Posted by: jility | February 4, 2013

You’re So Vain…

…You probably think this blog is about you, don’t you, don’t you…

The year was 1972. I was 22 years old and deeply into raising show dogs and horses. Carly Simon belted that song beautifully over the radio, and I sang along loudly as I drove. It was a great song! It was a great time! I was young, fit, lean, foolish and thought I had the world by the tail. Life was good. NO! LIFE WAS GREAT!

Now I am old, fat, out of shape, wiser and I ain’t got nuthin by the tail ‘cause I am too old and slow to catch any tail.

It is fun to be young and think you have all the answers. Hopefully, at some point we grow up and realize we don’t. That is when the learning really begins.

But I digress.

For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed writing. During the prime of my life, however, I did very little writing. Things may have been different, had I not ever laid eyes on Sister Mary Rose.

Sister Mary Rose was the meanest, nastiest, most sadistic person I have ever known (with the possible exception of my mother). She could pick up and body slam the largest boys in the class with one hand. I witnessed her body slamming one of the more independent boys in my 7th grade class against the large old iron wall radiator more than once. She slammed and slammed and slammed him up against that radiator until she was satisfied that he had “learned his lesson.”

She once (or lots of times actually), pounded her closed fist against my back because, when she glanced over at me, I was looking down to my notes and not paying enough attention to her. I was sent to the first grade class with a bow around my hands for biting my fingernails. I had to stand there until I nearly wet my pants, not allowed to move from the front of the class while the first grade teacher went on about her teaching. I can’t count the number of times I had a ruler come down on my back or my hands.


Life for a rebel like me was difficult in her classroom. I just never learned, and the angrier she got, the more I passively aggressively poked at her in any way I could.

Anyway, Sister Mary Rose did not foster creativity; at least not in me. I have no idea what she was like to the students she liked because I was too busy trying to survive and needle her at the same time. No matter what I did, she found fault. When I drew pictures, she made fun of them. She made fun of the way I drew trees. She made fun of the colors I chose when I drew. She made fun of pretty much everything I did in her class and publically belittled me every chance she got. I don’t remember one kind or encouraging word from that evil woman’s mouth for the entire seventh grade.

She changed the course of my life.

One assignment we had was to write a story about something we loved to do. I was excited! I loved to write. I wrote everything from silly rhyming poems to serious accounts of my life. I rarely shared them with anyone. I wrote because I loved it. I thought here was something I could do and maybe even please Sister Mary Rose!

So, unlike most of my life in school, I actually did my homework. I wrote a story about riding my horse. So my two favorite things came together; writing and riding. It was a slam dunk A+ in my book!

I handed in my paper on time (a rare event for me in school) and was excited to receive her feedback and my guaranteed A+ grade!

When Sister Mary Rose handed back those papers I smiled in anticipation of her approval for once! Can you imagine my shock when there was a huge red C- angrily written over the top of the paper? Red marks littered each page, criticizing everything I had written. Spelling was good, grammar was good, but, evidently, the content stunk. I looked up at her in disbelief and shock. Anyone who knows me knows that hiding my feelings is not my strong suit. She stared down crossly at me, her lips pursed as usual, then an evil, sadistic grin developed on her mean ass face as she proceeded to tell me that my story was a piece of crap. My words, but you get the drift.

That was the end of my writing for MANY years. Had she given me even a little encouragement, things might have gone differently in my life. From that day on, I was afraid to put myself out there for fear of being told I sucked. I spent many years avoiding something I loved to do because of my fear of failure, or of displeasing somebody. All this because of one nasty nun.

Fast forward to recent times.

When I first heard the word blog, I was confused. I had to ask several people to explain it to me. That sounds silly now, but it was a mystery to me then. According to Wikipedia, the term blog is a portmanteau of the term web log. The idea fascinated me.

So, when Sir Cussalot and I decided to go fulltime in the Global Warmer, family and friends encouraged me to write a blog about our travels. I thought it might be fun so I agreed to do so. My very first blogs were done on my Yahoo webpage.

Then I switched over to Yahoo Pulse. I wrote some of my BEST blogs there, including my favorite blog of all-time, “Revenge of the Global Warmer.” Sadly, all those Pulse blogs are lost forever. They took down the site and with that went my blogs. They were also on my laptop, but I dropped that off a high bed and it gave up the ghost along with my blogs. So, those blogs are all gone. “Revenge of the Global Warmer” was the best thing I ever wrote, but I also lost all of my travel blogs from our cruise up the New England Coast. I wrote a lot about my memories of the stories my dad used to tell of his fishing trips along the Grand Banks and such places.

But, again, I digress.

Anyway, my blogs are my way of expressing my feelings. I don’t care if anyone else likes them. It is nice that some people do, but I write them for me. They are cathartic.

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog titled “EWWWWWWWW GROSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” that struck a chord for some. A former friend of mine wrote to express her disapproval of my blog. She said that I should refrain from calling meat “flesh” and that the illustrations I used in that blog were typical of me: over the top and offensive. I suggested that perhaps she should stop reading my blog if she found them that offensive. She went on to say that my vegan beliefs were all over Facebook and she couldn’t avoid anything I wrote. I suggested she stop reading my Facebook page AND my blogs and went on to tell her that I wrote for me, not others, and that everyone has a delete button and the right to have their own blog with their own beliefs…

Well, she not only unfriended me on Facebook, she blocked me LOL. I guess that taught me to write my own blog the way I want!

Of the hundreds of blogs I have written, one has evoked more emotion than all the others combined. Which one? My last blog titled, “Who Died and Left You Boss?”

When I wrote that blog, I was getting something off my chest that had been bothering me for years. It was not about anyone in particular, it was just about my feelings and nothing more. Well, it seems I hit a few hot buttons, because I got responses from more than a few people who thought I had written the blog about THEM! LOL!!! LOL!!! LOL!!! How many times do I have to write LOL!!! for some people to get that I write my blogs for ME! They are MY blogs. I can write anything I want on MY blog! If you don’t like what I have to write, DON’T READ IT! Hit delete! BUT PLEASE DON’T WRITE TO ME DEMANDING I PRINT A RETRACTION! PRINT YOUR OWN DANG RETRACTION! ON YOUR OWN DANG BLOG! One person even had the audacity to suggest that everyone would think my blog was written about them so I better set the record straight! DEAR LORD! GET A GRIP ON YOUR EGO!!!! This person was not even on my radar when I wrote that blog! They are not somebody I EVER think about! I don’t even know them for the love of God!

Not only did I get emails telling me I had it all wrong, some people gave some very nice people, including Mel’s brother, a thumb’s down next to their comment! Mel’s brother only said he liked what I wrote! He doesn’t have a clue about OCD or wobblers or ETS! He is not even a dog person! I am flattered he reads my blog and enjoys it! Why would some A$$#0!E give these nice people thumbs down? If you hate what I write, tell me! Leave the nice people who take the time to comment on my blogs the hell alone! SHAME ON YOU AND YOUR OVERINFLATED EGOS!!!

We all have the right to our own opinions. That is why God created the blog. After I wrote “Who Died and Left You Boss” I felt like I was back in Sister Mary Rose’s classroom. Then I realized, it doesn’t matter what a few egomaniacs think of me or my writing! I don’t have to do what people tell me to do or write what people want me to write! I AM ALL “GROWED” UP!

Back in Sister Mary Rose's room

Back in Sister Mary Rose’s room

So, I will continue writing whatever pops into my head. To those of you who enjoy my blogs, thank you! Please continue to let me know. It really does mean a lot to me that you like what I write.

For those who hate me and/or my blogs, well, no accounting for anyone’s taste. J You can keep your nasty comments to yourself or post them on your own blog (which I won’t read because, as they say and write, what you think of me is none of my business).

PS. I think Sister Mary Rose came back from the dead to give me a low star rating 😉


  1. […] I am flattered when people write to me expressing support and nice things about my writing. I love writing and it makes it even more special when somebody appreciates what I write. Not so much when somebody writes me a nastigram about my blogs. This has happened three times in my blogging “career.” In two of the three, two different folks, thought my blog was about them. I found that very amusing since neither once was even a blip on my radar when I wrote those blogs. I even wrote a blog after the first nastigram I received. It was titled, “Your So Vain…” […]

  2. I, for one, adore your blogs. I love your sense of humor. I don’t personally know you very well, but I love how you express things. As for the “Gpood Sister”..I spent more than my fair share of time in Reverand Mothers’ office. Mostly for always losing my beanie which caused me to be “out of uniform”. I thought God had better things than that to think about. I have seen kids absolutely tortured in class. My fourth grade Nun was especially appreciative of the old sharp tipped maps pointers. She could really get your attention with that one. My first grade nun was the best and sweetest. Guess they didn’t want to throw you to the lions right away. I did upset her one time. Our lesson was to draw a picture of God driving Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. I took it literally and put him in the drivers seat of a convertible car with the heavenly duo in the back! She didn’t get my 6 year old humor I guess. Someday we should discuss our religious school experiences. I did learn however that what they couldn’t beat they raffled!

    • Priceless story Cathy! I bet you wish you had that drawing 🙂
      Thanks for the kind words. They are much appreciated!

  3. Here, here Helen!!!!! Brent has one comment he thinks Sir Cussalott’s name should be changed to The Lion Tamer ;-). Also we wanted to add that we love the honesty and your skill that enables you articulate what you are feeling. We love it. Xxxxxxxx. Brent and Sis

    • Thanks! 🙂

  4. Made me laugh! I say keep on writing!

  5. Keep on writing, Helen! I always look forward to reading your blogs, especially since you’re so mild-mannered and never say what you really think! LOL No, I seriously love the laughs, your opinions, your descriptions and your outspoken ways.

    It’s so too bad that the older blogs were lost; no computer experts could recover them from the broken computer?

  6. You don’t know me, but I love your blog. Please keep writing. I loved that song too!

    • Thanks 🙂 I do appreciate your kind words!

  7. Sister Mary Rose, like most of the other penguins, had BAD habits!

    • Did you have her too Lizzie or was she gone by then?

      • Oh, I had her all right! She emasculated every guy in my class; and made fun of my trees, too!
        The good news is; she in hell now, baby!!!!

        • Look at that….she shook me up so much I just misspelled my own name! oy!

    • What was it about the trees???? LOLOLOLOL
      She was one mean old bitch that one.
      Are we going to hell for dissing her? 😉

      • No hell for speakers of truth! She put children through hell on earth; her ‘reward’ is eternal !!! What goes around…

  8. I LOVE your writing. Keep it coming.

  9. Will people ever learn??? I’ve been pretty successful in a lot of things and situations in my life, but I believe with all my heart I never really reached my potential and how so much moreI could have been accomplished if only I had been given “real” support and encouragement at many junctures in my life. I think in particular of my parents who never attended a single high school sporting event even though I earned 9 athletic letters or my high school counselor who never failed to tell me what a screw-up I was and how I would never amount to anything – no way I was ever going to college – Note: I earned a competitive appointment to the USAF Academy from an enlisted status with over 4,000 other applicants plus I got my Master’s in 1978.

    The one I particularly remember was my T-37 instructor in pilot training where I was more than a little unsure of myself and really lacked some self confidence regarding my aptitude for flying. Anyway, I had just finished my first important check ride in the program with the toughest check pilot around and did really well – I was really proud of my accomplishment when I saw my instructor and he asked how I did, “Sir, I did well – I got a 97!” (the highest score ever given by this guy) My instructor’s response, ” What did you do , stop off in the bathroom with kneepads and chapstick!!!” He had the opportunity to really motivate me, but he crushed me instead!! At the time, I really had to struggle to get past his attitude in regard to my performance.

    I’ve not been totally successful in learning from these experiences and too many other similiar ones, but I have tried! I’ve always tried to be considerate in my feedback as an instructor and tried to always point out something good rather than just what was wrong. I say tried because I know I haven’t always been successful, but I have tried and I know my heart has been in the right place. However, I frankly don’t think people really give a crap about the feelings of others, it’s always about them! Somehow attacking others seems to make people feel better about themselves and their own failures! That’s reality and it’s been that way for a long time – sometimes , I think things are getting better, but then someone quickly disabuses me of that notion!!!

    Will people ever learn??? I would like to think so, but in all honestly, I don’t think so!! And, people wonder why I say, I like dogs better than people!!!

  10. Well, dang. And here I thought that last blog post WAS all about ME!!! I just knew that when you were down in sunny SoCal, you are dreaming of the drizzles in the NW and thus had to write about me. So I’m not in your every thought? ?? grinning all the way, Lynn “she-who-must-be-written-about”

  11. I don’t know you personally but I love your writings, I can’t wait to read them when I see them delivered in my email :).

  12. I love your blogs and look forward to them….”Keep on Blogging!”

  13. Love your blog, keep writing!

  14. Well, to be fair, most dog people are pretty bossy. We all think we are the alpha you-know-what. (and I am including myself here)

    I just want to add that my story. The teacher that influenced me the most in my childhood was my 7th grade art teacher, Mrs. Hall. Until that class, I thought I would be an artist, as did everyone else. Mrs. Hall probably was a nun in a previous life. She told me I “just don’t understand trees.” Nearly 45 years later and I still remember that nasty look in her eyes.

    I walked out of that class, sans hall pass, to the office and transferred into the only available class, Advanced Science.

    Went on to major in Animal Nutrition and Quantitative Chemistry, got my DVM , and never looked back. All thanks to Mrs. Hall.

    • AWESOME!

      • BTW, I was a student under Dr. Grant, and remember Pam Wagner as the nervous Resident. lol

        • AWESOME!!! I wonder whatever happened to her. Do you know?

  15. Glad Sister Mary Rose is no longer bothering you! Keep writing1

  16. I LOVE your blogs,,,,
    “who died and left you boss” might very well have been written with me in mind,

    I also wonder how your dogs are doing now?

    keep on writing what ever you want!!

  17. Humans are pretty strange. I cannot stand it when people attack my opinion or my blog. Both belong to me oddly enough. It boggles the mind, truly.

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