Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

In Lieu of a Morning Column

CIRCLE ICON DW 0127145Yesterday morning was a little chaotic at my house what with subzero temps outside (windchill of -15) and frozen pipes and no hot water and a landlord who was out of the country and unreachable, in addition to a sudden resurgence of morning sickness, and a toddler who was up crying half the night making us all super sleepy come morning time. Luckily, Jackson’s sitter made it in and we got Jackson out the door for a morning playdate at his friend’s house, which gave me a few hours to get stuff done. But I had so many stupid phone calls to make about the stupid frozen pipes (I had no idea how hard it would be to find a plumber), which, thankfully, thawed on their own and restored hot water back to the Condellberry household. And when I wasn’t stuck on the phone, I was sucked into this epic forum thread — so much so, that I did not get around to writing this morning’s column. I’m sorry. But, seriously, if you didn’t have a chance to check out the epic forum thread and have, oh, an hour or so to spare, go read it.

Sometimes, it’s a fine line writing an advice site that aims to help people but also entertain. What happens when the person/people who need the help are the ones doing the entertaining by virtue of the very mental/personal issue they need help with? I struggle with whether I have a bigger responsibility (mostly in a moral and ethical sense) to embrace and highlight the entertainment value or to offer genuine support when and where and how I can, especially when the entertainment vs. support might be at odds with each other. When someone comes in and starts calling regular readers of DW (and me!) nasty names and threatening to report my site to the cyber police or whatever and just generally being a jerk, it helps solve the ethical dilemma for me. All this is to say: in lieu of a morning column, I bring you this.

84 comments… add one
  • avatar

    ktfran February 17, 2015, 9:31 am

    #&&

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    • mrmidtwenties

      mrmidtwenties February 17, 2015, 9:33 am

      #dickchoker
      #cinnamonrolls

      Reply Link
      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray February 17, 2015, 9:35 am

        #anythingcanhappen

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 17, 2015, 9:36 am

        #iloveyouguys, #imnotcrazy

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties February 17, 2015, 9:38 am

        #I’mtotallyhavingacinnamonbunforbreakfast

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      • avatar

        Kate February 17, 2015, 9:42 am

        You stupid whores should be using double hashtags.

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties February 17, 2015, 9:49 am

        #&&icingonmyface

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 17, 2015, 10:19 am

        ##dammitkateisuckatlife, ##&&

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      • avatar

        cleopatra jones February 17, 2015, 10:35 am

        So if we wrap the dicks in cinnamon rolls, will we still choke? Cause I kinda think it would be like having a surprise center in such a delicious treat. Or may it’s just me *shrug*.

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  • avatar

    MissDre February 17, 2015, 9:38 am

    I just can’t believe it’s STILL going!

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  • avatar

    rocketgirl February 17, 2015, 9:38 am

    Epic is the right word. I read it all at the end of yesterday while day drinking. Laughed at regulars #&& was horrified at the response of the LW. You all were magnificent and she needs some real help along with growing up.

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    • Portia

      Portia February 17, 2015, 9:48 am

      I should have joined you with the day drinking, maybe make a drinking game out if it. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion, just fantastic.

      Reply Link
  • Diablo

    Diablo February 17, 2015, 9:51 am

    I didn’t see this yesterday, as it was a long weekend here and I was still entertaining my inlaws, so i have only browsed a dozen or so pages of this. It reminds me of nothing so much as when Jay and Silent Bob tried to get “them” to cancel the whole internet, but then when that didn’t work, went around and punched out every 10 year old kid who talked smack about them. In the later pages, which i will peruse as time permits, does anyone suggest she do this?

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  • Lyra

    Lyra February 17, 2015, 9:52 am

    I legitimately feel bad for her. The thread is absolute crazytown…but it made me wonder what has happened to her in her life to cause her to think how she reacted is normal??

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    • avatar

      TheRascal February 17, 2015, 10:21 am

      Lyra, I agree with you. I feel really bad — how, at the age of 23, can she think that belligerence is the go-to response when confronted with something she might not agree with? I think many of her issues stem from self-worth (her constantly telling us she is not stupid coupled with putting other people down), insecurity, and depression.

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties February 17, 2015, 10:35 am

        I think that gives her too much of a free pass for her behaviour, she’s a grownup and had no interest in taking responsibility, at some point people have to take responsibility for their actions and things they say.

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      • avatar

        TheRascal February 17, 2015, 10:42 am

        Oh, I agree. That she is unstable does not mean she should not take responsibility for her actions. I feel bad that she is blinded by her anger. She reminds me of a wounded, hungry cat, huddled in a corner, growling and swiping at anyone who offers warmth or food.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh February 17, 2015, 11:34 am

        Yeah as much I feel bad for her at some point she really needs to deal with the fact that she is incredibly immature. When she first started lashing out it was for such benign things. And at people that definitely didn’t mean things in the way she was taking them. That only she read as ‘mean’. And really once you start calling people cunt (first time for me!) I really don’t think you deserve any more respect from me.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra February 17, 2015, 1:12 pm

        Believe it or not I do agree with you. Just think of how she must have grown up. If calling strangers on the internet insanely derogatory terms seems like the right response, what else is her “normal”?
        .
        I see this a lot when teaching — those kids who lash out the most typically NEED the help the most because usually their home life absolutely sucks and they don’t know how to respond properly. That’s where I’m coming from.

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      • bondbabe

        bondbabe February 17, 2015, 12:26 pm

        Exact-amundo!!

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      • Lyra

        Lyra February 17, 2015, 1:07 pm

        I 100% agree, and her reactions were insane and utterly inappropriate especially given the fact that she’s 23…but SOMETHING had to have happened to her that this is “normal” to her. That’s what is sad to me. I’m not excusing her insane behavior in any way, but from experience with my students who lash out with this type of behavior there is ALWAYS something else going on that we don’t know about.

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  • avatar

    shg23 February 17, 2015, 9:57 am

    I rarely comment here but hot DAMN was that thread last night delightful! It was on page 30 when I last looked && it appears I have 7 more pages to catch up on, now!

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  • Nookie

    Nookie February 17, 2015, 10:00 am

    I really thought you’d ban her Wendy when she started insulting everyone. I’m not saying that you should, just that I thought you would. She brought on the comments she received.

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray February 17, 2015, 10:12 am

    I never got my warm gooey cinnamon roll yesterday. But on my way to work this am, I walked into TWO Corner Bakeries and ONE Dunkin Donuts and coming THIS CLOSE to buying a damn cinnamon roll but hurrying out before I could order. I’m practicing restraint.

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    • avatar

      Sunshine Brite February 17, 2015, 10:30 am

      Damn I want a Dunkin nearby. They’re supposed to be coming soon.

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      • avatar

        Kate February 17, 2015, 10:40 am

        My husband carries the dog into Dunkin Donuts when he wants a coffee, and he says the dog’s nostrils do this crazy thing where they flare out and in. The dog has tried munchkins and now demands them when we walk by a DD.

        I’m pretty sure they do have cinnamon rolls. Like 99%.

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      • avatar

        MsMisery February 17, 2015, 12:53 pm

        What sort of place do you live where there are no DDs??

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 17, 2015, 1:27 pm

        My hometown doesn’t have one. Insanity!

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh February 17, 2015, 1:36 pm

        yeah the closest one where i grew up is I think about 45 minutes away. now i have three within 10 min. i don’t really like their donuts at all. but their coffee is amazing.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 17, 2015, 4:21 pm

        I’m a big fan of their coffee too!

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  • avatar

    Taylor February 17, 2015, 10:12 am

    Wow, that thread exploded in the last day or so! I’d glanced through it when it was a measly dozen comments and half dozen defensive responses. I loved Kate’s “But this thread is about you, Sarah.” And then she still got that last word in. Heh.

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  • avatar

    Bekahtravels February 17, 2015, 10:22 am

    I started reading and I got to page 9 and I couldn’t believe there were 39 pages. And then she kept commenting. Wow! The language…. Is that how honor roll people speak now? I feel old.

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  • avatar

    booknerd February 17, 2015, 10:23 am

    && ##

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  • Diablo

    Diablo February 17, 2015, 10:28 am

    OK, having now skimmed the entirety of the thread, a few random observations. 1.) I am disappointed no one actually said “neener, neener” to the LW. 2.) I think BGM was the meanest meanie, not for what he said to the LW, but for all that sarcastic “winter in Cali is hell” shit. How bout this? DON’T choke on a dick! 3.) I find that for a conversation at this level, the spelling “hoors” more accurately reflects my state of mind. And I thank whichever commenter it was that made the whore/slut distinction, as I personally have always used the word slut as an honorific, particularly in reference to myself. 4.) Perhaps the weirdest thing about the thread is that by the end DW actually seemed to have calmed her down and won her over to a certain extent. The healing power of this site never ceases to amaze me. Youse guys could charm a rabid wolverine!

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    • bondbabe

      bondbabe February 17, 2015, 12:21 pm

      Was that me regarding the whore/slut thing? I don’t think I ever got a definitive answer either!!

      And she did seem to calm down towards the end; but if she hadn’t stated her age as 23, I would’ve sworn she was a petulant 13-year old.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark February 17, 2015, 3:06 pm

      Who was being sarcastic, Diablo? It’s another day of OPPRESSIVE sunshine way out west. 😉

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  • avatar

    Taylor February 17, 2015, 10:31 am

    I’m only on page 9, and this is amazing.

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  • avatar

    Taylor February 17, 2015, 10:35 am

    OH OH OH! BGM on page 11! Yay!

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    • avatar

      Taylor February 17, 2015, 10:40 am

      And then the totally straight reply to Wendy asking why she uses two ampersands.

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      • avatar

        Sarita February 17, 2015, 11:53 am

        That was my favorite, too!

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      • avatar

        Taylor February 17, 2015, 12:03 pm

        All done. That was awesome. Wendy, I said it on the thread, but I’ll repeat it here. I love how safe your site is. It’s such a great mixture of wisdom and snark, without the nastiness and the threats that pop up pretty much everywhere in comments on the interwebs. Also, I suspect your readership may have the highest percentage of users who spell things correctly, and understand conjugations.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy February 17, 2015, 12:58 pm

        DW readers/commenters really are the best of the internet, if you ask me!

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray February 17, 2015, 1:41 pm

        Plus they’re the best looking!

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      • avatar

        K February 17, 2015, 1:20 pm

        I bet she says “and and” when she speaks in real life, too!

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  • FireStar

    FireStar February 17, 2015, 10:45 am

    I think BGM is right. We all try and find some subtext that can reasonably explain situations to make them more palatable instead of dealing with what is in front of us. Sometimes a blackout drunk is just a blackout drunk; sometimes someone acting like an ass is just an ass; and sometimes an adult saying stupid things is just an adult saying stupid things. There doesn’t have to be a back story to account for it. Plenty of stupid people roam free. Hopefully some of what some posters said to her will sink in about her crush. But I also hope that some of the less kitten comments will sink in too and she will get a sense that the real world has consequences. Even online. And if you act a fool – not everyone is going to ask if you need a hug. I imagine most would just call you a fool and treat you as such. The take away needs to be if you don’t like the fall out – don’t act in a manner that creates that fall out.

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    • mrmidtwenties

      mrmidtwenties February 17, 2015, 10:51 am

      Amen

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    • avatar

      booknerd February 17, 2015, 2:03 pm

      Absolutely. I don’t feel like “something in her past made her act this way.” This is the internet. Not real life, or a face to face interaction. People can be total assholes on the web. I mean, in the context of the Internet, she really wasn’t so bad.

      Did anyone read the article in the Guardian I think, of the feminist actually meeting her former troll? Very interesting.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra February 17, 2015, 11:32 pm

        I mention the possibility of her past because of my students and what they have had to deal with. For example, I was cussed out by an 11-year-old a couple years ago, but later on I found out that his mom kept on moving in with different boyfriends, creating a super unstable home life. His reactions EXACTLY matched how Sarah has been reacting, and that’s what made me think of it. Yeah I have no idea if it’s true, but something is definitely off. Absolutely unacceptable behavior, calling people names left and right, but I’m super curious WHY she acts that way.

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      • avatar

        booknerd February 18, 2015, 9:33 am

        Okay, but this is the Internet. Have you ever gone on reddit? This site is clean, but all over the web people behave that way. The article I mentioned above was actually really good and very interesting. The author, a feminist writer, reaches out to one of her thousand of online harassers. These were men that were threatening her with rape, death…. Horrible stuff. He’s just a normal man. He realizes she is just a normal woman that he’s been hurting and genuinely feels terrible.
        People act very differently online than they do in real life. Online is anonymous, and seemingly without repercussions.
        There’s not always a legitimate “cause.”

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  • avatar

    Jennylou February 17, 2015, 11:25 am

    I died laughing at BGM’s comment on page 11. This has been such a great distraction from morning sickness…ty ty ty!

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet February 17, 2015, 11:33 am

    I read most of this earlier this morning! I haven’t been around DW much lately, but that was a GEM. The absolute best part for me was when she simply responded: “whores”.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. February 17, 2015, 12:10 pm

    OMG, I haven’t finished reading yet, but holy cow! This is what I get for being offline all weekend.

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    • avatar

      MsMisery February 17, 2015, 1:12 pm

      No kidding. I only catch DW on my lunch break. I am only on page 16 && it keeps growing!!

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. February 17, 2015, 1:38 pm

        I read to the end. Holy F***ing Twister Cows!!! (Or should it be &&?) I’ll bet there’s more when I go back at lunch.

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      • avatar

        MsMisery February 17, 2015, 1:47 pm

        At this point it’s mostly regulars talking to each other, though the Original LW did pop back in and seems to have regained some semblance of sanity.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. February 17, 2015, 2:13 pm

        Now I have a date for lunch, so I’ll have to catch up later. Maybe by then all hell will break loose again.

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  • TheLadyE

    TheLadyE February 17, 2015, 12:56 pm

    That was a train wreck. Just an absolute train wreck. I couldn’t look away! I could write more, but I just still can’t even (as they say) with how much of a train wreck that was.

    BGM’s comment was the funniest for me, too. I kept scrolling though the thread just waiting for him to appear, and it was glorious when he did.

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    • avatar

      booknerd February 17, 2015, 2:04 pm

      Thank god for BGM.

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  • avatar

    va-in-ny February 17, 2015, 1:07 pm

    I read through the thread last night – I can’t believe I missed all the fun during the day!!
    .
    Anyway, I have a thought. She kept saying “stop harassing me!” and “let it go! stop responding!” and everyone kept telling her just to stop reading the responses. I bet she was getting them emailed to her because she clicked the little box where it says “notify me of follow up comments” – that could explain why she thought every single comment was directed at her specifically. Thoughts?
    .
    Just playing “Devil’s Avocado” over here.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh February 17, 2015, 1:49 pm

      yeah she said something like that and Wendy taught her how to stop the emails. Maybe that will help! Although that also means she won’t respond anymore 😉

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      • Portia

        Portia February 17, 2015, 3:16 pm

        Oh don’t you worry, she’s still there!

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  • avatar

    Taylor February 17, 2015, 3:36 pm

    FIVE more pages since lunch. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

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  • avatar

    snoopy128 February 17, 2015, 4:03 pm

    Today was supposed to be a productive first day back after vacation. That thread has ruined my productivity in the best way possible. It’s going to be a late night

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  • avatar

    snoopy128 February 17, 2015, 4:07 pm

    ALSO @SummerRose….didn’t know there was a fellow MPH’er on here. I’d love to chat about what you are doing with the degree. I have to start looking for jobs and it is scary.

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    • othy

      othy February 17, 2015, 5:37 pm

      I’m not a MPH’er (my master’s is in stats), but I work with a bunch. Cancer research is the way to go 🙂

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      • avatar

        snoopy128 February 17, 2015, 11:20 pm

        My focus is less epi, more health promotion/program planning/evaluation

        But I wouldn’t object to doing those things within the cancer research field!

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  • avatar

    HollyMarie February 17, 2015, 5:09 pm

    Good lord. I looked at it last night when it had, like, two pages and I think it’s on 46 now. 46! Wendy, has any thread ever gone on that long here? That’s amazing. This girl, I don’t know. I’ve worked with troubled kids before and I honestly think she’s probably just a brat who has ridiculous ideas about what is normal (she seems to think her life is a movie or something with the “anything is possible” nonsense). She definitely has some issues, though, I am not denying that (I know, understatement of the day award), particularly with reality. I mean, seriously, who tells strangers on the internet that they “all should die?” WTF? Childish lashing out, like telling a parent I hate you because they won’t let you go to a party or something.
    .
    On another note, I think my favorite part was when she thought she should get credit for being nice when she admitted to being “a little unreasonable.” And this was after saying everyone should die and saying f you to Wendy and everyone else. Wow. If she actually behaves this way in real life, I feel sorry for anyone who crosses her path.
    .
    And calling everyone else idiots when she writes in text speak kills me. I’d introduce her to the kettle but I don’t feel like being called a c*nt today, sadly.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh February 17, 2015, 5:16 pm

      The text speak was driving me a little batty. This is the first time I’ve been introduced to typing from someone who didn’t learn to type on a keyboard or computer but rather a phone. The difference is crazy. I wonder if the difference was as large when people first started typing compared to writing things by hand.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy February 17, 2015, 6:52 pm

      We’ve definitely had longer forum threads, but they usually build over weeks or months and not over 30 hours or so (I’m thinking threads like “I hate dating,” “Biggest loser,” and the drinking games ones). There have been a few that have been a big buzz for a few days, like when a regular commenter announced a divorce or whatever, but I’m not sure if those got up to 50 pages in a day and a half. I’d have to go back and look…

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      • avatar

        HollyMarie February 17, 2015, 7:57 pm

        I think the rate at which it expanded is what really blew me away. And fwiw, I think you did a great job dealing with the OP, especially given how flat out nasty she was to you and many others.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra February 17, 2015, 11:26 pm

      I remember I started an “I hate dating” thread a couple years ago and that one reached maybe 80 pages? Within like 3 months though, nothing like this.

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  • avatar

    Taylor February 17, 2015, 10:37 pm

    So, outside of the epic thread, today kinda sucked. Worked pretty late, was looking to unwind, and to my delight there are 14 delicious pages of new comments on said epic thread. Then I remembered the leftover chocolate birthday cake in the fridge. Happiness! Then I read this from AP:
    “How can you say it didn’t affect any of us? BGM promptly set off to find a dick to choke on…. and have we heard from him lately? No. BGM, are you ok?”

    Now there’s cake in my nose. But I am much more cheerful.

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    • avatar

      Taylor February 17, 2015, 10:48 pm

      And I just finished the rest of the comments. Awesome.

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      • avatar

        Taylor February 17, 2015, 10:50 pm

        Wendy, can we have a vote on best comment in the thread?

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy February 18, 2015, 3:34 am

        Totally!

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  • Cassie

    Cassie February 17, 2015, 11:31 pm

    I’m actually leaning more towards this person is just completely messing with us.

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    • avatar

      bc020 February 18, 2015, 4:50 pm

      Absolutely.

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  • avatar

    MissDre February 18, 2015, 9:44 am

    I honestly can’t believe this is still going on after 2 days. She’s clearly not going to listen to anything anybody here has to say… I think we should just ignore her and keep talking about Passions 🙂

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    • Cassie

      Cassie February 18, 2015, 6:49 pm

      I am always game to discuss Passions.

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  • avatar

    inkyboots February 18, 2015, 10:27 am

    Yknow, as a lurker, I have only ever read the regular columns and didn’t dive into the forums. This thread was my first forum adventure and wow.

    As a fellow 23 year old, I find it painful to read text where someone my age is trying to communicate and can’t easily express themselves in their writing. Not to mention their lack of reading comprehension of other people’s comments and/or advice.

    Brb going to buy some cinnamon rolls.

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  • avatar

    Taylor February 18, 2015, 11:13 am

    I’m feeling kinda bad for her now. There are numerous thoughtful, kind comments that don’t seem to be sinking in, in any way. It’s a bummer to see someone not process help when it’s offered, but to seem to really want/need it (and I don’t understand why she keeps coming back if she doesn’t want the help).

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    • avatar

      snoopy128 February 18, 2015, 11:25 am

      I think she is getting fixated on the need to respond to everything that she perceives as a threat. I’ve noticed that she cannot accept the advice if the commenter says 1 or more things that she perceives as an attack on herself. The second she feels attacked, it seems she invalidates any thing else the poster has to say.

      In her mind, if people keep talking about her, she must keep responding. She wants help, but she needs it with kid gloves on right now. I think Wendy was very spot on in identifying this is a possible manic behaviour.

      My heart goes out to her. I hope she finds her self in a place where she can begin to address her reactions to others.

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    • Amanda

      Amanda February 18, 2015, 11:50 am

      I waffle back and forth. I’ll feel bad and start to type out some heartfelt advice…and then she’ll call someone a name and I don’t respond. I’m not going to waste my time if I’m going to be insulted. If I want that, I’ll go back to working with the general public.
      .
      I did notice yesterday, though, that when nobody had commented on that thread for a while (and it had indeed disappeared off the side) because of the thread FireStar stared all of a sudden she posted three times in a row. I honestly think part of it is she likes the attention.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra February 18, 2015, 8:23 pm

        All I can think about is how DEEP in her own thoughts and ideas she must be. I hate that she started calling so many people 4-letter words, but YIKES, is that normal to her??? Like I said above, it’s absolutely insane, but at the same time I have to wonder what’s going on inside her head.

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