Two teenagers all fancied up in their wedding clothes hold hands as they look out across the church. Their eyes travel up when the disco ball begins to spin. They lock eyes and laugh. Over the speakers Sonny and Cher sing, “They say we’re young and we don’t know. We won’t find out until we grow. Well, I don’t know if all that’s true ’cause you’ve got me and baby I’ve got you. Babe…..I’ve got you babe…”
A few jobs, houses, friends, babies, bosses, good times, bad times, one stalker, and fourteen years later…
That’s right, a stalker. My husband’s stalker. My husband’s scary, adult male stalker.
My husband is a high school basketball coach. This job has its ups and downs. A major down is that your job performance is judged by how well teenagers perform. Not only judged, but publicly displayed and written about in the newspaper. The good, the bad, and the ugly is all out there for everyone and their grandma to discuss, yell about, and write about.
My husband’s stalker, we will call him Stalker Bob (not his real name), started out by making snidey comments under the articles that told of the team’s loses. This was upsetting, but normal. Of course, as a coach, you will have naysayers. These normal comments quickly escalated to vicious attacks of character when Stalker Bob commented on ALL articles mentioning my husband. If my husband’s team lost, oh my, it was on. Stalker Bob had the best time sitting at his computer in his button up paisley pajamas (I haven’t seen his pajamas, I’m just assuming) sipping some weird tea (again, an assumption) and typing out a cruel message focusing on my husband and his team. If the team won, Stalker Bob actually had the gall to comment negatively. (By the way, Stalker Bob had no children on the team. Actually, he had no known relatives on the team. We still aren’t sure of the reasons behind the obsession.)
Well, Coach Brown took all of these annoying comments in stride. He kept his head up. He smiled. He tried. But, let me tell you something, I was not so forgiving. I was angry. My husband’s life, outside of his family, is his coaching. He loves his job and his team. I totally understand the normal upset parent, the grandma who thinks her grandson is Lebron James, the kid who just doesn’t understand why Coach Brown can’t let him try to dunk. These are all part of the job. But, when a 50 something year old man comes to your game, sits in the middle of the back row wearing a low hat and sunglasses, and snarls, things are getting a little weird.
I repeatedly told my husband that I had to do something. Maybe I should find Stalker Bob on Facebook and explain that my husband was a good person who worked hard and tried to make everyone happy while doing his job. Or I could comment to Stalker Bob’s comments on our newspaper’s website. I just needed to say something. My husband pointed out that I was becoming Stalker Katina. (Oh, he had no idea.)
Not long after that conversation, my husband’s team had a seriously great victory. They beat a team they weren’t expected to beat and had the most winning season that the school had seen. My husband was thrilled, until…STALKER BOB, the joy thief!
Stinkin Stalker Bob had comments to make, and I was done. That was it. This idiot was not going to talk about my husband anymore. I was going to do something.
I decided to anonymously comment on his comments, but our newspaper would not let me comment anonymously. I had to create an account. So, I decided to create a fake newspaper account. But to do that, I had to have a Facebook page. So, I decided to create a fake Facebook account. But to do that, I had to have an email account. So, I decided to create a fake email account. But to do that, I had to put in a cell phone number. (Don’t worry, I didn’t buy a new phone just to create a fake number, that would be crazy.) I just used my mama’s cell phone number. (She wasn’t in on it. She is probably sitting on the couch now, scowling at her iPad. Wondering why on earth I would do such a thing.)
Now, I had my fake person. He loved LSU and the Saints. He was a real sport’s fan. He liked gumbo and dogs. Apparently, he really loved grilled cheese. (I happened to have a picture of a grilled cheese sandwich on my phone.)
The time had come, David Smith was ready to get Stalker Bob. I even asked my husband what would he say to Stalker Bob if he could say anything. I edited his version and angrily typed it out in response to Stalker Bob’s most recent comment. I smashed that POST button and waited. I checked back and waited. I looked again and…David Smith’s comment was gone! Oh Nooooooo!
Alas, I learned that I had to have 20 friends to comment on articles (Geeze local newspaper, chill out!). I started to invite my ‘most likely to accept’ friends, but then I would have had to friend my fake person. Stalker Bob would just say that it was a friend of Coach Brown’s wife defending him. All would be lost. I thought about creating 20 fake friends, then I realized I was crazy. Crazy as the day is long. Crazy as Sonny and Cher. Crazy as getting married at 19. Crazy as having a disco ball at your wedding. Crazy. Crazy about my Babe.
Don’t worry Coach Brown, just like the lyrics to the song we picked for our wedding 14 years ago today, I got your back, Babe…l got you Babe.