Let me take you back to the spring of 1998. I was 27, almost 28. I was freshly divorced, a single mom of two boys. I was out of the Army, living back in my hometown. I had just started working as an executive secretary at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York after a stint as a tech writer with Corning Glass Works in the same village. Life was… okay. Was I living the dream? No, I wasn’t. But I had a good job, good friends, and it was a transitionary period in my life.
Apparently, that wasn’t enough.
A little backstory… as I said, I was freshly divorced. From a dude who suffered from too frequent wardrobe malfunctions. It was insane how often his zipper fell open, Kim says sarcastically. It was just bad luck how often his member fell haplessly in the direction of women not his wife, Kim says sarcastically. It’s sad, really, Kim says sarcastically. Suffice it to say, this bitch was not looking for a man. Yeah, no. Closed for business. Renovations underway. No dating for this bitch.
I had a coworker in my office. Let’s call her… Marge. Marge was in her early 40s, also a divorced mom of two boys. And she could not understand the concept of “no dating.” She was hardcore into the dating scene… online and off. I spent long hours listening to tales of her escapades, often in excruciating detail. Which took some serious ovarian strength, considering our shared office area was literally in the center of the department, all of the people we worked for in a U around us. And let me just tell you… girl was not quiet nor subtle about her convos. I spent half my life feeling as if I’d contracted an STD just listening to her.
No judgment, but her intensity was a little terrifying. It was even more terrifying when she turned that intensity on me.
Marge decided I needed love in my life. I decided I had enough of that with my family and friends. Marge decided I was wrong.
Marge pushed and pushed for me to “get out there and find a man.” I pushed back with variations of “hell to the no.”
Marge took matters into her own hands.
She set up profiles on Match, on Yahoo, on local sites. Without my permission. Without my knowledge.
She snaked pictures of me from staff photos, photos from university events, etc. She even stole some from my purse after I’d picked up developed photos during my lunch break. She filled out the questionnaires without input, taking it upon herself to decide what I wanted/needed. She put my personal email in there, my phone number, even my address.
What made this whole situation worse was that the area we lived in is fairly small, insular. Small towns, everyone knows everyone. And my family was pretty well known. My great-grandfather and his brother were well-known lawyers, as were my grandfather and father. My great-grandfather and his son (my grandfather) were politicians in the New York State Assembly. All four of them were involved in a variety of aspects of public life. Trust me, I grew up in a glass house. My maiden name was known.
So when I started getting shit loads of creepy emails, IMs on Yahoo Messenger, it got weird real fast. It was BAD. I had no idea what was happening… all these men asking for nudes, telling me they’d love to do… things… with Vern’s daughter/granddaughter. I was jumpy one day at work, and Marge asked why. I told her the nutshell version. To my utter shock, she laughed her motherfucking ass off.
I mean, bent over in her chair, clutching her stomach, laughing until she was crying. I remember staring at her for awhile, waiting for her to stop. When she didn’t, I got pissed. AF.
When she finally did slow down, she confessed to it all. I was fucking livid. Marge was still fucking hysterical. The bitch saw nothing wrong with what she’d done.
And she refused to give me the fucking password.
It got worse. WAY worse.
My phone started ringing at all hours of the night… creepy breathers, phone sexxers, all of it. And then I started getting “presents” outside my apartment door. I’d come home from work to find not just flowers, but bags and boxes of stripperwear, of “toys.” Trust me when I tell you… it wasn’t Fisher Price. And then they’d show up while I was there, banging on my door. And they’d follow me around town.
It freaked me the fuck out.
It went on for MONTHS before I managed to get it all taken down. It required court orders against her, which failed because she claimed to have forgotten the passwords. So then it was more court orders, demanding the sites take it all down.
She got fired, for that and other stuff.
It was a fucking nightmare.
It’s been 23 years. And I’m still being harrassed by some of them through social media.
And that’s the tale of all the weirdos wanting to date me.