Obviously Not My Week

It amazes me that folks expect perfection from other people. And if you happen to end up in the public eye in any way, they expect fries along with the perfection.

I thought I’d take a few days off from the blogging – mental health days (thanks for the nice comments, by the way) I had been thinking that this evening after the kids and the husband were fast asleep I’d blog a bit about the stuff I’m finishing up now, and some knitting borders onto fabric techniques that I taught this weekend, and a mitered bag pattern I’m trying to perfect for a class in Tulsa in December (here’s a section of it – I’m felting it in the washer right now)

But then I received an email from a person who’d purchased the 2006 Crochet Pattern a Day Calendar, telling me that the fact that one of the patterns which was listed on a certain date was actually missing from the calendar (I was mystified by this mistake, too, when I got the calendar last year – apparently the project was removed to make room for the cover project, and the index wasn’t changed…) The emailer said that this one missing pattern made them consider not buying the 2007 calendar.

I probably should have just ignored the email, but I wrote back that my suggestion would be – quite simply – that the emailer not purchase the 2007 calendar. It was frank, but I didn’t think it was rude.

The response came within minutes:

You are incredibly rude. Maybe your success has gone to your head. I will definitely not buy the calendar nor anything else you write. I will tell the company that prints the calendar why I am not buying it. I will also boycott any magazines that carry your designs and tell them why I am doing so. I frequent 3 yarn shops and will share your e-mail with them and my many friends who knit and crochet as well. Thank-you-you just saved me a bunch of money!

Wow. Two vitriolic emails in a week. It kind of takes my breath away that folks have such high expectations of me – of anyone – that not only would I be able to edit a perfect, mistake-free group of 200 projects, but that on top of it I should fill some definition of graciousness that I may not be able to live up to every minute of the day.

I try to be gracious – I strive for that – but it escapes me sometimes. I’m realistic to know that I’m not going to succeed in every situation. In this case I feel that someone was having a very bad day, I said the wrong thing, and I ended up on the receiving end of some heavy frustration. And a boycott.

I know I’ll get a lot of emails and some comments saying I’m silly for writing about this – perhaps worse – but every now and then crap reaches critical mass and I have to vent. On days like this my blog is like the Con-Ed chimneys you see in New York, releasing steam and keeping the manholes in place.

I think the hardest part of my work isn’t dealing with editors or coming up with designs or even checking math in patterns. The hardest part is that I don’t have co-workers to turn around to and say, “Can you believe this?!” Perhaps what I’m hearing is the sound of skin growing thicker?

Thank you for allowing me to vent on my blog – sometimes it just feels good to have a brief reality check.

I do get a LOT of lovely emails, email from folks asking for assistance with something, or thanking me for helping them with something else. Just nice emails – and they mean so much to me. I have a file I keep them in (right next to my “annoying email” file.)

But jeeze – this is the first time (I’m aware of) that I’ll be boycotted. I guess I should feel a little excited. Does anyone else feel like there’s some kind of mass hysteria that’s working through the world?

I wonder if one of the yarn shops she frequents has requested and downloaded the Ruffled Roses Scarf

Oh, me, me, me. Sorry about the self pity-party.

Westward Ho
I’m leaving for Minneapolis on Wed to teach over the weekend, I’m really looking forward to it as I’ll be looking at some homes, too. We got a bid on our house, but it was low (Gerry didn’t even want to counter, but I insisted – you can’t find a buyer if you won’t deal a bit!) I honestly don’t know how serious the buyers are, I think they might be happier with a different house. I keep telling Gerry that if the house sells that’s good, if it doesn’t it’s not bad because we love where we live so much. We have good reasons for feeling that a change would be a benefit, and just as many compelling reasons why staying here would enrich our lives. The main sticking point – sadly – is that our taxes are just so high that we may not be able to continue on like this for much longer in this town that we love so much.

So I’ll be looking at houses, but probably not doing any bidding…

It’s pretty obvious to me that the tax breaks for the richest folks have meant a rise in taxes for the middle class folks (especially property tax.) Why no one is bringing this up during this election season is beyond me. I mean, the states are mandated to implement “No Child Left Behind,” but it’s an unfunded federal mandate, so the states have to come up with the money themselves. In the case of our schools here, it’s meant cutting back on things like counselors and foreign language from the elementary schools, spending a lot of time teaching to the test. We’re certain that our taxes will NOT be going down at any time. Add to that the $25,000 burden that this war places on each American family as of today, and we’re going to be paying for quite a while.

Gee, lovely, fun and upbeat post, huh? Sorry guys. I really did have a nice, funny post all set to go.

Christmas Plans
My sister in law and nephew are coming up to NJ for Christmas! We’re SO excited to see them and spend the holidays together (not least of which because we get to show off our house when it looks the best!) We’ll have the whole, small family (minus cousin Jan – damn! Although there’s a chance she mau be able to make it) here for the holidays. A small family makes it easier for all of us to fit into one house…

The kids were so excited that when I told them, Hannah had a hard time sleeping that night. She adores her cousin, Alex.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!