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The Princess and the Polyester Pea and a Bombshell of the Not Breasty Sort

When Mr. G. leaves town the kids and I waste no time in doing all the things we cannot do when he is here. We do wacky stuff like eat Mexican food and sleep without the air conditioner set to 64 degrees. In fact last night I turned the AC all the way up to 68 degrees  (it’s a little warmer upstairs where the bedrooms are). In preparation for my two nights alone in bed I went all crazy and remade the bed.

You see since Mr. G. so enjoys the cool air on him while he sleeps I added an extra blanket to the bed. We sleep with a flat sheet, a blanket and then a fluffy feather comforter inside a duvet. It’s a lot of layers and it keeps me warm until about 4am. At 4am I typically wake up a little overheated. I readjust and fall back asleep. It’s not horrible, but it’s the way I’ve been living for a few years now and it’s not what I’d call “good”. When I remade the bed I stripped it of the blanket and went to just a flat sheet and the duvet. When I put the blanket against my skin I was horrified to find that it’s a really crappy polyester blanket. It’s no wonder I’ve been suffocating.

The problem with making a bed is the same problem as every other part of your life. Without a little distance you have no clue what’s really there.

Last night I slept better than I’d slept in years. I am not meant to spend a third of my life covered in polyester.

On to the bombshell. I am an asshole. This isn’t news, everyone knows I can be/have been/might continue to be. Half of my readers are my family and friends and I’m convinced that the other half of you are waiting for an implosion. Congratulations waiters, this is the day you’ve been waiting for.

Up until last week the internet (the blogoshere in particular) was a place that I saw as Utopian. I thought, wrongly, that bloggers shared snippets of their lives with us. I believed that what they said was true, or at least their truth. Last week a little light was shined on someone local and I suspect that they’ve been running scams and hurting people in the process. I’ve heard from people who were caught in the wake of destruction and I remind myself that white collar crimes have very real victims.

My trust is limited now. I don’t even trust my own judgement as much as I’d like to.

When I read about bloggers quitting their jobs and then going into debt and then asking for money I want to scream at everyone and say STOP GIVING STRANGERS MONEY. And then I want to remind everyone that when you have kids you don’t get to follow your bliss anymore. You get to GET A JOB.

Most importantly, and most bombshellish is the revelation that Shellie Ross is a wanted (arrested?) woman. Shellie Ross tragically lost a child to drowning in December 2009. Laura Freed writing under the pseudoym Madison McGraw started asking questions about Shellie, how the baby died and whatnot. Laura was relentless and clearly saw that something was wrong. I thought at the time that Laura should have laid off and let the Ross family bury their child in relative peace. I posted Laura’s whois data, which is really underhanded, crappy, ____ [you fill in the blank].

Laura (AKA Madison McGraw) came under fire being called every name in the book. She didn’t back down.

Sometimes moms just band together. We see a woman struggling and we try to protect one of our own. Sometimes we stop thinking and just react. When a dead baby is at the center of things we protect the mom the best way we know how because she is living our worst nightmare.

It appears that Shellie Ross is actually Shellie Schnell. Shellie has [probably] abandoned another family in Ohio and owes [it seems] tens of thousands of dollars in back child support. This is completely indefensible behavior.

I’m flawed, we all are. The problem is that the internet is a giant megaphone where we can amplify our flaws and I’ve certainly used this platform more than once to prove to y’all that I’m capable of supreme assholery. What I want to say to Laura is that I’m sorry. I was one of many who led the charge against you, and we were wrong. We did the wrong thing for what we believed were the right reasons. It’s not an excuse and it doesn’t make it any less deplorable, it simply attempts to explain why. It is not nearly as noble as doing the right thing for the right reasons which Laura did here.



22 thoughts on “The Princess and the Polyester Pea and a Bombshell of the Not Breasty Sort”

  1. All I can say is “wow”. That is an amazing story and it was very good of you to apologize and admit you were wrong.  I read the story from her site and I wonder if the newspaper lady that interviewed her is aware of what has happened.  I guess one thing we can take from this is that the news media doesn’t seem to do their homework anymore.

  2. All I can say is “wow”. That is an amazing story and it was very good of you to apologize and admit you were wrong.  I read the story from her site and I wonder if the newspaper lady that interviewed her is aware of what has happened.  I guess one thing we can take from this is that the news media doesn’t seem to do their homework anymore.

  3. I always thought the story of the drowning was horrific and really didn’t understand the mentality of practically live-tweeting a toddler’s death. I argued with a few people about it. Accidents do happen and they’re tragic and God knows that even the most careful mothers get tired and may be distracted just long enough for something to happen. But tweeting as you’re waiting for 911? That struck me as bizarre and disordered, no matter how many ways people sliced it.

    On the other matter you pose — As someone who just completed a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for my project, no, I’m not averse to raising money on the internet. I even have a PayPal link on my blog for those times someone wants to treat me to a cup of coffee or whatever. 

    It’s part of the internet community, just as it is in real time life. It’s up to me to decide what causes and people I wish to support. The fully insured couple making over 100K per year who wants help with their bills? No thanks, I’ll pass. The single working mom who needs some help paying for her son’s baseball uniform because her ex is a deadbeat? I’ll do that and feel good about it. We all have our values and it’s up to us how we want to express them. And yes, there are scam artists — sick people who pose as cancer victims or poor parents who can’t afford holiday presents for their kids — so it’s wise to be cautious, but I’d hate it if the patina of stink began to make every cause or request suspect. 

    My personal peeve isn’t person-on-person giving or receiving. What does rile me is some manufactured or overblown outrage against some company that happens to use SM — which is then used as ammunition by some people on social media to strong-arm companies into giving them free product. “Do this or face the wrath of my 2000 readers on Twitter.” 

    Personal giving is just that — personal, a choice, no gun to the head, no outrage, no threats. This other thing that I’ve seen growing in the last couple of years is much more insidious.

  4. A couple more things…

    If it is indeed Shellie Ross who got arrested, then why is her last name listed as Schnell on LEGAL documents? Wouldn’t she have to be arrested under her legal name and an AKA would be added later?

    If her tax return was taken LAST year to pay child support, why did it take authorities until August to arrest her? They knew where she was.

    There is a Shellie D Schnell IN OHIO who owns a pet service and the listing is current.

    Shellie is older than me, yet the age of the woman arrested is listed as 38. I’m 40.

    Shellie has not been online much since she had her baby, so MM saying she suddenly stopped tweeting as another source of verification that it was her is flimsy. Her Twitter timeline shows her last tweet in August as the 8th, I believe. She was supposedly arrested on the 29th.

    Jessica, as long as I have been following you, I’ve never seen you take anything at face value. Has this been verified by anyone else?

    And just how did MM get this info? And how did she suddenly get in touch with the abandoned child? When Bryson died it was NATIONAL news. Neither the ex-husband or anyone who knew her saw anything about it and recognized her as the mom who fled and owes 50K in back child support?

    This makes no sense. Something just doesn’t add up here. All I’m asking is for you to consider that this could be false info attributed to Shellie by someone who has a vendetta. And as I said before, IF it is verified, then I truly have no words.

  5. If Shelly owes back child support, then by all means the court & custodial parent should go after her.  It is unacceptable.  That being said, I don’t feel certain the story is true.

    I wonder how many “informative” emails Madison/Laura sent out.  In my opinion even if the worst case scenario is true, a drowning incident has nothing to do with financial obligations.  It would not justify what Laura did, nor indicate a sort of uncanny wisdom on her part.

  6. A couple thoughts – 1. I am absolutely appalled over the post at Single Dad Laughing. As an adult and especially as a single parent, he needed to think out that move a bit more before quitting his day job. 2. Regardless of if Shellie is the same person that is a wanted woman, Laura more than crossed the line a couple years ago and does not deserve the air she breathes. She attacked a woman who lost a child and would not stop. She was lower than low in her actions and words and no matter what Shellie has done in the past or does in the future, she had just lost a child. What mattered at that time was only that. Laura is a disgusting human being and if these accusations about Shellie are actually true now, she will only gloat in it more and continue to bring up the loss of Shellie’s child. No woman deserves to have to bury a child. 

  7. I read this post on my phone before even getting out of bed this morning. It certainly woke me up a little faster than my coffee usually does. Both of these stories leave me stunned. First, my husband recently lost his job and we are TRULY struggling, but I would never go online and ask for money. I’m sorry, but I just can’t feel badly for that guy and I certainly don’t feel anyone should give him money. As far as Shellie goes, I was on the receiving end of some of her holier-thank-thou arrogance at times so I’m still trying to process her story. What bothers me the most about these stories is that they do in fact cause us to trust less and I hate that because I’m real and honest and I hope the people I truly consider online friends are as well.

  8. I would really love it if people would realize they have to grow up and get a job even BEFORE they have kids. Or before they do anything else, really.  You would not believe the parade of adult Peter Pans out there.

  9. I’m totally shocked and appalled that you would ever think it is OK to post another blogger’s home address online, basically putting her at risk. So yeah, you apologize but it’s not enough, in my opinion. You’re like one of those bitchy bullies in junior high, torturing other girls. I’m just disgusted. And don’t even get me started on spending 135 dollars on shoes for a 10 year old. As a Jewish woman, you embarass me as you fulfill every negative stereotype.

  10. I followed the story of the loss of Bryson and was appauled at the amount of press it got.  Most of it seemed to stem from some sort of vendetta by Laura Freed aka Madison McGraw against Bryson’s mom.  I have always wondered what Bryson’s mom did to Ms Freed to set her off so bad.  With it being almost 2 years later and Ms. Freed is still writing about all of this tells me Ms. Freed is an unstable, obsessive woman that is just out to keep her own name in the public eye.  I wonder what her true motives are?  It doesn’t matter what she is writing – someone will believe it – even though none of us have any idea how much is true and how much is made up in Ms. Freed’s twisted mind. 

  11. I find it fascinating that people -mainly ShansLastShredofSanity- are questioning the “facts” when on my blog – I have posted court papers documenting how much Shellie owes (to her second son – she was also in arrears to her first son also). I have posted her mug shots (with a link to go to the actual site). And now, I’ve had to post her marriage license to show that Shellie D. Schnell married Steven W. Ross in Brevard County Florida to prove that yes, Shellie Schnell IS Shellie Ross. I’ve gotten to know her ex that she owes money to very well through texting and phone calls and emails. I’ve gotten to know her son, Zach, who is struggling emotionally as well as financially. And now I’ve got Shellie’s brother Lance who set up a blog called “Laura Freed Is A Massive Cunt” (which disappeared when I phoned the company he worked for to ask if it bothers them that someone who lists EMC Corporation as his employer on myspace and all over the web – is writing truly sick vile things (he wants me to die, he hopes I get raped – as a matter of fact, he belong to Custom Fighters and one of his “buddies” offered to rape me and wrote exactly how he would do it-) I have screen shots of everything (valuable lessons here) and the police have a file and get sent a copy of everything he writes. And now, ShansLastShredsofSanity as offered to host a blog for him in order to “take that bitch down.”
    Shan wants “proof” and it is all there, laid out on my website – court documents – marriage licenses – and the story of a single father and son who have struggled since Shellie walked out the door and didn’t look back, didn’t pay support, and yet, went on to have MORE children. One of whom died because she was twittering. The Police log shows the 911 call came in from her son Kris at 5:23 and her last tweet was at 5:22 about her chickens. 
    Each and every person reading this knows that if a babysitter was tweeting while their child drowned, they would NOT be as “forgiving.”
    I find it amazing that I am the “twisted” person here, when people are defending this woman. 
    Also, please feel free to contact me and I’ll happily pass on the name of the prosecuting attorney and the phone number to her office. Tilor (Shellie’s ex) put me in touch with her. 
    I will never apologize for being the voice for these children that Shellie has silenced in one way or another. 
    Someone made the comment – No woman deserves to bury a child. 
    How about you think of it this way: No child deserves to be buried, left behind, or discarded by their mother.

  12. You said: “I’ve gotten to know the ex” and “I’ve gotten to know her son, Zach …” – Laura Freed – don’t you mean you have exploited their story for your own benefit?  Writing that doesn’t tell the full story is pure exploitation.  Did “the ex” (by the way they were never married) also tell you he was married prior to the time Shellie moved out of town and that Shellie made arrangements with him as well as Cody’s dad for the care of the boys until she could get settled in her new home and get the boys?  Did Zach’s dad tell you how he filed for custody and filed child support paperwork indicating he was paying for health insurance for Zach when in fact the wife was providing for Zach’s health insurance?  Did Zach’s dad tell you how he moved from job to job and let his wife support him (long before the accident he suffered on a job)?  No, I suppose he didn’t give you any of those details.  Also, your “interview” with Zach sounds more like something you wrote than anything that came from Zach.  How do I know – because I know Zach personally.  No, I’m not Shellie – I am her mother (yes, she has a family or did you ever think about any of us) and I’m offended by your writing.  Why is it you haven’t had the courage to update your story in the past week to include the fact Shellie has met all of her obligations to the courts and the child support has been paid in full?  I know these facts don’t make as interesting reading and there is no sensationalism in letting your public know Shellie has done what she was supposed to do.  You have no idea how your writing has affected our entire family.  You fixated on Shellie and the tragedy our family faced back in Dec. 2009 and have continued for over 2 years to draw attention to yourself through your stalking of my daughter.  SHAME ON YOU FOR EXPLOITING MY GRANDSONS!  SHAME ON YOU FOR WRITING STORIES FULL OF HALF TRUTHS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NEVER BOTHERED TO GET ALL OF THE FACTS STRAIGHT!  SHAME ON YOU FOR FIXATING ON OUR FAMILY!  SHAME ON YOU FOR NEVER ONCE THINKING HOW MUCH YOU WERE HURTING OUR ENTIRE FAMILY!  I can only hope that you never attack another family the way you have attacked ours.  Also, shame on your audience for constantly feeding your ego by making comments when they don’t personally know any of the people involved in this tragedy.

    I have remained silent for over 2 years hoping you would find some shred of descency – but you never have.  The bottom line to this story is that it doesn’t matter what you think of Shellie and our family.  It only matters that we have stayed a united family and all of the half-truths and blatant lies that you have written are not worth the time it has taken you to write them.  You will fade into oblivion which is where you belong. 

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