Living with your boyfriend is great, but living with your boyfriend in a millionaire’s house that you’re house-sitting is even better. Aside from the obvious pros to having the house to ourselves, we get to indulge in such luxuries as jacuzzi tubs, desktop Mac computers, satellite TV (with HD DVR) and fresh produce that will be bad before the owners return. Ostensibly they are letting me stay at their house to watch the most well-behaved dog I have ever even casually encountered, but I feel more obligated to the making-sure-the-house-doesn’t-get-robbed aspect of things.
Other news: despite my vast collection, I have never really enjoyed drinking from coffee mugs. Mostly I’ve enjoyed the personality they bring to the otherwise characterless field of kitchenware. However, I started drinking water out of a blue mug today (a la late night talk shows) and I think I’m a convert!
Right now I should be reading some Anthony Giddens, Beryl Satter and Larry Bartels, but I think I’ll just do it tomorrow and get paid for it.
When I was in elementary school, computers were really becoming prominent in the home. My friend Shannon not only had a computer, but she had AOL. AOL! I would go to her house to stay the night and we would spend the entire night talking to strangers in chat rooms. This was fifth grade. I was ten.
It was around that time that I began to lobby my mom for a computer. I would cut out advertisements from WalMart and BestBuy and insert them into hand-drawn Deidre comics that I’d strategically place around the house. Inside the fridge, directly across from the toilet seat, in the form of a paper chain across her doorway. I did not just want the computer, it was need. I felt so compelled to get the computer that when AOL free trials would arrive in the mail (wow, the 90’s), I would save them all. All of them. Because I knew one day, my mom would come to her senses.
The story of when my first computer was delivered to me is bittersweet. A large box sat in my living room, wrapped in ‘Happy Birthday’ paper. Was this it? Was I being rewarded? Had the time come? On the night of my birthday, my best friend Nikki came home from school with me. My mom, Nikki and I waited in the living room for what seemed like hours, and what had been hours. Waiting for my dad to come home. Eventually, many hours later, he did. Black-out drunk.
But that was the least of my concerns. I got my computer.
The first time I lied about my identity online was not once I got my own computer. It had been with Shannon. She had turned me on to AOL chat rooms. She had shown me how she went to websites like AmericanEagle.com and saved the pictures to her computer. She inserted them into emails with people from the chatroom, claiming to be the models. Usually it worked. Careful not to choose too high quality, too posey images, we always seemed to pleasantly surprise our fellow chatters. When it didn’t work, when someone recognized the images, or as happened once, actually KNEW the model in real life, they instantly earned a spot on the IM black (or “block”) list.
Shannon taught me how to steal the identity, but I interpreted the rules differently once I got my own AOL account. In chat rooms, I would never reveal my real a/s/l (age/sex/location). I would usually pander. 16/f/cali! Was a popular response. At the time, I knew nothing about California. And I didn’t need to. I wasn’t being asked questions. I asked them.
For a while, I took out my aggression on unsuspecting AOL users. I used the instant nature of the messaging to sharpen my wit. I became a queen of hurtful one-liners, online and off. When my aforementioned friend Nikki would stay the night, she and I would pick fights with entire late night chat rooms. This was ideal to us, and so much fun. We developed a thirst for conflict that would later manifest in a “Mean Girls” high school stage. We had no flight response, only fight.