What happened to me and the new girl (or: “The girl who cried Webmaster”)

by Joey deVilla on April 7, 2003

pants on fire

At least a couple of readers of this blog guessed that something was wrong when the Ten Cool Things About the New Girl blog entry that I wrote last week vanished. They were right, but they probably had no idea how wrong things went. I’m going to tell the story — with names changed and a few non-essential details omitted. I’m trying to balance telling my story with protecting people’s privacy. Hopefully, I’ve succeeded.

Then I’m going to take a week-long holiday from this blog. I’m annoyed and exhausted, I have a considerable load of work to take care of, and after you’ve read what appears below, you’ll probably agree that I’ve earned it.

Not What She Appears to Be

Domino maskAmong the cool things listed in the Ten Cool Things About the New Girl entry were:

A day after I posted the entry, a reader of this blog sent me an email telling me that everything I knew about New Girl was wrong, specifically:

  • She did not graduate from computer science at UBC
  • She did not go to high school at Trafalgar College — she doesn’t even have her high school diploma
  • She does not work at Alliance Atlantis, nor is she a Web programmer
  • There’s a long line of people who’ve been lied to or taken advantage of by her

I was shocked. In a year and a half of writing The Adventures of AccordionGuy in the 21st Century, I’ve never received any kind of crank message related to a blog entry.

“She’s not the person she claims to be” sounds more like a line of dialogue from a Hollywood thriller, not real life. In spite of my incredulity, I couldn’t write it off as some kind of prank. Whoever wrote the letter knew too many details about New Girl to just be some random person playing a joke. Was this person telling the truth, or was this someone with a personal vendetta against New Girl?

Background Check

FingerprintAs luck would have it, I know someone in the Web department at Alliance Atlantis. I gave her a call.

Me: This may sound strange, but I need to know if someone works in the Web department.

Friend: That doesn’t sound so strange. What’s this person’s name?

Me: It’s [New Girl’s name].

Friend: Never heard of her. Is she new?

Me: She’s worked there since sometime last year. She told me that she couldn’t bear to see The Two Towers because she worked late nights on the site for three weeks and just sick of the whole thing by the end.

Friend: I’ve never heard of her. Look, let me check the company directory…nope. There’s only person with her first name, and she’s in Finance. Who is this person?

Who is this person, indeed.

For the first time in a very long time, I experienced that Horrible Sinking Feeling. Someone — either New Girl or the author of the email — was trying to con me. Worse still was the fact that so far, the facts favoured the stranger.

Sanity Check

Public phone keypadI must have read and re-read the email at least a half-dozen times before coming to a decision. I knew that I was too deeply involved to be objective and decided to make a sanity check. I phoned my friend Leesh in New York. She’s a dear friend whom I’ve known for ten years and has seen me at my best and worst. I figured it would be best to call a friend with loads of common sense who was far removed from the situation to be impartial and unaffected by any fallout from the situation.

“The thing that bothers me most,” I said after I telling her the story, “is that one of them is trying to screw me over.”

“Look at it this way,” she replied, “who has more to gain from it?”

Good point.

Meeting the Whistleblower

WhistleblowerI decided to go ahead with my plan. I emailed my informant, whom I’ll refer to as Whistleblower, asking if we could meet in person. It would be one thing to make these claims in a faceless medium, but something completely different to do so face-to-face. If that person was lying, I figured my schmooze-fu would be good enough to spot it.

I got a quick reply. Whistleblower was willing to meet me, and even provided a contact phone number. This was good news and bad news: good because it lent more credence to the possibility that Whistleblower was not yanking my chain, bad because it meant that the claims about New Girl were true.

We arranged to meet at Sneaky Dee’s. I arrived early and stood near the entrance so as to be easily spotted. Whistleblower, being a reader of my blog, knew what I looked like, but I couldn’t say the same.

This is such a spy movie thing, I thought. I’d laugh if the reason for all this wasn’t so craptacular.

Ten minutes later, Whistleblower arrived and we ordered drinks. I didn’t know about Whistleblower, but I knew I’d need at least one.

The story Whistleblower told me meshed with New Girl’s, but in all the wrong ways. Whistleblower, it turned out, knew New Girl from the days when they both lived in another city. While in that other city, New Girl was taking courses towards getting a high school equivalency diploma. She never completed them.

Then Whistleblower followed with a series of identity theft stories. New Girl would take online photos of various goth girls and use them as her identity in various chat rooms. She’d chat up gothguys and, in some casesm, convince them to fly up to meet her. One poor guy came incredibly close to doing just that, but the person she was impersonating caught wind of this and warned him in the nick of time.

Then there’s this little matter:

Whistleblower: Has she shown you photos of a niece and nephew?

Me: Yeah, I’ve seen them. Cute kids.

Whistleblower: They’re not her niece and nephew, they’re her son and daughter.

Me: (sounds of choking on Guinness)

I won’t go into the details here, but New Girl left for Accordion City two years ago, and the kids were put in the care of Children’s Services.

For an hour and a half, I listened to Whistleblower. I tried to keep my calm-even-during-a-crisis demeanor even though it felt as though icy daggers were being shoved into my heart.

Whistleblower recited a list of people whom I could contact to double-check these claims. There seemed to be a long line of people whom New Girl had screwed over in one way or another. In the terms of Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, New Girl has serious negative whuffie.

Whistleblower also told me that a number of friends reported seeing me and New Girl — “Isn’t that New Girl, making out with the Accordion Guy? Does he know?” The accordion might have saved my bacon again.

Whistleblower must’ve seen the look on my face — geez, I must’ve looked pathetic just then — and decided change the topic after a pause. “So…you play accordion, huh?”

“Yeah,” I said, “you wouldn’t believe the kinds of things it gets me into.”

At the end of our meeting, I paid for the drinks. Whistleblower objected, but I said “Hey — you’re a complete stranger, and still you stuck your neck out for someone you know only through a weblog. You could’ve stayed uninvolved, and you could’ve decided not to meet me, especially during a snowstorm. Thanks. I owe you big time.”

Whisteblower left and I went to use the washroom. Afterwards, as I left the bar, the waitress stopped me — I was so unnerved that I’d forgotten my umbrella at the table.

Pull it together, I thought to myself, there’s serious business to attend to.

Confrontation

I arrived at the cafe where New Girl had gone to meet some mutual friends. She greeted me with a kiss, after which I said “Could I have a word with you…alone?”

We took a table in the quietest spot I could find. I told her that I’d met with Whistleblower. At the mere mention of Whistleblower’s name, her face darkened.

New Girl: [Whistleblower] doesn’t know a thing. She gets her so-called “facts” from someone who has a grudge against me. That person will say anything to make me look bad. I can’t believe that you’d take the word of a stranger over your own girlfriend!

Me: Your photo album: are those pictures of your niece and nephew, or are they actually your kids?

New Girl: What kind of lies has this person been telling you?!

Me: Do you work for Alliance Atlantis?

New Girl: Of course I do! I’m a webmistress there!

Me: Not according to my friend who works there. She’s in the Web department, and has never heard of you.

New Girl: It’s a big department.

Me: Come to think of it, didn’t you say that the team working on the Two Towers website was just you and some other guy? That’s a small team for the site of one of the biggest films ever.

New Girl: Maybe it’s because I was a contractor and not a full-time employee.

Me: She checked the company directory. You don’t exist there. And c’mon, a contractor? Then how can you be on sick leave?

Sick leave, I thought, a perfect excuse for not having to go to a non-existent job. I’ve been played.

New Girl: I can show you proof. I’ve got pay stubs. I’ll show you tomorrow.

Me: Prove it to me now. Are you a Web programmer?

New Girl: Yes!

Me (very calmly): What’s the difference between HTTP GET and POST?

New Girl (taken aback): …uh, what?

Me: GET and POST. What’s the difference?

New Girl (looking somewhat rattled): You…You’ve got to be fucking kidding.

Her body language changed to a more defensive stance. I leaned forward.

The Old Columbo Trick

Peter Falk as “Columbo”At this point, even after all the evidence that had been presented to me, I still had the tiniest bit of hope that everyone was wrong about New Girl. I needed to hear an admission — either intentional or accidental — from New Girl herself. If I kept the pressure on, she would either cave and admit everything or make a mistake.

Me: I’m not kidding. C’mon, if you’re really a Web programmer, you’d know this. This is straight out of chapter one of “Web Forms for Dummies”.

New Girl: I refuse to answer this question. Such a simple question…it’s…it’s insulting!

Me: Answer it, and you’ll shoot such a big hole in Whistleblower’s story that I’d have to believe you. And trust me, right now, you look like the liar..

New Girl: I won’t answer it! I know the answer, but you still won’t believe me if I give it to you!

Me: You know, if you accused me of not being a programmer, I’d be dropping mad computer science on your head. I’d be saying “Get me in front of a machine! I’ll write ‘Hello World’ in half a dozen languages!”

New Girl: But I’m not you!

Me: And you’re not a programmer. You’re a damned liar.

I guess I just dumped her, I thought. This is not how I planned to spend Thursday night. I walked out of the cafe. New Girl, as I expected, chased after me.

New Girl: Look! I’m upset! My head’s a mess and I can’t think technically right now! But I promise you, tomorrow I’ll get all kind of stuff from my place to prove it to you.

Me: You can wait until tomorrow to get proof? I can’t. Why not answer my question now, and save us both time and aggravation?

New Girl: Please, baby, you’ve got to believe me…

Me: I want to believe you, more than anything, but how can I? Answer the question, please. Give me a reason to believe you.

New Girl: I can’t. I’m too much of a wreck. Look — I can show you all my papers from University! I kept them all!

I decided to use a trick I’d learned from an old episode of Columbo. It was a stupid, cheesy 70’s TV detective show trick, but it was my best shot at getting to the truth.

Me: So you really did graduate from computer engineering?

New Girl: Yes I did, from UBC!

Me: And you took the “Algorithms” course?

New Girl: Of course!

Me: And you have all the papers you wrote?

New Girl: Yes! I kept them all, and I’ll show them to you tomorrow!

I imagined what kind of excuse she’d have when the papers mysteriously “disappeared” the next day. It was time to set up the pieces for checkmate.

Me: I want to see the one we always called the “Hell Paper” at Queen’s — the mandatory fourth-year paper. You know the one, where we prove P = NP?

New Girl: I did that! I proved P = NP! I placed near the top of the class, and the professor used my paper as an example!

Me: You proved P = NP?

New Girl: Yes!

Me: Gotcha.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of what the whole “Is P equal to NP or not?” question is, other than the fact that it’s one of the Great Mysteries of computer science. From a mathematician’s point of view, solving it would be a bigger deal than solving Fermat’s Last Theorem. It’s so big a deal and so hard a problem that there’s a US$1 million reward to the first person to submit a viable proof.

Simply put, I’d just broken up with either the biggest liar I’ve ever dated or the greatest computer scientist who ever lived. Somewhere, Alan Turing’s coffin was experiencing fantastic rotational torque.

I’d outsmarted her into lying and giving herself away, just like my childhood literary hero, Encyclopedia Brown.

It gets worse

The next day, I decided to give New Girl’s supposed home phone number a ring. I was beginning to get the feeling that it wasn’t actually hers. A woman answered the phone.

“Hello,” I said, “my name is Joey deVilla…”

“The guy with the hat and the accordion,” the voice on the other end of the line said. “I’ve been meaning to have a word with you.”

Eek.

And so began an even stranger conversation. The apartment wasn’t New Girl’s, but this woman’s. The woman’s musician friends had seen me with New Girl at Kensington Market, where I sometimes busked and performed at open mike nights.

“And there was night you were at Grafitti’s with her…”

“Last Thursday.” How is it that everyone but New Girl can provide evidence to corroborate their stories?

“So the stories about her fat cats and the noisy birds…they’re not her pets, they’re yours?”

“Right.”

She then told me about how she and New Girl met, at rehab meetings. Rehab?!

And later, since New Girl had no place to stay, she let her stay on her couch. They grew closer and became lovers. Lovers?!

And then came the story about how New Girl tried to hide her pregnancy. Pregnancy?!

Apparently there was a third kid, born shortly before I met New Girl. The kid was adopted a few days after its birth. A couple of weeks after having given birth, she was flirting with me. I felt ill.

I spent that night drinking copious quantities of Irish Stout.

Enough already

“Dude,” said my old buddy George the following day, “you were saved by your blog!”

It’s true. I posted a gushy entry about New Girl, someone saw it and came forward to tell me the truth. Maybe the Blogger or Moveable Type people should print up stickers and T-shirts that read BLOGS SAVE LIVES. I’d buy one.

As a programmer who used to work in the P2P world and is about to start developing software to socially connect people, I used to look at issues such as social software, trust networks, determining the truth without a trusted third party, identity and reputation in a rather abstract way, kind of like the way a non-chef watches programs on the Food Network (“Hey, an omelette made with an ostrich egg! Wouldn’t that be neat to cook?”). Now that I’ve experienced the real-life version of all these concepts, I’d like to look a little more seriously into their programmatic equivalents — might as well turn this lemon into lemonade.

As for me, I’m unharmed and New Girl didn’t rob me. I’m really feeling incredibly craptacular, very creeped out, and — perhaps as some kind of defense mechanism — mildly amused at the ridiculousness of the situation. I’m proud of the fact that somehow I managed to keep my head mostly together during this descent into TV-movie-of-the-weekdom. I’m also exhausted — this kind of crap is incredibly draining, even for Mister-Play-Accordion-All-Night-Long. I’m taking a one-week vacation from blogging to get caught up on work, sleep and life in general.

To all my real friends out there, thank you for telling me who you really are.

To New Girl, all I can say — and I mean this with all sincerity — is “seek professional help”.

To Whistleblower, I owe you a debt of gratitude. You probably saved me from a lot of misery.

And to all you ladies out there, I’m back on the market. Only those without skeletons in their closets need apply.

See you folks in a week.

Get this story in dead-tree form

never threaten to eat your coworkers

This story ended up in an anthology titled Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers: Best of Blogs in 2004. I once had a copy, but someone — whom I can’t remember now — borrowed it and never returned it.

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous July 31, 2004 at 3:42 pm

Beautifully written! You have (emotionally) connected with many of us who carry the secret shame of falling for the “con.” Your writing is reminiscent of David Sedaris. You are truly gifted.

Kind (and wary) regards,

Lars Kindem

Sydney, Australia

Anonymous August 1, 2004 at 3:58 pm

Joey,

The world is a tiny lil place. My friend sitting in the god awful Albany airport sent me the url to your powerpoint breakup entry. I read it and clicked through to this entry and as I read through it I said to myself…’Self, this accordian feller sure certainly sounds like the Joey that used to work with your best friend Justin at OpenCola.’ Well, when I finished talking to myself and flashing back to good nights drinking with Oxblood, Justin and you in Las Vegas I got a lil teary eyed and went and took a nap. Fully refreshed, I awoke to find my pool overflowing and thought it was an excellent example of just how my life is these days. Having BLOGS like yours just makes my cup runneth over. Love forever, Ralph Logan

Anonymous April 6, 2007 at 3:59 pm

Amazing story. I guess I should stop feeling bad about breaking up with my girlfriend. You had a much worse day.

Lisa Foye June 14, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Wow.

I stumbled across your blog through boing boing and stayed because, well, Filipino Accordion Player is just much too cool for me *not* to fall instantly in love.

Anyway, after reading this, I not only have to commend you on your awesome writing skills, I am also compelled to congratulate you on listening to the Whistleblower. Although there are many folks in this world who would tell lies about the people we are attracted to, there are just enough humane humans out there who will watch a stranger’s back. Kudos to Whistleblower, a seconded “seek professional help” to New (now Gone) Girl, and two thumbs up to you (because I only have the two).

Again, I say Wow. I felt this in my solar plexus…

Cheers,
Lisa F
Virginia Beach, VA

dr. pants February 21, 2008 at 7:19 pm

I’d highly recommend you pick up a copy of _The Sociopath Next Door_ if you want to understand what the deal was with that girl, and possibly how to keep it from happening again.

Adam Kinder February 21, 2008 at 8:11 pm

This entry has inspired me to write about how I got duped by a girl back when I created WHI. It’s funny now looking back, but wasn’t too funny at the time.

You are a damned good writer btw

Voideka February 21, 2008 at 11:33 pm

I once dated a girl who lied about having cancer. I feel your pain.

C February 21, 2008 at 11:44 pm

To go along with pants’ suggestion, pick up a copy of ‘That Bitch: Protect Yourself Against women with Maliscious Intent’ by Roy Sheppard and Mary Clearly.

The First chapter is about a couple of girls that tore their shirt and screamed ‘rape’ in oder to get out of a taxi fare.

Anony February 22, 2008 at 5:46 am

Found this off reddit. Funny read.

uwjames February 22, 2008 at 5:56 am

You sir have just earned another blog reader. Hopefully I’ll never need to save your life. 😉

Alex February 22, 2008 at 5:57 am

I’ve been where you are now…it’s a dark, dark place. Keep in mind that EVERYONE has skeletons in their closet. This chick just happened to have the graveyard from Jurassic Park in hers. Don’t let it make you afraid to connect.

Also, sometimes the crazy ones aren’t so crazy. And sometimes the sane ones will fuck your best friend and steal all your money. Just sayin’. Good luck.

Jacques Chester February 22, 2008 at 6:01 am

Without wanting to pre-empt a professional opinion, or pass myself off as a psychologist, it sounds to me a lot like you met a textbook psychopath.

David B. February 22, 2008 at 10:17 am

Holy smokes, what a tale. What I can’t figure out is how the difference between GET and POST methods never came up in conversation…

Proxima February 22, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Been there man.

I started dating a girl who had recently been in a traffic accident. Totaled her car and lost her job due to injuries and being laid up for so long. I figured it was just a bad spot in her life, we’ve all had them after all.

Found out much later that she was a functional alcoholic and the accident was caused by her being drunk and plowing into a telephone pole. She had given the electric company MY address as her residence, so they billed ME for the cost of replacing the pole. That’s how I begain to find out about everything, when I opened my light bill and found it was 35 thousand dollars…

Enjoy your week, don’t mope around though. You’ve dodged a bullet and survived! Celebrate!

dbs February 22, 2008 at 3:07 pm

This is a fascinating and amazng story, thank you for sharing it! It’s the sort of open communication on the net that can and does, in fact, save lives.

Go you, thank you for sharing!

abadtooth February 23, 2008 at 1:05 am

That is a crazy, crazy story!
You had my eyes glued to my monitor, I’m glad all turned out for you in the end, just make sure to hire a PI to check up on any new new girls 😉

nelika james February 23, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Hey don’t feel so bad………..some people just don’t like who they are and rather than do the hard work of working hard to become better they lie their way into it……..at least you found out early……I was not as fortunate…….but it taught me a useful lesson…..people should earn your trust!!!

aqua inoshi February 24, 2008 at 2:02 pm

well, as a girl, i know how it feels to pretend youre something youre not and how good it feels to get away from your life but that girl was stupid. internet is one thing but actually leading you on in real life, hell you deserve a life time vacation from the blog.

Aaron Cruikshank February 24, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Man, what a mind job. I hate liars. I hope she dies in a fire.

Luis' Parenthesis February 24, 2008 at 9:57 pm

What do P and NP-complete problems have to do with Web development anyway? In the ten years I’ve been in the field, I’ve barely come across people who were even aware of computational theory. For all that I know, these days, PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript could be taught to drug users in rehab, to help them rejoin society…

I could believe she worked at Alliance Atlantis integrating the Two Tower’s website, but not in the BS she had to make up in order to get hired there.

G February 25, 2008 at 5:53 pm

wow, man. that’s pretty rough. on the up side, i’m amazed that people are still reading this years after it was written. kudos to you!

Wakela Runen February 29, 2008 at 9:31 am

My friend and I sort of got caught up in a similar situation.

However, the girl was actually using part of my friend’s identity. The poor guy had apparently given her hundreds of dollars worth of gifts. And some of it was extremely sentimental to him.

So here we were, just going about our normal life. Next thing we know, Krysta was getting emails and messages from this guy. He was saying what we thought was crazy stuff.

She was afraid to respond to him, since we had no idea who he was or how he got her contact information.

I finally decided to do it on her behalf. After going back and forth with him a few times, he finally acquiesced to stopping using my friend’s contact information and just use the other ones.

It was all extremely bizarre. I have often wondered if that guy ever got anything solved.

Its just really sad at how some humans can go about treating others like that.

I am just glad to hear that Whistleblower came forward so that you didn’t end up in a worse situation.

Barfly March 10, 2008 at 10:45 am

You are a strong person and I respect you for being honest with yourself as well as her. You are a real man.

Jenny March 13, 2008 at 11:16 pm

seriously insane story. that is nuts! …wow…

i think ida like…i dont know…wow… LOL

MV May 15, 2008 at 10:18 am

holy shit! blogs save lives – no kidding

Word Watcher October 3, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s unfortunate that we can’t always take others at face value. It’s hard to imagine somebody making up stories about things they can’t even fake their way through – that’s why we don’t suspect other people of doing it. We don’t put every person we meet to the test, so they’re safe from critical examinations for a while. How sad.

Word Watcher

Jim Robert November 20, 2008 at 10:59 am

… damn

you should make a youtube drama out of it 😉

Jass June 1, 2009 at 9:24 am

//Me: GET and POST. What’s the difference?

This cracked me up!!

Saved by the blog! WHOA! 😀

Mick T. June 1, 2009 at 11:54 am

Good to hear ye drink stout, sure a pint of plain, is your only man — when your girlfriend is a skanger and after yer wallet — a pint of plain, is your only man. 😉

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIrX5MfNedM

Ash June 1, 2009 at 11:58 am

What a crazy story!

All I can say is, feel better!

Max June 1, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Hi,

I came here from Coding Horror’s blog, there is a post there regarding p=np and it links here, anyway, interesting read, amazingly bad luck with finding a total weirdo, I’ll be continuing to read your blog 🙂 thank’s for the 5 mins of entertainment.

Ningyu June 1, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Hi, I came here from Coding Horror’s blog too. It’s amazing that such things do happen which should only occur in some TV drama. Though I doubt there are any TV drama geeky like this. 😀 Anyway, good luck!

Schmuli June 2, 2009 at 7:43 am

Hi! I also came here from Coding Horror’s blog. I think that in such an instance, it would be for the greater good to inform everyone who this ‘New Girl’ is. This would allow others to avoid having the same kind of week as you.

Carson June 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm

You write fantastically well about your life! This should be widely distributed!

mrneutron June 2, 2009 at 2:57 pm

I’d like to see the original article if you ever feel comfortable putting it back up. It would be interesting to compare your reaction while you were in the thrall of this con artist with the reality that you discovered later.

Ibod Catooga June 2, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I would fucked her in the ass one more time just to get my load gone, and then dropped her off in Dubuque, where everything sucks! YAHHHHH!

PS3 June 2, 2009 at 3:36 pm

@mrneutron: The contents of the original article can be found
here.

Djb June 2, 2009 at 3:51 pm

I came here from reddit. I never read the now deleted post, but from what I can gather you two were dating for some time and there was a good amount of emotion involved. But 2 things:

When a woman has a child, her body is never the same. Stretch marks, excess skin, C-section scar… Especially weeks after birth.
So I am assuming you were some what intimate with New Girl, how did you not notice that?

Denny Crane June 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm

LOL, Thats too funny dude! Real walk down memory lane! LOL

RT
http://www.real-anonymity.pro.tc

Sangey June 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm

I lol’d

Kevin Ohashi June 2, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Sorry about the pain, the P=NP was quite fantastic, you did turn that into quite a fantastic story, glad to hear you came out (relatively) unharmed. Best wishes.

Tone June 2, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Completely dodged a bullet on that one. Congratulations. =)

Joey deVilla June 2, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Djb: Because those signs weren’t there. A good while after I posted that entry, good chunks of the New Girl’s story, including some crucial timelines, were made a little more clear to me.

Nakodari June 2, 2009 at 11:53 pm

I don’t usually leave comments but I had to say……that……You are one big genius!

Tabris Chen June 3, 2009 at 7:20 am

What an awesome post. If I had read this last year, I would have paid more attention in my cs class

Phillip Stucker June 3, 2009 at 8:57 am

Seems to me someone’s on your side, be them deity or webmaster 😛
gripping tale

Jonco June 3, 2009 at 10:41 am

Joey, I don’t get over here to read your blog too often but I always enjoy it when I do. This post was very interesting and heart tugging. I wish you the best man! Hang in there…. things will get much better…. and soon.
Jonco

NobodysSon June 3, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Wow. Just wow.

I too fell for a con girl and know the confusion and pain but reading about your experience still leaves me shocked that people can do this to others! Your skilled writing pulled my heart strings but still made me laugh aloud a few times – well done!

And three cheers for Whistleblower!

Chico B June 3, 2009 at 3:57 pm

One of the reasons I left Toronto was because I fell for a con like this. You were a lot luckier than I was. I’m still dealing with it.

Part of me wonders (hopes, actually) that your girl & my girl are the same. It would mean there’s one less grifter out there, at least.

Hang in there.

Chico B June 3, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Oh. I didn’t realize this was from six years ago.

Glad your head is still up.

davelog June 3, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Talk about a lost opportunity – exposed maniuplators are fabulously exploitable when you have the upper hand on them. Excellent read, though.

‘Sup Crooky.

anon June 4, 2009 at 12:07 am

(I arrived here from MetaFilter.)

GET vs POST? Sadly, not one web developer I’ve interviewed has been able to clearly explain the difference. I’ve actually given up on teaching it, instead opting for “if you want people to bookmark it, use GET.” Good enough, I guess.

Oh yeah, and great story =) My house was recently broken into, and I imagine that the sense of violation was similarly creepy.

Robert Will June 6, 2009 at 10:34 am

Joey,
I am here as a foreign observer to find out what’s wrong with North American culture. A culture in which people fall in love with what other people say, instead of falling for what they are. It is our greed which enables such exploits. Not a greed for money, but a greed to be awesome, be superior and to be around awesome and superior people. Attraction based on the other’s rank in society (be it their job or education) cannot be true attraction.
Usually the North American system of being confident and showing off one’s awesomeness works pretty well… (and it discriminates against foreigners who have been raised to see modesty as a virtue)… it’s only in cases like this, when we can see that something’s fundamentally wrong with this society. Not just something wrong with the liars, but also with those who go for the superficial awesomeness, instead of profound goodness.
cheers and good luck!
Robert

Joey deVilla June 7, 2009 at 2:34 am

Robert Will: My attraction to her wasn’t based on her job or standing, but on her sense of fun and joie de vivre. And there’s something to be said for shared interests.

Annette June 16, 2009 at 12:08 am

Yes, this happens a lot. One of my friends got conned by a person claiming to be a hermaphrodite with a botched childhood operation!

Jake Rocheleau October 19, 2009 at 12:14 am

Wow… insane story dude! Thanks for keepin me company while trippin 🙂

Alisha November 15, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Damn. Thats scary and really sucks. *shakes her head*

On the up side, Im single. Though, sadly not a computer scientist.

Alisha November 15, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Ouch, I should have seen that this post was 5 years old.

P. Lee January 19, 2010 at 11:04 am

What actually IS the trick used in the movie Columbo? Just curious. By the way, I enjoy your post a lot. 🙂

E. L. May 12, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Have you read “The Mask of Sanity”?

well, you should!

Great post, 🙂

Nigel August 9, 2010 at 10:22 am

Just FYI: there’s a new (serious) claim to prove P=NP (see here: http://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/a-proof-that-p-is-not-equal-to-np/ )
Maybe she really did solve it 😉

K December 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I see you posted this a few years ago, but a friend just sent me the link today. I’m sorry you had to go through that, but it sure does make one fantastic story! Thanks for sharing!

Oh, and I love all the Colombo, Encyclopedia Brown, and P=NP references. =)

Whistleblower February 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I forget this story sometimes, and then I watch a movie like “Catfish” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1584016/plotsummary) and I remember it all, those were some crazy times. I miss the original comments, there was some good stuff in there. Glad things are good for you now Joey. 🙂

-Whistleblower.

johnny February 10, 2011 at 11:42 am

Displays no empathy for children, seduces for support, lies, manipulates, and resorts to pleas of pity…you may have encountered your first sociopath.

Jonathan November 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Yes, sociopath. First thing I thought.

Katya March 18, 2013 at 5:52 am

Man, that’s tough luck. On the other hand, I’ve made friends with some crazy people who turned out to be stalkers before, so I can’t really talk here. Good luck finding yourself a new girl! We do exist, and we aren’t all insane and I’m sure there exist intelligent single girls (although I haven’t met many recently, but hey, maybe college girls like a bit of arm candy.) Happy fishing!

chao June 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm

@Robert: If you believe that personality disorders are a purely American invention, you’re gullible/naive/lucky.

Socoiopaths and those BPD persons get away with it initially because they devote a TON of social effort and waste their lives in ways that “normal” persons would not. “Why would they lie about something so stupid?” we ask ourselves.

But they do. They don’t get away with it for long, because while the facade is incredibly immersive, it’s still alien. They still flub up enough for us to recognize when the mask doesn’t match the person.

Vince Sippola January 12, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Neat story. Though I suspect that it was a gender-fluid person.

John R November 6, 2014 at 4:30 pm

There are many theories about the origins of language. But one that is gaining credence is that it was designed to deceive. That is corroborated by teaching apes sign language and then watching them send each other on wild goose chases while they go get all the food stash for themselves. I am afraid that the internet may be opening up a fountain of those primitive instincts. It becomes filled with more lies every day, and anonymity and manipulation make it easier. It even seems to have spilled over into daily discourse. Please beware, don’t get hurt, and keep that healthy scepticism.

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