by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
Do you think Debi believes in confidentiality or getting permission before using a story from someone else’s life?
I work very diligently to either get permission before sharing a story -especially a potentially embarrassing story – OR remove any details that could possibly be used to trace the original person.
I doubt Debi got anyone’s permission for this next story – and I bet the people who live in Debi’s community can figure out exactly who “Jane” and “Rodger” are. Heck, they’re probably named Jane and Rodger.
As a young, unmarried girl, do you think you would have to be married in order for your texting “love affair” to be soulish adultery? Think again. In the next story the girl had never even been kissed.
Wha….what is “soulish adultery?” Let’s just go with NO! Just say “NO!” to Pearlian crazy….
This is not a story I read in a book or got from a letter. I heard this sad tale sitting at my own kitchen table. I watched tears flow down the faces of those who knew her. Her parents were shocked senseless for days because it never occurred to them that their clean, wholesome, homeschooled girl might have done this thing by her own volition.
Tell Debi everything! She’ll listen so very carefully…and write you into her next book.
(Input from my husband – Making Money Off Of Pain: The Pearl Method)
A Young Bride-to-Be’s Pie in the Sky
Jane was 23 years old before Rodger asked for her hand in marriage. It came as a total surprise to her. He was a friend of her brother, but had never really shown her any special attention. Rodger was shy and awkward around her, and she was so nervous around him that she couldn’t say a word. He was a nice guy, and she would have swooned over him if he had asked for her just three months earlier, but now she wasn’t sure.
If courtship is supposed protect young people compared to dating, why do all these stories sound so horribly painful?
Jane had been secretly texting and emailing a guy from Florida for several months. Through a mutual friend he had asked to be on her Facebook page. She had never actually met Mr. Florida, but they had discussed everything while texting. As soon as Rodger had left her family’s house after asking for her hand in marriage she rushed into her bedroom to email Mr. Florida of Rodger’s proposal and then shared with him her nervousness, fears, uncertainties and doubts. Mr. Florida totally understood.
That scenario is an incredibly sad commentary on how lonely Jane was. She’s befriended a random friend of a friend on Facebook and feels closer to a man that she’s never met than her theoretical fiance. She’s more comfortable talking about her “fears and doubts” with Mr. Florida than her fiance, brother or parents. That’s heartbreaking.
Every evening for weeks Rodger came over to visit her, but she never could open up to him like she could to Mr. Florida. But, the wedding was scheduled anyway for Jane wanted to get married. Mr. Florida never mentioned marriage. She knew her parents would never approve of him anyway, as they had narrow expectations of a suitor.
What’s going on with Mr. Florida? Is he afraid of commitment? Exactly what makes Jane think her parents would disapprove of him? (My parents would have been extremely concerned about getting involved with a guy I met on the internet who I’d never met in person who lived in a different state.)
Bluntly, in situations like this with a highly sheltered young adult with a parent-lead courtship, I feel free to blame the parents for setting up a crappy match. Did the parents not notice Jane’s lack of enthusiasm for Rodger and the lack of deeper feelings and growing attraction?
Two weeks before the wedding, Jane was getting very nervous. She emailed Mr. Florida saying she wished Rodger were like him. She felt like she was marrying a stranger. Mr. Florida said he wished with all of his heart they could be together, just to talk this out and make sure she was doing the right thing. In confused desperation she bought a bus ticket and slipped out of the house.
I have two separate problems at this point:
1) Jane should be talking to RODGER about her problems with RODGER. Getting engaged to a stranger was a poor choice; avoiding these awkward conversations is worsening the problem.
2) Mr. Florida is creeping the hell out of me. He magically works up enough guts to …ask her to come see him….so they can talk….in person….in an area that she probably doesn’t know anyone. If he’s serious, he can haul himself up to Jane where her family and friends can see him.
Mr. Florida met her at the bus station and took her to a motel, where she fell into his arms weeping. They didn’t mean for it to happen…they just felt so connected…like it was meant to be. You do understand, don’t you?
Honestly, I do NOT understand. Why a motel? Doesn’t Mr. Florida have a home or apartment or something…
After a week of sleeping together at the motel, the spiritual, Bible-quoting, deeply sincere Mr. Florida revealed that he was already married and had two kids. He explained that he desperately loved her and that she was so much more than his own pitiful wife, but he had a commitment to his family.
Does Debi know any men who are NOT sexual predators?
I wish I could tell you Debi is lying, but there are people who pretend to be single online, start an entirely new relationship with an unsuspecting person, and never mention their other family.
Because of that, I was cautious when dating online. I met men in high traffic restaurant or cafe for the first few times. I ran a basic internet search on the men. I introduced them to my friends within a month or so to get their opinions. My husband brought me to the local pub in the small town where he lived. That made me smile since everyone there knew him and liked him a lot.
Debi isn’t terribly hard on Mr. Florida – the adult man who built a relationship with a girl under false pretenses and probably got off on the fact he wrecked her soon to be marriage.
She walked into the motel an unkissed virgin; seven days later she walked out pregnant. Jane got back on the bus and went home.
I’m worried about Jane’s inability to say no. She said “Yes” to Rodger when he asked him to marry her. She trotted down to Florida two weeks before her wedding to meet with Mr. Florida when he asked. Jane apparently didn’t say “no” to Mr. Florida when he wanted sex without any promises of…well…anything.
I mean, the only way she had to get out of her impending marriage was to run away to another state to the arms of a different stranger man….
I hope Jane gets a comprehensive STD test along with that pregnancy test.
Her relationship with Mr. Florida was just Pie In the Sky. It felt more real than what she felt for Rodger. Why? Because Jane believed she knew Mr. Florida. They experienced intimacy as they texted. They became relaxed and confident with each other, which made physical intimacy hard to resist. Emailing, texting and phoning was the sin that lead her ugly tragedy.
No, I don’t think so, Debi. Jane HAD more of a relationship with the icky Mr. Florida than Rodger.
Jane’s parents SHOULD be horrified – they’ve raised a 23-year-old woman who can only get what she wants by assenting in front of authority figures then following her own wishes without telling anyone.
Think about it. Jane is proposed to by Rodger. She says “yes” then runs upstairs to talk with Mr. Florida. She starts planning her wedding – then runs away for a long enough time close enough to the wedding to bust the relationship up.
This is one of the things that TERRIFIES me about home-schooling. Junior high and high school students are peer-oriented BECAUSE they are learning the social skills they need to maneuver in world. Adolescence sucks sometimes because you learn – though experience or through watching – that some people are trustworthy in most things; some people are never trustworthy.
Jane’s got the emotional and social intelligence of a 5 year-old in the body of an 23-year-old woman… and her parents are responsible for that.
She had skated close to sin every time she punched a letter on her keyboard, and God is not mocked.
That sentence makes no sense.
Every time she pushed “send” she sent him a part of her intimate self. She had already given herself away before she closed the door to a cheap motel room with the noise of the interstate in the background. “Then when lust have conceived, it bringth forth sin, when it is finished, bringth forth death” (James 1:15). Her texting brought death to her lifelong hopes, dreams and the possibility of becoming a pure bride.
*Dramatic swoon onto my fainting couch until my lady’s maid uses the smelling salts*
Geez, Debi. Drop the overwrought angst, please.
Jane’s had a rough reality check, for sure. But I’ve had the privilege of working with many, many moms and dads who were much younger than Jane and this is NOT the end of the world. Not at all.
Rodger didn’t want a candy bar that had already been licked, so he went else where and found a nice chaste girl who didn’t text.
Debi, be serious and get your head out of the gutter for once.
If Jane had come back from Florida without having had sex with Mr. Florida, do you really think Rodger would have been waiting with open arms?
I don’t blame Rodger for not wanting to marry Jane; Rodger had no relationship with Jane and had to deal with the embarrassment of knowing that his fiancee ran away to another man within two weeks of their wedding day.
I had a relationship that ended when I was unceremoniously dumped through email about 4 hours before my ex-boyfriend just happened to be going out of town for 14 days. Dealing with the pain of a relationship ending is bad; being hit out of left-field without a chance to confront or talk to your ex makes it worse; being the person left behind to answer questions while the other person is conveniently unavailable is pure hell. By the end of 14 days, I had moved from sadness to white-hot rage…and I don’t blame Rodger if he was in the same mood.
I must note, just a few weeks after this event someone found the charming Mr. Florida getting to know another nice Christian girl.
I hope they notified his wife and Jane. Jane’s got some child support coming her way and his wife deserves to get free of the creep.
Only one part left in the chapter – Debi’s views on electronic privacy and sexting.
AntiPearl:You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.
Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide