I'm Going To Chop My Ear Off Any Day Now, Uncategorized

Because Therapy is Too Expensive

I read a couple of exceptional blog posts yesterday, by two of my favorite writers:

Truth and Cake: Select Truth and Social Media: TMI or Not Enough?

Kristen Lamb: Making Heroes Heroic-Why Flaws are Important

These posts talk about flaws and sharing those flaws, whether they’re the flaws of your fictional characters or yourself. Please don’t mistake this, however, for the social media ‘over share’ disease. The intent behind this movement is to allow yourself (or your characters) to connect on a more real level.

As someone who swims in the memoir genre pool, I’ve stuck to the shallow end a lot. Deliberately so. After reading these wonderful posts, I thought, “You know what? Sure I’m shameless about sharing my silliest guilty pleasures, but I’ve never even used the word sex on my blog, and my memoir’s working title is Virgin!”

Aw cruddy stink nuggets, you’re probably thinking. It’s like someone just told me Danny Tanner is totally raunchy during his stand-up routines.

I know exactly how you feel (c’mon, Bob Saget), and I promise, I won’t get too inappropriate on you. Or too sullen-like-Edward-Cullen.

In Virgin, I wrote about things that made me uncomfortable, that could even get me in some hot water. It’s no Shades of Grey, but it’s not rated G, either. I wanted it to be raw and honest; I’ve never cried harder than I did writing that first draft. I called it Virgin not to sensationalize, but to capture the heart of the story. Being a virgin influenced almost every event the book covered, something I couldn’t have realized until looking back.

Ultimately, I wanted to write the kind of book I love to read.

While I worry I hold my feet too close to the ‘over share’ fire in Virgin (and in this post!), I’m willing to take that risk. I’m Go Jules Go now, and I want to tell you about the ugly awkward stuff, too. Awkward stuff like flaws. Like the flaws below.

That’s right, Chipmunks – here is some major, major ammunition if you ever want to hit me below the belt (like Babs). At least you’ll be prepared if Virgin ever sees the light of day.

I have massive (pun intended) weight issues. I’ve lost and gained over 100 lbs multiple times in my life. I (voluntarily) went on my first diet when I was 9, and it’s been a hot, gooey, cheese-covered mess ever since. Food is my ultimate vice. Speaking of vices…

I worry I drink too much. But that usually goes away after a couple of drinks.

I married my one and only boyfriend. I made the first move. If you don’t think that’s a flaw, well, just know that my chronic singlehood wasn’t for lack of trying, heaven vodka knows. I have enough rejection stories to, well, fill a book. I’m still shocked when the male species says anything nice about me, but…

I think I’m pretty. In clothing. With the right make-up. From the right angle. With good lighting. All of the pictures and videos on this blog are very carefully selected and/or executed to make you think I look a lot better than I do (read: I’m vain). Except for that one time when I was high on those heroin cough suppressants.

I want everyone to like me, and sometimes keep opinions to myself and agree just so they will. But you know what? I don’t like everyone. I don’t like a lot people! (…Did that make you paranoid? I’m sorry; I totally wasn’t talking about you. You still like me, right?)

I used to have panic attacks. I assume they stemmed from either abandonment issues or bullying. Or both. They were so bad I missed a year of middle school, and…

I never went to high school. I got my GED, took the SATs, and went to college, but I never got to wear an embarrassing prom dress still feel very intellectually inferior. Don’t ask me about chemistry unless it’s the kind between Jim and Pam from The Office.

Well there now. Don’t we all feel better? …No? Just me?

Zest and Zeal, my life coaches.

How do you feel about sharing flaws in a public forum (yourself and reading others’)? Do you think it’s necessary for honest writing? If you’re uncomfortable with all of this, who’s your favorite character on The Office (mine’s Jim. Duh.)?

Photo Credit (“It’s all your fault”): stickerchick.com.

105 thoughts on “Because Therapy is Too Expensive”

    1. Thank you so much, (fellow) Julie! 🙂 I read a couple of your posts today on my phone so I couldn’t comment (I will, though!) because using the phone stinks – and right back at’cha!

  1. Well, I often jokingly (and melodramatically) refer to my strengths and weaknesses in my blogs. I think it’s all well, as long as you don’t take yourself too serious. Having S and W is just part of being human, but I think that acknowledgment of your S and W does one good.

    Also, I think it’s cool to share flaws in public, as long as you’re secure enough not to need affirmation from the public, and to deal with it when you get the opposite…

    1. Hi Liz! I totally agree, and I love when people take that approach, because to me the joking admission of weaknesses often resonates more with me.

      And your comment definitely struck a chord, because I think there is absolutely part of me that was looking for affirmation, and I knew that was an impure (for lack of a better word) approach. It’s just such a scary thing to hit ‘publish’ on something uncomfortable; I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to do it without wanting support, but I know it’s a risk I’m taking!

  2. Hi Jules!! I hunted you down this morning. 🙂 For some reason your posts haven’t been showing up on the WordPress reader for me, so I’m delighted to realize that I have all sorts of fun posts to catch up on!
    This is a really great piece. Being a huge lover of the memoir genre, I think the sharing of flaws makes a story worth reading. A perfect, conflict-free, quirk-free life is really boring. I have lots of flaws and quirks. I’ll admit that I’m not always comfortable about sharing my flaws unless it’s in a silly way. I need to be better about that, because I have some amazing flaws!
    I certainly hope your WIP sees the light of day. You have such an engaging style and voice. I can’t wait to read it!
    BONUS INFO: Dwight, then Jim, then Angela; However, I stopped watching once Pam started whelping units and Michael left. It just got boring.

    1. Sprinkles! I’m so glad you hunted me down; I just loved seeing all of your sweet and funny comments this morning 🙂

      The WordPress Reader is totally busted. It told me I only had 5 new posts to read today, and I subscribe to, like, 100 blogs, LOL

      “Amazing flaws” – now that is something I believe, and something I bet you could write about beautifully, if you ever choose to! But I certainly don’t think it’s something everyone needs to do. Thanks so much for your kind words – I really, really hope I get something out the door eventually; I feel like this memoir is been haunting me for years (since I wrote it). But I don’t think it’s interesting enough in its current state.

      Yay! You answered The Office question! I wanted to say ‘Jim and Dwight together,’ but I figured that would be cheating 😉 I can’t believe I still love it post-Michael’s departure (it was touch-and-go at first), but I do!

  3. By the way, you referred to your memoirs as being titled both “Virgin” and “Virgin!” . For the record, I will eagerly buy the book regardless of the title, but I’m a much bigger fan of the version with the exclamation point.

    1. LOL! Now I might have to change it to include the exclamation! You know, I actually went through that debate when I changed my blog name – as far as whether or not to make it “Go Jules Go!” (I didn’t. Officially no exclamation point.) But I thought it might annoy people.

  4. flaws are the things that other people relate to, as long as they are legal and do not have too much of a ewwww factor. Enjoy your honesty–not sure I could be a forthcoming as you–I tend not to admit things (aloud or in writing) even if they are staring me in the face

    1. Thank you so much! I REALLY appreciate your support, and am glad I didn’t go into ‘ewww’ territory, LOL It was definitely a scary move, but it felt like the right thing to do (for me, given the memoir stuff). 🙂

  5. Loved this sweet Jules. Ah well, my only rule in writing is to be authentic. That doesn’t mean I need to share everything but what I do share should be real.

    And I do share a lot.

    Like I have a stomach ache. And I am sunburned.

    I wish you didn’t feel inferior b/c you’re not.

    1. Thank you so much, El! That means a lot to me coming from you. I remember your post about not sharing details about your weekend with your husband, and I so get where you’re coming from. I firmly believe there’s a happy medium and I strive to stay in that sweet spot, and hopefully not betray anyone I love. As I know you do. (It’s hard, though, to paint a picture of your life without saying SOMETHING less than flattering about someone.)

      Ick. I’m sorry you’re achy and sunburned! I hope you’re feeling better now. I think ice cream is in order, if your stomach can handle it.

      1. Grinning at you sweet friend. I had a big bowl of coffee heath bar crunch, a run, a walk, a date with my man, a visit to our fave store and now I feel like a million bucks. Oh! A blogging summitt! You’re only a few hours away from me!!!

    1. Thank you so much for saying so! It was really nerve-wracking, actually. I had to sort of force myself not to delete the post and let it go up when I scheduled it to go up! But I figured, if I can’t do this, how the h-e-double-hockey-sticks am I ever gonna do the memoir thing?

  6. Flaws make people interesting. I like my characters to be fallible and have weaknesses. I have shared flaws in blogs and I think it’s okay to do that. Anyway I’m male so people automatically know I have faults; didn’t know how many I had nor how bad they were until my wife was good enough to spend 15 years pointing them out. I now have half as many faults thanks to my wife’s tireless hard work.

    1. “I’m male so people automatically know I have faults.” LOL! Rich, you always crack me up. Your wife must be exhausted. 😉

      I agree a person without flaws would be totally boring, and unbelievable!

  7. wow, we’re flaw-twins!
    Certainly, as others have said I find it endearing to read such honest words. I find there are few people capable of self-reflection and it’s the most important thing when it comes to growth.
    I think I find it easier to speak of my flaws aloud, because then they’re just out there, in the air…they float away into the air and disintegrate…while on paper or ‘puter it’s there. Forever. Well, pretty much.
    I noticed that a sigh of relief escaped my body in reading your “flaws” as you refer to them. Perhaps I didn’t feel like such an anomaly after reading.
    Hey, maybe this is the problem!! “flaw” has such a negative connotation to it doesn’t it? Without flaws, we’d be so one dimensional. Flaws are good, flaws are necessary! Right? Right.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. “Flaw-twins”! I like that! Thank you SO much for you kind and encouraging words. It definitely makes this scary [to me] post a lot less intimidating 🙂 And you’re absolutely right that there’s something cathartic about it. As scared as I was, I just KNEW it was the right thing to do.

      Hearing that you breathed a sigh of relief absolutely makes my day. I can’t think of better feedback (and, it made ME breathe a sigh of relief!).

      It’s so funny you say that about the negative connotation. I purposely crossed out ‘ugly’ and wrote ‘awkward’ in this post because as I was writing I realized flaws AREN’T ugly. What I was sharing was embarrassing, but that didn’t make it bad 🙂

  8. It’s no wonder the Chippies love you, , , you’re a Nut! But anyway . . . I always say that 90% of the population would look like models if they had the ‘pit crew’ that most models/movie stars have.

    FWIW, the most important thing with your body is that you be healthy. Constant up and downs with weight are not healthy. Being big is not as bad as too many people try to make you feel it is. I’ve learned to avoid scrawny chicks. They’re cranky. ‘Cause they are always hungry!!!

    Rock On!

    1. “You’re a nut!” HA HA! Totally. And I couldn’t agree more on the ‘healthy’ point. I finally feel like I’m in a pretty good place with food mentally, but it’s a constant work in progress (like that g.d. memoir *snort*).

      Skinny chicks ARE cranky. I know. For a brief period I was one of them. LOL

      YOU rock!

  9. We all have our insecurities and dark spots and it feels good to realise that we’re not alone having them. I loved your raw honesty tainted with a zest of humour here, thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. I still have panic attacks at times, had Cognitive behaviour therapy to calm them down…. But it tries to rear its ugly head sometimes, and, I keep saying “No, bugger off.”…. (Or words to that effect) 😉 x

    1. Kate! Really? I’m so glad you shared that; I feel like you’re even MORE awesome now (how is THAT possible?!). I still panic when it comes to doctors and hospitals, but fortunately (so fortunately!) that situation doesn’t come up too often.

      1. I am glad I wrote it, I nearly didn’t, and kept writing it and deleting it, but hey we were sharing…. 😉 I hate crowds, and being in traffic jams…. (and the London tube still keeps me away from London a lot of the time), I like an escape route……, but we’ve all got some fear/insecurity right?…. 😀 And when my boyfriend asks me (because they freak him out) to capture and release the spiders in our house, I feel like a champion! 😀 x

      2. I am glad I wrote it, I nearly didn’t, and kept writing it and deleting it, but hey we were sharing…. 😉 I hate crowds, and being in traffic jams…. (and the London tube still keeps me away from London a lot of the time), I like an escape route……, but we’ve all got some fear/insecurity right?…. 😀 And when my boyfriend asks me (because they freak him out) to capture and release the spiders in our house, I feel like a champion! 😀 x (I do hope you don’t have to go to hospitals anytime soon, but as somebody who works in one…. I can say they are filled with people who care) 😀 xxx

    1. Ha ha! Speaker, by all means! It’ll only cost you a bottle of vodka. (Actually, I’m POSITIVE I stole the line from someone. I’m not that funny.)

  11. Jules, I share at least half of your ammunition, and I went to high school. You figure it out.

    I’ve chosen to make my blog almost all sweetness and light, because I DO humor and don’t want to drive people away with too much heavy. But I wrestle with the TMI issue all the time. Do I want to expose myself? Even more importantly, would it be fair to expose the people in my life? I just don’t know.

    Very thought provoking, my dear.

    1. Peg, thank you for saying so! And I think there’s a lot more to your blog than sweetness and light, truly. The part of me that hesitated in publishing this post was the part that looked at all of the comedic bloggers I love and thought, “They don’t have to do this to get their true selves and point across, and I love their voice/brand.” You and Byronic Man are perfect examples. I feel like I see your hearts and flaws through the comedy, and that’s what makes the humor shine.

      Wow. This comment turned into a Hallmark card before I even knew what was happening. 😉 What I HAVE realized, though, is that everyone knows there’s another side to the comedian, and they’re usually pretty receptive to seeing that other side if they can sense you’re being genuine and have good intent.

      The “TMI” battle is one I think we’ll ALWAYS wrestle with. My favorite memoir authors put it ALL on the line (David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs, etc.)…I just don’t want to hurt anyone I love with the stories I tell. My bestie read it, though (the only person who’s seen it), and she wasn’t upset. And she’s a starring character!

      1. So your book is already written? I’m so, so proud of you…and jealous! I don’t think I have the patience for a book. I can’t wait to read it.

        The thing is, there’s a LOT more dark to me than ever hits the blog. I am a seething, bubbling mess of anger, fear and despair at times. I just don’t show it. I just don’t know if I want all that plastered out in the world.

        Byronic’s admission of the little kid barricading himself in his room resonates like a huge, brass gong because it is so me. I really admire him admitting that. I don’t like to expose my clay feet quite so barely, although how needy I am for praise probably comes through on the blog quite often.

        I’m in a slump right now, writing-wise and life-wise, and can’t figure out how to get out of it.

        Sorry for the pathetic ramble – something about your title made me hop up on your couch with my box of Kleenex. I’ll book my next appointment with your secretary, Dr. Jules.

        1. Peg, there is not a thing pathetic about this! I’m sorry to hear you’re in a slump right now – I can DEFINITELY relate. I’m almost hesitant to admit this because I’m not sure how you’ll take it, but I do get traces of those deeper, darker sides to you from your blog and your commenting, and I mean that in a good way. You’re incredibly intelligent, and when you talk about your parents and current events, etc., I do see that deeper side.

          Alas, if only our creative spirits were quenched with commenting and blog writing! We’d be rich.

  12. Oh Jules I’m so glad we’ve “met” I know we would be such great friends if we lived near each other. I love the rawest honestest posts. I like the overshare. I like feeling that connection with someone, or sometimes simply knowing it can be worse.

    Your memoir has totally intrigued me. Have you finished the whole entire thing and are editing? I never gotten quite that close before.

    1. Marta! ME TOO 🙂 I keep hope alive that one day we’ll share one of those giant fishbowl margaritas and talk ’til we’re hoarse!

      I wrote this darn thing 4 years ago – in 3 weeks, no less. Book length. Since then it’s been haunting me. It’s just too repetitive and narrowly focused, I think. I set it up like fiction (think “Something Borrowed”) instead of the typical memoir, and often wonder if I should just bite the bullet and make it total fiction. Most memoirs I read are like snippets of life put into chapters that all weave together, and aren’t chronological. Mine isn’t that. And I think it’s boring to anyone but me, LOL Le sigh. I tried rewriting it into a short story last week, and that didn’t work. I sometimes think it isn’t meant to be… but I can’t let it go!

      1. If you can’t let it go that means it is meant to be! Everything I write holds elements of truth in it even if its fiction. I think you can add some fictional elements to it without having to get rid of all the real things that happened!

  13. Beautiful post, Jules. I think we all struggle to ‘reveal’ ourselves enough (online or offline) so that we can establish deeper connections with our audiences… but at the same time, not go overboard. I dealt with this issue once full-on: http://zonapellucida.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/a-visit-from-the-overshare-fairy/, but it’s something that resurfaces time and time again.

    I think the info you shared about yourself here makes you seem more vulnerable/relatable, but it doesn’t cross that TMI line (in my opinion, at least.) I’d be really interested to read your memoirs, and I think we have a lot in common!

    1. Thank you so much, Dana! I loved your post, too. I’m so glad that this post hit you the way I sincerely intended; the LAST thing I want to go is make everyone ELSE uncomfortable – I was uncomfortable enough for all of us when I hit ‘publish’! LOL

      And thank you for saying that about the memoir – it means a LOT to me. I really hope I can finally figure out the right way to tell this story. Right now I’m pretty sure it’s only interesting to me, HA! You know, since it’s MY life 😉

      1. You’d be surprised, Jules. I often find myself feeling that way, too (i.e. ‘nobody else would be interested in this story of my life’), but go figure– I’ve always been drawn to the everyday stories of other people’s lives. I’m sure I’m not the only one, too! There are so many grand memoir narratives out there already– people who have lived impossible lives or endured impossible hardships. It’s nice (and refreshing!) to read an ‘ordinary’ memoir every now and then. It’s easier to connect with humans than it is to relate to super humans. 🙂

          1. You had me worried for a second, MJ. I was thinking “Dan? Who’s Dan?” I assume you just missed the second ‘a’ in Dana… yes? [slowly developing an anxiety complex]

  14. I wouldn’t consider anything you’ve listed as a flaw, they are aspects of you. A flaw would be laughing if a chipmunk was run over. Perhaps the question isn’t so much about are flaws necessary for honest writing, rather, what is honest? And what is your desired outcome from the writing?

    Like Pegoleg, I try to write humorous or informational posts, because I’m in the most difficult, depressing and painful time I’ve ever lived through, and that sort of writing is helpful to my spirit, and sometimes to others. I would be an exponentially better writer if I’d lay everything bare, but somehow that’s admitting defeat for me, and also as Pegoleg says, it would be no-going-back hurtful to people in my life. And I’m pretty sure this whole paragraph is already TMI.

    So, since I’m Queen, a subscriber, and possess slap bracelets, I get to talk about your notflaws, one of which is your ability to say the right thing at just the right time to just the person who needs to hear it.

    1. Thank you, Linda! I actually crossed out the word “ugly” above because I realized “flaws” weren’t ugly, if they were even “flaws”! I think you hit the nail on the head with mentioning the “desired outcome” of your writing – I do believe most things, and the way people react to them, can all be traced back to someone’s original intent.

      I’m so sorry that you’re going through such a difficult time, but so happy you’ve found writing a release. It really is amazing therapy. I still can’t believe that anything I’ve said could ever be the right thing at the right time, but it means so very much to me to hear you say that.

  15. Wow, Jules–what an amazing post. Every single thing you shared just made me like you more. I would LOVE to read your book, so I hope you keep working on it and get it out to us one day. You revealed a lot but you hinted at even more and now I’m intrigued! Virgin–do tell!
    I can relate to so many of the things you shared, and I just want to clarify one thing: you are GORGEOUS. Like super, serious, no matter what weight, gorgeous. I hear you on the strategic photos but there’s no faking that kind of pretty.
    Now that that’s cleared up, there’s like no way my post gets listed before Kristen Lamb’s in real life, so thanks for that tiny coup. It made my week that you found it inspiring. I, and so many others, are glad you’re out there, stretching yourself, going in new directions. You’ve been taking off lately and it’s awesome to watch. I like my humor with a side of salt, thankyouverymuch. Thanks for keeping it real! xx

    1. Rian! My muse! I don’t know what makes me feel better – your posts or your comments! Thank you for being such an inspiration. And darn tootin’ you’re first 😉

      This kind of post is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and I figured maybe with the new name, I could have my cake (har har!) and eat it, too. Your post came at the perfect time. Thank you for that and so much more!

      I wrote this memoir very quickly 4 years ago, and have been wrestling with/avoiding it ever since. It’s a story I’m DYING to tell, but often wonder if it’s the right thing to do. Plus, I think the way I have it written is a little boring/repetitive, and not memoir-like (it’s written chronologically, covering ages 19-21). Do people really want to hear about 2 years of rejection?

  16. Oh my dear Jules. Thank you for sharing those little private parts of you. Wait, that sounded wrong. You know what I meant.

    I struggle with this constantly. Both in real life and on my blog. I am a very private and normally walled up type of person. Even to those closest to me. So I find it very hard to be overly honest in my blog and my writing.

    I am currently working on a piece that might be published (maybe) and I had a friend review it for me, and one of the critiques was to open up and dig deeper, personally. Which is very hard for me. Although, I have noticed that my most popular blog posts have been the ones where I really share something of myself, which is rare. But people really seem to respond to those brief moments of opening myself up. It’s as if people really want to know about me or something. Weird.

    1. Oh Misty! I would share all my parts with you. Erm…you know what I mean.

      It’s so funny, because you don’t come across as guarded to me at all. I guess that’s the beauty of getting to know someone through their words. It might seem like hiding, but there’s such truth in the way someone writes.

      I hope I get to read this piece you’re working on! And I can tell you that so far, from experience (and from seeing other writers do so), people are usually receptive to honesty and the awkward stuff, as long as the author’s intent is pure. Wait a sec. You already know that 🙂

  17. I love this post. I love your zany and sweet blog – your personality really shines through. But I never imagined you were without flaws!! Where’s the fun in that? Sometimes, I even try to imagine what a blogger’s flaws are…that can be pretty entertaining.

    I am pretty boring – really, so I even make up flaws to add to my personal list. Makes me a little more lovable. I actually think I share too much sometimes – but I try to never hurt the ones I love in doing so.

    I was saddened to find that you were not showing up in my reader any more – I unsubscribed and re-subscribed and that seemed to work.

    1. Katy! Thank you so much! I am woefully behind on the amazing 7 deadly sins series, and our WP Readers are all out to get us!! Seriously. It’s only getting worse. NO ONE is showing up in mine!

      And there is not a boring bone in your body. I could NOT agree more that sharing flaws is good, as long as it’s not hurting loved ones. I think I can proudly stand behind everything I wrote in that memoir, even if it rubs some people the wrong way at first. I just feel this incredible need to share some of these stories, because it’s the kind of book I wish I had when I was going through all of it.

      Or maybe I should just tell people to go buy some Judy Blume.

      1. “…I just feel this incredible need to share some of these stories, because it’s the kind of book I wish I had when I was going through all of it…” That right there is a good-enough reason for writing and sharing your experiences. I would love to read it someday.

          1. If you had those thoughts and feelings, you can bet there are/were others…Sometimes stuck in the past might be preferable to mired in the present.

  18. Ooh, that pesky need to be liked. Poop. I hate it. Do you remember that was the theme of my post when we staged our Reese’s WordPress takeover? That’s how we met! You should know there is no such thing as TMI around the blogosphere. You should know it’s our greatest currency as writers to be big fat balls of loser. I’ve written about peeing my pants, nurses climbing inside my uterus and have a gravatar so ugly it makes people weep. Plus I write like I never evolved from freshman comp class (shhhh…all part of my master plan). Stay cool, never change, Chipmunk.

    1. ha ha ha ha OH, Angie. I remember. Even your comments are like mini posts that I just want to bind and publish. There really is no escaping the ‘balls of loser’ undertone to being a writer, is there? What the hell would we write about if we were well-adjusted?

    2. And those things, right there, are what make you special, Angie.

      Especially the nurse inside your uterus. Who else had done that?? Nurse Ratched, anyone?

      You guys are the best-est!

  19. Sweet, darling, hilarious, lovable, gorgeous Jules, if only we could get together for a plate of bacon brownies and vodka cocktails (we’ll worry about drinking habits later). I related to this post on so many levels and commend your bravery to lay your cards out on the table. You go, Jules! Your willingness to share combined with your humor is heartwarming and touching. I would LOVE to read Virgin… sounds like just my kind of book. I hope you finish it and I, along with all of your adoring Chipmunks, can say I knew you when. But who would play you in the Academy Award-nominated film? 😉

    1. Jess, that sounds DIVINE! I am so glad you related to this, well, I mean, I guess I’m not because that means you’re in the same boat, but…you know what I mean!!! LOL (Use your words, Jules.)

      This comment really made me smile – THANK YOU. Now I just need to put down the drink long enough to do another revision…

      Oh! And! As long as Second Hub is in the movie, I’ll be happy. He actually would make the perfect ‘Ben,’ one of the starring ‘characters’ (names changed to protect the not-so-innocent)… Not that I’ve ever thought about this.

  20. Oops. I had actually meant to comment on that blog… I think it’s fine to reveal flaws, whether done in a funny way or done in a way that is vulnerable and serious. However, they are extremely difficult to do well. And it’s almost impossible to write about a serious issue in a condensed format like Twitter or Facebook. Rather than sounding interesting or funny, it comes across as “My boyfriend broke up with me and I think I am done with” Oops, out of space.

    It’s not necessarily bad to share, if you don’t mind being vulnerable, but it’s good to recognize the limitations of what social media you’re using. And everyone knows that misinterpretations abound on the internet…

    1. “Oops, out of space.” Ha! I am so with you – it’s VERY hard to make something meaningful when you have a character limit, and it’s very hard to do well. And, like you said, you REALLY have to be willing to deal with misinterpretation and backlash. I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable with criticism, but will keep writing anyway because it doesn’t feel like I have a choice. Much like drinking. …KIDDING, Babs, if you’re reading this. 😉

  21. I find it ironic that I have stumbled across this blog not 3 hours after writing a blog entitled “chapter four: flaws”. Clearly the universe is trying to tell me something 🙂

  22. I really hope you are working on this project. Because it has balls. Everyone has these fears nd insecurities. I’m terrified if head lice. Fine, laugh if you want to, but it’s no joke. If I hear the word head lice, there is RID on my head. I think you saw my post called: “I’m afraid.” it was a poem where I wrote all the things that scare me.

    I’m afraid of out-living all the people I love. That would suck. Writing your book will be scary and hard, but then it will be a best seller. Hop to!

    1. Renée, I figured if I admitted the memoir here I’d have to do something about it, LOL Since it’s been sitting around, done but yet far from complete, haunting me for years.

      What you do with your writing and your blog is a constant inspiration to me! You’re funny on a level that’s more emotional and…free (if that makes sense), and I so admire that!

  23. I fluctuate wildly between being extremely private and wanting wanting wanting to share everything about myself. Well, good lord, look at my site. Hidden faces, sparse personal details… But, uh, anyone want to look at my author page? Anyone want to know more about me? Just gotta ask…

    Basically I’m like a kid who slams his bedroom door and says that “Everyone should just leave me alone!” Then I stick my head out and ask if anyone wants to know why I want to be left alone. It’s extremely mature.

    And there’s the whole “good writing has to be embarrassing, because that’s how you know it’s honest” and I think there’s something to that, but certainly not universal. Art is communication, though, so certainly there needs to be a kind of honesty.

    1. I mentioned you in my reply to Peg – part of why I hesitated in posting this (and? Honestly? I have no regrets, but I’m still kind of feeling this knotted stomach, Post Traumatic Stressful Post Disorder) is because I see that many of my favorite comedy writers still get their hearts and souls across without doing this. Sometimes the funny, subtle admission of flaws makes them resonate more profoundly (with me, anyway). This comment is a perfect example: “Basically I’m like a kid…it’s extremely mature.”

      Is it too early for a PTSPD drink?

  24. What a fanstastic post! I can tell just from this post that I want to read that memoir when it’s published. I bet it will be . . . I said the same thing to Anne Brown (from my post last week) and voila–three book deal from Random House. So I do not joke.

    We all edit our pictures that way honey!

  25. I have flaws?? Shoot, dang it, I knew there was something wrong with me.

    I think the type of writing that some of us do with humor – yes, that’s what I ATTEMPT to do too, thank you – is difficult. We’re self-effacing (or should it be self-DEfacing?) and sometimes it’s hard knowing when it’s trying too hard. Humor is about dealing with our uncomfortableness or awkwardness, right?

    That’s why it’s fun to read the writing treatments that you, Byronic, Peg, Angie, Darla, and some of the others take in your blogs.

    I’m not sure if I can do fiction. I’ve done some, but always gravitate back to real-life. Good post, my friend.

    1. MJ, thank you so much! And I’d say you make quite the successful attempt, my friend!

      I agree most people realize comedians use the funny as an outlet for awkwardness and angst, and know they’re not just cardboard cutouts without flaws. I think the other thing that motivated me to do this post was knowing that a lot of my ‘other’ writing is kind of…earnest (maybe to my detriment), and I should think about ways of finding a balance between that and the good times I have up in this piece, LOL, because they’re both ‘me.’

  26. Reality bites, I say bring on the ‘rosey facade’ of life. That just works for me. Maybe it’s old fashion but “nobody likes a complainer”. Did you ever hear that one from Babs? And I’m pretty sure someone made a ka-zillion dollars writing ‘Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff’…so I guess their mom really drilled it home….I wonder if they gave her a cut?

    1. LOL! I totally agree about the complaining, especially in social media. It’s one thing to do the funny observational joke about how annoying something is, but otherwise it’s very grating.

      Babs tries to give me an inflated sense of self worth. And when that doesn’t work, a drink 😉

  27. My dear, beautiful, fabulous Chipmunk. I love your blogging family; I feel they are an extension of ours and appreciate immensely their support of your awesome writing talent. I practically drool waiting for your next blog then grin ear to ear reading all their comments. Oh, wait. Maybe that drool is just from the drinking thing that is beyond both our control… nah. I love you, Miss Fabulousness! (Katherine Heigel plays you, right?)

    1. And Babs . . . as one of your lovely daughter’s biggest fans, may I just say that I love how supportive you are of her blogging. Your comments are always so supportive, loving and hysterical. I can definitely see where she gets her sense of humor. And thank you so much for adopting me!! Does this mean I get to share the wine? I mean, I would think that would be one of the benny’s of being in your fam, right? 😉

      1. Having already emailed Jules re: today’s post, I’d just like to second Misty on this one, Babs. Love it. ♥

        1. Mistyslaws and Deborah the Closet Monster…you guys name the place, Jules and I will have plenty of wine to share! Thanks!

  28. This is a great post – I have a ‘gross side out’ approach to flaw sharing – I think it’s funny to be blunt, candid, whatever, and it kind of immunizes you to other people’s negativity. Which, you know, is mostly them projecting their own inadequacies onto you anyway. I could tick items on your list too (drinking, LOL) – I used to be friends with this girl once (used to be) and we stopped hanging out because she had to be perfect all the time: she wanted everyone to see her as flawless but it makes it impossible to relate/connect to someone. I can’t hang with a girl who won’t dish that her life is occasionally less than ideal: we all struggle. Ain’t no shame in letting some of that hang out 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! And I have such admiration for you that you let it hang out there – I really do think it draws people to a person far more than most realize. I could NEVER be friends with someone who was that concerned with being perfect; with all of her focus on that, how could she be a good friend?

  29. I think flaws make us relate able to other people. Once we share some of the things that we aren’t too proud of i think we realize that they are more common then we think. For example, I also married my first boyfriend who by the way i didn’t date officially until i was 24 years old. He was also someone i met online and i definitely had to make all of the moves. I like to tell people that he was my mail order husband and that i had to knock him over the head caveman style and drag him back to my cave to get him to date me lol.
    And the only thing that got me to really get over myself and make a move was that i lost my virginity to a one night stand a week before contacting André. I’m super classy.
    I have also had major weight problems for the majority of my life. I’ve gained and lost too many times to count and even though i have promised myself that i wouldn’t gain back the weight i am now at the heaviest i have ever been. There are some of my over shares as i don’t actually write on my blog lol. I think your ability to talk about these things with a wide audience. I will be preordering your book as soon as it is available 🙂

    1. Erin, I can’t thank you enough for the honesty of this comment! It really goes to show that being open draws people in (and does not, like we so often fear, push people away), because I definitely like you even more after having read this. 🙂

      You rock!! And you ARE way classy in my book.

  30. I love the honesty in this post. I think people try so hard to create a specific image of themselves, that it’s hard to know anyone’s true self. I think it’s great when one can be open about their flaws (even if the flaw may not be a flaw in others’ eyes).

    I also think it’s good to share insecurities. Even if it’s hard to do and makes you feel vulnerable, it’s kind of freeing. I try really hard to be myself both in real life and when writing my blog, but it definitely doesn’t always come easy. And sometimes I feel like an idiot exposing my true opinions, but I think it helps me get over that fierce need to please others.

    1. Thank you so much, Carly – I really appreciate that! And I so agree – our own flaws usually don’t seem nearly as bad to others, and once you say it out loud, you often go, “Jeez. All that fuss for what? So I like to dress like a cow and drink milk from the carton*. Big whoop!”

      *I haven’t actually done this. But I would.

  31. I think authentic vulnerability is needed, we’re all looking for sustainable connections or ones to get us through finding those {for me, chocolate, any type of cocktail, chelsea lately, dancing}. I’ve had weight issues myself, I was bullied when younger…as a result I feel I too only look beautiful “from the right angle” and want everyone to like me because if they do then I don’t have to face what they may not like, what may be true about me that I’m not ready to face {I don’t mean looks} but that sometimes it’s hard to be real, to project the surface rather then reveal the deep…I have a saying “I’m wading in the shallow because the depths are too deep”.. I think writing helps us share the deep without getting caught in the undertow. I love this post and shared it with my friends and family…you are beautiful, but I know what I say won’t matter…it’s what you tell yourself. But perhaps, if heard enough, you’ll see what we all see…Jules going and looking damn fine while she does. Be well! ~Kristy

    1. Kristy, I can’t tell you how much this comment means to me! And you are a kindred spirit – chocolate, cocktails, Chelsea Lately and dancing all top my list, too!

      I think you hit on something really key here – that sometimes we’re just shying away from the parts of ourselves WE don’t like. A psychology professor once taught me that if there was something about someone we thought we couldn’t stand, we should examine whether or not that thing is something we actually dislike about OURSELVES. It’s always stuck with me.

      Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful thoughts and thinking this post worthy of sharing with others! I really can’t tell you what your kind words mean to me. I look forward to getting to know you better, and I will TOTALLY share my chocolate with you. …You caught that from all of this, right? Oh, now you want some of my cocktail, too? Girl, that’s another story.


  32. I admire your courage, Jules. I’ve written a couple of posts that revealed a bit of me. But, right after I did, I began questioning whether I should have written something else.
    Love your chipmunks. They’re a weakness of mine. I’d see them all the time when we lived in Central New York. Sad to say, there are none in Florida. I’ll turn to your chipmunk photos and your blog for comfort.
    Your humor keeps me going.

    1. Judy, I’m so sorry I didn’t respond to this sooner! (I thought I did, but it must have been in my head. This happens a lot. I should probably ask the Chipmunk Witch Doctor to give me a check-up.) Thank you so much; this really means a lot to me.

      I can’t tell you how angst-y I felt about this post before, during and after publishing, but I think if your intention is good, only good can come of it. And I know your intention is always good 🙂

  33. I found your blog thanks to Speaker7, whose recraps of 50 shades I read instead of working. Now I’ve found another blog -yay! I also write about my flaws in my blog (you can go see them all), and I write fiction that has yet to be published possibly because I haven’t sent it to any publishers yet. Not sure, but that could have something to do with it. Anyway, nice blog. 🙂

    1. Wow, thank you so much! Any friend of Speaker’s is a friend of mine, especially kindred spirits who find Hugo-involved posts a far greater use of time than “making a living.” 😉

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