I've been having so much fun with Red Hatting and so comparatively few opportunities to strut my garish finery that I decided to join a second chapter (third if you count my own Special Mamas chapter, which is about as inactive in real life as it is here). One of my friends -let's call her Sweet Lady - happened to mention the name of a second chapter she belonged to, so I very properly initiated a query through the Chapter Search feature.
The first time I used the chapter search, I got a response from the queen in three or four days, but this time I heard nothing. When I mentioned to Sweet Lady that I had queried her queen, she was delighted, and told me about an event one of the women was planning and suggested I call to find out if I, as a prospective member, could attend. So I called the member (call her Bitty), who was happy to add my name to the list of attendees, conditional on my sending her a check for the appropriate amount.
The next bit becomes more tangled with conjecture; that same evening my friend Sweet Lady got a call from Queenie chewing her out for giving me her phone number, something she hadn't done. All I knew about Queenie was what she posted at Chapter Search, and I was able to reassure Sweet Lady that she hadn't slipped up and given out info her queen didn't want disseminated. I certainly had not called Queenie during her sacred dinner hour. But at that point, Sweet Lady realized that Queenie knew I was interested in joining the chapter and suggested that she should bring me along with another prospective member to an initiation tea Queenie had planned for Monday. She thought she had this all clear with the queen, and in fact checked her emails later and verified it. She also realized she hadn't actually given the queen my name, so Queenie must have gotten it from a different source. Either she got my email and forgot, or more likely, Bitty called her (alas, during dinner) to let her know of my interest in the outing.
So on Monday, I drove to Sweet Lady's house, and we walked over to her neighbor's - the other prospective member - and then carpooled to Queenie's house. As soon as Queenie answered the door, it was obvious something was wrong by look of abject horror and displeasure on her face. She told me outright she hadn't been expecting me as well as a few other things that the sheer mortification of the moment has caused me to forget. She grudgingly reset her table (spilling milk and breaking a couple of dishes in her annoyed haste), and in general grumbled around for awhile making everybody feel very uncomfortable. She informed me she had been expecting me to make my query through Hatquarters (but I did! Two weeks ago!).
By the time we sat down to table, she had pretty much regained her equanimity, and she even apologized to me at the end of the repast. I tried to make light of it, saying that I have Asperger Syndrome myself and hate to have things sprung on me unexpectedly. I didn't say that I hoped I'd never been so rude (though I may have been without realizing it). I have had unexpected guests show up, however, and I've always tried to make them feel welcome. I've also had plenty of experience with surprises: you do when you have children.
Now I probably figure in this queen's subconscious memory as the rude person who called her during dinner (even though I don't have her phone number or even email address) and crashed her tea party. She is probably also mortified by her reception of me. For my part, I already have one obsessive queen to deal with, and I'm not sure I want to take on another.
Perhaps for the time being, I'll just try a Company of Loose Women instead of a second chapter: get together informally with Red Hatters I like whatever chapter they happen to belong to. Nae King! Nae Queen! Nae Laird! We wilna be fooled again!