Re: The Sandman’s Q&A #2

Hello, friends! For those who don’t remember, several months ago, a fellow blogger posted a short Q&A on his blog, and invited others to join him in answering. I decided to participate, and you can read my answers here. Well, The Sandman is at it again with a second Q&A! So, I thought I would shake off these stormy weather blues, and do a bit of writing today, since things are pretty chill in my house today. You can read the questions, and my answers, below!

#1) Describe one moment from your youth that is impenetrably seared into your memory.

Honestly, my memory is pretty fuzzy when it comes to things that happened in my childhood. I’m not entirely sure why. I am able to recall certain things in vivid detail, but for the most part, there are huge gaps in my memory, where I can’t remember a damn thing. High school was particularly traumatic for me, and many of it is a blur. Middle school is basically the same story, but slightly less severe. Maybe I just didn’t care enough to retain the memories. Who knows?

There are two memories in my life that often pop into my head, presenting as vivid, flashbulb memories. The first, and possibly the earliest memory of my life, is of the backseat windows of the first car my mom ever had with me. One of the back windows had two parts, and the back part was shaped like a shark fin, and had little black dots on it. I remember looking out this window as a baby. My mom said she got rid of that car before my first birthday, and that there is no way I could have remembered it. But I do.

The second memory is from middle school. When I was in the sixth grade, I had a crush on a boy in my class, named Billy. He had an older brother, who was in the eighth grade at the time, and I liked him, too. However, neither had any interest in a relationship with me, friendship or otherwise, and were often cruel to me, teasing me, and spreading rumors about me. I had a pretty thick skin back then, and it didn’t bother me much.

Until the final dance of the school year.

I showed up alone, but immediately met up with a few friends of mine, who reassured me with urgency that everything was going to be okay. I was confused. Long story short, Billy and his brother had created a fake AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) profile, using my name, and faked a ridiculous conversation between “me” and themselves. Then, after fabricating numerous embarrassing confessions, they printed out copies of the conversation, and plastered them all over the walls of the cafeteria, where the dance was being held.

I was furious. I confronted the duo, who were sitting in the back of the cafeteria with friends, too cool to participate in the dance, while my friends took down the posters. I made it very clear that I was not embarrassed, and that I felt sorry for them for being pathetic and immature enough to put so much effort into trying to humiliate a girl they supposedly had no interest in. I got my point across. I remember telling a chaperone, who was probably a parent, and not a teacher, and they said they couldn’t do anything about it. And that was it. We took down the posters, we danced, and we moved on. I got over it. After that night, the boys never bothered me again.

#2) Would you be upset if a long-term partner confessed that s/he’d committed a serious crime before you met? How do you think it would affect your relationship?

Honestly, it would depend on the crime. There are many unforgivable crimes. Was it assault? Burglary? Rape? Murder?Did they go to prison, or is this a deep, dark secret? Have they turned their life around for the better? Everyone makes mistakes, and does stupid things in their lifetime, especially when they are young and stupid. I can forgive things like assault (assuming it was justified in some way, and not some sort of hate crime), certain kinds of theft, certain drug offenses, traffic violations, etc. I am a pretty forgiving person, as long as they have changed for the better, and treat me well.

However, there are things that I can not forgive. There are some crimes that are committed by people, often more than once, and it defines what kind of person they are. A lot of times, they don’t change. I won’t go into detail, but whatever you’re thinking that I’m talking about, you’re probably right. Sometimes, there are no excuses, and no coming back from something. If I discovered something horrible in their past (and chances are, they probably didn’t go to prison for it if we’re in a relationship, meaning it was a secret), I would confront them. I would hear them out. But in the end, I probably would not stay in the relationship. And, depending on the seriousness of the crime, I may even turn them in.

Well, there are my answers to The Sandman’s Q&A #2. I invite you all to answer these questions for yourselves, either in the comments, or as a pingback post. Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

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Dream Journal 3/2/17 | Will Smith

I stared for a moment, completely in shock. It was Will Smith. Will Smith was the man angrily pacing through the greeting card aisle.

I was walking through a large store by myself, just browsing around in the women’s clothing section, when I saw a man pacing angrily through the aisles of greeting cards. The man was wearing a gray beanie, dark sunglasses, and a leather coat. He was shouting angrily about there being no one around to help him, and cursing under his breath. Despite him seeming slightly terrifying, I walked over to him and asked if he needed help looking for a specific card. I told him that I used to work in the store, and might be able to help him. He just stared at me for a few seconds before dramatically ripping off his sunglasses, and saying, “Get the fuck away from me.”

I stared for a moment, completely in shock. It was Will Smith. Will Smith was the man angrily pacing through the greeting card aisle. Will Smith had just cursed at me and told me to get away from him. I calmly asked him if he was sure he didn’t need any help, and he started hollering incoherently at me. I backed away and quickly retreated back to the women’s clothing section. I was shaking, and felt a strange mix of confusion and excitement. There was a girl nearby who was folding shirts on a table, and I walked over to her and told her that Will Smith was in the store. She got excited and said she wanted to say hello to him, but when I told her what happened, so said we had to warn the other employees.

We walked over to the Electronics department, where a really young guy was working at the counter. He literally only looked 12 or 13 years old. As we were telling him that Will Smith was in the store, Will Smith walked by, and before we could warn him that the guy was kind of an unstable jerk, he ran up to him, excitedly asking him to take a picture. Will Smith looked over at me and the other girl, and started shouting that I was stalking him, and that this was all my fault, and whatnot. I stood there, completely frozen, while security showed up to drag him away, still screaming obscenities in my direction.

Then, I was at home. I was sitting at my computer, and Facebook Messenger popped up. I didn’t know the person, but they sent me a link to an online blog, run by Will Smith. In his most recent blog post, he wrote a scathing article about how I was stalking him, and harassing him, and had gotten him removed from a store. He mentioned me by name, and there were pictures of me as well. I was horrified. I never told him my name, and how did he even get the pictures?

I read through the comments, and there were at least a dozen people with “Jan” or “Janise” (my name) in their screen names, all claiming to be me, and all saying horrible things, and making me look bad. There were links being posted to other blogs, social networks, and even YouTube, where people were pretending to be me. I tried writing a comment, apologising to Will Smith, and telling him this was all a huge misunderstanding, but as soon as I hit enter, I was flooded by horrible, mean replies. Most people thought I was another fake.

I started crying, and closed the blog post. Back on Facebook, I had another two dozen messages waiting for me, all from strangers, all with links to these other sites where people were pretending to be me. Trying to twist the situation, and tell “their side” of the story, trying to get attention. I clicked on a few of the YouTube links, and saw girls of every age, ethnicity, etc. impersonating me, making me look awful. It didn’t make any sense.

It went on like that for a while. Endless videos, endless tweets, endless blog posts, all people trying to garner attention for themselves, while destroying my good name.

After a while, I woke up.

“We Can Do Better”

“Let’s all learn from our mistakes, and try to be a better person than we are today.”

Hello, friends. I want to talk about something today that is very near to my heart. It may be triggering to some, and to others, you may not even care. Today, I want to talk about bullying. Specifically, cyber bullying. Recently, a very funny man named Wade, who I regularly watch on YouTube, and who I follow on social media, made a post to his Tumblr page that tugged at my heart. In his post, Wade spoke poignantly about how we, as a generation who spends much of our lives online, treat other people on social media, and shed some light on the ever growing issue of cyber bullying. Continue reading ““We Can Do Better””

GLSEN’s Day of Silence 4/15/2016

Hello, my friends. Today, April 15th, is GLSEN’s Day of Silence, a day where we stand up and raise awareness of the bullying, harassment, and cruelty that LGBT youth face every day. A day that I look forward to every year, although bittersweet. Growing up, I knew that I was different. I honestly never struggled much with my sexual identity, was was lucky enough to live in a very liberal, inclusive area, where I was free to be myself. I was fortunate, in that I never had to face any sort of harassment or bullying because of my sexual orientation, and I was able to participate in the Day of Silence every year in high school, and in college, without issue. My high school had a GSA club, as well as a civil rights club, and I was a proud member of both. I’m sure it existed in some form here and there, but I am very proud to say that I never witnessed any sort of discrimination toward any of my fellow LGBT peers during my time in school. Because of this inclusive, accepting upbringing, I am now able to live openly as a pansexual woman.

Unfortunately, that is not the case for many LGBT youth in American today. A staggering 9/10 LGBT youth reported having been physically, or verbally, harassed and bullied, just because of the way they were born, and who they love. That is unacceptable. I try my hardest to participate in the Day of Silence every year, but as I am now living with a toddler, silence just isn’t possible for me this year. However, I am with you all in spirit. You are all so brave, and so strong, and you deserve equality, safety, and love. You have my undying love and support. Thank you to all my fellow LGBT friends, and our amazing allies, for participating in this year’s Day of Silence. Together, we can end the bullying and harassment of LGBT youth, for a brighter future.

To all of my lesbian friends, my gay friends, my trans friends, my non-binary and gender fluid friends, my asexual friends, my bisexual and pansexual friends, my questioning friends, and everyone else on the beautiful spectrum, please know that you are loved. We can do this. We can overcome the bigotry and hate that plagues this world. Together.

Thank you for reading, friends. If you want to learn more about the GLSEN, or about the Day of Silence, you can click here to visit their site.

Jan

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