Listen, if Ross hadn’t slept with the copy girl he never would’ve met Emily, they never would’ve gone to London to get married, and Monica and Chandler never would’ve hooked up and accidentally started a relationship. Which is to say that sometimes stupid things need to happen so that great things can follow. And sometimes stupid things need to happen so that more stupid things can follow and that’s what this post is about.
Speaking of stupid, if you haven’t been on Neopets in a while just know that it still exists and is mostly the same, it’s just that now your dragon-squirrels can wear crop tops and jorts. Back in the day, though, my main goal in the realistic capitalism simulation known as Neopets was buying 10,000 books for my magic red goat to read. I was so heavily invested in that goal that when I came upon a shop that said I could get a million neopoints by following a few easy steps, I took my chances. It was kind of surreal getting scammed for the first time, but to be fair it did totally prepare me for the thousands of pyramid schemes I’d be invited to join by my high school classmates later on in life. The weirdest part though was when third grade me made a new account and messaged them telling them to give me my account back. They responded saying they were me and that they didn’t take anything, and that was the first time I questioned whether I ever actually truly existed. Out of fear of unraveling the simulation we all live in and discovering the matrix, I didn’t go back on Neopets after that point and to be honest didn’t miss much about it. Except for the forums (and Cheat. That game rocked and Brucey B can suck it.) Being without the Neopets forums for all my role play and social needs meant I had to resort to the next best step: chat rooms.
Chat rooms used to be the place to go if you were a horny nerd with no friends. So it was a natural fit for me right off the bat. In middle school while I was still somehow convinced that I was straight, I stumbled across one chat room that let you go in as an avatar and walk around. It was like Habbo Hotel but worse and hornier. In there I found a pixelated guy that was super sad (which I could tell because he kept typing “::cries sadly::”) so I went up to him and asked what was wrong. He said he was sad because he was gay and no one would hug him and I was like damn… not being hugged definitely is one of the top 3 problems plaguing the gay community right now. Let’s get political and give him a hug. And that, embarrassingly enough, was the moment that I realized that I was gay. Not when I convinced my best friend to take his shirt off so I could drool over him. Not when I had wet dreams about the skater guy in my class. Not when I found myself watching an extensive amount of gay porn. It was when I typed “::hugs u::” to a sad cluster of gay pixels in a chat room.
His name was Leoni, he was Canadian, and we ended up dating on and off for about 3 years before he pretended his entire family was being terrorized by a demon queen named Kim (her full demonic name was Rymekilb and she was the keeper of the seventh layer of hell) shortly before admitting that he was actually a confused girl catfishing me the whole time. You’d think I would’ve been more devastated about being catfished, but I was really more just annoyed that the whole demon storyline didn’t pan out, because I was watching a lot of Charmed at the time and was so amped to realize my full middle school witch potential and start dating my inevitably hot whitelighter. But you know what they say, don’t hate the sad cluster of fake gay pixels, hate the habbo hotel ripoff chat room that brought you together to begin with. I’m pretty sure that’s the phrase, but I’m always open to constructive feedback.
Ryan C. Robert is the writer of multiple comedy blogs, most of which are satirical and self-deprecating. He writes about his life in his personal essay series "Before Color," parodies cooking blogs in "Trish's Dishes" and posts writing prompts every single day.