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.


Elspeth said...

Oh my God! I had to read your post because I got a very similar email (nice way to give the news, huh?) from a group I have been involved with for *5 years* totally out of the blue. I didn't answer the email because I didn't think it needed a response, but I'm sure glad you did! Honestly - people can't listen to what's going on in other people's lives because it's "too stressful"? So that means there's no conversation at all, right? Honestly. I know I'm better off without the lame group I used to waste time with and you are too - good luck and hope you get well soon!!!

Pixie said...

Omgosh, just how heartless are these people? we all come in different packages, its what is underneath that counts and if they don't have the time to see what is for real then they are empty packages and not worth knowing..

I may not know you for real as in meeting you but what I do know your a wonder to get through what you have and still be standing..

Its a privilege to know you and those so called ladies are missing out big time.. their loss!

mandycharlie said...

Hugs to you. I don't know what it is about knitting groups, I just had a hysterectomy and was very poorly for a few weeks, I still am. Two out of the group were very supportive, the lady who owns the shop and who I have given stearling support to for the last two years couldn't even be bothered to arrange a card and get everyone to sign it. I am in the process of finding another, more supportive group.

I got the distinct impression last week that I wasn't welcome and would I please not mention my health.

Sorry to witter on, I hope you somehow find the strength to carry on and not let those people get the better of you. Maybe its time to start your own group? Every cloud as they say, has a silver lining.

Do take care though.

Big hugs, from one baldy to another.

Angie said...

I'm really sorry, sweetie. I can see this whole thing has really hurt you. I know that it seems silly to say "try not to take it personally" when it's all about you as a person, but try to put it in a different context. It's really about them, not you. They have a certain level of tolerance for people who are different from them, and it's obviously pretty low. You just need to find a group of people who have a larger sense of what's fun, appropriate and "normal." And I agree with you about women... I don't have a great deal of luck with female group friendships either (don't ask about my knitting group experiences). What you need is a knitting group of men!.... Big, hunky, hot men with fantastic abs who like to knit shirtless.... oh hell, who cares about knitting anyway?!

Bezzie said...

Wow. Utterly--WOW.

Karma's a bitch. I feel bad for them--that's not going to bounce back at them pretty.

hideandsheep said...

Hi Pam,
I don't usually comment, just read your blog but I thought I would this time. I myself have had my problems with groups of women in my days and have never got along with them since my preschool days. I get along much better with men. It is their loss. It is because they feel threatened by you. You don't fit into their typical mold. Just know that there are people out there that care and are like you! I have lived in Michigan for 13 years now and don't have one friend. Pretty lonely but I manage and I keep hoping that I will fit in somewhere. If you ever need to talk, just email me.
Hide and Sheep

Kim said...

Holy cow, sweetie! I agree with Bezzie - the karmic repercussions aren't going to be pleasant.

I tried going to an S&B once - as soon as I mentioned that I knit professionally, (once! When they asked me what I was knitting, and I said "a project for XXX"), I was told "Oh. Well, this group isn't for pros - we're just lowly amateurs." And then nobody would talk to me the rest of the time. Needless to say, I never went back - I'd rather knit with my family who loves me than with a bunch of ignornant biddies.

You don't need that kind of stress! It's their loss, not yours - please don't let them affect you this way!

Anonymous said...

This is a message from a small minded person using the group to justify her ignorant insensitive comments. I am glad to hear other members of the group do not agree with her, lets hope she now gets ostracised from the group herself for this. You won't be knitting alone for long I will be there in 11 days. Yippee x x

Syd said...

Holy Cow! Who the hell does she think she is? and she speaks for everyone? Yea, right...I know it hurts Pam, but there are plenty of us that love you..we just don't happen to be in that town. Being "different" is both a joy and a curse. But you know that....lick your wounds and take joy in knowing you know thier true colors!

Vicki said...

I am so sorry to hear about your narrow minded and self centered "group". Karma can be a mean and hateful bitch. It would be best if you weren't around them when Karma decides that it's time. I would hang out with you and knit, but it's an ugly commute to your house from Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

Asshats! Jerks! and Bitches! These are poor excuses for human beings! I guess I should be glad that I knit alone.

You are loved by people who are nice, so take heart in that! Are you coming to Sock Summit? If so, I'm gonna jump on you and hug you and get all your germs on me! :)


Laura Neal said...

I can't believe someone can be so petty as to tell you this shit! If you can't be yourself then who in the hell are you supposed to be?

I swear, we are all different and to find someone who is unique is a rare gift!

I am happy you are my friend and I would knit with you any day of the week.

Marin (AntiM) said...

Why I Prefer Men to Women 101

Jadielady said...

I don't think I've ever commented before but I wanted to let you know you are not an ogre, and you would be welcome in my knitting group any day! Big cuddles to Emma, my Kitty boy also knows when I'm upset.

Mrs.Q said...

Emma's a smart girl. Hugs to both of you. And your husband rocks.

Rabbitch said...

I'm pleased that they've deprived themselves of the pleasure of getting to know you. You rock, missy, and I'm proud to be your friend.

On the other hand, I'm annoyed you don't have a knitting group to go to any more. Maybe you should start a group of subversives ...

Magic Stix said...

I am so sorry this happened to you. and as you might well know by the response you got not ALL women are like that. (Thank God !!)I knit with you any time!!