Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rude Begets Rude

Gentle Readers...I haven't posted in THREE MONTHS! Horrifying! Knowing such, I asked a friend and fellow stitcher to help me out. She did and we'll refer to her as Name Withheld to Protect the Stitcher...this is so very well put that I wish that I had written it!

Rude Begets Rude

I was asked to be a guest blogger for this episode - and I really didn't know what I would write about until something eye-opening happened this weekend. I'll start from the beginning - so bear with me.

I am fortunate enough to be able to stitch with some wonderful friends and talented ladies on the weekends, and it is an honor when they bring in finished pieces, or works in progress for show and tell. So Saturday, we had five pieces that were shown. Pieces that were remarkable in their fibers, their execution, their finishing, and mostly as testaments to the love of needlework. Each project was deserving of comment and compliment and there were ooh's and ahh's aplenty. With one notable exception.

So-what do you do? Ignore it? We mostly do Don't rock the boat, be the bigger person, turn the other cheek. But we didn't on Saturday. We devised a plan to hurt.

In talking of the plan we were laughing and joking, and really didn't mean it to be mean...but that's what it would have been. Mean. And I am ashamed to say that until someone spoke up, I didn't see that I was planning to be just as rude and hurtful.

Needless to say, sanity has been restored -but it has left me wondering. When someone is rude, how do you handle it? Is it rude to tell someone that they are being rude?

Miss Manners would probably fall back on the "if you can't say anything nice...keep your mouth shut" line, but that does not work in this type of group. We are peers in our unique group. Needlework is more than just a hobby for us; this is an expression of our art. And while we each have enough of a sense of self not to need validation, we do look for appreciation and recognition from our peers.

Why do we choose the projects that we do? We find something in the design that speaks to us. From the whimsical to the heartfelt to the awe inspiring. What speaks to me is not what speaks to you - that's cool. It's like love - not everyone can love a bubble-butt with a lazy eye.

Every project I see, I learn from. From use of colors and textures, to interpretation of design and execution in finishing. These pieces are part of the needleworker. Whether it's a charted piece or a painted piece, we give time and energy to our working of the piece. So, as a fellow needleworker, if I could find NOTHING to say (like that would ever happen), I would celebrate the work, the time, the energy, the joy of completion of the needleworker. All pieces are wonderful because they continue the heritage of needlework.

So I think I feel sorry for the person who has nothing to say. You are missing out on the best part of these groups - celebrating the art: of the craft, of each other, and of ourselves.

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