A totally off-topic post, not about MPs at all

I was tired and thought to take a nap this afternoon/early evening, but my body apparently thought otherwise. I tossed and turned, recited poetry in my head, counted up to 100 and back down to 1, etc., but no dice. And for some reason I began thinking about something that happened to me half a lifetime ago, back when I was only about thirteen. It was basically your typical adolescent argument between two girls, but I think it was telling.

I had gotten to be friends online with this somewhat older (sixteen-ish) girl from Singapore — I’ll just call her N. Obviously we never actually met in person, but we did talk on the phone once or twice, we emailed each other frequently, and we both followed and posted on the same message board. I sent her short stories I wrote to ask her opinion of them, as N. was quite a fine writer herself.

Then, some months into our relationship, she got mad at me.

I realized her behavior towards me had changed and I asked her, basically: “N., you are doing this and that and it makes me think you’re mad at me for some reason. Have I done something to offend you?”

N. replied: No, absolutely not, I had done nothing to offend her and she was not angry with me; I was imagining things.

I was skeptical of this response, and became even more so when another week passed and N. was still acting as if I’d done something wrong. So I confronted her a second time: “N., I know you’re mad at me about something. Please tell me what I did, so I can fix it.”

This time her response was: Yes, she had been mad at me before, but she wasn’t anymore, and she couldn’t even remember the reason why; it must have been over something stupid.

I really didn’t know what to do with that. I didn’t believe her second answer any more than I believed her first, but I couldn’t figure out a way out of the situation, and hadn’t the slightest idea why N. was behaving this way. I sent her message saying something to the effect of “Well, if that’s all you’re going to to tell me, then fine.” I carried on like nothing had happened, because it was the only thing I could think of to do.

About two weeks later, N. absolutely exploded at me on the aforementioned message board where we both hung out a lot. In public messages, so everyone could read them, she said horrible things about me, said I was a childish attention-seeking brat who was using her, etc etc etc. And I finally found why N. was mad at me: it was the stories I sent her to read. She thought I was only friends with her so I could get tips from her on how to write well. Unfortunately, by the time I figured this all out, it was too late. N. and I never spoke to each other again.

(A quite similar incident happened with another online friend in late 2008, with the same results. But that’s quite another story.)

I have been given to understand that this sort of thing is more common than otherwise — that people will do just about anything except own up to being mad at you about something you did. It makes no sense to me. Somehow “getting mad at someone, not telling them you’re mad, lying when they confront you, and then publicly shaming them and dumping them for doing that thing which they had no idea was ticking you off all along” is the usual way of things. But why?

If N. had told me earlier about her feelings, we could have worked it out and she would have realized I was NOT using her. But she wouldn’t tell me, and wouldn’t tell me, and wouldn’t tell me, although I gave her several opportunities to do so. Rather than telling me the truth about what was bothering her, instead she flushed a perfectly good friendship down the toilet.

I don’t understand people at all. This is why I prefer the solace of my books and my computer. People tell lies so often. They teach you when you’re little that “honesty is the best policy” but then go around lying to everybody they meet. I ask people not to act like that around me: “If I am bothering you, say so, and say why. It’s the only way I can learn social skills.” And everyone promises to do this, promises not to tell lies to me, and about 95% of the time they lie to me anyway.

I guess it’s one of the problems I came with.

Make-a-List Monday: MPs driving motorcycles

This list is of missing people last seen riding a motorcycle, or whose motorcycle disappeared along with them, since they were probably riding it. I did discount one guy whose motorcycle AND truck disappeared with him; clearly he couldn’t be riding both at the same time, and it seems likely that he was driving the truck and the motorcycle was in the back.

I decided to count people who MAY have been riding on a motorcycle when they were last seen, and scooters count too. I thought about doing the same list for bicycles but discovered there were way too many of those.

Charles Dwayne Bell
Phyllis Eleanor Berry
James Patrick Burrows
Rosemary E. Hamilton Buck
Gus Henry Hoffman Jr.
Steven Curtis Jones
Patricia Ann LaLonde
David Vernon Lovely
Roger Dale Madison
Christine Ann Nelson
William Carl Reed
Michael Damian Rust
Pamela Dawn Tinsley
David Wayne Waggoner
Paul D. Yotter

Select It Sunday: Elizabeth Campbell

I was fairly deluged with suggestions, as you can see, although I don’t think any were for pre-1985 cases. Anyway, reader Danielle suggested I profile Elizabeth Campbell, who disappeared from Copperas Cove, Texas on April 25, 1988, less than a month after her 20th birthday.

Elizabeth is biracial — half white and half Korean — and she looks beautiful in her photos. She doesn’t fit the “profile” (such as it is) of a missing person. She had a job, was enrolled at Central Texas College and planned to transfer to Texas A&M University.

It appears her disappearance could have been a random crime. The last person known to have seen her was a convenience store clerk who gave her directions to a public phone so she could call her brother and get a ride home. Four years after Elizabeth vanished, her purse turned up about 180 miles from home. I wonder if someone grabbed her while she was headed to the phone booth, or whether she accepted a ride from the wrong person.

Last I knew, Elizabeth’s parents were still alive, but they’re both elderly and not in the best of health. Her brother is, presumably, still alive. I hope her family gets answers as to her fate.

Any suggestions for Select It Sunday?

I don’t remember any pending Select It Sunday suggestions, although it’s entirely possible that there are some and I have just forgotten about them. (I really need to start writing them down.) This week will have to be a female, since last week’s was male.

Although this is not a hard-and-fast rule, I prefer cases from after 1985 — 1985 being the year I was born. I profile pre-1985 cases on Flashback Friday. I also prefer cases that haven’t been updated recently, because that would essentially be highlighting them twice: once on this blog, and once on Charley’s updates page.

So…any ideas? Or reminders of previous selection I’ve have missed?

Flashback Friday: George Barksdale

This week’s Flashback Friday case is little George “Sputnik” Barksdale, who disappeared at the age of four, forty-four years ago. He was last seen playing outside his family’s church in Baltimore on April 21, 1969.

Other than the fact that he was apparently abducted, very little information is available about George. He was there, and then he wasn’t — just vanished. Nobody saw anything. There’s no evidence that he’s dead, but no evidence that he’s alive either. The only press I could find was from a local newspaper for Baltimore’s black community. George doesn’t even have a good quality photograph available.

He must have some family members out there still; I can well imagine that his disappearance left a permanent bruise in their lives.

Possibly some media outlet in Baltimore will take an interest in George Barksdale’s case and maybe run an article or something. Maybe next spring, on the forty-fifth anniversary of his disappearance. That happens sometimes. But I doubt it’s going to happen with this case.

Okay, router back online

Fairly late last night (like 10:00 p.m.) Michael called Comcast customer service to figure it out with the nonfunctional router. They told him how to fix it and we’re back in business now.

So there may or may not be an update today. I say “may or may not” because the time vampire known as the Sims 3 is supposed to come out with a new world today and I may wind up just playing Sims instead. (Sims 3, where is that world? You said you’d release it today and it’s past six a.m. already! *shakes fist*)

The router is sulking again

Wireless internet has been down since last night. I may go to the library today to do case updates. Or maybe just call it a day and read, or play Sims 3. (A new world comes out tomorrow!) Or the router may yet come back online as it did before, but I’m not holding my breath. Michael will have to call Comcast. If you’ll recall, our last experience with Comcast’s customer service didn’t go well.

In other news, last night my Twitter account got hacked by a spambot. But I’ve gotten it back under my control.

MP for this week

This week’s featured MP is Aferdita Gjergjaj (pronounced “ger-jil”), who disappeared from Michigan in 2001. It is, to quote Carl, a case of “suspected spousal snuffage.” Or rather ex-spousal snuffage; Aferdita’s ex-husband is the prime suspect in her disappearance. Unfortunately he’s in Kosovo and the US can’t extradite him.