Earlier today I had an incident with @slushpilehero on twitter. Overall it was a pretty minor thing, but it took me by surprise – and made me question myself, “What did I do?”, yada yada yada. The best advice on this that I have received was from the past when I was told (paraphrase) “This says more about her than about you.”
This reminds me of an incident that occurred out 18 years ago in which I was a spectator, therefore I remain more objective about the situation. In one of the departments I worked in, there was this 20 something adorably cute receptionist. So cute that the clubs in town would give her free passes and food coupons just so she would hang around to attract male customers. During the usual chitchat, she revealed that in the past she had two stalkers. We were all shocked and concerned. Later on another employee I knew quite well but who did not work at that particular department, started dating her. He was a nice guy from the small town and she was his first real girlfriend. He absolutely adored her. Even took her home to meet his family. Fairly soon, really fast by my standards, they moved in together.
I started overhearing parts of phone calls where she would call him up asking him to do a minor chore. She would call and ask him to do something, he would say he had plans already with his buddies (inferred) and she would state, “I really need you to get this tonight. Can’t you see them some other time?” Of course he would drop his plans and run her minor errands. Other times he would call and I would hear her say how much she cared for him, how much she really loved him, how much she couldn’t stand being away from him and so on. And she would hang up and say something to the effect ‘I wish you wouldn’t call me at work and bother me all the time.’
So this went on for a while and then one evening when he came home from having been out with friends, he found every possession of his was thrown outside the door of their apartment. The lock had already been changed and she had left to stay with friends. So this poor guy, prior to the days of common inexpensive cell phones, had to locate a phone, call his buddies and find someone who would help him pack and give him a place to stay for the night. At least he had friends that would help him.
So what is this guy to do? That’s not a rhetorical question. I still don’t understand what he should have done. I completely understand what he did. It was wrong but understandable. Here was a woman he thought was the one. He adored her. He lived for her. He envisioned spending his life with her and raising a family. He wanted her body, he wanted her mind, he wanted her passion, and he wanted her soul. He want to comfort her during the bad times and he wanted to share joy of the good. He wanted to have horrible fights with her and make up after-wards, and he wanted to snuggle with her during the cold winter’s night. He wanted to squabble with you over things like the toilet seat being left up. He wanted to travel the world to where ever her heart desired. He wanted her in his life. He thought things were going just great.
Then BAMB! He really believed if he could just sit down and talk to her they could work things out. Poor guy; he was quite clueless. But acting on this belief he did what one would expect. He left phone messages, he left notes on her door, he tried to speak to her as she went from her car at work to the building. But she absolutely refused to acknowledge his existence. She called the police and had a restraining order placed on him. Then she started dating the police officer she met.
At work, she talked very disrespectfully about him, how creepy he was, how needy he was, how he kept trying to talk to her and she didn’t want to talk to him. It was quite a surprise to her that her coworkers did not automatically agree with her as they had done in the past. They all knew this guy. They all liked him. They told her that she had caused the problem. She not been honest with him. She never once let him know how she felt about the relationship but felt no qualms about having him be her gopher. She just threw them out like he was yesterdays garbage. No communication. No closure for him. It was all about her.
He quit work and left town. I saw him several years later at a national convention and had a long talk with him. He appeared to have moved on. Then, at the end, he ask how she was doing. I told him the truth – I didn’t know. She had left and I had never heard from her again.
So what is my point?
What @slushpilehero did was callous, insulting and rude. It wasn’t mean spirited and I am sure it was done for her own needs, but without regard to how I would take it. I was trying to start a conversation. In my mind I had anticipated the probable reactions based on my intent. The equivalent of “Fuck you ASS HOLE and die”, my interpretation of her response, actually that would have left open the door for communication so to me her response was worse, was not on the list. Now considering that in 3 tweets I invoked this response to, as far as I can tell, a benign comments, tells me that she is quick on the trigger to cut-off communication without explanation. If this is the case, I does not surprise me at all that she is having trouble with people who then get labeled as “stalkers.” Are they really the problem or is it your way of dealing with them them? Just because you have the “Right” to terminate communication with someone does not mean it is anywhere close to the best or wisest policy. What would your reaction be? They need closure too.
As a side note, I have noticed that those who desire “healing” on their terms only are frequently the ones who most loudly profess, love, peace and understanding, squishy hugs and kisses. I think they are are generally known as hypocrites.