Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Open Pandora's Box, Prepare for Backlash

Yesterday I got an email that truly stunned me. A guy I'll call Zot (not even pretending to cover his identity) sent me an email asking me not to advertise the unofficial Thursday dinner club on the McLean Singles listserve. His reason? Too many "old people" are showing up at "his" dinner since I started sharing the info. I pointed out that since I started posting the info on my list about 10 people have started attending the dinner. And only one time did any "old" people show up. His response? He liked the dinner better when only 6 people showed up. At this point I brought in "Parley" (again, not hiding anything here) on this discussion. After all, according to Parley, it's his activity and his listserve. But if you ever talk to Parley about it, he's reather communal about such things, and all things belong to all people.
I was sure to tell Zot that I had no intention of stopping my advertising, but I would be happy to point out in the emails about the dinner that it is intended for the Mid-Singles.
His response? He removed me from the Mid-Singles listserve (where I get the info from).
Here's my problem with everything-
1. Who the hell does he think he is telling me what I can or can't do?
2. Parley's suggestion- we call all the old people and let them know they aren't invited. Let me make this clear- that is the rudest thing I have ever heard of.
3. This is NOT by any means an official activity. It is an unofficial gathering of people at the same place and time every week. If that is always made clear, and that is the premise, how can there suddenly be rules for it?

Other details- I completely understand this is "their" dinner. But the minute they made it public on any listserve, it became public doman and public knowledge. You cannot regulate how people choose to use that info.

And while I am actually all in favor of activities for the older singles and for the mid- and younger singles, I would never ever consider telling someone that they are too old (or too young) to attend anything. That is just plain wrong.

How did I handle this situation? I just sent an email out to my full McLean Singles listserve explaining why they won't get the weekly email about dinner anymore. And posted Zot's email address where they can send any thoughts or comments on it. Was that juvenile of me? Probably. Do I care? No.

Your thoughts and comments are most welcome.


  1. Something similar to that happened over here, where the old people were *uninvited* after being invited to the mid-singles FHE. I think when so many older people from that ward that was invited showed up, the mid-singles leaders realized what was going on, and hadn't before (they'd invited the whole ward's singles, not realizing the makeup of the ward).

    To this day, there's a major grudge within the stake being held by the singles in that ward, and there's a major division. I don't think either is right--uninviting, or holding a grudge. It could have been avoided had they gotten to know the age group over in that ward.

    Only nominally related to your situation, but just saying I know what you mean. And hello--you're a midsingle. You should not be cut off from the activities by someone with a burr up his butt. I don't think he had a right to take you off, and I think your reaction was understandable. I don't know what else I would have done.

  2. There wasn't any backlash when people under 30 showed up?

    That being said, I'll probably attend with you again, but it was an awkward situation for me and there wasn't any of the "old geezers" there the one time I was there. I don't think making an agelimit is going to make any difference---the group already contains awkwardness. ;) Let it open to singles from 30+

  3. justin5:55 PM

    Erin, you can always eat dinner with me on Thursday nights. Of course, you'll have to come to Utah and the only thing I serve is frozen burritos. I could probably find an old person or two to invite over if you would like. RubyG and Stacer are invited too.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Anonymous7:38 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Sure Erin, I mean anonymous, are we going to have to start calling you Shane Norton??

  7. Parley- it's my blog. I don't post anonymously on my own blog. (Not to mention I don't cuss.)

    And just for the record the only reason I am removing your post is because you accidentally let my phone number go up. That is a blog privacy no-no. I will gladly repost your email in it's entirety. I want to be open that I am not doing anything underhanded here.

  8. Anonymous10:48 PM

    As long as you admit that you are juvenile, I guess everything is ok.

    I happen to know that you have made a polite request a major tidal wave. You have rabble roused and created animosity where there didn't need to be any.

  9. This is the slightly edited post from Parley. The only thing I have removed is my personal phone number that accidentally got posted.

    Erin, thanks for completly misquoting me. I have no problem with the older singles, did you forget that there is a send folder with email, I'll post what I sent you right here so people can see that I am pretty sympathetic to the older singles.

    I didn't, this is the first time I have checked email today. (4:30) To me this hasn't been a big deal, but a few people have been emailing me about the Thursday night dinner getting taken over by old people like the wednesday night institute did. They want it to be an exclusive mid singles thing, and they think that you are the one who "leaked" it to the old people in mclean. A little to much drama for me, but oh well, someone else was telling me about how one of the guys at the dinner last week had children the same age as them, blah blah, blah, it was so traumitizing since this was suppposed to be their daing pool. I think they might have watched to much montel or sally jessy.

    At this point I would just say don't post it, and I'm going to see what is up with JC removing you.

  10. Anonymous11:07 PM

    Also, for the record, Zot and Parley are not a---holes. They are good people, trying to create an activity that serves the group that it was intended for. Why are you censoring parley and not the guy who called them names?

  11. It wasn't a polite request. In fact the only thing about all of this that is juvenile is that someone will publicly announce a public gathering of people, and then expect that they can control what is said about it, and who can come to the dinner. If you, I mean Zot, only wants your small group of friends to show up, the dinner should never have been publicly announced.
    And just for the record, my thoughts on whether or not the older singles and the mid and the younger singles should all be separated have not been expressed. What I wanted was a healthy debate on the subject, and that is what I got.

  12. Anonymous11:14 PM

    There is nothing healthy about creating an emotional debate full of false accusations. That's called propaganda and manipulation.

  13. having trouble posting as Parley, mabye I am being blocked, I'll try anonymous or other. This is Parley

    Well Erin, the Truth is my own personal point of view from the email, is that I have no problem with the older singles. In fact I think more of them know me than most other mid singles, because I don't care about their age, and alot of them are into some interesting things.

    But the whole mid singles crew sees the Thursday night dinner as "their" deal. I'll admit I didn't even get it until today after several people sent me emails. Alot of them see the Thursday night dinner as sort of their place they go to meet members of the opposite sex because any official church activity for Singles has the older people there at any given time. They say that there was no other place like this, and while they don't even have a problem with the older singles per se, they want to have a place that is strictly 30-mid 40's so they can meet and maybe even date people their own age.

    I have seen the Thursday night dinners as basically social. I guess my dating pool is being sourced from other locations, and I had no idea that alot of mid singles, especially females, see the Thursday night dinner in this light.

    The more I thought about it, and read their emails, I thought well hey if they want a weekly event that is something that is just people their age, then why not. Supposedly the singles wards rules of 18-31 were enforced because to many early 20's kids felt uncomfortable with people in their mid 30's hanging around, so if they can have it their way like Burger king, why not some mid singles.

    You know me, and how I am all into Democracy, but the more I thought about, I figured, doing a vote about this issue could really hurt the older singles feelings, especially if the vote turned out a majority of people who don't want them there based on their age, and like I said before I am actually friends with some of them. ONe of the oldies that showed up at the last dinner, I was glad to see him, I hadn't seen him in a long time. I had gone hiking with him a few times, sure it wasn't at the speed I usually like to go, but it's cool, I got to take in the scenery more.

    But anyways from what I can tell, it seems that it is pretty much a majority rule type thing. I don't think the mid single thursday night dinner people hate the older singles at all, I think they just are really busy people who want all their options in their age range narrowed down to thier age range for the 2 hours they are having the dinner or something.

    I guess it is obvious that I have been reading way to many history books that ramble on and on for school and now I am doing it, but I'm sure there will be more analysis of this later, and more conclusions drawn, but for right now, I really don't think it is that big of a deal.

  14. Let me make it clear that NO ONE IS GETTING BLOCKED. I have turned on the moderator feature, which means I have to approve a comment before it gets posted. Therefore, there will be a delay before you comment shows up. I had to turn on the moderator feature because someone is posting way too many cuss words- about Zot and Parley. This blog is not about calling names.

  15. this exchange cracks me up. that is all.


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