Morals and Ethics

I was nervous posting this week’s dating column. More nervous than when I published my first article in the Branford Patch. I was the old fashioned sweaty palms quickly beating heart wondering what everyone will think about me kind of nervous. It wasn’t an article I ever intended to publish. It was a conversation with a friend turned diary entry shared amongst other close friends – one of whom happened to be my editor.

My friends loved it – especially my editor. She told me to write an intro paragraph and she’d run it.

I told her no. I told her I was playing things cool and publishing this emotionally vulnerable rambling would not be cool. I offered to write a piece about the lengths women go to in order to hide their normal, healthy bodily functions (like farting) from the men they like. She didn’t bite off on my farting pitch.

I hate telling people no. I said I’d think about publishing it.

My editor thinks I played it cool in my discernment process. I freaking panicked.

I asked all my friends what to do – the girls told me not to publish it. It was too personal. Too vulnerable. To sad-sack pathetic.

The guys insisted I publish it – since they were “nice guys” they felt vindicated by my humbling reality check.

Voices swarmed my head. Everyone with a conflicting opinion.

I checked my moral compass:

Was it a good story? Hell yes!

Were identities fully protected? Of course.

Was I cruel or insulting to the other party involved? No.

Would he read it? Most likely, he said he reads my blog and column.

Did he deserve to have a say in it? Yes. He did.

Because it wasn’t just my story, it was his story too – and it was my biased telling of his story. I owed him veto power before releasing it to my vast readership of….maybe 100 people.

I made my decision: I would publish it only after giving the boy the courtesy of a head’s up and a chance to personally review it.

I bravely called. Voicemail.

I left one of my awkwardly cryptic messages. Good thing I can write – I’m a horrible orator!

One day passed. He hadn’t called me back. I was a day past my deadline. I sent a text alluding to the fact that I may have accidentally written something about him and would like to publish it and needed his OK asap.

He called a few hours later.

We talked for awhile before I brought up the white elephant, “So, um I accidentally maybe wrote this thing and kinda showed it to my editor and she happened to really like it, but since it was sorta about you….well, maybe I’ll just e-mail it to you and then you can let me know later if it’s ok if I publish it?”


I told him it was cool if he wanted to call me back after he finished reading.

He said he’d just read it then. Out loud.

I was mortified. Here was the star of my mushy, vulnerable sappy diary entry reading it out loud to me! In his best “narrator” voice, nonetheless!

I spent half the excruciating 7 minutes chewing on my pillow so I wouldn’t make any noises that would give away the fact I was dying of embarrassment. Still, I knew he could hear me blushing on the phone.

Honestly, I had it coming to me. It was like some ironic justice that I would have to hear a boy I wrote about read my own words back to me.

When he read the closing sentence, I held my breath, awaiting judgment.

“Publish it.”

He liked it.

He liked it!

We talked more about me writing. He reminded me that when I kissed him, I promised not to blog about it. I blushed again, loudly, “Ummm, well, technically, this isn’t my blog…but I’m sorry….I lied?”

He laughed, and said he always knew I was going to write about it anyway.

He knew I was going to write about it anyway? Ugh. I have got to work on my femme mystique! Am I that easy to read?

I told him that this story was Chapter 2 in the book I’m writing. I said if I get the book published and it takes off and I record an audiobook, he can narrate Chapter 2. It only seems fair.


About ermodi

i like champagne and nachos. i watch people’s mouths move when they talk to me and judge if they are a good kisser i like to write with fine-tip Sharpies because i think it makes me look confident i bite my nails i think doing the dishes is a very lonely chore i think “autumn” is the prettiest word in the English language. i believe in love – or, at least something that resembles love, but i don’t trust this idea of forever.
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9 Responses to Morals and Ethics

  1. Savira says:

    When we write a story that includes others it is always nice to ask them… as you said it is his story as well!

  2. Bongo says: least you have morals…..on my blog I write about whoever….they don’t know till it’s too late LOLOLOL..kudos to you and congratulations….As always…XOXOXOXOXO

  3. Maureen – I read the article and I admire your courage to have him read it…Would I be wrong to hope for something more between you both? I’m an eternal romantic/ optimist….So I’ll keep on hoping! Hugs to you!

  4. This was very considerate of you to “ask permission”. Being around or involved with a writer can be a dangerous thing because you never know when you may see yourself in the author’s story. That’s just the way we roll . . .
    I mention family and friends a lot on my blog, but since it is a daily devotion, all is written in a positive tone. They actually like being featured!
    Thanks for sharing these thoughts today.

  5. sulekha says:

    You are a brave lady and honest too. Loved your dilemma and how you solved it, great post, Shared tweeted and liked a lot.

  6. Hi Maureen:
    I’m here too few times. Sorry bout that. Gotta make a habit os stopping by my favorite blogs more often. Yours isn’t the only one I’ve been neglecting though. I understand it’s not an excuse. I’ll do my best to visit more often.

    LOVED LOVED LOVED the column on patch. You have a wonderful way with words. I intend to share on G+ and re-tweet this. Keep writing. It’s your gift.


  7. Andy says:

    Hello Maureen.
    How considerate of you to take into account his feelings. You did the right thing. Many in your place would have just gone ahead & published it without a second thought to the other party involved. I have to give him kudos too for being so understanding & not having a complete meltdown/hissy fit. LOL
    Very enjoyable post.
    Wishing you the best in your future endeavors.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Breath Of My Poems


    Maureen, it’s always good to check your moral compass before you write something. However, remember that no matter how anonymous or protected the names (you have), you have to accept the consequences to come. My friend no longer talks to me, and thought it hurts, I have to face this.

    You have to write what you believe in, always. And, though – like you – we can double check to make sure we are not hurting anyone’s feeling – if it’s good – write it.


  9. I once had a writing coach who told me, “Nobody cares about that crap you think you’re an expert on up on your soapbox! What we want to read about is that scab you’ve been picking at for the past week!” I think she’s right. Well done!

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