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To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

Posted by Dorothy on 8/17/03 at 19:00 (127198)

Dear People:

Whoa, whoa, whoa, people. This has gotten way out of hand. I was not going to revisit this section of the message board, but after seeing some of the exchanges, I feel I need to do so since it was apparently my comments to Marie that set off some other, indirectly related, comments.
First, there have been some comments to the effect of 'Dorothy is in pain' or 'Dorothy is not well..', as if it must be impossible to simply object or disagree with a statement Marie made unless one were sick. Nowhere do I say that I am in pain or not feeling well. Actually, my feet have been feeling pretty doggone good lately so pain was not the source of my comments. Irritation with nonsense was the source of my comments and Marie's indicating that her point of view was the way all women are was the source of my comments. Frankly, I don't think I said anything so earthshaking. Perhaps I could have made my point much better than I did, but I stick by the essence of what I said – and to put it bluntly and with clarity: I think Marie's comments were stereotypical and unfounded generalizations toward 'women' for whom she claims to speak in her note to John. She does not say that the comments she made reflect her preferences only; she says they apply to 'women.' I do not think they do. She and John say their conversations are simply being light-hearted and that I should lighten up. I would not feel it my place to tell them to ‘lighten up' or to ‘read up' or to ‘grow up' or to give them any other suggestion about their online personality. I simply expressed MY opinion about comments Marie made about 'women.' I was not commenting about 'women's rights', John; I was commenting about Marie's comments. Big, giant difference.

Marie said that she offended Dorothy. That is not true. I am not offended. Being offended implies that the opinion of the supposed 'offender' matters to the one supposedly offended. Marie and I do not have a relationship at all, let alone one that could cause her to be able to offend me. There is a huge difference between being 'offended' and simply taking issue with another's comments. I take issue with Marie's comments made as if she is a spokesperson for all women's attitudes. So, I am not in pain and I am not offended. What I said is straightforward and simple enough: I think that the comments that Marie made in her note to John were just plain wrong. It would not matter one whit to me, except that she purports to speak for all women and did so in a relatively public forum. I was challenging the attitude, not the person. Marie has said she is a teacher and that caused me to think even moreso that her choice of language mattered, because language does matter in the ways that it both reflects and affects attitudes.

I have read and re-read my comments because I do not want to hurt anyone on this message board and I find nothing in them that I think should have prompted Marie to react in the way she did. I simply disagreed with those few comments she made. I do not have any idea what she means about people talking behind other people's backs here. That doesn't even seem possible to me, but maybe there is some aspect to this message board that I am unaware of. Not only do I not see anything in my comments that should have evoked the reaction from Marie that they did, but they seem to express what I wanted to express which was to be diplomatic and not be hurtful,but to make a point. I did not mean any hurt, nor do I mean any hurt now.

I have thought about whether or not I owed someone an apology for anything that I said and I have concluded this. I DO owe an apology to John and Marie for the fact that I inserted myself into their 'conversation' without invitation or cause, other than that I reacted to Marie's words – but those words were to John, not to me. For the mistake of butting into their personal conversation, I apologize and I do so sincerely. For my opinions of Marie's comments, no apology. Do I think any of this is VERY important? No. Do I think there has been a great big POUT going on? Yes. Do I think that any of this should cause anyone to leave a message board? Absolutely not. I would hope that Marie would continue to engage in any and all conversations with people on the 'Social Support' section. And that is what my final comments were reflecting – that I had decided not to participate on the Social Support section. Rather than get on a soapbox about one issue or another that got my dander up – because I am pretty opinionated about some issues – it would be better if I just stayed away from an already existing, mutually satisfying section that people on it were quite happy with. I came late to that support section and tried to enter on-going, established conversations occasionally, and I think that was not a good idea. I SAID that, using slightly different words, but I said that. So – to Marie, John and whomever else feels so inclined: please accept my apology for inserting myself into your private conversation unbidden. That was my error. Marie, do not leave the message board or the social support section because of any opinions that I expressed about your comments. I am leaving, as I said before, and it is not because of any animosity – either hidden or open – that I have for you, not in any way. I do not know you. I am a pretty straightforward, direct kind of person and I appreciate that in others. I have a well developed – friends and family say hilarious – sense of humor. You are correct that I did not find anything funny in what you said. That does not mean that I don't 'get' your humor. It just means that I didn't find it funny. I didn't know that you were trying to be funny. Like 'offense' versus 'disagreement', there is a difference between 'getting' humor and not finding it funny. To express an opinion that differs from yours does not make someone 'controlling'; you can hold any opinion you want – I just simply asked you to perhaps re-word it so as not to include me or ALL women, as in 'What women think…' in it. I mean you no unhappy or hurt feelings and I hold no ill will for you and shall we just say no hard feelings and let bygones be bygones? John made a comment that IS relevant to most people on this message board and that had to do with having quite enough to deal with in hurting feet (or hurting backs, toes, hips, and so on.) Maybe I did overreact to your comments, but some characteristics or personalities kind of push my buttons. Not your fault at all – my fault! It is true that written words are wide open to interpretation and misinterpretation, particularly among people who don't otherwise know each other. I butted in. I opened my mouth. I was wrong to do so. My opinions are not wrong, in my opinion! But my buttinsky-ness is.

I think Sharon W. Suzanne D. Carole of NOLA, Judy S. and so many others have made very important contributions to people's fund of information and to their spirits here, and have given useful advice and given hope to others, as have Marie and John H. and so many others. No need for anyone to leave or be hurt or anything else so silly. Opinions, reactions, hurt feelings, making amends, reconciliations – sounds like families. I refer to you people as 'the foot people' to my family – so it's time for the Foot People to join hands and be friends again. I am backing out now…. Go ahead, join hands…. I am leaving the room now and say, 'feet, don't fail me now…'
Peace be with you, folks.

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

Dorothy on 8/18/03 at 11:13 (127218)

And I forgot to add one thing to this over-long post and that is: I have gleaned much that is helpful from this message board and hope that I have shared things that have been helpful. One of the things that I have learned is that I am increasingly demonstrating characteristics that I don't want to demonstrate and some of those include being a scold, being didactic, being a kind of 'finger-wagger' and getting on my soapbox with little provocation and assuming that others will appreciate the benefit of my opinions! That is the other thing that I apologize for now and I do hope that my tendency to 'spout off' has not hurt Marie - and that if her feelings have been hurt by me, that she will accept my regrets and return to her cheery self on the social support section of this message board.
Now, that really is all I have to say. Sorry for the windy posts, but tight editing is not my strong point.
Best wishes from a windy didact ~

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

JudyS on 8/18/03 at 12:11 (127226)

Dorothy - please, just as ANY person here is entitled to an opinion, you are! I hate to see you apologize for voicing yours. We ALL benefit from ALL poster's opinions in one way or another so please, hang with us and know that you are every bit as appreciated as all others. Your thoughts (didactic? no.) are clearly well organized and well-stated. Your 'spouting off', as you put it, is no different than anyone here.

I know one thing for absolutely sure - at NO time did ANYONE in this discussion have a need, or intent, to hurt someone. Not you, not Marie, not me, not anyone. It will do us good to remember that that kind of intent is pretty much never here in spite of what may or may not seem to be insensitive words. Written words, without physical signs of intent, are open to the interpretation of the individual reader.

I took no offense with Marie's seeming generalization regarding women because I knew it was a lighthearted conversation between her and John - but at the same time I agreed with your statements - and I wholeheartedly agree with your right to make them. That's my point - neither of you had INTENT to hurt. No one here does that, plain and simple.

I'd like to repeat just one thing - it's been noted here before. Generalization always will offend someone. So we must always be circumspect when we're doing it in this public forum and we must always be prepared for reaction - even in the most lighthearted of discussions.
Whether or not we feel certain reactions are warrented, they are still a result of generalizing.

For the record:

I go to sporting events with my hubby because I like the events- and I like him.
He doesn't like to shop and I don't ask him to.
But he does love to go antiquing with me!
We go to eachother's games.
I don't read the sports page and I don't throw it away.
We both cook.
I build decks, he vacuums the carpet.
I vacuum the carpet, he washes the cars.
He cleans my car, I clean his bathroom.
Thank God I've got my own bathroom :)
If I insist, he'll go anywhere I ask, but I don't take it personally if he doesn't want to go somewhere with me. And vice versa.
I cook treats for his office, he hits fly balls to my team.
I won't let him near the washer and dryer - there once was an incident with red athletic shoes in a load of white clothes....
He cringes when I say I want to learn to use his chain saw........
that's OK with me because then he can be responsible for all the firewood!

I'm happy, and privledged, to be living in a place and time where rigid role dictation is giving way to simple partnering.

What does everyone else do?

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

Peter R on 8/18/03 at 13:36 (127235)

If I had a wife I would certainly let her use my chain saw and she could also do her own brake jobs on her car. And in exchange I would happily pay the premiums on her life and accident insurance.

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

JudyS on 8/18/03 at 14:14 (127237)

hmmmm.....I wonder why you don't have a wife, Peter. :-/

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

Suzanne D on 8/18/03 at 14:58 (127238)

Very well said, Judy! =D> And, Dorothy, I hope you're still reading for I would like to tell you that I have always enjoyed your posts. @};- And I was happy to know our south-central KY connection a few weeks ago! You have encouraged me many times; please do not be so hard on yourself. When you responded to Marie, I didn't think that you were being critical of her personally, but merely stating your opinion as everyone is free to do and does most of the time.

I really don't like it when these conflicts occur and people write that they won't be back. Of course that's their perogative, too. I'm an old Oak Ridge Boys fan; these times make me think of that song, 'Why Can't We All Get Along With Each Other?'.

Suzanne :)

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

Peter R on 8/18/03 at 15:58 (127242)

I can laugh and be happy because I don't have a wife :> If aI wanted one I would have bought one a long time ago. I know that I'm going to get a lot of flap about 'bought' but you do buy a mate, maybe not with $, but with a valuable piece of your life that I wanted all to myself.

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

marie on 8/18/03 at 16:50 (127245)

OK stop. It's ok dorothy. I'm fine.

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

john h on 8/18/03 at 16:53 (127246)

Peter you will be crucified for that post. Good luck. As you know all married guys want their friends associates to get married. Do you know why?

Last night 60 minutes did a piece on succesful business women who are in their late 40's and 50's who are not married and do not have children. It was interesting to see that many of them wish they had made the choice of having children now that their biological clock has ticked away. They then took a group of young successful women who were around 27-30. Women that had graduated from places like Harvard Law or Business and asked them which was more important having children or a successful carreer and they responded having a successful carreer without a doubt.. Where this was a generational thing or whether the younger ladies had not yet reached an age where they realized they would not have children was not answerable. I do not think any conclusions were reached. This did not seem to be a problem with men. I do not think men have a biological clock. It just ticks faster the older we get.

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

john h on 8/18/03 at 16:55 (127247)

Suzanne it was that noted philosopher Rodney King who said ' can't we just all get along?'. I think Rodney is still getting driving tickets the last I heard.

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

john h on 8/18/03 at 16:56 (127248)

Judy you can mess with most of my toys but do not mess with my computer or chain saw. I would insist you buy your own chain saw. You would not want to play with my Mac anyway.

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

john h on 8/18/03 at 16:59 (127249)

On of my best friends just got married at age 67 for the first time. Once he was sent to Vietnam and left me his Ford Thunderbird convertable to drive while he was away for 6 months. I was living in Cheyenne. I had all his girlfirends all over town honking at me as I blazed around town in his car. Hated to give that baby up when he returned.

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

JudyS on 8/18/03 at 17:00 (127250)

silly macs anyway. And I want MY chain saw all to myself. :)

Re: John

Sharon W on 8/18/03 at 20:01 (127259)


Rodney King's remarks saying, 'Can't we all just get along?' were words that had just been handed to him by someone to read as a statement to the press -- I forget who it was, his lawyer or somebody. They weren't actually his words... They sure were WISE words, though!


Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

marie on 8/19/03 at 16:35 (127327)


Some woman must have really broke your heart.

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

john h on 8/19/03 at 18:19 (127348)

Peter I can think of several girls who broke my heart and I still remember them well: Peggy Savage in the 2nd grade, Mildred Nanni in the 8th grade, Nan Shiller in the 9th grade. Laurie Nath in the 11th grade. They all made me suffer but was it ever fun. Actually she did not know it but my Health Teacher Ms Phillips in the 9th grade sort of broke my heart also because she was to old. She must have been 26 and did not know my true feelings for her. Elvis was singing to me when he sang 'Heart Break Hotel'.

Now Peter tell me if a girl ever broke your heart.

Re: To Marie, John H. and all other good foot people

Sandra D on 8/20/03 at 09:13 (127379)

I don't visit this site for a few days and it is hard to catch up on all the opinions. I love this site and all the people here even if I do not agree. My feet don't hurt when I sit at the computer and talk to you guys. We need different opinions or it would be a very dull world.

Sandra D