Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Taking your ball and going home...

So... a week ago today, I was vomiting and shitting up a storm.  It was not pleasant.  I would say March 22, 2016 could go down as one of my worst no good very bad days.  In the wake of that day, I got into it with some guy on Cruise Critic who thinks my "stomach bug" was actually alcohol poisoning.

Now...  I want to say that his comment wasn't really that far off base.  He's right that a person who is not used to drinking shitloads of liquor could end up with the same symptoms of Norovirus.  And for the vast majority of people, maybe what he said to me wasn't unreasonable.  Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, depending on your perspective), he doesn't know me personally.  So he doesn't know that I come from a long line of drunks and have, many times, had enough alcohol that I have puked and shitted and been downright sick.  He also didn't know that I have an advanced degree in public health.  He had no way of knowing that because we've never met and he doesn't follow me.  So he made an assumption about me and ended up being wrong.

I went back to Cruise Critic today and revisited my favorite thread.  I didn't actually go back far enough to read his or anyone else's responses to me.  Why?  Because in my years of online interactions, I have learned that doing that does nothing but cause heartburn.  I didn't want to read something that would piss me off anew and make me feel the need to respond.  I will probably never meet this guy in person because I don't know when my next SeaDream cruise will be (though I haven't yet decided it will be never).  And even if I did meet him, it would probably be best if I didn't have preconceived notions of him.  I love SeaDream cruises VERY much... but my experiences on Hebridean Princess have taught me that other awesome cruise lines are out there and waiting to be put to the test.  And we only have X amount of money and time for cruising.  Also, if I'm honest, I like cruising, but not enough to do them exclusively rather than taking land based vacations.

So I didn't go read his comments.  However, the comments I did read indicated that our little tiff may have caused him to take his ball and go home.  Whether or not he actually did that, I don't know and frankly, I don't care.  He's had his "idle jottings" thread going since Bill and I lived in North Carolina and we moved from there in late July 2013.  So that's probably three year's worth of "idle jottings", which one could certainly say was a "success"... if you measure your self worth in whether or not you write a compelling thread on Cruise Critic.

He says he's tired and "the well is dry".  I would tend to agree, though I know many people enjoyed his quick wit.  Hell, when he first showed up on the SeaDream threads, I thought he was witty and funny.  What I didn't like was his tendency to belittle people and treat them with disrespect.

I am sure that my response to him, while rather terse and pissy, was taken as overly bitchy.  But here's the reality, folks.  I had written that I'd just gotten off of Hebridean Princess and planned to blog about our experiences.  Not many people write about Hebridean Princess and the last time I was on that ship, I actually blogged about it live to SeaDream folks because I knew they'd be interested... and they were.  So I left a comment there to tell those who were interested that I'd be writing a blog, but instead of leaving links on Cruise Critic, I invited them to find the blog by clicking my nickname and finding the link.  That way, I don't get any people pissed off who think I am promoting myself on Cruise Critic.  Those who want to read can find it for themselves.

I mentioned that I got sick from a virus.  I immediately got shit from the "idle jottings" bloke, who thinks I have mistaken alcohol poisoning for a virus.  He insults my intelligence, which is a quick way to end up on my personal shit list.  He tries to tell me that the Norovirus I think I have is actually too much scotch, which may be true for many women, but isn't true for me.  Because I am a drunk with a master's degree in public health.  I used to work for the Bureau of Epidemiology in the state of South Carolina.  I have studied public health policy and tracked diseases.  I have written up the results of the BRFSS (Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System).  I know what usually causes acute diseases, how to track them, and what the risk factors are.  So I know something about what I write even if I am, at this point, just an overeducated housewife.  I spent three years and five figures in graduate school, and there was a lot of effort involved besides time and expense.

That all being said, you don't have to have a master's degree to know that alcohol doesn't kill Norovirus.  All you really have to do is Google and read from reputable sources.  I just threw it out there, though, because to me, the idle jottings guy telling me about microbes is kind of like me trying to school him on Burberry.  I don't know anything about Burberry and he proved to me that he doesn't know the first thing about Norovirus, but was trying really hard to sound as if he did.  So I needed to explain to him that he was wrong and why I had the authority to tell him that he was wrong.

It was not my intention to stir up trouble.  In all honesty, the most I wanted to do was alert people who cruise on SeaDream that I will be writing about a lesser known luxury cruise line that they might enjoy.  I didn't mean for it to be a debate.  However, I can't abide idiots... especially those who can't get my name right and insist that I couldn't have a virus because alcohol kills Norovirus.  It doesn't.  You can Google it.  You don't need a master's degree to have this information.  Besides that, the contact that I had that made me sick came from wort, which isn't nearly as alcoholic as whisky is.

Some people might have told me that I should have been more ladylike and demure and just ignored or accepted this guy's shit.  I have done that for much of my life and it doesn't work.  Sometimes people who behave like assholes need to be called out.  I will admit, sometimes I am an asshole, as everyone can be in some situations.  But I don't go out of my way to embarrass or belittle people or make them feel small.  If Mr. "idle jottings" had a scintilla of empathy and decency, he'd realize that my comments to him were made while I was sick with a virus (not alcohol poisoning) and I am not a stupid person.  And he would have reacted with empathy instead of accusations.

As for his apparent decision to take his ball and go home, I say "Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya..."  :D

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