Dear Diary

March 21, 2012

These are the days of our lives.


I’m a blogger, and because my email address is open to the public, I occasionally get messages from readers. Usually they’re fellow teenage girls tagging me for something or asking to be my pen pal. Occasionally, though, it’s some creepy old man that “hope[s] we can become friends” or is “researching culture” for his job. I’ve realized I don’t know how to react to these messages.

A few days ago, a 37-year-old married man (he decided to let me know in his email) told me I appear to have pretty feet, and asked for pictures of them to “prove it.” Ewww. Also: feet?!

A while before that a guy told me he wants to be my friend. He had a unisex name and didn’t mention his age, so I assumed everything was fine, until I googled him and discovered he was middle-aged and had Mary-Kate and Ashley DVDs in his Amazon cart. Preeetty sketchy.

Then there was this guy who said he was studying my blog for his job as a designer of something and he needed to do cultural research. He didn’t even ask me anything or request a response; he just thought it would be a good idea to tell me something that didn’t even make sense. Why would he go on some random teenager’s fairly unpopular and very specific WordPress blog for cultural research? It was just really weird.

Oh, and another one likes to comment on my blog all the time, and I never thought anything of it. Firstly, boys can like fashion and read fashion blogs and comment on them. Secondly, maybe it’s a girl anyways. But it turns out this person is a grown man with a history of internet-stalking teenage girls and now all of a sudden he’s started commenting on every post I make.

A part of me wants to strike back against these men somehow—but how? I don’t want to reply and give them my IP address (or the satisfaction of getting to me), but I hate to ignore them. It makes me feel defeated. I like to have closure. And you can’t report someone to the police for being creepy, can you? Pictures of feet aren’t illegal or anything, and neither is asking for them. So I guess all I can do is ignore these creeps, whether I like it or not, because it’s the only safe reaction I can think of. I just delete their emails and hope to never hear from them again. ♦


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  • MissKnowItAll March 21st, 2012 7:14 PM

    Katherine, I am you and you are me! Prom can really be fun, except when your a third wheel. Then it can really suck. My school is really tiny and we only have one dance each year. One of my closest friends is a guy who happens to be really popular. He broke up with his girlfriend and asked if we could go as friends. I said yes. Then this other girl who has the biggest crush on him decided to invite herself in our duo. Yeah, that should be interesting…
    Ruby, WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T SEND ANYONE ANYTHING!!!! I’ve dealt with my share of creepy older men and it was pretty much a giant nightmare. Just dont.

  • AllieBee March 21st, 2012 7:17 PM

    Oh prom. I went through like 10 phases of asking this one girl as my date, but I’ve decided just to go with my friends, and simply dazzle everyone with my mad dance skillz. At least we’ll have fun going to the diner afterwards and watching 80s prom movies!

  • mariaantoniavs March 21st, 2012 7:18 PM

    Oh Ruby! I wouldn’t know how to react to something like that either! I mean, it’s super creepy! I’ll probably just go cry and tell my mom about it… CREEPY OLD MAN, PLEASE STOP BEING SO CREEPY.

  • suburban grrrl March 21st, 2012 7:22 PM

    Doesn’t Thunder Road exist? I’m not the biggest Springsteen fan but I AM from New Jersey, and from my understanding it’s real. Maybe around Asbury or something, I dunno.

    But I totally know what you mean

    • Anaheed March 21st, 2012 7:28 PM

      Does it?!? I couldn’t figure this out when I was fact-checking (granted, I didn’t look too hard).

      • Naomi Morris March 21st, 2012 8:01 PM

        anaheed’s priorities are obviously not fact-checking but instead figure drawing on mac paint :)

    • Naomi Morris March 21st, 2012 7:29 PM

      i think it’s an urban myth that it really exists, cause bruce (i think) told a story before singing it at concerts that he once saw a sign saying thunder road, but don’t quote me on it!!!

  • Babs March 21st, 2012 7:23 PM

    thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for the prom article! I can totally relate to that, except in my case im also going through a sexual identity (or whatever you call it) crisis…

  • Sugar March 21st, 2012 8:44 PM

    Dylan, this may mean nothing to you, but Whole Foods sells a treat/supplement for dogs with mobility problems. My poor dog suffers from Intervertebral Disc Disease, and has to be carried up and down stairs, but these treats seem to really help…

  • Mollie March 21st, 2012 8:46 PM

    Divorced parents are really difficult because you never know who is telling the truth. And when it’s between the two people you’re supposed to be able to trust the most, it’s really rotten.

    • starcollector March 21st, 2012 9:27 PM

      I feel you. My parents divorced when I was three and I’m so used to them using my sister and I like human telephones that I didn’t realize it until someone pointed it out. It’s really kind of difficult to handle the communication between two adults when you’re barely potty trained.

  • starsinyourheart March 21st, 2012 8:59 PM

    my cat’s really sick too.. i’ve had her since i was 5, i’m 17 now. i just wanna cry thinking about anything happening to her! :( <3

  • starcollector March 21st, 2012 9:25 PM

    Dylan’s entry made me cry. No shame.

    • Pashupati March 21st, 2012 9:58 PM

      I dropped tears too. My dog who lived with us since I was 18 months died last year, she lived 15 years, 14 in very good health running like a puppy, but got weirdly sick… I remember when I was 8 and looked at her a lot and cajoled her because I was afraid she would die and wanted to keep these moments, and then I didn’t even think she could get sick. Now the moments are remember the most are those when I was 8 and her getting weaker and the sickness returning when cured. I should have built moments to remember again when she got sick. I wish Dylan’s dog as well as Dylan the best moments together.

  • thefawnboy March 21st, 2012 9:30 PM

    I hope your dog feels better and you do too
    I had this horrible period where I felt forceably so distant from my aging dog while I was gone long long hours at university and him being my best friend, ended up making me very upset and depressed
    after i dropped the second half of first year of university, i ended up going on a ‘release’ trip for two months, one that didn’t end up helping moreso than it did further depressing me, especially upon my arrival home
    when i came back home my dog had aged immensely, and i felt horrible
    on top of that, i was notified upon arrival that a very important friend who was someone i admired and looked up too had been mysteriously killed and found dead in a playground, me having not been told until i was back home, found out long after the funeral and was just at a complete loss
    those next few months were to be the last with my dog, however i do feel at least i got to spend them with him, although i do wish i’d have been better in the mind and spirit to have done so much more for him
    i still feel guilty for not wanting to go on walks or leave my house for the matter

    it has been 2 years and some since then and just writing this has made me upset, however i felt it necessary for you to know just so you realize someone else cares for your beautiful friendship with your dog, and just remember your connection no matter what

    the fawn boy

  • cleobea March 21st, 2012 9:30 PM

    I always love this post. Especially today. Thanks.


  • Pashupati March 21st, 2012 9:33 PM

    Ruby, if it can reassures you I knew (online only) a girl ( IIRC) whose blog was read by someone who made a thesis on teenage/child diarists comparing her blog and the diary of Ariane Grimm, whose mother published part of her writing. (paper-pencil person!)
    BUT I think if he were what he told you, he’d add precisions such as a link to their work or something related in the case they don’t have a website, such as an exposition presentation (URL to expo’s webpage, PDFs could well be a bunch of virii or something) or article about them on their school’s website, etc. and use an professional email address.
    The feet email? I once accepted to “befriend” one guy who first asked more innocent things because I’m such a naive person, he didn’t ask for my feet and just to be friend but then he asked for pictures, details about my life in an autoritative way and said I “promised” these pictures, telling me I was sexy, that we were friends, to give him a picture of me wearing a particular kind of clothes, insist about being wrote to/answered again, etc. I didn’t promise anything, but also felt like I was a bad person until I told him to stop, not ever comment again & his comments were deleted, he found/knew me from a forum so I left it and disallowed users to send me PMs/emails from my profile options. Didn’t like the unrelated forum much, but it made me uncomfortable with blogging too, which I came back to doing because doing what I like is important.
    Don’t answer stuffs you feel are inappropriate and if someone pressures you, it brings way too much stress. <3

  • moonchild March 21st, 2012 9:35 PM

    Ruby, which is the stalker-man that is commenting on a lot of posts? I read your blog a lot and I’m curious…

    That is SUPER CREEPY! That’s why I didn’t make my email public. :)

    Oh and btw, I love your blog. You have great style!!!


  • Abby March 21st, 2012 10:10 PM

    Katherine, I totally understand your first sentence. Totally. I’m planning on going to my senior prom this year dateless. I don’t think all my friends will have dates, but if they do they can suck it up because IWILLBEINTHEPICTURESDAMMIT.

    Also, I hate to troll… but will someone tell me if they like this? It’s the dress I want to wear, and I just want some opinions because my friends are apparently incapable of being objective. I don’t know what color yet…

    • Jenn March 24th, 2012 2:09 PM

      It’s pretty! The rosettes aren’t really my thing, but other than that I think it’s really nice and the billions of color options are always a bonus :)

  • Kristen March 21st, 2012 11:11 PM

    I love Dear Diary. I just wanted to say that.

  • Yellie March 21st, 2012 11:18 PM

    huh, at my school if you do with a date YOU ARE STRANGE. Everyone stares and wonders why your boyfriend can’t hangout with the rest of your friends.
    I asked my longtime guy friend/ LOVE OF ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE. I was super excited and apparently he was too. Then I find out ON the night that he is gay… it was like a sucker punch in the gut.
    Still love that boy… hopefully I will eventually recover and no longer ooggle at him when we go shopping together.

  • FlaG March 22nd, 2012 12:18 AM

    Ruby: I had a similar experience when I was 17 – I uploaded some photos of myself to a community on Livejournal for girls with short hair as a way to find solidarity with girls who were just like me. I got a lot of positive responses from the other girls in the group, and one of the respondents wanted to add me on MSN (‘because we have so much in common’).
    I thought nothing of it, and added that person. I initially thought I was talking with a girl that was my age, and we would chat every few days or so on MSN. But then this person started asking for photos of me getting my hair cut (and you thought photos of your feet was weird). Eventually I realised I was talking to a guy who lived in Germany, and all sorts of red flags and alarm bells went off in my head. I blocked and deleted him from my MSN and put my Livejournal profile on ‘friends only’.

    I got an email from him shortly after demanding for an explanation on why I blocked him and how dare I do that and what is my problem and guilt tripping me back to him. Needless to say I didn’t respond, but I think I dodged a massive bullet by blocking him.

    It’s been seven years since then and I haven’t heard anything from him. But I hope he hasn’t harassed any more girls since then. You shouldn’t reply to any of those creepy emails – they’ll probably only harass you more.

  • Panda March 22nd, 2012 1:09 AM

    Ruby- that doesn’t seem right.

    You should be careful with such things. I mean the police might actually be interested in hearing about these guys so that they can track them…cause the feet thing isn’t right. I mean that guy doing research might be OK but I mean it’s pretty stupid of him to contact you in such a way as it does send up red flags.

    Keep yourself safe and if anything gets too creepy, tell someone!

  • dianeisnotmyname March 22nd, 2012 5:24 AM

    Katherine- the same thing happened to me this year with my school’s formal. Well, it was a “girl’s choice” dance and the guy I would have gone with was going out of town. I was like “Whatever, I’ll go by myself!” But apparently that idea was OMGTOTALLYNOTOK. Because:
    A. What will you do for the pictures!?!?
    – um I’ll be fine!
    B. Who will you dance with?!
    — I wasn’t really planning on dancing in the first place actually.
    C. You HAVE to show the first guy that you are FINE without him and you can have fun with other guys.
    — Can’t I do that by myself!

    Well, I ended up asking someone ( feel free to shake your head). It was a guy that really wanted to go and I don’t know him too well but he ended up being a good date. We went our separate ways after my dress broke (a different story).

    There are numerous dances I had to skip out on because I had no date. Maybe look for flyers around your down with fun out of the box things you can do.

  • stellar March 22nd, 2012 12:29 PM

    Ruby, what they are doing *is* perverted and they need to be told “what u are doing is out of line; u need to be talking to someone yr own age.” u don’t have to ‘go along’ with anyone whose motives u r unsure of! when i graduated from high school, a guy in his 40′s seemed to have decided to make me his ‘target’ in junior college; he also tried to make me jealous of another girl by telling me ‘u must be sexually frustrated’ because i had a disability and ‘steffie’s so pure; that’s why she’s engaged–why aren’t u like her?” i really liked steffi and my body/sexuality was none of his business. but because i had been raised to be ‘nice’ i didn’t know how to deal with it.

  • LizzieS March 22nd, 2012 2:41 PM

    Thunder road!
    ‘what else can we do now, except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair’ = such a great lyric. It’s like the most elegant way ever of saying ‘to hell with it, let’s just have fun’.
    Naomi, you’re awesome.

    • Naomi Morris March 22nd, 2012 7:54 PM

      urgh i get a wave of longing when he sings that line, you’re so right!!!

  • Pauletta March 22nd, 2012 4:38 PM

    Ruby, don’t dismiss your worry about these people. If some creep is asking a teenage girl for pictures and personal information, I am most sure that the police will be interested in it. I don’t want to sound bossy or anything, but I think it is your duty to report it. If these people are stalking or harassing anyone else, the best way in which we girls can take care of each other is by letting the authorities know about it. If we let it pass, we are only allowing them to go on with their stalking and harassing. Please, take care girl ;).

  • neenah March 22nd, 2012 4:57 PM

    Prom can totally be the best and worst thing ever! I went my junior year and was having a great time dancing and getting major vibes from my date (we went as friends). The next time said friend and I hung out, I tried to kiss and was brutally rebuffed. It turned out that the only reason he asked me at all was to make my best friend (and his aparent dream girl) jealous. I was so hurt and (because I’m super smooth and clever) I tried to play it off and said “Whatever. You like Kraft Mac and Cheese.” Then went home and cried a lot more than was necessary for a boy who looked like a slightly more handsome (an less orange) version of Guy Smiley from Sesame Street.

  • unicorn March 23rd, 2012 7:49 PM

    Ruby- They have all sorts of laws against stalking and harrasment and stuff in real life. I’m pretty sure they have laws like that on the internet too. If these guys are making you uncomfortable, then you should file charges. It’s not right for anyone to do that to anyone.

  • Jenn March 24th, 2012 2:15 PM

    Ahhhh relating to the prom post so much. I’m hoping that the guy I’ve been talking to will wise up, but if not I”ll just go with my best guy friend.

  • caro nation March 25th, 2012 10:45 AM


    They’re on the same label (Trouble in Mind) as Mikal Cronin, also known as underrated.

    My dad just saw them in Austin and was blown away.

    I’ve got the record now, too.


  • Dylan March 26th, 2012 2:21 PM

    Nice! Both awesome. Enjoy it, Trouble in Mind puts out some paaarettty cooool 45s!

  • OlyGirl_LAWorld March 28th, 2012 6:10 PM

    Been on both sides of this.

    My Junior year, I REALLY wanted to get gussied up, take pictures, and dance. I was in love with the idea of a night of teenage frolicking. That’s all I wanted. No one asked me out. I didn’t have a group to go with. I drove myself. I just sort of….jumped in.

    A lot of people stared at me. They whispered when I took my dance picture alone. In fact, that was the first moment I realized that what I was doing was even remotely gutsy. When I stared out at all the people giving me bewildered looks as I posed in front of the cheap backdrop with my hand on my hip instead of clasped with a date’s. But that moment of discomfort evaporated when I strode out to the dancefloor and found some friends who didn’t mind my latching onto their dance circle. I danced and rocked the awesome hair my sister did for me. I had no expectations of romance. And when I was tired, I didn’t have to ask anyone if we could go home. Magic.

    The next year, I had a boyfriend. And now prom was going to be this BIG, ROMANTIC, PERFECT THING. But, you know, it wasn’t. Even though I had the boy status symbol accessory to PROVE I wasn’t some loner upstart, it didn’t really make the dance better. I was so set on proving to my classmates that I, TOO, COULD GET A DATE, I didn’t realize that my date was a total stick in the mud, whining about not knowing anyone, too tired to dance, and insisting we leave early.

    I understand the want for someone to WANT to be with you at these things. That validation can be awesome. But sometimes, the validation you give yourself can be better?