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As a writer, and very online person, I have a policy that’s helped me get through tough times like being bullied on the internet for no reason by a stranger. My policy is this: May whatever hurts my feelings make me money. I’ll be damned if someone who hits with his fingers has the power to ruin my day, just the opposite. He’s the thing that’s going to make it even more productive. There’s something about supplementing one’s income through the efforts of assholes that just feels great, you know? Let’s dive in!
Today’s inspiration is a young man (I don’t know that he’s young or male but…come on) who read a piece I wrote on Medium called: My Husband Didn’t Notice My Butt Scrunch Leggings So I Totaled His Car. It references the leggings that were trending on social media when we were all still really bored. Something you should know about me…I’m funny! Ha ha! Laughs! Jest! My comedic work is very dear to me, it makes me happy and also I’m very good at it. I mean read that piece you guys, I’m a card! The key thing to take away is: I was joking. Even if I wasn’t joking, I wouldn’t have deserved what followed.
After he read my essay, this person—a complete stranger mind you—sent me an email. It reads, in its entirety:
I don’t have pearls, but I’m clutching whatever necklace I bought through Instagram ads this month. Good gracious sir! This reads like you ate a bowl of barbed wire for breakfast! As an aside, this email shows creativity. He should look into writing. After he looks into therapy.
We can ignore the fact that comedy breezes over his head like a soccer ball ignores a shitty goalie. We don’t have to twist the knife that hard, I imagine living without the ability to laugh is punishment enough. He’s not my first internet bully, I assume he won’t be my last. What helps me in moments like these—you know…when men send me violence, is empathy. Empathy is the magic trick, the card you play that distances you from what was actually said and completely removes you from any emotional charge or offense you could take from such an email. Empathy is what allows me to know that he wasn’t emailing me. He was emailing every part of himself that hurts. And y’all…it’s a lot of parts.