Jul 18, 2006

baby's momma drama

Posted by Mary |

OK, no actual babies or mommas, I just like the rhyminess (totally a word) of the title. There is plenty of drama, though.

Let's start with the greater drama, which came in the form of a string of vicious e-mails unleashed over the weekend. To be fair, everyone has their own side to the story, but this is my blog, so you're going to hear my opinion, got it? It all started innocently enough with a dancer sending out a mass e-mail asking what other dancers thought were the qualifications of a Middle Eastern dance teacher. That's it - it was literally one sentence. That might have stayed innocent if she hadn't forwarded another e-mail precisely two minutes later that named the teacher she had an issue with and called her "nasty and unprofessional." To be fair, that was said by someone else, but she chose to forward the inflammatory statements on. The e-mail cycle continued, mostly with anger towards this teacher. (Shall I add fuel to the fire and point out that this is an attractive young teacher, whereas some of the e-mailers are of a more mature stage of life? Yes, I shall.) They mostly seemed to be upset that she didn't have enough of a background in bellydance, not to mention that she *gasp* runs a go go troupe. [sarcasm] Surely go go dancing is nothing more than stripping, so how dare she teach bellydance as well and bring down the stature of our amazing, powerful dance that is Sacred and grounds us to Mother Earth, allowing a greater bond with our Dance Sisters (not to mention causes irrAtionaL CapiTalizAtion)? [/sarcasm]

So clearly this got me dander up. Got me in a tizzy, if you will. And I finally chose to fire off a response. Did I mention that I wasn't included in the original e-mail loop? Don't feel bad for me; lots of people weren't included. Plus, even though I've danced with a troupe in Alaska for over two years, most of the other dancers still regard me as a child and speak to me accordingly. (Awwww, you did vewy good in your solo! Yes you did! Yes you did!) In my response I chose to address their issues with the teacher, pausing occasionally to educate them about what go go dancing is and query whether or not any of them had actually taken a class from the teacher in question. I might have also likened our dance community to a lunch table in junior high.

Well, as soon as I sent my e-mail I got a response from the original e-mailer that the question was about the qualifications, not about my personal opinion on the teacher. Um, yeah. That's why you forwarded an e-mail calling her nasty and unprofessional. I have two points to make:
1. Libel. Look it up. In that thing called the dictionary.
2. Spellcheck. Actually that goes for almost everyone who replied to the e-mails. (Even I am not immune, as my trembling, angry fingers misspelled one word. Unless we can all agree to go with "attck" from now on.)

Some dancers have sent me private notes thanking me for having the courage to rudely say what they were trying to nicely say. I wasn't friendly with a lot of the dancers before, so it's no skin off my nose. Others have replied that those who defend this teacher are merely sheep, fawning over someone who is a liar and a fraud. Well, to you I say Baaa! I took the stance I did because it was childish and wrong to engage in sneak attacks behind someone's back, not because the teacher is a friend of mine. In fact, if she had been the one to start the e-mail chain, I would have said the same things. It's all about the action, not the target.

And on a lesser note - my personal drama. Ever have a friendship that died? Let's not point fingers, as both of us were to blame, but the friendship has been good and dead for a while. In fact, neither of us has spoken to each other since December, even though we occasionally attend the same functions. Therefore it struck me as a bit odd when she started talking to me at a party on Sunday night. It's not that I harbor bad feelings about her or wish her ill, but the entire experience left quite a bad taste in my mouth. As James has said, "That ship has sailed. To Antarctica." But there we were, on opposite sides of the kitchen. Taken aback, I replied with my usual sarcasm, which probably just came across as bitchy. That happens a lot. But if she's reading this: I wasn't trying to give you a bitchy reply, I was just surprised that you spoke to me after 8 months of silence. Let's let sleeping dogs lie. Lay? Lie? Damn, I can't remember how that saying goes....


Law from CT. said...

I'm proud of your stance, just like I've been proud of you these many years!