Category Archives: Email

Where the heck have you been?

Where do I even begin to start?

Technically, I didn’t go anywhere, I was still here, just not HERE. *points at WordPress* Admittedly, I’ve been more active on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

My responsibilities shifted a bit. Though I didn’t mention it on here previously, one of the new responsibilities I took on began November 1st. I’m the National co-First Officer of the Covenant of the Goddess. My new term began the day after I finished my term as First Officer of the Orange County Local Council for Covenant of the Goddess. Though it’s not my first time on the national board, it is the first time I’ve served as NFO, and in the 40 years the organization has been in existence, I’m the first person of color to ever serve as NFO.  What a strange thing to be “the first” of.

So far much of my time as co-NFO has been spent cleaning our Facebook page of spam, moderating comments, replying to comments, and answering emails. That alone is nearly a full time job. It’s amazing that despite our large following how many of them have no idea that CoG is an actual organization, not just a Facebook page for people who believe in the Goddess.

So, after I became co-NFO of course then it was Thanksgiving, Winter Solstice, New Year’s Eve, and my birthday in fairly rapid succession.  Interspersed with preparing my students for initiation into my coven, teaching students for my ritual arts class, hosting Meetups, HOA president (what is this, my 3rd or 4th year now?), HoC business,  getting ready for Pantheacon (then not going because of a family emergency), family and home life.

Oh, and we also got a new insanely rambunctious kitten. Her name is Clementine. Unfortunately, our house wasn’t kitten-proofed prior to her arrival so there was a lot of damage done to my ancestor altar and plants. C’est la vie!

At any rate, I’ve returned and am trying to get back in the groove, so to speak.

Oh, also, if you’ve sent me an email via this site in the last few months, you’re going to need to resend it to me. I was having issues with my email. I’ve since resolved the issue.

Special Effing Snowflake

I’ve been running Meetup events for 7-13 different groups for nearly 13 years now. Over the years I’ve learned what does and what does not work for each group. At some point we realized that membership rules were necessary as it seemed some things that we assumed most people would know wasn’t always the case. Thus I created a list of rules. They are very simple, but ultimately necessary reminders to ensure the group works harmoniously.

Lately more members are joining using the Meetup app on their phone. This is convenient for members, however, the app lacks a lot of the information available to members using the desktop version, such as our membership rules, message board, photos, etc. As such I’ve had to message members wishing to join our groups and include the rules so they can be aware.

How is it I know they didn’t read the rules? Based on their response to the question regarding the rules. Within the rules is a very specific reponse requested. It started because people would lie, automatically respond with a yes, and when they break a rule they’d claim they didn’t know. It became a big hassle that required more management on my part. The hope was to prevent drama after the fact. If they give the correct response I’ll know they read all the rules.

Unfortunately… there are the occasional individuals who insist on creating the drama before they even join the group. Below is the profile submitted by the most recent special snowflake. I changed their name and a few identifying things because it’s unnecessary to out this individual. For me it’s more about the interaction and how they didn’t seem to recognize I wasn’t really asking much at all of them, but they made it to be about something it wasn’t and then into a bigger issue than it need be, especially on their final reply in our IMs back and forth.

I look at things this way… if a person feels they’re far too special to follow very basic rules and directions they likely have no respect for the rules or our group and therefore it may be best for all involved if they don’t join our group.

I’m told I have a lot of patience with difficult people, some days it really takes all that I have.

PROFILE

Special Snowflake C.Ht

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Hometown: Los Angeles

What, within our group, do you hope to find?
learning

Let’s see how well you can follow directions. Have you read the Rules for Membership listed on the About Us section and agree to abide by them?
Yes (It was later changed to – Yes I AGREE! after my initial IM)

What, if any, tradition of witchcraft do you practice?
Goddess, Meditation, Kabbalah.

How did you hear about us?
google


CONVERSATION

Wednesday
MistressPrime 6:18 PM

Sent from Orange County Witches Meetup

Hello Special Snowflake C.Ht,

Thank you for your interest in the OC Witches Meetup. It appears that you have not yet read our membership rules. I have provided them for you here. Please take a moment to thoroughly read them and change your profile answer regarding the rules accordingly. Once you’ve made that change to your membership request message me here to let me know and then I can add you to our group membership.

Thank you,
MistressPrime
OC Witches Meetup Organizer

RULES FOR MEMBERSHIP:

  1. All members are required to RSVP with a Yes or No to each of the monthly Meetup events. These are the events held on the 2nd Wednesday or the 4th Thursday of the month at 7pm. Locations can vary.
  2. Participation is required. All members are required to attend a monthly Meetup at least once every 6 months.
  3. If a member is unable to comply to monthly Meetup attendance requirements due to school or work, they will need to contact MistressPrime privately to discuss their options.
  4. Members will ensure that their RSVP is current by checking the event listing. If you are currently a No, but are able to attend, please change your RSVP to Yes. If you are a Yes, but are not able to attend, please change your RSVP to a No. These changes should occur by 1 hour before the Meetup if possible.
  5. If you are listed as a YES, but discover you are unable to attend at the last minute (less than 1 hour prior to Meetup), please drop me a private email (up to 24 hours after the Meetup) to ensure you are not listed as a No Show. Members are allowed a maximum of 3 No Shows before being removed for attendance issues. However, if you are listed as a No or have not RSVPed at all and show up, we may have you sing a song, or do a dance, or a card trick, or quiz you on your geek knowledge, or have a staring contest or… I think you get the point. Please remember to RSVP.
  6. All suggestions for events should be sent to MistressPrime directly.
  7. All members must read the Message Board Rules post prior to making any message board posts.
  8. Members are prohibited from posting personal contact info in their profiles, message board, or in RSVP/comments for event listings. For direct contact with specific members please use the email option provided by Meetup.com.
  9. For the safety of all, members will not post or promote the location of the Meetup event on any comment, RSVP comment, or any other website.
  10. All members will be respectful to this group, the members, and it’s rules of conduct.
  11. If indeed you have read all these rules and agree to abide by them, please reply with a “Yes I have. Yes I will.” with the current date (eg: Yes I have. Yes I will. May 13, 2012) on your profile where it asks if you have read and agree to abide by our rules.

Should a member fail to meet these requirements they will be removed from this group.


Thursday

Special Snowflake C.Ht 6:38 PM

I thought I did, what did I do wrong, what is it in my profile that is like an advertising?

MistressPrime 6:49 PM

Special Snowflake, please thoroughly read the rules provided. Once you have I’m certain you’ll recognize that writing Yes I AGREE isn’t what was requested. I assure you, your profile does not look like advertising.

Special Snowflake C.Ht 7:30 PM

If your talking about my title, I can’t remove it, since this is how I signed up to meetup and I Owen 3 meetup which in no way is a competition or do I want to go to OC after your clients. I am in Los Angeles and if the C.HT is the killer, I wish you all the best. I will not let someone’s fear to force me stop presenting who I am. Hopefully it’s not the Cht and if it’s something else, I don’t get it!

MistressPrime 7:54 PM

Again… no. I don’t care about your title or how many Meetups you organize. Why are you making this about things that it is not? Please thoroughly read the rules and follow the listed directions.

Special Snowflake C.Ht 7:55 PM

I did several time and like I said I don’t get it, and if you can’t be specific, I can’t help it but say, thank you!


FRIDAY

Special Snowflake C.Ht 1:19 AM

Because I am not clear on what you are asking, and I did, so I guess i don’t understand what you have posted. Sorry my English is not my first language and I don’t underhand your request. Any ways thanks any ways.

MistressPrime 1:21 AM

Special Snowflake, read #11.

Special Snowflake C.Ht 1:28 AM

OK I get it, you want me to be specific with Yes I have. Yes I will and the date, wow is this really necessarily? Isn’t Yes I Agree i the same as Yes I have or Yes I will? You really need to learn about the learning styles, because kinesthetic learning people like me will have hard time excepting these commends. MistressPrime kinesthetic learners are not visual or auditory, or gustatory, they need to feel the emotion behind your command, and I agree is how I feel comfortable, and I am sorry, I cannot say the words that mean nothing to my brain, because my brain rejects Yes I will and Yes I have! Too bad, but if this is what it is, I don’t belong in your group. Thank you for trying to help. Best of the luck!


I suspect the fact that Special Snowflake kept bringing the “advertising” issue up was likely because they were planning to use my Meetup group to hunt for new clients. If so, they were being deceptive with their motives for joining our group and this is part of the reason why members need to be approved prior to joining.

Email – Canadian Douchebag

I just had a most obnoxious email exchange on Facebook. Some creep named Steve Edward from Canada sent me a message that went from complimentary to disgusting. Apparently he didn’t bother to actually READ my profile as it’s clearly noted that I’m married. However, when I tried to give him a gentle hint, he was still clueless. So when I became more direct and blunt he turned into every woman’s “dream guy”.

Here’s what happened:

Steve Edward 1/26, 8:22pm: Wow what a very pretty lady cheers

(Because Steve Edward is not my friend, his email fell into the “other” inbox on Facebook. Despite my regular presence on FB, I did not find this email until today.)

Me 1/28, 2:39pm: Thank you. My husband agrees!

Steve Edward 1/28, 4:23pm: thanks for the message and thats funny lol, well i am steve from Canada i am single and saw your profile and got attracted to it so do you mind telling me more about your self till then hugs and kisses

Me 1/28, 4:32pm: Steve… or spambot, whichever. Did you miss the part where I mentioned I’m married? Newly married at that.

I’m deeply unfond of cluelessness. So here’s a freebie. Don’t contact me ever again or I shall report you.

Steve Edward 1/28, 4:37pm: if you are married dont contact me , you should just ignore me simple as A B C, thats how a married woman should at ,for your info ,you must be silly alling me a spam bot soon your so called husband will fuck your dirty ass up fool and go to hell

LMAO! What the f#@% is wrong with some people?

I called Chris shortly after this exchange as we had yet to settle our plans for our Date Night dinner tonight. He laughs every time one of these type of whackadoodle emails occur. He doesn’t understand why some people are so broken. To be fair, I don’t always understand either.

I love how Steve gets so indignant in the last message, you know, the one AFTER I told him NOT to contact me… he gets so indignant he can’t type then takes it totally over the top and actually tells me to go to a place I don’t believe in. All I can assume is that Steve doesn’t really know how to read and he apparently likes pictures. But hey ladies! He’s single! I really can’t imagine why, he’s such a catch! He must be his mother’s pride and joy!

I love sharing these emails with folks because they’re quite hilarious and almost too outrageous for one to believe. But believe it! I keep every one of these whackadoodle emails on file.

Emails – Not More Powerful Than I

The other day I received a request to join my OC Witches Meetup. Below is what I found. Now, over all, this is a fairly typical profile. Not bad on it’s own, but it’s clear that the person applying did not thoroughly read the 11 basic rules.

How do I know? One of the rules tells you what to reply on the question asking if you read the rules. It’s a catch. I added it in there on purpose. I got tired of people blindly adding “yes” only to claim ignorance when they break the rules. Anyway, in that rule the answer is not what is given below. It’s not complicated, but you do need to follow basic directions and read. It really is a test. Below is the most common mistake, but you should see some of the most whack-a-doodle answers other people post in there. It’s just incredible the nonsense they post.

PROFILE [MEMBER NAME]
Location:
Los Angeles, CA

Introduction
Hello

What, within our group, do you hope to find?
Friendship

Have you read the Rules for Membership listed on the “Pages” tab and agree to abide by them? **THIS IS A TEST!** There is only 1 correct answer we seek from you and it’s hidden within the rules – please read them!
Yes

What, if any, tradition of witchcraft do you practice?
None

How did you hear about us?
On Meet up

When I discover that an applicant has given the incorrect answer for the rules I’ll post a quick note to their profile making the request that they thoroughly read the rules and make the needed changes.

My post:
Hi [MEMBER NAME], Thank you for your interest in the OC Witches Meetup! Please take a moment to thoroughly read our membership rules. Add some info about yourself to share with our members in your introduction section as well as give the correct answer regarding the rules. Once you’ve made those changes drop me an email and I can admit you to our membership. 🙂
Mar 25, 2013 11:22 AM

I’ll usually get one of two responses…

1. Nothing2. The corrections made

If I get answer #1 I’ll eventually remove their request after a month or two of inactivity. They’re often allowed to reapply and if they do they tend to add the correct info and get added to the membership.

If, however, I get  answer #2 I will admit them to the membership as soon as I see the updated profile.

Today, however, I got the following email in response to my post:

Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 1:48 PM
Subject: [MEMBER NAME]sent you a message: Hi
Meetup Message from: [MEMBER NAME], via Orange County Witches Meetup

Hi MP, hope all is well, and thank you for the message. I would love to meet you one day!

Blessings,
[MEMBER NAME]

My interest in your group is that I have yet to meet anyone who is more powerful than I. Please confirm what I just said with your spirit guides. Just your picture, and you are very beautiful.

Did I actually read that right?

“I have yet to meet anyone who is more powerful than I”

*sigh*

One friend asked if there was a device they were unaware of for measuring such things? Another asked if the person was over 9,000? *snicker*

Ok, here’s the thing. I run my Pagan and Witches Meetup groups as SOCIAL groups. Everyone here is on even footing. There’s no power struggles, no witch wars, no bullshit high muckity muck title battles, no nonsense! Not everyone is on the same path, nor at the same place on their path. All are equal in our group.

The group is run this way because it makes the most sense. It allows people to meet, mingle, network, and make lasting friendships. We’re celebrating our groups 10 year anniversary with a party this Saturday. That’s not something many other Meetup groups in our topics can say they’ve accomplished.

Now, I must admit, this individual caught me at a time of little tolerance. I’m just over people and their ridiculousness. So, I was perhaps a lot less polite than I could have been in my email response. I’m usually very diplomatic, but I can be quite honest as well. Remember, my patron god is Odin… just sayin’.

Hello [MEMBER NAME],

Thank you for your message, but it appears you misunderstood the reason behind my post on your profile.

I will not allow your membership until you have made the necessary changes to your group profile.

1) Please add information about yourself in the introduction section. Writing “Hello” is only a greeting and says nothing about who you are.

2) Thoroughly read and understand all 11 membership rules listed for our group. Until you have added the one acceptable answer for the question regarding this your membership will not be accepted.

This is about understanding how to follow simple directions as well as recognizing what your responsibilities will be as a member of our group.

As for your bizarre comment regarding having “yet to meet anyone who is more powerful than” you… Why would anyone say such a peculiar thing? It’s arrogant to say the least, not particularly becoming, and definitely immature.

You have two options. You can either follow directions as have been outlined above, because you actually wish to become a member of our pagan based community, or you can remove your membership request.

Also, my screen name is not MP, it’s MistressPrime. I don’t know you and it seems rather forward of you to refer to me so casually. You’re really not making a very good first impression.

If you choose to follow the directions and join our group, know that despite your terrible first impression you will still be welcome to our gatherings.

MistressPrime
OC Witches Meetup Organizer

I joke that I get all the weirdos, but seriously, I do. I ask organizers of other Meetups if they get many of these and apparently not as much nor as colorful as the ones I do.

*rolls eyes*

Lucky me!

Emails – High Priestess Muckity Muck

As I’ve mentioned previously, I organize 7 Meetups of my own, I also assist with two other groups. I’ve also mentioned I get the most ridiculous emails from members and non-members alike.

With my own groups I have rules for the membership. The point behind them is to keep members mindful and responsible for their membership and actions. Essentially, please participate and don’t be a jerk.

When someone applies for membership with my Meetup groups they need to answer a few questions before they can be admitted into the group’s membership. They’re basic questions such as an introduction, who is your favorite pagan author or what’s your favorite divination tool, and what do you hope to find within our group.

There’s one additional question asking if you’ve read and agree to abide by the group’s membership rules. Within the rules I’ve added a “pass code” that tells you what answer to give for this particular question. It’s obvious, but at the same time they need to read the entire list of 10 rules first.

The question looks like this:

Have you read the Rules for Membership listed on the “Pages” tab and agree to abide by them? **THIS IS A TEST!** There is only 1 correct answer we seek from you and it’s hidden within the rules – please read them!

Most people blindly place a Yes or some other answer that is similar to yes. Sometimes they’ll leave me long winded answers that mean pretty much nothing. When it’s clear to me they likely didn’t read the rules (no passcode) I’ll post a quick note to their profile thanking them for the request and then tell them even more about there being a passcode and to please change that answer.

Most people are super cool about it, read it, laugh that they missed it and move along. Some straight up never understand what I’m talking about. However one person took offense over it. Well, not the question or the passcode or the rules or any thing known in this world as logic.

So one day I receive a request to join my OC Witches Meetup, but they didn’t answer the question regarding the rules with the passcode. I posted the following message to their profile:

Hello [NAME], Thank you for your membership request. Please take a moment to thoroughly read our Rules for Membership. There is a hidden passcode which you are to use as the answer for the question regarding the rules. Once you’ve made the appropriate change I can add you to our group’s membership.

In response I received the following:

Meetup Message from: [NAME], via Orange County Witches Meetup

Hello           

First of all Blessed B. I am not changing any of my profile. I am a High Priestess of my three meetup groups. when u told me to do that. That was straight across slap my face and disrespectful toward me and my covens. I changed my mind about joining your group.

I opened this email and was utterly perplexed as to what this person was talking about. I even went back and double checked my message to make sure I hadn’t mistakenly requested something inappropriately.

Nope. All seems to be normal, nothing particularly odd and no requests that were inappropriate or rude. So then what is the “straight across slap my face and disrespectful” part? Seriously, I had no idea what might have been lost in translation there. I sent the following email.

Meetup Message from: MistressPrime, Organizer of Orange County Witches Meetup

RE: Hello

Hello [NAME],

So, as I understand you, because I asked you to read my group’s membership rules and change your answer on that one question to the correct answer, which is deliberately hidden within the rules as a means to ensure that people actually read the rules instead of saying yes only to break them immediately because they never actually read them, was a slap in YOUR face and your covens?

To begin with, you did request to join my Meetup group. I did not ask you as I don’t even know you. As for bantering about your title… I have been practicing witchcraft since 1982, am an ordained Elder High Priestess of my coven, a high priestess in 2 other traditions, I run 7 Meetup groups and have so for the last 10 years, I speak at Universities and colleges about Wicca and Witchcraft, have been on the front page of the OC Register, interviewed by CBS News along with multiple radio stations, had a national TV show regarding Wicca, am an award-winning (Pagan Pride LA 2007) internationally known witch. However, within my Meetup group all are welcome regardless if they have a high muckity muck title or are brand new on the path to finding their spirituality.

It astounds me that by making a very simple request for you to comply to a truly basic set of rules of conduct would be considered a “slap in the face” to someone that claims a leadership role, especially another Meetup organizer that should know how difficult having hundreds of members can be without requiring some basic outline of decorum.

If reading the rules and putting in the correct answer to that ONE question is really too insulting for you to bother to do, then please do not bother joining our group. There is nothing so special about you that you alone must bypass a basic respect of our group. So please, remove your request as you wish.

However, if you have re-thought your initial response and decided it was made in haste, and you can make that one change to your profile, please do so and know you will be welcome in our group and at our events.

MistressPrime
OC Witches Meetup Organizer

No response.

I decided I would allow them time to remove their request from our group. After four months passed I decided to remove them since there was no activity.

However, I can’t just remove them, Meetup requires organizers to post a message as to why we’re removing them. I sent the following with their notice of removal:

[NAME],

Your last communication with me was very unkind and unhappy. You stated that you were planning to withdraw your membership request. It’s been over 4 months, however your request is still pending. I left it there so you could remove your request yourself. Enough time has passed to allow you to follow through and there has been no activity. I will now remove your membership request.

MistressPrime
OC Witches Meetup Organizer

At this point I honestly thought that they moved on already and that their removal would be the end of it.

Of course not!

Early the next morning I received this email:

Meetup Message from: [NAME], via Orange County Witches Meetup

Merry Meet
First of all U were rid, unkind and unhappy,very disrespectful toward me. U told me to rewrite my profile . I told u I am leaving the High Priestess thing only and U told to delete it. I think U need to recheck yourself and dont disrespect people like that has been practicing witchcraft and wicca for a long time. U dont know me so dont judge me then. I got a very successful Pagan group here in Los Angeles.

[NAME]

*sigh*

This individual makes no sense to me. What are they even going on about? Truthfully at this point I decided I no longer needed to be nice about it and sent the following message:

Meetup Message from: MistressPrime

RE: Merry Meet

[NAME],

Are you smoking crack??? My request had nothing to do with you changing anything in your profile about who you were. You, however, failed to READ the instructions on your profile. The request was to change the answer regarding reading our membership rules. That’s it! I don’t give a crap what title you think you need to parade around. No one gives a shit about your titles. You just needed to READ THE RULES, something you clearly think too highly of yourself to bother doing.

For someone that claims a leadership title and to have “been practicing witchcraft and wicca for a long time” it really doesn’t show. I’ve been practicing for 30 years. I’ve been running this Meetup group for 10 years. You’ve been doing this for, how long? Not as long as me. Yet, you’ve never once shown me any respect.

You have a very strange concept of what is rude. By not bothering to follow the very simple and easy instructions and refusing to read our membership rules you were being rude and disrespectful to our Meetup group. From the beginning you have been condescending, insulting, illogical, and frequently seem up in arms about things that aren’t event being discussed. You sound like a crazy person off their medication.

I removed your membership request because after 4 months you did not do so. All this, of course, is AFTER you already sent me a ridiculous and asinine email. I was doing what you told me that you yourself would do, but clearly never did. So to send me an outraged message after you proved you don’t even follow your own plan-of-action seems utterly ludicrous.

Also, learn to spell. What’s wrong with taking a few moments and making sure that your message is using full words and proper grammar? To do so helps ensure that the person reading your message clearly understands what the fuck you’re trying to say. Otherwise, it sounds like you’re a child throwing a temper tantrum.

All of your crazy fucking drama has given me one blessing… that you are not a member of any of my groups. You and your idiotic bullshit wouldn’t last very long in our group. Well, of course, you weren’t even capable of making it past the request to join, so that only proves my point.

MistressPrime
OC Witches Meetup Organizer

Yeah, I went THERE.

One of the things most people don’t know is that many of the Meetup organizers are friends and talk to one another. We communicate about a variety of things; advice, assistance, and problem members. When the first set of emails occurred I happen to have a conversation with some of the Meetup organizers of groups that this individual is a member of. So out of curiosity I asked them about this person. Turns out I dodged a bullet with that one as they were already a problem member with a couple of groups. Yikes!

I don’t care what or how many titles you do or do not have, how long or short your time has been on your spiritual path, or if you’re in a coven or a solitary practitioner. It makes no difference to me. When a person comes to my Meetup events they’ll see that all are treated equally. In the end we’re all just people who are looking to connect with each other. It makes no sense to sabotage that process by throwing your weighted titles around in the hopes of evoking false respect from strangers. That’s just silly, so don’t do it.

RANDOM MUSIC

*NSFW*

This rendition is by an amazing group from Iceland! The harmonies, the beatboxing, and the overall styling on this cover make it outstanding.

Cover of Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You” by 3 Voices & Beatur