Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Monday
Jul092012

You'd Think I Was Hooking For A Living

Writing here is one of my favorite things and the fact that I make a living from it and writing on Babble is just BEYOND. And yet several family(ish) members are huge dicks about this blog. Have always been. Not sure why. I don't write about them, don't want to. And still. From time to time, usually after they've consumed alcohol, they get all sneery and rude about my blog or writing endeavors. Which, okay, even if you don't like the blog what's the point of being an open asshole about it? I don't get all assholish about what you do (or DON'T do, as the case may be) for a living.

Recently it happened again. Someone who was upset about something completely unrelated to my blog immediately expressed contempt for what I do for a living. I am willing to wager a thousand smackers this person has never laid eyes on this blog or read a single entry here as they are oldish and not at all technologically inclined and I don't think they even know how to turn on the one computer in their home... And still, they apparently hate my blog and felt absolutely justified in telling me all about it. I mean, the way some people tell it you'd think I was wearing fishnets a size too small and hooking my flabby mom body body for a living instead of merely writing about my flabby mom body.

Eh. Whatever. I don't expect people to read the blog (in fact I prefer when relatives don't) and I don't even expect them to acknowledge what I do for a living but the overt condescension and derision is just lame-ola. I was raised to believe work is work and whatever you gotta do to put food on the table deserves respect, even hooking, if it's legal and the best way mama can pay the bills. So c'mere Grandpa, mama's got some stretch marks to tell you about. And if yer rill good I might even tell you Henry's birth story, including the gory parts about my vajayjay.

Reader Comments (20)

give me five, i love your honesty :)

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranajo

I say fuck'em....who the hell cares what you write or what you do for a living, I think they are just jealous!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

I think your family member needs to re-watch Bambi where we all learned that if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all......GEEZ!!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkacy

Nothing like an ignorant relative to ruin your day. ugh.

Many of my older relatives and friends hate Facebook because they don't understand it and think that all their personal information will automatically be put out there for everybody to see...as if anybody cares. God help anybody who mentions one of them or posts a photo and they find out.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStarsky

So sorry you have to put up with this crap. My family knows I write but I still haven't shared most of my writing with them (as a lot of it about me working through my very strange and toxic up-bringing, and also deals with the crappiness of Mormonism). And I still haven't had the guts to tell them about the fact that I have started up a blog that addresses Mormon culture and doctrine in a "non-faith-promoting" manner, as I know that will provoke some serious ire in the family - one of my brothers is a bishop, another brother was selected for the "I'm A Mormon" campaign, and my father is a very judgmental temple worker. Dealing with their nonsense just seems pointless so I decided to write anonymously, as that gives me the freedom to be honest.

Anyway, I hope you find a way to deal with the crap. And continue doing what you love - life is far too short to give a damn about what others think about you!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpostmormongirl

Ha! The only people who read my blog are my grandma and my husband's grandma! Ok, a few other family members too.
I think it's awesome you can make a living off your blog/writing. I will never understand why people just can't keep their mouth shut if they don't have anything nice to say.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeccaV

Ignorant relatives are all about ruining my today, too. Right on Shelly! I say fuck'em, too. They a worthless and not deserving of any time in our heads. Unfortunately "my head won't leave my head alone." Still - fuck'em.
Good on you for keeping your wits. And for doing what it takes to provide for you fam.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPam2

As a family member, I want you to know that I love reading your blog, and Serge's, too. Proud to know and love you both, and to refer others to read your wonderful (and wonderfully written) blogs

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErik Butler

Oh man. Wow. UNCLE ERIK! Can't believe you're here. Thank you so much. Coming from you that is the highest compliment. Thank you!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who...

I just re-read my comment and I really didn't mean to sound so pissy. I swear, I'm not usually this abrasive or angry - I guess something about your family's comments triggered a knee-jerk reaction. But seriously, keep writing and doing what you love - all the more power to you for having the guts and determination to start and maintain a successful blog.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpostmormongirl

Don't listen to those negative people or take anything they say to heart. Especially don't let them in any way influence your writing, ever.
Just keep on being our Monica.
For every person who criticises this blog (which they never actually read), there are so many, many more who love it.
The minute you raise your head above the crowd, there's always some green-eyed monster throwing a tomato. Goes with the territory, unfortunately.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTamsin

I haven't even told my family what my blog title is because I hope they never read it. I'd be getting the same treatment you unfortunately are receiving. I admire your candor about this and I say keep writin' Mama and keep puttin' food on that table! Good on you! You are a wonderful writer and your blog is one of my all time favorites. Sounds like they don't know how fortunate they are to be related to such a talented, funny and amazing writer like yourself.

When small minded people don't understand things, they feel the need to criticize to make themselves feel better. And the more they criticize/complain, the dumber it makes them look. It is AWESOME that you can make your living how you do...and the people who truly love you and have your back will ALWAYS think that it's awesome and be proud of you for being able to pull it off as well as you do!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhanni

Hahaha!! Loved this! The only problem is that they won't be able to read this because, like you said, they can't turn on a computer and I would love for them to read it.

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermama

Perhaps they are reacting to the fact that you quit a successful career so that you and your husband could pursue writing. Most people that are not cultured don't think of writing as a job...it just sounds like something fancy. It is hard for people not to understand that working does not involve an office or a tool box. The fact that both you and you husband are writers might be too high a concept or their simple minds.

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

when you do decide to start hooking for a living, please let me know. I have a REALLY great idea for a brothel, and I feel as though we would be great madames after gaining valuable experience in the field.

Unfortunately, jealousy will follow you where ever you go, darling. It's both the curse and the blessing of being beautiful and successful. Miss you...

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Z.

What I dont get is... if you dont like the content in someone's blog, why the hell keep reading it? I have stumbled upon hundreds of blogs, had a quick read and thought, nope not for me and I never go back!!! I stumbled upon your blog Monica and I remember thinking, I like this chick, so Im back everyday lol. Im sorry some of your family(ish) readers are such dicks!

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

No idea who the older family member is in the 2nd paragraph, but I've got a great guess who the one in the 1st is!!!!

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlton

Pffft. What are these people doing that is so great, Doctors Without Borders? Rehabilitating refugees?

Actually, now I come to think of it I do have a job that people think is all 'noble' and 'worthy' and shit and I do not consider myself above people who make an honest living in other ways at all, as long as they're not exploiting anyone, and there are many days when I think 'fuck this helping humanity crap, I wonder if UPS would hire me instead?' No, not quite. Though I would work for UPS. Or some sort of clerical thing if the benefits were OK, and find meaning elsewhere. I love my work (usually), I just mean, if I couldn't do this but there was another way to pay the bills that was fairly enjoyable, i'd count myself lucky, which I know you do too.

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura1

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