Wednesday, March 29, 2006


In Which I Share A Moment With My Friends...

Sorry to interrupt the latest cliffhanger, but there are just too many things I've left unsaid that, if left unsaid long enough, won't get said at all so:

Thank you to everyone who shared their love and support after my bad news of a few posts ago. Things are slowly returning to normal at the Magazine Mansion. Well, normal for us. It's my mom's birthday and as a gift we went sent her and my dad plane tickets, so they're here for a week, and that will be a nice distraction for Her Lovely Self. Not to mention my children, who always go stark-raving monkey-shit crazy when they show up.

Anyway, even though I took a few days off from blogging, that didn't stop me from reading/seeing/experiencing a number of things from you that were moving, comforting, cathartic, and in all ways loving and well-intentioned. When I signed off a few posts ago, I was in such a funk I didn't see myself writing another word here for a month. Or more. But between the warmth of your responses and the warmth of setting myself on fire, I realized that if anything, I NEEDED to be here. I needed you all. And you've been here for me. It means more to me than I can adequately express, and that takes some doing, if I say so myself.

So in no particular order, my woefully inadequate thanks to:

Heather for her lovely poem.

Jack for his lovely writing and an unwavering friendship that has made him my brother as much as any blood sibling.

Beth for her hugs, which meant even more because she is not, by her own admission, "a huggy person."

Shane for my first vlog shout-out and for reaching out to me personally in my time of need. He is a pal good and true.

Suldog for his flattering and moving post, which I enjoyed almost as much as I enjoy our ongoing (if somewhat sporadic) email exchanges. One day we will have a drink at The Quiet Man. First round's on me.

Thimbelle for her "Big Sis" emails and for making my life easier both personally and, as it turns out, professionally. And it's not like she doesn't have a full plate either. She is a true heroine. When I grow up, I want to be a parent just like her.

Tam for a virtual shoulder to cry on.

Everyone who took a moment to write me a personal email, including SassyGirl, aquilegia, Jen from Iowa City (who if she has a blog, didn't tell me, and so no link for her) and my man Johnny C.

And everyone--I mean EVERYONE--who took time out of their busy day to make a comment, all of which were unfailingly kind and supportive. You all deserve links of your own (and the worst part of writing posts like this is the dead certainty that you've forgotten to mention someone. If that's you, you know who you are, and I've momentarily spaced on it. For that, I beg for forgiveness--and for a kick in the ankles so I can update this post and put you in it).

Finally and with much emotion...

Today I received this email. I opened it at work and, even though it wasn't strictly for me, it reduced me to tears. My assistant thought I was having a nervous breakdown and it was embarrassing as hell, but I don't care.

It reads:

Dear "Her Lovely Self":

The Children's Defense Fund received a special gift from "Stu, Suldog, Rurality, Chuck, Thimbelle, Shafa, and many others" in your honor.

This gift will help provide America's children with a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start and successful transition to adulthood in our nation.

We are deeply honored to continue this work for children in your name.

Gratefully and sincerely,

Marian Wright Edelman

We thank you one and all for this lovely gesture, especially Stu, who was the mastermind behind this amazing gift. He too has been a frequent email pen pal and he recently observed to me that this place has become a very special community where mutual goodwill seems to be the order of the day. So many times, so many people have talked about how we who come here, whether it's to post an entry or react to one, feel like we're among friends, always with a qualifier that implies we aren't really friends because we have never met face-to-face and probably never will.

I don't let that stop me from thinking of you--all of you--as my friends.

Once, years ago, Garrison Keillor made a remark that he looked at his Prairie Home Companion audience and felt sometimes like they were his friends, maybe even his family. "Which is not true," he said. Then after a moment, he added, "Which is crazy, as a matter of fact."

Well, I'm no Garrison Keillor, but what he said is how I feel about you, so call me crazy. I welcome it. They say a man is measured by his friends. If that's so, then having you here makes me a good and lucky man indeed.

I--and my family--feel very proud and blessed to have you in our lives. Thank you. And know that I will remain, more than ever,

From Somewhere on the Masthead


That was a great idea Stu had :) A beautiful gesture.

I'm happy to be a part of the little community that has blossomed here on the Masthead.
Again I find myself thanking you MM, for doing what you do here. It is a kind of family here and it inspired me to create one of my own.

I'm glad I can be part or yours in some small way.
Westside hit on a point that is so paramount to why we are all here. You inspire. Simply and in a myriad of ways. You inspire me to be a better mom, a lighter one- to look at my children with a sense of humor and a sense of wonder. You inspire me to be a better writer- a lover of words and the feelings that a storyteller invokes. In short, and since I am Southern, you are my lifetimes Mark Twain, weaving tales of life, and humor, with whimsical jaunts into the outlandishly impossible. Thank YOU, Magazine Man. I think you have no idea the good you do here.
I've already thanked him in private, but I wish to thank Stu in public for including me in his marvelous gesture. I had no idea that I was included (and honored) until I read it here.

I am going to make a donation, so that Stu will not have been a liar :-)
to respond to Sully (and others who are curious), I approached as many people as I could find email addresses for. All those who said they endorsed the idea, I signed their name to the card. It's not about the money, it's about the intent. I hope folks are cool with that.

Personally, money makes me itch. I wish we could go back 5,000 years to a barter system.
Hey Stu, I am a long time reader/comment poster and I never leave an email address because, well, I don't kno whow to. Plus, I don't have a blog. MM inspires me to start one, but I lack the time and a real direction to my voice.

If ever you want to put a call out to the MM possy to help him in a time of need, you can count on me!

Thanks for making us look good Stu. Thanks indeed. :)

And thanks.MM, for bringing smiles to my day and, as meredith said, making me be a better Mom by seeing my children through the eyes you see Thomas and The Brownie with.

Hugs to everyone
I don't even know what to say about all this. I'm just happy I'm here, and glad I can be a part of a group of people who show off the best parts of humanity.
I haven't been blogging for very long, but it amazes me how close bloggers can get and how much they can affect each other's lives.

Thank you for continuing to blog. Your family inspires me and gives me something to aspire to when I'm married and have kids of my own.
Melissa brings up a great point. Magazine Man makes me a better parent.

I am a full-time husband and father and homemaker. My kids are 10 and 14. There is *nothing* in this world that I take more seriously than my job. I am my job.

It's a tough job, and being the primary caregiver is not always a perfect match for my macho, male, aggressive side. I do my best, and I've never hit, hurt, or yelled at my kids. But I used to get pissed and I couldn't contain my glower, or my strident tone, or my follow-up sulking. A few years ago I committed myself to changing all that. I vowed to become more mellow and to find a better way to communicate my displeasure (and, at the same time, to learn to be more glass-is-half-full).

I've been reading Magazine Man for almost a year now and I can honestly say that Mr. Man has inspired me, especially in the glass-is-half-full department. Because of the intimate, open nature of his narratives, and because of the detailed descriptions of his thought processes, I can see patterns and concepts that aid in my seeing the silver lining in my own clouds.

I didn't realize it until I just typed it, but Magazine Man truly makes my family happier. Thanks, Magazine Man, wherever you are.
MM, you have honored me here in a way that I don't deserve.

Twinks is the heroine; she is the one who bravely faces each day, regardless of the pain. She keeps both The Wrench and I going; if we are great parents, then it is because she has made us so.
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