CATFISHING WITH GHOSTS AND BREADCRUMBS

The Internet a.k.a. The World Wide Web a.k.a. Cyberspace has added a lot of words, phases, and actions that a number of us living in domestic society have embraced for the past last thirty years of its existence.

In fact, around this time c. 1991, every form of communication and related tasks were done in similar ways performed thirty years before in1961. If one wants to contact a person, one may do so by phone call or letter sent through the mail. If one wanted to send a printed message to arrive immediately, one sent a telegram, and so on.

Of course, things started to change in the 1990’s. That new fangled method of communication called “the internet” started to take hold. Of course, it didn’t happen overnight! Personal computers did exist in the early 1990’s. Most were stand alone setups, meaning that one can type in data where all the data would be confined to the hard drive built inside of the machine. A few were interconnected through dedicated phone lines, but those were mostly through business practices. Very few individuals had this kind of set up, but for various reasons. As the decade progressed, so did internet usage and access. Of course, it was just available to those that needed to use it, or just wanted to use it because they could. Besides that, it was “fun” in its own way!!

We don’t have to state that this little electronic novelty grew up from a freshly scrubbed infant to a mega monster! Today, it’s a way of life, and is just another part of the notions found within the world that could fall into the ranks of such elements as food, water, air, and electricity. Once can live without some of these elements, but would be very difficult, if not impossible!!

And when one has an entry such as the ‘net, a lot of idiocy (so to speak) falls into play based upon its existence. One of these elements is language, words, and phrases. One can fill a dictionary loaded with such words and notions that are added by the day and by the hour. Some of these words, etc. come and go. Some catch on while others fall into the wasteland. But this article will focus upon a few words that can describe a situation between one person and another. Not necessarily based upon its original intention, but it uses the idea the words and phrases express linking to the reasons behind the form of communication–or lack thereof.

To set up the story, we will use the take of a person who we’ll call “Pat”, and another person we’ll label as “Terry”. In this case, it’s a story of a possible bonding of one person with the desire to become a friend with the other.

Because we begin, here’s a disclaimer. This bonding has nothing to do with anything of a sexual nature. The sex of Pat and Terry won’t be reviled here because gender doesn’t necessarily play a role, or so this writer believes. It holds no connection to an individual in being what’s called a non binary person either. Gender isn’t much of a focus right now. Everything in this case falls into a platonic state of existence.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s proceed.

Pat first met Terry a few years before at a mutual place of gathering. In this case, their place of employment. Pat would see Terry showing up to the job site as well as at events that the location hosted. Pat would on occasion enroll into some small talk when Pat would see Terry.

As time went on, Pat would see Terry more often. The smaller talk would slowly change into more elongated conversations, but one speaking about “safe” subjects, mostly on what was going on at the meeting spot. Over time, Pat would see Terry as a very pleasant person based upon personality. Pat would want to perhaps meet with Terry outside of the location for a drink, or for some lunch. Sadly, Pat wanted to ask Terry in a way that Terry would agree for this meeting. However, Pat didn’t know how to forgo this task.

After some careful research, Pat was able to get the social skills to ask Terry for this meeting. To Pat’s surprise, Terry agreed.

Over time and tide, Pat would set up a form of communication with Terry, mostly through phone calls and texting. At first, Pat thought that sending text messages wasn’t effective since “kids” only do this. But Pat learned that many adults would send text messages to one another because it’s easy, quick, and at times, are the only way to get in touch with somebody since people can’t necessarily answer their phone when somebody calls. They may be engaged in something more important to stop what they are doing to take a call. So Pat thought, texting was indeed OK for those far beyond “kid” age.

Well, the bonding play worked out pretty well. The two did communicate for a while and met when schedules allowed.

However, Pat started to realize something between their communication. It appeared that when Pat wanted to communicate with Terry, Terry would reply. However, Terry didn’t make much of an effort to communicate with Pat. Pat was doing all of the talking, while Terry would listen to Pat, but would never make a notion to perform the opposite. It was Pat calling Terry, rather than Terry calling Pat.

So Pat thought quite a bit of this situation. There wasn’t any sense that Terry didn’t have the desire to contact Pat for whatever reason. It’s just that Terry never did it. Perhaps Terry thought that if Pat wanted to contact Terry, Pat would do it. But Pat knew that Pat was doing all of the communication. Pat didn’t have this form of one-on-one talk in mind, but just as long as Terry would agree to communicate with Pat, then it was OK.

This leads up to the above headline that used three words that came to light within the last few years: Catfishing, Breadcrumbing, and Ghosting.

Here’s a very brief rundown of these words and their newly adapted meanings. All phrases were born to describe the methods of communication with one person holding a desire to meet another for some form of relationship, mostly within the categories of courtship and its related applications.

Sources to find friendship that are based on a sexual or romantic nature have been around the ‘net for as long as the ‘net because accessible on a wider scale. Match.com, perhaps the granddaddy of all of the “dating” sites, has been around since 1995. Here, along with other countless “dating” sites, have provided the opportunity to have men, women, and those non binary to meet those for anything ranging from basic friendship, casual dating, series romance, or for just a single time “hook up”.

And among these rituals come the language that are connected to those looking for love/sex/professional networking/”other” within their reasons. First, there’s the term “Catfishing”. According to the Urban Dictionary, this word means …when someone pretends to be someone they are not by using social media platforms such as Facebook to create false identities and to pursue people in deceptive practices – particularly deceptive online romances.

The second term, “Breadcrumbing”, means to describe (again, according to the Urban Dictionary), …the act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal text messages (i.e. “breadcrumbs”) in order to lure a sexual partner without expending much effort,

And “Ghosting”, perhaps the most self explanatory mean of them all, is when one stops replying and/or sending message to the other without any reason given or implied. Generally speaking, the person turns into a “ghost”.

So what do these terms have to do with Pat and Terry? As it stands, nothing much. However, Pat, after careful consideration, released upon what’s going on based upon what Terry is doing with Pat.

For starters, Terry has no intention of giving Pat misleading ideas, and there is no malice involved. Terry isn’t causing any evil or misleading options to Pat, and holds no desire to do so such. Although it feels that Terry is catfishing or breadcrumbing to Pat, it is in reality, the catfishing and breadcrumbing from Terry is caused by…Pat!

In other words, Pat is doing the catfishing and breadcrumbing to itself. Pat is believing that Terry is leading on Pat towards a lasting yet platonic relationship based upon Pat’s personal thoughts and plans with Terry! The same goes with the breadcrumbing thing. Terry isn’t leading Pat on to keep the friendship going, it’s Pat that is leading on itself. Pat thinks every chance that Pat can get that Terry is indeed the best friend that Pat has, almost to believe that Terry can become a member of Pat’s adapted family in the same sense as having a sibling. (i.e. An adapted brother/sister figure) Pat holds a personal and secret desire to contact Terry over little things, even actions that can be called trivial. Pat could send a text message to Terry to say “Hi! I hope you are well”, and Terry could reply with a message that says “It’s going well”, or some other form of small talk. When Pat tried that early on, Terry never replied! And if Pat sent Terry a long winded text message, Terry may replay to that message using a single sentence…or not!

And Pat even keeps it a secret that perhaps one day, Terry can become a “3:00 AM friend”. This firm of friendship is perhaps the holy grail (so to speak) on the dynamics of platonic friends, where a person would be comfortable calling somebody at 3:00 AM to report of a crisis going on–real or imagined. And Terry would take the call as one of a series nature, even if the crisis isn’t life threatening, and would be there for Pat just because Pat is a good friend.

Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be this way. Pay will always call Terry, Terry will reply accordingly, perhaps for the sake of being polite(?)  And if Pat desires to meet up with Terry, it will be Pat doing all of the work, not as vice versa.

This leads to the final meaning-ghosting. Pat for a long time wanted to do a little experiment. What if Pat all of a sudden, stopped communicating with Terry as often as Pat is going now? What if a week, month, or season would go by where all of a sudden, there would be no messaging going back and forth? Pat in turn, would become a ghost! What would happen next? Would Terry make an attempt to call Pat to see if Pat was OK and perhaps not ill, dead, or even worse? Would Terry ever inquire to Pat on Pat’s leave of absence? Does Terry ever think of Pat as much as Pat thinks of Terry?

There are answers to questions that Pat doesn’t know, and may not ever know. Pat isn’t going to ask Terry if Terry does indeed think of Pat. And Pat isn’t too keen to let Terry know the importance of the presence in Pat’s life because Pat doesn’t want to let Terry know that Pat holds a bit of neediness toward Terry, suggesting an emotional weakness. After all, appearing to be busy all of the time is a good front. So Pat want to appear to Terry as one of those busy people, even though Pat will make the time to contact Terry just for a quick hello!

We won’t dwell too much on this form of friendship, since Pat and Terry do keep good ties, but not within the methods that Pat had in mind. Yes, there are no real stories to report on this connection. In fact, this events are not anything sensational to state the least. We are only posting this little episode from domestic life for the sake of Pat, our protagonist in this story.

Pat (and Terry) are in reality, both mutual friends within the annals of AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com. And through the request of Pat, we decided to bring this little tale to you readers to comment on and perhaps give advice. We will state that some of the details in this story have been slightly altered, but is based upon actual events.

Anyway, please send your comments and suggestions on behalf of Pat directly through our email address located at the end of this issue. We do ask that you “play nice” with your responses. And in a future article, we’ll give you the revised updates of the story of Pat and Terry, and the friendship the two of these people hold.

More to come! Stay tuned!

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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills presents the world premier of Jack Rushen’s TAMING THE LION, the backstory of a conflict between a movie star and the studio moguls upon the star’s acting off camera than on.

The year is 1933. The setting is Culver City, California, just a Redcar ride away from Hollywood. The studio is Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer, run by Louis B. Meyer. (Jeffrey Winner) One of the many stars working at the studio is leading man William Haines (Landon Beatty) who’s been under contract since the silent days. It seems that Louie B. along with fellow studio head Irving Thalberg (Kevin Dulude) holds a concern with their star over the fact that he is of the homosexual persuasion, a trait the studio won’t tolerate. In order to snuff out the rumors that’s been going around, they arrange a plot for William to “date” and eventually marry one of the stars working on the lot, Joan Crawford. (Marie Broderick). And since William is under contract, this idea isn’t a request, but a demand! (The contract allows the studio to treat their film stars as property rather that employed staff.) However, William has his own lover, a fashion designer named Jimmie. (Sean Rose). So if William wants to remain in pictures, he either marries Joan, or he becomes unusable because of his alternative and unspeakable lifestyle.

This play is based upon a true episode that did occur back in the days when such an activity was banned if not illegal! Besides, the Hayes office a.k.a. the censors, wouldn’t allow such a depiction in any of the studio features releases due to its immoral behavior! It’s also part of a Hollywood that never made the pages of Photoplay or the gossip columns of Parsons and Hopper. But making the movies look “clean” was part of the business of feature films, the prime escapist form of entertainment during the era of the Great Depression. In this play, the cast that play the stars and studio heads holds a striking resemblance to the actual characters they portray. Jeffrey Winner is within the same stocky personna that was L. B. Meyer, whose looks was far removed as leading man material.

Marie Broderick resembles a young Joan Crawford that had yet to become a mommy dearest. Kevin Dulude also resembles Irving Thalberg, although his likeness was just limited to photos appearing in “the trades”.

Melanie Macqueen directs this drama as an interesting stage work. It contains as much conflict and pathos as one would see in any picture released by Metro in the 30’s. This time, its stakes would be for real!

The atmosphere of Hollywood from the period is very well present, thanks to Theater 40’s residential set designer Jeff G. Rack. Its staging shows off Louie B.’s office at center stage, William’s rather plush home on stage right, and a snug table at The Brown Derby (along with its star caricature pictures on its walls) on stage left.

Also appearing is Jean Mackie as Ida, Louis B’s right hand girl secretary.

And one questions remains. Will TAMING THE LION have its happy ending by the end of its final reel? With Hollywood being Hollywood, there will be smiles seen upon the faces of the stars at fade out! They don’t call this ars gratia artis for nothing!

TAMING THE LION, presented by Theatre 40 and performs at the Reuben Cordova Theatre, located within the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off little Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until August 1st. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.

For ticket reservations, call (310) 364-0535, or via online at http://www.Theatre40.org

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