Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My mother and Second Life, part deux (or "Somebody Shoot Me Now")


If you haven't yet experienced the exasperation that is My Mother and Second Life, you should probably read this post right here before you go any further.

. . . . OK, ready? Here we go.

It's 8 p.m. My poor mother has just gotten home from a way-too-long day at her office. Despite the protestations of me and my father, she's cooking a giant casserole. Cooking relaxes her, she says, and she doesn't believe in pizza.

I sip a gin and tonic as I watch her dump can after can of seemingly everything in our pantry into a giant pot. Water chestnuts, mushrooms, corn, hamburger, rice, etc., etc., etc. It's 94 degrees F. outside and she's making comfort food, but that's cool because we all need some comforting these days. Never mind that this casserole isn't going to be done until about 10:30 p.m. Apparently cooking it makes her happy, so my father and I endure hunger pangs and resign ourselves to a long night of heartburn. Heartburn is a new experience for me since I've unfortunately and, please God, temporarily moved back in with my parents. Good times.

While my mother cooks, I'm running my mouth about a newspaper story: Four women in Wisconsin not only discovered they shared the same lover, but they also discovered he was married. So one of them lured him to a motel room while the others hid in the closet. The guy, thinking he was in for a night of fun and kink, allowed himself to be tied naked to the bed. Then the other women apparently jumped out of the closet, punched him in the face, and super-glued his penis to his stomach. I can't stop laughing at this. I don't know what's more shocking — the fact that they did it or the fact that it's the lead story in our crappy Memphis newspaper.

The mugshots of three of the women are prominently displayed next to the article. They are not attractive. I make the mistake of pointing out the sad reality that EVEN THESE WOMEN are getting laid and I'm not, when my mother interrupts that TMI with:

"Hey, I made a Second Life 'atavar' today."

E. spits gin across the kitchen table.

"You did what???"

"I made a person in Second Life!"

"What? How? WHEN?"

"At work. I got bored. And I'm tired of playing Monopoly."

"Playi . . . wha? . . . playing Monopoly?? At work?"

I'm having a hard time talking and I don't even know where to start.

"MOM, you can't download Second Life onto your WORK COMPUTER! Your IT department probably has that flagged or something."

"Oh hell, I've worked there for years - they wouldn't fire me for that. I'll just say I didn't know what it was."

"Mom, you're not supposed to be PLAYING GAMES at work anyway!!!"

"I wanted to see where the veterans are going."

*Emerald Wynn runs over to Prad's blog and beats the crap out of him for unwittingly supplying the breakfast conversation in my house today with his veterans in Second Life post*

"Mom, are you KIDDING ME right now????"

"No — I made a girl. The blonde one. I named her Cherry Catnip or something like that. I just can't seem to get away from the Eiffel Tower. And nobody speaks English."

(The blonde one??)

"Mom, do you think you picked FRANCE as your starting community??"

"I don't know. And so far I've only figured out how to go forward and sideways and she can fly and crouch down. I can't make her pick anything up though."

Oh my God.

"Mom, you don't really pick things up in Second Life."

"I went to a chicken farm."


Yep, at this point all my sentences have a tone of extreme disbelief and end with either several question marks, several exclamation points, or both. Get used to it.

"I went to Bart's Chicken Farm but I couldn't get any eggs."

"Mom, you need money. You can't just . . . go somewhere and grab things. How long were you in Second Life today???"

"Just a few hours."


"Bart's Chicken Farm had a lucky thing. My letter kept coming up. I won some things."

Oh my God, she's already discovered LUCKY CHAIRS!!!!

"Mom, how in the hell did you find Bart's Chicken Farm???"

"I clicked that Search button and typed in 'chicken farm.' I also went to some museums. And a school."

Some museums. And a school.

I find it amusing that my clueless mom can stumble into Second Life and figure out how to work the Search engine almost immediately, while meanwhile we have seasoned users constantly bugging people in the Vain group for popular store LMs. No, that's not my PostSecret over on SCD, but I couldn't agree with it more.

"Can you help me get some chickens?"


"I heard you telling your brother about your chickens. I want some chickens."

"Mom, you are totally screwing around with me. You called Dr. Laura Schlessinger or something and she told you to use this twisted reverse psychology on me. I am so not buying this. You did not make a Second Life avatar -- and it's AVATAR, not atavar -- today."

"Yes I did. I get bored at work. I can only do spreadsheets for three hours at a time. I want little chickens to take care of. Can you show me how? What's the name of your person again?"

"Uh-uh. NO WAY. Absolutely not. No, Mom. NO. You don't understand. You can't just log on and get some chickens. You have to pay money. You have to get Second Life money called lindens. You have to get some land and put the chickens somewhere. You have to fix your avatar so you don't look like a noob."

"A what?"

"A NOOB. A new person. You need better clothes and a better skin and a decent walk. It'll consume your life. DAD WILL KILL YOU. You won't get any work done. You'll lose your job. Your life will go to hell. No. Hell no. Stay away, Mom. FOR GOD'S SAKE, DON'T GO BACK IN THERE!"

"But I liked the museum I went to!"

"Mom, I don't care. There are sick people there! Sick sick people! They'll try to take advantage of you. They can be really nasty. A lot of people are just there for fake sex."

"I did go to a place where women were in chains with hardly any clothes on."


"Don't worry. I couldn't figure out how to get my girl's clothes off."


I feel helpless and sick. I feel exactly like I felt when I was 12 and she found my diary and read it. I feel violated. My space is being invaded!!! And it's also a little bit like watching a three-year-old go wheeling around a room full of treacherously stacked china. My mother, on the loose in Second Life. Trying to take off her clothes just for the hell of it. Trying to steal chickens. Oh my God.

"Just tell me your person's name so we can be friends."

There is no witty ending to this particular blog post because at that point I grabbed my gin and tonic and ran out of the kitchen in terror like a girl in a horror movie. If my mother starts hanging around in Second Life, I am so out of there, it's not even funny.

And that's the thing. My mother has a genius IQ. I think she's playing dumb. I think she knows exactly what she's doing. Hell she's probably found this blog. WHAT IF SHE'S READING THIS BLOG?


A few months ago she threatened to come in Second Life and drag me out. I laughed it off.

I totally underestimated her. :\

*logs in to see if there really is a Bart's Chicken Farm or a noob with a name like Cherry Catnip*


Ecaria Regenbogen said...

Oh you poor thing. Hell, that would be insanely embarrassing...Imagine her finding your home! Or worse, your habits in SL! You have my well wishes and I seriously hope she will not be on your doorstep in SL when you are there!

Paulina said...

"I went to a chicken farm."

At this point I was sure you were just winding us up. A few sentences later I also thought about reverse psychology. That is friggin scary and hilarious at the same time. I hope the story will have a happy ending for you and your mom.

(By the way, would she try to google her avatar name and find your blog? Just a thought, LOL.)

GoSpeed said...

Leave her to me. I can really scare old people!

Meara Deschanel said...

omg Em...ok I admit I laughed through the entier post. I know, I know, but it is kind of funny.

And SL needs a pretty powerful computer to work, and chances are your mom's work computer can't handle it. Plus no Cherry Catnip or Bart's Chicken Farm. Catnip isn't even an SL last name.

So I think you are safe? Please tell me your safe. <3

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant!

They way you described SL... how bad it is... Like you know its bad and you cant get out... but you don't want anybody you care about to be in... In the same time you DONT want to be out...

Asthenia said...

*gives you a box to hide in*

Marnix Malifozik said...

I know we really shouldn't laugh, lass, but it's really hard not to. Sorry.

I remember when my dad asked me to friend him in Facebook. What you must be going through is 17 million times more severe.

Rose Skjellerup said...

Eeeep - the other day I went to a place called Bart's Place, Famous Fried Chicken, to look at his toilet for my flickr pics. No sign of anyone named Cherry though. :-D

Emerald Wynn said...

I found a Bart's Chicken Market last night.

I'm never going there.


Owly Indigo said...

oh my goodness ... WOW

Mahala Roviana said...

OMG my worst nightmare. My mom would never figure it out and luckily, my daughter's video card cant take SL. But still.. I feel you pain.

nimil said...

LOL! i remember the day my dad admitted he'd made an avatar.. he only lasted a day, said he flew around, tried to go into someone's house and got bounced a couple of sims away. logged out and never went back. its probably better that way! though my sister in law did make an avatar a couple of weeks ago hehe.

Krissy Muggleston said...

I'm laughing because of the chicken farm's name. Ha! Also.. if she insists, just give her an alt's name. :) I like it when she said "I'm the blonde" Like that will help you identify her. lol

Heidi Halberstadt said...

Em, hun, sweetie, dear, I lurv you and don't want anything bad to happen to you, but I laughed tears at this. Not the content so much as the writing. You have a gift, you really do.

Oh, and I think your Mom hit on me last night?

Seriously, I hope it works out for you, and if need be I can be persuaded to help drive your Mom out of SL. Anyone with me?

Kenji Roxley said...

She figured out more than I did in two days... (sad face)

I laughed so much while reading that despite feeling extremely sorry for you at the same time. If my mom came to sl I'd probably quit. Who knows what sort of places she'd end up in and then I'd have to explain them to her. Lucky for me she has a hard enough time figuring out how to email.

Alicia Chenaux said...

Damn, I want the name Cherry Catnip. LOL!! her work anonymously and tell them their employees are downloading crazy software! Because for real? If your mom takes her clothes off for some dungeon master and finds herself chained to a wall, there's not going to be enough therapy in the world for either of you.

Emerald Wynn said...

She said she made two AVs - one with the last name Catnip but then she promptly forgot the first name, so she made "the blonde one." She told me the name - to be honest I didn't post the real name because I was terrified that haters would read this blog, find her and IM her my AV's name. If she hasn't found this blog, I don't want her to - she won't understand it. She'll have me committed to a mental institution.

She picked a really common name for her second AV - there were a ton of them. I didn't have the energy to look at all the profiles. I did find Bart's Chicken Market and that was enough to give me a heart attack. I want to send my alt over there and look for a noob. She's at work now so SHE COULD BE INWORLD RIGHT NOW!

Anonymous said...

It's ya fangirl here.

Rolls eyes like a flounder.

I was giggling until I realized I'm prolly close to ya Mom's rl age.

I couldn't help thinking that if my Mom were alive she'd be stalking me in sl saying, "You're skirt is too short!" and I'd be in the sl protection program right now!

If ya can't get her to leave sl, I'll friend her and I'll teach here to play sl bridge and hunt for freebies.

Lunatic Rang

Amie Adamski said...

Ah if my mom joined SL I don't know what I would do, but she can't even turn on the computer so I think I'm safe.

I'm sorry but after working all day and having to write a paper tonight for my class the post made my day. The whole but I couldn't figure out how to take off my clothes thing will have me giggling for days.

Is that why she got home late, because she was playing at work. Ahh I'm so sorry

Quaintly Tuqiri said...

That's something like how I felt when my mom said she might start blogging, lol. I admit I laughed while reading your post, because I would totally have responded the same way if my mom were to join SL. I'd give her the name of an alt, or friend her and then take away the ability to see when I'm online. It would be cool if we could share SL and do things together in SL, but my mom and I just don't have that kind of relationship...

Divalicious said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natasha Burke said...

If you don't tell her who you are in SL then she wont ever find you. So you have nothing to worry about. :)

Yes, diva is (wrong account)

Serafina said...

Emerald, just want to say I love your blog. You've made me laugh out loud on several occasions. Your post talking about killing Sims made me laugh so much, and now your Mom wanting to be in SL... I've been there, it is NOT pretty! lol Keep up the fab blogging!

Haley Hathaway said...

LOL'd irl. I think it's my worst nightmare come to life. For you!

Casandra Shilova said...

I can't make it through this. I can't see with the tears running down my cheeks.

My sympathies Em. I don't know what I would do if my mom decided to "make an person".

Aisuru Rieko said...

oh your poor dear. I would freak the hell out if my folks joined SL. fortunately neither of them knows shit about computers. I wouldn't be surprised if my brother had been in, he's a huge nerd and I know he's played MMORPG's, but since I don't talk to him it's all good anyway.

So... yeah, I was ROLLING, you are so funny. It was awesome already and then she brought up lucky chairs and I lost it. <3 and half naked girls in chains, omg I was dying.

Keep calm, let her know an alt if she insists. Most likely she'll get bored quickly. Have you shown her the wonders of peggle?

Ari said...

Oh boy.

Look, if she's into France, send her over to my patch. I'll teach her to play pétanque and it'll keep her busy for hours.

AND the guys will be nice to her, and practice their English, and they'll give her lots of... um... useful stuff for her inventory.

Am I really saying this? Hell yeah. I won't give you away, promise.

I'll even take her for a ride on the pedal boat (and NO I won't drown her, not even for bribes).

See, I'm in the reverse situation - my DAUGHTER (age 22) one got an avatar. Fortunately, however, she wandered back to her medieval RP-type game after embarrassing the hell out of me.

Liz Gealach said...

Oh .... how i feel ur pain!!! I made the mistake of showing my mom the first thing i built in SL (I was seriously proud of it)! So that was her introduction to it ... I thought "hey, i can show this to her and she will just shrug and wonder off" ... but NO ... she was freakin mesmerized by it and had an avatar with in 24 hours! (Why did i leave her alone!) Now my mom has been SL partnered twice and HORROR ... knows what cyber sex is! I think i need to go crawl under a rock now :(