The Mail Ladies

I have two mail ladies. One is the regular delivery person, the other fills in two days each week. Both have brought treats to Suki, and oohed and aahed over how cute she is.

But all that changed after G, the regular delivery person, asked who Fenraven was. You see, I regularly get mail addressed to that name. She asked who that was. I told her it was my pen name.

“Oh, what do you write?” she asked, excited.

“This and that.” I don’t tell people I don’t know well what I write. What’s the point of getting into it with just anyone? “Mysteries, thrillers… romance.”

She apparently followed up, Googled the name… and discovered the real me. Because the next time she appeared, and Suki ran to the door expecting to get a treat, well, Suki got her treat, but the mail lady wouldn’t look at or talk to me.

In fact, she crept away with downcast eyes as quickly as possible, and I put it together with little difficulty.

She’d liked me well enough when we briefly chatted during her mail stops, but after she found out who Fenraven was, the pleasant conversations we’d had suddenly morphed into something evil, unacceptable. I had changed in her eyes.

How was that possible? I was the same person she’d met and talked to every day before she Googled me, yet suddenly I was someone to be avoided. Like her finding out more about me had turned me into something terrible, someone to walk past making the sign of the cross.

What’s more, she told the other mail lady what she’d found, and they both avoid me now.

I no longer leave the front door open at midday, and Suki doesn’t get treats anymore. I suspect they may even spread gossip about me to my neighbors if they haven’t already.

Does it hurt? Yeah. I’m a good person. I’m kind and generous, and you couldn’t have a more loyal friend. But because of what I write, they have formed an image of me in their heads that doesn’t fit reality.

I considered confronting G about this, but then decided it would do no good. She already knew I was nice and then decided I couldn’t be, so what would be the point?

Don’t feel bad for me or Suki. I give my pup plenty of treats, and I never looked at these people as friends anyway. I’m not ashamed of who I am or what I write. I refuse to be! They are the ones with the problem, not me.

This is the world some of us live in, and it’s often not inclusive or nice or pretty, but I don’t seek or need their approval. I am who I am, and they will never make me feel bad about that.

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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75 Responses to The Mail Ladies

  1. I was going to say I hope you give Suki a treat when the mail comes. No need to punish her.

  2. Donna Lewis says:

    That makes me sad. Hugs to you.

    • Makes me sad, too. Thanks for the hug.

      It’s no wonder LGBT+ people hide most of the time, and G’s reaction wasn’t even all that bad. She didn’t throw epithets at me; she merely ignored me as if I didn’t exist. Can you imagine her reaction if I told her I was gender fluid and preferred being addressed using male pronouns?

  3. Jaycee Edward says:

    Definitely their loss. This is exactly why people use pen names.

  4. kmac64 says:

    I’d be lying if I said this doesn’t piss me off because it does. However, these two ladies will never be the kind and caring person you are because they too easily pass judgment on others. These people are usually negative about a lot of things and most usually are not fun to be around. Yay for you not letting them make you feel bad. Maybe they will realize their mistake with the door no longer being open to them but if they don’t it is their loss. I don’t know if dogs really understand when something like this happens, but I believe they do. I hate it for her that she probably knew when it was time for them to come and bring a treat and now they don’t. My dogs know when someone is supposed to come and they look forward to that moment. It won’t take her long to realize they are not worth her time. Have a great day!!

    • I was really angry when I first realized what was going on. Now I’m fine with it, because as you point out, they’re probably not the kind of people I’d want to be friends with anyway.

      I’m fed up with the intolerance of others. We live in a diverse world, and if you can’t step outside your comfort zone without being a judgmental dickhead, you’re not worth my time or consideration.

      I plan to have a very fine week. Thanks! 🙂

  5. nordicgirl_2013 says:

    Sending a big hug, hon! 💜

    It made me sad and angry. It’s their loss, but still it’s bound to hurt! 😡

  6. Heather says:

    I don’t have anything to add that anybody else hasn’t said. Just – I like you just the way you are, and they’re stupid not to feel the same way. ❤

  7. Patricia says:

    It’s the loss to the mail ladies and their world just shrank again. What a sad little circle they live in. I was considering too if I am published, using a pen name, but that just pisses me off. Why? I’m glad you can lift your head and shrug this off, Theo. I am a fan of your work….

  8. Helena Stone says:

    Silly people are silly. It hurts my head trying to understand what their reasoning might be so I’m not even going to go there. I’ve always believed there are two kind of people in this world, those who are loving and can be trusted and those who aren’t/can’t. The first group can stay in my life, the second better stay away.
    Judgmental people will always judge (I run into a lot of conversations like the following: ‘all those foreigners coming here and…’ followed by ‘not you of course…’. Those people will never understand why the ‘not you of course’ doesn’t make me feel better and often makes me feel worse. If I can I cut them out of my life, if I can’t I switch off when they talk. They’re not worth my time.
    And judgmental people will always find something to judge others about or against. A lot of people seem to need to put others down in order to feel good/better about themselves. If it didn’t piss me off so much I’d feel sorry for them.
    A very long comment to tell you that you’re better off without them in your life. Those who know you better have no doubt it is their loss, not yours.

  9. Allison says:

    I’m sorry this happened. It’s always disappointing when you find out someone is a judgmental jackass, even if they are only a casual acquaintance.

    It is their loss as others have said you are an amazing and goodhearted person.

    I know you’ll be fine and Suki will forget them soon enough if she hasn’t already. ((Hugs))

  10. AJ Rose says:

    Shall I mail them a strongly worded letter? What bitches.

  11. Helle says:

    Perhaps we should all send you a tons of open postcards praising you and your books! Then they can read for themselves how much we appreciate you, and they may get sore backs from hauling all the mail….

  12. Oh, Helle!!! That idea is awesome! The more I’ve thought about this, the more pissed off I’ve gotten. I decided to Google “Theo Fenraven” just to see – if that is indeed what she did – what came up. I had to laugh out loud because if she Googles you today, she’ll see “I have two mail ladies…” Heh.

    • I actually wondered about that. You know, whether or not they’d return to the scene of the crime, as it were. 😉 But I think I’m safe. Anyone who so easily shuns others based on something as stupid as what they write is unlikely to look me up twice.

      But just in case they do: “You are judgmental and intolerant. Shame on you.”

  13. I hate this. I hate it and it *burns*. I am so sorry, Theo, that someone else’s narrow-minded intolerance has to touch you at all. Please give Suki a hug and treat. My deputy editor sends barks of support.

  14. Lindsaysf says:

    Wow. If you’re the strangest person they’ve run across, they must have a very boring route. Lord knows what they’re assuming. Hmm, I predict they may show up in a novel somewhere. *evil grin*

  15. fefeeley412 says:

    Reblogged this on F.E. Feeley Jr. and commented:
    United States Postal Workers deliver a bit of intolerance in Florida. How very lovely of them. *sarcasm*

  16. valjo44 says:

    I’m feeling the need to go buy some postcards😄

  17. Would love to be able to ‘like’ all of the replies. Hugs.

  18. suze294 says:

    Adding my hugs to those delivered, love the idea of postcards – bet we could come up with some to really make them worry!!

  19. Grace says:

    I have to wonder if postcards of my book covers would actually get delivered. Hmm….*cough*

    Sorry for this. It sucks all over, how horribly judgemental people can be. You’ll have to let us know which novel they die horribly in. 😉

  20. I wish I could say I was surprised, but…Florida. I’m sorry you had to go through this.

    • Thanks, but they haven’t made a big dent in my life. I kind of hope they don’t gossip about me, but if they do, meh. It’s not like I’m close to anyone here, nor likely to be. They’re all too old and nice for me. 😉

  21. AnnAlaskan says:

    As a supporter … this is what I have seen happen … time & time again. It hurts me SO bad. I don’t understand them either, Fen, but I walk away from just as fast. There is no use trying to talk to them … have tried in the past & reached that conclusion … closed ears = closed mind. I am SO sorry this happened to you in your happy State. My daughter wants me to move to OK with her but I’ve dealt with the South before & don’t want to live in such a toxic environment again. No matter how strong a person is … unkindness & intolerance hurts. Just know we all love you & would love to have the beach chair next to yours!! Love from Alaska

  22. I want to take them to Fen’s Island and maybe have some sort of ceremony where we sacrifice them to the volcano…

  23. Yvonne says:

    Why do a lot of people have to be so bloody narrow-minded??
    *hugs*

  24. dani says:

    Although i havent replied in a while I always read and enjoy your posts, Fen .
    I wanted to say just be you . you are perfectly fine as you are and no matter what those ignorant woman think . You are one hell of a person , honest, kind and a great writer on top of that

    hugs Dani

  25. rhowell71 says:

    I shared this on my Facebook wall. The reason to do so was there are folks on my wall that would act just like the mail person did. I am fed up with people who get their panties in a wad as the saying goes.

  26. May Wilson says:

    To where do I send the postcards? I’m in Australian postcards coming your way 🙂

  27. A.M.B. says:

    I “liked” this post, but there’s nothing at all to “like” about it. How your mail-person treated you is terribly sad. It’s almost hard to believe that this type of intolerance still exists, but it does. It’s shameful.

  28. clairecurtis says:

    I’m going to be charitable, not because I really think this is true but because I choose to believe that people are more often simply thoughtless than meaning to be hurtful.

    You know how when someone gets a terrible fatal disease, how a lot of their friends stop communicating with them? It’s not that they’ve suddenly stopped caring, it’s just that they don’t know what to say. Mundane things seem trivial, and the elephant in the room is too big for them to acknowledge.

    It’s a horrible reaction, to be sure (and I really don’t want to equate finding out what you write with having a fatal disease), but I would like to believe that the mail ladies are more nonplussed than truly judgmental. Not knowing what to say or how to react, they simply avoid you.

    As I said, I may be totally wrong, and probably am, but holding this possibility open makes ME feel better, and (if it were a case where I might ever interact with these ladies) it gives them space to change their behavior.

    • I could buy that… if their reaction to me was not as clearly black and white as it was. First they couldn’t wait to say hello and greet Suki, to the point where, if my door was open, they’d call to me through it or knock to get my attention. After the discussion about who Fenraven was? Night and day. They studiously avoided me. I’ve not spoken to either one since.

      A couple days after we talked about my pen name, the door was open, and Suki heard G come into the courtyard to deliver my mail. She barked and ran to the door, expecting her treat. Did G smile and pause and coo at her like usual? Did she say hi to me as always? She did not. She continued through the gate, fully intending to leave, but Suki and I got there before she could vanish. Without meeting my eyes, without saying a word to me, she knelt and handed a treat to Suki through the gate. I thanked her, and she ignored me. She couldn’t get away fast enough.

      Believe what you like. I know what I saw and felt, and I no longer leave the door open.

  29. bevjan59 says:

    Oh a big hug from over ‘The Pond’, Theo. I identify as genderfluid. I wrote a post about it on Prism Book Alliance, and although I doubt that many from my RL read it, the few who know got over it in a couple of days. In our very conservative old little village, I’m a minor celeb after I was in the local newspaper as ‘Local Harlaxton resident starts new life with Gay Romance’ we thought that was hilarious.
    I have a theory that the larger the country the less tolerant the population as they don’t have to be in close proximity. In countries like England, Netherlands, Japan you have to be tolerant because there is little room to get away 🙂

    I hate that these mail people have been so disrespectful, and ignorant and have hurt you. ❤

  30. That kind of narrow minded ness makes me so mad!!!! When I told my family the type of stories I write all my kids said was……”that’s great mum, but please don’t make me read it” LOL

  31. Rise above it AND them Fen!! She’s just making herself look pathetically stupid, and it seems well justified. {{{Big Hugs}}} ❤

  32. How sad, but such a shame for them and you! Continue to be your wonderful self—it’s their loss. You have plenty of friends and followers who love your work. Hugs ❤

  33. So sorry that they are so narrow minded to act like this. I just don’t get people… I remember a story my mom told me about a friend she had (who was white) that she had at school , my mom had even talked to the mom on the phone and she really liked my mom until she saw her in person, after that the girl couldn’t talk to my mom again. How can you like a person, and then hear or see something about them and all of a sudden they’re not that person you used to talk to, especially when they did nothing to you. I always say this is a great way to weed out the bad people in your life. Sorry you had to go through it though.

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