Dear Scabby: My X gf, the one who taught me that mutual resentment is a strong enough bond to keep two people together, made a new facebook account to reach out to me even though I blocked her. What can I do to save myself from the pit of self-loathing I fall into when I talk to her again? -PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER, LIBERIA
Dear Peace Corps Volunteer, Liberia: If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, menacing in the third degree has to be a close second. Don’t be surprised if in addition to feeling annoyed at this breach of privacy, you also find the whole situation a little exciting — after all, a ransom note is just the arts and crafts version of a love letter. Seeking out the extreme highs and lows of toxic codependent relationships might be how you cope with the suffocating monotony of waking up and brushing your teeth every other day, in which case you’d be better off just going to shows or hanging out with Andy Dick.
If you decide to enable your ex’s behavior, you’ll be opening yourself up to further forms of harassment and before you know it she’ll be showing up at your halfway house and waiting for you outside your work detail. There will be non-stop phone calls from unrecognizable numbers, threats to ruin you financially, and other methods taken directly from the Sallie Mae handbook. Do yourself a favor and realize her obsessive nature stems from an unaddressed Electra complex and that time her parents forgot her at the grocery store, not you.
Dear Scabby: If I get a nice job, and a girlfriend, and a car have I sold out? -BIG SHOT WITH A BANK ACCOUNT
Dear Big Shot With a Bank Account: The short answer to this question is: yes, undoubtedly. You feel like a sellout because your personality was previously derived from sub-cultural obscureness, but you’ve come to find the mundanity that makes “normal” people happy also makes you happy. You’re getting older, which means you’ve stopped referring to Bart Simpson as if he were a real person, one hit of weed triggers a panic attack, and you traded in stage enemas for coffee enemas. In the eyes of the scene, you’ve most definitely sold out, but this could be the first time you’re not selling out to yourself.
In America, the narrative of struggling is held in much higher regard than the narrative of contentedness, which is why we celebrate titles like “the starving artist,” “the tortured writer” and “the hapless bassist.” There are no commemorative plaques for “the somewhat boring albeit perfectly content with evenings spent at home sculptor,” or bidding wars over “Saturn Before He Devoured His Son.” We’ve been conditioned from a young age to understand that pain is meaningless without pleasure, which is why Van Gogh didn’t deserve two ears.
Dear Scabby: Can I have a @thehardtimes.net email address of my own? I won’t use it for spam. [email protected]
Dear [email protected]: Outwardly stating something that should already be considered a given makes people come off as suspect, which is why you telling me, “I’m trustworthy” has the same overtone as someone saying, “I’m not a narcissist” or “Check out my band, we’re really good.” All that said, I would absolutely give you your own Hard Times email address had I the ability, but due to a series of unfortunate events, none of which I am willing to take responsibility for, I no longer have the login information.
After accidentally clicking on a link that inundated The Hard Times account with emails from the likes of Na*talia C0xx, SwallowMeeeHard, Real Ukranian Slutz, and (peach emoji) Stepdad, I was put on temporary probation while the tech team resolved the issue, which was further exacerbated when I replied to each and every one. How I was supposed to know these were not hardcore and emo bands looking to book a show, I am not sure. Unfortunately, a few weeks later, I once again accidentally clicked on several, similar pornographic websites and subsequently had my access revoked until further notice. You could always try hacking into the account but I haven’t had any luck yet.
Scabby is the self-proclaimed mother of the Richmond, VA hardcore scene (and also a number of illegitimate children who have been trying to get in touch with her via ancestry.com.) She came this close to getting her associates degree in psychology from an online program that was later shut down for reasons we cannot disclose due to an ongoing investigation. Originally named Gabby F., she started going by Scabby after an untreated bed bugs “situation” in her first squat made national news, and is assumed to be anywhere between 50 and 100 years old. She looks forward to answering your most pressing questions and encourages people to push each other mentally, emotionally, and literally. You can contact Scabby at [email protected].