me? popular? you got the wrong chick

This journal had 584 page views on Dec. 2nd?? What the heck did I *say* that day? Nothing out of the ordinary, not even Da Sekrit Handshake for getting published or Ze One Tru Way To Live. It must’ve been a Russian bot or something. My typical number of page views is around 150 to 200, and 125 of them are LJ users. This “My Stats” thing could get addictive. (Paid users only. We also don’t see any of the ads or pop-ups that people have been complaining about.)
? ? ?
Here’s a weird one for ya.

What would YOU do if you were a member of a smallish group of people who share a common interest (a club of sorts, I suppose) and you had been hosting their monthly get-togethers at your home for over a year . . . and let’s say the annual meeting/party had taken place at your home the other day, as always, with some success, you thought . . . and then it wrapped up with the election of “officers” (membership chair, activities director, and whatnot–not those positions exactly, but stuff like that) . . . and then the newly elected membership person stood up to make a Special Announcement, to wit: “We’ve had a productive year. According to our bylaws, we have the responsibility to remove from membership anyone who doesn’t qualify for membership any more.” The critter glanced at the Leader of the Pack, took a deep breath, and made her announcement. “[Your Name] fails to meet the criteria–she was in fact a provisional member who was supposed to rise to meet the requirements within the year, but she hasn’t met them as far as the bylaws are concerned, not to my satisfaction, so I move that she be removed from membership rolls.” Would you stand there with your heart pounding in confusion and unable to say a thing as the membership all raised their hands, some happily, some cluelessly, some sheepishly–to remove you, their host(ess), from the club? And then after that was done, would you announce cheerily, “Well, it’s late. Thanks for coming by, everyone. Good luck at wherever you meet next month,”–and would you be gobsmacked to discover that they all turned and stared at you in disbelief? “We were counting on continuing to meet here, of course,” says the membership chair. “We need to meet here,” says the leader of the pack confidently. “That doesn’t need to change. It’s a central location and it should continue to be our meeting place.”

This happened to me last week. But I didn’t have to formulate a rational response to this incredible assumption they had made, for my husband had strolled in and was standing in the doorway. His voice boomed out like the Master of His Domain, for a change.

“Well, I’d say you’re out of luck, then. This is my private home, not the lobby of the Holiday Inn.” He opened the front door. “Here’s your hat–what’s your hurry?”

When only a few of them stood, he clarified. “Meeting’s over. Time for you to fly.”

The group finally clued in. Some of them, of course, had been gathering their things as soon as I had said anything, but there are always the clueless and slow. Most of them had a “Well, I Never” attitude. It was kind of weird, or was it just me? “Some Christmas spirit,” one woman muttered. “Some Christian attitude.”

He refrained from booting their butts as they trundled slowly out the door. “Count the silverware,” he called loudly over his shoulder as the last stragglers headed down the front walk. Then he closed the door and shot the bolts.

“Good riddance,” was all he said.

I was still standing in the middle of the room, not quite knowing why I felt bad. It had taken me by surprise. The “qualification” that they require is one that I can’t do anything much about except keep striving towards it . . . like publishing a book, it’s beyond my control. At least now I don’t have to worry about cleaning the house for when they’re coming.

Maybe we’re the ones who overreacted. Still, I’m not going to host the group if I’m no longer a member or even the mascot. It’s a lot of work. Kind of a waste of time, too, now that I think back on it.

But still . . . was I being pissy? Or would YOU have pretty much been done with the group once you’d been kicked out? Should I have handled it with self-deprecating aplomb? I wonder. But it doesn’t matter, anyway.

Interesting life we lead here at Casa el Dumpo.


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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