I had to get permission from five people to write this thinly veiled blog piece. I'll make them all women for their continued anonymity. After three years, I might as well let people know because it's amazing we kept it secret this long. Besides, one person spilled the beans to her husband the other night; I fear that cat's outta the bag.
When I moved permanently to the countryside, I befriended five women (or is it 2 women and 3 men?) from neighboring towns. Three of them are community leaders in that they hold visible roles and two of them have businesses. What started off as a chitchat at Shoprite developed into a secret society for NO ONE outside of the six of us and three spouses even know that we know each other. Some people think two of us hate each other in a fight to the death! Since then, no one has seen any of us together at one time. Never, so don't believe it's any of the people with whom I hang in town! [Actually, they'll be in shock once they hear about this blog post.]
We covet this because it has served us well. When you live in a small rural community that caters to seasonal tourists/homeowners/bungalow colonists/Hasidim, you're privy to a lot of secrets and gossip that candidly may make or break you. If you've friends that no one knows that you have, well, your network widens and you know precisely who is backstabbing you, trying to lay waste to your business and reputation.
I have to thank the internet for facilitating our relationships for over three years. I know firsthand every single thing anyone has ever said about me as do my five other friends about them. We keep notes. Hell, we even download what they write online and email each other with copies to keep ALL of us in the loop!
It makes life much easier and funnier. When a person gives me that look of compassion and I know how he really feels, well, it's nice to know who shall shove the first knife in my back.
Which makes our monthly off season dinners in a remote location even more amusing. We've this contest: who can top the other as being the MOST hated in the community? Surprisingly, I rarely win.
Instead of dinner late last night, we had a group chat on google. This time, I thought I'd win the contest. I had EVIDENCE as someone who knew me put up a hate comment on my last blog post. Now, I don't mind if people hate what I write or think I'm a moron, but this was a personal attack from someone who has interacted with me and LIVES near me. Yet, that's not what got to me - there were no spelling mistakes!
Do you know how rare that is?
Sadly, I had to remove the vitriolic ANONYMOUS comment because it was not germane to the post and referred to previous posts about my town. However, I'll post it here with an explication de texte:
Pure bullshit. You are the talk of the town. You are not the only year rounder, and people have had it with your thinly veiled "fictional" blog (BTW, blogs aren't fiction, award winning author). Lies about town officials "extorting" money from you. Extorting? Do you know the meaning of the word? Laughable. You come from a long line of Borscht Belt comedians? Sam Levenson, the third cousin is the long line? You don't even remember the lies you tell; sometimes he lived with you, sometimes he lived across the lake...you need some heavy duty counseling. Or a straight jacket.
Immediately, one of my friends insisted, "No, one moron's comment doesn't make you win. Maura, as much as you think that everyone's talking about you, trust me, they're not. Half the time, people don't even know who you are. Like when you stood in front of the Town Hall and said a publicly elected official extorted money from you. It was extortion. Afterwards, people gossiped about it, even in my village and EVERYONE said, 'Who the hell was that?'"
I typed, "I want to hear about the lies. Evidently, this person had conversations with me. Perhaps they were stoned or drunk, because I've said the same thing for forty years. Whoever this person is, is not close to me because they really didn't know about my family - if they did, they'd know about my other family members who were in the Biz, things that only people up here know."
The third friend pointed out, "Look at the last references about heavy duty counseling and straight jacket. Sounds like the person's quite knowledgable, perhaps firsthand."
Another wrote, "If I had to rely on your blog for my news, I'm fucked!!"
Which is why this blog is hilarious to my five friends. On so many levels. Because, when you're an insider, you know it's fiction. To the outsider, someone who doesn't have the connections we have, you believe it's true.
By the way, my ANONYMOUS hate commentator: you should really watch who you confide in because as of last night, I know who you are.
Don't worry, it'll be our little secret!
HA HA HA
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