You know, it occurs to me that I’ve never been accused of being too loud.

Too tall, routinely. Too sarcastic, perhaps (said with an indignant eye roll). Too addicted to Diet Coke, yip that’s me. Too sexy…well, if Right Said Fred was, then I can be, too.

But too loud? Never. I’m the person you won’t notice in a room, the silent observer, the measured thinker who only contributes when she feels she has something worthy of contribution.

So imagine my surprise when I returned home from my vacation this weekend (and it was super fun, thank you kindly for asking) to find über-official-looking legal documents in my mailbox telling me to shut the fuck up.

Seriously. OK, the words “shut the fuck up” may not have exactly appeared among the pages and pages of legal verbiage, but that was so totally the intended message.

It seems I may have struck a nerve. Or two. Or a shitload (which, if you’re a loyal blog follower, you know to be 4,533 — plus or minus 10).

Here’s the deal: I’m using this blog to talk about my life, the unfortunate events surrounding my divorce, the painful path to reinvention I’ve been forced to take. I’m using this medium as a way to reach out to others in similar situations, to share my stories and ask for yours, to organize my thoughts and prepare myself for the surprising path that is unfolding before me — the long, arduous, painful path that it is…

(And btw, if you’re new to my blog, you can start the journey from the beginning here, with a cheerful ditty called, “How my marriage ended with a brick…” Only a dozen or so subtle little posts so far, but apparently, that’s a dozen too many according to some people who shall remain forever nameless…)

So I can only surmise by the aforementioned legal papers found in my mailbox (and rife with typos, might I add…I’d ask for a discount from that lawyer if I were they) that certain people may be slightly uncomfortable that I’m talking at all.

But I can talk, dammit! I’m allowed — even encouraged — and in fact, I JUST saw that whole original Bill of Rights thingie in person with my very own eyes on my recent vacation to Washington DC. What are the odds of that?

So thanks in part to a few Constitutional amendments and some other reasons, here is my personal list of

The Top 10 Reasons I Will NOT Shut the Fuck Up:

10. Because I’m a writer. Which is an art. And this is my medium. Which makes the Internet my canvas, so to speak.

I mean, think about it: Do you think anyone ever told Picasso to shut the fuck up with the creepy blobby dudes with uneven eyes and giant nostrils? I think not.

Though maybe they should have. Those portraits are really creepy. See for yourself:

9. Because I don’t hafta! (said in the whiny inflection of a 4-year-old toddler, throwing her weight to the ground in a fit of self-righteous indignation)

8. Because Abe Lincoln was on my side:

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

That’s some powerful shit, Abey…and yes, before you ask, I have permission to call him that. We’re like “this” (imagine me crossing my fingers here…).

Sorry ‘bout the bullet and all, but thanks for those fuckin’ awesome words.

7. Because in legal cases, truth is the ultimate defense.

And what I’ve written here is the truth, the whole truth and nothin’ but the mother-fricken truth. And keep in mind, I’m a journalist and a self-diagnosed hoarder— a crazy combination that means I have documentation to back up everything…

6. Because Martin Luther King, Jr., was on my side:

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

That’s some powerful shit, Marty…and yes, before you ask, I have permission to call him that. We’re like “this” (imagine me crossing my fingers here…).

Sorry ’bout the bullet and all, but thanks for those fuckin’ awesome words.

(Shit! Are you seeing the same pattern I’m seeing…wise men who speak powerful words about not being silent all end up being shot D-E-A-D? OK, new mission: Find someone who advocated action over inaction who did NOT end up all dead and assassinated, k? K…)

5. Because of these powerful words:

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the
long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”
~ John F. Kennedy

Jesus H Christ in a chicken basket! Help me out, here, old dead inspirational dudes! Sheesh.

4. Because I have a master’s degree in journalism and took just a few media law classes.

By no means am I saying that makes me any smarter than anyone else, just that I’m well versed on the whole free speech deal: No, the Constitution does not give every man, woman, child and goldfish freedom of speech without restriction…it grants freedom from government’s infringement on speech with only certain exceptions, none of which apply here. And the court in which these copious legal docs are filed are part of — let’s say it together — the government.

A special shout-out to Schoolhouse Rock for a few inspirational lessons that taught me the nuances of government, btw.

So judges typically frown upon the idea of censorship, and I’d also think they hate hate HATE the idea of a Supreme Court overruling them on a free speech case. Just sayin’…

3. Because I just wrote a whole post on Elin-formerly-Woods-Nordegren, people — so I know the going rate for buying silence. And it ain’t cheap.

For my shit-divorce soul sister Elin, drooling tabloid reporters around the globe glibly gushed that she was gagged for $750 million. That’s $750 followed by, like, a gazillion zeroes.

Personally, I’d go for only, like, a bazillion zeroes. Hell, I’d go for seven. But not one zero fewer…

2. Because there are countless people on my side — and they’re telling me to keep it up!

I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to read all of the incredible comments posted to my blog in recent weeks — they make me feel like I’m not alone, and they’re primarily coming from people I don’t know and probably never will meet in person.

And reading them distracts me from my other favorite pastime, which generally includes time spent curled up in a corner of my office in the fetal position, sucking my thumb and rocking under my nubby blanket while drinking an Orange Fanta.

Not really. I already admitted to an obsession with Diet Coke.

Anyhow, long story short is that I’m getting feedback, and it’s feedback telling me that I’m doing something valuable. Here are just a few examples:

monicastangledweb said:
Hey Mikalee, I love your divorce and post-divorce stories! Remember I told you I had one coming up? Well I posted it today so be sure to check it out. I’m dedicating it to you!

slamdunk said:
Great topic. I think many folks will be inspired with your story and the concept of a 2.0 — that one version is simply not the end of the story.

Catherine said:
I think it is amazing what you are doing. Your blog feels similar to my blog — you’ve been through so much and now you just want to get it out in the world. Maybe help a few people get through it themselves. I really like what you’re doing here, and I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through. But you seem amazing and strong, and I know you’ll be fine. Can’t wait to read more!

emjayandthem said:
Mikalee, your writing leaves me lacking for words .. and in the very best way possible. It’s powerful, emotional, raw, honest, introspective and compelling. May I link to you on my page? Well done, and, for what it’s worth, I’m sorry this happened.

So please, please, please keep the comments coming — otherwise I’ll return to the nubby blanket. Which brings me to #1…

1. Because I look really pathetic like this:

(Quick aside: getting this picture was like torture. Truly. That sad look on my face? Not an act, as I’ve discovered in recent years that I’m slightly claustrophobic. So you should have seen my boyfriend doubled over in hysterics while trying to take my pic because even putting that tape over my mouth almost sent me into a full-on panic attack.)

So there you go. Now it’s your turn: Do you think I should shut the fuck up? Would you shut the fuck up, if you were I? The inquiring mind of this loud blogger wants to know…