An Open-ish Letter to Mr. Z on the ity of Retraction

Two years ago I wrote a piece on ballet flats and my intense dislike of them when used as anything, say, other than a device to be jammed under a door with loose hinges.

The story was published (well all right, I put it on the last page of this site) and I forgot all about it. That is, until three disturbing days ago when some ‘ballet flat-ophile,’ I’ve never met had the gall to first read the piece, and then….write to me asking for a retraction! Me! Retract!

Good Lord, I’d first have to re-read the thing and apparently when I wrote it I was on some sort of high-heeled high.  It has to be way over 250 words! Secondly, any man who writes to insult me and can’t muster the energy to capitalize his opening sentence, or even include a salutation for heaven’s sake, clearly is not one whose aesthetic sense I am much concerned with.  Here…see for yourself.

 Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2012 11:14 PM
Subject: ballet flats

i found your post on ballet flats ignorant and ill-informed. Ballet flats  are possibly the most aesthetically pleasing shoe perhaps ever created. The line and shape of the shoe are rivaled only by the Parthenon in Athens or a 1976 corvette. I have purchased ballet flats not to wear, but only to place on my shelf as a sculpture (I’m a man).  The way a woman’s arch peaks from  the inner side of the flat has been described by some as a religious experience.  Please reconsider your post and/or write a retraction. Your reputation depends upon it. AND toe cleavage is not a problem-it’s a blessing.

sincerely yours, “a.z.”


Needless to say (and I have said this to him via email) Mr. Z will have plenty of time to brush off his HushPuppies (the brand of shoe I can only imagine he would wear) before I retract the Truth on THAT subject if it were even possible. ‘Toe cleavage a blessing’…pishaw.  What madness I must endure on a Tuesday in February.  I ask you Mr. Z, can one retract the word ‘stupid’ from ‘stupidity’?  Of course not. Unless you want to be left with ‘ity’ and there is NOTHING you can do with ‘ity’.

But the part that really burns me up is why me? Why now? For six hundred days no one, and I mean no one has viewed that page.  Does this mean that I am going to have to go in and remove ever possible meta tag on my site to prevent peeping Toms from peering over the HTML curtain into my personal albeit public webpage?  What next, are people actually going to listen to my sound samples?!  I haven’t redone my demos in years!! I can’t possibly be held responsible for what’s on those things. (found on voiceover page and singing page)

And what about the millions who have really boring blogs about their families? Have we come to the point in our society where there are no boundaries? I ask you Mr. Z, are you going ask Betty Morgan for a retraction for claiming to make the world’s greatest bundt cake? Where does it end?? I don’t go into your front yard and start putting up notices to “Retract that wall you just built” or “Take down your Christmas decorations, it’s February already.”

When men with strong convictions about ballet flats and corvettes (which incidentally everyone knows the ’67 was far superior to the ’76) are freely roaming the web, sneaking around on the nearly hidden pages of people’s personal blogs, demanding retractions, we are on a slippery slope.  And I don’t know about you, but the last thing I’d want underneath me is a pair of lousy, good for nothing, ‘ity’ bitty ballet slippers.  Don your rubbers men! ( a regional term no doubt), and let’s give this whole business the boot.

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