I try to get along, not cause drama, and if there is drama, not make it worse.
Of course, I have drama in my life sometimes, you can’t totally get away from it. And when this happens, I normally will hole up till it’s over, or try to work around it, mediate it, or….
And shut it the hell down.
I had a moment like that yesterday. And Tawanda was only too happy to make an appearance.
You see, a few years ago, a friend (name withheld because of privacy) and I started a group. It was a Pagan group, designed to allow people in my area to have a place to meet, greet and get together, without being afraid to talk about things that many non-Pagans wouldn’t necessarily understand, or would think were just downright “weird”. It wasn’t meant to be a “coven” of any sort, no real structure, and no real rules other than “Play nice”.
The word “Independent” is stated very clearly, right in the middle of the group’s name, to let people know that this wasn’t just for people looking to belong to a coven, but to those who choose to also celebrate, practice, and simply live, in their own particular way. No obligations to attend any meetings or functions, no dues, no feelings of guilt if you couldn’t make it, or just plain didn’t want to. It was meant to be friendly get-togethers and sharing things that we have in common. Or learning about how people do things differently. Whatever.
Just this last year, when Facebook introduced the idea of “Groups” on their site, I figured that this was a good way to allow our bunch of rebels and rabble-rousers a place on the social network to meet and hang out. So I set one up for this particular and peculiar band of “Independent Pagans”.
Basically meant to be an internet “cork board”, I wanted to give the community a place to hang their conical hats, meet others who hadn’t been able to come to the picnics and get-togethers we’d had in the past, post new get-togethers for all to see, and just generally hang out with like-minded people. It was never intended to be anything more than that.
Until yesterday, when someone decided that the group needed a “mission statement”.
Well, I thought I’d spelled it out pretty clearly, right in the description of the group:
“A place for pagans in the area to network, post events, chat with other pagans, and have fun!”
Simple, to the point. Just the way I wanted to get started. Then, this person decided that they were going to not only put forth this mission statement… they were going to tack the name of MY group on it. Rather like ripping my baby from my arms and calling it theirs, telling everyone that it was going to grow up to be just like them.
The person who created the group in the first place?
When I read the initial posting, I had to hold myself back from immediately ripping this person a new orifice. I was on my lunch break, and knew that, for as mad as I was at the time, it wouldn’t be pretty, or polite. It would be downright nasty.
So I kept mum until after work. In the meantime, the friend who helped me start this group went on and posted a query as to the other person’s intent. And got a snarky remark back.
I was polite.
I was tactful.
And I was also very, very…. honest.
Some might call it – blunt.
I saved the actually angry stuff for my own personal page. Basically saying “Don’t F*** With Me”. I have a reputation, you see, that when someone pushes me? I push back. And I don’t back down.
A brief apologetic post followed a couple of hours later from this person.
Play nice, kiddies…