Ever had someone copy you? 

Did it make you feel honored or did it make you feel violated? 

Why do I ask?  Because I have something of a stalker situation going on, in which I am the stalkee.

It’s nobody I’ve every met.  Strictly a cyberstalker.  But it’s very odd, and somewhat creepy.

It all began last spring, when someone sent a message on etsy telling me how much she loved the items I was selling.   Let’s call her Kitty.  “You have a great aesthetic,” she gushed.  “I love your shop.”

I sent back a thank you, and thought nothing more of it.  Months passed.  I bought things from many etsy sellers, and finally realized I was buying numerous things from – you guessed it – Kitty.    “Hey,” I thought to myself, “this person I’ve bought a few things from seems familiar.  She has really nice stuff.  Oh, it’s Kitty!”

She wrote to me again in the summer to inquire if the tiny bit of fabric visible in the corner of one of my photos was for sale.  This should have been the ultimate tip-off that this stalker was not just looking at my stuff, but studying it like a Talmudic scholar. 

I started checking her shop more often.  I was surprised to see that she, like me, was selling a mix of vintage books, linens, and household items.  Even more odd, she had EXACTLY the same old obscure books I had.

And she picked out the same photos to display, described the books using similar or identical wording, and even made the same jokes about, say, the author’s name.

“Oh yeah,” I realized, “it’s that woman who complimented my shop.  And now she’s not just complimenting it, she’s copying it.  Almost carbon copying it.”  

My competitive fires fueled,  I started checking her shop more closely.  Kitty had clearly made a very intensive study of what I buy, what I sell, and what items are most successful.  Then she had  bought the same items from other sources, before listing them on etsy.

Occasionally, she even copied the same clever (if I do say so myself) feedback wording I use.  Words fail me here.

While Kitty’s creativity is sometimes lacking, I have to admit she’s good at what she does.  And her sleuthing skills are sharp.  Like a claw.

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