You can quit worrying now

Local moment of "fame"

I know you’ve been biting your nails all week, wondering how I was dealing with becoming a local celebrity.  You’ve been nervous, haven’t you?  You’ve been fussing with heart palpitations and cold sweats about how Kathy was surviving the indignity–yes, the indignity!  the humiliation!–of becoming a local weekly newspaper columnist discussing the Drue loos in public.

I am here to alleviate your worries, to help you re-gain equilibrium after your days of empathetic compassionate concern.  To release the nervousness of such an auspicious event.

It’s OK, dear concerned reader, it’s really OK.  We’ve survived it.  We’re not even a smidge humiliated.  Release it all!  Life is good.

Let’s, as usual, back up (and we don’t mean the septic system).  For those of you shaking your heads and rolling your eyes–“Toilet?  Famous blog?  What’s she babbling about NOW?” please carefully click this link:  A spiritual tale of two toilets.  If you’re reluctant to click the link, I totally understand.  You can continue to read this post instead.  No hand-washing required.

My loving witty husband snatched my toilet blog for his column in the L’Anse Sentinel this week.  (He must have been desperate for material.  After writing columns for thirty-four years, it must become slightly challenging at times, don’t you think?)

He said, and I quote almost verbatim, after reading the aforementioned toilet blog:  “You have just succeeded in beating me as a smart a**.”

I took a deep bow.

He snatched the blog for his column–with permission of course–a bit hesitant permission–a trifle nervous agreeing–a sighing “what the heck”–and emailed the newspaper the blog along with appropriate potty pictures.

He proceeded to edit out references to utilizing the woods as an emergency bathroom, even though I expressed complete editorial dismay at the omission.

“But my readers LOVED that part the best!” I insisted.

Still, he edited the text appropriate for a family read newspaper, added his own introduction, and out into newspaperland flew the Toilet Column, mostly written by yours truly, straight from Blogging Land.

The paper hit the streets and mailboxes on Wednesday.  I prudently decided not to visit town.

By Thursday it was unavoidable.  Lunch date at a local restaurant summoned.  I took a deep breath and drove toward L’Anse.

All sorts read the L'Anse Sentinel!

Let’s back up again.  I was the shyest kid in elementary school.  OK, maybe not as shy as the shyest one, but nearly as shy.  During half of my adult life, was petrified to say anything that would upset the apple cart, disturb the neighbors, frighten small children.  I was scared to death that folks would utter words like, “She is a flake” behind my back. (And one person did, once.  It hurt for six years.  How could they call me a FLAKE?  Another time someone–sob!–called me “weird”.  It shouldn’t have hurt because she was the weirdest person in town, but it did.  It only took five years to recover from this.)  Due to these fears I edited every word that came out of these two lips until, finally, maybe six years ago when–

You know what happened.  I started blogging.  Pressing the “Publish” button on the first blog resulted in severe heart palpitations.  I was going to die, don’t you know it, and it was only a simple poem!  Hundreds of people would write, “You idiot!  You flake!  You crazy woman!  You weirdo!  You are so wrong, so perturbed, so stupid, so–” and I would quiver up and die, humiliated, finally so humiliated that they’d figured out my secret fears.

I pressed the “publish” button. Five people read the poem and no one commented.

Hmmm, so much for drama.

Still, I was so traumatized, I didn’t blog for another year.

The first time I typed something controversial–it was undoubtedly a blog about spirituality–people offered two positive comments.  Really?  You could push the “publish” button and not be ashamed, humiliated, down-trodden?

It took a good year to write without feeling inner shaking every time a post published.  The first time someone commented negatively–strangely enough–it didn’t really matter. I only agonized over it for 24 hours before regaining equilibrium and writing back a polite response.

Fast-forward until now.

What happened to the shy little girl afraid to say anything slightly controversial or weird?

She disappeared somewhere along the line.

She’d say almost anything–well, we hope tact and politeness still operates–and even allow her smart a** columnist husband to include her toilet essay in the local newspaper.

And not really care too much.

You will be happy to know that maybe a dozen people have mentioned the column with big smiles upon their faces.  However, at least two-thirds of them seem to think my husband wrote it.

"Here's Kathy's take"...please read the column more carefully, readers...

Renee at the bank told Barry, “I liked your column!”  Barry, good man, replied, “I didn’t have anything to do with it!”

Last night we ate dinner at Billy the Finns (i.e. the Huron Bay Tavern) with–yes!–blog reader and commenter John Kuttenberg and his wife, Jenny, who own a place in our neck of the woods.

I looked around furtively to discern if any toilet-readers (besides John) might be attendance.

Phew.  It was safe to eat our fish fry and chat.

Toward the end of the evening, a gentleman passed our table and touched Barry’s shoulder.

“I liked your column!  It was funny!” he said.

My jaw dropped in disbelief.  I swiveled toward him.

Not another reader thinking that Barry wrote this!

Barry’s column?  HIS column?  Who wrote this potty episode anyway?  Who is prepared to handle the shame and embarrassment of it?

“It was MY column!” I insisted to the innocent friendly passerby, narrowing my eyes, daring him to disagree.

“Oh, oh,–yes, yes,” he agreed, smiling, backing up, probably trying to get away before the little woman leaped on him like a mad terrier  for his editorial mistake.

You can quit biting your nails now–and don’t be the slightest bit afraid to share yourself with the world.  Don’t worry.  People probably won’t even figure out who you are anyway.  If I can learn to do it without fear and utter humiliation about a subject as intimate as toilets, you can do it, too.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to You can quit worrying now

  1. Elisa's Spot says:

    and then….
    an abrupt ouch
    remembering that image that i took being on that gallery wall, with another person’s name on it

    remembering having something I wrote, with a small audience, being republished somewhere popular and watching it go through the roof (especially in my head) and though many did realize it was my writing, more attention was paid to the poster and none back to meeeeeeee meeeeeeeeee meeeeeeeeee


    oooo You could make him..I mean ask him to load the old toilet onto car or truck with a sign stating article yours and using a bullhorn thru town…you could get a little table for signings of the article!!

    i love you Kathy!

  2. rehill56 says:

    I love your writing! (My dad used to say ” I resemble that remark!”)

  3. Heather says:

    Congratulations on getting over your anxiety about what others think! Oh – and the column print, too 🙂
    One of my favorite lessons to help my students learn was that it doesn’t matter what someone says if it’s not true and you don’t respect them (usually when another student was “talking sh**” about other student), or if it was true and it wasn’t something they actually wanted to change about themselves. I hope you like being your “weird” “flaky” self – we sure love reading! ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Don’t you think when we finally become confident in who we are–and live ourselves to the fullest–that others are always going to think we’re weird or flaky because we’re not acting simply like the average person any more? We’re not fitting ourselves into a mold of who we think we should be. I like that you were teaching your students good lessons about becoming their fullest possible selves.

  4. Bless your heart, Kathy. Isn’t this just the way life goes? Men so often get the credit for work done by women. Alas. I suppose all we can do is laugh about at times. I suppose that gives us the real power. Congrats on the publication. And congrats on not taking the miss-attribution (spelling?) personally.
    Hugs to you, my friend,

    • Kathy says:

      Well~~long drawn out “well”~~it IS his column. It has his picture. It featured him sitting on the toilet. If it had been my column, with my picture, and his inserted blog, I think people would have congratulated me, too. (Gosh that took a little charity. grin.) I think it’s wildly funny. I am truly, not one tiny bit, upset. For some reason I have no deep desire for publication outside this blog. It may come some day, but it hasn’t yet. Hugs back to you!

  5. Michelle says:

    Have to say, I loved the Spiritual tale of two Toilets! Thanks so much also, for the wonderful comment on my blog, and on my writing. Always great to get great feedback. Happy to find you.

  6. Reggie says:

    Congratulations on making it into your Beloved’s column, Kathy! I am cheering loudly! 🙂

  7. Dawn says:

    Maybe Barry doesn’t write funny columns often…so this one got noticed? People don’t always pay attention to everything…but I think a compliment to Barry about it being a good column inherently is a compliment to you! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Oh goodness, Barry writes funny columns all the time! People like his humor. (I really love it that Barry got complimented, Dawn and don’t mind the slightest. But what I loved more was that I was able to write another funny blog about this…that this response provided more blogging material! You gotta love it when this happens. :))

  8. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy I am so pleased the article was well received…for both you and for Barry. 🙂 It really was a funny story and how many people can turn a mundane household chore into barrels of fun?! I now pronounce you Queen and King of the Royal Drue Loo …lol
    Hope you’re having a great day up there in the northwoods! It’s a gray and gloomy day here…our sunshine went into hiding.

    • Kathy says:

      It’s so fun, Brenda, creating stories out of the ordinary chores & happenings of daily life. We love our new loo title! It is gray and gloomy here and I am trying to gather the chutzpah to go for a walk outside. Happy weekend!

  9. Marcie says:

    You have such a great way of putting a fun spin on things. What fun – for both of you!

  10. I am truly rolling on the floor laughing my buns off – this is HYSTERICAL! No, let me correct that. YOU are hysterical!

    • Kathy says:

      You know, Laurie, I think we have the same sense of humor, you and I. It is so good to know that someone truly rolled on the floor laughing after reading this. (I did, too, after writing this.) Thank you and giggling hugs!

  11. lucindalines says:

    It was great, and we KNOW you wrote it. Enjoy the celebrity.

  12. bonnie says:

    Barry did say it was your very funny blog, right there in the paper, bless his little heart! Sometimes folks just glance over the “important part”. Loved today’s blog.

    • Kathy says:

      Isn’t he sweet, Bonnie? (And truly, I didn’t tell all. At least one third of the complimenters said good things about my contribution.) Thank you!

  13. Joanne says:

    Well, yes Kathy. it had crossed my mind, I HAD wondered if Barry had published your blog post, as threatened, and I just KNEW you would tell us all about it when he did!

    Like you, I have discovered that there is a great big WWW. out there and those who read our blogs are really just a drop in the ocean, so why agonise before we hit that publish button? And you survived your loo story, not once, but TWICE. You’re bullet-proof Kathy! So, with that in mind, are you working on your next funny story, of a controversial nature? I hope so!! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Oh Joanne, hugs! To think you even gave it a second thought! (That’s what happens when it’s gray and rainy and we’re stuck inside–we think about our blogging friends.) Glad you have discovered we’re just a drop in the blogging ocean. Haven’t got ANY ideas about future blogging, Except a non-controversial moose sighting. Sort of.

  14. john says:

    It was a proud moment for me Kathy, thinking to myself “I read it before you did” when that gentleman tapped Barry on the shoulder. I just wish I had my camera to take a picture of your face as you turned back from claiming your due credit. The red face and muffled shriek you let out in the direction of your fried fish was truly priceless.

    At that moment I realized even though you work at keeping yourself centered through meditation and spiritual practices you are as susceptible to personal injustice as your minions of readers. With that said the evening with you and Barry was enjoyable, educational and oh so interesting. I truly hope we get to do it again. Anyone who has the opportunity to spend an evening with you two is truly blessed.

    • Kathy says:

      John, John, John, you should have known better. You MUST have known from reading these words that I’m just a regular Kathy sometimes susceptible to personal injustice, just like everyone else. (Although, ahem, I must admit to sometimes dramatizing things. Please don’t tell. Because the truth is…86.4% of me didn’t care two fobs about any of this! But it’s fun to play, isn’t it?) Some day my meditation and spiritual practice may eliminate the need for drama and play. The jury’s still out on that one… Maybe not! I do hope we get to get together again. We both remarked how fun it was. And I’m glad you came over to see our Little House in the Big Woods.

  15. Sybil says:

    Oh Kathy, I can’t imagine you feeling so insecure. You seem like such a rock to me.

    • Kathy says:

      Dearest Sybil, I used to be one of the most insecure beings on the planet. (Excuse the dramatic sentence.) Nowadays I am only insecure occasionally. Hopefully someday total security will Take Over.

  16. Barb says:

    I say we storm the Sentinal and take over Barry’s office. THAT should get everyones’s attention.

  17. sonali says:

    Ha ha ha!! I salute your bravery. I was scared to comment on your previous blog on this 😉
    Amazing bold attitude you’ve got. LOL!!

  18. susanblake says:

    Hi Kathy,
    Too funny! Back in the early 90’s I wrote a column for our local paper – it ran two times per week. Trouble was, I had so many limitations on what I could/could not write about – like no opinion, no controversy, no humor – just “fluff” crap really about who in our town of “Plentiville” did this or that, or what fund raising this club is doing – it was totally barfable! After four years of it, I had to quit. I tried throwing in some cleverly written stuff, which the editor actually ran and THEN was told not to try that again, but my “fans” in town loved it. Well at least the 3 or 4 neighbors who said so 🙂

    So your toilets are now famous, and your husband is stealing your material, and I’m jealous that you have paper that would run the story!

    • Kathy says:

      That must have been so hard, SuZen. No opinion, no controversy, no humor…that would have been challenging to read! (And to write.) I love that you had “fans”. Yep, the 3 or 4 neighbors who said so… Big grin!

  19. Sitting on your throne, I am sure you can sense the accolades and honors bestowed upon your relieved brow. Polish it up extra special today, for this long string of commenters will want to know you are seated in only the very shiniest of porcelain!
    Hugs to Barry. xooxox Love, S

    • Kathy says:

      Ha ha–throne, relieved brow! We are actually have an Exciting Day, Suzi. We (er, um, mostly Barry) are installing a grab bar to aid in toilet lifting. For his knee surgery recovery. It is as challenging to install as the darn toilet! What fun we have with our throne. Hugs, Msssss Suzi!

  20. Colleen says:

    Kathy, we’re still smiling! And guessing that you and Barry must be a much loved part of your community 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Well, he is, for sure. I really haven’t been too vocal in the Sentinel. I’m off in township treasurer land out here in Arvon Township, so kinda have another beloved part of the community. Glad you liked this. I had a moment of doubt after pushing “publish” yesterday…

  21. irenelefort says:

    Since you are a celebrity now, does that make me a groupie? 🙂

  22. Laughing out loud! I think Barry has got a great approach to handling the indignities of aging: “It’s really heck to be old and frail. . .but you might as well have some fun with it.” May both of your delightful senses of humor keep you going strong in the coming weeks of surgery and recovery! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      So glad you laughed, Barbara! It’s fun to make fun of what might be troubling to us~~but we can make light of it and giggle a bit. I hope the giggles continue through surgery. Really hope so…. thank you, friend.

  23. Dana says:

    Congratulations on your brush with fame! It makes me smile to imagine you morphing from someone who would never make a peep about anything to a woman who would boldly declare “I wrote that toilet editorial!” Maybe one day you can mail me your autograph through the actual post. Don’t forget us little people when your spiritual tales about toilets hit the NY Times Bestsellers list. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Ha ha, brush with fame, Dana! Now seriously, I COULD send you a L’Anse Sentinel complete with autograph. But, really, honey, do you REALLY want one? I’m not sure I should even keep a copy for posterity’s sake. Thinking about keeping a copy, but really? I’ll keep you informed when we hit the NY Times Bestsellers Lists. I promise.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s