A sign sets boundaries
Your home is your haven
This is our home
I’ve been called Elsa before and as much as I love the Disney Ice Queen, I am not an Ice Queen in an unfriendly way, the way she wrote I was.
I get that writers want to tell shocking stories. One that will grab the attention of others. Click bait. But, at what price?
SUGAR SOUR wrote a harsh story about me based on a picture and a one-liner subject from a random picture posted. This author ran with it for click bait and it hurt. When an article is written about you, about your home, that is not true, who suffers? What suffers? What are the ramifications? I’ll get to that ugly honesty.
When a writer decides to slander a “Disney themed” business as being unfriendly, we have a problem. Although, I state on my site that we are not affiliated with the Walt Disney Corporation, I do my best to have good morals that the Walt Disney Corporation would be proud of, because like it or not, people assume we are connected, even though we are not. It is my job to keep my name and my house and my site in good judgement.
But, here’s what really happened first since she didn’t get the WHOLE story:
This writer from popsugar took one picture from the internet and ran with for a click bait article.
However, I remember it vividly. I was working in the yard prepping for Spring. I was working in the yard to beautify for you all! To make it more picture worthy. How ironic. (I read all of the comments – geez people are harsh behind a keyboard)
I offered to take pictures of most of the visitors that arrived that day (all unannounced, these are all strangers that show up to our house). Some took me up on that offer, some didn’t, no worries. I answered the usual questions:
- Do you live here?
- Is this your house?
- Are you the only owners?
- What’s it like inside?
- Do you like your house?
- Do you have kids?
- How old are they?
- How much did your house cost?
- How big is your house?
- How many bedrooms does it have?
- Did the play set come with it?
- How many bathrooms?
- What’s is like living in a Disney house?
- Do you work for Disney?
- Do you go to Disney a lot?
- How long have you lived here?
- Do you like living here?
- Do your neighbors like you, I heard they don’t, I heard you have to paint it?
- Can we have a tour?
- Can we see the inside real quick?
(I answer most of these questions but some of them we don’t answer because they aren’t really anyone’s business. However, these are the typical questions every time a visitor asks us about our house.)
I was in the best mood because I was working in the yard – it’s one of my favorite things to do! The weather was gorgeous.
There are days, that I’m outside and quiet, sure, I’m human. But on these two work days. Nope. I know and remember. I was cheerful and talkative to visitors that approached me. I was gardening and making plans for more beautiful plants for everyone to enjoy type-of-days. I told people as I took their pictures, “Scoot over more to the left – so you’re in front of the trashcan. Sorry, I’m working in the yard today.”
Both days that I worked in the yard, I was happy to tell my husband about all the happy visitors that stopped by and what a great and successful day I had working in the yard, pruning all my rose bushes and planning for more. I LOVE roses and peonies. It’s a shame that you only get one bloom from a peony because they are glorious!!! But, roses are just lovely and I shall plant some more. Just typing that brought a smile. And, I thought that was that. Two fantastic successful days of pruning and prepping the yard for Spring. Nope, I was wrong.
Someone stood at the park and took a lovely crisp picture of our UP House after they went to Comic Con over the weekend and decided that we were unfriendly. Interesting.
The Article shows up online – Huh?!?
Having this show up was shocking. And, slanderous. As well as heartbreaking. I spend hours trying to perfect my house, yard and site to make visitors feel Disney magic. I try to wave hello to people. Do I miss people, sure. I’m sure you do, too. We are all human.
Of course, I talked about it with my sage husband. He is always so wise. Really guys, he is. He called it out for what it was. Click bait and to let it go. People will be selfish. They will write stuff for their gain. Also, those may visit our home with grandiose expectations of what they think they should experience. They may not at the time realize that people (we) live there, so, when they arrive and see me working in the yard and/or see the sign (a much needed sign that our local police advised us on having because of problems by visitors NOT respecting our property and privacy) on the gate that says: Private Residence. No trespassing. No loitering.
So, where does this leave me? Jaded a bit. To be honest, yesterday, when I was outside, I was so nervous that I was going to be perceived as rude that I kept waving at a family that showed up, in fear that they’d post hateful stuff online. Is that how I should live now??
This kind of hateful garbage affects me.
It affects my business. I’m a blogger – will this affect opportunities with this? This would break my heart. With the blogging opportunity, I have been able to provide amazing opportunities for my whole family. Did someone see this article that was thinking about booking a photo shoot here and now they will not because of it? Do I even want to continue allowing photo opportunities here? I don’t know. I have quite a few photo opportunity email requests to answer and I don’t even know how to respond right now. Is it worth it?!? And when I say business, friends, I have cut wayyyy down on how many photo shoots I actually book here. Why? Family first. My family will always come first. The first year, we had so many people showing just having photo shoots outside our home just having their own photo shoots ALL THE TIME. It was neighbors and friends that told us that we should start charging and setting up appointments for this. So we took their advice and did. I made our first sign and set up an email address. I was saying yes to everyone. It took about two years of me saying yes to EVERYONE and us missing out on enjoying OUR own Holidays and saying NO to our own family members because I had booked stranger’s photo shoots here to please THEM that I decided to create better boundaries for my family. Eventually, I had to change our sign to add a website and a no trespassing verbiage to it. But guess what? That didn’t stop folks from entering and hanging out in front of our house for long periods of time. I had to order a third sign. One that had Private Residence, No Trespassing & No loitering, as well as our website. Has this solved all issues. No. But, we do have lovely visitors that show up giggly and happy to take their selfies. It makes makes me smile! But, is this sign necessary, dear popsugar writer, you betcha! I believe most UP House visitors understand this. I thank them for that too. I see you out there and am smiling right back atcha. 🙂
If I happen to be out there sitting and staring, this might be a moment I need space. Because guess what? I am human. Turn around and look at my view. It’s gorgeous. That big beautiful mountain is my therapy, it’s my reset button. Please don’t get annoyed with me that I’m enjoying my porch or my littles are out there enjoying their front yard. This is why we decided to set up photo opportunities, so that there would be a balance, for those wanting more time here, more than one quick, casual selfie AND that we (my family) could enjoy our home without feeling pressure to go inside because you’re wanting your perfect picture.
Did you know that last week I was told by a visitor that Google was telling people that we were open for tours? Yeah, I didn’t know that either. I also didn’t know that Google said people spend an average of 2 1/2 hours at my house! Two and half hours. So, now you see why we had to add a No Loitering part to our sign?!! Good ole’ Google was telling people that that was the average time people were spending at our house! Ummm, thanks! Seeing that was shocker.
So, Mister or Miss IMGURer, that posted this mystery picture of our house that clearly has our trash can and garbage bag and garden tools in sight, please re-evaluate your situation before you go posting hurtful words about someone’s home that you are visiting unannounced.
Yeah, that day. I’m sorry if I missed saying hello to you and your group. I went to Comic Con last year. I hope you had fun. I’m in the Utah Comic Con group. My husband knows Bryan Brandenburg personally. The Real UP House gave away tickets to Comic Con the last two years, I forgot to contact Bryan about it this year because I was busy with other stuff this year.
Dear Popsugar writer and mystery imgur-er, your words are very hurtful as you hide behind them on a computer. They hurt my family and my business.
So, let me pose this to you all reading this:
When you’re traveling or visiting places, do you ever stop to think about the people you see? What’s their story? Or are you quick to think about your experience? I want the best picture. I want to see this. I want to experience that. I hope this happens.
You are there.
You are somewhere that’s not yours. What’s their story? What are they doing right now? Do they have kids? How’s their health? Are they ill? Do they have siblings? Are they married? How did they meet? What’s their story?
Everyone has a story. Remember, when you are visiting another place, you are entering their story. That moment – it could be an ill, tragic, happy, confusing, or love chapter, read softly – it’s not your story to tell. Words can have a brutal and sharp weight, once torn, it’s hard to tape back together.
Here’s the GOOD News:
I learned that POPSUGAR had to take down their post yesterday evening. Good. I decided I will still post this. What happened was not okay. In fact, I’d love an apology from her.
Spread Love Not Hate. Words Have Weight.
* I get a little change to add in our adventure jar if you click on my affiliate link and make a purchase.