I am quite a contented married woman with a broad-minded husband and three in-college children. Until two years ago. I read a well-written article in a Filipino magazine published in the United States and sent my feedback to the writer. I was surprised when he answered me. That started regular e-mails between us, where we talked about everything under the sun.
I found out he is separated from his wife and have no children. I informed him about my family and how my husband found our communication interesting. All the pictures he sent me were either blurred or with his face out of frame, while I sent him pictures of our family.
Before Christmas, he surprised me when he said he was coming home to visit his relatives and asked if we could meet for coffee. I told my husband about it and he encouraged me to go. Truth to tell, even without my husband’s permission, I was all set to meet him. He wrote so well and had seduced me with his words. At the back of my mind, I was already calling him my “soul mate.” I even thought of having a fling with him.
We met in a coffee shop. I made myself up simply but nice. I saw him and I was shocked—he looked disheveled! When we shook hands, his “hello” was effusive and loud. He tried to kiss my cheek but the whiff of his breath smelling of tooth decay repelled me terribly that his lips landed on my hair. His clothes were wrinkled and dirty; that made me wonder if he had taken a shower before he left the US.
His appearance distracted me the entire 45 minutes. Our conversation also centered only on his miserable life. I could not get out of there fast enough. When he asked if we can meet again, I sweetly said that my husband and I were already booked on a month-long trip the next day.
I couldn’t thank God enough for saving me from destroying my marriage.
Aren’t you lucky your olfactory nerves saved you and knocked out whatever it was that was percolating in your mind? You probably lost your bearing after the texture of your cyber-relationship with him changed from fan to possible lover, wrought by the regularity of your e-mails to each other.
This intellectual adventure that fomented with this stranger tricked your emotions into weaving his lovely words into dreams that could have derailed your life. Gladly and thankfully, your powerful nose whacked away those rose-colored clouds and pulled you back to earth in time!
Clearly, I am not a fan of cyber-romance, be it through Skype, e-mail, texts or anything other than personally eyeballing and sniffing the person you’re interested in.
That was a close call, you must agree. Admire the clever literary works of interesting writers. Never forget, though, that there’s a whole other personality looming in the distance from that you’re reading. Their creative souls are almost always totally and completely different from their real selves.
Reality bites, doesn’t it? And that’s one lesson you’re not likely to forget very soon.