In June, Pete formed a private little email group for some of us regulars. He invited Dana and me, along with Max_Rain_Beer, pbrown, Two_Dogs, BrewerPatriot and Grahamcracker1966. In the words of Dana, we were “a form of a support group,” emailing back and forth at any given time of the day or evening. What got sent to one person was sent to all of us. We had a fun time, getting to know one another and sharing things that we didn’t necessarily want to post on the Yahoo boards. Sometimes we’d gather in the evening for a conference chat. Most of us saw each other on webcam and/or heard our voices through Messenger.

I really enjoyed that group. Everyone was nice and funny, sometimes serious. We all got along. One time Pete asked us to share our worst drinking experiences, relating a tale so horrific it cannot be repeated here. The others knew I wasn’t a drinker, so I wrote a tongue-in-cheek response (which actually was true!):

“This was during my wild college days in the 70s…I was in a restaurant and apparently had just a bit too much to drink, because someone informed me that I was talking slightly louder than my normal soft-spoken, ladylike tone. I was so embarrassed! It was a horrible experience, I tell ya. I vowed to never do anything like that again!”

With the exception of a few rare instances, I am not writing about anything that hasn’t been posted or mentioned on the boards, but I am going to share what pbrown wrote to our group. I don’t think he’ll mind, and it cracks me up every time I read it:

“My worst drinking story is very similar to Cindy’s. I was also at a restaurant one time enjoying a nice piece of rum cake for dessert. Well I must have eaten one too many forkfuls because I slurred two words together while telling a story which caused my friend to chuckle quite heartily at my expense. I vowed never to touch alcohol again for the rest of my life and since then I haven’t.”

If Dana or Two_Dogs or somebody went out of town for a few days, Max would make up wild, detailed stories of where they went and all the horrific, embarrassing things that had happened to them. We’d play along and add details of our own.

So Sparty and I were the only women, and we coexisted peacefully. Sometimes she’d suggest another female from the boards to invite. Sugarlovenugget was one of them. I voted a firm “NO!” saying something about how I’d had a lot of trouble with her and that “I even called her the b-word!” (Max sent out an email: “You called her a beaver?”) But it’s true; I was not fond of Sugarlovenugget at all. For having such a sweet-sounding name, she sure was mean to me, describing in GRAPHIC detail how she pleasured her partner orally, how wonderful it made him feel, and what a frigid, selfish prude I was. I was very upset, trying to let her know how much this hurt me. I mean, how did she think this made me feel? What was I supposed to do? Just crawl into a hole and die, because I’m an absolute worthless failure of a woman? But she didn’t care. Oh how I hated her.

I’m not sure when, but at some point I started an actual Tough Chick list. It began with names from the old bully boards, but I soon began adding women from the current stories as well. Anyone who made fun of me for the bj thing, or who casually used profanity and was mean if I mentioned anything to them about it, or smoked pot or thought there was nothing wrong with it and called me names was a candidate for the list. I was getting SO fed up with Yahoo women. It seemed almost every time I’d click on a female name, there would be crude words or acronyms, a snotty attitude or worse. As soon as I thought some woman was decent, I’d find out she wasn’t.

But one afternoon I actually had a pleasant conversation with two nice women on the boards: Love is a Verb (aka Pixie) and jerrispice_1999. I had known Pixie quite a while; I remember one of our first conversations where she talked of wanting an Easybake Oven to replace the one she once had as a child. Her husband thought it was silly for a grown woman to desire this toy, but I told her to go for it. “I see them at vintage doll and toy shows, and you can also get them on eBay,” I said. “You should get one!” Pixie thanked me and said she just might look into it. In another early conversation, she was talking to someone about heavy metal music (I think she liked Metallica). From what I remembered, Pixie was a Christian, so I told her I was surprised at her musical tastes. She then told me that she was a born again Christian, but had liked this kind of music for many years before that. I also learned through her postings that she was against drugs. Her first husband had died after being hit by a driver high on marijuana, and Pixie had been left to raise their two young sons alone. Pixie herself also suffered an addiction to drugs for a time, but she conquered that and had since remarried and was now happily living as a wife and mother. She was always nice to me, and whenever I posted things against drugs and she was on the board, there were recs after my name, which I assumed were from her.

Jerrispice wasn’t on as much, but I had talked to her before and never had any trouble. She was a pediatric nurse, and had some pictures of herself on her homepage, which were very pretty. I can’t remember what the topic was about that day, but I do know that at one point jerrispice was telling us about her junior-high-aged son’s class field trip, and how they were taken to Hooters for lunch. She thought that was totally inappropriate and was wondering if she should call the school. Pixie and I were in total agreement that she should voice her opinion to the authorities. We all chatted some more and left the boards. Shortly after, I received a nice email from jerrispice complimenting me on my weight loss homepage, and asked for some tips because she was interested in trying Somersize. I was glad to help her and sent her a long email in reply. It had been so refreshing talking to these women, I thought. What a change from the Tough Chicks. Little did I know what lay ahead for we three “nice women.”

One Saturday evening towards the end of June, I was posting with a young woman named “hellokittie_28”. She was not fond of me, because in the past I had brought up how I was surprised she casually used profanity when she is studying to be an elementary school teacher. Not that she would swear in front of children, I stressed. It was just that I couldn’t imagine any of my sons’ teachers ever casually using profanity, in or out of the classroom, and it pained me to see her talking like that as if it were nothing.

Then my old arch enemy drmweaver2003 showed up. I was stupid and read his post. Dummy me, I thought maybe he had changed, but he hadn’t. He called me a “frigid prude who won’t blow her husband.” I made one reply to him saying how mean he is, and tried to defend myself with my usual point of how I don’t see how a woman can have it in her to be so aggressive as to perform a bj to “completion.” Although I think that I used the full word for bj, and probably in all caps, and perhaps with the word “freakin’” in front of it, because I was so upset. I was trying to show how crude and graphic this sounded, how it’s just not something most women think of doing. Why couldn’t he understand that? Did he think every woman does this? How could he make fun of me like that? I would never make fun of him! I was fighting back the tears but still keeping it together, and vowed not to read anything else he said. Well, then Pixie appeared. I thought finally, someone nice is on the boards. But what she said upset me more than drmweaver’s post. Rather than defend me, she said, “Now I know for sure you are a troll.” I was stunned. I told her I just couldn’t believe that she said that, that I thought she was nice, we had talked before and I thought she knew me and understood me. Couldn’t she see how upset I was about this bj thing, how people were making fun of me and trying to make me feel like a freak? And then she calls me a “troll”? She was the last person I thought would think that of me, I said.

And then hellokittie chimed in, showing her true colors. She called me a prude and said I didn’t enjoy sex, and told me my husband is probably going to hookers. These were words coming from a woman who was studying to be an elementary school teacher, to work with CHILDREN. I just couldn’t take it anymore and left the board.

The next day, however, I received an apology email from Pixie, which I accepted. She then sent me a nice, long email, saying she knows I’m not a troll and that she stands up for me on the boards. She added that I could email her any time. I kept that in mind, about emailing her. It would be nice to have someone to “rant” to, I thought. My husband, or “Mr. Bin” as we began calling him on the boards, grew tired of my complaining, holding his hands over his ears every time I’d start in with, “You won’t BELIEVE what happened on the boards today!” He’d just say, “Yeah, well they’re all idiots. Quit talking to them.” He’d listen if I related some humorous or entertaining vignette, but otherwise he’d tune me out and go back to reading his newspaper.

Sometimes I unloaded in my journal. My entry for July 3 read:

“Horrible board last night. Vhagerty was all rude to me cuz I told some guy its not nice to use the t-word for breasts, and she said ‘It’s just a word’ and then yelled at me for not serving in the military like she did. What did THAT have to do with anything? All I had been trying to do was point out that it’s rude for guys to use the t-word! When I tried to explain myself, she said she felt sorry for me! And to think all the guys think she is such a sweetheart. And then, Wilowdream, a young mother I had talked to months ago and who I thought was nice (I had wished her well on her pregnancy), started making fun of me for the bj thing, calling me a prude and saying my kids would grow up “repressed and pedophiles”. Then “averyrealblonde” made fun of me, and some strange guy said my hubby “is either gay or getting it somewhere else”, then “woodeye”, who I’ve always been nice to, said my hubby is probably at the police station being picked up for being with hookers. I cried. Oh, and Radiohead1961 said he’d “do” Vhagerty any day over me, not that I care, but he was being insulting toward me, saying she was cool and that I’m a prude, and I had been nice to him in the past, too! How can people be so mean? And then Friday Vodka Good made fun of me for the bj thing, but he later apologized and we made up. But Melony Shitneck didn’t apologize, and told me his wife thinks I’m a prude.”

I’ll never forget the sadness I felt when Wilowdream attacked me that night and I realized she was a Tough Chick just like the others. She had a little homepage with pictures of her children, and talked about them lovingly; it was obviously she cared deeply about them and tried to be a good mother. When she insulted me I reminded her of when I had expressed my good wishes months ago for the new baby she was expecting. It didn’t do any good, though. In fact, I found out that a week or so later she added to the “Why is Cindybin so popular” thread at the Yahoo Trolls site, saying, “I wish I had that thread where Cindy was attacking all the Yahoo females who liked to give oral, omg Cindy was like do you mean put his thingy in your mouth? ROFL, she called us tough girls and called me a terrible person because I like to please my husband. I finally had to tell her to f*ck off. Was anyone else on that board last night?”  

I was absolutely appalled when I read that post. I had said nothing of the sort; I was only DEFENDING myself against all the hurtful things others were saying to me and she twisted around EVERYTHING I said, making it sound like I had the attitude of “Ewww, a penis!” and that I thought every woman who performed oral sex was evil. Oh, I just hated that woman! And here I originally thought she was one of the nice ones! It seemed this was a common occurrence, discovering that people weren’t as I had originally thought. It was just so depressing and would take me totally by surprise. I certainly was not prepared when I found out what jerrispice was really like.

Chapter 14
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