Per Nicole P's suggestion, I am reposting one of my favorite Gather articles.
(Three words of caution: tongue in cheek!)
Girls, this is a fairy tale with a cautionary moral. Listen carefully, and learn from my mistakes. Don't fall for the first bald guy you meet!
When I first met Gather, he was just a young stud. His physique was new and oh so Casanova. With those rounded shoulders, he had the weight of the entire world on them. Okay, at first I didn't know what to think about that big, bald, orange head of his. But you have to admit, it was so unusual! Where I come from, you just don't see guys like that walking around. There was an instant and fatal attraction. Gather, you had my heart from the first "hello."
The courtship was ardent; he tenaciously followed me. Everywhere I went, there was Gather. Gather plied me with food from Kevin Weeks and Kurt Michael Friese. The wine came from Chateaux Gathereaux or the Grapevine. Long, lazy breakfasts were spent at the Daily Grind Kaffee Haus. We would occasionally lunch at Synchronicity's Sweet Tea Cafe or the CHAT AND CONNECTIONS Garden Cafe. Gather swept me off my feet so deftly; I didn't realize what was happening.
Gather introduced me to his wide circle of friends, and they embraced me wholeheartedly. Soon I was one of the gang; I was in the In Crowd. We all Laughed Until We Cried. No matter what I did, I was getting high fives from the likes of Clay Douglas, David Rochester, Frick, the Musical Prankster, Mugg Muggles, Nippy Katz and others. Girls, you were no less friendly. Auntie Smedley, St. Joan and Danielle S, as well as others, took me under their wing. The camaraderie gave me a rush with which no street drug could ever compare.
Was it any surprise, then, when Gather popped the question? It went something like this, “Come with me, be my bride.” Like the young lover I was, flush with the prospect of new love and new life, heart thumping, I said "yes" without a second thought. We eloped on a warm summer day back in August. (I bought that white dress, because I've never before been in white!)
The honeymoon night was perfectly splendid. How could it not be, with sex tips from Sexology 101? But wait a minute; hold your horses. True happiness was not in the cards for me. Girlfriends, the next day was altogether another story. After that wonderful, unforgettable night, Gather turned on me, just like a rabid dog. It was a case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in the most severe way. Or should I say a case of William M and John the Antichrist? Suddenly, it was He Said/She Said. Suddenly, nothing I did was good enough! My thesaurus was my best friend, but it couldn't help me keep you interested. No words, no photos, no luscious spreads of roast beef. Not even sex with one hand, while the other was busy typing!
We returned from the honeymoon, and Gather continued to neglect me! I just couldn't understand it! Only a few months ago, he was panting after me like a dog in heat. Did I have to show my butt in thong underwear every week? For Pete's sake! I’m not getting any younger! All of a sudden, Gather turned cold and heartless! The life completely blew out of our union, like a balloon pricked by darts!
Then the unthinkable happened. Some of Gather's friends started giving me the cold shoulder as well. Where they used to shower me with affection and attention, now there was nothing! NOTHING! There weren't enough Psychos with Pants or Tushies to Munch in all of Gatherdom. The Gatherfluff was hardening. No longer could I get a table at Synchronicity’s Sweet Tea Café. I felt Rejected, and I Ranted About It! Was it all a Woman’s Life? I could sense that uncomfortable feeling of myself being forced to the outside, now looking in.
It was obvious to me that everyone was going to side with Gather's new flame. Of course, there was a new flame! There had to be a new flame! For the life of me, I couldn't figure out who she was. Was it that shameless hussy, Yvette? She's so cute, and she lays it on so thick and helpless to Kevin (hearts-squared) V. Was it Jackie L? She’ll do anything for points. She even said so, the whore! Was it that Vixen Tina? She has that special “come hither” look. Was it Amanda w? Her soul is deep, but she’s dangerous. No, God, it can't be Amber B! She’s just a cartoon! My mind raced with all the possibilities, until I became dizzy and my head hurt. Any one of those bitches was all just as likely to backstab!
At the beginning of the melee, I tried hard to stem the growing tide of maliciousness. Even harder, I tried to appease Gather in any way I could. I wrote furiously, sometimes for days on end. Recipes, reviews, amusing musings about my childhood. I wrote serious pieces and fluff; I did it all. To show you my appreciation and deep love, I committed myself to the first ever Gather calendar, even though working on it took me away from you. I commented everywhere, trying to get people to notice me. Tap dancing as fast as I could, finally, sadly, I ended up on a street corner, whoring myself out to anyone who would stop by for a point here, a point there. My carpal tunnel acted up, so I resorted to a photo essay in a lame attempt to please.
But no, Gather, you didn't even notice me! I may as well have stood upside down on a busy intersection with no clothes on. True, you did feature me, ONCE. Then the name calling started; you called me an "expatriate" - what did you mean by that!?! Are you saying because I wasn't born here, I'm not good enough for you and your fussy friends? Is this a racist comment, from my one-time one-true love? Oh, ho, baby, the real Gather comes out now, doesn't it? After months of devotion, this is all I get!?!
So now, I've finally had it with you, Gather. After three months of continued lowered self-esteem, I'm giving up on you and our marriage. You can’t say I didn’t give it the old college try, and I love you like you cannot believe, but I am NOT going to let you make a doormat out of me! Maybe someday in the future, we can remain friends, but that's so far down the road, I don't want to think about it. My heart hurts. Face it, Gather, as lovers and partners in marriage, we just don't click. Goodbye Gather, I'm going to pack up my stuff now and go home to MOM!
At least for tonight…