In which I figure out a novel way to answer comments, and pretend that I am a famous advice columnist

And so I have been horrible at answering comments, and decided to finish up the comments from the post before last with a video.  Because I have been practicing French on video for far too long.

Do find the fruitful results below.  I just realized the third thing with which I’m not lazy.  Cats!


12 thoughts on “In which I figure out a novel way to answer comments, and pretend that I am a famous advice columnist”

  1. Charlotte, I love it when you do a video response. It’s like having a friend Skype in and have a random chat! And I agree about Mary- she seriously could right about any topic and I’d be there with bells on reading!

    1. Thanks, Amanda.

      I debate it constantly, because they are cumbersome, but I love them when other people do them. So glad you like them! I always wonder if other sewers Skype or something. I need a voice behind the voice.

  2. OMG I had to pull out my headphones (because I’m at work. yes. I am. no. I don’t feel any guilt.) to listen to this. Such an effort on my side. Trust me, I was grumbling already and prepared to file an official complain.

    But it was really nice, I enjoyed it. And you know what I enjoyed the most: LEARNING THAT I’M YOUR FAVORITE. Yeah yeah yeah, I heard you saying the others are your favorite too but I don’t care, I know you added that because by being not nice you could lose your citizenship. (New French word for you in case your entretien is on Statelessness : Apatridie).

    When it comes to blogging, I feel that all the people I read write better than me, take better pictures and have a better blog layout. On the sewing though, I have super critical eyes and I keep trashing most of what I see: Pfff (french pfff, bien sur!) look at that unpressed hem, Haha those stripes not matching, Wow I’d prefer to close my blog that show that topstitching. And then I hit my sewing room and realize I AIN’T NO BETTER! At least they take better pictures than me… What point was I trying to make here? I don’t know. I forgot.

    Ok, now I’ll go comment on your other post because I have to say which does not guarantee that they are interesting but I just like to talk, a lot. Also I may be in NYC early May. You there?

  3. This video completely made my day. Please only answer comments in video form forever after. My thoughts on your thoughts are bulleted, because there was so much awesome in this video:

    1. Congratulations on landing a job, lady! That’s fantastic news. I’m going to sip bubbly for you tonight.

    2. Good luck on your French proficiency exam! Your discussion on which words came over from English so perfectly condensed my time as a French TA, arguing with undergrads about how, yes, it really is “le Week-end” and no, I don’t understand it either. The whole subject of English words in French is so oddly fascinating. My favorite remains “le shampooing,” because huzzah for gerunds.

    3. I second the comment that your comment sections are the absolute best. It’s truly fantastic how much they become like conversations, Charlotte. As someone whose abject introversion even comes across on the internet, they leave me a bit in awe, honestly. Part of the reason I blog is that it gives me the chance to rage against annoyances (or babble about sewing), with ample time to consider exactly what I’m saying and how. Comment sections, with their free and easy conversation, petrify me on a level that small talk at a party does. My brain sees a nice compliment about a dress and starts screaming that I need to write exactly the correct gracious response or else the world will end. Large amounts of wine are involved in my response binges, as a result.

    4. Also, for real, what the ever-loving fuck is my last name now? This is a very good question. I haven’t even legally decided anything–my Facebook is hyphenated, my Disqus account is still Danielson, and I’ve double barreled without a hyphen everywhere else. Sam’s colleagues keep calling me “Mrs. Mary Perry,” which I know is definitely NOT my name on any level. Sigh. There’s a Spinsters post in here somewhere.

    5. Thanks for the shout out to Sewing Tidbits! I was not following her and more sewing snark in my reader is so appreciated.

    6. Just so you know, if you would read my ramblings about Lithuanian folk dance, I would stand in line to hear you chat about anything, in your funny, brilliant way. To wit: even if you posted a video about the finer points of Wuthering Heights, I would watch the hell out of it. Under all other circumstances, such a thing would send me screaming in horror and running away, but you’d make it interesting and funny, as always.


    1. 1. Thank you! I technically signed my contract in October, but it is really sinking in just about now.

      2. Ugh. French is beautiful and maddening, no? Faire du shopping. Faire. Du. Shopping. My god.

      3. I fret over comments so hard, which is why it often takes me over a month to get back to all of them. I feel obliged to not just answer them, but to answer them thoughtfully, and to frame them within conversation with one of them, and to give everyone equal consideration. It is exhausting. I’m also an introvert, and feel as if I constantly have to grasp for words when I need them, so running what I consider to be a “good” comment section drives me to distraction.

      4. What was Grace’s original last name, though? It wasn’t O’Kelly, was it? I know Professor McGregor, but I’m grasping so hard for Grace’s name, and I’m coming up with nil. I’ve been an avid Little Spinster (which is what your fans should be called, à la Lady Gaga) from almost the beginning, and am miffed that I don’t remember.

      5. Oh, you’re far too kind. I will admit, the year you went without blogging was a really sad year for my feed reader. (Also my life, for completely separate reasons, but that compounded it!) Having you back and active is the best. Ugh. Wuthering Heights. My namesake Brontë’s Villette is my favorite of the three sisters’ novels.

  4. I’m home sick today, so thank you for the entertainment! FYI I would totally read your advice blog! I have a weird compulsion to read advice columns… they make me feel like I’m prepared for any situation that comes my way! I mean, all advice is basically the same (don’t be a dick, write thank you notes, etc.), but STILL. I will KNOW what to do in every sticky situation!

    Re: fetishizing women from other cultures, I totally agree that everyone looks better than Americans and Canadians (based on my experience spending three years in an international dorm!). We have a much more casual approach to dressing, that’s for sure. But I also think that it’s the (perceived) lifestyle that we lust over, too- from a distance, it feels like French women angst over work/life balance much less than we do, and their easy style seems to mimic a more relaxed schedule. I have NO idea if this is actually true or not, but it’s nice to imagine a place where it’s OK to be opinionated, fashionable, and not super maternal without any stigma. And Europeans definitely think we’re slobs- my Russian roommate once told me she wanted to slap me when she saw me wearing flip-flops with a skirt! 😀 And this was in southern California, where flip-flops + denim miniskirt was the college girl uniform! She wore pumps and Chanel-knock-off suits, handmade by her friend’s mother, to class!

    1. Yes! I love advice columns. I’d like to think I’d be an excellent advice columnist, because 1) don’t be a dick, 2) there’s nothing sexier than having a life, 3) less history, more mystery, 4) but did you hear me about not being a dick? are all you need to get through life.

      Yes to that. We have enough social distance from other cultures, I think, to let Elle magazine and the robust publishing industry tell us what’s good and what’s not good, and offer us a curated (I despise that word) version of other women’s lives, to which real life cannot measure up. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said something similar about her culture shock coming to America and going to college with her custom-tailored clothes, and penchant for wearing high wedge sandals and bright colors, while her classmates wore pajamas.

      For what it’s worth, I imagine you rocked that uniform. Though, I cannot bring myself to wear flip-flops outside. Have you seen the street, Sonja?

  5. Charlotte, I LOVE you!! I couldn’t remember if you had replied to my comment yet or not, but I just had to watch this video. I love your perspective on everything and would most definitely read an advice column by you.
    I appreciate your non-editorial quality pictures, and do hope you will post more. I am obviously not on the same level as the ladies you mentioned, either. I was a professional photographer for a number of years, but it was in a studio. Everything is easy with the perfect lighting setup. I somehow lost the drive to take pictures with a real camera 4 years ago. It must have something to do with Las Vegas, but it could also be related to all the bloggers who suddenly emerged on the scene with DSLR cameras and were touting themselves as professional photographers. I just couldn’t keep up. Not that I feel the need to keep up with others, but I felt a bit defeated I guess. Suddenly I found myself comparing my work to everyone else. I had been out of the professional world for long enough to have let myself forget so much of my photography knowledge and I no longer had the energy to study these things. Four children are a lot of work, especially when one is an infant. I don’t think I’ve quite recovered from that time in my life, but I’m getting there. Now I get to deal with teenagers. Bah! Maybe they can read your advice column and you can tell them a thing or two.

    1. Back at you, Laura.

      Oh, about the comparing of your work to everyone else’s, I hear you. It feels good to read it coming from a former professional photographer, especially. I think that photo editing software and more affordable fancypants cameras have really changed the blogging world in ways that I don’t think anyone would have predicted 17 years ago, or whenever it was in its true infancy.

      You have four kids, and challenging health. I have school and challenging health. There is a certain extent to which I think we should cut ourselves breaks, but then I think about the other bloggers who churn out posts and have high-stress jobs and lives, and I marvel at where they get the energy.

      Yes to my advice column! I will raise the children Hojnacke, 1000 words at a time.

  6. First point of business: is it really pronounced like Monetta rather than Moneeta? That can go in a long list of words I’m grateful I’ve never had occasion to say out loud.

    Second: I lovelovelove that you printed off and highlighted the comments. Maybe I should send you my comments in an honest-to-god letter from now on?

    Third: I would also read Mary’s thoughts on Lithuanian folk dance, but I would, in addition, listen to you read your grocery list as long as it was peppered with witty asides. More video responses, please.

    1. 1. I’m actually fairly certain that the pianic emphasis might be it. Mo-neee-ta. I’m the worst pronounce ever, quite frankly, as I have a penchant for soft vowels and weird emphasis.

      2. Only if you use a carrier pigeon.

      3. I might do a video every two months or so, since few people seem to outright hate it. Thanks, Gina!

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