[Northkeep] [Fwd: [Namron] Bowing out]

The Suarez Family family at suarez-turner.com
Thu May 23 15:53:09 PDT 2002

 This is a rant, I'll warn you ahead of time, and it's been a long time
 I didn't want to respond to this. I didn't. I tried to just settle,
create a small place for myself, and go on, but I CAN'T. I have to say
something, It's eating me up inside. I brought this up once before and I
tried very hard to be politically correct, but maybe that was the wrong
attitude to take.
 I have fringe played in Northkeep for about 3 years. For a very long
time we flat could not afford even one membership. We can now, and I
still delay turning the filled out paperwork in. Why? I still do not
feel welcome here. Right at first, some folks seemed interested in us
(well, interested in Gareth and how well he could play and sing anyway).
Then when I got pregnant and too sick to participate, so we didn't. Then
we started trying again. So we are new again, and yet we are not. I can
put a great many names with faces and I am willing to bet that almost
none of those people have a CLUE who I am. I am not a people person.
Terrified of people. It makes me a wreck to walk up and talk to someone
I don't know or who doesn't know me. I wanted to be involved even though
it scared me. I wasn't sure what I had to offer the group, maybe nothing
at all, but I wanted to find out and learn or explore what I could.
Susan (who is a dear friend of mine and will probably disown men now,
I'm sorry Susan!) told me that since I quilt I could join up with the
folks who do needlework, etc. Nope. I don't even remember who I
approached now, it's been a good year ago, but whoever it was told me
that "quilting was NOT a part of needleworking, so I needed to look
elsewhere". Geez, that hurt. I backed off of playing even more after
that and instead researched what was "quilting" in Period on my own. I
learned a lot. I am very interested in herbs and herbalism. Susan tried
to convince me to start an Herbalist Guild. After the quilting
rejection, are you kidding??? I don't feel like being kicked again. My
husband and I love to cook. It took me going through (I swear) FIVE
people to get the information on just how to join the Cooking Guild
list. I felt very much like nobody wanted me to participate and they
were all just giving me the run around. I was actually surprised when I
finally got on it. When we were discussing a menu at one point and what
to do for breakfast that could be cooked ahead of time or didn't need
cooking, I offered my advise based on the fact that I run a Hospitality
Room every year where I have to feed 50 or more people breakfast and
lunch daily for three days straight at a convention where I have no
cooking supplies. No one even said thank you, those are good ideas. Wow,
that hurt too.
 We'd participate at least to some extent in a Bardic Circle or Guild,
I'd even offer my home for it, but after feeling like I don't belong I'm
not going to invite people to my house so I can feel like I don't belong
there too! At least half of the time when I post to the Northkeep list,
no one acknowledges it. I was surprised when Dairmaid responded with the
very helpful links and information when I asked about Guilds and
Households. Thank you, Dairmaid.
 Don't get me wrong, I have met some people that were nice, and that I
enjoyed being with, once someone else introduced us. I think too many
people get so involved with playing or whatever they are doing or their
clique, that they forget what it feels like to feel new, and how long it
can take for that feeling to wear off. It's NOT just that first event,
or that second meeting. Until you find your "niche", you feel like an
 Recently Dairmaid ranted about people not showing up at classes. Well,
it burned my butt! (No offense to you personally, Dairmaid!) It's the
whole attitude of it. I have 4 kids. If I am going to something that
doesn't also have something for small children to do, then I need a
sitter. I can't just call someone at the drop of a hat, and both or my
parents are dead. It takes some doing for us to arrange a sitter and I
better have a couple of weeks notice AT LEAST. Either that or we have to
leave them with Stonie, our oldest. Stonie is nearly 18, and such a
sweet young man and I hate to infringe upon his time without notice
also. In fact, I tried VERY hard to get him involved with the group. He
said that no one had ever done anything at all to make him feel welcomed
or tried to encourage him to do anything, so he figured that he wasn't
welcome. How sad! Not until Shirley thought he would enjoy Dairmaid's
shoe class had he ever attended anything willingly that he enjoyed. He
LOVED it and plans to return. Thank you to everyone who made him feel
welcome there. Nonetheless, as I was saying, I can't go to everything
I'd like on short notice without a 5 year old and a 2 year old tagging
along. Most classes, etc don't work so well that way.
 The Middle Eastern Drum and Dance Circles are the ONE thing that I have
felt truly welcome at. Susan encouraged us to go and Shirley certainly
made us feel welcome. Shirley goes out of her way to arrange a home for
that every month (twice a month lately) and I want to publicly thank her
now. Great job, Shirley, thank you!
 The most recent incident that nearly made we walk away from Northkeep
happened just a few weeks ago. I have been helping Susan with flyers and
such in her role as Hospitaller for awile now. I was happy to help a
friend. She insisted that I be a Deputy. Okay by me, I guess. I wasn't
even sure what that *meant*. So a couple of weeks ago I was suddenly
added to the officer's list. I wasn't sure why I was added and no one
asked me if I wanted to be, but I figured that Susan wanted my take on
something being discussed and so had arranged it. I posted and was
publicly welcomed there. For about a week. Then after a few days of
quiet Dairmaid posted that if you were not an Officer or a Deputy you
were not allowed to post. It made me SO embarrassed and hurt! I am sure
that he wasn't directing the statement to me (if he had been, he
probably would have said, "Hey Sioned, please, don't post anymore"
because he doesn't beat around the bush). Maybe he even posts that every
month or something as a reminder. I don't know. It's apparently a rule
and I somehow caused some confusion since my membership still hasn't
been turned in. But the situation hurt. Here I was trying to give of
myself and my time and I was again rebuffed. So I unsubbed. Why be where
I am not wanted, right? I don't have the time for that.
 I have considered starting a Guild of some sort (Middle Eastern maybe?)
or even a Household hoping to CREATE a niche where I felt welcome and at
home here in Northkeep. Today on my Quilting list a discussion of the
SCA came up and another woman who is in our area mentioned that she felt
very unwelcome in EITHER Tulsa or OKC area. So maybe it's not me being
painfully shy. Maybe it's not a series of coincidences. Maybe we ALL
need to think about how we speak to people we don't know, new folks, or
questioning folks or even folks we have seen around and just never met.
You never know when you may have a person, or a family, who's got a lot
to offer and share, and would work their butts off for the group, but
are hiding in the shadows because people have turned them away time and
time again.
  So far, what I have experienced is Northkeep isn't my "community" like
Dairmaid suggested. It's a bunch of cliques and if you can't gain
entrance to one somehow, then don't play. That sounds pretty harsh.
Well, I FEEL pretty wounded by my experiences here and don't blame
anyone for leaving. If anything I feel that I personally owe those folks
that left and posted to Namron an apology because I never saw them and
tried to make them feel welcome, even if just from the perspective of
knowing how new feels, and how bad it can feel.
 I am sorry if this makes anyone mad at me. Maybe this will cause people
to like me even less and I will also be forced to leave. But I am not
sorry that I finally spoke up. Northkeep has a terrible reputation
outside of Northkeep as being cliquish and clannish and inhospitable and
I have certainly seen why.


> Ok people.  This guy posted this to the Namron list.  I have
> replied to him and found out a bit about what is going on and
> most of it happened quite some time ago.  However I just want
> you all to know that even small things can sometimes make a
> lasting impression.  So help me out and make sure that we
> welcome all the new folks that we see.  If you aren't a
> people person, and I understand that, let one of us that is
> know so that we can say hello to the new person.  I don't
> notice them all the time. Our Barony is growing and that is
> wonderfull.  However one person can make us sound really bad
> to lots of other people.  Let's continue to welcome in the
> newcomers and show them what a good time that they can have
> with us. Ainar
> >
> > From: "G. Weible" <gweible at klient.com>
> > Date: 2002/05/23 Thu PM 04:20:43 EDT
> > To: <namron at ansteorra.org>
> > Subject: [Namron] Bowing out
> >
> > Greetings,
> >
> > Just writing a quick note to let y'all know that Michelle and I are
> > stepping out of the SCA.  We can't afford it, we have
> nothing in the
> > way of camping equipment, and we have nothing for garb
> (Kassia, we'll
> > send your dress with Maeve when we see her next).  It's
> unfortunate,
> > but there is nothing that can be helped, I am still unemployed and
> > it's getting harder and harder to make ends meet.  With it looking
> > like everyone liking the site at lake murray better, it is just too
> > far for us to afford to go.  And since northkeep has no desire for
> > welcoming new people, even those who live in their barony, we are
> > leaving the game.
> >
> > Sincerely,
> >
> > Greg and Michelle, formerly Seth and Aiyana of Namron.

More information about the Northkeep mailing list