One woman likely sheds few tears at the death of AIM
AIM, America Online’s Instant Messenger service, recently died a merciful death. It had been part of our lives for years, and for many of us, was our initial entry into the world of instant messaging, but like a beloved pet who was long past his prime, it was time for AIM to go.
Thankfully, we’ll always have our memories. Not so thankfully if you’re this poor woman, who recounted a harrowing story of the dangers of mixing teen-hood with texting.
Jessica Ellis is a filmmaker and writer who had probably buried this embarrassing story deep in the recesses of her mind, only to have it painfully drudged up with the news that AIM was being discontinued.
Champion that she is, Jessica decided to share her mortification with the rest of the internet, because what’s the internet for if not schadenfreude and also screaming at strangers for disagreeing with you about who should play Beverly in the IT sequel?
While you read her story, remember, she didn’t have to do this. She didn’t have to make her shame public. But she did, and for that, we love her.
It starts way back in the 90s, when the internet was young…
Let me tell you a story.
About THE WORST AOL instant messenger conversation of my life.
I hyperventilate just thinking about it.
— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) October 6, 2017
Background: When I was 15 I had a crazy romance with a boy named Josh. We're talking house sneaking, virginity losing, etc. He moved away.— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) October 6, 2017
So I'm now 18. He's spent the summer in Guam, working for the salvation army. His away message finally vanishes in late August. I'm giddy.— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) October 6, 2017
She’s older now because it’s 2017 and that’s how math works. Unfortunately for her, her long-lost love had made the jump to adulthood a bit more quickly than she had…
What he tells me is that he got a girl PREGNANT in Guam.— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) October 6, 2017
But they BROKE UP
But he's going to RAISE THE BABY
Because she doesnt want to keep it and he wants to raise it in the US— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) October 6, 2017
So he's going to raise it in WA, where he lives?
SO, I am like "Josh, you cannot be serious...are you??"— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) October 6, 2017
And he tells me I'm the love of his life, he can't imagine doing this without me.
Here, she pauses to remind us how much she dug this dude. Her little teenage heart was smitten, besotted, dare-I-say obsessed. She was ready for anything.
Except baby Guam.
So I'm like - I need two seconds to think about this. Flip on my away message. Breathe into a paper bag. I'm supposed to start COLLEGE soon.— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) October 6, 2017
Would I really throw it all away to raise someone else's baby with the love of my life?? WOULD I?— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) October 6, 2017
Yeah, cause I'm stupid.
Cool, man, good luck with that. Ima head off to college so I’ll catchya on the flip-flop — wait what?
So I head back to the computer. Kick my dad off. Type in, "I've thought about it, and yes. Yes, I want you so much. Let's do it."— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) October 6, 2017
Maybe it’s because I’m a dad now, and the thought of one of my kids throwing away their life to raise someone else’s lovechild makes me want to throw up all over myself, but I’ve never been happier to learn this was a cruel joke.
Look, I was 18 once. In fact, I’m 41 now but I’m basically still 18 (don’t tell my kids.) And I remember the early days of online life. They were heady, full of excitement and promise. We could talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Catfishing wasn’t a thing – at least, it didn’t yet have a name. It was a more innocent time…
But shit, Jessica. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
And it’s here that things go from romantic and stupid to embarrassing and humiliating. But also THANK GOD.
It turns out that his asshole best friend, who had been anti-me when we dated and was still anti-our friendship, had been over.— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) October 6, 2017
And had signed onto Josh's AIM and used it to convince me to throw away my life and reunite with my lost love while raising his baby.— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) October 6, 2017
She was ready to ditch school for this guy! And despite the fact that the pranker was a twisted individual who deserves congratulations for pulling it off to burn in hell, the fact that it was a practical joke turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to Jessica.
And I honestly don't remember how this story ends, because I blacked out.— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) October 6, 2017
She’d unwittingly dodged the bullet, and the blame obviously lies with the jerk who played her like butter plays toast. But one can’t help but think Jessica is none too sad that AOL’s instant messenger service, the method via which she was humiliated, has finally met its demise.
AIM was a cruel master of fate.— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) October 6, 2017