A Catfishing With a Happy Ending
October 20, 2017 7:00 AM   Subscribe

 
Wow, that story is just insane. Every time you think you know how it's going to end, there's another twist.

I don't know how to feel about the guy who originally catfished her.
posted by armadillo1224 at 7:27 AM on October 20 [1 favorite]


This one's super-cute. The guy who catfished her is an asshole, though.
posted by Slinga at 7:38 AM on October 20 [2 favorites]


“Catfishing is prevalent across the internet,” he told me, “Everybody does catfishing.”
This is such a common kind of thing to say. Is it that wrongdoers genuinely believe this is normal behavior, or is it an attempt to defend/excuse oneself post facto? (Of course it is possible to be both.)
“Are you not usually happy, stinky?” he asked.
Is this a regionalism? I thought it might have been a quirk of just that one Youtube couple, but...
“And the conversation just started,” Adem told me, in a gruff, Turkish voice.
A... Turkish voice? Is this a pun...?
posted by inconstant at 7:39 AM on October 20 [6 favorites]


I had this horrible dread that the "happy ending" was going to be that she fell in love with him anyway. But this is not what happened!
posted by Frowner at 7:39 AM on October 20 [19 favorites]


This is such a common kind of thing to say. Is it that wrongdoers genuinely believe this is normal behavior, or is it an attempt to defend/excuse oneself post facto?

"Everybody does it" does seem to be sort of the de facto rallying cry of unethical hacks everywhere, yeah.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:46 AM on October 20 [19 favorites]


Yeah, if it weren't already obvious that Alan was an asshole, at the end he brags about having met someone "special" that's "even younger than Emma."

Dick.
posted by darkstar at 7:47 AM on October 20 [40 favorites]


I had this horrible dread that the "happy ending" was going to be that she fell in love with him anyway. But this is not what happened!

Yeah, I had this fear that it was going to be this Beauty and the Beast type story about learning to look beyond your preconceptions and learning to love people you weren't initially attracted to (which is advice that only women seem to get from popular culture).

I love that she ended up with the guy she initially found attractive.
posted by armadillo1224 at 7:57 AM on October 20 [15 favorites]


I can't be the only one who thinks the guy she ended up with is also trying to scam her.
posted by scantee at 8:04 AM on October 20 [15 favorites]


I didn't get the vibe that he was trying to scam her, but I was left wondering if long-term the international part was going to make it unworkable. But honestly, even if it doesn't work out, it's a hell of a story to tell later, how she got catfished and wound up dating a model.
posted by Sequence at 8:18 AM on October 20 [7 favorites]


Yeah, certainly the part where it's like, "they clicked and then she gave him the key to her apartment" i was like WHOA how much time has elapsed and what is THIS guy gonna do?!
posted by knownassociate at 9:04 AM on October 20 [3 favorites]


This is such a common kind of thing to say. Is it that wrongdoers genuinely believe this is normal behavior, or is it an attempt to defend/excuse oneself post facto? (Of course it is possible to be both.)

There's a saying in Danish, "tyv tror hver mand stjæler" which roughly translates as "thief thinks every man steals".
posted by Dysk at 9:04 AM on October 20 [28 favorites]


“You are so real,” Emma said, crying. “You really exist!”
This line was the crux of the whole piece to me.
I'm so trying to phrase this in a way that isn't about looks and doesn't imply that people are shallow, because that's not what I mean. I find it sort of fascinating that the "real" non-existent Ronnie was her image of what he looked like and not his conversations or voice or whatever. Like if you see a picture of someone, that becomes THEM in your mind, more than what they sound like or write like?
Although I guess that once she realized Alan was a lying, creepy predator, then that became the thing that wasn't real?
posted by chococat at 9:23 AM on October 20 [1 favorite]


Zoosk!!!!!!!!
posted by karmachameleon at 9:41 AM on October 20 [1 favorite]


If she had phoned ANY struggling model/actor wannabe in any politically unstable country in the world and offered them the potential for 6 months in fucking London free of charge in exchange for a little romantic fantasy, she could have filled a stadium.
posted by Dynex at 9:59 AM on October 20 [11 favorites]


Yeah, certainly the part where it's like, "they clicked and then she gave him the key to her apartment" i was like WHOA how much time has elapsed and what is THIS guy gonna do?

When I got to the US my wife, then girlfriend, had to do this. But six weeks earlier we spent a week in Melbourne together.
posted by Talez at 9:59 AM on October 20 [1 favorite]


"there are no real Italians in this story"
posted by doctornemo at 10:00 AM on October 20 [12 favorites]


So sorry to be clueless, but what is “catfishing”? I gather it’s something more or less than just any old case of a man looking for consentual sex partners?
posted by saulgoodman at 10:42 AM on October 20


saulgoodman: catfishing is lying about who you are on the internet when engaging in a relationship of some sort (romantic usually) for a nefarious purpose.

It's also a shitty word, as it instantly reveals the spoiler for a movie by the same name (or so I understand, I haven't seen the movie, as it was SPOILED FOR ME).
posted by el io at 10:54 AM on October 20 [3 favorites]


Yeah, if it weren't already obvious that Alan was an asshole, at the end he brags about having met someone "special" that's "even younger than Emma."

Twist: when he finally goes to meet that special young girl face-to-face, upon entering the house he will be greeted with the words "Hello, Alan. I'm Chris Hansen. Please... have a seat."
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:19 AM on October 20 [8 favorites]


as it instantly reveals the spoiler for a movie by the same name
Sorry if this is too deraily, but if I recall correctly (it's been a while) the "reveal" wasn't really the climax, though. The direction of the film (and subsequent series) pivoted into trying to find the "real" person behind the fake online persona. And to add another layer of catfishing, the general feeling about the film is that it was a faked.
posted by chococat at 11:20 AM on October 20 [2 favorites]


I sort of had this on Okcupid. I got chatting alleged lingerie model/yoga instructor/politics grad 9 years my junior (I know, I know) mainly because she mentioned Elizabeth Warren in her interests in addition to being shockingly hot from Maxim magazine esque photos. I was deeply suspicious. It was November and I had to go back home for Christmas then she was travelling in the new year, so we didn't actually get to meet up for like 3 months. Anyway we eventually decided to meet up and it turns she was actually a lingerie model/yoga instructor/pol grad who used her portfolio pictures because they were good pictures. We dated for several months but it fizzled out and we're still buds and mostly share links about "Trump! WTF?!"
posted by Damienmce at 12:06 PM on October 20 [11 favorites]


It's also a shitty word, as it instantly reveals the spoiler for a movie by the same name...

Or maybe it's just a really terrible name for a movie / TV series?
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:20 PM on October 20 [3 favorites]


In a related episode from the tragicomedy that was my dating life on Grindr...

Sitting in a coffee shop waiting for my first date with a guy. He's late. He finally comes swanning in, and sits down, and the first words out of his mouth were:

"Oh, thank God you're cute! I have this deal with the owner who's a friend of mine...I wait until my date arrives and then she calls me if the guy is ugly, so I know not to show up!"

It was to be a foreshadowing of a terrible, terrible evening. But I did learn one of my first dating rules: take separate cars to dinner in case it gets so bad you want to leave.


Note to potential suitors: I regrettably no longer qualify as cute.
posted by darkstar at 12:29 PM on October 20 [4 favorites]


Man, I kind of love hearing that he then had to have an incredibly awkward conversation with his daughter. More than his employers, that made me happy--because it sounds like she knew exactly what a creep her father was being and didn't let him weasel out of acknowledging that.
posted by sciatrix at 12:40 PM on October 20 [11 favorites]


Yeah, if it weren't already obvious that Alan was an asshole, at the end he brags about having met someone "special" that's "even younger than Emma."

Dick.


I will never understand this obsession other men have with youth. People way younger than me are my version of Satre's hell.
posted by srboisvert at 1:43 PM on October 20 [12 favorites]


GOD if only someone had cut the three-quarters of the piece that is "French woman not a native English speaker: hilarious" it would be so much better. the writer tries their best to make her come over like a genuine moron, though one deserving of pity and a happy ending, and I don't like it. even if she is, I still don't like it. the condescension is insufferable. and the modest amount of sympathy afforded Alan is still too much.

also, the picture boy is plenty cute but she's cuter. so the part in the beginning where she was allegedly shocked that a bland invisible mouse like her could attract a dashing sexy chest-bearing stubbly gentleman like him was deeply sad. oh well. I guess the ultimate lesson is if you have a very good excuse to hunt down and ask out a handsome faraway man of mystery, you should take it. I do agree with that.
posted by queenofbithynia at 3:55 PM on October 20 [14 favorites]


I will never understand this obsession other men have with youth. People way younger than me are my version of Satre's hell.

Because younger women are dumber and more likely to fall for an old creepy man's bullshit. Because they're still too young to know better.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:39 PM on October 20 [7 favorites]


this is like reading the most epic AskMefi on the world
posted by Sebmojo at 11:05 PM on October 20 [3 favorites]


I will never understand this obsession other men have with youth. People way younger than me are my version of Satre's hell.

Because younger women are dumber and more likely to fall for an old creepy man's bullshit. Because they're still too young to know better.


And we live in a culture obsessed with women's purity and virginity. That's a one-way ticket to pedophilia.
posted by medusa at 1:17 PM on October 21 [1 favorite]


Anybody for a cup of "live and let live"?
posted by lometogo at 8:10 PM on October 22


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