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Responding to the Response About the Re.. Ah Crap, Just Read It

© 2014 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and

Last week’s DOC response to Miss Manners advice to a diabetic traveler was often emotional but consistently said that her advice was wrong and hurtful. Then there were some very thoughtful responses to that DOC response itself from folks like Chris, SaraKari calling out those of us who had added some name calling and vulgarity to the conversation, myself included.

I tried to write a reasonable response to that first article, trying to explain the embarrassment I felt at times because of my condition and because of beliefs such as hers, but my closing paragraph said:

Biases and bigotries are overcome with education, maybe you should educate yourself a little before telling someone to be embarrassed by their health condition.  And while you are working on that education, please take the time to go fuck yourself.

A valid argument can be made that the last sentence wiped out any value of the rest of that post and honestly, I tend to agree with that. That thought was actually in my head as that sentence was on the screen before me. I had tried to explain how I had felt at those times and I really having trouble describing it, so I started to think about how I wanted to reply at times and the last sentence just appeared.

I was hesitant to publish it, knowing it was a risk and that it would be the only thing remembered about my post.  Over the last few days I have read posts and comments, seriously considering a mea culpea, apologizing and simply removing the last sentence. But it bothered me because that sentence and phrase honestly reflected how I felt at times about everything.

Many asked

Would you really say that to a 75-year-old lady?

In general, no, and I wouldn’t normally say that to anyone.

I was raised to respect people and I do, right up to the point where they prove to me that they don’t deserve it.

And then more memories arose. Many bits and pieces of playground taunts and overheard conversations, the exact phrasing my not be right but the sentiment lingers to this day.

“Diabetes? Your mom must have given you too much candy.”

“Oh no, he was such a bright child.”

“My father lost his leg before his kidneys failed and the diabetes killed him.”

“Did the doctor say how long?”

“It skips a generation so he’ll just make his grand kids sick too.”

“Will he  be able to finish school?”

“You can’t do sports,  you’re sick.”

“You’re sick and no good at anything.”

The list could go on and on.

Some of those comments came from kids, which they probably heard from their parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles… who knows? Some came from adults of varying ages. Some didn’t think I was listening, some didn’t care.

So while I would not normally tell a 75 year-old woman to go eff herself, the advice that she gave and the message it sent put her on the receiving end of a comment nearly 45 years in the making.

I’m sure she can handle it but, honestly, I do feel a little bad for writing it.

But guess what?

Sometimes “fuck” is the only proper word.

© 2014 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and

  • Jacquie

    You’re one of the nicest people I know, Scott! I wouldn’t worry about it.

    • Thanks Jaquie, but I have plans to be the meanest 75-year-old ever

  • Sara

    You and I don’t have to agree and I will absolutely defend anyone’s right to express themselves – with a few obvious exceptions ending in -isms.

    I just want to clarify one thing. I didn’t “call anyone out” in my post. I wrote and re-wrote it so that it would specifically be in mostly first and, only when absolutely necessary, third person. I was simply writing about MY thoughts about what *I* understood and felt about the situation.

    • Hi Sara,

      No you didn’t call out anyone by name, but you did call out those of us who may have gone over the line as a group. And rightfully so, it’s an important facet that we need to remember


  • Kelly / Diabetes

    I think both of your posts on the subject were from the heart and I really appreciate your POV – Your comment was 45 years making and that’s a long time to live with the diabetes, let alone the stigma of D.

    I think Miss Manners phrasing upset a lot of people. She’s an expert on manners and I believe manners are important. But with that being said, sometimes life is anything but polite and sometimes speaking up for what you believe in isn’t always considered lyrical – But it doesn’t mean it’s wrong or right.
    I think the great thing about the DOC is that we can express our opinions and learn from others opinions – And that’s pretty fantastical.

  • Pingback: A Response from Miss Manners, and Her Son with T1 Diabetes (!) : DiabetesMine: the all things diabetes blog()