“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.