Before I get to today’s letter, I have an announcement to make! Finally!
Yesterday I was published for the first time on Venus Williams’ new website. Venus has created a very cool spot for people to see and shop her new active wear collection and to read great articles on a variety of subjects.
My faithful will recognize this as a re-write of a column I did recently on keeping New Year’s resolutions. The unfaithful will simply be struck by the genius of it all. Please click and read, even if you have already seen the original.
I know you are all sick of my shameless begging but clicks and comments are deeply appreciated, especially when I am so lucky as to have a spot on such a well-read site owned by one of America’s most impressive athletes.
Please take a moment of your day to click, read, comment and of course, SHARE! Here, I’ll give you the link again! Robin on Venus’ website!
And now today’s blog.
For the first time in askdescamp history, I am bifurcating the blog. The letter you see below raised far more issues than I could handle in one response and still maintain reader interest due to word count (are you happy, Mark and Liz???).
Look for the conclusion on Monday, because tomorrow is of course “Friday Feedback.”
About a month and a half ago I discovered my coworker and friend was having an affair with my husband for 6 months (it’s over now). I was angry and hurt and I lashed out at her. I downloaded a free texting app called (redacted – I don’t want to give you freaks any ideas).
I did not use my real information. I sent her many texts telling her I knew what she did and that she should kill herself. I also said, “I’m going to ruin your car like you ruined my life” and other horrible, angry things.
Two weeks ago I received a call from a police officer asking me what I know about the texts. He told me that he was going to subpoena the texting apps. He told me he would find out who was doing it.
I immediately stopped all communication with her. My questions are, was he trying to scare me to stop, and since I stopped will they follow through with the subpoena?
Am I going to jail? Please help me, I can’t sleep. I know I was wrong.
-Sleepless in Seattle
I don’t blame you for being sleepless. I also don’t blame you for your angry anonymous messages to your husband’s chew toy, a woman with whom you have the incredible misfortune of working. Shit honey, this story sucks all around.
You are understandably quite nervous about the legal side of things, so let’s address that first. We will get to the rest of it all, the more important stuff, on Monday.
Now, get this through your pretty little head right now: from now on do not ever speak to a police officer about this matter without a lawyer present. Didn’t you ever watch Law and Order or Matlock, for goodness’ sake?
And never, ever, EVER do something like this again. Lashing out at your husband’s spare ‘tang has no upside for you – none – so knock it off. I don’t care if you catch them in bed together eating the last sleeve of Girl Scout cookies on freshly stained sheets – don’t do it.
I wanted to take a look at the texts but you no longer had access to them (or so you say) so I am making the following judgment based on my impression you never threatened this woman with physical harm or suggested she perform a lewd and/or lascivious act or have one performed upon her.
This is important because of the wording of the applicable statute in your state:
(1) A person is guilty of cyberstalking if he or she, with intent to harass, intimidate, torment, or embarrass any other person, and under circumstances not constituting telephone harassment, makes an electronic communication to such other person or a third party:
(a) Using any lewd, lascivious, indecent, or obscene words, images, or language, or suggesting the commission of any lewd or lascivious act;
(b) Anonymously or repeatedly whether or not conversation occurs; or
(c) Threatening to inflict injury on the person or property of the person called (emphasis mine) or any member of his or her family or household.
(2) Cyberstalking is a gross misdemeanor.
Telling this stray excessively available chippy she should kill herself, while not the kindest advice in the world, is simply that: advice. I don’t see that rising to the level of criminal culpability unless you Washingtonians are especially sensitive people.
I’d like to remind you to review my disclaimer located here, in which I specifically tell you I am not your lawyer, I am not giving you legal advice, and if you sue me I will probably tell you to go kill yourself.
Hey, we’ve got something in common!
Perhaps more troubling is your threat to ruin her car “like she ruined your life,” which sounds like a warning you plan to harm her personal property in some sort of emotional manner. However, you told me you never followed through on your threat to destroy years of trust and love between this slag and her automobile so I think you are OK.
In my opinion both the mistress and the cop know it was you, unless she happened to be fucking several married men at once. That’s possible – we’ve got one of those right here in my neighborhood – but if not, clearly the sender of the texts is you.
Cyberstalking can be a very serious matter but what you described to me does not rise to the level at which it would be pursued by law enforcement. Take a deep breath and relax, and do not ever do this again.
Don’t get too relaxed, because I’m not done with you yet. Here’s what you told me in our series of emails yesterday:
You have been married for 15 years; he has never cheated before (ostensibly); you made him break up with her; he is still living at home and wants to work it out; you discovered the affair when you were snooping on his phone; and although he knows about the call from the police officer, you lied to him and told him it wasn’t you.
Now at this point he decided to give you a god damned break for a minute because his shitty behavior understandably made you do something out of character. He knows you did it, he just doesn’t want to call you out on it.
Tune in Monday when I tackle the rest of your issues, even though you didn’t ask me to. You’re welcome!