Dear PoPville – Public Shaming

“Dear PoPville,

Wow. I have just read 283 comments about the dog poop in my yard. Ironic since I had just recently vowed to “do better” in this regard and had just cleaned the yard of ALL poop two days ago… and a couple days before that. The fact is, we have three dogs and it adds up quickly, and with the (much maligned) SynLawn, there’s no hiding it. It’s true. And I’m sure it’s true that we are lazy, although I will tell you that I’ve supervised workmen in my house every morning before work for over a year and a half now, which is probably harder and more time consuming than it sounds, and then I’ve gone off to very long workdays, and many travel days on top of that and it’s no excuse, but it’s my explanation and when I’m in the midst of all of that, I really don’t feel that lazy. Last week was the first week we didn’t have workers in the house for me to supervise because the house is finally done, which probably correlates to my newfound desire (and “free” time) to “do better” about cleaning up the poop. And it’s true that my partner had a very unseemly breakdown on your blog earlier today, but, really, can anyone blame her?

Here is my view: We are nice people. We mind our own business. We have put an unbelievable amount of time and attention and money into our house (and I totally get why that seems incongruous with the dog poop. I GET IT.). But. We love our dogs very much. We will love our baby very much. My mother lives with us and we love her very much. She had cancer last year and I nursed her through that ordeal and am very grateful that she is now cancer free. (She has a dog too! The third one!) Sarah is not an abandoned partner—I do plenty around here and am a good, loving and supportive partner. (I can’t believe I’m feeling the need to say this!) We are busy people and it’s true that cleaning up dog poop should be higher up on our priority list and my sister scolds me every time she comes over (she’s right!) and we will try to do better and be all-around better people and neighbors because clearly we have been rotten through and through up till now. But really—as Sarah pointed out—this is now our third appearance on PoPville, and each time has been an opportunity for merciless public shaming of some sort or another, usually by “anonymous” posters (so brave!).

I try to be a good sport about it… I try to take it in stride… I appreciate some of the humor. And I really do appreciate that there are quite a few decent people who don’t like the vitriol and come to our defense—but still. So far, as I mentioned, there have been three separate hyper-judgmental PoPville blog posts about us and our home. It feels kinda strange to be so reviled by people who don’t even know us. I had no idea. And is there anyone else out there on this blog who has been subjected to that kind of scrutiny? Is it really just fine and dandy to publicly say anything about anyone under the veil of anonymity and then, what, just sit by and enjoy the entertainment value? Prince of Petworth—is that what your blog is all about? The nastiness is stunning. And so really I just have one question for the greater PoPville community: What on earth did we ever do to you to make you so damn hateful and vicious toward us?


Ed. Note: The first appearance was sent in by a reader who found a yard completely covered in astroturf to be unusual. While the comments were less than kind, that was the purpose of the second appearance to post the completed project which was complementary both in post and many comments.

I believe yesterday’s post was sent in because the reader was upset with dog crap situation and had nothing to do with targeting your specific home. It was not posted for “entertainment value”, though of course I know people do enjoy a good debate, it was posted because it was a genuine concern. Some even remarked it could be a health issue. Some remarked that pedestrians/neighbors should mind their own business. That is what a debate is. Having said all that – in hindsight I am sorry you had to read so many heated complaints. It is unfortunate that some remarks turned personal. While I knew there would be strong opinions I did not anticipate the debate turning so emotional and personal. Perhaps I should have. Perhaps I should not have posted the house itself. But I do believe the topic was worthy of discussion. However, given this history unless something absolutely outrageous occurs, I promise not to post any more emails concerning your home. For the record, I think your home renovation is beautiful.

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