It’s been a very hectic week around here. There are a ton of new fabrics up over at Gorgeous Fabrics and I have a ton more to put up. On top of that, I’m readying a recital for December 3, followed by concerts on the 8th and the 16th to keep me musically occupied for a while. The recital will be fun, if I memorize everything in time. We just added two songs by Puccini last week, and two Mozart songs today. The program will include Puccini and Mozart arias, along with songs by Brahms and Hoiby. I feel like that old FedEx commercial “How am I gonna do that?” It’s easy. I won’t sleep.
DS the Younger’s competition went very well this past weekend. He danced in 10 dances, took 1st place in eight of them and 2nd place in two. He’s made the discovery that the girls are all angling to get him as their partner. As Sewing Diva Phyllis said to me, there’s always lots of opportunity for a boy in ballroom dance. Something tells me his teen years are going to be interesting.
I made curtains for a post for BeSewStylish.com that will go up tomorrow. After that, I need to make some gifts for my niece. It’s never ending, you know?
I read an interesting post on a website I like yesterday. The website owner was feeling that she (maybe it’s they) was being treated badly by ‘mean girls’ on a forum. It showed up the day after Miss Conduct (the politesse guru in the Boston Globe) wrote a column about how to handle snarky anonymous comments on one’s blog, when you know who the anonymous poster was. There was also a recent article in the Wall Street Journal about how global companies are having to be on the lookout for sarcasm and snark in internal communications, mostly electronic. There must be something in the ether. I’ve noticed this happens on a cyclical basis.
My observation on forums is that someone offers an opinion about something, and that opinion usually is rather bland and harmless. Then other people add their opinions, often also harmless. Occasionally you’ll get the odd flamer, but not always. But what happens after a while is that it starts to feel like a pig pile, regardless of how inoffensive each individual poster believes they are being. And pig piles are never pleasant, especially if you’re the pile-ee. Feelings tend to get hurt, and bad karma ensues.
The reasons for this are myriad. First and foremost, when reading a post on a board, blog, or even when reading an email, we can’t hear the inflection and tone that the writer is using. I had a personal experience recently where someone asked me a question. The wording was ambiguous enough that I couldn’t tell if the person was chiding me or simply being direct. My first reaction was to feel put out. After considering my options for response, I put my position in as bland a way as possible, asked DH to proof it for OQ (Offensiveness Quotient), and when it passed his scrutiny, I sent the response off. I spoke with her recently, and she is a lovely lady, and she meant no offense by it. Written communication with strangers can be fraught with misinterpretation, you know?
And even when I think I am being cute or funny, it can be interpreted exactly the opposite. I took to moderating comments on my blog after one episode where I thought I came across like Jon Stewart, but several readers thought I was being mean. And their comments weren’t witty; they were just nasty. We all know it’s a rough world out there. I don’t have any solutions to offer up, I just know how I’ll handle it when it happens to me. And I’ll keep on keeping on. It’s what I do.