Saturday, August 3, 2013

I've said it before. I'll say it again.

Back in February 2012, I posted a rant about people who shriek "TMI" when I say something they think is too personal.  It was one of my funnier rants if I do say so myself.  I was genuinely annoyed.

Well last night as I sat at my computer, hanging out on Facebook, I posted that I thought I'd sleep "nekkid".  It was meant to be kind of funny and most people took it that way.  It's hot in Texas, even when you have air conditioning.  My "office" is upstairs, so in the late afternoon, it really gets warm.

Anyway, this morning I saw a comment from a guy I knew in college who is a conservative Christian.  He's usually a very nice guy.  I met him in 1991, when he was 18 and I was 19.  Now he's apparently a middle aged fart who likes to rain on peoples' naked parades.  In response to my post, he wrote "TMI."

When I saw that, I got irritated.  But I wrote "I really hate it when people say 'TMI'.  TMI is a highly individual thing."  In other words, there are 447 people on my friends list and I can't know what each one of them is going to think is "TMI".  Moreover, this guy has known me for over 20 years and knows that I have a tendency to be irreverent and probably too personal for many peoples' tastes at times.  I'm actually surprised he didn't unfriend me ages ago.

Well, apparently, my comment-- which I didn't mean to be rude, just matter-of-fact-- pissed him off.  So he posts "Whatever."

And I responded, "Back atcha."  If you don't care, why should I?

Here's the thing.  If you're going to tell me my post is "TMI", but you're then going to dismiss my response with a pissy "Whatever", then why the fuck bother commenting in the first place?  What was the point of saying "TMI"?  Were you genuinely offended by what I posted on my Facebook?  Or were you just trying to stir up shit?  And what did you expect my response to be?  Embarrassment?  Because I am not that easily embarrassed about that kind of stuff.

As for my "nekkid" post, I figure that's pretty tame stuff.  It's not like I posted about my husband sucking my boobs or anything.  Or took a picture of myself "nekkid" and posted it on Facebook for the world to see.  We were all born naked, for Chris'sakes.  What could be more natural and normal than that?  Unless he just didn't want to think about me in my birthday suit.

But since I don't generally post full body shots of myself and he hasn't seen me in years, I can't imagine that he would be repulsed by the idea of me being naked.  If he is, then he's probably an asshole and certainly isn't a friend.  I never thought of him that way before... I maybe thought he was a bit uptight and whiny at times, but I never thought of him as an asshole.  But if the idea of my naked body trying to sleep on our hot, uncomfortable air mattresses grosses him out, maybe I should reconsider virtually hanging out with him.

He was probably just chiming and didn't think before he hit "post".  I bet 90% of all people haven't thought about the expression TMI as much as I have.  In my first rant about this subject, I explained why it bugs me when people say it to me.  It's mainly because at its heart, "TMI" is an attempt to shame and censor someone else.  You're basically criticizing someone for expressing themselves in a way you don't like, even if they don't know beforehand that you'll think what they want to say is "TMI".  You're also telling them that your feelings are more important than their right to speak their mind-- on their own Facebook page, no less.

In my original rant, I also brought up the point that if something I say or write is the most offensive thing you ever hear, you'll be damn lucky.  I still believe that today.  I may be painfully blunt sometimes, but I do have have empathy for others and I don't go out of my way to deliberately upset people.  I didn't wake up yesterday thinking I'd write something to piss off my Facebook friends.

I think if you post "TMI" in response to someone's Facebook postings, you should be prepared to be taken to task.  Because basically what you're trying to do when you accuse someone of "TMI" is call them on the carpet.  Turnabout is fair play.  Besides, if someone says or writes something you think is inappropriate, you're probably better off not encouraging them to continue.  Wouldn't want your delicate sensibilities hurt by someone who doesn't know or care about everything you think is inappropriate.

/end rant



  1. So ARe you going to post a nekkkid picture of yourself? I think this is too hilarious.

    By the way, this is probably TMI, but I passed a mother-fucker of a kidney stone. It was so huge that my dad is emailing urologists everywhere to see if I set some sort of record at least for my age or size. Initially he was madder than hell because I dealt with it myself rather than seeking medical attention, but that the verdict is "no harm done," now he's proud. My family is weirder than hell.

    That's what I was trying to say in the post when I was too tired to be posting.I hadn't slept in 48 hurs because of the discomfort. Thanks to modern pharmaceuticals (my right ureter as well as my irethra were essentially roto-rootered, so there is residual discomfort and hence justification for the good old opium derivatives) I'm practicing away on my violin and doing quite well.

    Couldn't Pastor tMI or whatever the idiot calls himself picture that you'd probably have sheets. did it occur to him that, in addition to being born nekkid (great point!) everyone of us is, at this very second, nekkid under our clothes if we're wearing clothes in the first place. Even mormons, under their garmies, are nekkid!
    (My dad wouild kill me for sharing this, but he's nekkid in our swimming pool right now.)

    1. Uh no, I won't be posting any "nekkid" photos of myself. It took long enough for me to post pictures of my face... and only ones that I was able to do with a web cam.

      I'm sorry about your kidney stone, but glad you're feeling better. I have heard kidney stones are horribly painful. What a blessing it is that you have medical people around to help you.

      As for my "old friend", I really think he was trying to chime in. But it didn't go the way he thought it would. It probably didn't occur to him that I would find "TMI" offensive and call him on it. He was pissed that it went south quickly. We're still "friends".

      And again... I think your dad is awesome. You can tell him I said so... even though he is a doctor and I'm not a fan of doctors.

  2. Listen Geraldo, you keep those nekkid selfies to yourself ;) LOL!

    Seriously though, I agree with you about the TMI thing on Facebook because if someone wants to post all kinds of TMI on their wall, more power to them. There are some things I think people should keep to themselves, not out of shame, but out of a sense of respect for themselves and a sense of dignity. I greatly dislike "Vaguebooking" where someone posts stuff clearly intended for their significant other whom they're angry with or that is intentionally vague so everyone will come rushing to ask what is wrong and so on. It's the attention whore thing I don't like. I always say, get some self-esteem or some therapy and move on.

    I do think TMI has a place in life though, again not as a shaming tool but more as a learn some good manners tool. An example there would be not going to dinner with your husband's boss and then proceeding to regale the entire dinner party with excruciatingly medically accurate details about your recent hysterectomy or whatever. That is totally TMI and has no place at the home of your husband's boss.

    Otherwise though, eh whatever on the TMI. People can share what they want on Facebook or in certain other forums and I don't care. If someone doesn't like it, they can unfriend you or not read your posts or whatever.

    1. I agree that in some situations "TMI" can be justified for the reasons you stated. For instance, it isn't appropriate to go on and on about something very personal in a business setting... although even that can be open to interpretation and what's going on in the moment. But by and large, people should be sensitive to their "audience" and not talk about things that are distasteful or inappropriate in certain settings like business meetings or at the dinner table. I'm a big fan of civility and manners.

      However, I also think that a big part of civility and good manners is not trying to force your view of what is civil and good mannered on other people. Part of being polite is understanding that your viewpoint isn't the only one and "rolling with the flow", as it were. And if someone is boorish and tacky, it's probably not good manners to trash talk them privately or try to shame them publicly without mentioning names, but making it obvious whose behavior you think you want to correct (and that actually happened to me in grad school). Nobody's perfect and there may come a time when you are just as guilty of being temporarily tacky. You wouldn't want other people to make a federal case out of it as a means of bringing you down to size.

      I blogged about the incident I just referenced some time ago. It was the year 2001 and I was trying to find a field placement for my second year of the MSW program. I interviewed at one place and they asked me why I had chosen to study social work. In order to be honest, I had to talk about something personal that happened to me. Ultimately, I decided I didn't want to work with them and did not select them on my field placement request sheet.

      Later, I was in class, and the person who took an internship with the people who interviewed me made it very clear that she and her very new preceptors (themselves recent MSW students) had all sat around and gossiped about my interview, which my classmate was not a part of. I was not friends with this woman; you could say she was sort of my nemesis and I hers... I thought she was a pretentious show off. She might have felt the same way about me.

      Anyway, she didn't mention my name, but made it quite clear she was talking about me and my interview, though she was not present for it and only had the context from her buddies. And she said what I said in the interview was "TMI". But I was asked a question and I answered honestly. And if she and her preceptors had all sat around gossiping about that interview, than clearly I made the right choice NOT to work with them. Because that was very unprofessional. She had a lot of nerve bringing it up in class. Had I been in a bitchy mood, I totally could have called her on the carpet and made that whole thing backfire on her. But instead, I chose not to react visibly at all. I'm pretty sure that pissed her off, but it also preserved my dignity and self respect.

      When it comes to Facebook, though, I figure it's best to let people decide what is and what is not appropriate for their Facebook page. It's not smart to post a lot of really tacky, offensive, or gross stuff on Facebook, because you never know who's looking. But if I want to talk about being "nekkid", big deal. In the grand scheme of things, it's just not that offensive. My mother in law wondered if maybe that guy had a crush on me back in the day or something and felt guilty. I doubt it... but you never know.

      I don't like the "vaguebooking" attention whore shit either... But I figure if it's not on my page, live and let live.

  3. Temporairily Tacky. I love that phrasing. Yeah, we've all been there. None of us are perfect. And publicly shaming someone is never a good idea, it actually makes the shamer look bad rather than the shamee. I wish more people understood that.

    I've never been the federal case type. I'm more the pull the person into a private spot and discuss as needed type. Again, public shaming is not appropriate and hardly ever achieves the desired effect anyway.

    As for your interview story, the whole lot of those people were colossal jerks and I hope karma as been as cruel to them as they deserve. On your nekkid comment, I would find that amusing myself and not TMI. I also live in Texas as you know so it is necessary here to sleep naked or die of heat stroke. Personal choice, but I'm going with the first one. :)

    1. Lawfrog your comment made me laugh. For some reason, it ended up being marked as spam so I'm just now seeing it. I needed the laugh in a big way, so thanks!

      Yes, those people who interviewed me were jerks. So was the twatbag who tried to humiliate me in class. So glad I didn't end up working with them and will likely never see them again.

    2. Oddly enough, your comment was "spam", but I've gotten three from people in India and Bangladesh that are true spam. Go figure.

  4. I agree that there are settings in which too much inforation can be share. I had a prof who wanted to talk about his hemorrhoid surgical procedure. I excused myself, then came back when I though it was safe to do so. I thought walking out was less rude thn throwing up in class.

    On FB, however, share what you will, and read what you will. It's all fair game. and what is so freakingly shocking about saying, whether in jest or in al seriousness, "It's so bleeping hot here that I'm not wearing anything to bed." Had you gone on to say in great detail precisely what the Lt. Col. intended to do about it,and, furthermore, noted that the window would be open if anyone cared to catch a glimpse of the action, I can see a few people reading on to the next post, but hell, it's Facebook, not Fast and Testimony Meeting at the LDS church.

  5. LOL.. I have heard that F&T meetings are often good examples of TMI.

  6. Some day weshould share stories we know about bizarre F & T Meetings.


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