“Yes,” he said.
Then there was only one mutual acquaintance I could think of who knew about it and might have shown it to him. “Who, Seth?” I asked.
“No,” he said, “actually it was Mackenzie.”
Well, I am not unaware that the Internet is connected with the real world and can have consequences in that realm, and if I had been I would have been cured of that when this same sort of thing happened to me last year. I don't write anything here that I care if the whole world knows, and in fact I hold back on writing some things that the whole world really doesn't want to know. So it was not a total disaster that Mackenzie had discovered my blog and, as Bob further explained, read everything I wrote about her and recognized herself despite my clever use of a pseudonym, but it was highly unexpected because I didn't think she would ever bother to look at it. I thought her perceived apathy would offer a level of protection in that regard.
Then Bob told her that he had told me, and she got mad at him, and then he told me that he had told her that he had told me, and I got mad at him too, but I kept it to myself because she was already mad at him and I didn't want to totally ruin his day. But this ruined everything because now that she knew that I knew that she knew, she would be unable to trust that my writings were pure and unbiased. So I laid off them for a while. Then, as mentioned, she left for a while more.
Now, as you may have already guessed, she has returned. At home evening this past week she bounded over to me with a big grin on her face and announced, “I've discovered my new favorite activity.” I wanted to make a witty guess as to what this may be, but the only thing that came to mind was “killing cats” and that wasn't really witty, just sick. She continued, “When guys come and talk to me, I casually mention having a boyfriend and see how long it takes them to leave. That guy over there just set the record; thirty seconds.” Around this exact time it began to dawn on me how blessed I am for not having done that.
We had a lot of time to talk that evening, and finally I broached the topic of her having read about herself on my blog. Neither of us had ever mentioned it, and I had been holding onto a ridiculous hope that she would forget that I knew that she knew so that she could trust me to be unbiased. Now she explained, “I didn't mind it, but I told my sister, and she told my mom, and she thought you were a stalker.”
Then she asked, “Does 'Debbie' know that you write about her too?”
Yes, she does, because I asked permission to post that picture of her and me that one time, but to my knowledge she never bothered to actually read that post even though I shared it with her afterward. I think that in this case her apathy really does provide a level of protection. But as of this week, she and her mom both already think I'm a stalker anyway.
She has a fondness for dismissing compliments by redirecting them to my mom, so I decided to emulate her. “Tu madre es linda,” I said.
She stared at me. “Your mom?”
“How do you know that?” she said, and started to laugh. “Been spending some time on Bookface [sic], have you?”
Playing along with this silly notion that I had been admiring her mom's Facebook pictures, I pretended to be embarrassed and try to change the subject. "This is the best time of day, isn't it?" I said. "It's finally cooled off, after being hot all day, but it isn't dark yet..."
This made her laugh harder. “Do you know my dad's name too?” She laughed and laughed and laughed.
I didn't fully understand the source of her mirth until the next day when we walked to institute with her neighbor and she related a garbled version of the story to him. “...And then he said something like 'Your mom's name is Linda,'” she explained, laughing again.
I explained what I had actually meant by it and how I was just kidding around. Fortunately she believed me, which she indicated by smiling and saying “Uh-huh, sure.”