Are you ‘virtually’ sharing your heart with an aged, obese person the opposite sex to what you imagine, perhaps?
We’ve all heard stories about internet relationships that are wrong in one way or another. People say it won’t happen to them, but people say a lot of things.
Wishful thinking will try to turn him or her into what want, but you have no idea. Even if you’ve spoken on the phone. Even if it goes on for a year and a half.
You’ve been talking into a mirror.
Which could be harmless (actually, not really) but there’s someone behind that mirror. This story by Josh Olsen orginally appeared in LA Weekly:
Anyway, Janna knows this guy named Jesse, and she thinks he and Audrey would get along. She “introduces”them online, and they hit it off. Jesse is an amazing dude, a volunteer fireman, a cowboy, a tortured poet, a man with a past. He has an ex-wife he speaks of fondly, and a son. He lives on a ranch with llamas. He’s got posttraumatic stress disorder from having been in New York on 9/11. He knew some of the firemen who died, or something. An exceptional man. He and Audrey just click, in that special way we all hope can happen someday.
Photos are exchanged. Sweet nothings fly back and forth. At some point, they start talking on the telephone.
And they fall in love. They’ve never met. Just e-mails, pictures, and long, meaningful conversations on the phone. But it’s real. I mean, really fucking real. It’s so real that Audrey changes. No longer a dark cynic, she’s now the world’s last true romantic. You’ve never had love this special. Your life is gray and empty and you can’t possibly understand because even if it came your way, your soul is too small to comprehend the love that Audrey and Jesse were experiencing. Their love lights the skies. Us gutter dwellers, we’ll never understand.
Audrey and some friends take a trip….Jesse plans on meeting them there, but in the end, he has to cancel so he can fight a forest fire. Audrey is okay with this, because her man is dedicated to the service of others, whose needs must come before his own personal desires.
This is just a fragment of the outrageous drama (outrageous to everyone but Audrey). Late in the piece Janna who ‘introduced’ the ‘couple’ is staying with Audrey in her house. You’ll have guessed by now that Jesse never existed. But wait, Janna visited Jesse in the hospital, etc. Oh oh. Audrey, it turns out, has a possible psychopath living under her own roof!
But here’s where this story is a bit different to others like it. When Audrey’s friends confront Janna and see to it that she leaves, they video record the encounter.
Swivelchair at neurological correlates does an analysis if how Janna lies, trips over her lies, etc. It’s like I’ve been saying recently, these folks are not good liars – they wing it. It’s their tone, misdirections, etc. together with the recipient’s gullibility that do the work of deception. (Thanks to Ian in Hamburg at ‘Letters home to you’ for linking to this site by one of Janna’s victims.)
In the cold light of day, the deception is pitiful. Here’s one instance from the video.
How not to debate
Janna is challenged: “You put our friend through an emotional wringer for almost two years.” Of course she’s not going to admit to anything; she’s going to deny. But does she respond with ‘No, I didn’t’ or ‘It wasn’t an emotional wringer’? No, she says: “Two years! No” – implying: You’ve got you’re facts wrong. That’s outrageous. How dare you accuse me of two years! You’re bad for maligning me. You’re lying.
But her accuser fails to be put off: “How about a year and a half?” Because she’s still hung up on the two years Janna acknowledges, “Could be a year and a half.”
Realising that she has just admitted her guilt she immediately sets about muddying the water, “But I didn’t…” And so on.
Transparent nonsense, you say. Well, have a read of the comments at youtube and see see how much sympathy she wins. This is the thing: these people are convincing even a the moment of complete exposure.
How do you understand this?
A final note
Some viewers at youtube have suggested that the story about Audrey and Jesse and Janna – including the video – is the actual fake! Here’s all I can say:
1. Practically every youtube video clip of a surprising everyday event is called fake by someone. It’s a sign of how much bull there actually is out there and how eager people are to not coming across as fools.
2. I don’t think it’s fake. The author of the piece refers to Janna like this: “And there’s this woman, this Janna, this thing: a morbidly obese woman in her mid-50s, dull-eyed and empty-faced, sitting in our friend’s front yard.” If Olsen and Janna were accomplices and so known to each other, I can’t see him referring to her as “this thing”. But I could be wrong, I guess.
3. Even if fake, though, the video captures the ways of the pathological liar well. The multiplicity of tactics, shifts, silences, the you’ll-never-understand tone, anything to get them off her back so she can get away and start again.