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.