Here's another helpful hint from the PLFM staff at WWHM World Headquarters:
Never, ever give out your phone number to random people you meet on the internet.
Yeah, I know it's not rocket science, but I'm no rocket scientist. Believe me, I can barely figure out pants.
Some people, unfortunately, have to learn the hard way.
Kelly has a MySpace account, and a few months ago a 23 year-old guy named Ryan sent her a friend request along with a message.
"Hi Kelly. How are you? My name is Ryan. I am a student at XXXX XXXXX and I am going for my bachelors in criminal justice... ... blah blah blah redrum blah blah."
Basically, it was one of those things where someone you don't know feels inclined to contact you and tell you everything about their life because, well, they have nothing better to do. Kind of like the homeless person sitting next to you on the bus, minus the muted yet scintillating aroma of recently expelled urine.
Kelly first assumed Ryan must be a friend of a friend, and responded to a couple of his messages. Then Ryan stepped it up a notch, and the increasing frequency of his correspondence began to creep her out a little. When he began trying to figure out where she boarded her horses, it began to creep her out a lot. She didn't know this guy for shit, and sure as hell wasn't going to tell him anything about the whereabouts of her horses, or herself for that matter.
Kelly ignored his repeated messaging.
A couple months later, Kelly made plans to go out to a party. Kelly and all her friends were underage, and desperately needed someone to hook them up with some beers. Having exhausted all her options, Kelly remembered one more option ... ... Ryan, the 23 year-old guy from MySpace. She grabbed his number, called him up, and asked him if he could arrange to buy them some beers for the night. He agrees.
Says Kelly, "This is my entire encounter with him in person: I roll down car window, tell him what we would like, hand him money, roll up window, he comes out and I roll window down again, take bag and thank him, drive away. The end."
Or so she thought.
Kelly thought she'd be nice and send him a text the next day to thank him for stepping up to the plate and making the long drive. He responded:
"So I want to learn more about you. When is your birthday? What is your favorite type of flowers/ food/ movies? What is your favorite place to shop?"
And Kelly, unfortunately, told him. Would you like a moment to cringe by yourself, or are you comfortable cringing as a group?
Now, before you go and start bagging on Kelly for her lapse in judgment, she realizes it was a mistake. She questioned her own sanity as she did it. But she did it. She's a very nice girl.
In the least shocking news since Clay Aiken admitted he was gay, Ryan then began harassing Kelly over the telephone. Ryan wanted an opportunity to date Kelly, and Kelly wanted absolutely no part of it. Ryan called numerous times every day to see if Kelly would go out to dinner with him. Kelly had daily excuses lined up until she ran out of excuses, and then started borrowing excuses from her friends. Then those excuses ran out, so Kelly finally had to tell Ryan the truth.*
(*If "the truth" meant "the exact opposite of things that are true.")
Kelly basically told Ryan that her parents would feed her to the chickens if she ever went out on a date with him, and it was just never going to happen. Never. Ever. Not in a thousand fucking years. Just knock it the fuck off already, alright?
Then the texting started. All hours of the day and night, Ryan began sending texts to Kelly. "Good morning beautiful! How did you sleep?" every morning, and "Goodnight beautiful, sleep tight!" every single night. And in between, he'd barrage her with a bunch of meaningless texts about his feelings for her and his daily activities.
She responded to none of them. At all. Ever. And he just kept coming harder.
Says Kelly, "See, I figured the average person would take a hint and realize that if someone is not responding to a single text you send for over a week (and you know they are not dead because you can see they have been online everyday) that probably means they do not want to talk to you. But, unlike a normal person, Ryan took this as a hint to pursue me even more."
The texting only increased, now interspersed with cheesy love notes to her. "All that I am, all that I do, and all that I see is brighter and more beautiful because of my feelings for you."
So not only was Ryan a stalker, but apparently he worked at Mable's Gift and Card Shoppe. Sure stalking is bad, but copyright infringement? Fucking inexcusable!
"It was only mid-January and my birthday was not for another month, and he randomly sent me one text that said, "Hey Kelly. I am going to the store. Is there anything I can get you for your birthday?" My friend tried to convince me to milk him for all he was worth, but I knew that leading on an extreme creepo is probably the worst idea ever. Once again, I ignored it. I even blocked him on Myspace to give him even more of a hint."
Then came her birthday.
As usual Kelly got a text from Ryan that morning, but today it was something new.
"I have a surprise for you today!"
Kelly thought it was just another ruse to get her to respond, so she ignored the text. When she got home from school, there was a note on her door from a local florist. They had attempted to deliver some flowers to her home address.
Now Kelly was scared. Really fucking scared.
This guy, who had bought her beer one time, and to whom she hadn't responded to despite over a month of texts and phone calls, had finally figured out her home address.
Her phone rang every five minutes throughout the night, interspersed with text messages. Kelly wanted to confront him, but was too terrified to acknowledge his existence.
The next day, her home phone rang and she answered it because Ryan didn't have her home phone number. But, of course, it was Ryan. She hung up and called her brother. Her brother called Ryan back and warned him in no uncertain terms to never ever fucking contact his sister again. And surprisingly, it actually worked. The non-stop onslaught of calls and texts stopped.
But the story doesn't.
Kelly mentioned the next week on her Facebook page that she had gotten rid of her stalker. One of her friends responded "Is your stalker named Ryan?" Yes it was.
Ryan had been contacting all Kelly's friends, telling them he was her new boyfriend and trying to mine information about her. They all smelled a rat (no offense to rats) and refused to tell him anything.
Then Kelly got a message and a new friend request from a strange girl named "Summer" on MySpace. "I'm new to Idaho. Looking for friends!"
Kelly checked out the new account profile, and discovered only one picture and a profile written almost exactly like Ryan's profile. She denied the friend request, only to find a new message the next morning. From "Summer."
"Hello, my name is Summer.
I gota talk to you bout something. My bestie guy friend is Ryan, the same dude the sent you flowers. I was with him that day, when he bought them, that’s how I know this. I’m curious to know why you thought he was a stalker, or creeper, or whatever you thought of him. Whatever you say stay between us. The only reason I’m sending this to you, because I care about my friends, as I’m sure you do also. Whatever wrong impressions you have of him, please don’t take at face value, he’s a good guy once you understand him the way I do. Hopefully No hard feeling towards me for sending this."
Kelly adds, "I knew 100% it was him, but just to be certain I went on "her" profile and looked to see if they were friends on Myspace. Nope..plus her profile claimed she has JUST moved here from Oregon and didnt know anyone. Mmmkkk but your best friends with him..uuhh huhh sure."
Kelly had had enough, and was so enraged she finally decided to write him a little love note of her own.
"I'M NOT FUCKING RETARDED. I KNOW THIS IS RYAN. WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM? I TALKED TO YOU ONE TIME IN PERSON FOR 2 MINUTES AND I'VE BEEN IGNORING YOU FOR THE PAST FEW WEEKS...CANT YOU TAKE A HINT? LETS JUST MAKE IT CLEAR..YOU ARE A FUCKING PSYCHOTIC CREEP AND I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. YOU CREEP ME OUT. DO NOT CONTACT ME AGAIN OR I SWEAR I WILL HAVE TO COPS OUT TO YOUR HOUSE IN A MATTER OF MINUTES. GET A LIFE YOU FREAK.
OH, AND LEAVE MY FUCKING FRIENDS ALONE AND STOP TRYING TO ADD THEM WITH YOUR FAKE PROFILE YOU PEDOPHILE. YOUR 23..GO MAKE FRIENDS WITH PEOPLE YOUR OWN AGE."
Ryan hasn't contacted her since.
It took a gallon of goddamn bitch to stop the motherfucker, but it stopped him.
And PLFM would like to add... ... be careful Kelly.