Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Interrupt My Regularly Scheduled Etc.

You may remember me telling you about a teenage girl named Kaylee who had open heart surgery. A lot of people in the Red Sox blogging world, as well as other online communities, knew of her sad story and spent a lot of time sending thoughts her way. I had linked to her blog, and mine was linked on hers.

A few hours ago, while reading Quinn's site, I noticed someone had commented, thanking John for telling him about a blogger. John's response was "she duped a lot of us."

I knew immediately what he meant. I had suspicions all along. But could it really be? Or am I just that skeptical--after all, whenever someone sends me a forward about a heartwarming story, I always Google the names to see if it's just a hoax. I searched the rest of Quinn's recent posts and found nothing about Kaylee. Tried Peter N.'s site (Peter was always keeping up with Kaylee's various surgeries and diseases), but nothing there either. Went to another of Kaylee's online friends, Michael Leggett's blog. And there it was. News that Kaylee had duped us. She had made the whole thing up.

His blog led me to this post by a woman who had befriended Kaylee. It's a really good post about dealing with something like this. This woman heard even more lies from Kaylee than the rest of us, including a story about Kaylee's mom stabbing her, and one of Kaylee's sister being murdered.

It's one thing to play a practical joke. It's another to toy with people's emotions.

I don't know if "Kaylee" is anything close to what she says she is, with or without the diseases. It could be a 40-year old man making the whole thing up. If it's not a teenage girl, they've sure got the "teenage girl" writing style down. But the point is, whoever this person is, they need help. They should thank their lucky stars they don't really have cancer or bone marrow disease or heart disease or whatever the hell they said they had.

Am I giving this person more of the attention they obviously crave? I guess so. But this makes you think about internet relationships in general. When you're just words on a screen, you can be whatever you want to be. I've been thinking about this stuff since I first went online in the mid-nineties, sitting for hours in chatrooms and newsgroups. The ability to interact with people in a virtual setting opened up new doors. Good ones and horrible ones. I remember sitting there thinking, "I'm talking to someone. But I'm really just sitting here by myself. This could all be my imagination." Kaylee was my imagination, I guess.

The post by that woman says something about how a good deed is done as much for the giver as it is for the recipient. I don't believe that at all. When I do a good deed, I do it for the other person. Only. It's my motto, in fact. I think people that do good deeds to build up their own "karma" are as selfish as people who don't do good deeds at all. People try to get others to volunteer by saying what a good feeling you'll get. While it is true that you'll feel good about yourself, I think it's crazy that someone should need that as motivation to do something good for--god forbid--someone other than themselves.

I'm not saying that as a shot to that woman--I like that she's able to still care about this person who treated all of us like garbage. I'm sure she was just saying that to find the good in a bad situation--and maybe I'm full of crap, maybe it is better to make two people feel good than to leave yourself and the other person feeling down by not doing anything at all.

Kaylee, you have already "come clean" from what I hear, but I see you've taken your site along with that post down. If you want to apologize to my readers and the rest of the bloggers who wasted time on you, I will give you that chance and open up the floor to you here. Am I talking to myself right now? Are you laughing at me? So many times I thought to myself, "this is such a crock of shit," but I bit my keyboard at the risk of being insensitive, just in case you were real. But you're a fake. So get your ass on here and apologize. Don't do it to make yourself feel better, though. We've all done enough for you. Do it for us. If not, please get help for the problems you do have. Thank you.

Comments:
My thoughts in your magic words. I learned of this from a blog comment from Mike a couple of weeks ago. I should have sent it to you, but I thought you might have seen it there yourself. She's a 17 year old kid with a new baby brother who's a very demented actor...I think. I felt a little betrayed. Q even sent her a DVD player. That's sad. I had the chance to read her apology on her now gone blog...I should have emailed you immediately. She used to be an everyday reader and commenter over at PRSF. Ya never know, huh Jere? You, Kim and your familes have the happiest and healthiest 2009 possible. Might you get hitched? Just curious...ignore that question if you wish. I love reading your stuff and I hope you pop over to my place once in a while. Thanks
 
Who knows, maybe she pulled a Mrs. Doubtfire--she wanted our attention so much, she had to lie to get it. Or was that Bobby Brady with Joe Namath?

Hitched? Some day.
 
After all of this, how can we really know you're "Jere"?
 
Maybe Chan is pulling all the strings around here.
 
That's about what I figured.
 
I have been waiting for the right time to reveal that I am actually a polar bear. Sorry to everyone for the deception.
 
Fooled again! Dammit!
 
How the fuck does a polar bear know so much useless trivia?
 
Sorry I didn't send you a message about Kaylee being a fraud, Jere. My computer died about an hour after I found out, so I haven't been online much.

It's really sad someone would do something like this. That person posing as Kaylee needs some serious help.

On the bright side, "Twilight Zone" and "Honeymooners" marathons are just hours away...
 
Honeymooners - YAY!!

Internet fakes - BOO!

I always worried that people would think Cat and I were just bullshitting everyone when we were raising money for her car. I can only offer my word that we weren't. I am glad that there are people who are willing to give the benefit of the doubt and assume the best until proven wrong. That has always been my philosophy. And if I get used once in a while - well, better to do something unnecessarily than to do nothing when something was needed.
Also, I imagine that the woman you referred to was talking about the good feeling you get from helping others, not any karmal reward. (although I loves me some karmal :) I have always said my charity work is as beneficial to me as those I help. By that I mean it satisfies a drive I have to help others and feel as though I am doing something to improve our world. I don't have money to give towards that end so I donate a lot of my time.
Lastly, who IS that guy you've been posting pictures of so we don't figure out you're really Rich Gedman's illegitimate daughter?
 
Hi Jere-

I'm "that woman" who wrote the post about Kaylee. Just to clarify-- I don't do nice things because it makes me feel as good as it does the recipient (I think I cleared that up later in the posts or in the comments or something). In fact, I believe that good things should be done altruistically. Sometimes, feeling better is a naturally occurring side effect.

When someone is in a horrible situation, a lot of us have a need (or want) to do SOMETHING to help. 9-1-1 and Katrina are the best examples I can think of-- the suffering of others made so many of us feel helpless and hopeless, and we wanted to do what we could for them. Subconsciously, I think that it makes us feel better, because not doing anything would just um...suck. Doing nothing for a dying 14 year old would have been unacceptable for a lot of us; doing something made a lot of people feel better in knowing that maybe it would help her. I always thought that talking to her might take her mind off of her pain, or her situation, and a couple of times there, that it might just extend her lifespan. So, yes, that made me feel better, because hopeful makes me feel better than hopeless. I slept better knowing that maybe Kaylee got some sleep after we talked (after all, she was in such excruciating pain, and was often afraid that she'd die in her sleep). But it's not a karma thing at all-- just residual emotion.

Wow- I hope this makes sense. I haven't filled my coffee quota yet this morning.

By the way, I'm a polar bear too. I wasn't trying to hide it from my readers; the subject's just never come up.
 
I used to be a polar bear.

I got better.

Now I'm a penguin!
 
Hi Jere...am sorry you were also fooled...but shows you have a good heart...which she endlessly exploited. I am sorry now that she did take those blogs down as now we have no real evidence of anything but we know and hopefully got the word out. but make no mistake ...she would not have come clean without being tricked into it.....some might say she got her come uppence in a similar fashion...although Teeni never lied just called her out on her web of lies.

I said on Moonbeam's protected post that the lies about her losing more members of her family on Sept 11th this year than in last years post's really did it for me...cancer is awful but to mess with teh memory of so many innocent and slaughtered people...no that was beyond the pale...and i do know it happens but that is unforgiveable to me. Wonder if she got the DVD player or if it was a false address as so many of her gifts were sent to false addresses. thank you for drawing this to the attention of your readers...i think the whole giving her more attention is not relevant anymore...it is more important to tell the truth and to set the record straight...am not holding my breath about a real apology...it is beyond him/her/it
 
Trust Me! Jere is Real, Live From "The Toilet" or Professor Thom's:

As For "Kaylee", Well!

Thanks, Jere!
 

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