My blog has had some feedback for the past couple of days. I generally love feedback and comments (good or bad), but I kind of feel this one takes the biscuit:
Here is the English translation.
‘F*ck me what an embarrassing cow, the gold digger slag thinks that she’s some f*cking superstar because she was able to move to some slitty eye-country as her husband’s tag-along. While her husband is there shagging teenage girls the attention seeking whore is typing her shitty blog. She’s exactly the kind of person who laughs at people in bread queues and thinks she is better than those people but when her husband leaves her and she ends up in the same bread queues like the rest of us, she jumps the queue and still thinks she’s she better than us. Embarrassing loser bitch.’
The above comment was not posted in the comment section of my blog. I found it on a Finnish baby-magazine’s readers’ forum. You might wonder what I was doing reading a baby magazine’s web-page (mum, don’t get excited, I’m not pregnant!). I guess you might also wonder what the above foul-mouthed person was doing on a baby-magazine’s web-page! But I noticed yesterday that my blog had had over 700 clicks from the above magazine. So, I went to investigate why pregnant ladies or women with small children would discuss (and visit) my blog.
It turned out that a Finnish lady had seen my recent advert for an au pair and she initially thought of suggesting that her daughter should apply for the post, but then had read my blog and decided we were not a nice family for her daughter – or in fact, for anyone.
I understand where she is coming from, given that my blog is not really everyone’s cup of tea – after all I don’t tend to write about mindfulness or colouring books for adults, or post photos of idyllic summer cottage scenes, energizing spinach and strawberry smoothies or … cats – there, I said it, the c-word! (From experience, my blog’s viewer stats will take a while to recover every time I associate of cats with something negative). Instead, I write about our experience of living in Japan, England and Finland, as I find it much more interesting to compare differences between different cultures (from our perspective, since we currently have an opportunity to do so), hopefully in a way that comes across as objective and analytic (and funny!) rather than bitter or preaching. But comparing cultures objectively/analytically inevitably means that every nation gets some stick every once in a while. Of course I am I well aware that this might alienate some readers and incidentally, it seems that, in the case of many Finnish readers, my previous blog post really gave them the hump.
So, I have taken on board the magazine readers’ comments (the above foul-mouthed comment and 20-something other comments) and from hereafter, will try to express my cross-cultural observations in a less negative manner – however I can’t promise that I will succeed, namely because I am Finnish and thus a critical take on life and people just comes ever so naturally to me.
I did not address the comments directly in the magazine’s web-page, but I would like to clarify some points here in my blog. This is really just so that you, my few remaining readers (who I have not yet offended to the extent that you’ve logged onto a baby magazine’s web-page to get it all off your chest) won’t make the same incorrect assumptions as the Finnish mums.
1. The assumption that I will jump the (bread) queue.
Maybe people in Finland jump the queue, but I have lived in England and Japan (two countries in which nobody jumps the queue) for the past 16 years. I would rather go low-carb than jump the (bread) queue.
2. The assumption that I’m a Gold Digger
When I met my husband he worked as a runner in a TV production company (this might sound like a glamorous job to a gold digger but it really is not!). For the first couple of years of our relationship, I was the main breadwinner of us two. Ok, currently my husband earns more than me (which is to be expected, given that I am an academic!), but I don’t have the appearance traditionally associated with gold diggers: hair extensions, fake eyelashes and nails, orange tan, tiny waist, big boobs and ridiculous eye brows. Instead, I look like a mum.
3. The assumption that I am a bitter and unhappy wife who has sacrificed her life for her workaholic husband’s career
They got this slightly wrong, as it is my husband who has sacrificed his life for my career. My husband has a successful career in England, but for the past two years, he’s been bending over backwards and has travelled back and forth between England and Japan to allow me to also have my career.
But I don’t think he is bitter or unhappy (neither am I). We think us having had the opportunity to live between Japan and England (and Finland) has been amazing.
My husband is not a workaholic. He works very hard and does extremely long hours when he is in England, but when he is in Japan he is essentially a house husband and spends a lot of time with our children (whilst doing enough work to keep his business running). I would argue that him being a house husband 6 months a year, means that he spends more time with our children than a typical father would.
4. The assumption that I am must be an awful wife (and that you feel sorry for my husband)
I don’t think I am an awful wife, although, my husband occasionally states that I drive him to an early grave (but whose husband doesn’t). Maybe because I drag him to a love hotel at every given opportunity or go completely OCD about our kids picking up Ebola during 20 hour flights.
But you just have to take my word for it when I say that generally speaking we are a happy couple.
One a positive note, a small number of people who were involved in the baby magazine’s discussion had been able to detect the (cleverly hidden) humour in my blog posts. Reading those few positive comments made me think that maybe there are some like-minded people out there, geniuses really, who I will have in mind when I write my future posts.