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My Wife’s Epic Rant on Social Media

December 14, 2015
If your rant doesn't offend at least half your friends, then it isn't epic! (image via wikimedia)

If your rant doesn’t offend at least half your friends, then it isn’t epic! (image via wikimedia)

When my wife said a few weeks ago that she quit Facebook, I knew it wasn’t going to last long.

I didn’t want to say that to her face.  After all, I didn’t want to seem negative.  If I’d said my wife couldn’t stay off social media, I might have been accused of not supporting my wife.  You can support somebody and still not believe they are going to be successful.  In fact, that’s when a person needs support the most.

My wife still continued reading Facebook, even after she said she had “quit.”  That was a bad sign.  To me, quitting means you stop participating in an activity altogether.  By reading Facebook, she was still using social media.  In my mind, she had no chance.

Even though she had “quit” social media, my wife still talked to me about the political discussions on Facebook that were going on.  She would show me stupid things that other people wrote and told me why they were stupid.  She didn’t need to tell me.  Even when I agreed with the political position of the stupid comment, I still knew why the comment was stupid.

I disagree with my wife on a lot of political issues. Fortunately, our lifestyle values are in sync.  We just disagree about how much government should get involved.  If you frame the discussions like that, you can have reasonable disagreements.  But if you let the political get personal, then it gets messy.

One evening this past week, I could hear the furious tapping of fingers on the keyboard from the den.  I knew it was my wife.  My oldest daughter can type quickly too, but there is no anger when she pounds the keyboard, even when she’s angry about her writing.  I peeked into the den and saw a giant block of writing that filled the computer screen.  I coughed as I approached my wife from behind, but she didn’t say anything.

“You can separate that into smaller paragraphs, you know,” I said, pointing at the screen.

“Leave me alone,” she said.

I understood.  I hate being interrupted when I write, so I left.

I warned my daughters in the living room.  One was watching television, and the other was on her tablet.  “Your mother is composing a rant.  You probably should get your homework done before she’s finished.”

45 minutes later, my wife came into the bedroom where I was reading On Writing by Stephen King.  I’d never read it, but every writer says that every writer should read it.  I was finishing the section where Stephen King writes about what inspired the idea for Carrie.

“Do you want to read my rant?” my wife asked, but it wasn’t a question.

“Did you break it up into paragraphs?”

“Yes.”

“Have you posted it yet?”

“Proofread it first.”

When I sat down at the computer, I noticed her word count was over 2,000 words.  She had probably done all of that in just over an hour.

“You could write for James Patterson,” I said, impressed.

It was a political rant, though, so I won’t get into the details.  I disagreed with most of it, but that wasn’t my issue.  I disagree with most political writing.  I don’t care what other people think about politics anymore, but they don’t care what I think either, so we’re even.

My wife used too many words in her epic rant.  She made a bunch of ad hominem attacks.  She assumed evil intentions for normal political behavior.  She stereotyped a bunch of people, even though she’s against stereotyping.

“This is good,” I said.  “But you might want to wait a few hours before you post it.”

“Nobody waits on Facebook,” my wife said.  After I left, she posted it.

An hour later, my wife gave me her phone so that I could read the aftermath.  A blogger I’d never heard of published the rant, and we got a kick out of that.  My wife also suggested I publish her rant here on Dysfunctional Literacy, but I don’t even publish my own political rants, and I usually agree with myself.  A bunch of people commented on her rant on Facebook, and she got a lot of negative feedback too.

Some guy who lives 1200 miles away said he was going to drive down here and kick my wife’s ass.  I was concerned, but my wife said the guy drinks too much and that if he actually tried to drive down here, he probably wouldn’t make it.  Despite all the vitriol aimed at her, she seemed relaxed as she watched a fitness competition later that night.  Few things are more satisfying than an epic rant.

 “You’re not going to respond to any of this?” I asked after I had scrolled through the comments thread of her rant.

“The ranter should never respond to comments,” she said.  “It dilutes the rant.”

Yesterday, my wife ran a 5K, and a bunch of people who had argued with my wife on Facebook were there.  They posted pictures of themselves embracing and smiling, and everybody seemed to be enjoying the runners’ camaraderie.  Nobody mentioned the politics.  If they did, I couldn’t tell.  The guy who lives 1200 miles away wasn’t there.

My wife is back on social media again.  I think it’s going to be a long political season.  We’ll see how many times she quits social media before the political season is over.

*****

What do you think?  Should a ranter respond to comments?  When a friend offends you in a rant, how long does it take before you forgive/forget?  How long should you wait before posting a rant?

*****

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27 Comments
  1. I don’t know about rants or politics, but I read On Writing, and about all I remember about it was that I think that’s where he posted his little rant about adverbs. And that like most of his other books, it wasn’t terribly well-written.

    • I haven’t read the whole book yet, but I was flipping through it and found the section in the back where he demonstrates his revising process. I thought it was interesting how he justified some -ly adverbs and got rid of others. I thought he hated all -ly adverbs. I like -ly adverbs.

  2. Love this line “I don’t care what other people think about politics anymore, but they don’t care what I think either, so we’re even.” so true in my experience. Personally I keep my rants to a minimum both in the number of times I do it, once a year maybe, and then amount of words I use, 100 or less. And no I never respond to commentary afterwards. I’m not opening a dialogue, I am getting something off my chest that is crushing me.

    • 100 words or less is kind of short for a rant. I’m not sure what the word minimum for an epic rant is, but 100 words might not be enough.

      I could be wrong, though. I’m not the arbiter of what is and what is not a rant. It’s just that my wife would say 100 words is not enough. She might not be considered the arbiter either, but she writes more epic rants than I do.

  3. Funniest thing I have read in a long time! Thanks for the laugh. Wish my husband was as “understanding” as you when I rant. You are a good spouse!!!!

  4. I only use FB for reading feeds and the only thing I post are links to my articles here on wordpress. About rant… I just posted my first this afternoon.

  5. Here we go:

  6. I’ve done some ranting in the comments, but never as my own posts. It is a good release, I agree – and until you publish it, your brain’s gears could be preoccupied with inner rant development with barely any brain capacity left for any important activities. So no, you shouldn’t wait to publish, if you plan on doing anything that involves using a brain. You should proofread the rant, and make sure to avoid personal attacks (unless it’s a guy who you don’t care about and who lives 1200 away, and too lazy to drive that far).
    And I think the ranter should respond to comments, because publishing fast tends to let errors and unclear wording slip through.

  7. Funny and very relate-able( & spell squiggle says that is not a word with out the – )

  8. My wife worries about my tendency to mentally lock onto an issue and grind on it for a long time. She doesn’t enjoy watching me raise my blood pressure, and never appreciates it when I share my thoughts with her over the course of my extended period of outrage. I try, consequently, to keep my rants internal and to avoid sharing them with readers on Facebook. But I do identify with your wife: I long to unleash after reading repeated political posts featuring the most twisted, strained and illogical positions bordering on delusion

  9. I’ve learned that it’s pointless to share or respond as the folks who have posted this dreck are absolutely sure that I am the one who is delusional. However, I’m holding back a rant that I’m itching to post, and daily suffer with the temptation to copy, paste and send. May the spirit of Christmas save us all.

  10. Irritating a potential critic of my fiction simply because they have no clue as to why politicians do what they do seems self destructive. It used to matter more to me but now, not so much. I’m having way too much fun writing stories and enjoying the work. But if somebody gets wound up about some supposed misdeed they assign to me and is willing to drive a ways to find out how big a mistake it was to do so, well, arrangements could be made. They’ll need a driver for the return trip.

  11. I do think -sit on the rant and cool down and then have anther look at it. Emotions changes so frequently

  12. You wife really needs her own WordPress blog to rant on. Sometimes it’s not WHAT you say when you rant as mush as getting the negative thought energy out of your system. Like a deflating balloon.

  13. I agree with Lorraine above! Your wife needs a blog! I’d read it! Your post was hilarious as I can relate to your wife. However, I typically am able to refrain from posting because I know I’ll get myself all worked up. Instead I bottle it up, and decide I just don’t like that person as much as I used to. haha!!

  14. I don’t do much ranting on fb. I might share a petition I’ve signed, but they’re usually for things most people would endorse – freeing wrongly imprisoned political prisoners in foreign countries, asking for my government to help out particular patients with expensive cancer treatments. I’ve made the odd comment on my blog about our political situation in the UK and our MPs – most would be able to guess roughly which way I’d vote. But my blog is about words, writing, and trying to be humorous while I’m at it.
    If I want to rant I’ll get myself a bottle of cheap cider and hang around the local bus stop like eveyone else on my high street 🙂

  15. great post. “I disagree with most political writing. I don’t care what other people think about politics anymore, but they don’t care what I think either, so we’re even.”

  16. Alice deGrey permalink

    Huh. My age group could be called the social media generation, but while all of us are on Facebook, most of my friends don’t post a lot of stuff on their profiles. First, we believe in staying as anonymous as possible, and second, we think it’s both more effective and less risky to rant to a good friend in person. Whether the friend agrees or you have a healthy discussion about it, you blow off steam just as well. To me, that’s enough. Then again, I’m not a very political person and I never write about politics… in that, I completely agree with you!

  17. It’s probably good she didn’t respond because then they (her and her friends) can just leave it at disagreement instead of argument.

  18. Your opening volley had great resonance with me as a fellow married dude. 🙂 Good write up.

  19. No idea what best protocol is, but I note that a lot of ranters have to respond to comments. It’s their nature.

  20. Well, I think they are called rants for a reason. It’s what happens when someone is really emotional about something and just wants to get the words out of her. There is no point in waiting to post a rant. And there is no point to respond to comments later. Once you’ve posted it, it’s out there and you’re feeling better. That was your goal. So let the others bicker about your writings and go on with your life. For the same reason it is equally pointless to stay angry at your friend about a rant he/she posted, because they probably changed their minds about many parts of their rant a couple of hours later, when they had calmed down a little bit.

  21. my mom does this too….may it be rants on facebook or a tweets per second on twitter. somehow i always end up having to proofread and edit all of it….sometimes i absolutely loose it…the word count isnt 2000 words though….you must be a very very patient man

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