Friday, July 25, 2008

Tales from the Crypt: Underworld Spy Roxy Brings You the Second Intriguing Installment of Instructions to the Double

In celebration of the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives 3rd Blogiversary coming up on August 5th, last weekend I posted the New York Times article and my first excerpt from Instructions to the Double, the blog that inspired Roxy to blog.

Now, on Friday night, here I am back at our beach house in Bay Head, New Jersey, in bed with my Instructions to the Double archives...since last weekend, I've three-hole punched them and fit them into a binder so the stacks of pages are no longer flapping in the sea breeze.

**NOTE TO "TESS": Hey, if you're reading this post and you'd rather I didn't dredge up your past by posting from my printouts of your blog archives, please shoot me an e-mail (Bree at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives dot com) or leave a comment here. As you can see if you follow the whole story here, I'm an admirer who's just wondering what happened to you after you took your blogging private**

Now, where did we leave off with our heroine? We had just reviewed her "Inexcusable Crush Post" about wanting to do "dirty dirty things" to Tucker Carlson. Moving on to the sleeping pills:

"As for the sleeping pills. Yep, I take them. But before any addicts come banging down my door looking for prescription Ambien or the like, again, I am sorry to disappoint you. I do take over the counter, Target brand sleep aids. I have a sleeping disorder that causes me to wake up repeatedly through the night due to fluxes in my body temperature. I basically deal with this by making sure I actually go to bed early so I will get enough sleep. I haven't had a cup of coffee in years, crack a window in the heart of winter, and blare an air conditioner in the summer. But sometimes, I take sleep aids as well, in case I need to ensure rest. Also, funny fact about me that I have blogged about, I can't even swallow pills. Yep, I have to crush them and put them in applesauce or pudding. So, imagine me, in my sweats, before bed, crushing sleep aids and putting them in pudding. It's a lot less glamorous, isn't it?

My Boyfriend once told me that I do touch my breasts when I read. I never realized this and I made an off comment about it on my blog. I mention it once and I think its odd she opens with it as if it was a defining characteristic.

Ms. Olen also says there are things on my blog she would rather not know. Um, then stop reading it. Very simple.

Instead of revealing me as an uncaring and insensitive woman, Ms. Olen actually reveals her own pathologies. In the next section where she talks about the "sexual shenanigans" of her former employees, she does so to appear "superior." I find this really disheartening considering she discusses an unplanned pregnancy and infidelity. Why are these very common, rather serious problems that women face, reduced to "shenanigans?" And why is she more comfortable when she can feel "superior?" Its a sad comment on who Ms. Olen is as a person.

And her essay only gets more insidious. I take serious issue with her accusations that I stay out too late, drink too much, and have "semi promiscuous couplingS."

One, on my blog I discuss drinking. I never say how much. I think strange readers who visit this page, who aren't personal friends who know me in the flesh, should know that I am about 5' 1" and weigh about 105 pounds. Two drinks and I am already tipsy. If you come to this blog looking for "and then I pounded 5 shots of tequila and drank half a bottle of wine" you won't find it. Sorry. I go out for drinks with friends, I often, though never daily, have a drink when I come home from work. That is pretty normal consumption. Two, she portrays me as a party girl who never stays home. Check for yourself. I blog about what TV I am watching so often that I must seem like the dorkiest 20 something in all of Brooklyn. Gilmore Girls, OC, and Reality Trash I Should Be Really Embarrassed to Watch. Absolutely. And three, the promiscuous sex part is so ridiculous. In fact during my 5-month employ at Ms. Olen's, I spent two and a half months celibate. Yep. Celibate. And I even blog about my reasons for being celibate, here. [Roxy interruptus: since all I have are Tessy's printed archives, I can't give you a link to click through and I'll have to keep reading on the beach to find you the specific post]

MMM? And then my blog documents the beginning of a monogamous relationship. However, in the early stages of my current relationship, I did sleep with a former boyfriend who came and visited me. I blogged about it. My Boyfriend was furious. It seriously tested our relationship. We survived. When I discussed her use of the word "promiscuous" with an editor at the New York Times, he said that one incident could be construed as "promiscuous." I countered; saying then that the plural should be removed. I may not be a "journalist" published in a national newspaper, but I am a fairly well educated woman about to pursue an advanced degree in literature and I know that the use of the plural suggests a pattern of behavior, a pattern of behavior that is not reflected on this blog. So, in case you were looking for a nanny who hits the bars to pick up men every night, again, sorry to disappoint you. I am in a monogamous relationship, so since January, and I am very very happy.

Oh, and the Jennifer Ehle comment? I make it in regards to her performance as Elizabeth Bennet in AE's adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. See a theme developing? Are you shocked that I think an actress in 19th century garb is "hot?" It's supposed to be an ironic comment because everyone always talks about Colin Firth as the smoldering Darcy. I think Ms. Ehle does a fabulous job of showing how sensuality isn't about revealing a lot of skin or having gratuitous sex; it's about an energy she exudes under her very conservative costume. Still riveted?

Roxy's wrap-up:

That's all I have for you tonight, gentle readers. As I was posting this excerpt from "Tess," I had a few thoughts and questions I'd like to share with all of you:

With whom and how do you "share" your blog? Back in October 2004, Tess wrote: "So, I sent out a mass e-mail from my oversized address book to advertise my blog and the obligatory post of" As I've mentioned before, I tend to keep my "real life" and my "blog life" somewhat separate (yes, Henson, these are our real names). The real life Roxiticus Desperate Housewives rarely read my blog, but if they did, they wouldn't find anything I wouldn't tell them to their faces. I post a great deal about the goings on in the Roxiticus Valley and in our lives -- school events, concerts, what Rex cooked for dinner, where we shop -- but my goal here is community-oriented, helping other local moms find great Bernardsville and Mendham restaurants or toddler gymnastics classes. Tess' blog reads more like my hard-copy Roxiticus Desperate Memoir, most of which will never appear online.

Next, and I think this applies to Helaine Olen's article in the New York Times as well, Tess posted on October 27, 2004: "Are there ethical considerations when one blogs? I just read bitchphd's post about her relationship with her mother and it reveals a great deal to her readers about someone they do not know who will never be able to present her side of the issue to them. These sites started to interest me because of their level of personal detail, though the medium, a website of sorts, public, though I suppose self-selected, is very impersonal. I know when I started reading I felt like a voyeur (though that might have had more to do with the narcissistic semi-public masturbatory quality of the first blog I read). I mean, when you know people will be reading, when the blog is more than just a personal journal, what should you say or not say? I think this is more than a silly question of decorum. Though I think decorum is under valued." If only Helaine Olen had given her former nanny as much consideration before putting her out there in the New York Times with no chance to present her side of the story in a national newspaper. Of course, then I'd never have found Tess' blog, and Roxiticus Desperate Housewives probably wouldn't exist!

One last note before bedtime. Many of my readers have enjoyed these excerpts from Instructions to the Double so much that I've decided to try to find, with your help, excerpts from the archives of my favorite blogs and post them over on Roxiticus Best Blogs. So, if you'd like to nominate yourself or another deserving blogger, please leave a comment here or over on Roxiticus Best Blogs, linking to not just the blog itself but the post(s) that most intrigued you. Oh, and don't forget....start with "Once upon a time..."


LadyJava said...

Happy weekend Roxy!!

Internet is soo slow today..only managing to drop now..

Bouncer said...


that was a huge do have all the ingredients of what a blogger needs

I am hardly able to prepare that lengthy articles :(

Ferd said...

I am so truly enjoying Tess' old stuff! I love to read intelligent, insightful commentary, especially when it poses questions that demand pondering. So, I am glad you are taking the time to type it all out for us and share. Thanx, Rox!

But I mostly blog and blogsurf for other reasons. I am motivated by simple connection. I love knowing that we share a common humanity, despite differences in age, sex, religion, location, etc. I am fascinated by the degree of connection I feel to ePeople I will likely never meet in person. I post a little, mostly to keep my feet wet, but I prefer to visit and comment. I'm trying to answer the question you asked. I hope it wasn't rhetorical!

Mariuca said...

Hi Roxy! I see LJL is here while LLP is at my place. Looks like LJ is doing some serious advertising this weekend! ;)

LadyJava said...

Hi Roxy.. am now at BobB but it seems no one has taken up your challenge yet... so I'll check in later ok... off for late dinner now!!

Mariuca said...

Roxy!! I'm here to vote and to let u know that I'll be hosting a BOTB tonight woo hoo! See you there! ;)

Mariuca said...

Just a quick drop and hello Roxy! Hope ur day is not as busy as mine! ;)