bad TV, domestic violence, LDS, mental health, Military, poor judgment, psychology, true crime

You’re gonna have to face it; you’re addicted to DRAMA!

This post is potentially triggering, as it involves discussion of child abuse and death. Proceed with caution.

Over the past few days, and much to my chagrin, I have fallen down the Dr. Phil rabbit hole. I am not proud of myself for this habit. When we last lived in the States, I would watch Dr. Phil on TV, feeling a little dirty as the entertainer with expired and surrendered counseling credentials brought on one trainwreck after another. And I’d sit there and watch, as the people told their stories, and Dr. Phil would lob witticisms at them and, at times, bully, berate, and humiliate them with his overbearing Texas style. A lot of people genuinely like Dr. Phil McGraw. I really don’t like him, but I will admit sometimes he brings interesting stories to his show… interesting in terms of personal drama. And it’s easier to watch that show than try to read a book, as my eyesight gets less acute.

Someone on YouTube uploaded a bunch of episodes from 2014, and I started binge watching them earlier this week. Some of the shows have been downright ridiculous. A few have been sad. One or two were funny, but in a tragic way… like the woman who was married to a very dramatic and controlling man with anxiety issues. I made Bill watch an episode that featured a guy who treated his wife like a child, right down to shaming and scolding her as if one would lecture a six year old. But we saw an episode yesterday that actually made Bill cry… (not that it’s hard to do that… he’s a very kind and sympathetic person, and this episode was sad on multiple levels)

This show, which I think might have been taped in late 2013, was the story about Matt, his ex wife Mindy, and to a lesser extent, his second wife, Heidi. They’re all members of the LDS church, which of course drew in my attention even more, since Bill is an ex Mormon. You might think that Mormonism isn’t relevant in this situation, and maybe it isn’t in the grand scheme of things. However, at the beginning of the program, Mindy talks about texting her bishop as Matt held her and their four young children hostage. Then they showed a couple of typically Mormon-esque picture perfect family photos that were classic “families can be forever together” propaganda. I’ve gotten to the point at which I suspect a family is LDS simply by how they look in photos. Most of the time, I turn out to be right. Some of my ex Mormon friends refer to this special knack as “Modar”.

This episode of Dr. Phil was a real humdinger…

This episode was dramatic and, frankly, very sad. Matt was a member of the Utah National Guard and had deployed to Iraq. He was also, at one time, a sniper in the Marines. It’s very possible he suffers from PTSD and possibly, a traumatic brain injury, and that was brought up on the show. Maybe that could explain the sheer craziness of his life that, unfortunately, was visited on his four children with Mindy, and at least one child with Heidi. Here’s a quick and dirty list of the things their family faced in 12 years of marriage, before Mindy divorced Matt while he was incarcerated:

  • On January 31, 2008, Matt held Mindy and their children hostage inside their Eagle Mountain, Utah home at gunpoint. A SWAT team was dispatched to end the crisis. He had two pistols, two rifles, and a shotgun, as well as plenty of ammunition. Matt would spend 490 days in jail for this stunt.
  • The hostage situation arose that morning in 2008 because Mindy had “refused” intimacy.
  • Matt made his daughter lick the floor around the toilet to prove that she had cleaned it properly.
  • Their five year old son had gone through many surgeries due to kidney stones. One time, the boy was in so much pain, he told Matt he wanted to die. Matt handed the boy a knife and told him that if he wanted to die, he should just stab himself in the chest. Matt claimed he was trying to find out if the boy was “serious”, and assess “where he was mentally.” Then Matt told Dr. Phil that he would have stopped his son from harming himself if the boy– five years old, mind you– had tried to harm himself.
  • Matt whipped his children with a belt.
  • Matt duct taped his son to a bench when he was two. At the time of the Dr. Phil taping, that boy was 15 years old and in foster care. Mindy says she put him in foster care because he assaulted her. Matt said he wanted to take the boy home after his treatment.
  • Matt took the family dog, and his young son, out to the desert, where he shot the dog 15 times, because he deemed her a “danger” to the family. The young son was forced to bury her.
  • One of the couple’s daughters died of osteosarcoma just three weeks before this episode was taped.
  • Matt remarried, and his second wife “hates” Mindy, because she thinks Mindy is a controlling and manipulative liar who “pushes Matt’s buttons”.

I guess they had to stop at just these incidents, since each episode only runs for about an hour. Obviously, the most dramatic incident, of quite a few dramatic situations that occurred within this family, was the one involving the SWAT team. On the morning of January 31, 2008, they had an argument, and somehow, Matt decided he needed to hold Mindy and their children hostage. According to Dr. Phil, there were fifty police officers involved in that situation, thirty of whom were SWAT team members. Fortunately, Mindy was able to text their bishop, who called the police. Otherwise, there might have been some fatalities that day.

This particular true crime incident is well documented in the press, and it’s pretty easy to find news articles about it, even though fourteen years have passed. According to Deseret News in 2008, Matt “was arrested after refusing to come out and talk with police officers for nearly four hours. He has since been charged with aggravated kidnapping, domestic violence in the presence of a child and making a terroristic threat.

But the worst part of the story for both Bill and me, was the part about how he took the family dog to the desert and shot her in the head fifteen times, in front of his son, who was then forced to help bury the pieces of her that he could recover. I can’t abide animal cruelty, especially when it’s coupled with child abuse. According to Matt, the dog had escaped the yard and knocked over a child, then ran to a neighbor’s house where she attacked another dog. The story is kind of vague. I got the sense that Matt was just overcome with rage and wanted to kill something. So he took the defenseless dog and his son, claiming that his young son wanted to be a part of executing the family pet in an egregiously cruel and violent way. Personally, I think he should have gone to jail for doing that, but I prefer pets to most people.

Shockingly, in spite of the well-publicized violent crime perpetrated by Matt, he managed to remarry. His second wife, a woman named Heidi, also said that Matt had been violent in their home. However, at the time the show was aired, he hadn’t yet held her at gunpoint. She said he had destroyed pottery by throwing it at the fireplace.

Close to the end of the episode, the family shares part of the story about the daughter who died of cancer. Matt complained that Mindy would not allow him to see their daughter, who was hospitalized with cancer and immunocompromised. Matt complains that Mindy withheld visitation, and kept him from seeing their children. Personally, I can’t blame her for withholding visitation, given Matt’s violent nature, BUT… she also had four children with this man, and stayed with him for twelve years. And I get the sense that she enjoys being a victim and the drama that goes along with that. I can plainly see that that while Matt is obviously the worse parent in this scenario, Mindy is definitely no great shakes herself.

I got so invested in this story that I went looking for more information on the people who appeared on it. Sure enough, it didn’t take me long to find Matt’s ex wife. Much to my surprise, I discovered that Mindy was apparently later involved with yet another dangerous and violent man. I found a news article about how her ex boyfriend had burned down their home in 2019. At first, I wondered if maybe it wasn’t someone else who had the same name as hers, but the physical resemblance was right. And then I found Matt’s second wife on Facebook, and saw that she “liked” a Facebook page that was dedicated to Matt’s and Mindy’s daughter, who died of cancer in 2013. I did some digging on that page and discovered a couple of posts about the house fire. The GoFundMe that was set up to help Mindy and her family recover did not mention arson. I was thinking to myself… what in the hell? Was it not enough for her to be married to a violent man? She also got involved with another violent man who resorted to arson? Those poor kids!

I paged through the Facebook page for Mindy’s and Matt’s late daughter. I was a bit shocked to see that several times, Mindy had posted one particularly traumatic photo of her daughter being held down for a painful cancer treatment. The girl is in obvious distress, mouth open, eyes wide in fear, and there are several pairs of gloved hands holding her down. One person commented that she thought it was wrong to post that photo of the girl being traumatized like that. She wrote, “What on earth??? Who would think to take a picture…. not me that’s for sure.” Others wrote that Mindy was just trying to show everyone how terrible childhood cancer is. People shamed the woman who expressed shock at the photo and said it reminded her of taking pictures of child abuse.

I noticed that Mindy posted that horrifying photo of her daughter in distress several times, not just once, which makes me think that maybe the drama and the attention Mindy still gets by proxy is attractive to her. The more I looked at the page dedicated to the girl, the more I was reminded of Bill’s ex wife, who posts the same kinds of stuff. If you don’t know Ex, you might think she’s the mother of the year who is all about her kids. She’s constantly posting platitudes about what a caring person she is. In fact, Ex recently publicly posted the below photos on social media. But behind the scenes, the truth lies. In Ex’s case, it’s been affirmed by at least two of her adult children. She puts this stuff out there for strangers to see, obviously hoping to impress them and bask in the dramatic glory, while she alternately ignores and exploits her children, and other supposed loved ones in her life.

Sadly, Ex, in your own children’s lives, that’s not you… But keep posting these public platitudes. Maybe someone will believe your bullshit.
Could she be markedly different today than she was a few years ago? Maybe… but I really doubt it.

On the Dr. Phil episode, Dr. Phil says that Mindy’s and Matt’s eldest daughter wrote him a letter. In that letter, she wrote about the way her father treated her, and why she didn’t want to have anything to do with him. Below are a few screenshots from the letter the girl wrote:

At the end of Dr. Phil’s recitation of the excerpts of the daughter’s letter, Matt almost sounds like he’s going to cry, as he says he’s repeatedly apologized, but his daughter won’t accept his apologies. And there’s nothing more he can do; his therapist said that it was “all on his daughter”. I would agree with that.

Next, Dr. Phil talks to Heidi, who says she has a lot of animosity toward Mindy and she “hates” her. As I listen to Heidi, I can kind of empathize with her, on one level. She sounds a lot like I do, when I talk about Ex. However, the big difference is, my husband is NOT abusive or dangerous at all. He doesn’t even raise his voice, let alone resort to violence. I actually can’t blame Mindy for keeping their children from her ex husband. He is clearly a very violent and abusive man. On the other hand, I can also see why Heidi dislikes Mindy, because she does seem to be very egocentric, attention-seeking, and manipulative.

I don’t know if Heidi is still with Matt today, but I was really taken aback at around 29:00 into the video, during which she describes one of Matt’s violent outbursts toward her. She says he’s called her filthy names and threatened to beat the shit out of her if she called the police. He said he was not going to jail again unless he “deserved it”. At the time of that threat, she was holding their infant daughter. He took the baby from her, not because he was concerned for the baby’s welfare, but because he didn’t want her to take the baby from him. Heidi says she loves Matt, though, in spite of his obviously dangerous and violent nature.

Below are screenshots of Matt confronting Mindy about “stealing” his time with the children. You can see he’s on the verge of exploding. But Mindy looks dispassionate as she responds, “You stole my son’s childhood.” I would say that they both stole their children’s childhoods. She made a choice to stay with this man and have four children with him. Did this violent nature arise only at the end of their marriage? Maybe if he became violent only after going to Iraq, I could see it. I still definitely would have left after he killed the dog.

This story was quite the colossal trainwreck. I almost felt bad for watching it, because it was just so horrifying on so many levels. Yes, I know Dr. Phil brings people on his show that are trainwrecks, and he makes a living out of presenting cases of people who are in fucked up situations to be judged by the masses. It’s pretty terrible that this family’s drama was turned into entertainment… and I am slightly ashamed that I watched this episode, even though the drama was very compelling and, frankly, fascinating. But then, these folks agreed to go on the show, which they didn’t have to do. And the fact that they went on the show, apparently thinking that Dr. Phil would take a side, just shows that they’re all pretty delusional. I also found a recent Facebook post by Heidi that indicates she’s an anti-vaxxer who enjoys watching Tucker Carlson and Fox News.

There wasn’t any talk about Mormonism on this program, except for when Mindy says she contacted the bishop, who thankfully called the police when Matt was holding her and the kids hostage in their home. I do wonder, though, if people in the church noticed how completely crazy that couple was together. I doubt Mormonism helped them much, as bishops aren’t always qualified to counsel people in their wards, not that counseling would have helped this couple. I also notice that Mindy still uses her ex husband’s last name. I don’t know if they were endowed members of the church, but according to LDS beliefs, if they were “sealed” in the temple, she will be with him after they’re all dead. Comforting thought… NOT.

Dr. Phil ends this episode by telling the adults that the children did not “buy a ticket for this trainwreck” and they need to “declare peace.” I’m sure Dr. Phil knows that declaring peace is much easier said than done. It sounds to me like Matt does have a medical problem. It probably was brought on by neurological issues, perhaps due to his time in Iraq. But I also think his ex wife has some serious problems, and those problems existed even before the tragic death of their daughter. And while I can sympathize with Heidi, having been a second wife to a man with a dramatic, attention-seeking ex wife, I think our situations are very different. My husband is not violent at all, and thank God for that.

Maybe it’s wrong for me to write about this. I was a bit triggered, though, and I write when I’m triggered. I think people who go on reality TV or talk shows are kind of fair game, particularly when they augment their stuff by being in the news and posting public social media posts that are designed to get attention from the masses. Unfortunately, as we have learned from watching families like the Duggars go down in flames, going viral, seeking widespread attention, and being famous is a mixed bag. You can’t always control public perception. I think Mindy, like Ex, wants to portray herself in a certain way, but it’s pretty obvious to me that she’s playing a role. And while I might be able to excuse her for marrying one very violent and abusive man, the fact that she got involved with another violent person– one who apparently tried to burn down her house– and then she went on the news to complain about it– tells me that she enjoys being portrayed as a victim/saintly mother type. I would be a lot more impressed with her if she took some responsibility for herself and her children and focused on making sure they are safe, even though I’m sure her surviving kids are adults by now.

I guess today, it might be good if I went back to watching dog grooming videos.

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communication, condescending twatbags, stupid people

Some men just Can’t. Understand. Normal. Thinking… Glad to be Bill’s double shot of tequila.

This morning, I read an interesting Facebook comment thread on an article by The New York Times about CNN’s decision to fire employees who ignored their COVID-19 vaccine mandates. CNN, like many private businesses in the United States, has directed employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus before returning to its offices in the U.S.

The Cable News Network has been relying on the “honor system” to enforce its rules about vaccination. However, apparently three former employees are unfamiliar with the expression, “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The powers that be at CNN became aware that the three former employees were unvaccinated and defiantly continued to report for work, in spite of the vaccine mandates. The CNN bosses responded by firing the rule breakers.

I usually read articles before I read comment sections. I guess this morning, I was still a bit drowsy from the early hour and the cool, rainy weather we have today. It’s also getting darker in the mornings, which is a sure sign that fall is coming. In a month, we’ll probably need jackets again. In any case, I ran across a comment left by a woman named Margie. She wrote:

It’s interesting how so many people think “freedom” only works for them but not for others. I guess it’s that same lopsided rationalization that concludes that assault rifles are necessary for freedom.

I like Margie’s comment. I think it makes a lot of sense. It’s no secret that we have a serious problem with weapons in the United States. So many innocent people have died of gunshot wounds while doing ordinary things like going to school, worshiping, shopping, attending a concert, or watching a movie at a cinema. And now, so many people are dying of COVID-19. Most of the people who are dying of COVID are people who are vehemently against vaccines and have even taken to mocking them on social media. Interestingly enough, many of the people who are against the vaccines are also people who support the right to bear arms, no matter what the cost is to others.

Sadly… or maybe not so sadly… some of those gun supporting folks are ending up ruing the decision to mock vaccines. For instance, proud Republican H. Scott Apley was 45 years old and the father of a newborn when he died of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Mr. Apley was a very conservative member of the Dickinson County Council, and had taken to social media to lambast COVID-19 vaccine mandates. He cheered about a “mask burning party” that happened in Cincinnati in May, writing that he wished he’d lived in the area, and he claimed that Baltimore’s former public health commissioner was an “absolute enemy of a free people.”

In the end, Apley maintained his “freedom” not to be vaccinated. He caught the virus. And now, he’s dead. His wife, Melissa, who is also COVID-19 positive, is left to raise their infant son, Reid. Reid is currently in his grandmother’s care, because unlike her late husband, Melissa seems to realize that COVID kills people. I sincerely hope she’s smart enough to get the vaccine so that baby doesn’t lose his other parent to willful ignorance. I am also legitimately sorry for Melissa’s and Reid’s loss. It didn’t have to be that way.

I dedicate this song to “Rick”… but I would replace the word “step” with “fuck”. That’s because I enjoy profanity very much. It’s one of my most adorable flaws.

In any case, Margie, who had commented on the article about CNN, had a point that resonated with a lot of people. At this writing, there are 890 likes on her observation about the concept of freedom in the United States. Some people don’t seem to realize that freedom applies to everyone, and there’s civic responsibility that comes with that privilege. But, as we all know, some people just “can’t. understand. normal. thinking.” and they have to show everyone their ass. Such was the case with the response left by a man named Rick, who wrote this:

The fact you said “assault rifle” already tells me everything I need to know….

Margie came back with an impressive response that really should have shut up Rick. She wrote:

…does it? Would it surprise you to know that we have many guns, including some semi-automatic guns, in our home? That my husband conceal carries? So, what is it you think you know about me?

Rick wrote: There’s a reason why “assault” was in parentheses….try to follow along champ.

Then, Rick continued to show his ass by lecturing a guy named John with this beaut of a comment:

Its a common term among you leftists who have no fing idea what your talking about when it comes to firearms.. Thats the issue. It’s not a common term amongst people who have an ounce of knowledge of firearms. Trust me…its worth belittling…since by “assault” you mean “fully automatic”….which with like ten fing seconds of research will tell you have been banned for nearly 30 years. So yes…you now know I know at least basic knowledge of firearms. Congratulations.

A guy named Bill (not my Bill) wrote this for Rick:

An AR 15 is an assault rifle bro. No matter how you sugarcoat it

And Rick insisted that he knows better and responded thusly:

No it isnt….people are afraid of how it looks. It’s a fing rifle…..like any other semi auto hunting rifle. They just “look” scary. An “assault” rifle in the sense that people are so adamant against it would be anything that can lay down fully auto…added with huge like 75-100 round drums. Big diff. Those are already illegal. There litteraly is no difference between a Ruger ranch rifle and an AR-15 for example…..other than ones black and scary…which is kinda funny and ironic….One is acceptable by even left wing anti gun nuts for hunting purposes and the other one is ostracized….even though it’s the same thing. People are litteraly afraid of aesthetics. (He can’t spell either, can he?)

At this point, I was scratching my head. Rick must not have much to do in his personal life, since he was hanging out in the comment section of a notoriously left leaning newspaper that is known for its excellence in journalism. And instead of engaging with people on an adult level, he was resorting to insults and bragging about his knowledge of firearms. Obviously his vast knowledge of firearms doesn’t extend to knowledge of basic English grammar. Reading and writing are still considered fundamental skills, aren’t they? And yet, here he is in the comment section of a respected news source, taking on people who are clearly intellectually and developmentally superior to him, so he has to bring his “guns” to the fight. What a big man!

Rick, being a typically stubborn and obtuse sort of person, continued to engage. He was clapping back at everyone with personal insults and condescension. So I decided to leave him a comment, having noticed that he apparently doesn’t know the difference between quotation marks and parenthesis. I wrote:

I like how you can’t tell the difference between parenthesis and quotation marks or “your” and “you’re”. And I like how you belittle and name call to make your points. That tells me all I need to know about you, “Champ”.

Rick’s response to me? Unsurprisingly, he tried to insult me, too…

I like how you think men are actually looking for a booty call from you 

Wow… LOL. I thought that was funny on many levels. You see, in order for Rick to make that comment, he had to visit my Facebook profile. He was referring to my latest tag line, which is: “Not looking for friend requests or booty calls from strange men. I’m also NOT German.”

Several weeks ago, I posted that tag line in response to the tons and tons of unsolicited private messages and creepy comments I was getting from scammers. I’ve actually written about those messages in this blog, and have included screen shots of the more entertaining ones.

The scammers were writing icky messages about how “beautiful” they think I am. To be clear, I know the people (male or female) behind those messages are just shady fuckwads who have ripped off other Facebook users’ profiles. My own profile was also ripped off recently. Those lowlifes are ultimately just looking to scam money, and trying to use flattery to do it. I was getting a lot of these messages. So I posted that tag line to express my irritation, not because I think men actually believe I’m “hawt” or “fuckable”. Even if they did, I’m a happily married woman, so other men’s opinions about my appearance are irrelevant.

‘Ol Rick decided to zero in on that tag line to insult my looks, which is typical of people like him. What he fails to realize, though, is that the fact that he took the time to visit my profile instead of just blowing me off tells me that he found me attractive on some level. Maybe I’m not his “type”, but my comment obviously got to him. Otherwise, he would not have responded to me at all. That implies an attraction of sorts. Remember, negative attention is still attention, and the fact that he took a moment to check out my profile means that he noticed me.

Rick also seems to think I care that some random guy on Facebook apparently thinks I’m ugly. LOL… hell, my own father regularly criticized my appearance! So Rick’s opinion about my attractiveness is irrelevant, and frankly, pretty juvenile. I mean, that’s the kind of thing people say on the playground. “You’re ugly!” Well, I know you are, but what am I, Rick? 😀

Anyway, I laughed at Rick and wrote, “Thanks for creeping my profile, you strange man. Why don’t you run along now and play with your assault rifles.” I was going to add the word “loaded”, but decided that I didn’t need to encourage more gun violence. For all I know, Rick might take my suggestion.

A kind man named Stephen wrote, “…yes it is not worth engaging him in conversation. He seems to love insulting and using words he doesn’t understand.

So I wrote this:

Thanks for that. I don’t actually care that Rick apparently doesn’t think I’m cute. I’m married to a wonderful man, and he’s the only one whose opinion I care about regarding my attractiveness or lack thereof. Besides, I figure ‘ol Rick must have found me interesting on some level, since he took the time to stalk my profile. 😉 Like I said… creepy… just like the booty callers who send me random PMs.

Some people reading this might think I shouldn’t be writing this blog post. Why give guys like Rick a second thought? But I’m writing this because Rick actually did give me something to think about this morning.

There was a time when I was much younger that Rick’s comment might have hurt my feelings. Back in the days when I was less secure, had lower self-esteem, and cared more about what people thought of me, it actually did sting when someone insulted me on a personal level– especially when they criticized my appearance.

I think that comes from having family members who cared a lot about image, and what others thought of them and our family. When the people responsible for bringing you into the world– the people who were your first “love”– criticize things like your appearance, or your laugh, or they tell you that no one will ever love you, that tends to make you think that everyone feels that way. After all, they made me. You’d think they’d love me unconditionally for that alone. But they couldn’t love me unconditionally, because they didn’t even love themselves that way.

My parents are/were good looking, talented, and intelligent people, and they expected their four daughters to be the same. I think we all did turn out alright. I may not always be camera ready, but I clean up fine. I’ve never had a problem turning Bill on, and he’s the only one who matters. I mostly hang around with him and my dogs, and my dogs think I’m awesome because I’m the one who feeds them and walks them. I value their opinions a whole lot more than I do Rick’s.

I’m old enough to know that it’s not true that my parents’ opinions of me are reflections of what all others think. The world is full of people, and they all have opinions. I’ve been around long enough to know that no one is everyone’s cup of tea. I know I’m not… but I’d rather be someone’s double shot of tequila, anyway. Thanks to Bill, I know that I AM someone’s double shot of tequila! That makes me pretty blessed.

Besides, my mom is a lot more appreciative of me now, especially since she doesn’t have to look at me. 😉 My dad is dead, so his opinion is irrelevant, too. He was wrong, anyway. I found someone who genuinely loves me, even though my dad often said I never would.

I don’t have to be physically gorgeous to turn Bill on. He was very attracted to me even before he saw me in person. And when he saw me in person, it only confirmed that we belong together. I can simply write something erotic, sing him a siren song, or touch him in a certain way and he’ll get a “raise”. We have a lot of chemistry, and always enjoy being together. I am very fortunate because a high quality person loves me no matter what; but I would be okay, even if I were still single.

I could gain twenty pounds, get hit in the nose with a football like Marcia Brady, or look like death warmed over from illness. Bill would still love me. That’s what makes him vastly superior to cavemen like Rick, who are only interested in big guns, conservative politics, and what his eyes superficially see in a photo. And again, HE’S the one who came to my profile, looking for something to criticize. Why would he do that if he didn’t find me attractive on some level? If he didn’t find me interesting, he would have ignored my comment and kept scrolling.

What a guy like Rick thinks of me is completely immaterial. The fact that he criticized my looks as a means of shutting me down is pathetic! Obviously, he had nothing of substance to say, but had to say something to defend his pitiful male ego. He needs a big GUN to defend himself, too, which tells me all to know about his so-called strength and resilience. What a small-minded man he is… and I’d venture to guess that he’s not very satisfying in the booty call department, either. 😀 That’s why he plays with big guns. They make him feel bigger and more powerful than he actually is.

Anyway, I’ve concluded that Rick is just another guy who Can’t. Understand. Normal. Thinking… Read between the lines on that one. It’s sad that he has to resort to insulting and belittling people on social media rather than engaging in respectful and meaningful dialogue with others. He must live a very limited life.

I’m happy to report that Facebook finally seems to have done something about the PM issue. Or maybe the scammers don’t like my most recent profile photo. I haven’t been getting those PMs recently. It might even be time to change that tag line. Maybe I’ll write one that says, “Creeping my profile to find ways to insult me simply proves that you think I’m interesting.”

Hope you all have a great Friday. It’s time for me to find something constructive to do. Maybe I’ll drink some tequila and watch the below video again, simply because it’s hilarious!

Don’t act a fool… otherwise, Alfredo might be forced to tape you to your seat.

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Ex, musings, narcissists

Attention gluttons…

I was going to title today’s post “attention whores”. I thought better of it when I realized that people who crave attention aren’t really like whores. When we think of whores, we think of people– usually women– who prostitute themselves for money. Many people think that prostitution is immoral, and it’s illegal in most parts of the world, even if it is “the oldest profession”. But it’s not really about greed so much as it is about debasing one’s self for money. Or, at least that’s the usual argument I’ve heard against prostitution. There’s also the issue of human trafficking, particularly of minors, but not every prostitute is caught in situation like that. Here, in Germany, for instance, prostitution is legal and regulated. There are health checks done and taxes paid, and it’s an actual job.

When it comes down to it, people who are “whoring” are behaving in a transactional way by using their bodies. It’s not quite an accurate term for the type of people I’m writing about today. “Attention whores” aren’t selling attention to lonely people. They’re greedily seeking an endless supply of attention, most often from people who have an irrational need to be liked. To me, that’s less like prostitution and more like gluttony. I also appreciate that the word “glutton” has less of a misogynistic feel to it. So, today I’m going to write about attention gluttons. I’m sure you’ve encountered them. They’re everywhere these days.

I think most people crave attention sometimes, sometimes to the point of “gluttony”. We all go through periods when we need some extra TLC from friends and loved ones. Normal people are astute enough to know that not everything is about them, and after they get the attention they need, they’re willing to share the limelight with others. People who crave constant attention aren’t like that. They live for drama, and they are very good at creating it and attracting others to it. Or, if they can’t create it themselves, they will insert themselves into someone else’s drama and try to make it all about them. Even if pathological attention gluttons don’t treat the people they attract with much respect, those who are enchanted by attention gluttons keep coming back for more, because their drama is kind of like a trainwreck. It’s hard to turn away.

Like most people, I’ve been a bit of an attention glutton at times; but I’ve also had a few of them in my life. I recently purged a couple from my world because they finally went too far. Right now, a lot of people are under an unusual amount of stress. I’ve been fortunate in that my life isn’t that stressful right now. My troubles recently have been mostly psychological, but even those haven’t been that bad. I haven’t had to worry about paying the rent, for instance, or wondering where my next meal is coming from. I do have some friends who are in some legitimately scary situations right now, particularly when it comes to their finances. Most of them are handling things pretty well on their own. Or, at least that’s how it seems, because they aren’t constantly crying for attention on social media.

There’s someone I know who is always gunning for attention. She’s a very charming person, so she has a lot of people who are willing to supply her with what she needs. She’s funny, witty, talented, intelligent, and at least on the outside, seems friendly. But I’ve noticed that the friendliness isn’t particularly genuine. I get the sense that if I really ever needed any help– not even financial, but even just emotional help– she would not be available. Instead, she would turn it around so that the issue became about her and her endless problems.

And yet, she never hesitates to ask for assistance. Sometimes she’s bold enough to ask directly, but I’ve noticed that, more often or not, her requests are kind of indirect and passive. Like, for instance, she’ll casually mention that she doesn’t have enough money to buy food or medicine. Her friends will express concern and ask how they can help. Then, she’ll say something like, “No, I’m not asking for money. I’ll be fine. Don’t send me emails or private messages about this.”

The pragmatic among us will shrug and say, “suit yourself” and let her handle her own business. But deep down, you expect that she’s just waiting for that one person who must take action. There’s got to be at least one person who will insist on helping her, because they need to be a helper. Attention gluttons love those types of people– the ones who will do anything for a friend– even a really crappy, selfish “friend”. They seem to have a finely tuned mechanism for seeking them out, too.

I’ve noticed that she tells tall tales. A lot of the things she claims are true don’t ring true. Most people accept her stories at face value, though, because they probably assume that questioning her will lead to an unpleasant drama. In fact, I have, on occasion, seen this happen when someone dares to call her on the carpet for something outrageous she’s said, or some ridiculous claim she’s made.

I have noticed that these types of people are also very good at “Hoovering”. I’ve written about that phenomenon before. A person who “Hoovers” is trying to suck you back into the dysfunction. You will hear from them later, after the drama has blown over a bit. They’ll poke at you to see if you respond. Oftentimes, they won’t mention the event that led to the blow up. If they do, they’ll offer a lame non-apology of some sort, designed to make you feel badly for “misunderstanding” them. It’s happened to me a lot of times. I’ll be legitimately upset about something and the person will act like I’m overreacting or “crazy”. Maybe sometimes it’s somewhat true that there was an overreaction, but a mature person will at least acknowledge the other person’s pain. Attention gluttons don’t do that, because they don’t see other people as humans. They typically see them as sources of supply.

A lot people who are “attention gluttons” are also pretty narcissistic, although I don’t think they’re necessarily always that way. Sometimes people are like that because they never got the attention they legitimately needed when they were young children. They’ve grown up insecure and feeling unloved, so they seek security and love when they are adults. You could almost feel sorry for them… until they finally go way too far and you have to cut them off. Then they make you out to be a terrible person for not being able to tolerate their drama anymore.

My husband, Bill, is particularly attractive to “attention gluttons” because he’s a very empathic person. He feels what other people feel, and he genuinely wants to help. Sometimes he helps a lot more than he should, which leads to other people resenting him. I think his ex wife, who is very narcissistic, was attracted to him because he’s so caring and nurturing, and she knew she could eventually manipulate him by telling him that he wasn’t a good enough partner.

Bill is eager to please others, and he’ll try harder if he thinks he’s not doing enough, even though the truth is, he usually goes way above and beyond what should be expected of anyone. I often tell him how much I love and appreciate the way he looks after me and Arran. Ex, on the other hand, was constantly telling him that he wasn’t good enough. She’d shame him, and tell him that no one else would ever want him. After awhile, he believed it. Meanwhile, she’d resent him, because he was so good… and she knew she wasn’t his match and never could be.

I have also noticed that “attention gluttons” love a good cause. They love to jump on a bandwagon and promote their cause, which will invariably be something that is easy to support. For example, I’ve noticed a lot of people cheerleading for face mask wearing. That’s a cause that is easy to support during a global pandemic. People are rallying with their constant cries of “Wear the damn mask!” (which frankly, pisses me off, because it’s rude and dismissive and doesn’t take into account the people who have legitimate health and/or personal reasons for NOT wearing them.)

I’ve noticed that an attention glutton I know, who is not usually known for being compliant when someone tries to tell her what to do, is now on that bandwagon. Lots of her friends are cheering her on, too, because she’s good at spinning a sob story. Anyone who doesn’t jump on that bandwagon is an asshole, the way she tells it. She doesn’t respect the other viewpoint.

But… I would be willing to bet that this bandwagon will eventually crash. They almost always do with this type of person. They get tired of the cause, and start seeing reasons why it wasn’t such a good idea after all. They eventually abandon it, sometimes with a lot of drama and chaos. It becomes apparent that they never really were true believers of the cause, they just liked the attention it got them. And once the supply of attention is over, so is their support.

Bill’s ex wife was like that. She’d get all gung ho about something and jump into it full throttle. Then she’d get bored with it, or something would happen that would piss her off. She’d do a 180, and either abandon the cause completely or jump on the other side of the issue.

The person who inspired this post has met Bill in person. I remember the first time she met him; her tongue practically fell out of her mouth and she almost started panting. She said he was extremely cute. He is pretty cute, but I have a feeling her initial strong, positive reaction to him wasn’t just because she thought he was physically attractive. I think she could sense that he’s empathic, eager to please, and very kind, and she needs those people in her life. I don’t know for sure, but I’ll bet she was a bit envious of me for being married to the type of person she craves.

But if she had married Bill instead of me, I’ll bet that very soon, he wouldn’t have been enough. After a short love bombing phase, she’d start to complain about his shortcomings. The abuse would begin, and she’d devalue him to get him to the point at which he might start believing she was the best he could do, and no one else would want to be around him. That, to me, is the most tragic part. Because I know that’s not true, but after awhile spent with an attention glutton, a very kind and understanding person might start to believe it is.

Recently, I’ve found that I don’t have much time or patience for people who need to be in the limelight all the time. I can’t deal with the stress of the constant yammering for attention. I’ll bet those types of people are fine with the occasional departure of a usual source of supply, as long as there’s someone there to keep dropping worms into the hungry bird’s mouth. And sadly, there almost always is.

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Military

Bride kicks Marine out of wedding for wearing his dress uniform…

Since I’m on the subject of clothes… This morning, I read yet another post by the very funny and talented J.D. Simkins, who writes for the Military Times. I’ve read several of his articles and they almost always make me laugh. Today’s article was no exception. It was entitled “Bride kicks Marine out of wedding for wearing his dress blues“.

It seems that a woman posted on a subeddit called “Am I the Asshole” about how a Marine wore his dress blues to her wedding and it apparently upset the bride because she felt he was “upstaging” her. I will admit… of all of the services, the Marines probably have the most awesome uniforms. Marines are usually in awesome physical shape and they cut a striking pose in their dress blues. Weddings are supposed to be about the married couple, particularly the bride. Or, at least that’s the old fashioned take.

According to the author of the post, who was also the bride, the Marine was being a gentleman, but people were wanting to have their pictures taken next to him and thanking him for his service. The bride felt that his presence in that uniform took attention away from her big day. She accused him of “attention seeking”.

On our big day, I was happy to share the spotlight with Bill in his dress blues… and all his buddies, too!

I suppose I can understand why the bride felt “upstaged”. Like I said, a person in a Marine dress uniform is a sight to behold. However, perhaps it never occurred to the bride that the Marine wore his uniform because he doesn’t own a tuxedo and can’t afford to rent one. Bill has always worn his dress blues when we’ve gone to events that required formal dress. He doesn’t have a tuxedo. For most of our marriage, he couldn’t afford to buy one and we don’t go to enough formal events to justify getting one. Of course, now he has a kilt, so the next time we take a Hebridean cruise, he’ll wear it instead of the uniform, which is getting too tight for him, anyway.

Yes… nice trade off. Can’t wait to see him decked out in this on our next Scottish adventure.

I think a lot of people on the cruise loved the uniform. It was quite a conversation piece. Some people probably thought Bill was showing off, but as I wrote in my earlier piece today, you can’t please everybody. Someone is going to criticize no matter what you do.

I do agree that wedding is supposed to be about the couple and it’s “bad form” to upstage the bride, especially. There’s an old rule of etiquette that one shouldn’t wear white to a wedding, because only the bride should wear white. On the other hand, people who host weddings should also be gracious. Personally, I don’t think a wedding should be about being on display. A wedding is a celebration of love, commitment, and a new family being born. The bride admits her Marine guest was being a gentleman. If he was drunk and disorderly and/or behaving in a way that wasn’t becoming, I think she would have been within her rights to throw him out. But simply being “prettier” than she was, wasn’t, in my view, a valid reason to ask him to leave. In fact, the idea of doing that kind of makes me cringe. I would think it would put a damper on the day.

I see on the subreddit that a lot of people are on the bride’s side. I can see why they would be. Personally, though, I love seeing men in their uniforms. Bill and I had quite a few in uniform at our wedding. I thought it made our affair more elegant and special. It never would have occurred to me to kick someone out of my wedding based on what they were wearing. And this lady had 300 people in attendance, so I’m sure not all eyes were on the Marine, anyway. I don’t know if I’d call her an “asshole” for kicking the guy out, but I definitely wouldn’t have done it. I love a man in uniform… quite literally!

Don’t we make a fetching pair?

On another note, I recommend reading anything J.D. Simkins writes. His witty style is a breath of fresh air.

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