I don't get angry easily. I also don't get offended too frequently. I'm pretty even tempered. It's really hard to upset me.
But I got pissed the other day, and I was so surprised by the depth of my irritation that I had to ponder on it for a while and figure out just what it was that had gotten under my skin so completely, because it was really very minor, on the surface.
Recently my Facebook connections have gone a bit crazy. I friended one old friend, and that person was like, the key log. That's an old fashioned term. Back in the days of MASSIVE logging, when practically every white pine tree in Wisconsin was chopped down and floated down the river, sometimes you'd get these ridiculous log jams that would stop all traffic. People specialized in unjamming those rivers, men and boys scampering around on the jammed material, trying to slip that one key log that would loosen the entire mess and send everything on its way again. It was extremely dangerous work, as you can imagine, and the people were well paid, right up until they died on the job, I suppose. Anyway, this key log of mine opened the floodgates to people I used to know, old friends from high school, former coworkers, people I used to party with, you name it, and now I have a bunch more facebook friends, and that's all well and good, whatever.
One of my "new" friends on Facebook is a guy I used to work with, oh, about 14 years ago. I worked with a team of five guys, with another guy as my boss, so twelve testicles total, on weekend nights at a factory a long time ago. We had a blast, running around that factory all by ourselves, doing whatever work had been leftover during the week. We cut an awful lot of fiberglass. It was like having a bunch of brothers, and one dad that none of us liked very much. Oh, and I forgot the security guard. He was a friend too. So let's just make that me and twelve to sixteen testicles, depending upon whether one more guy, Bubba, was working overtime that weekend or not.
Anyway! The guy in question was always really crass, with a very sophomoric sense of humor, and while I didn't find him hilarious, he never pissed me off. So now we're reconnected and time has not mellowed or changed him a bit. He peppers my status reports with all sorts of "humorous" comments, and I just kind of ignore them. But sometimes I post status reports with updates to my word count, or something about writing, or what have you. Facebook is not my main tool for updating others about my writing, that's what this blog is for, but I do sometimes put a little something up there.
On one of my status posts, this guy writes something along the lines of "Oh, did I tell you I finally got one of my poems published?" I was very surprised. Him? A poet? Maybe he does have a sensitive side that I never gave him credit for. I congratulated him via return comment. He replied with "Yes, it was for Hustler Humor and it was called Diddle-her On the Roof." That lame remark stayed put for a couple of days, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. I finally went in and deleted it.
He commented me again, kind of berating me for deleting his comment, and I told him that I would continue to delete any crass remarks he made on any of my writing related posts, and we continue to go back and forth, and I don't even know why I bother.
And why was I so mad anyway? I know who he is. I know he's that sort of person. It has never bothered me that much before, because I don't offend easily, as I stated at the beginning of what is now this very long story. You know why I got so mad? I figured it out. He hadn't offended *me*. He had offended writing. And publishing. And that is what really got me. I'm not OK with that.
What to ask if you're not pitching - What would be the best use of my time in private meetings with agents if the agents are not good matches for me personally? Normally I would just ask for...
4 hours ago