Open Thread for Personal Stuff: January 2014 Pretty Cats Make Hats Edition

Pretty Cats Make Hats

Pretty Cats Make Hats

As requested, an open thread. I’ll try to get these up more often in the future. This one will be overseen by Morrissey with a cat on his head.

No trolls, no arguments.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on January 14, 2014, in off topic, open thread. Bookmark the permalink. 601 Comments.

  1. And, as it’s topical: Abi, at Making Light, has decided this is the time to host a new “Dysfunctional Families” thread. Those are often a very good place to vent/get some feedback about problems one is having with family(present problems and issues from past problems).

    Dysfunctional Families: Toolbox

  2. No. We have a full car, and not only a guest of honor to deliver, but a wedding to attend after we get there, but before the con.

  3. So you’re even busier than usual, good luck with the schedule crunch!

  4. @Ally

    I’m just repeating what everyone else said, glad his message was good-ish, but being cautious makes sense. Glad it made you happy though. Jedi hugs from me (for the xteenth time) if you want them.)

  5. Thanks for all the internet hugs, guys. I feel way less anxious tonight.

  6. My feelings are always the opposite of what Pecunium said as far as douchebag family members go – cut off contact, end of story, because for me blood is way thinner than water – but I am not advising you either way, Ally.

  7. I’m with Kittenserf. Being related to someone is not a life sentence. If someone makes you miserable and it looks like they always will, I’m all for getting away and staying away from them.

  8. I cut my loser father out of my life decades ago, and he was nowhere near as bad as Ally’s. I did have the advantage of him having left, so by the time I was Ally’s age he’d been gone a decade, so it was very easy to tell him exactly what I thought of him when he tried crawling back later.

  9. Ally, you do what feels right for you. I’m really glad you’re feeling less anxious, and I’m sending you a whole bucket of hugs. And puppies, because I think katz has plenty of kitties.

  10. Welp, shit just got real around here.

  11. What’s happened, katz?

  12. Ally’s dad is trying to use her phone to track where she is.

  13. WHAT a surprise. Once an abusive, untrustworthy shit, always an abusive, untrustworthy shit.

    He can’t do it, can he? It’s untraceable?

    I’m thinking intervention orders against this guy. For a start.

  14. Wow, I guess I didn’t have this thread followed after all. Ally, I’m so glad you’re safe, and that your dad responded not-jerkishly to your coming out.

  15. How can he do that? track the phone?

    You ARE far away, right?

  16. Wow. How did you find out he was doing that?

  17. Wow, I guess I didn’t have this thread followed after all. Ally, I’m so glad you’re safe, and that your dad responded not-jerkishly to your coming out.

    Yeah, but now he’s trying to track her through her phone. Non-jerkish response = abuser’s fakery.

  18. @kittehs

    I’m guessing emilygoddess just didn’t see that part yet.:/


    WOw. Hope she’s okay. And you too. Is there a way to stop him? Sorry I don’t have any advice😦

  19. Ugh, I just tracked my phone right to my house with ADM. I hope Ally’s GPS is turned off.

  20. I had to log in to my own gmail account to do it, though. I couldn’t track someone else’s phone unless I had their gmail account name and password.

  21. kittehs: I don’t think it’s completely opposite, as more deliberate (there is a reason I’ve not spoken to my sister other than because we happened to be in the same building by happenstance in something close to 25 years: on the flip side my parents breakup caused me to not see my father for something like 15 years, and maintaining our relationship is hard. Not because we don’t get on, but because we don’t have the habit).

    Ally: he’s being dickish, at which point finding a way to restrict his ability to find you is definitely the thing to do. Telling him to to back the fuck off is also a good idea. If you have a parallel way to maintain contact with your siblings, one that he can’t jam, I’d work on opening it up.

    Because the signals you are getting are mixed, and that’s no good for you.

    If you can afford it, the next step is to sever any connection your phone has to his plan.

  22. Crap, posted to soon. I meant to say regardless of anything else, you want to sever any direct connection between your phone and his plan.

  23. Sorry, ADM=Android Device Manager.
    I think iphones have a similar app.

  24. I turned my phone off so he won’t be able to track me, as far as I can tell. By the way, we’re currently going through a series of power outages for some reason, so if we don’t say anything for a while, you can blame the terrible transformer around here.

  25. As if this evening hasn’t been dramatic enough, our power keeps going out. So if there are any suspiciously long absences from me and Ally, it’s because the power is out, not because we’ve all been murdered.

  26. Hey Ally, you are so brave. I am really glad to hear that you are with Katz, even though obviously there’s a bunch of stuff going down. Take care.

  27. The iOS version is find iPhone/iPad/iPod but 1) you can only do it from another apple product and 2) it has to be setup with both apple products using the same iCloud account.

    And I revise my previous agreement with Pecunium in light of his attempt to track you, if he’s gonna be an ass, cut contact. At the least, pick up a tracfone, here everywhere from supermarkets to staples carries them — prepaid and untraceable. And don’t use any credit or debit cards that he can see the statements for since they usually include the location where the card was used.

    Good luck!

  28. FYI, he attempted to track me via the T-Mobile family plan software called FamilyWhere.

    Oh god, I’m so fucking scared.😦 I’m just going to try to go to sleep now.

  29. Ally, you got out! Hadn’t been following this thread at all, just catching up now. It’s great that your dad’s reaction was less awful than expected, but given his past behavior it still makes sense to be wary and cautious. Just because you have to plan for the worst doesn’t mean you can’t hope for the best, though – maybe realizing that he might lose you will encourage him to stop being such a shithead.

  30. Ally, I hope by the time you read this you have had a good night’s sleep. You’ve been under a lot of stress, which you’ve handled with bravery and grace. I’m so glad that you’re with katz, since that means you’re with someone good and decent, who cares about you. (As we all do — but I’m so glad that katz was in a position to help out very concretely.)

    Love and hugs, if they’re wanted.

  31. Ally, totally seconding Argenti’s advice: get a prepaid. They can’t be traced. Get rid of your current phone, don’t use the sim card from it.

  32. I can’t go to sleep right now. I’m too anxious. And I feel like such a horrible person for not talking to my dad via phone, even though he’s being invasive.

    On a lighter note, last night I had a dream in which I came out to my dad, and in response he told me “I know who made you like this! He is a man who has been refuted many times over. His name is Michel Foucault!” I’m still trying to understand that dream.

  33. Ally, you’re not a horrible person for not wanting to talk to your abuser.

    Repeat and rinse.

    Even if he wasn’t the shitstain he is, since when is “not wanting to talk to someone” a sign of being a horrible person?

    LOL about Foucault, though. I can’t think of him without seeing Dead Philosophers in Heaven cartoons.

  34. @Ally

    More internet hugs from me, if wanted. And you aren’t a horrible person for not talking to your dad over the phone.

    Also, that dream seems fairly strange…

    also also, here is an adorable kitten.

  35. Ally S, when you have something important to tell someone who may not take it well, it can really help to communicate by email/text rather than by phone. They don’t get to interrupt or derail you, mid conversation. You don’t have to worry about getting emotional or having to take a break to think about what else you want to say.

    But most importantly, you can write down what you want to say, -reread and edit it to make sure it really does convey what you want it to convey. And not have to explain things off-the-cuff which can be difficult at the best of times and even more so when something means a hell of a lot to you. There is no shame in not phoning. And given your father’s subsequent behaviour, it was the right way to go.

    Now any further communication can be at your pace, not his. You have let yourself have the control in this discourse – it probably feels strange because usually your father is the one with the power in your relationship and all your life you’ve thought of that as the norm.

    But now you are an adult. You’re not being rude, disrespectful or nasty, choosing how and when you do or do not communicate with your father. You’re just exercising your rights as an adult.

  36. I agree with what everyone else has said.🙂

  37. Damn, Ally, I’m sorry he’s doing this to you. Hug Katz’s kitties and remember that a bunch of people are rooting for you 🙂

  38. Ally, I’m so glad you’re safely away and with Katz!

  39. Ally, even us lurker folk are rooting for you, big time. You’re so, so courageous. Hang in there.

  40. Ally, hope you got a good night sleep and that’s all’s well. Keep us posted, power grid willing.

    Also, since this thread has gotten long and a little unweildy, I’ve started up a new thread to continue the discussion here:

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