Not the kind of chain letters I remember sending

20 Jul

So tonight on the way home, my phone rings, and it’s my mom, who says (in her total “I’m really disturbed and upset” voice), Merritt, I have to tell you something. I’m thinking someone’s died or something. I just got a message from Kat, and you need to see it. I’ll send it to you, it’s really important that you see this. It says something about slitting a girl’s throat. I was like, WHAT? She said, just read it. Call me back. The message said (copied verbatim):

Hello. my name is Alexis. When I was 7, me and my dad got into a big fight and he slit my throat and threw me into a sewer.

I was like what the hell? I took Kat’s phone, and there’s this whole chain of messages, my mom only got the first part. The rest said (copied verbatim):

One day a girl named Alyssa got this message, thought it was stupid and erased it. That night when Alyssa went to bed, she heard laughter coming from her bathroom, got scared, and ran to her phone and sent it. She went to bed fine that night. Later that night, around midnight, Alyssa’s parents heard laughter and cutting from coming from the bathroom. They went in there to find the bathtub filled with Alyssa’s blood and her phone with my picture on it floating in her blood. Now that you’ve read Alyssa’s death, I am going to have to kill you too. The only way you can escape this is to send to ten people besides the person who sent this to you. If you don’t, I will be at your bed when you fall asleep and at midnight, I will kill you. NO SEND BACKS. I’M DONE!!!! I’m sorry…I will see you at midnight…goodbye and good luck.

What the fuck kind of chain letter is that? I was like, Katherine, what the hell is that? Who sent that to you and why the hell would you send it to anyone, let alone your grandmother? She immediately started crying and said she didn’t see what was wrong with it, one of her friends sent it to her, but she assured me that she didn’t send it to anyone else. Well good thing, because I’d have to do some serious damage control. I mean, I’d have to contact everyone she sent it to, apologize and assure them that it wouldn’t happen again, because that’s just totally inappropriate, and I’m not going to let my daughter be one of those stupid kids who does shit like that. I’ll be damned if my kids are going to be punks and be perpetrators of such vile shit…oh wait, what’s that? Liar, liar pants on fire! She not only sent it to my mom, but also my dad, my brother, and every other person in her goddamn phone book. Unfortunately for her, she hasn’t learned that you can see what’s been sent if you look in the sent messages folder. Even more unfortunately for her, I’m not as stupid as she thinks I am and thought to check the sent messages. I spent the next 20 minutes yelling at her for being so colossally stupid to send something like that and then lying about it all while retexting everyone in her phone book saying, hi, this is Kat’s mom. I’m sorry that she sent you that text message, it was inappropriate and wrong. It won’t happen again.

I’m so pissed I haven’t even finished deciding on her punishment. I don’t know what I’m more pissed about, that she sent it at all or that she lied about it. Later on (after she stopped sobbing), I asked her again why she sent it. She said, I was afraid, I didn’t want it to be true. Normally, I’d scoff and tell her to stop being dramatic. But the fear was real, she really was afraid. I think that’s the most disturbing thing here, what happened to the chain letters when we were kids? Like about how you get good luck if you don’t break the chain. I don’t remember anything about throat slitting and murdering when I was a kid. What do you do with that? How do you temper punishing her for being so irresponsible (read: stupid) and lying about it with trying to comfort her and reassure her that no one is waiting to kill her because she broke a chain letter?

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