Sometime in the spring, Petewho told Spartan of some posts I had made earlier to a couple of women. They were legitimate comments, but taken out of context made me look like a shrew.

“Wow,” Spartan replied. “She needs to get laid.”

They didn’t know I was there, but I saw every word. “Gee, thanks,” I said. They knew I was irritated. It seemed every time I thought things were good between Sparty and me, she’d come up with another dig. But as usual, I tried to forgive and forget.

Another time, Pete was talking to a young woman, a realtor, I believe, named “tx_mba” about sexual positions—they were just flirting and goofing around—and she mentioned how she and her husband did different things when it came to that, including doggie style. “You gotta mix it up,” she said. He also asked how she felt about oral sex. (He asked me once, too.) She didn’t hesitate to answer, saying something about she’s fine with it, both giving and receiving. “My husband has perfected the technique,” she said. Well, I lit into her and said I couldn’t believe she was blurting out all this stuff on the World Wide Web (or anywhere, for that matter). How could she TALK like that? None of my friends talked this way. I just didn’t understand women like her. And now, every time I saw her, I said, I was going to think of her doing these things. She was quite rude in her reply to me. But I wasn’t going to let this slip by; I was trying to teach her a lesson that it is not proper to talk about such personal matters, that once she posts it, it’s out there for all to read. She also casually used the a-word.

I yelled at Pete for asking such personal questions of female posters. He and I still got along pretty well though, emailing and talking about our lives and the boards. One time he asked me about my relationship with lacy_white_underwear, a young woman in her 20’s who he had seen me chatting with about her drug use. I told him that Lacy and I have talked about this for months, and she freely admits she has smoked pot since she was a teen (although she was not currently smoking due to her pregnancy.) Her parents said as long as she kept her grades up and stayed out of trouble, they were fine with it, she said. She also told me she would raise her kids to think nothing is wrong with this as well.

“I treat her like an online daughter”, I told Pete, “trying to talk some sense into her as if she were my own child. Sure she gets mad at me, but I think she secretly wants me to show some concern for her regarding this issue. Her own parents actually LET her smoke pot as a teen, which I think is just appalling. Kids need some kind of discipline and a set of guidelines, and just letting your teen smoke pot is going too far. Lacy is a nice young lady, and I always praise her, pointing out how I think it’s great she has done volunteer work, etc. I am trying to make her see that she is too GOOD to be lighting up joints and getting ‘stoned’, that she of all people should know better (actually that’s what I try to do with everybody), and that she should especially know better than to raise her future children to think this is okay. So yes, I do get on her about this, but it’s out of love and concern, and if she really didn’t want to hear it, she wouldn’t respond or she’d put me on ignore.”

Pete also asked about jennytsisfun, if I really did think she wasn’t who she says she is. I reiterated that I thought all of her pictures are of different women, and that I didn’t even think they were transsexuals.

“They look like real women to me. You haven’t seen her earlier pictures, and I know that ladies change their hair styles and all, but you can usually tell it’s still the same person. Others have said this as well, that it’s different people. I have nothing against Jenny; I understand about these things and realize it could happen to anybody, but I don’t think she is being honest about the photos. She also goes by Maria4fun, using another totally different photo and identity,” I wrote. 

While I was writing, I confided in Pete about the Tough Chicks on the old bully boards, and how upset I was especially at Funnychick. She had turned up on one of the current boards the day before, doing her best to try and embarrass me. I told Pete all about her, what she had said and done over the past few months. I was still so concerned about my image, my reputation on the boards, and was afraid that if she or one of the Tough Chicks infiltrated the current stories, my online friends would think less of me or turn against me. I just wanted Pete and the others to know the truth. Pete was always supportive, saying to not let the bullies get to me.

I visited Lowcarb Friends again in the spring, finding a group there called “The Kickass Club.” This site was big enough where members could organize various “challenges” relating to goals such as exercise, how much weight to lose, etc. I can’t remember what the Kickass Club was about, but I did notice the crude name. As nicely as I could, I talked to these women about it, asking them if they didn’t think this was rather crude and unladylike. These were not young punk teenagers, but grown, married women with families. Did they think this was appropriate? They must have known the a-word could be considered crude or profane, because the site’s filters blocked out the S’s and made them into dollar signs. Either that or they did it themselves. In any case, if it weren’t a crude term, they wouldn’t have needed to disguise it. I really tried very hard to be respectful and nice, just trying to make them THINK about how they were coming across. Well, they were SO offended! I didn’t stick around long enough to “fight it out” with them; I think I became busy with something else and never got back to them. But it saddened me that they honestly could not see why “kickass” is a crude term, especially for a woman.

Sometime after that, I came across a thread where someone posed a question about what you can do now that you couldn’t do before after losing weight. There were lots of responses, but then some woman said she could now “have sex on top.” My old friend Amy then described how she could have sex in the car. I couldn’t believe these women would blurt out something so personal. I have never once had a friend in real life tell me they wanted to lose weight so they could have sex on top or in the car. How could they TALK that way? I mentioned something about it to them on the board, and then sent private messages (PM’s) to both women, in case they hadn’t seen my posts. Some other women came onto the board and started calling me a prude. So a woman who knows it’s inappropriate to blurt out stuff about sexual positions is a “prude”? I was very offended and told this woman so. “Why did you call me that?” I said. “Why are you trying to make me feel bad?” It was just so hurtful.

I had long since apologized to Amy about the brouhaha over hangovers, sending her a PM months ago. She accepted it and I thought we were friends. But after I sent the PM about sex in the car, she posted on the board, “Don’t PM me.” I was so hurt. She sounded so cold, like she hated me. I had told her in my apology that despite our differences, I knew she was “one of the good ones”, and I meant it. And this is what she said to me? The next thing I knew, I received a nasty message from a moderator saying that I had lost my PM privileges. Apparently one or both of those women reported me. Again, I would never report anyone, and it really upset and hurt me that they would do that to me. Wasn’t I allowed to express my opinion? The women who called me a prude did not get any reprimands or privileges taken away. They were allowed to call me names and hurt me, yet nothing was said to them. I never called anyone names there, I only addressed BEHAVIOR. But I was the bad one, the one who got punished. Ironically, one of the women who disagreed with my post about how they shouldn’t talk about sexual positions told me that freedom of speech is good. I recognized her as one of the tough chicks from The Playground. “Ha, so much for freedom of speech,” I said. “I got banned from The Playground while the others were as nasty as could be.” And now with no PM, my freedom of speech was even further limited there. Oh how I hated that site. I never went back. I was afraid to.

Oh well, as least there was still Yahoo. Max_Rain_Beer formed a Yahoo group for message board posters, where virtually anybody could join and post whatever they wanted. It got a little out of hand sometimes but I still dropped in every now and then to see what was new. He also talked about having a get-together sometime in the future, maybe renting a hall in some central location. We joked that some of us—especially the major trolls—would need nametags two feet long in order to accommodate all the different IDs we used.

Some of the regulars participated in what I called “naughty one-liners”, where one would post a subject line which at first looked like a risqué statement, only to find that when you opened it up, the post would be extremely innocent. An example of this might be something like Sparty saying, “Max has a nice butt”, with the full post reading, “steak thawing out in the refrigerator.” Sparty was really creative at this, coming up with lines that could make a grown man blush. I joined in on this activity a few times with some fairly tame one-liners (however one of them was quite naughty!). And so, we were all joking and getting to know each other even better.

Max and I got along well, too—different as we were. A divorced father of three, I cautioned him about his excessive beer drinking, urging him to at least cut back. He at least made an effort a few times. “You would have been proud,” he said to me after Superbowl weekend. Max also told me several times that he stopped smoking marijuana because of the things I had said on the boards. I was glad to be a good influence!

The regulars and I still had our spats, though; I remember a post in early June from bmoreboy, where I was just appalled at what he said about marijuana. The post received several recs, and Sparty replied to him with something like, “Bravo! Well said!” I believe bmoreboy had a teenage son, and I told him that I could not believe he was a grown adult.

“I have a hard time believing you are a grown adult, too,” he responded. “You remind me of the old joke about Puritanism: the nagging, creeping fear that somebody, somewhere, may be having a good time. You know, cindybin, if you want to live your life in a prison of your own making, by all means have at it. The rest of us that prefer to examine things, look at the world critically and make our decisions based on experience and logic, rather than based on what ‘the authorities’ tell you to think, will be just fine. There is NOTHING wrong with smoking some weed every now and then; people and societies have done it throughout ALL recorded human history, and I guarantee since before. It’s like anything else, yes it can be abused, but what can’t? I mean jeez, you can get more stoned on freaking Nyquil.”

Aaarggghh! He made me so mad! I probably responded with something about how I’d like to see him tell the judge all this stuff if he got busted, that it wouldn’t help to state that people and societies have used “weed” throughout all recorded human history, and that the judge won’t care if you want to “examine” things, all they care about is that you BROKE THE LAW, and that I am not “living my life in a prison” just because I don’t get “high” on marijuana! I don’t WANT to get “stoned” on pot! I have NEVER wanted to! I just couldn’t believe what he said! Is this what he was teaching his son? And I couldn’t believe that Sparty would support him! She was raising a little daughter! What kind of example was this setting? She would cheer HIM on, and put ME down? 

To his credit, bmoreboy once told me that he respects me because I am firm in my convictions and responded to him without name-calling. And Sparty and I were able to debate this issue but still remain friendly.

In April or May, cs_vapor formed, a tribute site to me. The enter page had a picture of my face with an angel body and wings added, along with a halo over my head. The actual site was fairly complimentary, with a collage of pictures from my weight loss homepage and a little write-up hailing me “the greatest Yahoo poster of all time.” I almost fell over when I saw it.

“Cindybin is the most popular and well known Yahoo Poster of all time,” he said. “More popular than Uobeseloads, Spartancheerleader, beento5continents and every other poster that came before her. What makes her interesting is that technically, she is not a troll. She never incites rage or purposely draws attention to herself like a real troll would do. She doesn’t talk about politics nor make her political stance known either. It’s other people who are making her popular by putting her name in subject titles and starting long threads about her when she’s around. So why is she receiving so much attention?”

He then went on to point out various references to my name, my pictures and my high morals. “Some Yahoo posters don’t believe that there are people out there like Cindybin who lives a clean life. This pisses them off!” he said.

He added that Cindybin rarely, if ever gets mad. “That’s the GREATEST thing about Cindybin,” he declared. “She’s pretty level-headed and takes things in stride even after all the crap trolls write about her to make her react.”

Wanting the site to be thorough, cs_vapor also included links to some obscene cartoons and a Yahoo group some mean people made about me (I wasn’t too pleased about that), and to a couple of entries at someone submitted, as well as a list of impersonators.

I kind of cringed when I read the part about how Cindybin never gets mad. I thought of those few times when I blew up with the Tough Chicks, relieved that they were buried on the older stories. Besides, I had learned my lesson and would never let them get to me again, I thought.

Chapter 13
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