Just FYI: Writers need to be able to accept criticism. If and when you are able to publish, be prepared for editors to second-guess a lot of what you wrote. You deleted my comment because I didn't agree with you. That's your right because it's your blog. But you'd better spend some of your time off from work growing a much thicker skin, or editors will eat you alive. You can't simply tune out (delete) the criticism/editing that doesn't agree with your point of view. You have to answer it -- by defending what you wrote and convincing the editors that it's right. Book publishing is nothing like print or online journalism. Trust me on this.
Deleting comments that get in the way of the accolade buzz generated by your equally snarky readers is lazy and also intellectually dishonest. By pretending that everyone agrees with you, you're stifling discussion and also avoiding defending your point of view.
Again, that's your right -- it's your blog. But allow me to extend a piece of unsolicited advice: Grow up. This isn't a seventh-grade newsletter. It's a blog that could potentially be read by millions of people. That's unlikely -- most blogs are seen by very few readers -- but it could happen. Thus you'd be promoting classism, sexism and veiled hate speech in the form of "humor."
Crystal, you are ridiculing people without the slightest clue of what's going on in their lives. Here's an example: Picture yourself in 20 years as struggling with a serious thyroid problem. You feel awful most of the time and you've packed on 40 extra pounds. Does that mean that you would no longer have any value as a human being? That your friends could laugh at you and your husband could dump you because you no longer are thin and adorable? Nope, I didn't think so.
Additionally, when you make fun of heavier women or women with facial hair or women who simply don't look like you think they should look, then you are participating in the system that has fifth-grade girls going on diets (for God's sake!) and wondering if they're pretty enough. If one day you are lucky enough to have a daughter, do you want her to consider bulimia and plastic surgery as a potential lifestyle because she's been told (explicitly or implicitly) that she's not thin enough or busty enough?
I have relatives who dress "like extras on 'Roseanne'." They dress that way because they are poor, dammit. Some of them are poor because they had to quit school young to help support the family. Some of them had children who are also poor because of the complex socioeconomic system in which they lived: Impoverished area (highest unemployment rate in the state), lousy teachers, no encouragement, no culture, and everything they saw around them pointed to, "Quit school at 16 and get a job at the glass factory because it's a steady paycheck." But the thing is, the glass factory closed some years back and there they were with spouses and kids of their own and rent that had to be paid. So they struggle to find other low-paying jobs just to keep food (not much of it) on the table. No one comes to them and says, "Hey, I know what: I'll put you through college and support your family while you study so that you can get a job as a writer and then quit it to write the Great American Novel and crank out a blog on the side."
Finally: I know two amazing women. One is a PhD and a university professor who has affected many lives both in the classroom and at conferences. Another is a minister at the United Church of Christ (our president's church, you may recall) who works tirelessly for social justice when she isn't counseling struggling parishioners or holding the hands of the dying. Both of these women might have at one time, as you put it, waited for the second coming of Lilith Fair. In other words, they're both gay. If you are one-tenth as intelligent, caring and flat-out wonderful as these women, then you'd be one lucky gal. Chances are you're not fit to shine their shoes -- yet you feel superior enough to criticize lesbians subtly, snarkily, with remarks about shoes and facial hair. (And believe me, if you saw the university professor, you'd want to date her. She's tall and gorgeous and she radiates a kind of intellectual aura that makes people want to follow her around and listen to everything she says.)
Perhaps you're thinking, "It's just satire. It's just humor. It was just a joke." Please remember: Words have power. The words you use can harm. It wasn't that long ago when people could tell coon jokes and Jew jokes and everyone laughed. Now it's not OK to do that, but somehow it's OK to make fun of the poor, the overweight and gay people.
I'm disappointed that you've bought into that kind of hatred. Perhaps one day you'll look back and feel embarrassed that those words ever made it onto your blog. I hope so. I also hope that day is soon.
Let me clarify one thing: Rarely do I delete comments. I've received critical comments before, and I appreciated them, leaving them as is. I welcome criticism if it makes me better. But there's a difference between being critical of my writing and personally attacking me in a patronizing tone just because you don't agree with something you've read. You don't know me in the slightest, so yes, in that case your comments will be deleted.
In every humorous piece there will be those who are offended, who somehow fit a stereotype that is being mocked and feel insulted as a result. There are a long list of humorists who employ this tactic for comedy's sake. Ever heard of Dave Chappelle or Russell Peters? In fact, at that very same reading that night, Sedaris made myriad jokes about Muslim women from Afghanistan. In reference to the book Three Cups of Tea, he asked "Really, why do those women need diplomas? What are they going to do, wipe their asses with them?" He continued with the derogatory statements about Muslims and what it must be like to be an Afghan woman. Now I could have gotten offended, as my mother is a Muslim woman from Afghanistan and a university professor at that, but they were jokes and so I laughed along with the whole room. Though he perpetuated stereotypes, he did so for humor's sake, thus I did not suddenly peg him as a Muslim-hating man who was in someway prejudice against middle eastern women.
No, I don't hate "gays, the poor, the overweight or people with thyroid problems" - in fact, I have friends in all these categories. (Shocking, I know!) Ironically, my own husband has stories of growing up with a single mom on welfare that I think give new meaning to the word "poor". Being married to him and hearing about his experiences, I know all too well about the "complex socioeconomic system" in this country. But I'm sorry, if you're a woman and have a mustache, no matter how poor you are -- and my previously-poor husband agrees with this -- it's a detail that can be addressed with a pair of 50-cent tweezers from the dollar store.
A good writer can make light of situations and cull together subtle details that paint the humor and/or irony of a situation. That's all I attempted to do. And to make my job easier, I didn't even need to embellish the details from that night because they were exactly as observed. No, having a mustache does not automatically make you a lesbian nor does it make you poor, and I never wrote that. It simply makes you a woman with a mustache. (Hello Lauren Conrad.) Same with amphibious shoes. No, you're not a lesbian and you're not poor, but you're still wearing ridiculous (and I should also note expensive) footwear. And those "extras from Roseanne?" Probably not that poor as I saw many walk to their Lexus and Mercedes SUVs parked outside.
So please, lighten up, people. And if you're unable to, there are millions of other blogs you could read besides little ol' me. I promise, I won't be offended. ;)