I know I love Connor more than I ever realized I could love anyone, but I never really processed that whole “Mama Bear” thing until yesterday. We were headed to a cookout at a friend’s house, when a car turned left directly in front of us. I was sitting in the back with Connor, but I just happened to look up as it turned and registered with horror that there was no way to avoid it. Yet, somehow Chris maneuvered the car around it; I really don’t know how. But that wasn’t the end of it. Avoiding it forced him to jerk the wheel so hard that we began to fishtail all over the road. It was nothing short of a miracle that there were no cars around us. We jerked back and forth so hard, so many times, that I thought for sure we were going to end up on our side at least. Apparently, I managed to rocket off an extraordinary number of expletives as I screamed and bashed my ankle into the door. I just kept looking over at Connor and thinking, No! Not with him in the car!
And what was Connor doing as his mother screamed words I will one day likely punish him for repeating? Laughing. Laughing hysterically. To him, this was even better than our bumpy landing on Delta.
Then I felt this insane rage. And I knew that if I knew who the creep was that had just caused this, I would hunt him down and cause a lot of pain…and very likely end up getting my photo taken in police precinct.
So it’s a good thing I didn’t know who it was because those mugshots are the herpes of the Internet. Something else that annoys me besides the idiot drivers of Atlanta? People who find ways to make money screwing people over. I’m really disgusted by these websites that are extorting people by publishing their mugshots and then charging exorbitant amounts to remove them. These sites have made themselves very search engine friendly, and there is a fairly good chance that if they get your mugshot, it’s coming up real high, if not first in the search results for your name. I have no sympathy for anyone convicted of a violent crime, but I do have a problem with the fact that I know people who made a dumb mistake a decade ago or more, in their late teens, or early 20s, moved on with their lives, and then years later, BAM. These sites pop up and there is your past, right along with your Linked In profile. I know people who got busted for drinking or minor possession when they were 19 or 20, moved on with their lives, and then a few years later as the Internet invaded every aspect of our lives, mistakes that aren’t a reflection of who they are now are on display for any potential employer, client, date…anyone. But for an ungodly amount of money, you can get it removed.
Yes, mugshots are a matter of public record. Yes, in this day and age, they will inevitably end up on the Internet posing risks to future employment. Yes, you made a choice to break the law and must bear the consequences. But no, some creep shouldn’t get to profit by going out of their way to make sure that mugshot ends up on page 1 of the Google search results and extorting money from those people to take it down.
And you can stop Googling me in another window as you read this post. No, I really don’t have one. I’ve never even been arrested (thank you, random guy at that party in Charleston back in 2000, who signaled me with seconds to spare that the cops were raiding the party, giving me time to walk away from my little red Solo cup. Without you, I too could be extorted for daring to have a beer in college at the age of 20). No, I have no mugshot to call my own, I just run hard with former criminals who got pulled over more than 10 years ago after taking a drink on their 20th birthday, or got caught with some weed when they were 18. These people are all adults now, and the fact that they have a mugshot is not a reflection of who they are. Just dumb things they did a lifetime ago. And it doesn’t stop there. The mugshots of people who were found not guilty or had charges dropped are there too. Did you walk out of Macy’s with a purse you didn’t pay for when you were a senior in high school because you felt pressured to look cool? Better start saving to pay off the extortionist twelve years later as you desperately hunt for a job, and wonder with every rejection if it’s because that picture is the first thing that comes up next to your name, all because some scheming loser knows his SEO.
Look, if it were murderers, rapists, basically anyone that had committed a crime against another person, I probably wouldn’t care. No, I definitely wouldn’t care. But it makes me sick that there are people allowed to get rich off the youthful mistakes of others.
On a completely unrelated note, I posted a giveaway here to try and win a free skincare regiment that retails at $70. All you have to do is leave a comment on that post (and it would be nice to “like” my Mixed Up Mommy Facebook page, too, but we all know I’m far too lazy to scroll through all those names to verify) and I will enter you to win. I mean, I’m no Huffington Post…you do have a shot.