Friday, August 20, 2010


Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday with a dear friend, fine food, and the gift of pretty jewelry – yet the piece de resistance of this perfect day was methodically combing my entire blog for any content that at any time offended certain parties, and then going whoop-ass with the DELETE button. When Blogger prompted me, “Are you sure you want to delete (blogpost title here),” I clicked on “HELL YEAH” with unfaltering conviction.

In the past I’ve argued (with myself and others) with the same unfaltering conviction to defend my right to express myself and resist certain requests to remove certain blogposts. No one can tell me what I can and cannot write. If I’m adhering to the law and not using real names or other identifiers then to heck with y’all. But yesterday I had a change of heart. Actually, it had nothing to do with the heart with its warm, sentimental influences; and there was anger and hubris that I tripped on, on this journey to the DELETE button – along with some gentle (and not so gentle) guidance from friends and family. But ultimately I landed here: on the idea of what is the “right” thing to do.

What “right” means, I couldn’t tell you, it changes for all of us at any given moment, in most instances it’s defined by what just FEELS “right”. If someone objects to content that springs from their personal stories, do they have the “right” to object? Well, sure. Do I have the “right” to exploit their personal stories? There are clear-cut legal definitions you can turn to, but still, if you’ve shrouded identities with false names and switched up other identifiers, are you ethically in the clear? How about the people depicted, and their indelible right to say, “Step off of my shit!”? At the end of the day it may be simply better to adhere to one of the great tenets of all time: Mind Your Own Beeswax.

So DELETE DELETE DELETE, I hit that button 19 times last night and wiped out most of claudtalks and it felt strangely good. I purged over a year of content, and the swirl of toxicity around it – and slept better than I have in weeks. It was my birthday after all, a day that was honored not so much by what I got, but what I was willing to say “good bye” to.


I would like to thank “Cal” for his patience through my hysteria and supportive gentle guidance and for coming through on my birthday, you helped pave the way. “Emily” for her firm advice in IM which lead to this final Ah-hah moment. “Kathleen” for closing the door to her office – taking the edge off with her take-no-prisoners humor and suggesting I shut down the blog and get myself a new URL - shoulda coulda woulda. “Vicky” for her free legal advice and solid no-nonsense tips on dealing with madness. “Nell” for talking me down off the ledge more than a few times, although she’ll never read this because she feels I failed to return the favor. To “Greg”, Life Coach and hardcore hunk for calling me "fearless" in my telling of these tawdry tales, along with “Eddy” who did the same (I still found you sexy in spite of (and because of) the fact that you ordered orange juice and Coke on our “dates”). My brother "Bob" who knew all along the right thing to do but I just wasn't havin' it. But most of all, I’d like to thank “Beth Fellows Dickens” for always hitting the LIKE button (at least most of the time) and being my biggest supporter; I hope I haven't let you down. And to “The Nurse” “Julie-Anne”, my sincere apologies for posting as what you would most likely call “Stupid Shit”.


  1. I married my first husband because he asked. He was a recovering alcoholic but I knew what I was getting into. I knew there was a chance he could slip so I was going into this with my eyes wide open. 49 days later he 'slipped.' But his 'slip' was not my idea of a 'slip.' He picked something up and threw it at the wall. I saw the looks on my dogs' faces after this act of violence and that's all I needed. I packed up my computer and my dogs and started driving. Eventually his brother came, sobered him up and put him on a plane back to England. In essence, I had hit my DELETE button.

    Love this topic.

    What would people DELETE from their life?

  2. Wow, Barb... thanks for sharing that story. The dog's faces really hit me, uggg... my vet says that dogs are the best judge of men. I was dating a guy, he said we were exclusive, my dog apparently went into his pocket in the other room and found a condom, came out into the living room where we were talking and dropped the condom packet on the floor between us. Apparently, we weren't exclusive - it took my dog to tell me!

    Ahhh...sounds like you may have read a piece that I just wrote and deleted that perhaps involves a similar scenario as your own. I admire women who know when to leave – and violence or abuse of any kind is more than a deal breaker, it's a crime.

    Know when to hold 'em, know when to DELETE....