Playing with fire.

Dear Amy: I was close friends with a woman, “B,” for 10 years. Around six months ago, our friendship began to unravel because of her sudden racism, spreading rumors about me, her husband being incredibly grossly sexual toward me, her narcotic addictions, and the amount of time I spent watching her children while she and her husband were in the next room, fighting.

Leaving that friendship was the best thing I could have ever done. The minute I began to focus on bettering my own life, everything fell into place. A few weeks ago, a mutual friend sent me a link to a pornographic video that involved her husband and a different woman.

I was stunned, grossed out, and my first thought was, “OMG, we have to tell her. Since I don’t have a relationship with her, I asked our friend to deliver the bad news — but she does not want to.

I emailed the website hosting the video and asked them to take it down. It seemed wrong for this to be put online. Regardless of how awful he is, he doesn’t deserve that, nor does his wife — or the woman in the video.

The website responded that unless I was a participant (and could prove it) they couldn’t take it down.

This could ruin a lot of lives. His wife works in marketing, where image is everything.

I just feel like it would be weird to email her out of the blue with this really bad news. Plus, she will definitely shoot the messenger.

I would want someone to tell me, but I also don’t talk to her. I don’t want to be dragged into her wild drama or somehow get blamed for this.

I just don’t want to see this ruin her life.

— Upset and Worried

Upset and Worried: The person to contact is the person who is actually in the video, not his wife. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to you to do that.

Why should his behavior harm her reputation, and how can she alter or fix what he has done? (It shouldn’t, and she can’t.)

So far, this video has been shared through a mutual friend; don’t attempt to solve this problem by spreading it further, and don’t involve more people. Put this information into the hands of the person who has the greatest incentive (and the responsibility) to deal with it.

If this was uploaded without his (and the other person’s), knowledge and permission, then — yes — he should contact the site’s administrator and insist that it be removed. (c) Ask Amy

This is the weirdest thing I’ve read today.

Why is the letter writer assuming that:

  • the video was shot without his wife’s knowledge
  • it was filmed during the course of their marriage/relationship
  • the wife still knows nothing about it
  • the web site has no authorization (from the involved parties) to have it posted
  • the sex was an affair (rather than a money-making scheme–not that that makes it okay, but…)

Because my assumptions are a little different. I’m picturing the wife holding the video camera while her kids are in the next room.

Regardless, the wife and her husband are train wrecks any way you look at it. Individually, as parents, and within their relationship–all train wrecks.

I’ve been in this situation, though. Younger Meg was a version of the letter writer. When I worked at KidsPeace in Bowdon, Georgia, there was similar gossip flying all over the workplace. It was inescapable. Sex videos were certainly one of the ridiculous topics that would’ve been chosen. I was naïve back then, and I didn’t understand that gossip in and of itself is pointless. I’d actually never been exposed to gossip before. Go figure.

One night, Gail Lackey, who was more evil than Satan himself, told me that our coworker Tim was frequently smoking crystal meth. That made me worried about him. Gail told me all these signs to look for that proved he was a user. In retrospect, I suspect she was making it all up.

So, this is what happened, and it’s hilarious. One of the kids who lived in the residential treatment facility made a claim against Tim, saying Tim had acted inappropriately with him/her. As per protocol, all of us were questioned about Tim. The guy who questioned me was the manager of the location. I hated that guy. His name was Jan Lizotte. He’s not really a good person for a lot of reasons.

He asked me a series of dullsville questions, ending with, “Is there anything else you’d like to add about Tim?”

“Gail thinks he’s smoking crystal meth,” I said.

“I see.”

And that was the end of the interview. Later, I told Gail what I’d done, and she had the most bizarre freak-out ever. “You WHAT?! How could you tell him that?!

“What’s it matter?” I asked. “If he’s smoking crystal meth, he needs help, like an intervention.”

“No! No! No! How could you do this to me?!”

I had no clue why she was so upset. I’d just been trying to help. “Don’t you care about Tim at all?”

I don’t remember what her response was.

Things went downhill between me and Gail after that. She made it her mission in life to destroy me, and she pretty much succeeded. She’s what you’d call white trash, a lowlife of the lowest order. She made me the focus of her gossipping after that (although I’m sure she’d already gossipped about me prior to that incident–it certainly wouldn’t surprise me). She was relentless. I tried to quit telling her anything gossipworthy, but she’d cook up these schemes to make me look stupid. Like, “Hey, Meg. Did you know that if you switch your phone plan to someone else, you can save money?”

Being as naïve as I was, I switched my phone plan but didn’t save money. However, it did make me the butt of laughter and ruin.

I never got revenge on Gail, but I did get revenge on her primary cohort, Teresa. I’ve told that story before, so I won’t get into it now. I’ve never found Gail (or any of the gossippers) on social media. I truly and genuinely hope that Gail’s dead, because she offered nothing good to this planet. She was trash. I wouldn’t say that about her, but I know her, so just trust me… trash. Dogshit on your shoe. It makes me sad whenever anyone comes into this world and doesn’t find some small way to improve it, but that was Gail Lackey for you. She had no value at all.

I think she broke into my apartment on nights when I was working but she wasn’t. I think she read my diaries and found out about my spanking issues. I never told anyone at work that the issue makes me flip out, but all of a sudden, everyone at work started asking me about spanking in order to see my reaction. It happened again and again. I started to believe that Evil Spirits were doing it to me on purpose. I couldn’t face the reality that human nature is the most evil force of all.

But here’s to Gail Lackey. If Hell exists, she’s probably there, unless she’s still alive, but she had a million unhealthy habits, so she’s probably long dead. But it’s probably bad enough for her to just know she’s trash. If I were Gail Lackey, I’d hate myself. Oh my gosh, there just aren’t words. It’s not enough to make me pity her, but it’s more than enough to make me thank God every day that I’m not a worthless turd like she is. So there’s that. I’m a good person–not perfect, but good–whereas Gail’s made of human waste. Like, literally, each of her body parts is molded from human excrement. It oozes from her pores, and it’s hard to hide. It’s like she’s a vulture or a fiend.

Anyway, where was I going with this? Oh, right, this letter writer is reacting the same way I did. So let me spell it out for her: nothing needs to be said or done about the video. However, the letter writer needs to steer clear of the “friend” who sent it to her. That “friend” might be human waste like Gail Lackey. People like that aren’t even worthy of basic decency, so I’d be leery of her if I were the letter writer.

Since I don’t have a relationship with her, I asked our friend to deliver the bad news — but she does not want to.

Of course she doesn’t want to. She wants the letter writer to involve herself.

I just feel like it would be weird to email her out of the blue with this really bad news. Plus, she will definitely shoot the messenger.

And that’s another problem. I think that if the messenger is going to get shot, then the message shouldn’t be delivered. Do you all want to know a little secret? I’m not happy about this, but… Just never tell anyone. My sister lost her high school yearbooks. Um. I accidentally had them thrown away. (Yes, it was a tragic accident.) Now, if/when my sister asks, the story is that I’m still searching the house for them, and that I’ll never give up on my mission to find her yearbooks.

Because here’s the thing: if she were to know the truth–that the yearbooks are never coming back–she’d fly into a violent rage and assault me. So guess what? I’m taking it to my grave! And I’m firmly convinced that it’s the right thing to do. I value my safety and wellbeing, and so too should this letter writer. Nothing is owed to people who would physically (or otherwise) harm you just because you’re looking out for them and trying to help. Nothing! But in this case, I suspect the wife already knows about the video. She might even be conspiring with the other friend to get a rise or reaction out of the letter writer. Such people aren’t worth the time of day.

So to the letter writer, if you’re out there: please, find better friends! If I could do it, you can do it! I’d drop the friend who sent you the video like a bad habit.

2 thoughts on “Playing with fire.

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