, but not every story is a gem. Only parents (and possibly grandparents) are really truly interested beyond anything other than the biggest stuff or a truly hilarious moment. I have one friend that ONLY seems to Facebook or text me with photos of her kid. Yeah, he’s cute, but if I’ve seen him crawl once, I’ve seen him crawl a million times. I have one friend with whom I share frequent Charlotte stories (and I love her stories too), but she has a little girl the same age so we really relate to each other and find these tales interesting. These same stories would bore most people to death though!

I’m always moved when people choose to tell highly personal stories on the blog, and my entry about losing your body vs. your mind as you get old was full of comments like that. I can’t pick just one.

Okay, don’t read this comment while eating, but I have to include it here. It’s amazing that this happened. Shared by Melanie on my post about my fear of spitting my drink all over my date (there are several other great stories in the comments, including a great one from Elaine):

I would much rather have someone spit up there drink on me than what happened to me on a date. A million years ago before I was married, I was on a date and we were getting ready to share the first big milestone of a relationship…the first kiss. He leans in, I lean in, we each close our eyes… and he belches in my mouth mid smooch. I actually tasted his Dr. Pepper. I would’ve handled it better, had he not laughed and said, “ah man that was hilarious! Oh, yeah… sorry about that.” Instant. Date. Ender.

I’m going to paraphrase this one a little bit, but Katie had a great comment on my somewhat controversial post about long-distance relationships. This is in reference to a point I made about how you can’t learn who a person truly is by simply chatting on the phone and getting together once a month for 72-hour non-stop togetherness. Heed this advice if you’re considering an LDR with someone you barely know!

You hit it right on the nose with #4 on your list of cons—I didn’t know who he [Katie’s ex-husband] really was as an everyday person, and vice versa. And it turns out that our differences made us extremely incompatible…. But when you’re spending these intense bursts of time together in an LDR, you’re not acting like you usually do. You’ve got a big smile plastered on your face and your days are structured very differently. Maybe you go out and do a bunch of stuff together, or maybe you spend all day in bed with each other. But that’s probably not how you spend your weekends when you’re apart or in a non-LDR. You just don’t get to see each other for who you each really are. It’s interesting, because I was very young, but still thought I’d covered myself by making sure we were in agreement on the “big” issues. I failed to take into consideration that the little things that can kill a relationship too if there are enough of them.

There were some great points made from both sides of the table on my post about female Olympic gymnasts (Cara in particular had some incredible comments), but I thought Red made an apt comparison here:

I can’t think of any other cases where the indoctrination of youth to this degree is considered acceptable, much less condoned. I’d put it on par with people who put their babies, infants, toddlers etc in beauty pageants. I make the association because even if you compete at 16, it means you probably started gymnastics by six or eight, or even earlier. Even if you’d say that a 16 year old can make their own decisions (which American society doesn’t say), I don’t believe it’s an honest/informed choice if they’ve been driven to compete this way since before they could ride a bike.

Last, I’m going to end with a comment made by Trev about his childhood toy Penguin, followed by my story of what Penguin did when he went missing for 10 years. What’s that, I can’t use my own comment as a comment of the month? Think again, friendo. Here’s Trev:

I have an equally ragged stuffed penguin (aptly named “Penguin”) that I still have in my basement. When I was young, I would sleep with Penguin’s beak tucked over my shoulder. I actually lost Penguin for about 10 years–from about the time I was 12 until somewhere in my early 20s. I always thought my parents took him away to stop me from caring about a stuffed animial (even though I no longer held him as I slept–he just sat at the end of the bed), but they say they did no such thing. The jury is still out.

Penguin actually came up in a recent conversation Laura and I had. Since we’ll have a baby in a very short 12 weeks, we talked about passing Penguin down to him. I’m very much looking forward to that!

Here’s how I filled Trev in on Penguin’s whereabouts:

http://jfiddler.smugmug.com/keyword/penguin%20adelie/

You don’t know what happened to Penguin during those middle years? I thought you knew. Koala had a beer with him a few months ago, and although I got the feeling that it was tough for Penguin to talk about, he shared everything.

When you were 12, Penguin was about 25 in penguin years. It was tough for him to leave you, but there were some things he wanted to accomplish in the world before settling down for good.

Namely, Penguin wanted to fulfill his father’s wishes, given to him on his deathbed. “Son,” he managed, barely able to lift his beak, “take back the Antarctic Mafia from the Puffin Clan. Do this for me.”

Knowing that he had to gain the trust of the Puffins, Penguin presented himself as a lowly outsider to the community (opposed to the wealthy mafioso that he was). He started out as a drug mule between Chile and Antarctica, but he soon rose through the ranks of the Puffin Clan thanks to his quick wit, charm, and knife-throwing skills.

However, he met a girl. Not just any girl: THE girl. He knew it the moment he set his eyes on her. Unfortunately, she was the daughter of one of the top members of the Puffin Clan.

As you know, penguins mate for life, so when Penguin started seeing the girl (he won’t say her name), he knew his life would never be the same. It was a whirlwind romance of ice luges, underwater restaurants, and playing pranks on the local walruses. They secretly wed in the spring of ’02.

Penguin knew the honeymoon was over as soon as they got back from their honeymoon. It was all or nothing–either he overtake the Antarctic Mafia from the Puffin Clan to fulfill his father’s destiny and protect his new wife, or spend every day looking over his tiny penguin shoulder for a puffin assassin to take him down.

Early that summer, Penguin saw his chance. All of the leaders of the Puffin Clan had gathered under an impressive ice overhang for an evening of high-stakes poker and tickles. Penguin called in his crew and triggered an avalanche that buried all of his enemies.

Then he checked his voicemail.

There was a message from his lovely wife, telling him that she had been invited to the infamous poker game and that she wanted him to join her. She had big news that she wanted to share with her father present–she said she didn’t know yet if it was a boy or a girl, but she would be happy either way.

Penguin tore through the avalanche, trying to unearth his bride before she suffocated. But it was too late. She was gone, and he was left alone on the Mafia throne.

After that, Penguin couldn’t bear to stay in Antarctica. He hitchhiked back up north, spending some time in a monastery in Argentina before swimming across the Caribbean. He knew that you had grown up and wouldn’t look at him the same way anymore, especially after all that he had gone through, but by that point his only wish was to sit in solitude in a quiet basement, listening to the sounds of you and Laura and your friends, hoping for the day that he might have a second chance when you two have a child.

Fortunately for him, that day will soon come.