Friday, November 12, 2010

Online dramas on messageboards...

When you're an overeducated housewife with too much time on your hands, it's easy to get caught up in online dramas, especially if you frequent messageboards populated by women.  Because I am a second wife and, at least technically, a stepmother, I found myself in need of some support.  So, back in the early 2000s, when I was freshly married and brand new to step-life and second wife-hood, I joined a support site dedicated to helping women in my situation cope.  At the time, the support site I chose was a God send.  However, hanging out on that board brought with it a healthy dose of drama...  drama that was often kind of addictive.

Anyway, I clearly remember Christmas Day in 2003, when a certain member of the messageboard-- who I will refer to as "JiffyPop" announced that she had gone into labor with her first child.  JiffyPop was quite young and dating an older man whom she claimed was an alcoholic.  He was also the father of two kids from another relationship, one of which had special healthcare needs.  JiffyPop constantly complained about her boyfriend's drinking and the fact that they had no money.  After her baby boy was born, the other ladies on the messageboard advised her to get her ducks in a row, take the baby, and start anew somewhere else.

What JiffyPop decided to do was move with her alcoholic boyfriend to another state.  I well remember the dramatic saga of that move.  It took them several days to move from the Deep South to the Midwest.  Their car was falling apart and they were still very broke.  But they did eventually get to their new home up north.

Several months later, JiffyPop announces that she's pregnant with baby #2.  I remember how she timidly announced the pregnancy, acknowledging that so many women had advised her to get her life together and get away from her "drunk" boyfriend.  But alas, she had fallen pregnant again...  The ladies were mostly supportive, telling her they understood and advising her to get on some good birth control once this baby was born.

So, early the following year, JiffyPop has a baby girl.  Everyone congratulates her on her cute little family and, for a few weeks, all is well.  Then JiffyPop starts complaining about her boyfriend's abuse and alcoholism again.  She also whines about being poor and not being able to go to school or get a job because she has two little babies to take care of.  At some point in the middle of all of this, JiffyPop decides to marry her alcoholic boyfriend.  They tie the knot, and a few months later, JiffyPop is announcing her third pregnancy.

Baby #3 is born; it's another girl.  Two months after that birth, JiffyPop is pregnant with baby #4 and has that baby, another girl, before the year is over.  JiffyPop swears that she's done having kids, even though she's still fairly young and apparently isn't into using birth control.  She starts talking about going back to college.

The following fall, JiffyPop announces that she is pregnant with baby #5.  At this point, the ladies on the online support board aren't as enthusiastic about JiffyPop's amazing procreative talents.  They start to criticize her for being irresponsible, since she's constantly complaining about not having any money and being trapped with her alcoholic husband, who seems to be regularly moving in and out of the house due to their constant fights.  Meanwhile, the couple has declared bankruptcy and JiffyPop has taken out student loans for another attempt at finishing her college education.

Baby #5 is born.  It's another girl.  JiffyPop declares that she is DONE having children and claims that she got her tubes tied to prevent any more surprises.  Everyone congratulates her for making a wise decision.  JiffyPop goes back to school again, but never seems to make it to class because of her kids.  She joins a church and starts asking for donations so she can take a mission trip to Africa.  She crows about how this trip will do wonders for her marriage and she can take care of the poor African kids... never mind that she already has five kids at home who need her.

So now, it is November 2010... and JiffyPop has just made another announcement that... yes... she is once again pregnant.  This happened despite the fact that she supposedly had her tubes tied.  And instead of being upset about her tubal ligation not sticking, she is "praying" that the pregnancy isn't ectopic and that the baby is viable.  Then, in an offhand way, she comments that this will mean the trip to Africa will be off and she hopes her church can find someone else to go in her place...  which leads me to believe that she never got her tubes tied.  If she had, she wouldn't be so quick to assume she would be out of commission.  A pregnancy that results after a tubal ligation is likely ectopic.  If she'd had her tubes tied and got pregnant anyway, chances are good that she'd have to terminate the pregnancy.  Since she's already talking about names and hitting people up for baby clothes, I'm guessing there's a good chance this one is going to stick.

This is just one of the few online dramas I've come across over the years... it's almost better than reality TV.  Who needs cable when you can hang out on a messageboard and read about other peoples' lives...

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