I’ll get back to this in a sec. But first I have to show you the marvelous cloud that drifted into my backyard yesterday:
I know! It’s Sistine Chapel-ready!
Back to the topic at hand.
On Monday I wrote about the creepiest celebrity experience I’ve ever had in my life, and someone calling herself “Terry” posted a comment blasting my audacity. (Does Telly Sevalas have a daughter named “Terry”?)
Mostly, Terry took issue with my right to writeabout Telly Sevalas. And then she took a few pot shots at Americans in general and one of the fine citizens of Texas (Janet) for being, well…we really can’t figure out what she had against Janet.
Well, “Terry” got me to thinking about the related, larger issue amongst us memoirists. Which is: who owns the stories we want to tell?
Well, Duh. Here’s the easy – to – follow rule about ownership of stories: if it happened to you, if you were there and can tell the story in the first person / eye witness you were there format then: it’s yours. YOU own it. No Matter What: it’s yours.
And of course, there will always be people who are eager to shut you down, take your story away from you.Very, very angry people, very conformist, strictly un-fun, dead-inside, Stockholm-syndrome people who need a target on which to latch their own self-loathing and they will tell you that you have no right to tell that story (even people who don’t know you! see: “Terry” comments), that you are wrong or evil or not nice to tell that story or — when all else fails: you are being self-centered to tell that story. (Be on the look-out for all synonyms of self-centered: self-involved, selfish, self-important, self-indulgent…)
So what? Let them rant and rave: they are as ants to us story-tellers with Bozo shoes. Nobody – least of allsomeone foaming at the mouth spewing guilt and accusations of un-lady-like behavior –nobody can take away your story. And if you must fight back ( although why even bother? ) try using their own weapons: call yourself self-aware, self-sustaining, self-assured, self-awesome!!
Here’s a picture of you, the (little yellow tabby cat) story teller, chasing away the big bad (black bear) nay-sayer:
And that’s a true story.
Has anybody tried to shut you down? How did you tell them to go suck eggs?