Monday, 30 March 2009

My Blogging Code of Ethics

Well it would seem that my last post was more inflammatory than I thought. I guess I’ll have to develop a thicker skin.

A good friend of mine guessed who the ex-wife I referred to was, and ticked her off via text for refusing to come to my wedding party. Another was upset to find our misunderstanding labelled as a ‘fall out’ and emailed to tell me so. It was the first email I read on my return from honeymoon and cast a small shadow over my homecoming.

Note that with both the friends/aquaintances I referred to I didn’t actually say anything bad about them. They are/were friends after all.

You know, when I’m writing a blog post I don’t consider who may end up reading it. I enjoy the no-holds-barred honesty and freedom of expression that is the Blogger’s prerogative. 

However, before posting a blog I do have a quick read through and check that I’ve followed my own Blogging Code of Ethics:

  • Don’t write anything about any person, institution or business that I wouldn’t say to their face

  • Don’t disclose the names of anyone I have written about in less-than-glowing terms

  • Don’t slag off friends or aquaintances (which ties in with the first point, natch). N.B. this still gives me some leeway to have a bit of a whinge occasionally!  

As Anton, one of my ‘bestest buddies’, remarked “blogging about people you know, who may end up reading your blogpost, is an issue for our times. Where do you draw the line? Should you censor what you write? It’s a topical debate. You’ve just got to blog about it.” So, please join this zeitgeisty conversation and leave a comment to let me know what you think.

We are all creatures with fragile egos and faulty perceptions, craving love and positive attention. Clearly, there’s no way I can write about my life, my feelings, my gripes and my pleasures without unintentionally offending someone along the way.

Maybe I should have two blogs. I could turn this one into a Pollyanna version and create a new 'Part Mummy Part Me Uncut' version available only to strangers where I can break free from my self-imposed restrictions and dish the dirt like Dooce. It worked for her. It made her famous.

To those readers, past and present, who I accidentally offend/upset I offer my apologies, and my pledge to continue to uphold my Blogging Code of Ethics. That’s the best I can do. 

If I continue to offend/upset any of you, I respectfully suggest that you stop reading this blog.

I wonder if any of you fellow bloggers have protected your blog from being read by friends and family? If not, have you had similar situations where one of your posts has caused upset, misunderstanding, offence or had an unforeseen consequence?

Do you self-censor what you write or do you write what you want and resolve to face the music afterwards? Have you got your own Blogging Code of Ethics – and what do you think of mine? Do tell...

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Pre Marital Tension

Lately I've been experiencing a strange form of PMT - Pre Marital Tension.

I thought I'd been so clever - after all I'd done everything I could to avoid the syndrome. No cars, no flowers, no seating plans...all wedding preparations done and dusted in a matter of weeks not months. Surely, I would be a very calm, relaxed bride.

But I hadn't accounted for the politics.

People calling me up, upset because they weren't invited to the wedding party. They remain uninvited. A friend asking me if she and her partner could bring other friends I don't know so they have someone to talk to at the wedding (it's a wedding! Go mingle!).

I've had someone that has long since faded into the background - due to distinct lack of interest on both sides - calling me up for the first time in years 'just to say hello' when I know through mutual friends they're angling for an invitation. Their message remains on my answering machine - unanswered.

I've fallen out with someone over wedding cake (don't ask). A was-a-good-friend-now-more-of-an-aquaintance texted me yesterday to say she isn't coming because her ex-husband will be at the party (although he doesn't seem to have a problem about bumping into her, and they still text each other occassionally) and her current beau is uncomfortable about it. She's not prepared to come without her partner.

My childcare plans fell through recently due certain people getting the hump - meaning I can't get too tipsy at my wedding party because Els and Sulis (my niece) will be staying until the party ends at midnight and coming back to my house with J and me. We had hoped to have a bit of a grown-up 'after party' so that's not possible now. 

Frankly, I can't face small children with a hangover the next day (that's me with the hangover, not the small children obviously), so now I should really be watching my champagne intake at our party or -more likely- having a good time and regretting it bitterly the next morning. Though there's always that stalwart babysitter, CBeebies, to fall back on.

On top of the realisation that people are a lot weirder than I first thought, and a good deal more selfish, J and I have been niggling at one another this week. A lot.

According to my good friend Adie, she and her hubby were the same and her gay friends also recently experienced a prolonged bout of PMT with a lot of huffiness and bad temper prior to their civil partnership. 

It seems no one can escape - straight or gay, big wedding or small.

All is well now though. The day before my wedding I've finished my work, been waxed within an inch of my life and had a rare but much needed manicure.

Anna (not me, a friend with the same name) called yesterday to offer her fairy lights - along with herself and her husband to string them along the beams in the hall before the party and run anylast-minute errands for us while we're decking out the venue.

Helen is meeting me at the hall on Saturday to help make helium balloon clusters and prettify the hall. Several friends, and El's granny (known as 'Nonna' because she is too young-looking and gorgeous to be 'granny') have offered to take El home after the party to give me a chance to let my hair down and recuperate the next morning (all declined as I'll have Sulis anyway and I know that two kids can occupy themselves in the morning without adult assistance better than one!).

My friend and colleague popped over yesterday to give me a wonderful and unexpected present - a much-longed-for bread maker. This is despite the fact that we've asked people to bring a 'pot luck' dish for the buffet to save us catering costs - and not to worry about getting us a pressie.

Sarada has insisted on making a wedding cake - although I was completely unfussed about having one at first, I'm now really grateful that we will have a cake (btw she's not the person I fell out with over cake!).

Oh, and my mother has kindly given me some spending money for our honeymoon. Adie has let me know several times that she'll do anything to help, and to call me on the day if I need anything at all. Then there's Anton who paid for half of my dress as a present, Juliet who is helping me with my hair and make-up...

I'm chuffed to bits with people's kindness and help. It's eased my PMT and I'm looking forward to the wedding tomorrow, and the party on Saturday, with eagerness and a slight touch of butterflies. 

It's gonna be great.