“I have a brilliant idea! I’ll get on Amazon and order the creepiest sex toys I can find. I’ll have them shipped to Terry; based on his response, you’ll know whether or not he’s into the weird shit!”
Gail at the words “brilliant idea.”
Over time, my unreasonable, stick-in-the-mud, best friend has refused to even listen after those two words. Um… it’s not like I actually tipped the truck when were 16… nor did I get a thank you for that one. Geez. Also, I believe the brilliant idea to spread the word that Esteban had herpes totally worked in Gail’s bullied 15-year-old favor.
You’re welcome, Gail. You’re welcome.
A couple of years ago, after losing 90 pounds, I had another one of my brilliant ideas. I decided to take up running… and P90X… in the same week. It was not a brilliant idea for my back, however. I saw a doctor… a physical therapist… took a lot of prescription drugs… and finally met with a chiropractor. For months, though, I could not move. There were nights when I couldn’t stand long enough to cook Easy Mac. It was horrible. So, during the trips to Wal-Mart to grab a pre-made salad or a new phone charger, I was doing well to have my top and my bottom covered. Forget about underwear, I deserved a trophy if my feet weren’t bare. The pain was so excruciating that I legitimately understood people who kill themselves from that kind of chronic torture… and I’m a religious gal.
Then there was that brilliant idea to go to graduate school and work two jobs. There were nights, when I would find myself at Wal-Mart at 3:00 in the morning, buying my groceries for the week. Considering the fact that I’d just finished and submitted an annotated bibliography or a literature review, I wasn’t wearing a fucking prom dress, either. I probably wore various pajamas… like this lady on People Of Walmart.
Things she could be texting….
Should I get him Nyquil, or just the Pepto Bismol? The Nyquil might help him sleep.
I’m just in so much pain. What is the strongest over-the-counter medication?
I have not slept in three days. If I don’t get this project turned in tomorrow, this was all for nothing and my printer’s out of fucking ink!
Go suck a bag of dicks, People Of Walmart! Why is it that I read or hear about a child committing suicide every week, because of cyber bullying, but People Of Walmart is wildly popular? At 16, I started a Xanga about Shetland and the ridiculously hypocritical things that went on in my hometown of 15,000 with its 22 churches. I didn’t target any one person and spent more time on stories about the town than anything, but some people still took it personally and I hurt some feelings through social media. This was, however,…
1: before the term “cyberbullying” was coined or defined
2: totally Gail and Jane’s fault as well
3: the work of children
I’ve said it before: my generation was a technological experiment. We grew up in a Lord of the Flies version of the Internet, more-so than today, because our parents had no idea what the hell we were doing. So, when I took a yearbook picture of a cheerleader holding her arm out in front of her and placed it next to Hitler heiling Germany… well, there really wasn’t anyone there to guide me. The cheerleaders weren’t very nice to me. They always made snide remarks toward my friends and I for coloring during assemblies and wearing feather boas to school, regardless of the fact that the latter was an AP English assignment… almost always. They made fun of me and I made fun of them… and it wasn’t nice. I know that as an adult and I’m sure they do as well.
PeopleOfWalmart, though? This website is dedicated to adults insulting people they don’t even know. That old lady in the nightshirt may not have the mobility to pull on pants and she sure as hell never screamed at you to get a life in Algebra class. Are we, as a society, seriously telling these kids to “do as we say, not as we do”? Cyberbullying is a huge concern among Americans with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Teachers are warned that their embarrassing pictures will likely end up online. Children are dying. Teenage boys were shooting up schools long before internet bullying and it ain’t gettin’ better. If it’s not good for the kids, why is it good for us? If watching an advertisement for the new Kindle Paperwhite makes me scream “I WANT THAT!” with my Kindle Paperwhite in hand, then what affect does sneering at someone for a poor fashion choice on a website about sneering at someone for a poor fashion choice have? Is this not an advertisement for a lack of compassion? Does this not encourage me to act catty toward people I don’t know in real life? Does the encouragement from others to be cruel not slowly degrade my character?
This is not the first time I’ve ranted about People Of Walmart and I’ve gotten many rebuttals in the past. They usually go something along the lines of…
“Have you seen the things those people are wearing? If you go out in that, you’re asking for it.”
Wow. I think I’ve heard a similar defense in rape cases. I’m not saying an embarrassing photo is the equivalent to rape, but that is still a disgusting excuse for publicly humiliating someone: she asked for it. It’s her responsibility not to be embarrassed online, not our responsibility to use technology for the better. Maybe she doesn’t realize she’s gained 15 pounds this summer. Maybe she’s hurt and those footy pajamas are all she can stand wearing. Maybe she just likes dressing like a goth kid from that South Park episode. Who fucking cares? It’s her prerogative to do so. That girl with her panties showing? Maybe the polite thing to do is whisper in her ear “ma’am, you need to pull your shorts down a bit,” rather than whip out your smartphone, as a good 90% of the redundant contributors to PeopleOfWalmart have chosen to do. If you absolutely have to be catty about the woman with back breasts, fine. Take a picture, send it to a friend and have your moment. We’ve all done it, but there’s no reason to do it globally, encouraging and receiving encouragement from the masses in your moment of spite.
Don’t worry. I have not conveniently forgotten my own… abrasive sense of humor. I will say, though, it’s usually directed toward people I love, who know I’m kidding and enjoy being around me because I
1: … make them feel like the nice friend.
2: … am just as mean as they are.
3. … am just as mean as they are deep down, and they just don’t want to admit it.
Despite my barbed comments toward my friends, I don’t target online, those who’ve done nothing to me. Even my bad date stories use pseudonyms. I’m sure I’ve been the subject of someone’s “What is she wearing?” text conversation… and that’s fine, as long as that photo stays off the internet. I’m also sure I’ve been someone’s “… them bitches be crazy” story and that’s fine, too, if my name isn’t involved. People Of Walmart posts pictures of actual people that could be easily identified in their most embarrassing moments for all the world to see. It’s not bullied kids taking the passive aggressive revenge stance, either. It’s not confused and misguided teenagers leading this massive effort in cyberbullying. It’s the adults who tell them not to, because they fucking know better.
What I would counter is that by choosing not to participate in the “People of Walmart” that you are taking a small but important stand against it. Who knows- your post may have convinced some other people not to participate in the cruelty too.
Also just for kicks and giggles. At the bottom of the post is how I like to dress when I’m sad. My mother finds it upsetting but it brings me IMMENSE joy.
Haha. Thank you for the feedback! So many people LOVE that site and I just don’t think it’s healthy for society to criticize strangers on that level. Love the outfit!
Totally with you on this! I’m often found to be having a giggle at someone who looks a bit odd, or does something outrageous but that’s just human nature. To stick a photo online and do this for others to see is pure bullying, and it says more about THEIR culture and self esteem than it does the victims’.
Exactly. I’m not even really attacking the idea of having that giggle or catty thought, just online humiliation! Thanks for the support!
100 % with you on this lady!
Thank you! Getting all this agreement is restoring my faith in humanity! Haha.
1. The feather boas were ALWAYS for class.
2. I swear I only commented…. Or did I write a whole story? I don’t remember.
3. I had the exact mental reaction that gif depicts and laughed out loud. I am SO nice! How dare you imply otherwise!
Speaking of how you dare to… You’d think that things beginning in “how dare you” would end in a question mark, but they almost never do…. Food for thought? Btw, it feels like fall out here in the desert. WhooHoo!
It has here in the Midwest, lately. You had a pen name. It was Kaboom. You were a major contributor. I always use the question mark.
I don’t use a question mark unless I actually want an answer. I remember my pen name, but I don’t remember authoring anything. Send me a link to it!
I took it down when I wanted a teaching job, but I have all of it saved. I could e-mail you.
Dont forget “Okay… Hear me out!”
Which… you NEVER do. Stick in the mud.
To be honest, I’m 31 and I have never heard of that website. Possibly it’s because I don’t go looking for things like that to make myself feel better. Those people posting all this stuff mocking people makes me sick. I routinely go out of the house in yoga pants and a t-shirt (and if the weather is cooler an oversized hoodie). Who the eff cares what you wear to WALMART? It’s WALMART for cripes sake!
I’ll stick to posting about books and Doctor Who…
Haha. Maybe it’s the area? I don’t know, but most people I’ve met know the site by name… and defend it. I’m glad you went this long without knowing about it, but I’m sure there are many other comparable sites. Many YouTube videos fit this rant as well.
Another great post here.
It’s the Facebook and You tube syndrome. People feel like they can post anything. It’s their right. But they never consider the consequences. How they devalue another human being. All of us have had our stupid moments, those times when we just would prefer to stick our heads in the sand and hope nobody saw or heard us. That is no longer possible. The moment our phones were turned into cameras and video recorders, that went out the window.
I am so glad I got through high school without Facebook.
Just got a thought. Maybe all those people that are appearing on People of Walmart should get together with a class action suit and sue. If the folks who run the site and publish the People of Walmart Books did not get a signed release, they could very well have a good case.
Great post. I’d never seen the site before reading your piece, and it’s the tone of it that makes it all so unpalatable for me. Making fun of people is perfectly funny in proper context, but only when the target is in on it and happy to share in the joke. This type of website understands only the structure of the joke, but not why it is or isn’t funny, like the piano player who can play an A chord, but doesn’t understand how it fits into the key of G.
Thank you! I’m glad you agree. I know everyone has their catty moments, but it’s disgusting that these people choose to do so in such an identifiable and global way.
Exactly, everybody has moments when they push the boundaries of good taste or hurt feelings, and no need to get upset about that sort of thing, we’re only human, but to have an entire website dedicated at the outset to mocking complete strangers definitely crosses a line.
I am so glad I got through high school with out Facebook also! Not just the internet though its television. Award winning. Its not humorous to me. Just having a conversation about this last night, we are teaching the next generation to bully! Well not -us…good post, thanks.
They came for the fat people but I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t fat
They came for the goth people but I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t goth
They came for the bald but I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t bald
They came for the dirty but I didn’t say anything because I was clean
They came for the creative dressers but I didn’t say anything because I was unoriginal
They came for those with holey clothing but I didn’t say anything because I had new clothes
They came for those out of style but I didn’t say anything because I wear the latest fad
They came for those not wearing brand name shoes and I overspend
Then they came for me..
I know this is late but they now went even lower to seemingly try and stay relevant, they apparently own a website now for making fun of freaking KID’S DRAWINGS of all things
Wow. That’s really awful. I hope no one’s criticizing their OWN children’s drawings.