After leaving the email group, it took me awhile to even begin posting on the boards again with Pete and the gang. But it was hard to stay mad at them. Eventually Pete and I emailed and tried to clear the air about the strip club issue, although we didn’t get very far. He and I agreed I would probably have to hit him on the head with a two by four in order to get him to understand why strip clubs are wrong, but he respected my opinion and told me to “never be afraid to say what is on your mind to me or anyone else!”

“First off, most likely we will never meet and you should never take any of this too seriously,” he said. “The only thing that should matter is the family in front of you. Yahoo and boards are all just a click away from being nothing. Never let people’s emails or postings upset you. If you want to tell us you strongly disagree with what we think, then you should go right ahead!”

I appreciated Pete’s advice and always felt I could talk to him about most anything. We were still telling each other to “get to bed!” if we were on in the evening. Two_Dogs liked to make up stories on the boards about what he and I supposedly did together over the weekend, usually involving three things: a lewd sexual act, smoking pot, and pigging out on refined carbs such as noodles. I’d get mad and tell him to stop spreading rumors about me eating noodles (as if the other two things were perfectly alright.) Pbrown made his usual funny, corny quips. Max disappeared (word was that he got a girlfriend) but did stop by a couple of times and said hello to me.

I also talked to a guy named Jehovah sometimes. We had spoken on Messenger once—he seemed nice, was married with a couple of kids—but he could be brutal on the boards. Nothing was off limits to him. Several time he accused me of reporting him, which I vehemently denied. I would never report anybody, I said.

Around September or October, lacy_white_underwear had her baby, a little girl. I congratulated her, we talked a bit, I asked her for a picture a couple of times, and she said she and her partner agreed not to put her picture out there. I said I was a mother myself and that she could trust me, but told her I understood and didn’t press her. I knew how a new mother could be. I didn’t bring up the pot issue at that time, but was just real nice to her and happy for her.

Fairiewhings and I continued to talk to her about pot smoking. As a mother with a professional job, she of all people should know not to do this, I kept telling her. I always pointed out her good qualities, told her she was too GOOD to be doing this, that she was negating everything that most parents try to teach their kids about drugs and life. She talked about her son, her job, what a good person she was. “I smoke pot sometimes, but that’s about it,” she said. Well that made it WORSE! Couldn’t she see that? It would be different if she were some bum on the street, raised by druggies who never taught her right from wrong. But she seemed so nice! And she WAS nice! And a good mother! So why did she think she could light up illegal marijuana joints, smoke them, and get “stoned”? She and I talked about things other than pot, but I wouldn’t let her forget. Especially when she’d mention some good thing about herself or her son, it would set me off. One day she got fed up with me and put me on ignore. I was so mad! It was just so frustrating not to be able to talk to people. I was trying to HELP her! Being put on ignore was like being banned from moderated sites, you were helpless to say anything.

I could still talk to msmarvel123, however. I’ll never forget the day I found out she casually used profanity. I had seen her post for months and months, always impressed with her intelligence. I think she had a job in the medical field, and would address issues related to those kinds of topics. I never saw a bad word come from her, and thought she was one of the few women on Yahoo who didn’t swear. Then one day in November she casually used the a-word and something else, I can’t remember. My heart sunk. She was just like most of the others after all, I thought. I called her on it, saying that I was surprised she used those words, that I had never seen her talk that way before and thought she was different, that I had always been impressed by her intelligence and ladylike posts. Her reply was unbelievable to me:

“You’re funny,” she said. “Actually, if you throw in a few not too bad words, most men think you’re cool, and can hang like one of the guys. Otherwise, they think you’re an uptight, snotty, high-maintenance biatch and don’t think it’s worth the effort to get past the ice queen who says things like ‘good gravy or ‘Oh my goodness.’”

And to top it off, I came to learn she thought nothing was wrong with smoking pot. Aaarggghhhh! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU YAHOO WOMEN?

All I could do was shake my head in amazement at msmarvel’s philosophy about how a woman should be. And I really thought she was different. I believe she is in her 30’s and has no children, but I can’t help but wonder if this is what she would teach her daughter if she had one. I can just imagine the Young Women leaders at my church, or any church youth group for that matter: “Good morning, girls! Today’s lesson will be about learning how to use some swear words so men will think you’re cool and can hang like one of the guys. This is very important, because after all, we wouldn’t want them thinking you’re an uptight, snotty, high-maintenance biatch.”

Sometime later in the year, Robert showed up on one of the current stories when I had been talking to a woman about profanity. It had been a while since I’d seen him, and thinking that maybe he had changed after all this time, I read his post. Dummy me. He said mean thing to me about how I had nerve chastising women for using language after all the swear words I had used. Oh I was so mad! He KNEW I only used those words because I was foaming-at-the-mouth mad, and that it was not like me at all, and that what I was talking about with these women was CASUAL swearing! I probably would not say anything to them if they were upset and hurt as I had been, like when he joined in with the Tough Chicks and made fun of me for not having it in me to perform a bj! How did he expect me to feel when he said all those things to me? Especially after I had been nice to him all that time? Oh he drove me crazy! Why did I read his post???

Pixie was there and knew I was upset. She defended me, telling him I was talking about casual profanity. I told her briefly what I had been through with Robert on the bully boards. I appreciated her support, happy to have someone there on my side. I didn’t read any more of Robert’s posts, said goodbye to Pixie and wished her a nice day, and left the board.

I told Sammy about Robert’s appearance that day. He was still posting with the old gang, but we rarely talked about Robert and the Tough Chicks because it was so upsetting for me. It got to the point where if he so much as mentioned one of their names, I’d be sure to have nightmares that night and/or wake up in the middle of the night crying. One day in November we did talk about cousintocindy, though—for some reason I remembered how so many thought I was her, and that even Sammy had his suspicions. So I said, “Are you convinced I’m not cousintocindy now?” He laughed and said no. I was aghast. “Sammy!” I said. “You should know me well enough by now!” I had always been honest with him, and just did not want him thinking things about me that weren’t true, especially since she had said some things I would never say. He was finally convinced when I offered to give him my password so he could see my profiles for himself. He didn’t take me up on the offer, but I had nothing to hide and wanted him to know that. We were stumped as to her true identity, however, and to this day I still have no idea who she is.

Late November or early December Dana and I got into it about marijuana. She saw me in action with some pot-smokers on a story about drugs, and told me I was “picking” on people and being judgmental. “Your precious Beatles smoked pot!” she said. I couldn’t believe she brought that up. She sounded just like all the pot smokers trying to make excuses for their behavior. Like if you got busted and told the judge the Beatles smoked pot, it would get you off free? Here she was a mother, raising a little daughter, and making putting me down? What kind of message was that sending? I recalled our pal pbrown once saying how he used to smoke pot in college but that he now laughs at his co-workers who still do it. Nobody jumped on him and called him judgmental or self-righteous! Not to put pbrown down, but I never “laughed” at the pot-smokers online, I tried to build them up and talk some sense into them!

Dana assured me that she was raising her daughter to stay away from drugs. I knew that; I knew Dana was a good mother, had never smoked pot herself and would raise her daughter the same way. So why was she putting me down? I was trying to help people stop smoking pot, I said! I reminded her of how Max said he stopped smoking marijuana because of me. “Do you have any friends who smoke pot?” I asked. “Many,” she said. “And they are all wonderful people.” I tried to tell her that this makes it worse! Again, what kind of message was she sending if she stuck up for the “wonderful pot smokers” and put me down? Couldn’t she see that if you have a good job and family and education, that you of all people should know better than to light up illegal marijuana joints, smoke them, and get “stoned”? My friend Lori knows this; we were talking one day and I said how so many on Yahoo seem to think if you have a good job and family that it makes it okay to smoke pot. “That makes it worse!” she said. And nobody thinks Lori is a judgmental shrew! She is sweet and kind and would do anything for anybody!

I wasn’t saying that Dana should jump on her pot-smoking friends and tell them they are losers and horrible people. I’m sure they WERE very nice people! But she also shouldn’t put me down for trying to get people to realize that smoking pot is wrong, and that just because you are a “good person” it doesn’t give you the right to light up.

It was probably this same board that Sugarlovenugget called me annoying old hag or some such phrase. Oh she drove me nuts! I knew she was in her 30s and had no kids, but I asked her how she was going to raise her children, if she would teach them to make fun of a woman like me. Sometime after that I was in a bad mood and came across her myspace site, saw how nice and sweet she was to others, remembered how mean she was to me, and posted some things on her blog about her language, what she called me on that drug board, and how hurt I was when she described in graphic detail about how great she is at giving bj’s and what a selfish prude I am. Despite all this, I still had a soft spot for Sugarlovenugget. I saw some posts of hers on other boards where I actually agreed with her and told her so. We attempted to be civil to each other sometimes. She once told me she didn’t believe in organized religion, and I tried to talk to her a bit about that.

Dana asked me several times if she herself was on my Tough Chick list, and I always said no. I once joked that she did have Tough Chick tendencies, however, but because Two_Dogs was usually around to “put her in her place” I showed mercy and left her alone. She thought that was funny. She, along with Jehovah, was still making “aggressive and demonstrative” cracks. I asked them both to please stop. I just couldn’t get away from that. Oh well, Christmas was coming up. Maybe people would be nicer for the holidays.

Chapter 27
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