Friday, April 17, 2009

Wow - I Never Expected This

I truly don't know what to say. It was just what I needed to bring me back to my normal, bitchy, fighting self.

What am I talking about?

The overwhelming love and support which was extended to me over this entire mess with the knitting group.

I have never received so many comments, nor have I gotten so many letters telling me that I was clearly in the right and to not let it bother me. Between the private emails and the public comments, there were close to 50 notes. To a person, nobody could believe that such a callous, rude, nasty letter was sent. I can't even begin to express the love and appreciation I feel for each and every one of you. I wrote to as many of you as I could, but those who left public comments didn't always have their email addys listed. I left comments for some of those, but if I didn't get a note of thanks to you, consider yourselves thanked.

Anyway, the saga continues. This woman wrote me another email telling me that she needed me to remove her letter from the blog. What the fuck? What good would that accomplish? I told her I wouldn't do that. She claims that her email was private and that I didn't have her permission to publish it. I begged to differ, and it went downhill from there. I think there were two more emails with her trying to argue and/or intimidate me, but I refuse to be pushed around by anybody, let alone somebody who caused so much grief. If she didn't want anybody to know about this, then she shouldn't have written the damned email to begin with. I also told her to leave me alone and, if she continued to bother me, I would publish those emails on the blog, too. The strange thing is that I received emails from other women in the group who were as shocked as I was about the letter; they wanted me to continue coming to the group or, lacking that, to knit with them privately. It just proved that she acted either alone or with just a few other people in the group. I'm definitely not going back; I have far better things to do than sit down with a bunch of women who really don't want me there. I've been looking at the list of cities on the sidebar and noticed that there were people from my town and the surrounding communities reading it. I don't know if she's one of them, but I'd be willing to bet that she is. I also think that my language is a bit rough for their fair virgin ears, and they also probably don't much care for how I look or the fact that I'm a smoker. Fuck 'em. The ladies who wanted to remain my friend are different; the ones who think I'm a freak can go play with themselves and an unlubricated dildo for all I care. Heh... the spell checker doesn't recognize either "unlubricated" or "dildo".

Now that that little drama seems to be behind me, I've been working on Hubster's socks. In fact, I just had to frog all the slip stitch work I did because it was too tight. Then I read the instructions a little more closely and found out that I was supposed to change to the next larger size of needle for that part of the sock. Live, rip, and learn.

I'm dead tired, so I'm going to go take a nap. Tomorrow should be a big day in the village, what with the gorgeous weather we're having. I have a three-hour reading tomorrow, so I need to prepare for that. Hopefully, I'll get a lot of clients this weekend. Then I have to really work hard on the house next week - Sheryl comes a week from Sunday!!!

Thank you all again for your support. It truly made me feel loved that you all came to the forefront and stood up for me. It really helped me feel better about myself - I was truly down in the dumps over this whole mess. I love you all; if you ever need me for anything, don't hesitate to call on me. Most of us may be miles apart, but that doesn't matter. Friendship and love make those miles disappear.

And on that note, I'm back to my chair to sleep. Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pissed Off? Hurt? You Bet Your Ass

I just received this letter from one of the women in what I thought was my SnB group:

Hi Pam:
I need to pass on to you that your presence is killing the local group, just like you suspected.

These women just want to get together, knit and talk. They feel and believe that your behavior has threatened their ability for several reasons.

1) Your statement that you are dying and your constant reference to your health issues. They're just regular people looking for a place to knit and talk about their lives. Hell, they live w/stress & guilt all day. This is their outlet for their stress & you're bringing more stress & guilt.

2. Drama. How can their lives compare to yours? You alienated them.

3. TB issue. Some of them have little kids, and your arguments haven't made them feel safe. In fact, it insulted them for being cautious, considering your argument on your blog that made them look stupid rather than cautious.

I don't blame any of them. It isn't your appearance; it's your behavior that affects them.


Here is my response:

Hi Becky,

Well. How nice to know that I've been discussed, and behind my back, no less. Yet again. Just when I thought that I had found a group of women with whom to socialize, this happens. I know I had said that I would be happy to leave the group if it was my presence that was causing the lack of attendance. However, I never thought I would receive such an insensitive letter in my inbox. You have truly hurt me.

Allow me to address each of your comments.

1. I don't make constant references to my health issues. I was asked about it, so I told whoever asked what was wrong. It's not my fault that I'm the way I am. I feel sorry for anybody who is ill around the group. Are they also a threat, or is there faked sympathy, when all the while the group is threatened? And what do you mean by "regular people"? I thought this was an open town. I see now that the women here are no different than anywhere else - close-minded and narrow. How in the hell am I bringing them more stress - and guilt? What guilt? Have I blamed any of them for what ails me? Or do they feel guilty because they don't like to be around people with diseases, and having me there makes them realize that they're bigots?

2. It's also not my fault if they lead boring, mundane lives. They chose their lives, not me. If this is their outlet for excitement, then I feel sorry for them.

3. This comment is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. If these women can't research (and the Internet is a marvelous place to do research, since they must not have the time to go the library - they have those little kids underfoot, after all), then they are stupid. Cautious has nothing to do with it. If they don't believe articles written by doctors from such lousy, silly institutions as the Mayo Clinic, then there's nothing I can say that will convince them otherwise. Cautious my ass. They'll certainly feel and look stupid and ignorant when I write about this on my blog. I fully intend to publish this letter and the letter which caused it to be written on my blog as well.

I don't believe that my appearance has nothing to do with this. These women act like they're from the Midwest, not California. I'm being treated exactly the same way I've always been treated by women, which is exactly why I don't like women. They're catty, nasty, rude, and ostracize people who are different from them. Even though I don't like kids, I'm treated better by them than supposedly mature adults. I knew the drop in attendance was because of me; I'm not the stupid one. Fine.

You won't have to worry about me alienating your precious group. I don't go where I'm not wanted. You can all burn the things I gave away last week - just in case they're also infected with who knows what virus. I wouldn't want people to feel guilty for accepting things from a sick woman. Or maybe they can just wipe everything down with anti-bacterial wipes. That should kill any disease on them.

If I sound angry and bitter, it's because I am. It's always the same, no matter where I go or what I do or say. You can tell the group exactly what I said, because frankly, I don't care. Maybe they should put themselves in my place and try to see how it feels to be told that you're a walking death sentence to a group. All I wanted was to sit, knit, and visit. Shit... I hardly say anything to anybody and help where I can. If that's what scares them, so be it.

Have fun knitting. I'll be doing it alone at home where I can't infect anybody, including my granddaughters. How utterly pedestrian.


P.S. (from Mark) Unlike my wife, I'm at a loss for words in how to respond to such an ugly, small, and petty list of ignorant complaints. You have lost an opportunity to get to know and learn from someone who is incredibly interesting with more funny and true anecdotes than most best sellers on the bookshelf. I read your complaints below, and not one of them seems to have any substance whatsoever. If those items give any sense of the threshold of "other-ness" that your group is able to put up with, then you will always have a very boring, vanilla, and "stress-free" group. I suppose it would be best to end with a quote from the philosopher Judge Judy Sheindlin -- "Beauty fades... dumb is forever."

It would appear that Hubster is also pissed off, and rightly so. His wife has been violated.

You know, I've tried for years to belong to groups. In the past, these were quilting guilds. I was always somewhat forced to sit in the back of the room where the other members could pretend that I wasn't really there. Hubster would go with me so I wouldn't have to sit alone. Eventually, I just gave up trying to belong.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because I'm tired of trying to fit in. Shit... I've never really fit in anywhere. People are either afraid, cautious, worried, embarrassed, and any other number of labels concerning me. The end result is that I've had it. I'm done being nice and trying to be a part of the group. I guess I'm too flamboyant - or just too accepting- to be around such asinine people. What the fuck are they talking about with the guilt, my alienating them, stress, blah blah blah? Am I just too colorful to be around Puritans? What the hell is WRONG with these people? I haven't been this pissed off in a while, and the more I think about it, the angrier I get.

There was a comment above about the women feeling stupid rather than cautious. They should feel stupid. This is all about the TB shit. Had they bothered to read the articles which Google had on their home page - they had links, for chrissakes - they would have seen that exactly what I said was true. I'm less threatening to their or their precious children's health than the mosquitoes.

I need to stress that there are women in the group who aren't a part of this. I just received a lovely letter (which also made me cry - it seems to be my night for that) from one of them who apologized for what is going on. She isn't the only one. There are others who like me and enjoy my company. I'm not a fucking ogre - I'm just myself. I'm glad that some of the women have the good sense that Creator gave them, and I welcome them in my life.

That's really all I have to say tonight. I'm going to go sit in my chair and knit out my anger and sadness - that is, if Emma the Consoler peels herself away from me. She always knows when I'm upset and tries to cuddle against me to make me feel better. Or she'll lick away my tears. Anybody who says that animals are stupid and don't know your feelings don't know what they're talking about. They're more perceptive than a lot of people.

I think you know which people I'm talking about.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Snowed in on a Friday Night

Yep. You read that right. It's snowing, and I mean SNOWING. It began about four hours ago and doesn't show any signs of letting up. I'm ecstatic! And here I thought our rain/snow was over for the season. Heh. I love being wrong sometimes.

Before I go any further, let me warn you that there are some graphic paragraphs coming up. I know that will entice many of you to read faster so you can get to them; others will run away shrieking. You've been warned.

I hadn't realized that so much time had gone by between posts again. It seems like time just keeps going by faster and faster. At this rate, I'll be dead in a week or two.

ACK! Sorry about that. We're watching Antiques Roadshow, and this absolutely HIDEOUS clock with a picture of some old dude just came on the screen. When you have a 64" TV, everything is somewhat... uh... bigger. If I saw this dude in a dark alley - or anywhere, for that matter - I'd run screaming. OH SHIT! His eyes move as the clock ticks! NOOOO!!! It's worse than a clown!!!


Anyway, here I sit typing and eating a bowl of snow. Powder. Freshly fallen. Hubster has three bowls set out on the deck railing to catch it. I just uh... uh... well... OK, I'll say it - I just got my tongue pierced, and the cold is really good for shrinking the swelling. I'm just letting Mother Nature work her magic as it sits on the piercing, soothing the ache.

So why in the hell did I do such a thing, you might ask? Well, I don't really know. I had a tongue piercing many years ago and finally got tired of it, so I took it out. They heal over very quickly, and before a week was gone, it was like I never had one to begin with. Well, I got the urge again, and it just grew stronger and stronger. After we went to see my new pain doc (more on that fiasco in a minute), we drove to Palm Springs because Errant Daughter (ER) found a studio on one of her electronic gadgets (she was here for a few days - more on that later). When we found the place, it was in the old (now very trendy) part of town on a little side street. Very clean. Very new. I felt comfortable immediately, so ER and I walked inside.

The first thing I saw was a plastic male torso sitting on the floor with thong underwear and an enormous cock. Huh? What did enormous cocks have to do with piercings (unless you're a man and want your own enormous cock pierced)? For that matter, what did thong underwear and plastic male torsos have to do with it? Then I saw clothing hanging on the wall. Fetish clothing. Male fetish clothing. Hm. Next, I ventured over to the counter to check out their jewelry. Very large CBR's (captive bead rings, a type of ring that doesn't go all the way around - it has a bead in the opening which is held in place by pressure). Male fetish objects. Prince's Wands (men put them in their dicks - they have a post which you put through a piercing to hold it in place). It's a practice called sounding. I used to be really involved in the piercing world, which is how I know about this shit. Then it dawned on me. This was a studio for gay men, or at least run by gay men.

The man who would be my piercer was behind the counter doing some paperwork and was extremely friendly, telling me to browse all I wanted and to let him know when I was ready (I had already told him what I wanted). ED and I looked around a little more, and then it was time for the big moment.

He took me into the back (it was draped off for complete privacy), carefully marked my tongue, clamped it, told me to breathe deeply, and on about the third breath, he did the piercing. He spoke in a very soft, soothing, calming voice. While he got the jewelry ready for insertion, his partner came in and asked me if I wanted a hug. I grunted (it's a bit difficult to speak when your tongue is hanging out of your mouth with a clamp on it and a large needle through it), so he came over and wrapped his arms around my shoulders. Once the jewelry was in, he squeezed me tightly and kissed me on the nape of my neck. There was no pain; this man was the best piercer I've ever had, and I've had a lot of them. When we were all finished and I had received my care instructions, both men gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. Should any of you be as stupid as me and want to get a piercing (and you live in the Los Angeles/Palm Springs/Idyllwild area), the name of the place is Palm Springs Piercing Company. I highly recommend it.

Since my foot and ankle are swollen to the size of a tree trunk (bigger than my tongue, even), I've been doing a lot of sitting with my foot elevated (well, at least as much as I can - I can't sit that way forever, and I like to sit with my legs crossed), and knitting, reading, and sleeping in front of the boob tube. It's been delightful tonight with the snow, although I think that by now, it's stopped snowing. The other thing I've noticed about sitting down here for so long is that something is living under the house. This room was built in a space under the house, so I seem to be sharing it with some creature who has come in out of the cold - maybe a raccoon, or a squirrel, or a possum - which I hear moving about until Hubster opens the door to take a look. Then, of course, it either vanishes or hunkers down. Great. Now Emma is going to go apeshit (if she ever wakes up long enough to investigate). Right now, she's curled around my hip and snoring. Anyway, I've been working on Hubster's socks. They're coming along great. I'm ready to insert the second color and begin the slip stitch design. They look huge on the needles, but then again, his feet are the size of surfboards.

Work on the never-ending house project continues. I had no idea I had accumulated so much shit over the course of my life. But then again, when you're half the age of an antique and are as materialistic as I used to be, you tend to attract objects. I've been very good - I've not bought much of anything, even for decorating the house. In fact, I have more than enough crap to put on the walls, tables, mantel, etc. I finally found the box which had my antique quilts in it, so I draped my favorite one over the upstairs railing (it hangs down into the front room so everybody can see it as soon as they walk in the front door). Some years ago, we had attended an auction to benefit breast cancer at the Sutter Cancer Center in Sacramento and won the bid on a batik quilt (it's sized for a king bed). Since it had a hanging sleeve already attached, we bought a pretty curtain rod (the kind with the fancy finials) and hung it on one of the hallway walls. Slow but sure, the house is turning into a home. Since my dear friend arrives in 16 days(!), I want as much of the house done by then as possible. Since ED was coming for a few days, we had to hurry and set up one of the guest bedrooms, which is where Sheryl will be sleeping. That's one important task out of the way.

Since I've blathered on enough for one night, I'll save the saga of the pain doctor for my next post. It's almost 10:00 p.m., and I need to feed the old man. I also need to pee. TMI? I think not. You can rely on me to report the facts.

To those of you who are of the Christian persuasion, Happy Easter! To those of you who are of other persuasions, Happy Ostara - or whatever it is you celebrate.

And to those of you who don't give a shit - have a lovely weekend.