I launched the Teri Tome on March 18, 2015, and for almost three years I have been laying it all out there.
Well, to be honest, I haven’t laid it ALL out there. I have been taking baby steps toward full disclosure.
Blogging for me has been incredibly cathartic, and I would highly recommend that everyone try their hand at it.
You don’t have to spill your life beans like me. You can post your photos, paintings, writings, recipes—whatever.
And the best part about blogging is that it’s all set in blog stone.
Blogging also opens your eyes in a way they may not have been open before.
In the choosing of events, I can conjure up the meaning behind pretty much anything. In the “this vs. that” process what I have also discovered is that what appears to be mundane nonsense often holds the most significance.
Now I know you are eagerly waiting (or not) for my Top 10 Posts for 2017, but I have a few more things to say, so bear with me.
Okay, maybe more than a few words…
I’ve heard it said that the tongue has no bones, but it can break bones with its words. And for some of you out there, your tongues did plenty of talking. And plenty of breaking. Now it’s my turn.
Here is what I want to say to those criticizers, haters, and judgers out there. And you all know who you are:
Get over your familial issues. If someone wanted to leave you money, jewels, or property they would have. It’s called a will.
Don’t pretend to know me, just because we share some teensy piece of history. You don’t know me.
Yes, I’m wearing a top in my “Our Romantic Getaway” authors photo.
No, the novel is not about me.
And to answer your question “Are you still talking about that?”
I’ll never stop talking about “that.”
The word “express” could very easily be changed to “confess,” so be thankful that the real stories don’t come out.
Your thinly veiled attempts to make me feel embarrassed, unloved, unattractive, or unbelievable have failed miserably.
The most significant gift about my soon-to-be-turning 65 is that I finally dare to say what I feel and to cut out of my life those people who don’t like it.
Those holier than thou critics disguised as well wishers, pseudo friends, and family, who have snarkily and repeatedly talked down about my family members, my blog posts, my not-all-that-racy-in-my-opinion novel, my poetry, my writing style, my author photo and even my last names. Mahigel, Gatti, Schure. I earned them all.
Bottom line? You’re either with me, or you’re not. There is no in between.
It’s my blog, my website, my novel, my poetry, my life, so I get to say my truth, not yours.
As far as my novel: Due to my day job, that itty bitty facetious novel I wrote took me more than half a decade to finally finish. And I’m proud of it so stop putting it down. And yes, I’ve had some success with it. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think I would become the next Hemingway. Not making the New York Times’s bestseller came as no surprise. But I was surprised at the criticisms of some.
In a nutshell: If you don’t like what I have to say, don’t read it, quit talking about me, don’t call, don’t email, and stop the stalking.
There. Whew. I feel much better.
By the end of 2017, I was surprised to see that I had only written 36 posts. It seemed like a whole lot more than that!
Those 36 posts generated almost 200,000 hits. The top ten posts produced 92,000, or 46% of the total page views, and have garnered anywhere from 19,470 hits for #1, down to 3,920 for #10.
Other bloggers would have to tell me if the number of hits my posts have generated is impressive or not, but I’m pleased with the bottom line.
At long last, it’s time to reveal the big kahunas, the top dogs—The 2017 Top Ten Teri Tome Besties:
BEWARE OF TICK-INFESTED ACORNS: Okay, this was a shocker to me. All that pouring out of my heart and soul and tick-infested acorns is Numero Uno? So yes, the popularity of this blog post came as a disappointing surprise, although it does seem like those nasty buggers (the ticks, not the acorns) are taking over.
#MeToo: This blog post wiped me out, and the popularity of it came as no surprise. But I had hoped that #MeToo would have been my number one post for 2017. It would have eased the pain of writing it. But those damn ticks beat it out. My consolation though is that I wrote it near the end of October, so I am sure if it had a few more months to settle in, it would have been number one. Once I wrote it, I refused to reread it. Because I still feel shame. And I also feel like a coward. I wanted and should have said more, but I couldn’t. The timing was off. One day I’ll explain why. But hundreds of women (and young girls) emailed me and shared their own heartbreaking stories. So if my blog post helped just one person, I’m glad I outed myself.
Father-Daughter Dance: The term “Daddy Issues” is definitely a thing a lot of people have, including me. Researchers have found that fatherless daughters in particular often fear abandonment. (Check.) And they often have difficulty interacting with men. (Check, check.) And raising sons can be a challenge. (Triple check). On the positive side, fatherless daughters develop determined wills and survival tactics very early on. They are loyal friends and can love like no other. Ultimately, they just want to give love and be loved. Weddings, Father’s Day, and just plain old father hunger—it’s real and it’s painful, and it can sometimes bring out the worst in those of us who are part of this unfortunate club. Every girl wants to be a daddy’s girl, but sadly, not every girl has the chance.
Who Else Is Sick of Hearing About Politics on Facebook?: After #MeToo and Father-Daughter Dance, I was relieved to have a lighter post to talk up. On January 27, 2017, I put a self-imposed all-things-political blog ban on The Teri Tome and promised to try my best to muzzle my political opinions for thirty days. Instead of political banter, I would put up cooking photos and a few recipes. Following this post promise, I put up some Super Bowl recipes, wished Sidney Poitier a happy 90th birthday, and wrote a poem about surviving haters, judgers, and criticizers. And then came that damn repeal and replace fiasco in early March, so I couldn’t help jumping back into the political fray. But hey, I managed to last a little over two months without talking politics.
Trading Places: I heard a haunting song on the radio titled “Human” by Rag’N’Bone Man, which gave me the courage to post this poem I wrote over fifteen years ago. The song cut through me on so many levels, but it mostly made me realize that I’m flawed, I’m not perfect, and I’ve made my share of foolish mistakes resulting from irresponsible life choices. I can’t undo any of it. And I can’t fix it either. Others made mistakes too, so why put all the blame on me? Rag’N’Bone Man seemed to speak directly to me as he sang through his sadness and guilt. He symphonically defended himself against the despairing burden crushing his being: “I’m only human after all; don’t put the blame on me. Don’t put the blame on me.”
My Do-Over: I was thrilled that this post made the top ten because it gives me the opportunity to talk about how I felt when my firstborn entered the world. It was the miracle of life. A life that safe harbored itself inside of me for nine beauteous months. Moments after he arrived, my son squinted against the bright hospital lights. And then I spoke. It was more of an oohing, awing, cooing sound, and his dear little head, misshapen from repeatedly trying to escape the birth canal, quickly turned in the direction of my voice. His bright eyes gazed into mine. He had me at first gaze. It was not just the birth of my son that day. It was the birth of me as a mother, and one of the most significant physical and psychological stirrings I have ever experienced.
Gaslighting: I was not thrilled at all about the popularity of this post because as a result, I now need to address an unfortunate and hurtful breakup with a friend, which spurred the writing of this to begin with. Firstly, I am happy to say that we have since made up. Secondly, I didn’t realize until after our blowup how much the friendship with my sidekick meant to me. I knew I loved her, but the pain of losing my female compadre was a lesson learned. And thirdly, the most important lesson learned was to put aside the nonsensical, troublesome and worthless noise created by a third party. Now I know first-hand the challenges of trios. Sometimes they work. And sometimes, you need to cut a bitch. Or cut her out, and keep the friend.
Irish or Not, Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day: Every year, and as part of my St. Paddy’s Day tradition, I make my grandmother’s corned beef, cabbage and baked hash browns in honor and in memory of her. In the post, I discussed the fact that she was probably not Irish, although she did make a mean Corned Beef. The day I blogged this post my Ancestry kit came by mail. The result? Drum roll please…11% Irish! But to be clear, don’t try to kiss me on the big day.
Whatever Happened to Steak and Champagne in Coach?: As a Delta flight attendant way back when, in 1973, I was forced to engage in a whole lot of customer service, and it wasn’t only in the luxurious First Class. There was a ton of back-of-the-plane service with a smile, served up with a slab of steak and way too much champagne. It was an exhausting job, continually struggling with that liquor and food cart while in a constant upward or downward angle, cleaning up vomit (oh yeah), dealing with dead people (sad but true), trolling the plane for doctors, and preparing travelers for the dreaded emergency landings. But nothing was worse than the pinching and grabbing from the men as I meandered past them. We’ve come a long way, baby.
Buh Bye 2016: I was so happy this post made it into the top 10 because it gives me the opportunity to replay the Teri Tome highlights from 2016. There were some oldies but goodies. On the lighter side, there was a post using my daughter to define marketing, my lame attempt to cut out the vino, and my cheese sculptures. A favorite of mine was a post about my childhood dog Raleigh, who was like a brother to me. The post about my dog came as a complete shock for many who know me well, because, to put it mildly, I am not a fan of animals. And then there was my post about the heartbreaking loss of my beloved Aunt Barb who was tragically killed by a hit and run driver. Maddeningly, the driver never turned him or herself in and was never found by the police. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her.
And because I am obsessed with the number 18 (see why here), I had to know what blog post graced my favorite number.
YOU’RE MISSING FROM ME MOM: Eighteen in Hebrew means to life, so of course this blog about missing my mom reaffirms my belief that the number is truly a significant one for me.
THE TERI TOME #1 POST OF ALL TIME? (All time being 2015-2017)
Bullies Are Cowards and Why I Refuse To Turn the Other Cheek: I wrote this blog post on 4/10/15, after a nasty bully experience. It has garnered over 100,000 hits to date and is always in the daily statistics. When I receive letters asking how to handle bullies I tell them not to take the bait. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, bully. Only the best are bullied. And that your loved ones are your safety net. They will catch you when you fall prey to the ever present jerks that lurk. But only if you let your loved ones in. They can’t feel your pain if you don’t share it with them.
In closing up 2017, and in the editing and rereading of this blog post, it dawned on me that blogging has not only enhanced my life but has become a digital record of it. My words can never be lost, stolen, or destroyed in a fire or a flood. My words are now forever.
The Teri Tome has been my own little place to think and process all the stuff I’ve been keeping way down inside. I have finally found my voice, and in doing so, a safe place through my writing, and I am proud of my work.
Happy New Year!