Arturo's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
By Stephanie Lynn, age 25, Massachusetts
I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane ...
My story begins in the summer of 2004. My sister and I flew on a plane to San Luis Potosi, Mexico with a team from our local church. The plan of the trip was similar to our visit the previous year. We traveled to a few places within the city and surrounding countryside, offering VBS-type programs which included games, crafts, music, balloon animals, and a brief talk. We were very excited to return and see some of our Mexican friends as well. My sister was looking forward to seeing Arturo*, but I didn't really remember meeting him in 2003.
Arturo went with our mission team as we shared our message. Every time we needed to group ourselves with one of the Mexican translators from the host church, my sister and I automatically chose Arturo. We often sat together at meal times at the church as well. It was a great opportunity to practice my Spanish and learn more about the culture from him. As I'm sure you've guessed, by the end of the trip, my team members were making comments about how I liked him and was "drooling over him." I had made a great friend, but I wasn't looking for a long distance boyfriend.
Don't Tell Arturo!
Maria* did not attend the host church in Mexico in 2004; at least I never remember seeing or meeting her while I was there. I didn't come to know who she was until about 2006. Most of my Mexican friends used MSN Messenger. I was surfing the net when I suddenly received an IM, but it wasn't from Arturo. The girl identified herself as his girlfriend. It seemed very random that she was talking to me. She told me not to tell Arturo that she had IM'd me. After chatting for a few minutes it was clear that she was contacting several of the females on his friends list. I was very polite, even though her messages seemed rather off. Again she urged me not to tell Arturo about our chat because she'd done this before and didn't want him to be angry with her. I should have taken this as a sign of her lack of character. When I think back, I realize that I was wayyy too nice by agreeing not to tell him what she'd said. I believe Maria and I only chatted one time after that initial contact, but I was left with a sense that Arturo could do better.
I forgot about Maria until late 2007 when I was finding many of my Mexican friends on Facebook and I added her as well. Again, I was trying to be nice. Arturo didn't have an account at the time. After visiting her profile, it appeared they were no longer dating since there were no photos of Arturo on her account. Again, I quickly forgot about her for a few weeks.
In January 2008 she posted a few comments on some old Facebook photos left over from 2005. I didn't translate the messages from Spanish to English, but most just said "haha" and nothing more. I assumed she was just laughing along with my silly photos. Then, in the summer of 2008, she returned to my profile and left more comments on the same group of photos. I knew my Spanish was rusty, but a few of the words seemed off. I decided to translate them this time. It turned out all of the comments were extremely mean. Some of the quotes included: "hahahahahahahaha que fea," "asco y mas asco," and "dientes tan grandes jajajaja." For those who might be rusty on their Spanish, she was basically saying that I was very ugly and had horrible teeth. (I was wearing braces at the time of those 2005 photos and still had a few gaps.)
I understand that I may not have been the prettiest girl, but the comments were truly uncalled for and out-of-the-blue, especially coming from someone I had never met and only spoke with once or twice over the Internet. I was extremely shocked by such sudden meanness. I had been nothing but nice to her to the point where I had kept a secret from a great friend of mine. What could have brought this on? I knew it was nothing I'd said or done, because I hadn't spoken with either Maria or Arturo in a very long time.
Hmm, Jealous Much?
A few days later, I discovered that Arturo was currently in the United States, and not just in any state. He was in my state of Massachusetts, and I didn't even know it! Suddenly the entire situation clicked. All the mean comments were left at the same time he was here. I think putting two and two together here isn't too hard. She was threatened by my friendship with Arturo, amplified by the fact that he was in my state. I could only imagine how she had played out the story in her mind. Perhaps she thought we were spending every day together sipping Starbucks coffee and holding hands frolicking on the college campus. But none of that was happening. I was dedicated to another guy! What's more, I didn't know Arturo was only an 80 minute car ride away. The funny part is that I wouldn't have known he was here if she hadn't left those mean comments. Her insecurity could have easily led me to him had I been available and interested.
There's Always a Moral
So the moral of the story is ... don't be that girl. Don't be like Maria. All her type of behavior and character does is turn away the right kind of guys. What you want is to find a guy with a lot of character - the kind who will truly care about you, love you, and treat you right. But if you act like Maria by snooping into his profiles, stalking other females he converses with, and sending harassing messages to those you deem a threat, well, you are lowering yourself. Guys with character want a girl with character. If you want to earn a great guy, keep your head high and your morals in place. Good people find each other. I know, because I've found one.
And if you ever have to deal with a situation like the one with Maria, just ignore her. That's what I did. She was too insecure for her own good and may well destroy her future. No revenge needed and not recommended. You have better things to do with your time. :) But if she really takes it too far, don't deal with the situation alone. That's what adults are for!
* Names have been changed.