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Even I was Catfished!

OK, so it is Big Brother time and time for me to dust off my blog. I abandoned my “Little Big Brother” story, but maybe now that the game is starting back up, I will be inspired to write some more! I was really hoping against hope that the Live Feeds will be up tonight, but now I know that they will not be until tomorrow. I cry inside, but it is OK. I am going to distract myself from my disappointment by sharing my Catfish story with you all!

Catfishing is not new. As long as there has been such a thing as Pen Pals, people have been lying about who they are, how they look and how they live their life. That is life! A lot of people simply are not happy with who they are as a person and decide to create a fantasy a world in which they are the perfect human being living the perfect life.

My Catfish story is from the mid-late 90s. Back when America Online was THE place to get your dial-up on! Back when you paid by the HOUR and not by the month. My bills back then were literally in the hundreds of dollars each month. My mom spoiled me, what can I say? lol It is OK, though, because eventually I started to moderate the NBA and MLB chatrooms and got my account for free. My mom was relieved! Anyway, I digress…

First, this was not a romantic relationship on my end. I got away from it pretty much unscathed emotionally. I was hurt and disappointed and SHOCKED, but… I was not that wrapped up in this individual, so it was a quick recovery!

So…

Back in the day, chatrooms were all the rage. I met a good deal of people who ended up becoming my pen pals – again AOL charged by the hour – and some of them, I even spoke to on the phone from time to time. I became good friends with a woman, who I will call… “Tasha from Texas” and a guy, “Mark from Maryland.” There were more in “the group” as a whole and we got together in chatrooms to talk about a little of this, and a little of that, but me, Tasha, Mark and one other girl got really close and talked the most away from the group.

Eventually Mark and Tasha fell for one another and they began to have a long distance relationship. Both of them were actually a bit older than me and I thought that they were cute together as a couple. When I got sick and had to have surgery, they even sent me a Get Well Soon card that Tasha signed and mailed to Mark, to sign, who then mailed it to me. They were sort of like my older brother and sister.

Prior to speaking to Mark on the phone, he told both me and Tasha about how difficult it was for him growing up because he had a… “unique” voice. He said he got teased all of the time growing up because of it. Of course, I was intrigued and could not wait to hear what he sounded like! I also felt bad for him, though, so no matter what I was going to be sensitive about it. The best way to describe his voice is that it was “froggy.” He had a bit of a croaky sound to his vocals that was indeed very strange, but since he had already planted this seed in our heads, we did not question it at all.

The first time I received a letter from Mark, my initial reaction when I unfolded the paper was, “Woah! He has REALLY pretty handwriting for a guy!!” It especially stood out to me because I have really UGLY handwriting for a girl. lmao! I remember telling him that on the phone and he said that people complimented on his handwriting all the time. Even with that, I still did not question that perhaps this is someone who was being deceptive. I mean, I was only around 16 or 17 at the time and still very naive, in general. So…Again, it was accepted and we all continued our AOL Chatroom Family; talking about music, what was going on the world, giving each other advice, etc etc.

Well, finally the day came that Tasha was ready to meet Mark. Of course, Mark resisted it at every turn and was able to put Tasha off for a while until Tasha had to go to the Maryland area for something. She did not tell Mark she would be there. Back then, there was no GPS, but keep in mind that we were also all Pen Pals and, although I used a PO Box – my mama did not play that – Mark and Tasha were using their real addresses. Tasha decided to call a cab and gave the driver Mark’s address.

When Tasha arrived and knocked on the door, a woman answered and said she was Mark’s sister and that he was not there and hewould not be back for a while. Tasha, of course, was disappointed but she bought what the woman was selling and left disappointed.

Tasha eventually makes it back to Texas and she called me to tell me that she had tried to meet Mark but, “Some big woman answered the door and said she was his sister.” Still – I was not questioning Mark’s story. I do not know if Tasha was at that point, but I honestly thought that they just missed each other, especially since Tasha did not tell him that she would even be in the state!

By now, I am sure that you all have already guessed it!

It could not have been long after that that Tasha called me and told me that the woman who answered the door was Mark. My mouth was on tha flo! Do you hear me?? I was like, “WHAT?! You are lying!” She was so upset, of course. Hurt and mad all at the same time. We called Mark – or… Well, let’s call her “Mary in Maryland,” now – to “confront” her via a 3-way phone call. lol!

There was a lot of, “How can you do this to Tasha? How could you lie to us??” On and on and on. She spent half of the phone call trying to convince us that she was not a lesbian when that was not even the point. She could have been friends with us in our chatroom as she was, it is not like it was some lover’s den where everyone was “booed up” and carrying on relationships.

Although I could not see it as clearly at the time, it is obvious that she was struggling with her sexuality, in denial and used Mark as an outlet to express sexual interest in other women without having to do so as herself. She also said that she had always felt as if she should have been a boy and went on to say that the thought of being with another woman made her sick. While I was mad/hurt at the time, I eventually did feel sorry for her because the denial was strong within her! 

I recently reread one of the letters she wrote to me after she confessed, but I cannot remember what all I said in the letter she was responding to. I know as a teen I was more idealistic and self-righteous so I can only imagine what kind of high horse I was on when I wrote her. lol! She asked me, “Who do you think you are?” lmao!! So no telling what all I said to her. I do remember trying to get her to accept who she was and she did not like that one bit. 

So, eventually Mary and I stopped corresponding and she became a memory of that one time that I was tricked via the interweb! It definitely was not called “catfishing” back then. I think we just called it being duped? #kanyeshrug I don’t know!

Anyway…

I remained friends with Tasha for a while after that, but we, too, drifted apart as I entered the most tumultuous period of my life, and she was going through a lot, too. She is probably the most… interestingly naive person I have known and it always amazed me because she was older and I had an assumption that it meant she would be more mature. I was very wrong. lol. She went on to make a couple more horrendous decisions when it came to men in her life and that is what ultimately broke our friendship up… I was very blunt with her about a couple of things and, well… She did not like that. TODAY, I have learned to be a bit more… gentle with people, but back then I felt like a real friend was honest and told their friends when they were making a bad choice. That does not work with everyone, however. Especially when it come to women and the men they love. Anywho, none of that is part of the catfish story, so I will not go into that any further!

Well, that is my story of being catfished! Has anything like this ever happened to you?

I have a Nigerian Scammer story, too, that was kind of interesting and not like the scams that normally happen. Maybe I will share that one one day. lol I was not duped that time! They got not one red cent out of me! But, yea… Another story for another day!

For now, I will prepare to sleep and dream of #BB16 Live Feeds! Goodnight!

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