From the Mormon HateMail Bag….

In my other life, when I’m not saving the world from well-meaning but misguidedly-motivated Mormons, I’m a suburban dance mom. I chauffeur one young daughter to dance a lot. She dances all the time. Pretty much, she’s a dancing fool. Don’t tell her I said that. She doesn’t take kindly to being called a fool, kind of like her mother. Speaking of fools, when someone says to you, “What kind of a fool do you think I am?” do they REALLY expect you to answer?

Back to the dance mom thing. I help our dance teacher out with some things because she thinks the computer is a foreign tool of the devil and I pretty much walk around with one strapped to my hip. One of those things I do, related to the computer, is send out emails updating other dance parents when things change. And in our dance world, things change a lot, all the time.

Most of the parents find this very useful, and are mostly grateful. Others can’t see past my sig line, which announces my book rather proudly. I did, after all, write a book and get it published. Wouldn’t you be proud? Apparently, I should not be so. I should be ashamed, embarrassed, and beaten with whips.

Yesterday, I got this email (again, all the typos and misspellings belong to the person who sent the email):

I was wondering why there is a link on your emails advertising a book
that has nothing to do with dance. What is the connection between
sending information about a dance class and a book about girl that
was raised with “oppressive family values” (a book that would probley
be offensive to most of the people that you are collecting money from
each month)?

Of course, I immediately begin foaming at the mouth, and muttering profanely. But this is a dance mom. I think. I don’t know her, but I have to be nice. I have to not RAPID-FIRE TYPE OUT ALL THE WICKEDLY CUTTING THINGS I want to spew, because I will probably have to see this woman again. And, of course, this is not MY dance studio, or MY reputation we are talking about.

So I called the dance teacher, but she had lost her phone again or something, and didn’t answer. (Did I mention she’s not good with OTHER electronic gadgets, either?)

So, I composed a nice, very mild reply.

When I wanted to say, “You are lower than festering, jello-filled, Prozac eating, scum of the earth worm eaters,” I said this instead:

[Dance Team]belongs to [DANCE TEACHER.] I don’t collect anything from you. I simply send emails with updates, trying to make YOUR life easier.

I’d be happy to remove your name from the update list if my email sigline, which is automatic, is offensive to you.

Then I fumed and sputtered some more.

I got THIS reply back.

My life has already been made easier since my daughter decided to
quit dance. Maybe your life would be easier if you moved out of Utah
and saw that the rest of the world doesn’t care if you were raised by
horrible mormon parents who tried to teach you “family values”. So,
please do take me off your list.

That, of course, made everything easier. I didn’t have to be nice to above-mentioned moron, since she SURE as hell wasn’t being nice to me. She wasn’t even DANCING with us anymore. Why didn’t she ask for her name to just be removed when her daughter quit? WE ARE NOT THE MORMON CHURCH. We do not require eighteen signed and notarized letters, forty-two phone calls and naked dancing on the bishop’s lawn before we will RELEASE people from our bonds. For the most part, if you don’t want to dance at our studio, our studio director is happy to see your backside.

But I still chose the high road. Here was my reply to her latest nasty missive, which by the way was not even CLOSE to being original. I’ve heard the “move out of Utah” comment so many times it’s burned on my brain. She thinks the outside world doesn’t care?

Oh but they do. Book sales and Web site visitors prove that daily. And I’ve lived here all my life. Why should I move? I have just as much right to live here as you.

And you need to look up FICTION in the dictionary. The book isn’t MY story.

I’ll gladly remove you. And put your nice comments in my blog, too, so that the ‘rest of the world’ who doesn’t care can see just how loving Mormons are.

Then the phone rang, and Dance Teacher, who has figured out what Caller ID is, told me she had NO IDEA who this women even WAS. She was one of those people who join up, figure out they don’t like the intensity, or their daughter should dance with a bag over her head to save embarrassment to the family, and bail before anyone even knows their name. I have NO idea how long my sig line was festering in her little brain, but I hope it was a long, long time.

And there you go. She’s blogged, as promised, and I feel better.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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