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you caught me lingering...

Damn. I should have written this article. I mean although I certainly didn't invent the concept of cyber/blog-stalking, I do think I managed to elevate it to something of an art form.

It started innocently enough with Susan... she was my first. And at first I was simply curious, who was this girl that K had been with? Was he going back to her now that we were through? Those kinds of things. Then I became obsessed with her - checking two or three times a day for a new post, agonizingly comparing our attributes and flaws... suddenly I was hyper-aware of my overwhelming ignorance of the literary world, and my foray into the indie rock scene seemed forced and paltry compared to her life as a counterculture poster-girl. I kept reading long after I knew their affair had ended, and slowly something else started to happen. I began to feel an odd sort of affinity towards this girl. I sympathized silently as she struggled with her weight, nodded in agreement as she described her idealized man - I followed her ups and downs but never said a word. I knew she knew who I was, and for all I know she could have been counter-stalking me all along. But I was too frightened to say a word. From one of her earliest entries where I found myself alluded to, I could tell that her image of me wasn't so rosy... she thought I was awful because he thought I was awful, and believe me for a while I almost agreed with them. She had drawn this parallel in her mind from me to her controlling & emotionally unavailable ex, so even once I had gotten past my own animosity, my own jealousy - I was still far too timid, too uncertain of how she would receive me to make my presence known. I think I told K once that I read her journal - so, I suppose he could have told her, but if he did, she never so much as wriggled an eyebrow in my direction.

Moving on... worse than it ever had been with Susan was Jami. oh, I SO didn't like this girl. Not in that first journal, nor in any of it's various incarnations. Basically less than two weeks into my break up she was posting about flying in to stay with K for the US Open. I pretty much flipped out over that... saw red, felt physically ill, had violent fantasies of pushing her off a train platform... you know, that sort of thing. It was worse with her than with any of the girls because her cyber tentacles were ridiculously far reaching. A year after K, she was all chatty with my darling friend Charles and talking about flying out to meet up with him. The following year, she was ladling compliments on my beloved Marci & enticing her with trips to Hotlanta. Boo on her. The thing is, Jami was an incredibly intelligent yet mostly self-educated girl. Under normal circumstances I almost would have liked her... but unlike how things worked out with Susan, I could never feel that affinity for her. Back in the day when I was reading about her she came across one of THOSE girls. The kind of girl Cameron Diaz purported to be at the on-set of her career (pre-charlie's angles girl power phenomenon) - that beer drinking, cigar hawking, football-obsessed, "i'm so low-maintenance it hurts" kind of girl who insists she's "one of the guys" yet is showing off her double d rack in the tightest t-shirt she can find. The kind of girl who will go on and on about how you can't trust girls while she's winking at the now slobbering boy who just walked in with his girlfriend. Oh, and she's condescending as all hell. We actually did have words at some point, and well, in general? Interaction with her, whether direct or indirect, made me want to throw things.

[sidebar that's going to seem like it's coming out of nowhere, but really exists because I had combined two girls in my head at the time and the one this was about got yanked when I realized she wasn't actually the girl I'd been blogstalking: Phone Sex. Ew. I'm sorry... I know that many couples thrive on the phone sex, but I can't help but find it creepy & kind of ridiculous. Seriously. I've tried. I end up stammering and erupting into giggles. As I've mentioned about a gazillion times, I don't like to mix conversation with sex. AT ALL. so really it should be no surprise that I'm not into getting it on with him, me & Ma Bell/rant]

Then there was a long period of "no one to stalk online" it was terribly boring.

One day in my googling pursuits of the oh so dreamy Mr. Lewittinn (yes, for all of you who missed it I had a ridiculous crush on Lawrence back when we first met) I found this little blog in it's utmost infancy. And yes, I stalked Lawrence through his sister for a while. But obvs. - it was his sister, so although I became obsessed with getting my daily Sarah fix, it was never about feeding some sort of jealous masochistic desire to know her and compare myself to her.

Then, oh then, there was The Wheelbarrow, aka - boy 2. Ah... Sweet Jesus, the boy I'm crushing on has a BLOG. I read the WHOLE thing in one sitting. Hours and hours of my life - it was utterly ridiculous, he barely wrote about his social life, but I wanted to find out everything there was to know - and so I did. And at first I was happy for it. And then at some point, rifling through his links - or maybe his comments - I found Jen. (formerly of Fancy That) ahhhh, sweet nectar of the gods... a new girl to obsess over. And this one was good. She was smart, she was a smart ass, she lived in Chicago - wait, she lived where!? in Chicago!? - how much of a threat could she possibly be? I relaxed. I sent her a link that Laura had posted about some hottie in Chi-town, and she bitched me out in her reply. I was stunned, I didn't know what to think. Then I started putting two and two together and started hating on her immediately. She was way into him, and he was way into her, and I was the odd girl out. So the plan was to hate her. To read everyday and torture myself by searching for clues - for trips to NYC, for mentions of him anywhere, and basically just to have someone to kvetch about to all my girlfriends. And she was skinny, so that helped - in fact in homage to Bridget Jones, I started referring to her as the "stick insect" for a while. Plus she was way indier than me - and a little smarmy about it, so really you'd think that hating her would have been a slam dunk for me... only her posts ended up hitting too close to home. She was me, with an extra slice of indie-pie: sarcastic, self-effacing, mockingly self-aggrandizing, sappy, slightly neurotic, occasionally sad, and in a seemingly perpetual state of flux. Of course this realization, whilst it kept me from hating her, wasn't all warm and fuzzy. I mean - if we were really so similar, than what was wrong with me? How could he pick her - all the way in the midwest, over me - who was right here? WHAM. Just the masochistic sucker punch I'd been craving. Only this time around, I'm sure she knew I was reading, just like I know that she reads me. She outed herself a while back when I made a plea for the identity of a particular ip - but that was as far as it went. Until, curiously enough, a week or so ago. But for the most part we eyed eachother in silence, my envy finally easing as their affair seemed to cool off. Now I mostly check in for a laugh, a break in my day. Or just to see which of the same movies/albums/dvds/random blog shit we've been enjoying as of late.

There was another girl with a blog, whom I only stalked for a day or so. (revealing her identity would fuck with a number of lives, including at least one innocent bystander I've never met, so let's just pretend I don't know her name, ok?) I was actually bored to tears by her insipid tales. They were meandering and descriptive in that useless kind of way. In effect, she was dull. Dull like a spoon, like dishwater, like a brand new box of pencils or the finish on my bean when I forget to take it off at the beach. And so I never bothered to become obsessed with her. But she did make quite an impact... in fact, I'd never had someone affect me quite that way before. I expected her to be wildly sophisticated, clever, edgy, a million brilliantly exciting things packed into her classically pixie-shaped being. And when I found her to be none of these things, I was disgusted. Not with her, but with HIM. Knowing that he was pining over this ridiculous girl turned my stomach - and that was it. end of crush.

Anyhow... there you have it. The women I have blog-stalked. As you can plainly see, I have MUCH more experience than Ms. Fish but I think my story is a little scarier, a little more disturbing than hers, so perhaps it wasn't really meant for the NYTimes anyhow. Ya think?
oh, and if anyone wants their links taken down, just ask. brainwavy@livejournal.com


( 1 spanking — spank your inner moppet )
Nov. 16th, 2004 09:35 pm (UTC)
my writing isn't "insipid"!! you can have mike if you want! -l
( 1 spanking — spank your inner moppet )