hell is paved with good intentions


gifts from odd placesSo I received this gift in the mail yesterday. [Okay, not that gift, that is just a pretty picture I put up to make the site alluring and sparkley but a gift.] It is from someone who read my book. She really liked the book and wanted to send me a token of her appreciation. This is always a little odd to me. I have never sent an author a present. But people do do this. I know because I get gifts from readers. So I open the gift. It is a really thoughtful gift. There is a lovely dream catcher in there.

And some dog chews.

And a cute little cow dog toy.

And some kitty treats.

Whoever sent it knows about the cow cartoon. And about the animals.

Here is the thing she missed though.

All my animals are dead.

Jones died in the fall of 2005. Dolph died in the fall of 2004. Loke died in the fall of 2003.

[Fall really sucks around here.]

Receiving this is not quite as traumatic as the day I received a large package at the post office and it was Loke’s wheelchair – a week after I buried Loke. But still. Kind of horrifying.

I think, Well, how should I address this? And I think, well it was meant well. There is no point saying anything about the animals. I will just say thank you. So I track down the gift giver’s email and rattle off a short brief thank you.

She writes me back. Her name is not spelled traditionally. I should not have put an “h” in there.

Jeez. Excuse me gift girl. I did not mean to be insensitive there or anything I guess I was just KIND OF DISTRACTED YOU JUST SENT ME GIFTS FOR THREE DEAD ANIMALS.

Hell is so paved with good intentions.

In other news, I just knocked my own lowest score off the Tetrizz board.


I so rock.



where to get doggy wheelchairs :
in case you were wondering or needed a doggy wheelchair

21 Responses to hell is paved with good intentions

  1. Wow. I hope I don’t get weird reader gifts. Becuase that is definitely a horrifying story.

    You do rock, though, nevertheless.

  2. Hi Max

    I have a great story about a dropped Letter for you.

    When my Aunt died we had a rent-a-minister come in because she didn’t belong to a Church.

    My Aunt’s name was Geri-short for Geraldine.

    Anyway througout the Eulogy the Minister kept refering to what a great person GARY was…all the good works GARY did and how much we’d all miss GARY.

    GARY sounded like a great guy, I’ll bet my Aunt Geri would’ve liked him.

    The Minister probably thought Death was kind for taking my Aunt away from a family who could keep snicker through a Funeral Service.

    My Aunt would’ve loved it…Gary is another story.

    Anita Marie

  3. Anita Marie… that’s a wonderful story. I’ll be snickering all morning!

  4. Just doin’ my part to make the world a happy place ;-)

    Anita Marie

  5. Okay, so I don’t have a book so my readers are mostly of the Blog Valley High population, but occasionally I get gifts too. I never know how to respond. But I’ll keep in mind that inserting a rogue “H” into the sender’s name is a bad idea.

    And actually–all my Eddie Izzard dvds were birthday presents from reader people. Gosh, I hope I didn’t “H” them in my thank you notes! :-p

  6. I have to tell this so that I have immediate witnesses in case something goes wrong. I wrote a blog recently that someone did not agree with AT ALL, and he’s been sending me weird emails ever since, and I just delete them. No harm, no foul right? Well, about five minutes ago, I received a post card from this said individual, which read “LMT, Be safe. Take Care!” With an extra large exclamation point.

    Hmm… Max, you ever had a stalker? You seem like you could outsmart them, and have them scared, so probably not. I’ll take the missing “H” any day!

  7. Well, it could have been worse. You could have gotten on of those “gifts” that require a whole bunch of antibiotics and maybe some sort of special soap to get rid of. I hate gifts like that.

  8. L. Monique–I hope you report that to the police! I had a scary stalker once, and the police chased him out of town. You should keep the emails he sends in a file as evidence, in case this escalates.

    Hey, maybe is knows Chad?

  9. L. Monique

    You need to contact the owner of the original blog you posted on ( the one your ‘stalker’ found you on ) and let them know they’ve got a loose cannon on their decks-

    Then you need to take his / her? emails and see if you can track the headers. Those headers carry the original senders ISP and all kinds of other info about their e-mail traffic.

    Then I’d go the extra mile…contact the law enforcement in this joker’s area as well as your own and file a report.

    The thing with snerds like this is they do it ALOT.

    Safety first and take care
    Anita Marie

  10. max

    Anita, you live the most interesting life.

    People who send me stuff are generally nice people expressing appreciation through a gift. This woman meant well. It took thought and effort to find that cow toy. And the dream catcher is beautiful. She probably thinks I am a raging bitch for not noting her thoughtfulness AND getting her name wrong after she was so thoughtful too. And since I did not point out the animals she sent gifts for have all been dead for over a year or more, well. But if I did that she would feel like a crud instead of just like an unappreciated fan and I figure feeling like an unappreciated fan is better for her.

    L.M., that is not a good scenario. A post here is not helpful to you or protection or evidence though. Tell this person clearly to go away. “Go away and do not contact me again.” Be very clear. Save the post card. Make a copy. Give the copy to a friend or family member or colleague so someone close to you has a record. If the emails continue, save them in a file. Give copies to the person with the secondary record. These are evidence. Stalkers are not rational and do not know they are the bad guys. Stalkers think you make them do bad things to you. If you would just be nicer to them. If you would just not make them angry. If you would just do what they want you to do. Then they would not have to do bad things to you. That is how they think. A rational person, told to go away, will go away. Problem solved. An irrational person will keep coming and will continue to attempt to engage you. Once you say go away, cut off all communication. Stalkers have an imaginary personal relationship with you. It is difficult to maintain an imaginary personal relationship with someone they have no interaction with and no response from. Sometimes, they will change focus to another individual if you maintain non-contact long enough. Good for you, bad for their new “relationship.” Worry about you first. Other times, this does not work, they stay focused on you. You have just been tapped. Someone not getting a response in email has gone to the trouble to find out how to reach you by post mail to let you know they know how to find you. They have also broached the subject of your personal safety, while violating an unstated barrier – they took it off the net, into your home. If asked, this person will say he or she did nothing wrong. He or she was just telling you to stay safe. He or she may even believe it when he or she says it. That is not the underlying intent or message though. And is not a good sign. Start a file. You may never need it. If you do need it, you will want to have it. Also you might want to do a search on Gavin de Becker articles and read up.

  11. This is why I have a pseudonym, and an email that does not indicate my real name, and why I do not post a picture. I have gotten emails from people who have posted on my blog that have their names, which surprised me. I am even unlisted in the phone book, in case my name is ever found out–which is left over from my social work days. My stalker was a schizophrenic Vietnam Vet who was having delusions about me. He tried to break into my car to find my address, and he offered to pay people to find out where I lived. He grew very fixated on me, and even started telling me what he thought I should and shouldn’t wear. It was very scary, and I had to stay home from work for a while in order to be safe.

  12. max

    That is really unfortunate. The only negotiating leverage you have with a stalker is force. What does the stalker value that you can take away by force? This can range from community standing to freedom from incarceration to life itself. It depends on the stalker. The crazier the stalker is and the less the stalker has to lose, the less any of these will make a difference in stalking behavior. Your person was way crazy, with little to lose and little to no cognizant ability to comprehend the threat of loss to what he did have to lose. He also had a military background, indicating he was trained in combat and firearms and well equipped to pose a serious physical threat. None of that is good.

    Most people though have something to lose. It is like any negotiation involving force. Figure out what the person has to lose. Take it away. If they do not stop, take the next piece away. Keep taking pieces away untill that person complies, loses focus, or is behind bars and cannot get to you any more.

    The only way to involve the law in any of this though is to understand the law. Legal agents cannot take action without proof of activity and either a crime in progress or a crime that has been committed. That is why you keep a file. That is a record of dates, times, and actions. If things keep going south, you use that to get a restraining order. Once a restraining order is in place, any contact from that individual is in violation of the law, a crime, and further legal action can be taken. You have to take the first steps though. You have to keep a record of dates and times and actions. Without that, the law can not intercede it has no valid cause.

    Lulu was in an unusual situation she was in an at risk occupation, there were outside witnesses to the stalker’s behavior, and there was already documentation indicating instability and risk factor associated with the stalker. This made it much easier for the law to intervene. This is not the norm.

    Start the file, L.M. Do not scare yourself. Most people like this are just bullies who like threatening and scaring people, but do not follow through. You make the file just in case, not because you are at risk, because if there is a possibility of risk, you make the file.

  13. Max is absolutely right about what she is saying. Law enforcement often have their hands tied in the beginning. As another example, and this was in the early nineties: my ex-husband broke the front door down of my house and entered with the threat of killing me. He punched a huge hole in the wall right past my head. He eventually fled before the police got there. The prosecutor considered not even prosecuting because “he used to live there, and may have a right to come in.”

    As women, and hopefully it is getting better, we have to build our own cases often–because the system is still wrought with bias.

    Part of the reason I carry a gun now is because I want to have recourse if I am ever attacked again. I am not nearly as strong as a man, especially now. But I will not die or suffer injury again at the hands of anyone else.

  14. max

    Not just women. Men get stalked too. It is not as common. It does have the same legal handicaps.

  15. Wow, this is like, darkly comical. I can’t believe she actually said that.

    H, huh? Let me guess. Sarah instead of Sara?

  16. max

    Something like that.

  17. Probably one of Tommy T’s dates.

  18. max

    LOL! That is right. All Tommy T’s dates are named Sara[h].

  19. max

    This is an interesting post on cyber-stalking:

    No extensive studies have been carried out on cyber stalking, but the best one I found on the net was this one by Wired Safety. It says that “cyberstalking is on the rise and women, senior citizens and children are the most likely targets.” Well, considering that more than a million women and almost 400,000 men are stalked annually (quoting United States figures, ncvc stats), it follows that cyber-stalking is following suit. As more and more people become computer savvy, the population of cyber stalkers is imitating real life.

    According to the post:

    Methods used by cyber stalkers:

    E-mail/ instant messaging
    Identity theft
    Building hate websites
    Posting false profiles
    Posting fake sex ads/images of victim online
    Provoking attacks against the victim by others
    Posing as the victim and attacking others
    Contacting victim’s family or employer
    Posting in a newsgroup or on a bulletin board, online
    Following the victim from site to site

    Cyber stalkers classified by category:

    1) Obesessed lovers.
    2) Delusional people who often believe that a stranger is or can fall in love with them.
    3) Vengeful cyber stalkers who have a grudge against a victim due to some minor or imagined reason.
    4) Racist stalkers who target particular communities
    5) Egoistic aggressors who want to show-off to their friends.

    It is a good post. People should read it. Especially you, L.M. And post back once in a while so I know you are okay.

    The full piece is at

  20. “Building hate websites”–ummm, Chad.

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