For each of you who choose to come and spend time here at The Wink,

Have any of you noticed the new requirements hoops and BS necessary to comment on the normally friendly and accepting Wink? It was with incredible sadness that I logged in and dove into the blog management tools to initiate comment moderation and word authentication. I loathe being prompted to enter a series of random numbers and letters before having my comment publish, as it is not uncommon for me to fail to get the sequence right. How awful does that feel? The screen mocks me with a blaring:

INCORRECT. Please try again if you want your comment to ever see the light of day.

I have been proud to not enforce those sort of rules, hoping to encourage commenting and cultivate a sense of I belong here. Unfortunately the other day I woke up and checked my email and from that moment it was the beginning of the end. There in the inbox were 27 new messages. My heart soared, my tummy did little flip flops and my mind raced with the knowledge that I had touched you. I’d written something that you related to and felt compelled to comment on, we’d begun a conversation. I was elated to be starting the day in this fashion.

Watch out world, Amanda is here, and she’s feeling like she can make a difference.

Upon opening my email I noticed an odd similarity in the 24 new emails that were not from Daily Candy, a site I am studying in the hopes of putting my friend Melissa on their radar. Anyway, back to the emails, they all had odd code in the From section, little carrots and strange spaces. Most of them had something to do with medic or pharmacy. I started clicking them and quickly realized that at long last I was a victim of some sort of spam-bot. I was crestfallen, unsure if this meant I’d made it, or that I’d been irreparably corrupted.

I deleted the emails and moved on, disappointed, but grateful for the legitimate comments from the ever witty Janet and the hilariously biting Hotfessional. Then I moved on with my day, not quite so sure I’d conquer the world, but ok. Demonstrating my unerring faith in good things happening, as the next day’s sunrise came with another, bursting at the seams inbox, I swooned again, delirious with anticipation, Who wrote today?

More of the same, comments like, “Articles is great” and “Please write different stuffs” and “Is like good.” I sputtered, the line about writing different things hitting me like a slap in the face, even though I knew it was some computer generated drivel. Instead of deleting the emails I clicked on the link to the posts upon which they had been published and went about the tedious process of deleting them. After that I made the official change to a blog that inists that you prove that you are human before you will be allowed to coment. I am hoping that after running into this wall a couple of times, these ghouls will fade away and we can go back to the old fashioned, “Now don’t you worry Mrs. Ingalls, we’ll just put that on your tab and you can pay it when you’re able. We’re all friends here in Walnut Grove.”

Think you can bear with me, maybe even comment, while we wait for peace to once again fall on our beloved little Walnut Grove? I hope so, because we really are all friends and for that I am more grateful than you will ever know.