Ack. More simpletons surface to squish like cockroaches, who are timeless and resilient, like my son, who, unlike cockroaches, is cute. Dare I say, my gaggle of former co-workers all comparatively sound like Aristotle compared to the woman I dealt with yesterday.
Work with me, here...between psychoanalyzing and trying to extricate the English language out of someone's misspelled, misshapen, illogical online missives, all of this from a person who legitimately relies on the imparted philosophy of Barry Manilow before she'll consider any major life changes, who wouldn't know what's in the First Amendment if it bit her bulbous cheeks, I don't know....
Like any good internet detective, I received a tip today from a very smart, concerned friend (good peeps, great family, NOTHING but good things to say about THIS WOMAN) via Facebook that someone had found offense in my son's uttering of the word "fuck" with regard to the last episode of "Burn Notice," on which his favorite character was brutally killed. And that naturally, Luke's parents were ultimately to blame for his F bomb. Yeah, fuck you.
I neither yelled at nor punished Luke for using "fuck" in his status update, but after reading it and seeing the shit storm, I was like "Yeah, take that down," and he was like "Ok, no big deal." Did I enter into a long diatribe about what he says on Facebook and how naughty and not God-centric he is? No. Luke is smart and competent enough, and obeys enough that when I tell him when-to-say-when, he listens. Is he perfect? No. Is he a preteen who is learning to push limits and buttons? Naturally. Is he an utterly polite, very bright boy who, if he felt the need to, is comfortable enough with me to, if he were incensed, call me a bitch straight to face? Yes. And to be fair, he'd probably have every reason to when it comes to me when I get angry (which is very seldom). I can't emphasize enough that we ALL have different approaches to parenting, and what works for Luke and I might not for a more conservative or traditional Christian family. The converse is also true--if you're a shitty parent to begin with, the likelihood of your daughter turning into a royal bitch herself is pretty high.
Luke, despite our many challenges, has very thick skin. So do I. Only I come out to the whole world TO say what's on my mind, at whatever cost. What some people say they love the most about me is my brutal honesty, even if people don't agree with or share my opinions. I'm just brave enough to throw things out and see where they ultimately land; sometimes to look for the stuff, yet mindful enough to often control my outbursts of high-five, $5.00 words just to confound people and eventually just let the damn arguing be over. Because if I'll fight to keep my body piercings intact during a major operation, so vehemently that they had to mask up my face and put me to sleep before they successfully removed my body jewelry, I know when is when. This medium is my exercise in character ass-whooping via words.
Rule #1, of which I'm certain: Don't even remotely try to imply not-so-discreetly that I'm ultimately raising a hooligan or that I, myself, while a hell-raiser, impart upon my son improper values online or in the real world. He is a fine, respectable young man who inherited a behavioral pattern that he perceives as his own freedom of speech and use of language, even when it is foul or harsh. Luke's endured more than 99% of the children he's grown up with, his childhood being erratic and worrisome for him, lots of major life challenges and totally scary sometimes. He's come from that remarkably well-adjusted.
(What can he always count on? His brain power. With a fresh pack of playing cards since he came home, for example, he created dozens of magic card tricks by himself that are savant. What can this woman's daughter hope for? That she makes it through high school without bullying all the other girls to tears, and the unease of being probably the only 16-year old freshman, having been held back, if Luke's memory is correct, two grades. Her greatest achievement will be graduating and *not* a teen mom already, and will probably end up as one of my psychological patients.
Had Luke been offered the opportunity to SKIP a grade? Yes, but we felt he was going to completely resist changing grades,and he'd frown upon being away from the class he's grown up with. I honestly don't know. He's MATURE, but he's still just a young man. Luke's going into 7th grade and is 12 1/2 years old. She's 14, as incoming high school freshman are, not 12 like in the 7th grade, so I did the math, for a change.)
Furthermore, if you're going to try and disrespect anyone via the medium of something as public as Facebook, slyness and savvy are key. She's too dimwitted to understand the idea of passive-aggressive behavior. Due to the contingent time and effort put forth in the online communication, and its inherent impermanence, and people misinterpreting comments/emails, etc, (e.g. typing in ALL CAPS!) lost in what the other party's actual mood or annotation might be, is or can be interpreted as a clusterfuck, true, but one we have to utilize and accept if we want to, really, UTILIZE the world at large.
Do I have tools on my computer with which to gather information, data and facts, of which the average internet user might be unaware? Well, gee, after you've been STALKED EXTENSIVELY, in a LEGAL SENSE, over the internet, you bet your ass I do. (I saved every screen capture that my ex-co-workers generated by reading my blog online during business hours.) Like I've said before, a writer knowing her/his demographics, and what they're interested in reading, or what's a successful piece of writing versus rambling crap, is all important to know if you spend a large chunk of time writing. Why do I not have a job? As you're all aware, it was actually Guy Friend who told me I was being fired from my job in January. I'm embarking on full-time education and going for the Masters before the doctorate (see last blog) in psychology. I won't have time to work.
Rule #1.1: Chances are, that if you spell a part of your body as your "blatter," I'll outwit you with little effort. One of the causes I champion the most heartily is (while colloquially) correcting the continued bastardization of the English language.
Rule #2: If you're planning on chastising the behavior of ANY parent or student of a school your child attended (and is leaving), while outwardly saying that you, yourself, closely monitor your child's Facebook activity fervently (though you don't know what that word means), make sure you have the data to back up your holier-than-thou, SuperMom, freshly-pressed Cape of Honor. Worded differently? Listen, Toots-in-Question, it took my son and the aforementioned concerned parent about 25 seconds to point me towards your daughter's public Twitter page, on which she regularly spews her own inflammatory profanities, sexual innuendos and flatly calls YOU a bitch when she doesn't get her way. I hereby hand you over my Gold Star for Mother of the Year and rescind my soul back into my (apparently) disgusting shell of a conscience.
What did I do in both my own and Luke's defense? I took a screen capture of this woman's daughter's public Twitter page, to which the WHOLE WORLD has access, except, apparently, her parents, probably because all the attention in the house is geared towards the newly-wedded mom and step-father and how crazy they are about one another. I happened to capture a section of Tweets where the daughter vilely disdained a former friend, frankly used the word "fuck" more times than I've heard Luke use it in a month, and, perhaps my favorite Tweet, well, aside from the one that said "I'm soooooo fucking bored!", was the one where she said she wished she could have a friend over but "my mom's being a bitch." I posted the screen capture to both the mother and her daughter's Facebook pages. Childish? Retaliatory? Over-the-top? Is there any other Annie way?
Well, the mom, it's safe to say, was more than a little enraged, and perhaps more than that, embarrassed that someone called her out on her own bad parenting.
Someone please try and decipher this paragraph for me, unedited and verbatim, which was publicly posted from the Toots to Moi:
Shame on you! Never call out a child by their name and make a fool out of them. You should be baned from face book, and need to get a real job instead of posting your crap!! You DISGUST ME!! Again I could go on with some pretty serious parenting issues you had but all people need to do is read your face book to get the picture. I thought about delating this, but I want people to see whom the real loser in life there is here. TAKE A LONG LOOK IN THE MIRROR. Post any more about me or my family authorites weill be called. I may not see it but I have people whom have abilyt to see it and you are a threat to me and my child."
Having spent time looking in the mirror this morning, what did I notice? I'm graying more quickly than ever, and have a giant zit on my chin. I still have fresh-looking operation scars all over my abdomen. During my morning regime, I do plenty of taking hard looks at myself in a mirror and honey, the package I present is a zillion times freer, more creative, intellectual, passionate and happy than yours could ever be, for you have historically have shown zero soul or remote friendliness. Don't ever think that the other teachers (with whom I've talked) and parents (who back me up) didn't pick up on all of that. Because we're not all fucking stupid.
Wait, what? You're saying I can't talk about you publicly while leaving your identity anonymous, or you'll notify the "authorities"? In a public domain? I hate to tell you this, but while there are stalking laws, I broke none of them even remotely. Send the cops over if you want! I'll make them coffee and unveil not only your character assassination of me, my son, and probably turn in the dweebs at the medical practice. Taking a screen shot of a person's social networking page (the daughter's) isn't illegal. Maybe Sargent Happy Pants the Amazing Hubby can help clarify that for you. Sorry, Mom, but I can post pretty much anything I want to against you on the internet, without identifying you, and I still won't have broken any laws. Unlike your Facebook page, my blog is copyrighted.
I totally understand that not everyone has the ability of the Offbeat Drummer to argue coherently while maintaining proper spelling and, as you all know, I'm a huge fan of neologisms. According to this woman, I should be "baned." Well, I know the words "banal" and "banned" and "caned." Banal, I'm not. "Banned?" Welcome to the USA, Schnookielumps, the land of the free and the brave. "Caned?" That actually, traumatically happened to me already, so thanks, but I'll pass. You want to publicly flog me? BE MY FUCKING GUEST. The friend who tipped me off said she knows what she's getting me for Christmas. A wheelbarrow to hold my BIG BALLS.
Serious parenting issues I had or still have? You mean other than my multiple psychiatric illnesses, numerous, life-threatening maladies & hospitalizations, anorexia, drug abuse, alcoholism, job loss, divorce and family uprooting, an abusive ex-boyfriend, and general misadventure, all while I cuss my head off? Yeah, the people who are my friends on Facebook (and who read my blog) kind of already know about all that stuff. They're my friends. The moms at school? I'm friends with 2 or 3 of them. The rest? Talk about me behind my back to your hearts' content. Yet more testimony as to why I sit in my car, blast the radio and chain smoke while I'm waiting for Luke to be dismissed.
Luke's never been neglected, abused, or treated badly. Despite our family's instability at times, he's always come first. Luke is loved, cherished, adored, clean, well-fed, intellectually stimulated and gifted. He has 2 healthy homes in which to live.
I've met you, lady, on perhaps 4 occassions, briefly? (This was as you were divorcing your own douchebag, before you found and relentlessly Facebook posted your utterly amazing love for Officer Marvelous. Once the two of you hooked up, your romantic posts FAR outweighed the mass of postings for which I am infamously known. The fact that I took a stand and called out kids who were bullying my son, as well as holding their parents accountable? No secret there. I put my life out there BY CHOICE. Everything everyone knows about me at the church/school is already out in the universe.
You thought about "delating" your statement? Well, there's "deflating" and "elating." They're sort of opposites, in theory. One is meant to trod down; the other, to uplift. You're effectively doing neither, in actuality, other than to make a further ass of yourself because you thought your own bully of a daughter, who was historically reviled by the classmates on whom she took out her hostility, was an angel.
What kind of mother AM I? Ask people who honestly know me, or who know my son, or who know the dynamic between myself and my son. We're both imperfect, but he's a great kid. Truly. He'd never have 3 secret Facebook identities that I don't know of, and doesn't Tweet often at all, certainly not to call me a bitch.
Fact #1, of which I was not aware: Evidently, it's a law in Chicago that if you fuck a cop, date a cop, get engaged to a cop or marry a cop, you're hereby entitled to file false police reports instantaneously for something as complicated and befuddling as the legal clusterfuck of reported internet stalking that takes place over the course of half an hour at the drop of a hat and threaten people. Or you can, by virtue of fucking said cop, threaten a person's first amendment rights to obtaining information via public domain with the auspice of proposed arrest. The woman said somewhere that she perceived me as a threat to her family. I told her my only proposed "threat" was that of a war of wits, which I already won, thus her case was invalid.
Here's where Barry Manilow comes into play. She saw him recently and her WHOLE life changed! Barry, you're the Joel Osteen of the pop world! Note that in Luke's dramatic and contextually accurate manner by which this mother types, again verbatim, she learned this, via Luke's artistic actor voice. Oh, Mandy!
"Wow...Barry Manilow was wonderful..what a show..he is such a great entertainer. He said something that hit home...a decision I have had a hard time with..he said life is about taking chances, and to make sure we gi through life doing something we like and if it means taking a chance DO IT!! Do not go through life doing somehting you do not like and makes you unhappy and regreating why you did not mske sure you did something you like."Hey, Chickie Baby, if "Copacabana" with Barry live at the helm changes your life, God bless! Sorry, Barry, but you're no Neil Diamond. You're a douche.
"Going to see Barry Manilow with my most wonderful amazing husband tonight."Super! We ALREADY KNOW HOW AMAZING YOUR FUCKING HUSBAND IS. WE DON'T NEED TO HEAR IT THREE TIMES A DAY!
(And no, not really, do we want to see your gnarly-ass feet with your toenails painted. Then again, I've never been a lover of feet. But your comment was classic! ) Does she mean "casual" or "causal?" Dictionary, anyone, anyone?
"barefoot on the causaul side."OK, WE GET IT:
"Thank You my amazing husband for a wonderful 4th of July. And God Bless you and keep you safe always when you are on duty and away from me. I love you BABY."
"Nothing like waking.up next to my amazing husband and the smell of fresh brewed coffee. Happy Friday."But nothing caps off her insipid ramblings like this one, of which ALL of us are really, really tired:
"To my husband, my best friend, Love, life, my everything. I am blessed to be your wife, my children so fortunate to have a step father that loves them unconditionaly. HAPPY FATHERS DAY BABY. Love you so much."People think I post too much crap to Facebook? At least my stuff's sorta, usually funny and/or intellectually stimulating. A picture of a pair of gnarly feet in sandals is slightly more creepy. And she appears obsessed with her husband which can't be healthy at all! Oh, and darling, quoting your Facebook profile is also not illegal.
Getting back to my original argument, however, sorry I got sidetracked by her banality.
With her tail between her legs, and me having exposed her daughter's bad behavior, she promptly removed her daughter's Twitter account entirely and offered yet another statement directed at me, which I could only read vis-a-vis my own child:
"If (daughter's name) hates me it is ok, that means I am doing my job as a mom at this time!! I love her and want to keep her safe!!
(Friend's name) Thank You for the back up!! Wow to use my daughter and her IEP through the Board of education in the State of Illinois documented learning disabilty is a low as low can get. You should truly be ashamed of yourself. I never mentioned anyones name in my post!! Shame on you. I know so much about you as a person ect. however I have more class in what I post, so I will refrain and not lower myself to your level. HOW DARE YOU, this is my daughter. And yes after looking at my daughters face book we were not at all happy with what we saw, and we as parents held her accountable and informed her that this is in no way tolorated!! I gave her the chance and she abused it, now she has to earn my trust and respect again, there is no kid that is perfect and they are all guilty of this, my daughter being one of them. How DARE YOU!! "
1) You don't know jack about me other than what I have put out into the universe, and you can't read or write for shit, so I highly doubt you've ever seen my blog. I tell it like it is. I hope you found all of your daughter's Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you need help, Luke knows their handles, so enlist him for some assistance.
2) How dare I? See #1.
3) I didn't realize that the purpose of parenting a teenager was to get them to hate his/her parents. God, if Luke and I continue to get along while he's in his teens, I guess that makes Craig and I miserable failures as parents. Had this mother encouraged open dialogues and fostered a home less laden with secrets and if she paid half the attention to her daughter that she pays to her new husband, her daughter probably wouldn't be such a mean, uneducated, snippy louse. The other parents in the class, upon hearing of your decision to depart from our school, were relieved that your bully daughter was leaving, and expressed to me that she'd been bullying other kids for several years. Way to go, Mom!
4) I'm never ashamed of myself. Get over it.