QUESTIONS, CONFUSIONS & QUANDARIES
I think my daughter might be the victim of an online sexual predator. She’s fourteen and started talking to some boy named ‘Jake’ a few months back. But last week a man called our house. My husband took the call. He asked when our daughter would be home and told her to dress nice and tight…clearly he didn’t know he was talking to my husband.
Anyway, my husband said the man sounded fairly mature – though there’s no way of knowing for sure. My husband also told this man that if he ever came by out house he’d be a dead man.
When we confronted our daughter when she came home from school she confided in us that she’s been receiving very ‘weird’ emails from ‘Jake’ and let me have a look at some of them. They are disturbing to say the least. The shirtless boy in the profile looks about 18 but my husband says the man on the telephone sounded about 40.
I want to contact the authorities. My husband thinks the guy is just a crank and it will pass. What do you think?
Jesoline in Merrill Wisconsin
I think your husband needs to take a more proactive stance against this fruit-loop who’s harassing your daughter…or start preparing a snapshot of her for the back of a milk carton right now!
Are you serious?!?
You need me to tell you this?
Do you have any idea how many little girls and boys go off to school each day after talking to someone on line and then never come home again?!?!?
Here are a few things I want you to do
– right NOW!
First, I want you to call your local authorities pronto. If I were you I’d have them on speed dial. Talk to an officer involved in internet identity theft and kiddy porn/sex crimes because that’s exactly what this ‘crank’ correspondence is shaping up to be.
Depending on where you live and the size of your law enforcement you may not have an officer dedicated to such crimes. If your local police station doesn’t have someone in charge of this particular unit, I still want you to talk to an officer – not some phone jockey – and get an email contact so that you can forward ALL of the correspondences this weirdo has sent to your daughter to the officer investigating your case.
Second, I want you to go into your daughter’s bedroom and disconnect the internet and the computer and relocate both to a more central part of your house where you and your husband can keep an eye on her while she’s using it. At fourteen, she may need a computer for school work, but that’s about all she needs it for and she can do her work from the comfort and safety of your living room just as easily as she can from her bedroom.
If your daughter complains about this decision, as in “I need my privacy” simply explain to her that personal privacy and a computer – like a telephone (which is the other instrument of technology I want you to yank out of her bedroom after you read this) is a privilege – NOT A RIGHT!
She doesn’t have that right any more!
Your daughter’s already proven that her hormones have run away with her head. She’s also shown a decided lack of good judgment by falling for the posted image of some 17 year old shirtless stud – who’s probably a middle-aged potbelly pervert doing sick things to himself in his rat infested basement apartment while he’s typing ‘sick-nothings’ to your kid on the internet with greasy thumbs.
I’m not an alarmist, Jesoline – but the last thing this world needs is another prepubescent body dragged out of a dumpster or abandoned field. I’m counting on you to make sure this scenario doesn’t play itself out.
Finally, I want you to get your husband to get a grip on reality. This ‘crank’ is serious about your kid otherwise he would have forgotten about her after one or two emails. He’s developed a real taste for talking to your daughter and that won’t likely go away just because she’s decided she doesn’t want to play the game anymore.
Get busy. There’s lots to do. And best of luck.
The Crabby Critic
I’m sick of dating. I’m 28 and I go out with men who act more like boys. They don’t interest me. I get bored real fast. Any advice on what to do to attract a guy who thinks about more than his bling and Gameboy.
Frieda in Sullivan New Hampshire
Seriously though, you may be gravitating to the same old circle instead of branching out for more options. There’s something about you that says ‘I Like Immaturity’ and I’m not exactly sure what that might be. You’ll have to figure it out for yourself. I can give you a few pointers.
First up – a very old cliché:
Clothes make the man!
I’m not suggesting that you only go after the power broker and politico set in their business suits, dress shoes and carrying attachés with their cell phones glued to their ears. However, if, when you first meet some guy he’s generally unkempt; long greasy hair, wearing his baseball cap turned backwards, chewing bubble gum in open0toed sandals with feet that haven’t been washed since the Reagan administration while carrying his skateboard tucked under one smelly armpit – then that might be a definite indicator of exactly where his mindset is.
Second – avoid the ‘club’ scene!
I don’t know of a single personal friend who found a lasting relationship after the third “ooo, you look kind’a sexy there, girlfriend.”
True, some people do marry the guy they meet while shaking their business like a hoochy mama in heat – but generally that guy isn’t a man of quality interested in more of your intellect than your booty.
Third – be up front.
This one sounds easy enough but I am amazed at how many people don’t even know the basics about the person clinging to their arm.
Two examples: I have an impulsive friend who told me he was thinking of taking a girl he’d just met to bed because she was hot. When I asked him what color her eyes were my friend had to confess that he didn’t know.
Clearly, eyes weren’t first on his list of things to ogle but I should think that anyone worth bedding is worth recognizing in a crowd first!
Maybe that’s just my mistake!
I have another friend who married last month and only recently discovered that his new wife wants a big family. He’s an only child and doesn’t want ANY kids.
Like that one’s going to work itself out to a happy conclusion!
Now, when I say ‘up front’ I don’t mean you have to find out whether the guy you’re interested in is circumcised, enjoys cow-tipping and likes to shoot heroin biweekly while watching fetish porn. Remember, people rarely present that side of themselves they don’t want others to see in public.
However, you can jump start the conversation and learn a lot about the other person by mentioning things in a third party context. In other words, if you want to know if a guy wants a family you don’t say, “So, you wanna have kids?”
Instead you say something like, “Gee, the other day a girlfriend told me her guy hates kids and she’s known him for almost a year. Can you believe that?”…then see where the question leads.
If the guy says, “Hey, I’m down with that! Kids suck!” and you want twelve running around the house by the time your 35 then this cat is not the right howl for you!
Last, but not least – I find too many people these days desperate to marry because ‘time is flying.’ That’s the WRONG reason to get together with ANY ONE – either on a pay per view basis or more lasting relationship!
Love is not an Easter Egg Hunt!
You don’t get first prize for discovering the rabbit in his pocket before the next gal!
If you see someone who interests you and they haven’t noticed you from afar, it’s perfectly acceptable to make the first move; reach out and touch someone. But after the initial contact’s been made it’ll be up to you to find out what else is right and wrong with them.
If all else fails I suppose you could take out an ad in the lovelorn section of the Classifieds:
Classy woman seeking mate with real moral values, solid judgment and a sense of self. PS – No Gameboys allowed!
The Crabby Critic
I think I’m a man. I mean, I think I want to be one. I was born a woman and according to my parts I am one still today. But inside I’ve never felt feminine. I like all the guy things. But here’s the problem. I have this huge crush on this guy in high school. But I’m not a girlie-girl. Is there something wrong with me?
Phoebe in Pontiac
Well, that’s what our name would technically be if you became a dude for real.
But I want to get a few things straight in my head first. One, you say you don’t feel feminine, but you haven’t really defined what ‘feminine’ is for you. Your comment about not being a girlie-girl suggests to me that you’re more into blue jeans/T-shirts than high-heels and nylons. So was Katharine Hepburn. So what?
You also hint about ‘some guy’ in ‘high school’. I’ll take that to mean that you’re also in high school – at least I hope so; otherwise we’re taking about a middle-aged transvestite who’s into picking up little boys. E-yuck!
Okay, now let’s get serious!
The fact that you’re boy crazy leads me to deduce that you haven’t a lesbian bone in your body. So, ‘becoming a man’ just to have artistic license to wear manly attire doesn’t really sit well with me. That doesn’t mean that you might not be gay. I mean, if you want this other man as a man than you might have male homosexual tendencies. I don’t know this for a fact. You’ll have to ask and answer that question for yourself.
Do you want this boy in high school to take you in his arms as you are right now – a.k.a. with a vagina – or, as you would be if you two both came from the same anatomical junk yard?
When you say you like guy things – apparently you also like the guys who can do guy things.
That makes you a Tom Boy all right.
It doesn’t make you transgender.
So, let’s drop these options and discuss what I think is the real problem at hand.
You want to meet some guy in your class but are afraid that he won’t like you because you’re into the same stuff he is. Here’s a flash – have you considered how ‘hot’ that prospect might be for him?
I mean, most girls hate talking football stats and tuning up cars. If you can do both and so can he you might have an instant lead in to this guy’s heart that the gal applying her war paint and hiking up her skirt in the girl’s bathroom has not. Okay, stereotypes aside – maybe you’ll always be like a sister…er – brother…to him rather than the gal he wants to take to the senior prom.
But I think you’re approaching this all wrong. If you can read this guy and know he’s after a prom queen, but fancy yourself more the aggressive pit bull, then I suppose one of two things have to happen. Either you’re going to have to soften your image to suit him or he’s going to have to accept you for what you look like.
If you’re confident enough in yourself to make this work without a quick trip to the hair salon and cosmetics counter then I say ‘Go for it!’ Give it your best shot. If he shoots you down for trying then he’s not the right guy for you and its better you find out now.
If, on the other hand, your personality wins him over – and in my opinion, personality goes a hell of a lot farther than rouge and eye shadow – then you’ve scored a point for your side and on your own terms. That’s most admirable.
Finally, I’d be interested in knowing what it is exactly that you don’t like about girlie-girls. Is it that you don’t like the actual dressing up in all the many softer garments that women need just to get by in life – or is it that you equate a certain stupidity, weakness or cheapness to looking what you call ‘feminine’?
If the answer is (A) you just don’t dig the clothes I’ll just point out that today’s woman has a ton of fashion accessory options that don’t involve lacy frilly things. If, on the other hand, you think that soft clothes mean you’re on your way to selling out and becoming an airhead then I would suggest you’ve bigger issues coming out of your closet rather than what’s hanging in it.
The Crabby Critic
@The Crabby Critic 2008 (all rights reserved).