Thursday, February 18, 2010

Useful Critique

So I have been quite lucky when it comes to emails, sure there have been a couple pervy ones…kind of have to expect that when you write stuff about, “Self Pleasurevation” and what not, but for the most part, lucky. I get very little by way of spam and even the press releases I am sent are few and far between. Not sure if it because I am off the radar when it comes to actual wine blogging or what, but my blog email is so light I only have to check it once a week or so. More often than not there will be one or two press releases, an advertizing request or two, (um, about that…if you are a retail store please stop asking me to advertize your store on my blog. I work at The Wine Country, a beautiful wine store and one that has all my loyalty. Not going to link your store to my site…like ever) and if I am lucky a letter from someone that likes reading.

I’ve never had to delete comments, well I got a spam or two, (damn you cigar spammers) but even when someone calls me out, calls me a snob or whatever….I leave the comment, just as I believe I should be able to say it as I see it, so too should the people that read and comment here. For the most part, I have been astoundingly lucky in my comments section. The people that visit me here, read my silly bullshit, they are all so warm, sweet and remarkably kind to me. I am constantly floored by the adoration I receive here, often brought to tears by the understanding and support of my readers and often blushing like a twelve year old girl when I am flirted with, (Ron…Sir Charles, you two make me giggle like a schoolgirl) or gushed over. When I think about the fact that I have been doing this for about two years and the number of negative comments or emails I have gotten are like, um…let me think, around four, well like I said, very lucky.

Sure it was easier to avoid the snarky or snide comments of others in the beginning, fuck…no one was reading so why the hell should I expect to hear a peep, but now that my readership has grown a bit I guess what I found in my inbox this morning was bound to happen. Such a roller coaster day today, nasty mean hate mail, amazing…appreciative, “Your voice is important” email and then a talk that would shake me so deeply, the kind that makes you question your worth…your importance and why you and your family have given years to a cause, hours upon hours of your time. The kind of talk that has the potential to change, not destroy but change, a relationship that you thought you knew but are now beginning to think you misunderstood. Like I said, freaking roller coaster.

I think that first email of the day just set me off. I confess that I deleted it before I had a chance to respond, just know myself too well…know I would have found myself splashing around in the mud with this vile person. Slinging shit and calling names and I have to say, hated that shit in high school, part of the reason I got the fudge, (that was for you Thomas) outta there in the first place. And I just refuse to get spun up into some cat fight with some woman that I don’t even know. So of course the next thing I thought of was publishing the letter…fishing through my deleted emails, posting her bile and…ahem, the name of her blog, (just sayin) but then I just thought I would be giving her exactly what she wanted, you know…aside from like pissing me off and stuff….the page hits she so desperately seeks.

I mean why come after me? Why now? Look I will be the first to admit that I am a lot of things, some good and some bad but one thing I am proud of being, I’m fair. I give everyone a voice here, (which makes me wonder why she didn’t attack in my comments…) and I value each and every opinion, if I agree or not. The only thing I can think of is she is scared shitless of the rather verbose, extremely articulate and fiercely intellectual folks that post here taking her to task in my defense, or at the very least putting her on the “Vile Bitch List” and never visiting her site. So this just got me thinking about what is in fact fair….

Is it fair to spew venom all over another person, a person that is rambling away in cyber space…kind of minding their own business in a space that you have to choose to visit?! If you loathe what they are doing there is a rather easy solution, stay the hell away. That shit reminds me of those liberals that listen to Rush Limbaugh and get themselves all frothy…um, suggestion, turn it off. I’ve never understood being pissed off for the sake of being pissed off…dude, there is way more important stuff to handle, put your piss and vinegar to work. I kind of look to The HoseMaster of Wine here, now this is a voice that does in fact go after people but it is not for evil…it’s for funny. It’s brilliantly written and the sword is deafly plunged into the chest of the deserving, (and let’s be honest…all bloggers are kinda deserving. I’m just waiting for the day that I am splayed over there) and while the first penetration of the sword might sting, there is always a falling-on-his-own over there. A balance that most of us could never pull off and the kind of balance this woman had no interest in.

So okay Lady That Reads but Hates Reading, you hurt me. I was actually shaking with rage and embarrassment this morning when I read your email…feel better? If that was what you set out to do than bravo, your work here is done. Now if what you set out to do was change me…far better than you have tried…they failed too. You did stay with me all day, I read and re-read your words over and over in my head. Questioned why someone would take the time, go out of their way to rake someone over the coals as you did with me…the only thing I could think of is you wanted some answers. So in the spirit of my latest fun thing, my interviews…I thought I would address some of your issues and give you some answers. Now I am paraphrasing here, there were a couple things that I jotted down before I deleted your scathing assault, so here ya go…

Mean Lady- So I know Tom Wark must be furious with you for making a mockery of his bloggerviews.

Me- If so he hasn’t mentioned it to me. I consider Tom a dear friend and if I was in fact pissing him off, or making a mockery of something…pretty sure he would have told me to knock it the hell off. Matter of fact I ran the idea by Tom and seeing as the first of my hard hitting interviews was Tom and he took it like a champ I think he is fine with it.

Mean Lady- You clearly drink too much and I think that you are spitting in the face of people that have a real problem with alcohol.

Me- Yup, from time to time I do imbibe a bit too much and I have no problem sharing that. Thing is…I don’t drink when I am not supposed to, I show up for work on time. Not sure that is spitting in the face of others that might have a problem but I think NOT talking about it is a larger pile of saliva. I personally feel that those that act like they never drink more than one glass a night but in fact suck back a bottle are doing a bigger disservice.

Mean Lady- I am so tired of reading your woe is me posts. If you had a rough upbringing so what? What have you done to change it? Some of us that managed through an Ivy League education are able to put our best foot forward. We have moved on and don’t bemoan the fact that growing up was tough, did you expect everyone to feel sorry for you?

Me- are so missing the point. I never, not ever want people to feel sorry for me. In fact if that were true I might do just as you wish and hang it all up. I did not go to college, sorry that I did not have to suffer through that for you to understand me but…I feel that I have, with the help of a lot of very strong, very cool people, put my best foot forward. If you are getting something other than that from what you read here, well for that I am truly sorry….for both of us.

Mean Lady- I think your using of your supposed sexuality ergo; taking pictures of your feet and of you removing your shirt is really disgusting and reduces those of us with actual wine knowledge and intellect to nothing but tits and ass.

Me- Is Gloria Allred like your mom or something?! I think you might need another glass of wine, it might just melt the ice rod that is crammed up your ass and seems to be freezing your girlie bits, (okay this is why I did not write her directly). Okay so I have a couple issues with this comment. One is the use of, “supposed sexuality”…um, are we all not possessing sexuality…frozen bits not withstanding? I’m thinking she was implying something about the fact that I post some…rather sensual, (got that Mean Lady, sensual not sexual) somewhat suggestive stuff, and yes, yes I do. If you cannot feel the way wine can seduce you…slips beneath your skin and slithers up your neck, well you are seriously missing out. Might I suggest a Musigny enema to get your party started? I actually feel sorry for you now….sorry for the poor wine that must pass your less than willing lips, tries to penetrate your icy, “educated” soul. I’m not sure who knows more, could not care less actually, but I have a pretty good idea who feels more….

Last points…

I never see feet as sexual
, if you do than good on you and I have a feeling what your husband/wife is into. Thanks for sharing…and my wine shit is inappropriate?

I think that any woman that goes after another woman the way you did, well it tells me so much about the person you are.

Just guessing here but I think you will hate my next series, “What wine looks best between my breasts?” I urge you…stop reading now.

Anyone that insists on telling you that they went to an Ivy League college is feeling like they made a colossal mistake. If you HAVE to tell us, than yeah…you probably did.

I’m sorry….I’m sorry if anything your read here offends you. That is never my intention but I have no interest in changing. I respect women, fuck I am a woman that demands it, how could I not give it? That being said, I think that protecting the fragility of the female, that dainty creature written about by crusty old dudes and protected by the religious right and truly oppressive, that is a profoundly dangerous mistake that I am not willing to make.

I say what I want

I drink when and where I want

I seduce how I wish

I embrace my power

Just wondering….

Why you fear yours?

Thanks for the input and the post….good luck to you

I actually mean that


Wanted Sex Goddess, (I so stole that from Bridget Jones)

Gum Flapper

Wine Slinger



Sara Louise said...

I'm stunned. I can't believe that someone could be so hateful that they felt the need to emil you a rant. It's ridiculous, if you don't like a blog, don't read it.
Sorry that you had to be the object of that woman's hateful lunacy, because I'm sure that receiving that email must have felt terrible and invasive.

Just to let you know, I don't think that your overly sexual or have a woe is me attitude. And I like seeing pictures of your polished tootsies! Please don't change a thing =)

Thomas said...

OK, Sam, you caught me: I drink a whole bottle every, single day...of course, I'm a male and that makes all the difference.

PS: No one wants to see my feet.

Woe is I!

Sara Louise said...

Oh and one more thing, because I like your over sexual whining and feet, I've given you an award, come on by Le Petit Village and pick it up =)

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

If there is a more important voice in the wine blogosphere, I don't know whose it could be. And the courage it takes to talk about your past, much less to have survived it, and to talk about it so candidly and so eloquently, well, I, for one, stand in awe. Finding you has been one of the best things to ever happen to me. You know I love you with all my heart.

I'm sort of assuming that this was your first piece of hate mail; or at least the first that really affected you. Take it from the HoseMaster, it won't be your last. You're talented and brilliant and much admired, and there will always be people who feel the need to throw rocks at you. It, sadly, comes with the territory.

You count among your fans many of the best wine writers working--Charlie, Alice Feiring, Eric's a long list. I have no doubt that the woman who so foolishly and pathetically attacked you has not 1% of your talent and wisdom. You'll get over the insults, but she's forever stuck with being a talentless idiot.

Of course, that you don't see feet as sexual is your one shortcoming.

I love you!

Your HoseMaster

And, by the way, here you go again interviewing someone who's not me! What's the deal? Man, even scumbags get interviewed before the HoseMaster. Sheesh.

Samantha Dugan said...


I just saw that you mentioned me as one of your favorite blogs over on yours...that is so sweet of you. Thanks for understanding my rant here. I was on the fence all day, "should I say something, should I not" and once I got home...the quiet of my house, the silence, I needed to. It did upset me, hurt me quite a bit in fact, just had to spill it and move on...too early to tell if it worked yet but your comment helped!

Yeah, I'm a bottle a night kinda girl myself and your comment makes me wonder if Miss High & Mighty would have said the same thing to a dude. Sorry about your feet kid...are they hairy too? Maybe shaving?

Ron My Love,
You seem to know just when I need you. You stay away for days, chime in late on other posts but when I really need your you are. Fuck I love that about you. Having YOU, Charlie, Thomas, Alice and Eric, (writers that I very much admire) along with all my other readers... read and continue to read, really does mean the world to me. You guys make me feel so proud and adored and no amount of hate mail, (and of course you are correct, this was my first) will ever take that from me. I would suffer a thousand emails like that to be right here with all of you.

Hey the douche I interviewd was me!!

Tessa said...

To mean lady...from Sam's sister

-What exactly is drinking too much? At home enjoying a bottle of wine doesn't seem like an issue. If she ever writes about being at an industry tasting and needing to be dragged out, you may have a leg to stand on.

-If you are ever "So tired" of anything...stop doing it...quality of life sweetie, quality of life. I'm sure with your Ivy League education you can figure that one out.

-My sister's "sexuality"...ugh where to go with this one. Men dig may not get it (I certainly don't find my sister "sexy" beautiful,, no...) It's not like she's tryin' it just comes naturally, kind of like your bitchyness.

-Overall, I think you are a self-important douche. Why would you write someone and tell them what you don't like about their blog? Don't read it, it won't hurt her. Why would you subject yourself to such dribble if it is so under you Ivy Princess? I think there is something in Samantha that you wish you had but instead of being envious it made you angry (grrr little puppy, grrrr) I think maybe you should take some time off. SEE YA!

To Sam:
Sometimes when I read your blog I roll my eyes (especially with the sexy sister stuff YUCK) but I love your honestly and how you put all your time and heart into it. I love that you have found yourself and that you are no longer "icy"...remember that?!?! *giggle* Love you!

Jessica said...



I'm so glad to have found you and as you know already, you make my day when I open google reader and see Samantha Sans Dosage in bold!

Sorry that mean woman pee'd in your punch - but just dump that out and pour yourself something better - then tell us another sensual story!!!! ;-)

k2 said...

Weird how some people seek out someone to berate. I have never understood this and have never been comfortable accepting there are people like that in this world - too many of them. However, the upside to this is that your brilliant, intimate, genuine writing can elicit such a heated response is testament to your amazing ability. Hell, I would love to get that kind of hate mail. Seriously. Means your words are really resonating with people. Granted, the negativity there is a drag, but if she is truly that stuffy about her wine "knowledge" she will find herself the way of the dinosaur in no time anyway. Just keep being you.

Amy Atwood said...

good on you for releasing instead of internalizing some nutjob's aggression. I have only blocked one comment in the life of my blog as well. it was mean-spirited, strangely aggressive and of course...posted from 'anonymous'.
your blog stalker got a bit personal, which is weird.
unhappy people are unhappy everywhere, even online.
love your work!
cheers, Amy

John M. Kelly said...

Like I said on FB - piss on the haters. Mean people suck, and there are plenty of them out there. Now that you have called out Ms. Anonymous Hater, I expect that she will get her bitchy gasbag friends - all two of them - to write you nasty emails as well. Harsh.

Rejection is no fun, and no mistake - this kind of "criticism" is rejection. You put yourself out there and you will get it - sooner or later. I can't imagine what people with heavy notoriety must have to endure - or ignore.

I'm a relative nobody but I've been astonished to read and hear some of the horrible things said about my wines, my looks, my family, etc. Nothing is off-limits to some people. It's sad that they can only build themselves up by tearing others down.

Sam, keep in mind that these people don't matter unless they are in a position to do you physical injury, hurt your livelihood or affect your family. They are the dog turds of life - you didn't see them before you stepped in them, its unpleasant, but all you need to do is scrape them off your shoe and move on.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how offended I am by your interview of me, Samantha!!! Honestly, I can't.

Primarily because I can't figure out why I would be.

Kick'em and scratch'em, girl!!

Tom Wark...

Eric V. Orange said...

I feel your pain Samantha. As HoseMaster said, it won't be the last. In fact, they will increase as does your audience (18 now?).
From one who gets his share of idiot emails, here is my suggestion (not that I live it, but...)
1. Don't respond.
2. If you do respond, send it to someone else, not the bitchy who sent it.
3. Delete the email.
4. Permanently delete the email.
5. Delete it from your server too.
6. Open that second bottle.

As many emails that I get extolling my site (and I shamelessly admit there are many), I get all bent out of shape at just one asshole. I can stew about it for days, weeks, even longer. My wife tried to get me therapy, but it didn't work.

You and HoseMaster are on top of my blog reading list because of the truth in your writing (well, funny on Ron's part).

Now, send me an email with the name and blog of bitchy, cause I really want to know.


Benito said...

I don't get much hate mail, but boy howdy do I get a ton of crap from old people in New Jersey about the price of wine sold in 4 liter jugs and how I'm personally responsible for jacking up the prices on their hooch.

Just remember:

Haters Gonna Hate.

Michael Hughes said...

I gotta hand it to you sweetie, you did well. I would have just replied back to that stuck up haint with a slew of expletives.

Samantha Dugan said...

Yeah, any guesses as to why this woman chose NOT to comment here?! First the neighbor kid and now you people....wreckin me.

I just wanted to thank you all for letting me vent. I figured if I gave her a bit of a nod....along with a little slap, it would do a lot more for me than getting into some silly email battle with a petty, uptight person that I have no use for. So I said my piece here, in this to admit it hurt, admit that I was pissed and defend myself a bit, with people that for some reason...I trust. Cannot even begin to express what a comforting and humbling feeling that is for me. Thank you everyone
You guys like melt me and junk.

Kimberly said...

Well, you can see from your loyal readers (count me in there), that "mean lady" is way, way off the mark. I mean, honestly!!
She don't know s**t.

To mean lady, from me:

vickibarkley said...

So, I read this post, and the comments of my fellow Ardent Supporters, and thought about it awhile. I think everyone said everything for me already. You are my wine muse, and I read you every day. I'm also lucky enough to live mere minutes from The Wine Country. Yes, life is good indeed, even though a hate mail comes once in awhile. Passion - that's you!! Thanks for your eloquence, humor, and sensuality.

Charlie Olken said...

So, this is what I get for going off to the Napa Valley for a couple of days. You get hate mail, and I don't get a chance to stick my two cents in.

Oh well, you have done a pretty good job of telling Hagatha to fuck off.

Besides, these kinds of people don't really want to listen. They are like the teabaggers. Dimwits and dumbshits.

I am wondering how much longer I have to go on before she goes after me. I could post pictures of my feet. That would serve her right.

Not to worry, Sam. The beauty of this blog is the very style that Mean Lady did not like. Good on ya.

Samantha Dugan said...

That's awesome...

You are the sweetest, thank you so much and I too am glad you live close enough to visit me!

Once again you are too kind. If you wanna send me pics of your feet I will post them, along with your email and we can see if that sets her off again. For some reason I am thinking she would NOT go after you....might be one of those nasty chick things.