First of all, the comment button is STILL not working, but thanks for the nice e-mails Joe, Brian, and George.
Secondly, I am a total coward. I read this book a couple of weeks ago, Why Did I Ever? by Mary Robison, because (a) she was the wife of one of my writing teachers in college, and (b) I like some of her short stories a lot. So I ordered it from Amazon.com (feeling guilty that I didn’t support my local independent bookseller, but not guilty enough to pay the extra $6). It ended up being kind of a chore to get through, so I went back to Amazon to post my opinion about it, since all the other people who posted there loved it and I thought it would only be fair to add my two cents. So I wrote a snappy little review and submitted it, but then I realized that I don’t have an alias on Amazon and that I would be horribly embarrassed if Mr. Robison, my former teacher, found out that I was broadcasting my opinions about Mrs. Robison’s talents. I mean, I wasn’t in love with him or anything, but I did talk about some strange things with him during office hours and then I wrote him a few magical, mystical letters after I graduated . . . it’s painful to recall, believe me. So if he did happen to read what I wrote, I didn’t want him to think that after all these years I was stalking them or something.
I immediately started scurrying around Amazon looking for a way to give myself an alias, but then I started thinking, how cowardly is that? What have I got to hide? Why don’t I stand behind my opinion? Ultimately I compromised with myself: I took my full name off the review and left my last name, which is my married name, which I didn’t have in college. I’ve been checking every day since I wrote it (last Friday, I think), but it hasn’t been posted yet. Do they have someone reading every single crackpot review on the site to make sure nobody’s writing anything pornographic? They still haven’t found out about this.