I have been incredibly disturbed by this Manti Te'o situation. I have lost even more precious sleep to this and I am still not sleeping well. If you live under a rock and don't know let me give you a brief synopsis.
This is Manti Te'o, who just graduated from Notre Dame and was the Heisman runner up this season. On Sept. 11 his grandmother died. On Sept. 12 he received word that his girlfriend who he had an on-going relationship on-line and via the telephone (only) had passed away from Leukemia. This was a horrible and sad story highlighted by Te'o having the best season of his college career and leading the Irish to an undefeated regular season and into their first National Championship Game since 1988. The problem is, the girlfriend was a hoax and while it appears at this point Te'o had nothing to do with it, there are still many unanswered questions.
This story had bothered me a lot and I have had to do some real soul searching to figure out why. Here it is in a nutshell:
I have cared about two men in my life and both I met on-line. One I don't talk to and haven't for years but I honestly loved him. The other I still talk with and I care about. We haven't seen each other for months but I care about him even though sometimes I don't know why. That's what makes relationships of any kind complicated. (He makes me laugh and calls me on my BS. He is strangely able to read between the lines a lot of time and just kind if gets me. I have a love-hate relationship with him sometimes. I think he hates me right now. That's ok. His life is complicated too and I am not important. He is also a pain in the ass and I will move on but I won't quit our friendship even though he doesn't deserve it most of the time. ;-) only because I am truly awesome!)
Aside from those relationships I have so many friends that started out as on-line friendships. What I would do without my friends Rachel, Chance, Trish, and Khrystal in my life I really don't know. I met all of them on Twitter and they are incredibly important in my everyday life!
Rachel has introduced me to so many great people: Julie, Monica, Lyn, Katie, Donny, & Brandon just to name a few.
Micah has become a good long-distance friend to both Rachel and myself.
There are so many others!
The thing I realized is, this could be me. I am, for all my B-word qualities an all too trusting person. You have to earn my wrath. It takes a lot and God help you if you do. I will cut you out of my life like you never existed and have nothing to do with you but if you mess with me after, it will get ugly quick.
I have caught a lot of grief over this because I am a Notre Dame fan and to be honest, I love Manti. I still want to believe in him but after Lance Armstrong and Josh Hamilton have let me down by being, well human, I decided that I would try to believe without getting too excited. It isn't working because I find myself angry on Twitter and unfollowing friends. Actual people I have met like Erick who is a good guy for an Aggie. (Nobody is perfect) I followed him back but I had to let my temper cool off and stay off twitter for a half hour so rational thinking could prevail. (I am very emotional & as a couple friends always tell me, crazy. So crazy.)
I can see having a mostly on-line relationship for a long period of time and that becoming something that is very important in my life. I can see how you could fall in love with someone on line. The problem with that is you eventually have to meet and see if there is anything there in reality and sometimes reality is just way too complicated. Feelings are misunderstood. Men are stupid. Life gets messed up. Things don't always work out. That's okay if you take the risk but you have to risk for real too.
Otherwise you end up just living with a blow up girl or boy and unless Ryan Gosling is involved (this is for you Rachel) who wants that?
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