Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Venting

So, as the wife of an Elders Quorum President (the guy who presides over the Elders [the guys who are over 18 who aren't high priests ... yeah, I'm not good at explaining it all, since I'm not in EQ or High Priests, but bear with me] ... in simplest terms, a group of guys in a class/group at church), I sometimes am employed as an unofficial EQ Secretary. (I answer the phone when people call the house to ask Michael to arrange some elders to go over and help people move or arrange a couple elders to go give someone a blessing or whatever and he's not already home ... or, since I know a lot of people in the ward on Facebook, sometimes I'm asked to get hold of someone we've had no luck reaching any other way ...)

Which brings me to today .... .... .... Yeah.

SO, there's a family in our ward/congregation. I've known the husband for AGES. We grew up together. I was in Sunday School classes with one of his sisters. He and his family are in our ward. And we've only run into each other at church once.

For the last year (or thereabouts), he won't return phone calls or texts or anything. But I have him as a friend on Facebook.

So, per Michael's request, since he's not returned anyone's calls or whatever for the last few (many) months, I sent him a FB message and a text. This week, the EQ presidency (president, first and second counselors, and their secretary) are getting together with the Stake Presidency to visit some families in the ward. They were hoping to visit this family.

I sent a message and text that pretty much said, "Hey! This is Allanna! Are you and your family up for a visit at date/time? If not, get back to me! If I don't hear back from you, expect a visit! :)"

.... .... ....

Well, a couple hours later, I get a fb message:
I do not appreciate the manipulative manner in which you have attempted to illicit a response from me. If and when I am comfortable having you in my home, I will invite you - not the other way around. Until such a time should occur, please refrain from further manipulative communications. So, since I am not one who likes conflict or irritating/offending others, I figure that I can apologize ... even though I KNOW that asking for an RSVP is not usually classified as "manipulative" behavior. I wrote back:
You're right, [Name] ... I was not my best. I will admit that you're totally justified in calling me out on that. Michael (and his secretary, Brother [Secretary]) have had no luck whatsoever in touching bases with you. I was hoping that I might have better success. And I see that I was wrong.
I'm sorry. I do feel bad that you feel very disrespected. You have every right to your feelings.
I don't want to be a bother or offensive to you. And I'm sorry that I was.
What can I do to make things right? Because I do like you. I miss seeing you around, like when we were in the Canyonville Ward.
Please accept my apology for being a complete dunderhead and all other insults that I deserve. I wasn't trying to be a jerk. ... I just seem to have that talent. Which I will work on not having.
Sorry.
And then I went through feeling HORRIBLE because I've apparently been an awful, manipulative person. I called Michael and let him know what was up. I tried to stop crying, wracking my brain to figure how I messed this up. I called my mom (who knows this other party) ... and she assured me that I wasn't being a manipulative wretch. And, after Michael got home, he told me point-blank that I wasn't being manipulative. That this friend has been blowing off EVERYONE for ... well, nearly a year ... and that this was rather a last resort, since he never responds to anyone else (and, if Michael drops by, they don't answer the door). Michael's frustrated that [Name] isn't being gutsy enough to tell anyone that they don't want visits ... and that he then does this. I took a shower ... and cried some more (better than emotional eating, right? Right??) ... and I passed from being a sad-sack into crossing the threshold into near-blinding rage.
  • Seriously, I've known this guy for over TWENTY-FIVE YEARS. He knows me. He knows that I'm generally a good person. He probably is also aware that I can be a really sensitive person. And that I do my best not to be easily offended. And that I do my damndest not to offend others ... especially on purpose. I try NOT to be manipulative. I CAN be ... but I really try not to coerce others. Because it's not kind or right. And I want to be like Jesus, dammit. (Saying "damn so much is not very Christlike. I know. I'm human ... I'm aware.)
  • He could have JUST AS EASILY written something a heckuva lot more tactful. (e.g., "I'm sorry, Allanna. That doesn't fit our schedule. We're not up for visits at all. In fact, take us off the church records." OR "No, that doesn't work for us. Maybe we could meet up at a park or something in the summer." OR "Nope. Doesn't work." OR "Not ready for a visit. Put us as DNC (Do Not Contact)." ... ANY OF THOSE WOULD WORK AND NOT RESORT TO CALLING ME NAMES WHEN I'M ONLY TRYING TO HELP MY HUSBAND AND A FRIEND.
I mean, I'm not a really violent person. But, if I could quit seeping tears (now of rage instead of self-pity), I almost feel like punching something. Like this guy.

I mean, really ... "Silence implies consent" is a totally valid thing. If guys say it, they're not accused of being manipulative. They're lauded as leaders. When people are doing social things, being asked to RSVP is not out of the ordinary. You don't hear people getting invitations getting all pissy about saying if they can make it or not. Yes, I GET that it's a VISIT to THEIR HOUSE ... but this is NOT something out of the ordinary in our church. In fact, a family SHOULD be getting a visit from their home teachers AND a visit from their visiting teachers ... TWO visits per month! He grew up in this church. His dad (and granddad) have both been BISHOPS of the ward ... As my mom pointed out ... and Michael and I agree ... something is going on. And it's something that makes him uncomfortable ... uncomfortable enough to take it out on me. I mean, if I'm being manipulative, it's like Hello Kitty-level manipulation. If need be, I can TOTALLY pull out the big guns and be all Maleficent-level. But that's not really helping anyone. So, yeah ... I'm just really irked and more irked. I try to do something good. And ... well, THIS. I know, I know ... I need to take it on the chin. To have skin soft as rose petals and thick as naugahyde. I'm working on it. Still, if I didn't feel so blindsided by this, it'd be easier to deal with.

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