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Zer Netmouse
March 3rd, 2003
10:34 am

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Definitely have a head cold
We had a party for Janann on Saturday night, and made a bunch of cakes for it. Generally speaking, it was a great party. Conversation was interesting enough that we were up until around 3, and I got the kitchen mostly cleaned up while Bill drove Janann and Farayd back to Janann's house. The spinach quiche was great; I'm planning to make it again sometime.

On Sunday, we went up to Grandma's to celebrate her and dad's birthdays- a well-timed visit as a valve on her water heater had gone out and dad replaced it after dinner. I took a long nap, after which it became obvious that I am now fighting a fierce head-cold. This morning I've had a touch of fever, and stayed in bed for a bit, sleeping and reading Bride of the Rat God by Barbara Hambly.

I hope I didn't give this cold to the folks at the party, though there is one person who I wouldn't mind having given it to. I don't know who it is, but that would be whomever has been stealing our dishes.

We are not planning to have any more parties.



(*rant mode on*)

So, yes, after the Chinese New Year's party I noticed that we seemed to have fewer of our regular small jelly-jar glasses than usual. Mom gave us that set of glasses when we had our first apartment in Chicago. I think originally there were ten, and then one got chipped, and now, after two parties this spring, we have 5. It seemed like we had fewer after the first party, and now there are definitely fewer and what's more, one of our small fiesta bowls is also missing. We only had 6 of those, and now there are 5.

This is very upsetting. Sunday morning rather than pleasantly revisiting memories of the party, I was furiously pacing the kitchen, my hands clenched, not knowing what if anything I could or should do.

That someone should come to our house, eat dinner that we provided, and pretend to be friendly and then reward our hospitality by stealing the dishes that we use on a daily basis is horrible. It's not the loss of the things as much as the violation that is upsetting, though since those things were gifts and were our preferred dishes, it is also the things. Five of any piece of dishware is not a very useful set - I'll probably see if I can replace them. I have other glasses, and other bowls, that I would have gladly given to someone who'd told me they needed them. But instead someone has been taking the ones that were given to us on the occassions of our first apartment and our wedding.

Well, mom wanted to have her own party on the summer solstice anyway. I'm canceling ours. I'm not planning to have any more parties until and unless our dishes are returned to us. We have a very large mailbox, it's easy for someone to do that anonymously.

There are five people who were at both parties. One of them has been to our home many times with nothing going missing and I don't suspect her at all. The other four are all people I don't honestly know very well, and yet it sickens me to even consider suspecting them of this.

I'd rather think that someone is a bit of a klepto and I could even have sympathy for them than to believe that someone deliberately and with clear thought about it took our dishes. It really lowers your sense of security and trust. Once you realise that something is gone, you start wondering what else might be gone. Bill imediately commented aloud that he hoped they hadn't taken any of the dishes we'd served cake on. He inherited that set from his grandmother, and it matches the cake plate.

(*rant mode off*)

We love having parties. I had a lot of fun at both Saturday's party and the Chinese New Year's party, and I was looking forward to hosting a stilyagi party for showing Lilo and Stitch. But this is really upsetting. For the moment, we're just going to back off on that sort of thing.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do when it's time to have concom meetings.

(12 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:xiombarg
Date:March 3rd, 2003 08:23 am (UTC)
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That's crazy.

As a potentially less nasty scenario, do you think the people in question might have accidentally broke the missing items, and absconded with the evidence in embarrassment?
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From:netmouse
Date:March 3rd, 2003 09:09 am (UTC)
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no, I think it's actually pretty hard to hide breaking four glasses and a glass/ceramic bowl. usually if you break a glass there are tiny shards everywhere.

Besides, these were all very sturdy items- actually hard to break. I've dropped them on the floor without breaking them before. I suspect that is one thing that would make them a target item for theft- the fact that you could put them in a pocket or purse without being afraid they might break.
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From:xiombarg
Date:March 3rd, 2003 10:16 am (UTC)
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Then I'm back to the "that's crazy" response. I can't imagine why someone would be crazy enough to steal from someone who's being nice to them. That's some serious "biting the hand that feeds you" territory.

I'm sorry to hear that one of your acquaintances is that sucky. :(
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From:bjorng
Date:March 3rd, 2003 08:44 am (UTC)
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Wow, that's really creepy. I suppose I'm one of the suspects; I don't know if asserting that it wasn't me is very convincing.

That's terrible. Even if it is something highly replaceable like those glasses, just the idea of someone violating your trust like that is the worst. While I can't imagine a good outcome at this point, I hope that it somehow works out to be less devastating for you.
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From:netmouse
Date:March 3rd, 2003 09:25 am (UTC)
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While I can't imagine a good outcome at this point, I hope that it somehow works out to be less devastating for you.

Thanks. I keep concocting different scenarios, like going over to someone's apartment and saying "Hey, this is mine!" But in reality I can't imagine anything that is much likely to resolve the issue. Two of the people I don't even know where they live. Even if I felt I knew exactly who did it, I don't know what I ought to do about it. I wouldn't want to send them to jail or anything (and such petty theft wouldn't lead to that anyway), but getting my stuff back and an apology would be nice. I suppose publicly announcing I know things are stolen is potentially more likely to result in those things being pawned or thrown away very quickly, which is sad. I was even trying to imagine how I could set up something where I was like, "Here, I will leave these dishes, which were in storage 'cause I don't use them, someplace and you can leave me my everyday dishes that fit well in the dishwasher back, thanks." It would be complicated to set up, like paying off a kidnapper. And it doesn't adress the underlying issue of how much doing something like that sucks.

You are one of the people who was at both parties, yes, but as someone with a decent job whom I've had other types of interaction with (like loaning me that CMM book), not a prime suspect. But then, kleptomania can be a bizarre thing. Anyway, thanks for commenting; it is reassuring.

Now that I think about it, none of the "suspects" were on the past concom or have volunteered for next year's concom, so it shouldn't necessarily make me uneasy about hosting concom meetings. I hosted most of them last year and nothing like this happened. Of course we also didn't serve food and drink at them using our own dishes.

[User Picture]
From:bjorng
Date:March 3rd, 2003 10:10 am (UTC)
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That's the most insidious part -- the impact it has on your confidence in your relationships with other people. It's that "one bad apple" truism in its most visceral form. Even when you can eliminate suspects for planning other events, it's appalling that you have to consider the possibility.

When we first met, I was impressed by your openness and your helpful, accepting attitude toward other people. I felt the same way when I met Bill at your first party. It would be a terrible shame if that was harmed by these incidents.
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From:cannibal
Date:March 3rd, 2003 12:35 pm (UTC)
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Wow, that's really strange. Wouldn't a fiesta bowl be too big to stick in a pocket or purse anyway? You can pick up fiesta-ware at a lot of antique markets, salvation army, etc to replace the piece you lost, it's really popular. I wonder if someone is putting dishes somewhere odd that you aren't finding them? Like on top of the fridge orPl under the couch or something? I thought of the breaking option too.

I don't know, I've had lots of parties and have never really noticed stuff missing. Mostly I've noticed my carpet getting horrible stains all over the place, and cups left everywhere. More frequently I've had people leave dishes and containers that I have no idea where they came from... and Sharon, John Wardale, Bolo, and Shane have given me stuff like wine glasses, scotch glasses, and a coffeemaker because they knew I didn't have it and they wanted to use it at my house. Do you think it was Stilyagi people? Some of them are pretty darned wierd, but the strangest one I can think of seeing at your house, who seems spooky because he rarely talks, has probably been at my house two dozen times back in the days when I used to throw Stilyagi parties and nothing's ever gone missing.

With that being said, we all have our reasons for not throwing parties anymore, and I think it's a healthy thing to get out of the party mode sometimes and take a break from it. Paul Haas and Erik Kauppi went through that before I did, and I respect them very much.

You don't have to have concom meetings at your house, Kathy Becker has hosted them when she wasn't chair, or the hotel should give you a free mtg room on a space-available basis, and once I have carpet on the floor again (hopefully this week) we can have SFOHA meetings at my house. Would you give Jean a ride?
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From:netmouse
Date:March 3rd, 2003 12:44 pm (UTC)
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no, the fiesta bowl is more saucer-sized and is not very big.

yes, we would be happy to give Jean a ride to SFOHA meetings at your house. But we're fine with hosting the next one still, anyway.
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From:cannibal
Date:March 3rd, 2003 04:27 pm (UTC)
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Okay, it wasn't the same night as a book discussion... so whatever works best for you is cool with me.
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From:jeffreyab
Date:March 3rd, 2003 02:56 pm (UTC)

Are you taking it to the Stilyagi List?

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Are any of your suspects on the stilyagi mailing list?
You might get a better response if you post there too.
Also we are somewhat self policing if we are all aware of it we can maybe stop it before it spreads to other parties.
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From:shadowriderhope
Date:March 3rd, 2003 07:17 pm (UTC)
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Yegads, that's disturbing. :-( I'm really sorry to hear, and I hope they show up again soon. (Um, I'm kinda assuming I fall into the category of 'not suspected,' but for what it's worth, t'wasn't me...)

I've had a lot of fun at the parties that you've thrown, and I hope that your confidence in humanity gets restored by whatever bozo did that soon. It sucks to have lingering questions about friends and acquaintances... *sigh*
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From:novapsyche
Date:March 14th, 2003 09:09 pm (UTC)
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Sorry I've come so late to the discussion.

I know I said this countless times that night, but I really do want to thank you and Bill for throwing the party. It was fun. I felt selfish, drinking all of your alcohol! And the cakes--there was no ending to them. (I hope they eventually were eaten.)

I was shocked to hear that someone absconded with your dishes. That doesn't make any sense. Maybe it would make sense from the Chinese New Year party, as that was potluck, and sometimes dishes get confused. But that just wasn't the case at the cake party. I'm sorry that your trust has been violated. I'd be just as angry, by the way.

I'll protest my innocence, especially since I was present at both parties. I mean, my purse can hold only so much! :) And while I took home more than I came with after the cake party, that's only because people gave me things (you, Rikhei, and Bjorn). I would never, ever take anything from you. You are my friend (both of you are!), and I love you.

I hope the items are found or returned soon.
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