I have this gnawing issue: I live in a country where fursuiters are scarce due to fur being extremely scarce. I eventually saw an opportunity to make my own fursuit when I got ahold of some nice furs and I did quite a good job at my first suit.
Cue Furry X (FurX). Just as I started being noticed by our local community for my fursuit making abilities, FurX came into the picture. We at first started chatting as friends, which came from another turmoil I had with a really bad person and FurX was there to talk to about it. He also had a bad experience with this person. He eventually told me don't worry about the bad person because he's just like that and he does things like that to people.
We eventually started becoming closer and closer friends, going out for drinks, going out on excursions. You know, just having friendly fun times together. Cue Boardgame convention (Bcon). So I was cash strapped and couldn't grab a ticket for the convention in time, and so was another friend of mine. FurX offered to grab the tickets for us if we paid him at a later time, which I saw no harm in at first. So we went to the convention. Both me and FurX suited; he had a suit he purchased from someone else just like me who started making suits.
Time passed and I grew increasingly more busy. Eventually, FurX tried to strike a deal with me where I'll make him a pair of handpaws in exchange for the tickets he purchased for us for Bcon. I thought at first the admission for the tickets aren't the value of handpaws; they barely cover the costs, but seeing as we are friends why not. BIG MISTAKE.
I had other commissions ahead of his; my other commissioners were fine with waiting a bit since they knew I was busy juggling full time studies with suit making. FurX eventually started pressuring me to finish his handpaws even though I explicitly said I do not have time. I was busy with my own bodysuit that I had planned long before this.
I was studying during the day and working on my suit during nighttime; at the same time my gran's health was deteriorating very fast, and since she's the person who taught me a lot about my craft and how to sew and work the machine I wanted to get the suit done in time to show her. She was extremely proud of me making my head and handpaws. This all while FurX is constantly applying pressure to me to finish his handpaws, I was studying for mid-semester tests and trying to get my fursuit done in time for my favorite gaming convention (Gcon).
My gran passed mere weeks before Gcon; I never got to show her my finished suit. The day Gcon started, I was writing a double test since my units were a bit messed up and I had to write two tests in one day. During the day, FurX would message me and ask about the handpaws. I didn't reply since I was stressed for the tests. Furthermore, I had LAN tickets, so I still had to pack my car with my PC and my suit and all my stuff for the weekend. I got home at around 4pm, dead tired from writing a double test series. I had to fur my feetpaws to have them done for Gcon. As I was busy furring them, FurX messaged me and I simply snapped. I cussed at him and told him he'll never get his handpaws if he talks to me the way he does, and I ended up blocking him.
He didn't respond to this well; he started facebook shaming me and going onto every platform imaginable to slather my name and tell people what a horrible person I am. Luckily, the audience he reached knows me and they know what my situation is and promptly defended me.
I was mad as hell for his super-inconsiderate actions and his entitlement to something that was actually done as a favor for him. I arrived at Gcon after a 30-min angry drive from home. I arrived at 7pm, tired and defeated, and still had to set my computer up. Luckily, my friends kept a place for me to sit. It was only after setting up that I received a message from another fur saying that FurX is really upset and that I shouldn't dare show my face at the annual Gcon furmeet we have. I spoke to a few other furs about it and decided I will make a point of going to this furmeet. I eventually pulled up my blow-up mattress and fell asleep ... at a LAN at 10pm I was exhausted after that day.
The next day was exciting since it was my first time ever going in fullsuit to any kind of convention, and it was my first reveal to the community of my suit. I was nervous and excited. I had a wonderful day and I couldn't wait until the furmeet we have at night after Gcon, the very same one FurX tried to ban me from.
I was at the meet. FurX showed up too, and I kept on chatting to my friend who went through the entire thing with me to help me remain calm. I wanted to approach FurX and give him a piece of my mind, but my friend stopped me. Eventually, came time to suit up. I got suited up and everyone loved my suit. It was one of the first suits at a furmeet, and since it was a relatively new thing I got a lot of attention for it.
Until a point where FurX and his other friend started talking to me and picking my suit apart, showing all the errors and asking me things like “why didn't I do X or Y?” I brushed it off and moved on with my weekend. They weren't worth my energy and spoiling my afternoon to engage. I was a bit down after I unsuited though.
The next morning, I decided to unblock FurX, and he got hold of photos of me at Gcon through the Facebook grapevine. He sent a picture to me outlining even more errors on my suit. I immediately responded with “Are you enjoying constantly showing errors in my suit?” to which he just responded, “No,” and the conversation ended there.
So that is the brunt of the story, until this day over 3 years later there is still beef. I have tried on many occasions to just move on and be the mature adult—you know, shit happens; live and let live.
He eventually started making his own fursuits. Probably to spite me or be better than me at fursuit making, to which I say, “Great, more fursuit makers!”
But his constant growing jealousy of what he perceives of me being "famous" for fursuiting is growing worse and worse. I was approached by a local radio station for a live on-air interview with a group of other fursuiters of my choice. I didn't choose him, and why should I?
We were also interviewed at our second annual con by a local magazine and I was one of the people that were specifically approached to be interviewed. FurX very angrily and slyly would glance at me and constantly walk past the table where I was being interviewed. I had a blast talking to the interviewer especially since we're both from the same cultural background, so we understood each other on a different level.
FurX was intensively jealous of this.
I eventually got a message from FurX saying he's surprised I didn't choose him to go on the air with me on the radio interview and that he's proud of my achievements. But at the end of the day that was exactly the reason I didn't choose him. I'm not pushing a personal propaganda I'm pushing the furry propaganda. I didn't go on the radio for myself; I went on the radio to represent the furry community. He wanted to be on the radio for the simple matter of being "popular."
I have friends who tell me that he complains to them because all he wants to be is popular. But it's gotten to a toxic level where he oppresses even his own friends. One of his friends started making fursuits as well and their work is better received than that of FurX, and FurX made the new maker feel so bad for being better than him and the new maker took it up quite personal which upsets me because fursuit making isn't about who can make the best suits; it's about creativity and giving back to the community that we love. Being contributors.
So I'm constantly dealing with FurX being condescending and passive aggressive toward me in a group where I am forced to be as an admin due to my status involving our convention. It's starting to grow worse and worse where he's targeting my messages and anything fursuit related he has some kind of comment to make, especially if I post it. But it extends to more than just this group. In general, he has become this person who just sucks the joy out of life.
I feel sorry for him, I really do. Trust me, I've tried to make things right but I have eventually given up since I don't want to deal with him anymore. He just makes me negative and doesn't really listen to anything one says. He even steps on those trying to help him.
People think that he's like this to me just because of our history and some people laugh it off and says, “You, too.”
What I am ultimately asking for is advice. How can I just move on from this and get him to stop griping at me for being me? His jealousy is extremely toxic, and I've been trying to eliminate toxicity from my life. I'm so tired of this pettiness, and a single message from him can really ruin my entire day. I'm sure others see his aggressiveness toward me and see his ill intentions, but honestly I've been trying actively to get over this issue and every interaction with him is like one step forward and two steps back.
* * *
First, my condolences over the loss of your grandmother; she sounds like she was a sweet and supportive lady. I just wanted to say that before you read the rest of this, which I hope you will take as a wake-up call.
It’s not difficult to see where you went wrong here. Actually, there are three places where you went wrong, at least, compounded by bad behavior on both parties.
Let’s begin with my policy about money and friends/family. My mother wisely advised me years ago, “Never loan a friend or family member money; you either give them the money or you don’t. Do not expect it to be returned; provide it as a gift, and only give what you can afford to comfortably.” In your case, FurX offered to cover your entry into Bcon with the expectation that you would pay him back (a condition to which you agreed). I would never have done this. If I chose to help a friend get into a con, I would pay the way as a gift and never ask for the money in return. Or, as in the case with a room, I would offer to split the cost of the room, which helps the other person while not getting yourself into the quandary of having provided a loan. Loans are a recipe for destroying relationships, as you have found out too late.
Your next mistake was agreeing to his offer that you make him forepaws in exchange for—according to you—the less valuable tickets he bought for you. Not only did you feel this was not an equitable trade, but you did not have the time to sew the paws as quickly as you should have, and you knew it, or really should have known it.
Your third mistake was cutting off all communication with him. That is very unprofessional of someone who considers himself a businessman in the fursuit industry. You should always openly and honestly communicate with your clients, especially about the status of their commissions. You’re belief that you are doing FurX a favor is incorrect: you agreed to do a trade with him, entering into a business deal, which is not a favor, and you should have treated it as a business contract.
From this point, things go precipitously downhill, with your making speculative claims that FurX decided to make fursuits to somehow spite you, and with your cutting him out of the interview you were asked to do, which was actually a wonderful opportunity to mend bridges if you had taken it.
Given the three things above, I’m definitely leaning in favor of FurX’s point of view, not yours. That said, he has also behaved a bit immaturely by criticizing your fursuit-making skills, but at this point a bit of bitterness on his part is understandable.
One wonders, as well: did you ever finish his paws? All you seem to care about is your own fursuit while simultaneously accusing FurX of wanting to be a popufur. Hmmm. Pot, meet kettle.
You wish to move on? My advice is this: 1) If you haven’t already done so, finish his paws and give them to him; 2) apologize to him if you haven’t already (you don’t explain well how you tried to make amends); 3) stop being jealous, stop worrying about what he is doing, and focus on your own business. Stop worrying about who is a popufur and stop claiming that you have noble intentions to promote the furry fandom when it is quite blatantly obvious you are more concerned about your reputation as a fursuit maker.
Finally, in the future, do not promise things you can’t or don’t want to deliver on.
Sorry for this rather harsh letter, but you need to hear it. This is exactly the kind of drama that degrades the furry fandom, and you are contributing to it.
FurX, if you are reading this, you would do well to drop this issue, too. Learn from it, and try not to repeat your mistakes.
Good Luck to both of you in your future fursuit-making endeavors.
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