Lessons Learned

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Dress: Anthropologie Kindred Spirit Sweaterdress - Size S
Tights: Anthropologie Floral Spray Tights - One Size
Shoes: Blowfish Blyth Booties - Size 8.5

"Went to school and I was very nervous. No one knew me, no one knew me. Hello teacher, tell me what's my lesson. Look right through me, look right through me." - Gary Jules

I felt like a school teacher in this outfit, so I thought this old abandoned school would make the perfect backdrop for these photos. I always did very well academically in school, but I struggled socially. It seems I still struggle in that area today but for very different reasons.

I was horribly shy growing up. Making matters worse was that I went to a small, private school. It really wasn't the best environment to hone one's social skills. Junior high was especially tough because I had to move down to the high school end of the building. I was scared to death of the high school people. As you can imagine, I was thrilled when I was voted to be the student government representative for my class which meant attending meetings with said scary people. My classmates loved to find clever ways of torturing me. One year, they voted me homecoming queen but intentionally chose the nerdiest guy in the class to be my king. This provided them with endless laughs at my expense. Anyway, student government meetings were just as bad as I had imagined. I would leave each meeting with spitballs in my hair and even lower self-esteem than when I walked in.

The first day of 8th grade I met someone who would forever change my life. She was the new girl, and when she walked into the classroom that day, it was as if a spotlight was shining down on her. She had the cutest hair cut and was wearing a very stylish polka dotted dress. She carried herself with such confidence, and I instantly found myself wishing I could be just like her. Oddly enough, she befriended me, and we started to hang out on the weekends. She had style unlike anyone I had ever met. She introduced me to stores like Gap, Express, and The Limited. I started shopping at those places, and I liked the way taking pride in my appearance made me feel. Looking my best always gave me a feeling of more confidence. The new girl only went to my school that one year, but the lessons she taught me about personal style have always stuck with me.

Over the years, I improved somewhat socially. Going to college and having 3 kids has a way of doing that. However, I never learned to value my own opinion or stand up for what I wanted. I was all about taking the path of least resistance and would avoid conflict at all cost. That's why my personal style was so important to me. It was the one way I felt I could express who I was. Then came my breaking point last year when I decided I had enough of being a second class citizen and made some bold moves to change my life around.

So, here I am today, being bold and standing up for myself and my style, and, of course, some people find fault with it. I'm suppose to keep my mouth shut and take the criticism. Otherwise, I'm not being classy. I'm being a foul-mouth bitch. Well to those people I say, "Fuck you!" When someone tells me that I have terrible taste, and I don't know how to dress myself, I'm not going to be silent. When someone tells me my nose is jacked up or my hair is burnt, I'm not going to thank them for their comment. My style, my body, my nose, and my hair are the things that make me who I am, and I'm not going to change who I am to please someone else. If that makes me a bitch then so be it.

It's a mad world when people can be rude under the guise of "constructive criticism." It is not constructive criticism to tell someone that everything they wear looks terrible on them. Where do I even begin with that? Throw out my whole wardrobe and start over again? That's ridiculous. It's not helpful and it's equivalent to having spitballs shot into my hair. Unless you have some specific ideas to make an outfit look better, this bitch is going to go with her own opinion. If you don't like it, I'm sure you can find plenty of classier blogs out there. Of course, those bloggers will be all too happy to promptly delete your constructive criticism.

Gary Jules - Mad World

CONVERSATION

114 comments:

  1. I think your ish is that you think any time someone doesn't like your outfit, or think that you should dress differently, that's some kind of personal affront - I've noticed that you've taken very personally any sort of statement, and internalized it as an attack on your character. Until you can understand that some people are commenting with goodwill (although there are plenty of people who are commenting nastily), you won't be able to look at any criticism objectively. But if you don't want criticism at all - which is your right - perhaps you could password protect your blog? That might help keep out the looky-loos. It's your space, etc.

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  2. Hmmm, not really liking this candy jar of an outfit. As in, all the pieces of candy on their own look pretty tasty, but as one big mouthful I think I'd have to spit them out. Oh well. Can't love em all. I know, though....I think you and Jerry should have waffles with syrup and crispy bacon for dinner tonight! I know that's completely off topic, but for some reason your outfit made me think that breakfast for dinner might be a really good idea, with hot chocolate or really rich coffee. Urrrrmmm that sounds so good. ;)

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  3. No one is saying you must accept every criticism or compliment. It's all in *how* you react to them. Good bye Bonnie.

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  4. I summarize all STF posts with the exception of reviews since she posted about the affair: "I used to live my life for everyone else but now I don't, so there!" Every. Single. One.

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  5. Well, at least I provided some inspiration for dinner! :-) Thanks for providing an example on how criticism can be done in a pleasant way. Sorry you don't like my candy jar outfit! Can't really say it's my favorite either, but I don't hate it. I guess I should have picked something a little more fierce for such a bitchy post.

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  6. Clearly you haven't read many of my posts, because I welcome criticism when done in the right way. I had no problem with your initial comment which is why I responded light heartily and said that was just your opinion. Your persistence to push your opinion on me is what got on my nerves. Criticism goes both ways, and I felt like you didn't respect my opinion. Maybe you should take your own advice here and respond more appropriately when someone criticizes your criticism. Oh and let's not forget you told me I looked like an overstuffed sausage. I think it would be hard for anyone not to take that personally even if you did throw in there, "but I think you have a great body."

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  7. Yes, you've got me pegged and labeled. I'm such a simpleton. Every single post is about the same damn thing. Thanks for enlightening us all.

    I think the fact that you get the same thing out of everyone of my posts says more about you than me. There's some constructive criticism for you, but don't respond because that "wouldn't be prudent."

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  8. Literally the worst outfit I have ever seen in the entire history of outfits I have seen.

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  9. Oh, an outfit historian! Since you're such an expert, why don't you post some of your outfits here and show me how it's done? I'm really curious to see what an outfit historian wears!

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  10. A little advice, lovely lady- don't respond to that mean stuff. There really is no point in engaging with mean people. You aren't going to change them, unfortunately. People will say the nastiest stuff behind the comfort of their computer that they would never say to a person's face in real life. Everyone ought to think before they write something and hit "send." Would I say this to a person's face?

    Your blog is beautiful, as are you and your pictures. Try not to let nastiness infiltrate that. I know it is hard. You are female and human. Anyone would be hurt and angered by some of the things that people have said. You are above all of that though. Remember that.

    The paint spills on the steps in these photos makes them cool! Love that cardi as well. Have a great weekend, Bonnie! When do you get possession of the new house?

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  11. Wow. What happened here?
    I used to really enjoy this blog. Both the Bonnie's fun take on fashion and the documentation of her personal journey, I am very disappointed in the new FU attitude. I understand the frustration with nasty, negative comments, but there are much more dignified ways of dealing with negativiy. I won't list them here, but think back to the early advice offered by your mother after an unpleasant schoolyard altercation...
    If you put yourself out for public comment, you need to be prepared to handle negative feedback. I enjoy reading blogs, but I am not interested in waking up to a big FU. Even if it isn't directed at me.
    This is sad...

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  12. GLADLY!!!!!!!!!! Where can I post my pictures??????

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  13. Sorry, KatiJ. I'm having a bad week. I've had a terrible cold since Tuesday night (had to leave my concert early), and I'm just not in the mood this week to put up with people's BS. I hope you can understand that. I knew posting something like this wasn't going to be popular, especially on a Friday morning. Friday's are suppose to be happy days! However, this was how I was feeling last night at 2am, so I wrote it down. I know it's not pretty, but it's honest.

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  14. You know, if someone tells me my hair is dry, I'll lay off on the frequent hair coloring or invest in some good deep hair conditioning. No need to tell the commenter "fuck off" or get all bent out of shape about it. Not every comment is a direct attack on you, Bonnie, and sometimes listening and taking people's advice doesn't mean losing yourself. It's an opportunity to improve on yourself if only you could be more open minded.

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  15. Thanks for being so understanding, Catherine. I know you're right. Maybe I need to rethink letting in every single comment. I don't like to censor people, but it might be the right thing to do because I don't want negativity to take over here.

    Thanks for noticing the paint spills! I thought they were really cool as well.

    Our closing date on the house is April 30. We're going tonight to pick out paint chips, appliances, and tile flooring for the kitchen to take to the house tomorrow!

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  16. Awesome! You can post images right here in the comments!

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  17. Happy Friday Bonnie. I like your cardi. For some crazy reason I haven't seen that Amrita cardi in any of the 3 Anthro's that I frequent in the LA metro area. Sheesh. So annoying! The color is pretty and seeing it on you just reminded me that I sorta kinda want it. :-)

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  18. What is the purpose of posting something like this? Does it make you feel good about yourself? You should really examine that.

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  19. Okay, I understand a bit more. But PLEASE don't let others' negativity turn you into an angry and negative person. Then they WIN and you look no better than them. I think it's fine to post the nastiness if you want to. Just don't feel like you have to reply or defend yourself. You will appear dignified, confident and mature (even if you don't always feel that way). And they will look like idiots. Now you WIN.

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  20. Okay, you've got to help me out with something here, Bonnie. Maybe I am misunderstanding the purpose of a fashion blog. I read several of them, Blonde Bedhead, My Style Pill, Kendi Everyday, My Edit...etc. Now, I don't usually read the comments on their blog posts nor do I comment unless. I think I read your comments because you actually respond to them. Anyway...

    Are you looking for a critique? I always thought it was just, here I am today, here is my outfit styling, this is what I am thinking; NOT all that plus: what do you think, do I look fat, do I need to size up, etc. Maybe those other blogs get that kind of commentary on their blog posts but just don't let it through for other readers to see. I don't know. I am just not buying this excuse that several of your commentors have brought up of, "you put yourself out there so you are asking for it" basically. I guess I can't imagine walking up to another woman and telling her, "hey, you look like a cow or your hair is fried or you need to size up or that looks awful." I mean, REALLY? Would anyone here actually do that to a real live person? What is the difference? Yes, it is a fashion blog but never once did I ever read you ASKING for criticism or advice.

    I've read fashion blog posts where I didn't like the outfit or styling but I would never dream of actually saying that to the person. I just move on to the next blog. What the hell is the purpose of trying to beat another woman down under the guise of "I'm trying to help her."

    Be nice people, or move it along. Emit positivity and it will come back to you. The same goes for negativity.

    Off my pissed off soapbox now.

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  21. Come on..."Friday's are suppose..."? You cannot be serious with that sort of grammar.

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  22. Hi Bonnie,
    We've not "met" as I've never commented before but I've been reading for awhile and I've noticed a couple of things. Obviously you have great style and a true passion for expressing it. I like that you take risks and try things that are outside your comfort zone. It inspires me to do the same. As far as responding to those who leave negative and in some cases downright hateful comments -- I think you might find it more satisfying to just ignore them. They are clearly looking for a rise out of you and when you engage them you're giving them exactly the reaction they were hoping for. I realize you're in a phase of your life where you're discovering a lot about yourself and finding that being assertive is freeing and necessary, but I think you'll find more inner peace if you allow yourself to rise above the fray. Just my thoughts. I'll continue reading, as I find your journey compelling.
    Also, today's location is stunning! You should shoot there more often.

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  23. Am I the only one who isn't offended with you saying FU to the assholes?? Seems appropriate enough to me!

    As for your outfit, it's not my favorite of your outfits, but it's not horrible either. I think I agree with the other comment that I like the pieces individually, but not so much together. I think my favorite part of the outfit (and favorite picture) is the tights with shoes. Those tights are really, really, cute! And I do love the backdrop for the pictures... your town seems like it has the most beautiful old buildings and scenery!

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  24. I have examined it and while I feel pretty good about myself today, that feeling has nothing to do with the comment I left.

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  25. Yeah, I don't even know how to respond to this. While there's a difference between constructive criticism and destructive vitriol, you don't really seem to be able to distinguish between the former and the latter - you take EVERYTHING personally. Lady, if I wear tight shit, I also look like an overstuffed sausage - it has nothing to do with your body and everything to do with the clothes you choose to wear. Which isn't really personal. Anyway, you should keep moderating comments like you do now, and consider password protecting your blog since you don't like any comments with the slightest bit of negativity. Keeping a blog that only people with a password would read (like LJ) helps make your space your own and positive-only.

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  26. OMG! The horror! I left out the letter d! How can I be serious?!?

    Get a life! Oh, and I'm still waiting on that outfit picture...

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  27. Oh, for fuck's sake. I am open minded! I don't take every comment as a direct attack. If I agree with someone's criticism then I will take it and try to improve myself. I've done that on this blog before. However, if I don't agree, I will tell them that's their opinion not mine and move on. For example, I'm happy with my hair, so I'm not going to run out and get some conditioner stat because someone said my hair looked dry. I put more faith in my own opinion than some strangers. My point is the criticizers need to step off when I don't agree with them and not keep saying "Size up, size up" over and over again. It's annoying, and I don't see the point.

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  28. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Amie! You've given me a lot to think about. Also, thanks for your kind words. It means so much to me.

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  29. I love what you have said here, and no, I have never asked for critiques. However, I understand not everyone is going to like me or my style, and I get that they need to express the way they feel about me. What I'm asking here is for them to respect MY opinion as well and not be rude, condescending, and/or pushy. I think the rule should be let's agree to disagree and move on. It's the constant, "I know better than you" that gets my blood boiling.

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  30. Happy Friday, Gina! This was the first color this cardigan came in, so the stores might have all sold out by now or something. I know this color is gone online. I hope you are able to find one!

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  31. So...the purpose of posting that was....?

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  32. Well, you are much more understanding of this than I would be. I guess I don't get the "need" to express that to you. It just seems mean spirited.

    Here's my new take on all the garbage comments that have made their way into your blog. DELETE them. No sense taking up space on your pretty little blog. I read through some of the comments on some of the other blogs I read and not a one has nasty stuff in the comments. I'm highly doubtful that they don't get any nasty comments. They are probably promptly deleted and not given any real estate on their blogs.

    Just a thought.

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  33. Let me go over this for the 50th time: You told me to size up. I didn't agree with you. Yet, you insisted on coming back and saying, "You look like a stuffed sausage, but whatever, it's your body." I had already told you I didn't agree with you, so what was the point in coming back again and saying that? Hell yes, at that point I took it personally.

    All I'm asking it this: State your opinion one time and when I don't agree with you for fuck's sake move on and don't come back and insult me! I don't think I should have to password protect my blog just because people can't follow simple rules of social etiquette.

    Do you go around in real life telling everyone who wears tight clothes they look like an overstuffed sausage? Do they say, "Well, thank you for your constuctive criticism, lady. Golly gee, I think I'll go home and change now because clearly you're the expert here." If they do, then you must live on another planet than I do. In my world, most normal people would respond as I have done today with a hearty "Fuck you!"

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  34. Thank you! I can't believe all these people with there noses in the air saying, "I'm not going to read you anymore because of your foul mouth." Yes, cuss words are so bad but being a complete asshole is ok. Makes perfect sense!

    Yeah, it's not my favorite either. I just sort of put it together that morning. Do I at least get points for trying to be creative and not wearing something new? ;-)

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  35. Bonnie, I read the original comment, that is not what she said and you know it. It reminds me a lot of what was going on with the other bloggers taking your comment about the crochet cloud dress looking better on girls with fuller figures out of context, and I was on your side then. And I'm concurring with her, I'm between a size 0 and 2 in my early twenties and very pretty (haters gonna hate :D) and I've giggled at myself for slipping into an old prom dress from high school and discovering that even though I'm skinny, I too can look like an overstuffed sausage if I wear clothes that don't fit. That dress was too tight on you. If you don't agree with that statement, good! Wear it anyway. But stop taking people's comments out of context because you and I both know know the original offending comment did not say "you look like an overstuffed sausage but whatever it's your body." Don't do what those bloggers did to you and twist people's words.

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  36. To show how witty they are, of course! Funny, I still haven't received a picture that shows oh how stylish they are. You would think someone with enough time to come on someone's blog and post witty comments would have time to post a picture of themselves by now...

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  37. She's busy digging up fake pictures to post. You know they wouldn't be real pictures!

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  38. It's the apostrophe, Bonnie. You are still a creeper ass, Outfithistorian. Get a life and move on.

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  39. Your eyes look really pretty and I like your hair pulled back:)

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  40. You absolutely get points for trying something new! I should show you a couple of pictures of my pattern mixing attempts.... let's just say I'm glad that I only have to commit to an outfit for a single day, lol. I don't know how many outfits I've put together at the beginning of the day and then half way through the day I realized I missed the mark just a tad.... but, that's how you develop your own sense of style! Trying things and figuring out what works.

    Also, I'm happy to see the mix of old and new anthro.... I do remember that dress from about a year and a half ago. I was really close to purchasing it, and had forgotten about how cute and easy it is!

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  41. The d, in addition to the improper use of the apostrophe, is pretty humorous when just above you wrote that you "always did very well academically in school".

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  42. Here's the original comment, so there is no confusion:
    "You can wear something that skims your curves and is body-conscious without making you look like an over-stuffed sausage. You've got a great body! But that dress looks too-tight, rather than form-fitting. "
    How would you feel is someone walked up to you on the street and told you this when you and others in your life loved the dress and thought it looked slamming on you? I don't think you would be giggling then. It's one thing to think things about yourself, but it's a whole different story to have someone else's opinions forced on you.

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  43. What is the purpose of calling me a creeper ass? Does it make you feel good about yourself? You should really examine that.

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  44. Sorry about the delay. I have kids to take care of, I don't have time to gallivant around town climbing up trees and hugging washing machines to show off my new anthro swag. Of course, I don't have any new anthro swag because I budget and put money away for my kids' college or buy them new clothes or actually engage in a bunch of activities with them that aren't OMG OMG ME ME ME ME ME. But don't worry, I'll find an old lecher to take my pictures this weekend.

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  45. Yes, because we all know that grammar was the only subject in school.

    When someone points out that I made a grammar mistake, I go back and read it and recognize it. I know the rules. Everyone makes typos. It's much easier to critique someone else's grammar. For example, the quotation mark should come after the period in your comment above. Ooooooh, I'm so smart and you're so stoooopid!

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  46. Looks like someone can dish it but can't take it.

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  47. It's both. I recognize that now. I'm seeking professional help.{Hangs head in shame...}

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  48. Oh...okay....I thought you were a outfit historian, an expert in your field. You should be able to take just any old picture and post it on here because your outfits are always impeccable.

    A planned photo shoot after the fact seems a little like cheating, but I'll take what I can get. Looking forward to being wowed by your awesomeness!

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  49. Touché, creeper ass, touché! Now, where are those glamor shots you promised?

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  50. Actually, the period was at the end of my sentence. I just didn't include your period in my quote. This is getting sad, Bonnie. I just pointed out that if you're going to claim to be so very smart, at least take a minute to proof read your posts. You're getting irrationally angry and defensive. It sounds like you're having a really bad day. I hope it improves for you.

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  51. Survey says...XXX, but thanks for playing! Johnny tell her what she's won...a set of interactive grammar games!

    A period never comes before a quotation mark. Never! So sad indeed...

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  52. I.e. There are no stellar outfit pics to speak of.

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  53. Ok, Catherine, I was totally going to call you out on spelling "glamor" wrong, but I Googled it and dammit, this spelling is acceptable. God, this grammar policing is catching!

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  54. It's proofread, not "proof read." (Period inside the quote.)

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  55. :) You just like the European spelling better, don't you? Glamour. Better?

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  56. I think she's just having a little fun. That's all.

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  57. Periods go inside quotation marks.

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  58. Don't bother posting mine---I hadn't read down yet. You got to it!

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  59. Yes, it sounds more classy, and you know me, I'm a classy gal!

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  60. Catherine, have I told you lately that I love you? It's so nice to have a partner in crime. It gets so lonely sometimes... ;-)

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  61. Oh hi Jerry, nice of you to comment on the blog.

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  62. Sometimes meanies need a dose of their own medicine. I've maybe had too much coffee this afternoon too. :)
    Happy Friday!

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  63. Thanks! English is actually my second language, I don't always get things right. But I also don't have a public blog on which I claim to have always done well in school and repeatedly point out I was valedictorian.

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  64. Yeah, yeah, yeah...but English is my second language. Excuses, excuses...I don't want to hear it! If your going to critique someone's grammar, you best bring the grammar skills or don't come at all.

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  65. Closing in on 900K pageviews. Keep that controversy going, girl.

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  66. Please don't come on my blog and tell me how I should respond to criticism. It's pompous and condescending.

    Read through the comments here. People have told me they don't like the outfit, and I haven't flipped the fuck out on them. It's because these people have gone about it in a nice way. As an person with one eye and half sense, I can tell the difference.

    LOL! "No evidence for such an assumption." Ok, professor, whatever you say. I'm just imaging strawmen, red herrings, and shit.

    I think I've handled things pretty well considerering I've been insulted in every possible way over the last several months. I'm not playing the victim. That's why I fight back!

    I know I'm not special, but I am an individual. I think I have the right to say what I want, wear what I want, and do what I want without having other people's opinion's shoved down my throat.

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  67. Glad we are on the same page about your vivid imagination.

    /I am an individual. I think I have the right to say what I want and do what I want without having some blogger complain I am shoving my opinion down her throat. It goes both ways, hun.

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  68. I guess I'd also be upset that I bought the wrong size in a dress I'd just paid full price for at anthro, knowing that it would be on sale in 30 days.

    Do you return some of this stuff? Cause if not, there is obviously money in biscuits and I need to change fields.

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  69. Nope. Wrong. Not Jerry. I'm a 35-year old mom of 3 from the midwest who happens to think cyber-bullying is repugnant.

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  70. Whoa! THIS I don't understand. Such hate in your response, I can see you quivering in ager as you type out each last word. I am just shocked by the people commenting on here lately. I simply don't get it! Why the constant need to pick on Bonnie? Get off the internet and take care of those kids. You don't need to waste your time here!

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  71. Are you using British style quotation rules? If so, then your use of quotation marks is actually correct.

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  72. YupanonymousidonteffingcareFebruary 24, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Wow....case in point. That's all I can say. This is ridiculous.

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  73. SHE. IS. BEING. NICE. TO. YOU. THIS is why you get so many negative comments-- you construe even the positive ones as attack!

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  74. Wow. I logged on and saw 78 comments and had to go through them. I agree with Catherine about censoring your blog and not responding to the nastiness. If the comment is negative/hateful, just delete it, pure and simple. If other bloggers do it, there must be a reason, right? Enjoy your life, and don't let the negativity get to you (and your blog). Have a good weekend!

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  75. Delete button, Bonnie. Find it. Embrace it.

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  76. Telline someone they look like a stuffed sausage, even if it is done in a roundabout sort of way is NOT being nice. Insulting someone with a follow up complement is still insulting.

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  77. Bring on your Target swag then! If you are a true "Outfithistorian" as you claim to be, then put up or shut up.

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  78. Yeah, you are basically twisting my words around at this point - almost like you are looking for the worst possible interpretation of what I have said. Here's what I meant: (1): You are attractive, and have a pretty, curvaceous body. (2) However, when you wear clothes that in my opinion are overly tight on you, it makes you look like a stuffed sausage.

    Just to be totally clear: the sartorial ish w not your bangin' body, but rather what appears to be a relatively benign sizing issue. Since you have said you welcome constructive criticism and feedback on your outfits, I responded in kind. You honed in on the least charitable interpretation of my OP, which I guess is your right. But maybe you should be honest that you don't want responses to your outfits, as you mention in your post, "What should I do? Go buy something else?" If you don't want those comments just say so, eh? As it is, it's confusing what kind of feedback you're looking for.

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  79. Totally agree with this. I almost never post on blogs, however the snarkiness of commenters is getting out of hand. If you don't like Bonnie and her blog, don't read it anymore. If her style isn't your cup of tea, great...spend your time browsing blogs that 'do it for you.' Pointing out every little punction error seems petty. Intelligent people make typing mistakes all time. The comments on this blog feel a lot like schoolyard bullying. To be honest, Bonnie, I'd like to see you simply delete them and move on.

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  80. I just wanted to say you look pretty with your hair pulled back, Bonnie! I like your hair down, too, but the photos struck me enough to comment today! (And I can't believe there are 84 comments on this post when my only reaction was "wow, pretty face, I should share!"). Whatever happened to "if you can't say something nice...."?!

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  81. Your bravery sends shivers of ice down my spine.

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  82. Do you really think that going through life with a sense of confidence and style means yelling "Fuck you!" every time someone makes you mad? Let me tell you something, Little Miss Boo Hoo Everybody Picked On Me In High School. I know a large group of women who have had more stress in their lives than you can imagine, and you know what? They don't constantly whine and complain like you do, they don't have ginormous chips on their shoulders, and they don't think that telling people over and over again to "fuck off" is an effective way of dealing with problems. These are good women who work their butts off under a fair amount of criticism and a lot of pressure, and most of the time they're happy because they're not obsessed with trying to convince people that they're badasses. They have no interest in being badasses like you do. You accomplished what you set out to accomplish, Bonnie, which was to steal someone else's husband. After all the havoc you wreaked and all the pain you caused yourself and others in order to get what you wanted - after all that - you are still obviously an unhappy woman. You can blame your unhappiness and your perpetual victimhood on your detractors all you want, but try an experiment; close your blog to everyone other than the slobbering, fawning Catherine so you can read every day, all day, just how perfect you are. Shut out all the detractors and all the criticism, and just listen to Catherine. I guarantee you, you'll still be just as miserable as you are now. And that's because the problem is you, Bonnie; you simply cannot stop feeling sorry for yourself and probably never will. I already know that your very intelligent response to me will be the usual "Fuck you!" so save yourself the keystrokes.

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  83. What Elena and June said is so right on target. You're too chicken to post this comment or the other one because you don't want people to read the truth. But if you had the opportunity you'd no doubt reply to me with something childish and sarcastic. Or just go for your default "Fuck you!" Were you always this classy or is Jerry teaching you how it's done?

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  84. The17 likes disagree with you :D. Also, you are completely delusional if you think you haven't said some variation of that sentence in about 90% of your posts (interchangeable with "I stand up for myself!" and "I don't care what other people think!" etc etc). Go back and read them if you don't believe me (I'm certainly not going to, once was bad enough).

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  85. Kindness. Give it a try.

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  86. this dress is very flattering on you with the waist defined with a belt. The tights are really not up my ally, but I like the concept of the outfit as a whole.

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  87. I've really wondered about the Jerry showing her how it's done part. She said she admires that he "couldn't give a rat's ass about what other people think." What a lovely thing to admire about someone...reminds me of the "nonconformists" in high school. My conformist ass cares about what other people think and (are you sitting down?) I think it's a GOOD THING! It keeps me from stealing other people's husbands and posting the full gory details with actual excerpts from emails where all hurt parties involved can see them and responding to any criticism from such posts with "haters gonna hate LOL :D"

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  88. Wow...this is one blog I'm DONE reading. As a social worker and marriage and family therapist, I want to seriously urge you to seek help. Your posts make it evident that you are an emotionally unstable person, and airing your issues on this blog and really just ASKING for people to fight with you is not helping. Yes, this is your blog, you get to decide what to post, etc etc etc but reader's comments are hardly "cyber-bullying" because...well, you ask for it. I want to encourage you to take a hiatus from your blogging and focus on getting yourself well and taking care of your children.

    And on a separate fashion note...yes, this outfit is not great. Not bad, but not great. Choose one piece that is interesting. The tights, colors, earrings...it's too busy. When you wear patterned tights, the rest should be simple. Those earrings are lovely, but you miss them because the rest of the outfit is distracting. I love all the pieces separately, but not together.

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  89. Oh please, bring on the Target swag? Let me tell you, just because someone drops $1K on Anthro clothes every month and throw the stuff on like the store had puked up on her doesn't mean that person has style (or class).

    And seriously, Jerry, if you feel the need to stand up and defend your beloved here on this blog, at least be a man about it and post as yourself rather than under the disguise of "Catherine". You are not fooling anyone.

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  90. A. Not Jerry. Again, I am a mom of 3 from the midwest. Why is it so hard to believe that someone other than Jerry would find some of these nasty comments to be disturbing?

    B. I never insinuated that Target swag was lesser. I happen to love Target! If you really are a fashionista, you can style items that are less expensive.

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  91. While I find it disturbing that a therapist would ever tell someone that they "asked for" some of the demeaning comments that have been thrown your way, I would have to agree with the basic tenet that by engaging with these people, you are perpetuating the problem here, Bonnie.

    I do believe that some of this has been cyber-bullying, which is never acceptable, nor is it "asked for." What is even more frightening is that the bullies are adults, some of which have children. It should not be surprising to any of us that our schools continue to have bullying problems. Take a look at the role models.

    Bonnie, this is all getting pretty toxic. I don't understand for the life of me why you are not deleting some of this. Putting it all out here on your blog is encouraging a mob mentality.

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  92. Really lady? I'm emotionally unstable because I told some unrelenting assholes "Fuck you." You don't get out much do you? You must be a social worker and therapist for Shangri La. I want to encourage you to come back to reality.

    "When you wear patterned tights the rest of the outfit should be simple."
    I have on solid colors. Doesn't get much more simple than that. I guess anything is considered "distracting" when you get used to all that peace and tranquility in Shangri La.

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  93. Yes, I'm the unhappy one. Maybe when I find this happiness you speak of and stop feeling sorry for myself, I, too, can bring another human being down a notch or two. Makes you feel so superior and oh so happy doesn't it?

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  94. Yes, I'm so sad that the lynching mob disagrees with me.

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  95. Yes, you've figured it out! All this time people have thought Jerry was a "babe in the woods" because I stole him from another women. Turns out, he's the mastermind behind my downward spiral.

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  96. It's actually classier, not "more classy". Get it right.

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  97. How about reading and DIGESTING what this person is saying? Perhaps s/he may have a point. Your response does not automatically have to be the "Yes, you think you got me figured out blah blah blah sarcastic nonsense", but just, PLEASE, try and see whether this person may have a point.

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  98. Well, first I'd like to say thanks for taking the time to type all that out. I see some truth in what your saying here and you've given me a lot to think about.

    Criticism is difficult for me, but my therapist and I feel I have made enormous strides. My nature is to please others before myself. Up until a year ago, I had never received much criticism in my life because I strove to please everyone. When I left my husband it was difficult on many different levels, but I think the part that was the hardest for me was disappointing people. It was tough to hear all those negative things being said about me, even from complete strangers. I remember getting negative comments on here and having full on panic attacks and crying myself to sleep. I don't react that strongly anymore. Some comments bother me more than others, but for the most part, I can read them now and carry on about my day.

    Jerry and I were talking this morning and I have noticed that I seem to release my emotions in physiological ways now. For instance, I received a lot of negative comments on Friday and spent a good bit of the day responding to them. I felt fine emotionally, but that night I had a really hard time going to sleep. It was like I was stressed all day and didn't realize it until I got still. I guess my body was full of adrenaline from being in defense mode all day. So, it seems I have found a different outlet for my emotions but haven't really gotten rid of them completely. Maybe this will continue to get better with time and therapy or maybe it's something I'll never fully be able to get rid of. Maybe I don't want to fully get rid of it. Sensitivity can be a good thing. I guess I just need to find the right balance. I'm a work in progress, but aren't we all?

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  99. Very late to this post, but I have to say it's ludicrous that any real therapist would attempt to diagnose someone over the internet, on a blog. And by 'real therapist', I mean one worth their salt. Any comment meant to sincerely help or to at least offer some practical, genuine concern could have been emailed directly to Bonnie by private email. Posting a condescending "I am a therapist" paragraph on the comments section on this blog is a bit vain, and hard to take seriously. I certainly wouldn't pay for that kind of therapy. It's similar to those who say they're not going to follow her anymore, and then continue to comment - and the number of her followers stays the same. Sorry to see you're the latest entertainment for this type, Bonnie - I enjoy visiting your blog. I don't enjoy the comment section so much.

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  100. Bonnie—

    First, you should know that I have been following your blog since day one, really. In this time I’ve seen you chronicle your sartorial experiences and major life changes. Your first post proclaimed your love of fashion blogs and your ambition to craft one for yourself. I loved your OOTD’s! Your posts on interior home design! Your lil’ munchkins! :D. I’m wondering, however—and I’m asking this objectively—if you’ve considered exactly what direction you are taking your blog?

    Now, it seems like this blog is less “Small Town Fashionista” and more “Small Town Girl, Big-Time Life Changes.” And that’s fine—you and your blog are growing. I think you deserve to have a space where you can talk about both things—your life and your style. However, (and this is my opinion, please understand), I don’t think it is advantageous to have both of these spaces constantly at odds.

    Let me explain: You’ve made it clear that you’re a creative, imaginative spirit who finds joys in colors, textures, music and poetics, but this sensibility seems to interfere with the moments in which you are trying to share what is practically going on in your life—the day to day struggles that you face. I’m wondering if it would help to separate these dual sensibilities: the artist at her canvas and the woman on her soapbox. Perhaps devote one post to either subject? What I’m seeing is, most times, you start out your posts talking about what makes you happy—clothes, Jerry, music—and then you spiral into a subject that clearly ruffles your feathers. Don’t rain on your own parade, girl! If you insist on sustaining an open-comment policy and you believe that responding to other criticisms is helping you, then perhaps keep those comments open on your “personal life posts.” In contrast, I don’t think anyone really has a right to make you feel bad about the way you dress, so I would suggest just keeping your “sartorial life posts” comment free. You deserve that creative breathing room—those saturated greens of NC grass in the springtime, beautiful old-town facades! Let these posts be your true “fashion blog” times—no questions asked, no criticism needed.

    Regardless of my suggestions, know that there are a number of readers (whether they are openly posting or silently consenting) who are concerned for you and hope that you are able to find peace in your children, Jerry, and yourself.

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  101. As a social worker and marriage and family therapist you know that no one ever asks for any kind of abuse, nor are they responsible for the actions of others. You also know that when there is an unhealthy dynamic going on, it is the whole system that is the issue, not one person, not the *scapegoat.* Tnhis is indeed cyber bullying. Bonnie has shared some portions of her life and some of her struggles and some of her joys. Some people have reacted by lashing out, making derogatory comments, putting down her appearance and her character. I sat and read this for a long time before I made a comment. Now Bonnie is reacting back. I can't say I blame her. How much prodding does she need to take before she reacts to it? I do agree that responding and keeping the comments on her page is probably fueling the fire. In the Bonnie's anger (justifiable imo) is giving them more ammunition. I'd love to see the people leaving the negative comments not have the power to taint a beautiful blog. However, I'm going to assume that Bonnie, as a very capable adult, can make the decision that is best for her.

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  102. As a therapist, I couldn't agree with you more.

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  103. Catherine and pjshoegal, if you were true friends through and through, you would lovingly speak to Bonnie about how she has an overly strong emotional response and that some things she's doing is clearly unhealthy. Maybe you did and i don't know it. All I know is, the friends who just applaud my every move always gives me pause as to whether they are true friends of mine. Friends who let me respond to others in the way they respond to me - even if those others are truly mean to me and maybe "deserve" it - or who let me continue in my complaining and over the top behavior of trying to prove something to everyone, don't care about my character. True friends of mine who love me really aren't afraid to tell me something even if it hurts - even if I'm going to start to hate them - they still tell me, for the sake of my well-being. For them, my well-being is more important to them than whether i still like them. That is true friendship.

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  104. Amen! The mean-spiritedness demonstrated in these comments is ridiculous and leaves me incredulous. What is wrong with people?

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  105. What a gorgeous location, Bonnie! And I'm kicking myself for not purchasing that sweater dress. It's lovely on you.

    Hope you're having a fantastic Sunday!

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  106. you sound angrier than Bonnie. By-the-way, no one can be stolen. He's not a victim he knows what he did.

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  107. You open yourself up to critique anytime you have a public blog. If you don't want that, make your blog private

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  108. Just thought it would be a good reminder - we're charged with upholding the ethics of the profession both inside and outside the work place. It's an ethical violation to provide treatment recommendations without a thorough assessment evaluation. Also, if you're not licensed in the same state in which Bonnie resides, you are technically practicing without a license. This sounds like more of your personal opinion than a professional assessment, so I wouldn't put your credentials behind it because you are putting yourself at risk. .

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  109. Cyber bullying is bullying regardless of what Bonnie has shared about her life. It doesn't give people the go ahead to lash out at her or make treatment recommendations based on their credentials. Bonnie has removed the posts going forward on her blog. Happy Day!

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  110. Then... why would you say, "BRING ON THE TARGET SWAG!" the way you did? You clearly meant it as an insult.

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