[Northkeep] A slightly different situation.

the Suarez Family family at suarez-turner.com
Wed Oct 10 09:30:14 PDT 2001

 Well, okay, as someone who hasn't made it to nearly enough things and
doesn't know many people, I will gladly give my own impressions of what
I have experienced. Note that this is NOT intended as a criticism, just
an observation, especially since I certainly consider myself and my
family to be of Northkeep (and proud of it!) <deep breath>

 Many of the people that I have seen just around at events, etc (doing
whatever they enjoy most) do seem distant....cold perhaps. I have spent
a lot of time utilizing my friendship with Susan by saying, "Okay who do
I ask about X?" and asking her to introduce me. It's VERY hard for me to
approach people and ask about things anyway, but usually when I do
approach someone, I don't often get a smile or a "Would you like to know
more about this?", unless I have already met the person. For a while
this intimidated me a great deal, and then the more things I attended,
the more I was able to observe folks. Quite simply, from what I have
seen, people are BUSY. Their primary attention is focused on whatever
they are doing...having a conversation/preparing for a
fight/sewing/adjusting garb/eating/listening to a story, etc etc etc.
They aren't being rude, they're just focused on their task. Only once
have I ever had anyone actually speak harshly, and I felt that they were
just plain too overwhelmed and probably shouldn't have been bothered in
the first place. In fact, most are very polite and the vast majority
become very friendly and helpful after you speak to them a bit. Now I am
more recognized and feel very welcome indeed! So perhaps to someone
else, a group engaged in dancing (or whatever) would seem very clannish,
when they are actually merely intent on watching to learn the steps,

 The other thing I have seen the most of is that we, the people of
Northkeep as  group, seem tense right now. We have recently been through
a lot. Sometimes I get the feeling that we are holding our breath,
waiting for the other shoe to fall. We're trying to heal and move
forward and grow and stay strong and naturally don't want anything to
impede that process. Tension can be felt, sometimes especially in a
group. Maybe someone approaching a group of us makes us all think, "Oh
no, what now?" That will show, of course, if that's what we're thinking.
I know it does for me, every thought I have shows clearly on my face!

 Lastly, in truth, sure I could see someone saying something like that
in sarcastic jest. Many of us have a terribly sarcastic wit, and our
sense of humor is wry and dry. Like Maidenhair pointed out, you just
don't realize that someone else might not be able to tell that you are
joking. I know I don't. I have often told one of my boys in public not
to cross me or else I'd "beat them within an inch of their life". Would
I? Well, no,  but Jane Doe or Granny standing next to me doesn't know
that. So perhaps it was simply a case of misconception. A
misunderstanding of words and tone. That's what I believe may have
happened in this case, anyhow.

 So the questions now are 1. How concerned are we that we are being
perceived as rude and snobbish? 2. What can we (Northkeep) do to not
seem that way again?

 Well, I personally am concerned, sure. I don't want any Northkeepers to
be talked about in that manner, or for Northkeep to be perceived as
someplace where the rude and hateful people are from! We can't change
what's past, so in my opinion, the best case scenario is for each of us
has to examine our own outlook, attitude and manner and see if it needs
improvement when approached by an outsider or if it does not. But I
guess I believe this should be to be a very individual process. Everyone
can benefit from a little self examination and re-evaluation
occasionally. Thank you for making us (ME) aware of this, Dairmaid. Even
though I consider myself to be very friendly, I will strive to be more
open and welcoming when I am representing Northkeep in the future.

I hope I didn't make anyone mad or hurt any feelings!

In Service,


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