"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane
Over the past two years, I have watched some interesting things happen. And today I had cause to become involved in the situation.
I’m certain that we have all known (or been) the young girl who lied about her age when we were in high school or just graduated from it. I lied about my age to get into R rated movies. All it took for me was a flash of my well developed cleavage and in I went to watch the movie. At 13 I could pass for 16 or 17. I weighed 90 pounds dripping wet and most of the weight was in my D cup. A tight sweater meant that all eyes focused on that single aspect of me.
The internet is blind. We can’t really trust the pictures and the data that people put on their profiles, especially their date of birth.
Back in 07 I befriended a rather sheltered, somewhat repressed, 30 year old male virgin. I met him on the very first messageboard he ever posted on. He was brand new to the net, more than a little naive, but extremely intelligent. At first I refused to believe that he was 30 and was firmly convinced that he was no older than 19 and probably younger than that. When he asked to read my fiction I almost said no. And I did quiz him about his age for a long time before I shared it with him.
I delighted in embarrassing him. So did some of the other women on that messageboard. Now that he had discovered the net, he went to places like anime sites. It was on an anime site that he encountered a girl who claimed to be 18. I have screenshots of that profile. If the age had been correct, she would be 20 now.
However, it wasn’t. She had lied.
It was the same kind of lie that I told to get into those movies by flashing my cleavage.
I introduced the fellow, let’s call him Candide, to the wonderful world of instant messaging. It was a big learning curve for him. He got flustered easily. Delightfully so. Eventually I got acquainted with his family and his mother confirmed that he was 30. He still lived at home (not unusual in Europe). They did worry at times that he was either gay or non-sexual.
He attracted women like crazy. We liked to gang up on him just because we could get him so flustered. However, the young woman who lied about her age (let’s call her lolita), had more push and determination in pursuing him.
She was, to my mind, more than a little unstable and it bore out later that my assessment was correct. Lolita’s real age was 16 at the time that Candide first met her. She was a month shy of 17.
Lolita ate up more and more of Candide’s time until he basically stopped writing. In two years, the talented Candide produced only two short stories.
It turned into an internet romance. Talk of moving in together and of marriage was discussed. And along the way there was some internet sex.
Then Lolita went to visit her estranged father a few weeks ago. He has a tiny little computer company with himself as the only employee. He repaired her laptop and invaded her privacy.
He found the exchanges between Lolita and Candide. And two between myself and Lolita. All of which contained a bit of flirtation and sex talk. Yes, I did a bit of it also. She asked me to be her dom. I was flattered because she’s very pretty. But it seemed to me most of the time that all she was really doing was looking for a wedge to drive between me and my friendship with Candide. But that’s another story.
Let’s get back to talking about Mr. Dastardly Knutsack, her father. He called England and got the home phone number of Candide’s parents from directory assistance and then called the house. He hassled Candide’s mother, then hassled Candide, and then followed up with an email threatening Candide, myself, and Candide’s parents with destruction.
Now, all the sex talk happened after she was no longer jailbait in this country and in the state of which she resides.
But both Candide and I were accused of being sexual predators and told that we had to get off the internet permanently, change all of our IMs and email addresses or else.
Candide wanted to marry her. Not seduce her per se. And she was of legal age.
I emailed Mr. Dastardly Knutsack back, pointing out in my unique fashion that he was full of shit.
Meanwhile I spent most of today talking Candide down off the precipice. I have told him that if this bloody arsehole contacts him again, he is to forward the email to me and I’ll fire off more of my signature emails and in all ways take care of it.
But it does give me pause to think about how things work out on the internet where almost nothing is what it seems.