My Senile Stalker

I’ve had a few stalkers in my time.  I don’t know if this speaks so much to my staggering sex appeal as to my penchant for attracting sad losers.   Some of my stalkers have been pretty harmless, their attentions even a bit of an ego boost.  And some have been kinda scary.   Indulge me if you will and allow me to refer to a popular meme that just won’t die in order to present you with an accurate portrayal of my latest stalker:

Who he thinks he is…

What he really looks like…

Yes, that’s right.  As the title of this blog indicates, I have acquired a geriatric stalker.  Now, I’m not the only young woman he’s been pestering–and he only likes them young, proudly declaring that he prefers women in their 30’s and “doesn’t like fat women,” as if he has all the God-given choice in the world.  He seems to be laboring under the misconception that he is still attractive to women of this (or any) age group… because, people, he is 80 years old and has Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  Part of the reason he can get away with this embarrassing display is because there are a few women around this town and the surrounding areas (many of them from the same family) that have discovered in him a senile and crippled cash cow.  They take his money, they use his car (oh well, he’s lost his license now anyway, though for a while there he was in denial. ) It would be sad if it wasn’t so pathetic.  He knows they’re using him but chooses to delude himself about their true intentions.

He lives in my apartment complex, and I am apparently not the only young woman this old geezer suckered into believing he was a “harmless, lonely” old man.  We made the mistake of talking to him or being nice to him, or even doing him favors (I stopped at the store at 9 o’clock at night on my way home from volleyball to pick up two bags of potato chips for this fucker, mostly because I couldn’t think of a nice way to decline!)   I now get a clear impression that perhaps at one time in his life he was very used to having women do things for him.  Well, I decided that night, not ME, never again.

His pestering got so bad that some of the women were complaining to the maintenance man (who incidentally shares a relatively uncommon first name with said old geezer, a fact which has almost lost him his job…twice.)

Now you might ask yourself why a woman would not just tell this old bird to bugger off… Let me tell you.   Because I did it.  Probably about four different times.  One day, while I attempted in vain to go about my day, he came over and knocked on my door a total of nine timesfor various reasons, ranging from bringing me food to just “seeing what’s up.” At first I attempted to be nice, telling him I had a little one to look after and stuff I had to get done.   And that worked for about…a day.  He came and knocked the next day or so and I politely “reminded” him.  On one such occasion his distractions resulted in my kid locking me outside.

Finally, when it kept happening and I tried to ignore him, I got pissed.  Why should I have to hide behind closed shades and pretend not to hear him?  I had to get “firm.”  I told him that I had repeatedly asked him to stop knocking on my door when my husband was not at home (yes, he definitely knows I’m married!) and the fact that he was ignoring me was starting to piss me off.  That is pretty much verbatim what I said.  Still if I saw him outside, I’d wave to be polite.  Wrong move again.  A day or two later, he came up when me and the baby were playing outside and proceeded to say “You really know how to hurt a guy…” and then said to my two year old “Mommy is mean.”   Bad move on his part, talking shit to my kid!  I told him him needed to cut that shit right out.

The maintenance guy finally got fed up with the complaints and problems with his job (aside from the trouble the mix-up with their names caused, old man would follow him around and try to “help” him with his work) and Maintenance Man told him if he didn’t stop bothering the female folk, he’d “call the law.”

See, not only does Old Man pester me, trying to get me to do him favors and keep him company, making not-subtle passes at me repeatedly, regardless of me never having expressed interest, but every time I would go outside, he’d pop into his doorway like jack from his box and just stare.  He does the same thing if he happens to pass by my window, unabashedly staring into my front window as he walks by.

I have another neighbor in her fifties who the old man has taken to bothering for company.  She’s a friend of mine, and so I hear a lot of what he says when I am not around.  He’s taken to planting his wobbly old ass on her couch (he has a terrible time getting up again,) and actually waiting for me to go next door to visit her, just so he can gawk at me.  He still swears that if I didn’t have my child, he could “get me over” his place, though by now I barely even look at him  when he’s around if I can help it.  He still makes lascivious remarks about me to my neighbor, calling me “cutie pie” and looking at my ass every chance he gets. We’ve had a few exchanges where he attempts to gain pity from me by shaming me with that tired old passive-aggressive bullshit about how he’s “like a red-headed, freckle-faced” step-child around here.  I told him point blank that he brought it on himself.

And I just found out he takes Viagra, daily, just to “be ready,” should he perchance find some hapless, legally blind, mentally deficient woman actually willing to have sex with him.

You may be tempted to feel pity for him, or say I am callous and not understanding of his infirmities or his loneliness.  I assure you, the time for that is over.  I’m not even certain I want him around my kid anymore.  How long would he be content to just “watch” from afar? I even looked for him on our county’s sex offender registry.  Even my neighbor has reason to believe now that he may not be as harmless as he seems.  The stress he caused me by his unwanted attentions, his constant intrusions into my day, was just stupid.  No one rents space in my head that way if I have anything to say about it.  And I realize as I type this that even though it may seem funny at times (and this post actually was meant to be at least semi-amusing), this could possibly be a real problem.  Frankly, the sight of his stupid sheep’s face actually pisses me off most times now.  (Sheep actually aren’t stupid at all, by the way.)  And yet, there is still a small (tiny, minuscule  growing smaller by the day) part of me that can’t be rude enough or mean enough to tell him “Just don’t ever talk to me again, at all…ever.  Never.”  Would it work if I did?

I can’t avoid him totally, although for the nonce, my neighbor has elected to ignore his knocking, wary of him and tired of watching him sit and pick his nose, I suppose.  And I doubt the cops could do much with him, his age and infirmity being on his side.  My husband is getting pissed, not because he feels threatened, but because of the irritation that Old Man causes me and the fact that he just won’t take “no” for an answer.  But I don’t need hubs going to jail for kicking an old man’s ass.  Hell, I could take him on my own, but why should I have to?  And more importantly, what about potential “targets” for his attentions not as able to defend themselves?

Old Man himself said the other day, in regards to his attempts to elicit a favorable response from me, “I keep trying but I get no response,”

to which my neighbor replied, “That’s when you’re supposed to stop!”

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When the Interwebz Attacks

Until now, the perception has been that you can say anything you like on the internet, without any consequences. Recent cases… show that is getting less and less true.

I’ve blogged…at length…about sex in video games and the experiences girl gamers face.  Some of these experiences are amusing.  Some of them are even funny.  Some are just plain irritating.  And anyone that has spent even a modest amount of time in online pursuits where there is some sort of interaction through either comments or live chat, has likely had at least one or two negative experiences with trolls or people that are just flat out ignorant asshats.  These are people who either intentionally look for others to harass, or  just feel free to say whatever half-formed thought crosses their half-formed brains due to assumed anonymity.  Maybe they think they’re “just having fun” or perhaps it makes these pitiable human beings feel better about their own ineffectual and pathetic lives to be able to take a virtual shit on people who might normally kick their asses in real life.   And some of them are just plain assholes.  Mean.

And these people will use whatever dirty epithet or blasphemous racial or sexual slur they can think of to insult you and tear you down.  It’s their only real weapon in place of something intelligent to say.

But even knowing all of this, even experiencing a lot of this, I was still shocked by the vicious cyber attack on Californian blogger, Anita Sarkeesian, after she launched a project to make a web video series about video game tropes and  women.  Not just the ignorant and inflammatory comments, but the fact that this woman was the victim of a concentrated effort to vandalize her Wikipedia page and organized efforts to have her YouTube videos flagged as “terrorism.” Additionally, she became the target of threats of violence, rape, and death.

Now, if you follow some of the comments made on the videos, you’ll notice that even people who supported this woman in a respectful way were subsequently flamed by some of the other commenters.

I am really floored.  Do all the idiots congregate in one place (comment boards on the internet?)  Or is it that most of the normal and good people (not all, mind you, but most) know there’s no point in even wasting time trying to argue with these narrow-minded, disrespectful morons?

It appears that Anita Sarkeesian has not only offended most of the remaining misogynists in the world, but even worse,  she has offended video game nerds by “insulting” their beloved games.  And by “video game nerds,” I don’t mean just “people who like or play video games.”  (After all, I play video games.  So does my husband and a lot of my friends.)  I mean those people who are so sad and pathetic that they live vicariously through their video games.  You know who you are.

Now, while the very existence of groups like the Westboro Baptist Church should clue me in on the fact that there are still evolutionary throwbacks in humanity’s pond, I have to admit, even I am still stunned that there are so many socially and intellectually stunted people in this world.  Watching the news everyday is depressing enough without this happy horse shit.

I wonder what it was about this woman that pissed so many people off.  As my step-father used to say “opinions are like assholes; everyone’s got one.”  I’m sure she is not the first person out there to spark a feminist debate about video games.  Is it just because she is semi-well known?  If I was more well-known, would I receive nasty remarks and threats of violence for this post?  Maybe I should ask WordPress to create a Widget exclusively for keeping track of death threats.  To hell with overall views and “followers.”  You’re not popular until you’ve received death threats from the dregs of society via the internet.  Bring it on (and I’ll happily ignore and delete them as per my comment regulations!)

On a more serious note, given the disappointing and disturbing trend in the past couple of  decades or so of the legal system’s increasing support of people’s unwillingness to take responsibility for their own actions, part of me hopes we will begin to see repercussions for online harassment.  Because that’s what it is.  Aside from rude remarks, some people seem to think they have the right to threaten and verbally assault others by dint of being online, and that having “freedom of speech” gives them the right to act like total assholes, when if they said some of this stuff to people’s faces, they’d get arrested or punched in the mouth.  If you ask me, some people could really still benefit from a punch in the mouth…

Cuz this is what would happen if you said that shit to mah face!

But maybe that’s just this humble female blogger being a “bitch.”

BE The Mom; loving yourself

I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the past couple of days, and what better day to stop thinking and write it all down than Mother’s Day?

I have been pretty hard on myself, especially lately.  I’m sure there are a few reasons for that, but for this purpose I guess they are pretty irrelevant.  What is important is my stomach is too fat, my nose is too big.  I’m not pretty enough, I’m not a good enough mother.  I spend too much time on the computer.  I don’t keep the house clean enough.  I’m a naggy wife.  I’m not successful enough.  I screw things up.

And as I looked at my poochy belly the other day and once more thought to myself “that’s just disgusting,” I realized something important;

I love my daughter more than anything, and I want her to grow up loving herself and knowing she is special.  I would love her even if her nose was too big or she had a pudgy belly…and SHE loves me no matter what I look like (or clean like or what I screw up.) 

How can I expect her to love herself, though, when I am not setting that example for her by loving myself?  When she gets a little older and comes to me and says, “Mommy, I don’t like my nose,” or “Mommy, am I fat?” (and it may happen considering all the pressure put on girls and women to be beautiful,) how can I tell her she is beautiful no matter what when I don’t believe that for myself?

So, for her sake, if not for my own, I am going to make an effort to be kinder to myself, and see in me all the good that I see and want for her.

I love you, baby. You’re beautiful.

photo ©Cynthia Gemmill and alienredqueen