The email in front of me begins:
“Venus, I sent the following messages to your ‘Ex’ (“A”) and to two of his past wives. What I want to know is, did he do this to you, too?”
(“What?” I’m thinking, “Did what? Who is the person who has sent me this email? And what is she talking about?”
The man in question, “A”, is far back in my emotional history. I met him at college where our eyes locked one afternoon in the cafeteria. He was dark-haired, handsome and as it turned out, brilliant and just a tiny bit strange, but in an interesting way.
After our eye lock, “A” managed to meet me at the coffee machine in the cafeteria. I became so flustered by his attentions that I ran scalding hot coffee all over one hand. “A” kindly took me to the college’s first aid station and our long running romance took off from there.
The romance part eventually ended but we have stayed in touch through all the years since then. I know “A’s” family quite well and I also know his two ex-wives.
This unknown woman, the sender of the email before me, who calls herself “Elisa,” is now, I subsequently find, about to shock and disturb me with her outrage.)
“BROADCAST EMAIL REGARDING ‘A’S’ DATING BEHAVIOR
25 of you are receiving this email… AS IS also “A”, the man I am talking about!
I am “A”s (Ex!) girlfriend. Here is the reason I am alerting you to his behavior. Yes, I am hurt and angry but I feel we women who are trying hard to find a mate need to know about men like “A”!
“One year to this date, “A” and I presented ourselves as a couple. Very much in love I was with “A.” His charm, wit, touch, voice and his seeming interest in me captured me totally. He told me about his drinking (beer only) and gambling (quarters only.) This was his life not mine and I thought I was okay with it.
The last of May I found that he was a serial dater (!) with at least 2 to 3 girlfriends and that he was also rotating with ex-wife #2 and ex-wife #3. Sick as I was, I took him back under the guise of playing golf with him, only. However, somehow, we were intimate, again. His words; “I am back! We can get on with our lives.”
“How do I know all this? He left his email logged on when he left my house Monday morning Aug. 13th. The urge to read ‘drove’ me to read.
“I suspected his lying but could not get a solid fact base. He is very, very good at covering and using omissions, always saying he stopped by a ‘casino,’ to explain his absences. I now know where he was on Fridays and his rotation days with ex-wife #2 and a long trip to Portland over Memorial week with ex wife #3. How many times have I head, “I went to Laughlin to gamble!”
I also know who was invited or driven to his second house in the mountains!!!!
“It seems he has always had a string of girlfriends as far back as his mail was up. Six months worth.
“He used my copyrighted photograph of himself to advertise on the dating service (blank.com) This is a sue able offense! When I took that picture, along with many others of him, I saw his loving eyes only for me. This picture was on my bedside table for 10 months and at my desk at work!
“I wish you well in dealing with this person “A”, as he is a charmer and will try to minimize my importance to him. You will hear, ‘I never wanted to hurt you.’ ‘I want you to be happy.’ ‘It’s a character flaw of mine’ and other articulate phrases to dismiss your suspicion and query. He is morally off his compass.
“You may write me back or delete. “A” is who his is and he is having fun at our expense. Plus, he is exposing us to shared vaginal secretions. He is a known herpes carrier per wife #2 and #3. Look for sores. I always checked! He refuses to wear condoms!! (He will deny this but I have talked on the phone to both ex #2 and ex #3. #3 said he was on medication along with herself.”
(Shortly, another email from “Elisa” shows up on my computer as I, Venus, am still reeling and spinning in my chair from the first one.)
‘Elisa’ says: “I am disgusted. Betrayed. Hurt. But now free of his forever serial dating and playing me along with ex-wife #2 and #3. I stood up to him with the hope to save one woman from the anguish and hurt that I experienced.
“My wish was received. Out of 25 BCC emails, I have received one so far from one very thankful lady. And, to you, “A” I did not BCC this particular broadcast to your wives. They already know your behavior and are sometimes still enabling you. However #3 is now very resolute (against you) and I am thankful to her.”
Venus speaks: After reading these missives, I’m just sitting here at my computer, in amazement. Amazement! I lean back into the chair and breathe.
If what this woman says is true, at 63 years of age this man I thought I knew has been consistently having sex with 6 women. 6 that we know of. Keeping all these balls in the air…so to speak.
And, according to this outraged woman, “Elisa”, he is witty, charming, facile, handsome and etc. Something, I never noticed, frankly. I considered him nice and kind and interesting but also odder than I could live with. And the handsomeness? Well, like a lot of us, he has spread side-ways in his older age.
What have I given up? It’s been many, many years ago, but my god, what have I given up? Why didn’t I note this man’s talents? I knew he was brilliant and unusual, but I didn’t guess that in his older age he would become a sexual athlete, an internet Don Juan, a seducer of his ex-wives and new conquests.
I thought I knew this man. And, I certainly didn’t meet him on the internet where these kinds of things happen.
Back in time, I finally left the romantic part of the relationship as “A” couldn’t or wouldn’t share his emotional self. We had a relationship that seemed only to go an inch deep. He was never able to answer a sensible question, like ‘What kind of work do you do?’ He had to fabricate and obfuscate every answer no matter how small the question, but this was always done with good cheer, a grin and a wink.
He was always kind, well educated and interesting but for some unknown reason he specialized in distorting his handsome face into strange contortions at inappropriate moments. Ths habit, among others, embarresed me in front of people and infuriated me.
His family is upper-middle class, proper, good-looking and apparently what we consider normal although he does have an uncle I find profoundly suspect as he acts even more oddly then “A.”
To my consternation and confusion everyone in the family seemed surprised and puzzled when I asked what was wrong with the odd uncle.
They treated any questions about “A” the same way, as though nothing was amiss.
Thinking this over as I sit here, I find that my mood now swings from astonishment over the emails, to screeching hilarity over “A”s incredible love life, but then, as time passes, I feel a profound sadness.
For one thing, I’m thinking about the 25 women who were sent these emails off “A”s email address book. Might one of them be his 85 year old mother? Or, his sisters?? Old friends and business contacts? How would ‘Elisa’ know who exactly might be ‘sharing vaginal secretions’?
Three or four days later after a lot of thought, I send an email to “Elisa.”
For awhile now it has been my suspicion that “A” may have a mild case of Asburger’s Syndrome, which is related to Autism. He has always had trouble acting normally in social situations and with people.
In your rush to find a man, you did something foolish. I think you did not do your homework. I understand this as I did it many times myself in the past. And, I did it with “A.”
A man you meet, anywhere, not just on the internet, needs careful watching before you give your heart and your body to him.
You might want to read my book, “CERTAIN MEN,” by Venus Andrecht at www.amazon.com
There’s a saying in the email world: ‘When you write an angry email, don’t send it for 24 hours. Then read it again…and delete it.’
Again, I understand and empathize with your distress, but I would have spoken to “A” about this before I did the attack. What he did was not right, but what you did was not right, either.
You said some terrible things, told his secrets and you slandered him. You also may have left yourself legally open with that herpes revelation.
“People do strange things for strange reasons but they always have reasons Why they do them, if you look for them. In “A'”s case, I believe he has a disability as, (although he has his quirks! And plenty of them) he is a kind man.
I have known him for years and I have found that he seems unable to do otherwise then what he does. I have learned to accept him for what he is and what he is able…and not able, to do emotionally. His children have finally accepted his limitations, also.
I am concerned now because since your emails I have not been able to reach him by email or phone.
Please try and forgive him and learn a lesson or two from this.”
My sisters and my mother all know “A” quite well.
Early one morning, the day after I got my sudden email shock, I read them “Elisa’s” emails. The five of us had gathered on my mother’s king size bed, where we had found her drinking coffee. We all had a prolonged round of great hilarity and giant kicking and whooping, beating the mattress with our feet.
Our wild riot of screaming and laughing about “A”s adventures, eventually turned to thoughtful discussion and questions about what was and is, going on in that man’s head, anyway?
I think we have all learned something from this unsettling story:
We have to be careful who we take up with, man or woman.
Even if we think we know someone well, we may not.
And, everybody has their reasons for why they do the things the way they do them… and since we don’t usually know their reasons, or backgrounds, or mental conditions, we might consider what I was taught in Sunday School as I amused myself with the Sunday School Comics:
‘Lord, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’
When we are truly able to forgive, it takes away the pain.
Maybe not the puzzlement, but it does take away the personal sting we feel when we are the unhappy and angry recipient of what we (in our ignorance, perhaps?) perceive, as someone’s willful and wanton ‘trespass’ against us.