Archive | February, 2011

“I think you suck” from Anonymous

10 Feb

 

It’s easy to be a jerk when you think you’re anonymous.

A few days ago, I read an article written by Jeff Pearlman, a columnist for SI.com, who tracked down an online hater.  Cloaked in the wonderful world of online anonymity, a commenter posted some distasteful stuff (and that’s putting it nicely) and the journalist tracked him down and had a conversation with him.  Jeff Pearlman said, “Anyone who writes or is written about is now a potential target for abuse. Online civility — it if ever existed — has withered up and died. And it’s only getting worse.” 

This is true not only for sports columnists, kids who post videos on YouTube (the language is mind-blowing), bloggers, but oddly enough in the stepmother community as well.  Pearlman calls it “online civility”, but I think it’s classic online bullying and it’s rampant between BioMoms and StepMoms.  You’d think as moms we’d be aware of cyber-bullying and refuse to play, but we’ve got BioMoms signing up for fake facebook accounts and joining “stepmom only” pages in order to bash (or at the very least jab) the stepmother in their lives.  We’ve got commenters using fake names on stepmom blogs to harass the blogger.  It’s easy to be a jerk when you think no one knows who you are, but the truth is that most online bullies (especially the ones who just can’t stop themselves from commenting) have a hard time not giving themselves away (unless of course, they are very talented writers and use the computers at the public library instead of the one at home). 

I think it’s shameful when BioMoms and their “posses” feel the need to harass their ex-husbands and/or the StepMoms online or in person.  Get therapy, work through your issues, write your comments in a journal and remember what Thumper said, “If you can’t say nothin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”  And if you just can’t help yourself, then “man up”, use your real name and take responsibility for your comments.  Same goes for StepMoms, although it seems that they are in the minority when it comes to this offense. 

Am I guilty?  If you’ve read my blog then you know that I’m guilty of airing dirty laundry on my old blog (which has since been taken down), but not of stalking, harassing and name-calling (online OR in person).   I keep my frustration to myself and throw the dirty laundry in the washer.  It’s alot better that way.

 Cyber-bullies aren’t just in middle and high school.  Some bullies are grown up.  Some bullies are women. If you’re an adult “mean girl”, it’s time to grow up.  You know who you are. 

Have you ever been harassed online?  How did you deal with it? 

A big thank you to socialsklz who posted the link to the CNN article on their facebook page.  Socialsklz “features interactive, age appropriate workshops where students learn modern day social and communication skills. Equip our kids, tweens and teens with the tools to succeed in life!”  I wish they’d franchise across the nation!

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BioMom vs StepMom: Who gets to go to the funeral?

2 Feb

Rest in peace, and I'm talking the people still alive.

Holidays, birthday parties, school activities, and weddings.  These events can often create large knots in the stomachs of biomoms and stepmoms alike.  Who should go?  Who should stay home?  Where’s the rule book?  It becomes even more emotionally-charged when you have to decide who should go to a funeral.

This topic came up loud and clear when my BFF was asked not to attend her ex-father-in-law’s funeral.  Let me give you a little bit of background:  her marriage and divorce seem to be plucked straight from the most salacious daytime soap opera.   Imagine a fairy tale courtship and wedding, the announcement of a pregnancy a few months later with the simultaneous discovery that he had been cheating on her with a waitress* at the restaurant that he was managing.  My BFF held her head high during the humiliation that followed.  She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and named him after her soon-to-be ex-father-in-law, and made sure that she maintained a relationship with her former in-laws, despite the fact that her ex-husband was a putz (that’s the nicest word I could come up with).  Ten years after her divorce, she was heartbroken to hear that her ex-father-in-law had passed away and even more devastated when her ex-husband told her that she wasn’t invited to the funeral because she and his new wife (the waitress) didn’t get along (of course, that begs the question:  who does get along with the woman that helped contribute to the demise of your marriage?).  Her ex-husband went even further to say, “If you went, where would you sit?”  Her reply was, “By our son, of course!”  My BFF wanted to be the “go to” person, the one to run the errands, set up the reception, and provide general support to her ex-husband, ex-sister-in-law and their families.  After a long and close relationship with her ex-father-in-law, she felt that she was natural choice for this job.  Afterall, the new wife didn’t have the kind of relationship with her father-in-law that my BFF did. 

Being the fiercely loyal friend that I am, I told her that she had every right to go, but in the end, she decided against it.   Having been to my fair share of funerals over the last 10 years, I’ve learned that funerals are for those left behind.  She had a good relationship with her ex-father-in-law and could pay her respects any time and she chose to keep the peace among the living.  Her ex-husband comforted their son while his new wife comforted him.  It was a moment of growth for her, but I know it still hurts.

So, where is the rule book?  Who should go to the funeral:  the ex-spouse, the current spouse or both?  Should that even be a question?  Have you ever been in this situation?  How did you handle it?

*Having worked in the food service industry, I know that she should be referred to as a “server”, but since “server” is not gender specific, I chose the term “waitress”.