Monday, August 3, 2009

Critical anonymous commenters

I could say that anonymous comments are cowardly, but then I have wanted to make some myself. However it would be nice to know who the person is so I could see their blog and try to see where they are coming from. The first response to a critical post is to feel angry and defensive. Especially with an anonymous comment, the temptation is to dismiss the commenter as some jerk not worth thinking about.

Here is what someone said to me about my last post:

One reason your house lost value is because other irresponsible people stopped making their payments. And you would do the same to others? Ironic.

And this deliberation comes right after complaining about your sister spending money on her wedding. Forgive me, but you sound very hypocritical and self-righteous; her error is minor at best and foreclosing on your house would destructive to many, many others.

Instead of dismissing this comment I decided to think about it and if any of the criticism was on target. Am I hypocritical and self-righteous? Sometimes I am, and the person who denies ever being a hypocrite is 99.9% likely a liar. Sometimes my actions and my desires clash with my principles and ideals. Sometimes I talk about eating healthy and have doughnuts for dinner. Sometimes I talk about the environmental benefits of public transportation from behind the wheel of my car. Part of the journey of life and tracking it in a blog is to be more aware. Life is a learning process and if I already had everything perfect and made post after post charting my perfection it would annoying, kind of like the female protagonist in a romance novel.

Has any frustrated mother fantasized, even for a moment, about walking away from her children? Has anyone in a relationship been tempted to split with his/her partner when things were rough? Ever wanted to just walk away and start over in month five of a home remodel? Of course! It's natural to contemplate what it would be like if your problems just went away. I am in a rough patch with my house now and I do fantasize about mailing in the keys. Will I do it? Not likely.

As for irresponsible people making the values of their neighbors homes drop, that seems bad to people like me who are left behind but not to others . For investors and other buyers just coming into the market this is a time of opportunity. Economists, pundits and the like who complained about the "insanity" of the market at its peak are of the opinion that this "reset" was necessary and ultimately good. For some of you out there those irresponsible people did you a favor.

Keeping to the contract I signed if I am able is expected of me by society, part of the ethical behavior expected of an individual. Of course, if I was a giant corporation and bailed out of a contract because it became unprofitable then it would be "just business". I think some of my frustration comes from the different ethical standards applied to individuals vs business, especially with all the current hardships being endured by responsible individuals when irresponsible corporations and local governments are getting federal bailouts.

As for my sister's wedding, now that the shock has worn off I am fine with the idea of her spending all that money on her wedding. It's her money and her judgement call to make; I would choose differently. I will reserve future complaints for expenses I incur personally. I also reserve the right to comment on following along with some of the more ridiculous expectations of society such as dream weddings.


  1. I know what you mean about anonymous comments, I have received a few really hurtful ones. Somehow those stick with me longer than 25 nice, supportive comments. Most of the times I have gotten them, they seemed to come from people who haven't read my blog very long, who doesn't see where I am coming from. As for your brief fantasy about turning the house over and walking away - heck, who doesn't fantasize about something like that? Goodness knows I have.. of course I have also thought about winning the lotto. Just because you play with an idea a bit or vent out your frustrations, doesn't mean they'll happen! A blog is a place to allow for expression of thought.

    I have no doubt you will do whatever is best for you and your situation, I hope you keep writing about it as you do!

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