My friend had been told by a friend of hers (who is also an acquaintance of mine), that I had posted to a small list that caffyolay and I run about a pair of zines written by my friend. The writer had been told that I had said that I 'didn't much care for it', and that 'it contained too much sex'.
This is NOT what I said at all. What I said was: 'Actually, I have to say that I too find myself skipping sex scenes on occasions. I recently read the much acclaimed and new S&H two part novel, I guess you'd call it (the author is a friend of mine), and I skipped most of the sex scenes'. My comment, part of a much longer one, arose because the list had been discussing what made a slash story slash, where smarm fits into fandom, the amount of sex in stories, etc. etc. etc.
Now I am prepared to be fair and say that I can just about understand that it might be possible to interpret my comment about skipping the sex scenes as me thinking that the zines in question contained too much sex. However, even with my usual ability to see other people's point of view, and see the other side, I cannot see how what I said can possible be interpreted as 'I didn't much care for it' - unless, that is, the person who told my friend only reads a story for the sex, and considers this to be the only important part. For the record, my comment about skipping the sex scene did not mean what it was purported to have meant! Yes, it is true that I do on occasions skip sex scenes in zines/stories - and my friend in question knows this - but it has no bearing on what I think about the story, or indeed the writing.
What really hurts me, and yes, 'hurt' is not too strong a word, is that my friend whom I thought knew me, actually believed that I would disparage her story. What is even worse is that she could believe that I would do so on a list. It is an almost unheard of occurrence for me to say anything negative about a story in a public forum; I may say privately that I don't like something and why, but not publicly. And I would never say anything bad to someone whom I regarded as a friend, and whose writing I respected. And even if for some unknown reason I decided to do this (I can't imagine why, but let's just suppose), I would say it to her personally - I certainly wouldn't make any kind of negative comment on list. I thought this person whom I've known for over five years knew me, and thus would know that this is not the kind of thing I would say. However, it is clear that she chose to believe her other friend and thus think badly of me. And that is what really hurts.
Putting aside my irritation that my acquaintance (whom I also thought also knew me better) passed on information (and okay, to be fair both people involved are on the list, albeit the writer has been no mail for ages), what bothers me most is that what she passed on was not correct. This makes me uneasy, as surely it means that if she could get something like this wrong, then she could get anything wrong. Just what else and to who is she passing on?