Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bully-free zone

You know how Classmates.com sends you emails saying who recently joined or viewed your profile, etc.? Recently when I saw the name of someone from my old, old neighborhood--Melanie S.--my knee-jerk reaction was, I hate her—what a bitch!

Melanie had a couple of years on me and was what you’d call a “mean girl.” I was a little runt of a kid and I can remember her threatening to steal my bike and stuff like that. And I did hate her. Then I realized, for Christsakes, she’s like 54 years old now. Maybe she turned into a lovely person, maybe she donated a kidney to someone, or maybe she has MS or some horrible disease and here I am calling her a bitch a full 40 years after her bullying. Yikes.

That led me to think about how people might remember me as a kid and into high school. I was captain of the cheerleaders (at a time when cheerleading was positively the queerest thing you could do) and I was vice president of my senior class (again, queer), but I don’t think I was cliquey or anything. I felt I was well-liked, and without even trying, was nice to everyone.

Well, almost everyone. There was a girl in our Lincoln Avenue neighborhood named Loretta who was kind of heavy and definitely not cool. When she rode past my house, I remember sitting all uppity on my porch steps and saying, “Pretty groovy bike you have there.” In an English accent. WTF???

I remember saying snotty things to her a couple of times--in an English accent--and do you know to this day, I still feel bad about that. It wasn’t like I was going to do anything to her, and the truth is, she was much bigger and could have beaten the shit out of me, but she just kind of looked at me like, “Yeah, I know I’m not cool” and kept going.

My sister Lori dealt with quite a few bully girls, and I think it was even worse for the boys in the neighborhood, like when “Stephen and Gary” were on the prowl to throw their weight around, since bully encounters involving boys could well end up in fist fights.

You have to wonder what turns kids into bullies, like they must have a shitty family life or an undiagnosed learning disability that makes them feel inadequate in school so they have to take out their frustrations somewhere. And aren’t you glad that people pretty much grow out of bullying by the time they’re adults? I’m pretty sure that if I ran into Melanie S. today, she wouldn’t grab my purse and run.

But adults can still bully, no? Maybe you see it in the workplace, or in relationships. Or in the comments section here on my blog, after Tuesday's and Wednesday's posts.

There’s a husband and wife team here in Las Vegas, Laura and Cory, who’ve been leaving comments as “Anonymous” (how brave) for over a year now. I used to let them go through, but when they started getting really nasty, I started moderating comments, and then I got to the point where I rejected them without reading them. Since I do allow people to comment anonymously, I check my stat counter to make sure the comments are coming from the Laura/Cory IP address before I reject them, though now and then I inadvertently open one.

If you’ve read their comments on Tuesday's and Wednesday's posts, you have an idea of their handiwork. (I deliberately let a few go through yesterday because I knew I was going to do this post.) Usually the ugliness is directed at me, but they’re not above spewing their crap on other bloggers, my daughter, and even my grandson. I read a couple of their (ultimately rejected) comments on my “kiss my black ass” post, and I can only conclude their linen closet must be full of white sheets.

Part of me is like, who the fuck cares, but I admit it's a little weird to have someone spend so much time picking you apart. I mean, they come back to this site many times a day, every day. They're like Linda Lou savants, often throwing back details from old posts or my radio show in the comments they make. No doubt my book will be a literary wet dream to them.

It’s weird, all right. And sad.

You know, I was a hospice volunteer for several years, and I’ve seen so many people who would have given anything for more time, and believe me, they would have spent it wisely. I can’t imagine having nothing better to do with your life than to devote so much energy picking apart someone else’s.

This will be the last I mention them and I’ll continue to reject their comments without reading them. I’ll apologize now if I accidentally delete a legitimate one. And I'll also apologize to Laura and Cory since I won't be giving them an opportunity to defend themselves here. But this is my neighborhood, and to use a line from my childhood, "Stay off-a my property!"

21 comments:

captrailer said...

Wow...those two are either stalking you or so bored...

We love ya Linda, you make us laugh and you are REAL.

Keep em out of the 'hood and keep writing your stuff!

Julie said...

OK first of all, I am heart broken that I didn't see you this week while I was there. I am so sorry, but that damn Market kept me far busier than I anticipated. How dare a business trip interfere with my friendships????? LOL

Second, just read the comments you allowed through by L/C and wow, you are right....those two really need to get a life! It's hilarious how much time and energy they devote to you! They've been to my blog a few times and posted shit too, and I can always tell it's them because it's the same kind of rhetoric they post on yours. I just ignore 'em. Those poor souls with such sadly boring lives that they have to be haters of people like you and me.

By the way if either of them is attacking you like that from work (and you can tell where the IP address is registered), contact the company and get 'em fired. Oh, and don't do it anonymously either, you and I both know you have the balls to put your name behind anything you say and do.

Deborah said...

Linda, ya got balls, honey! But what's really kick ass is you have a heart. Illegitimus Non Carborundum. Don't let the bastards grind you down. There will always be bullies no matter how old we are. I love coming here and reading your work. Please keep it coming. Speak it, sister! Hope you have a fantastic day! D

Tara said...

Wow, how retarded and childish are these people? Their life must be really boring if they have nothing better to do. Do you know them from somewhere or did they just stumble upon your blog?

I'd say you put all of their comments in a post, so your readers can rip them to shreds, then dig up their address or something equally fun and let everyone have at them! But that would be the attention they are looking for....

LOL, I've got some aggression issues today....

Josie said...

WOW.
I stalk you and mikey daily because i love reading everything you write (cannot wait to buy the book). But I cannot fathom checking your site daily while hating what I read. And yes hate is dripping from her every word. And for the record I do not believe it's "them" posting, but her. Whoever it is has serious mental/emotional issues and I find it hard to believe both could be so damaged - that's like lightning striking twice in the same place. It must be her, and he's too meek to tell her she's cuckoo. I also wonder if it's someone who knows you in real life and has other issues with you.

LOVE every damn post you've written. You're so positive, empowering, funny, self deprecating and cool. I'm 43 yrs old and you make me look forward to 50.

Oh, and when I was out last weekend, I made a point of standing up straight and smiling! :)

Danica said...

Oh my, whatever happened to the old saying "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all?" Why must L/C blog bully you? I just don't get people sometimes. Sorry they are doing that. They must have some unresolved issues.

But back to bullying I was never bullied in school, but I was the girl that EVERYONE made fun of. We were poor....we had electricity from time to time, sometimes we had running water and sometimes we stood in line at the foodbank for a meal. It was all so sad. But I look back and realize that those comments that those girls made about me only made me stronger, but I am far more successful than any of them now (I know because they are on FB!).

Anonymous said...

OK,

I can see why you dont like anonymous comments. If you have to block them...I suppose I can get a real name.

ISE

P.S.

Those clowns are rude!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

You know, I started to comment on the comment that was left yesterday but figured it was your blog and I wouldn't start drama.

People like that need to get a life and stay out of yours!

The Peach Tart said...

I'm shaking my head in disbelief. A bunch of haters.

Souschef said...

WTH? I’m firm believer in free speech, standing up for your point of view etc, but what has happened in our society and the boundaries we call manners? Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, put another way you don’t pee in somebody else’s sandbox. This attitude is so prevalent in society anymore and sadly rank, privilege and education does not immune anyone from this behavior. There are times I really hate being part of humanity.

Souschef

Hurricane Mikey said...

Bullies?

They're not bullies. They're douchebags. I have my fair share of them too, but I don't give them the time of day by acknowledging anything they try to post, or the emails they send (they get spam filtered anyways, so now I never even read what is sent).

But it's always amazed me that I have so much free rent in their heads. It's kind of flattering to think that somebody is so obsessed with me, but then, it's kind of pathetic, too. I mean, seriously, they've got nothing better to do than chronicle everything and try to hurl insults? What do they get out of that? Just think of how productive these morons could be if they channeled that energy into something useful.

But it doesn't matter. Some people are just out and out losers with no social skills and they are of no consequence to the rest of the world. And being simple-minded, it's the only way they can come up with to compensate.

Sandi said...

You know how I feel about TROLLS! I just block the assholes now. If they want to read me, they can find a new computer to do it off of. and if they can't read without being nasty, I will block that computer too. Some people SUCK!

Krissyface said...

were you reading my blog back when the crazy jesus freak was stalking me on my blog? I think it was back in the winter of last year. I guess it goes to show that it doesn't matter how old you are (or how many kidneys you've donated with your MS-ridden ass, or how much you claim to love JC), a bully is a bully. How douchey.

Krissyface said...

Wow, I just read the comments from Tuesday and I think Laura is totally in love with you.

R. Jacob said...

I think that people who were jerks when young, will be jerks when older. The sweetest revenge is to do better then they do. But show compassion, throw some change in the hat when you walk by their corner. Don't miss, it is rude to watch them scurry about for loose change on the sidewalk!

Fragrant Liar said...

You know I had a friend in school named Loretta. She was actually my neighbor, and once we rode bikes -- my feet and hands on the handlebars DRIVING, and she sitting behind me pedaling. Apparently bored with her hands free, she de-tubetopped me. Never trust a girl named Loretta.

Fragrant Liar said...

P.S. Keep those people out of the 'hood, 'kay? Stalkers 'r' not us.

I'm Shakin' My Head said...

Blog hate: When adults have too much time on their hands.

My pastor used to get hate mail on his blog that was on the church website (until he disabled commenting).

ModernMom said...

It is amazing to me that there are adults out there that have grown up to be bullies! I know it to be true, have dealt with some in the little Mommy cliques I see at my daughters school. Ridiculous!

I too have had some pretty unsavoury comments lately and just don't put most of them through. Shocking really b/c I'm not writing about anything worth getting riled up about!!
I really need to learn how to check the IP address they came from?? so I can block one or two!

I say don't worry about letting them defend themselves...if they can't play nice, they don't get to play.

Courtney said...

Laura and Cory are those types of people that feel better about themselves when they THINK they are hurting others. But in reality, they are only hurting themselves because they make themselves look like TOTAL and complete idiots and you just end up feeling bad for them because they must live such miserable lives. Poor souls. They must have horrible posture.

Love,
Anonymous. PSYCH - Courtney

Linda and her Twaddle said...

I had to go and read those comments left on Tuesday. Those two must just be frothing at the mouth when you do a post. All ready to read it and make a poisonous comment. The highlight of their day.

All very creepy actually.