Our Opal...

I didn’t interact with Opal much, but she certainly had an impact on me as a poster here. She is an extremely memorable and unique poster, and I adore that. She also gave me much fodder for laughter…sometimes laughing with her, often laughing at her, but always liking her just fine.

I didn’t want to post much in the R.I.P thread, because I wanted that to be kind of a…pure thread? For those who knew her or were mourning her in a way that I can’t, considering that I never knew her in real life, and never have been the type of poster to see other posters as ‘real life’ friends.

I did end up posting in that thread, though, because I felt some posts were inappropriate and I felt the need to speak out. I think I was wrong to do that now, because I was really out of my element in that thread and was trying to comment on the way posters like CrazyCatLady and JillGat were grieving without really having a good understanding of their relationship with Opal.

@ JillGat, when I first read you guys’ posts, I misunderstood it, just like the mods did. I figured, why not just leave the snide remarks out of that thread?

But on rethinking, it occurred to me that you all knew her in a way that I didn’t, and so you have the right to grieve her how you see fit, and she would probably take your comments in the spirit they are intended. So I jumped in yall biz there, and I feel bad about that.

On the other hand, it seems like the Dope very rarely has a…sanctuary thread, where even the most sensitive of posters can post without getting offended, and that kind of thread seems like the perfect time to have that.

Anyway, I think this would be a good thread to post Opal stories or memories that those of us who didn’t know her personally can join in to say a bit more than, “my condolences.”

I’m not suggesting that we bash her, that would be just yucky. I am suggesting that we have a chance to discuss her outside of the sanctuary of the R.I.P thread.

I will start by remembering something about her that I think doesn’t fit in that other thread…

Opal wanted help with getting rid of a scar. She stated plainly in the OP that she wasn’t interested in ‘learning to live’ with the scar or any of that shit. She *read *dopers so good…she knew most responses would have nothing to do with actually helping her get rid of the scar…

Welp, did no good. A bunch of responses weren’t there to help with the damn requested help. Instead, a bunch of posters were posting about how she could just photoshop the photos and edit them. When she balked, folks just kept hammering, “Well, what’s the difference? Why does it matter?”

Haaa, poor Opal. She couldn’t win for losing!

One word.


  1. I wasn’t going to bring up buckeyes.
    2.That was one of my favorite threads of all time.
  2. Lick my hairy nuts you cra…aww, my hearts’ not in it. 3. Hi, Opal

She did a project many, many years ago with men’s neckties. I can’t even remember what she was making-- a jacket? a shirt? a blanket? I have no idea-- but I offered up one of my old ones. It had gorillas on it. We had a back and forth via email about the project, where to send it, etc. I don’t even remember if I ever got it in the mail. I’m pretty sure it’s not in my closet anymore, so maybe I did.

And there you go. My Opal story that went absolutely no where.

I remember she was making a tie dress. I had a bunch of old ties that I didn’t really need anymore, so I thought it would be a fun way to pass them along. I wrote her and let her know that I would be happy to contribute, but some of the ties were pretty ugly. . . Just as I expected, she didn’t care at all about that. I must have sent her 6 or 8 ties, something like that.

Not that long ago I was wondering how that project turned out! I suppose I’ll never know now. Although my interactions with her were pretty limited, I do fondly remember her cheerful note thanking me for the ties I sent.

So far, I am baffled by how this thread is or can be any less sensitive or less honest than the RIP OpalCat thread is. I also don’t understand how a different thread can or should protect message board members who posted an online memorial thread from reading various kinds of other remembrances about OpalCat.

To whoever does collect all the stuff Katherine posted online as OpalCat, please be sure to add this ridiculousness to the collection. Maybe I will create another thread - or even another message board - to post the rest of what I think inside and don’t want to say “outloud” here.

I meant to just think all that and not post it. Katherine would be proud.

I find it very frustrating, both in real life and online, that as soon as someone dies the sanctification process begins. Opal wasn’t a saint. I’m not a saint. You’re not a saint. I want to remember crazy silly over the top under the covers highs and lows and higher highs and lower lows people as they really are.

But I’ve learned that most people don’t, and so I play the game.

Isn’t it a shame? She died too young. She’s at peace now. I’m so sorry for your loss. She’s in a better place. God works in mysterious blah blah blah…



JillGat, I just didn’t feel comfortable in the other thread because it felt to me like the online version of a wake or funeral.

This is more like the party afterward, when we all sit in someone’s backyard and have drinks and laughs.

ETA: WhyNot, again, I agree with you. But when someone dies, that is a heavy ass moment for a lot of people, and this society tends to set aside time or space to ‘honor the dead’ respectfully and somberly. I thought it would be good to have a looser thread to crack the jokes in.

Not to belabor a point (which always prefaces belaboring a point), but what will you do if a message board moderator steps in to instruct you on how, appropriately and tastefully, to memorialize a person who extravagantly posted every single dirty (and beautiful) morsel of their life online? SDMB moderators, please send me your phone numbers, because I often need such guidance in my real life, too!

Is this the Straight Dope or is it Miss Manners?

Okay, carry on.

Your posts pain me, JillGat, because I consider myself anti-stick up the ass. I would ordinarily be right with you. But this time, I don’t know. Something about people in mourning for someone that they knew in real life makes me want to just give them a space to grieve without any…controversy.

Because even though I understand that you didn’t mean anything by what you said, a lot of posters will end up posting to question you about it and then the thread kind of loses some of it’s memorialness.

I don’t know. I was just trying to come up with a solution. I feel very torn.

You could start a pit thread about Opal right now if you wanted and there wouldn’t be any moderators telling you how to act. In fact, given that she’s dead you could probably even get away with calling her a cunt. We get it, you got paddled for stumbling into a memorial thread and badmouthing the deceased like a drunk at Aunt Henrietta’s wake and you’re upset about it, but you’d have to be senile to not have realized what the result would be.

In the memorial thread, I thought I was posting to THIS thread, and I posted “HAAAAAAAA” to a linked post by Opal. I feel like I laughed too loud in church. Opal’s mom is now posting there and I feel a little weird about that post. It was a mistake though.

Oh, yes, absolutely! Which is why I didn’t post what I posted here there. Thanks for giving me the outlet. That picture of hers (in the link) just sort of perfectly captures A) how I’m feeling and B) how I remember Opal. Passionate, uncontrollable, overwhelmed and overwhelming. I hope it didn’t feel out of place to post it here. It felt right to me…

If you’re “honoring the dead” in a way that doesn’t acknowledge the whole person, that may be somber, but it sure as shit ain’t respectful. Painting someone who was just a regular old flawed human being like the rest of us as a martyr or saint or the Second Coming robs them of their humanity and cheapens their loss. After all, who sincerely mourns a cardboard cutout?

But, when you have people who are aching with pain and grief over a loss, it is customary to set aside a brief moment to remember the best of that person.

Like I said, most people do move on from the wake to the afterparty. At the afterparty, things get a lot more open…jokes get raunchier, the edgier side of the person’s character is remembered and laughed over.

If the deceased’s mom feels up to it, they come to the after party and join in the stories and smile in memory of all the hijinks the person got themselves into.

But if the mom doesn’t feel up to it, she goes straight home from the wake, where she had a chance to grieve with people supporting her in the gentlest way possible.

ETA: WhyNot, that linked pic was great. She was nothing if not a talented artist.

…people get drunker…

Next thing you know, someone calls the cops and we’re all getting cuffed, hauled in and booked.

Nzinga, Seated, I’m with you here 100%. I’m about as anti-stick-up-his-ass as they come too, but even I can see what you’re getting at and what you’re trying to do and say. And I too find it conflicting.

I agree that you can’t just remember the best of a person, and make them out to be amazing. But there’s nothing wrong with remembering the best of a person at one given time and place in one thread online, and remembering all the rest elsewhere. I don’t think dividing up our emotions and reactions and such is in any way wrong.

Yeah, drew, I think the conflict comes from me projecting a bit, too. You see, I know if something happened to me, I would be totally for people cracking jokes and busting my balls in the thread. I would expect the most inappropriate shit to go down, and I know that most posters who know me would know that.

But that’s me. I can’t assume anyone else would feel the same.