About four months ago, my father-in-law called our house at 9 o’clock at night — he never calls that late unless something big happened — and asked to speak to my Husband. I am the curious one, so I asked if we were in trouble or if someone died. He said no, he just wanted to speak to his son. This should have been my first clue that something was up. A couple of minutes into the conversation, my Husband’s eyes got big and he mouthed “he’s moving”. This was not terribly shocking because F has been talking about moving to either New Mexico or Nevada for years. The shock was where he was actually moving to: the Philippines. Yes, a whole other country, literally on the other side of the world. Apparently, F joined a dating site and found himself a 48-year-old Filipino woman with children that he is willing to uproot his whole life for. He has never met her in person and, when he sprang his new life path on us in May, had only “known” her a couple of months. This is why your widowed father should not be allowed on the internet.
Grandpa F is leaving very early Tuesday morning to meet the
scammer probable lady-boy internet bride second love of his life. I am truly afraid for him. This person could be dangerous. She could knock him out, take his money and have him dumped in the jungle somewhere. Or worse. I do not want my father-in-law’s heart broken. He doesn’t deserve it. And yes, I know, he’s a 65-year-old adult and can make his own decisions, but what do you do when someone you love makes the most insane decision of his life and cannot see the neon red flags at every turn?
I’ve known this man for twenty-four years. He is normally very level-headed. With the exception of his addiction to horse races, he does nothing that would make anyone think he is off his rocker. When he talks about this woman and his plans to marry her, he sounds like giddy school-boy. He’s joyful. I’ve never heard him this way. I want him to be truly happy and have a second chance at love. We all do. But I fear this will end up breaking his heart.
My Husband says all he can do is love and support his father and let him make his own mistakes. He’s a grown-up, after all. And no, he does not really like what his dad is doing, but feels there is nothing he can do to stop him and F will have to deal with the consequences of his own actions, whatever they may be.
But if it were my father? I’d knock him out, tie him to a chair and have his ass declared incompetent if he would not listen to reason. But I was raised differently. In my family, you don’t let anyone pull stupid shit like this. EVER. That’s how we show love in our family. It’s how my dad raised us — always look out for each other even if that family member gets pissed off.
I know that there is a chance that all my fears will be proven unfounded. However, considering the facts I have been given, that chance is slim and none. You have no idea how much I want this to be a legitimate romance for him. Sadly, I doubt it will happen.
This woman, we’ll call her Misty,
because that’s her stripper name — though her real name is Cynthia — has fallen head over heels in love with my father-in-law and him her. They have communicated by phone, snail mail and web chat. Pictures were exchanged. Whether the photos received by F are really her or not, remains to be seen. He even sent her flowers for Mother’s Day. I have never gotten flowers from him. Not even when I gave birth to his youngest grandchild. F has decided he is going to buy a house there in the Philippines with the inheritance from his own recently departed mother. There’s only one problem: non-citizens cannot own property there so the house will go into Misty’s name. Convenient, no? When I questioned F about this, he did not seem phased and actually said that if it didn’t work out he would just give her the house.
What. The. Fuck.
He also said that if the relationship fizzled, he could just go through that country fucking his brains out with for-rent-agents or take one of the other offers from women on the dating site who purport to be rich and will take care of him. And end up with The Clap, AIDS, Herpes simplex 85 and some weird jungle disease that will make his thing fall right the hell off. But he hopes to marry Misty even though he told me on several occasions that he would never get married again. He’s already checked out how to get hitched at the American Consulate in Manila and is bringing his suit — just in case.
We always knew F would start dating at some point, we just thought it would be with someone local. And his own age. This woman is seven years older than his youngest son – my Husband — and two years older than his eldest son. Her youngest child is ten. The Diva is seven. Her oldest is twenty. That is still twenty-one years younger than his youngest and a whole two years older than his eldest granddaughter. He’ll have step-children younger than his flesh and blood and just slightly older than his grand kids. Each time F speaks about Misty, the age she looks gets younger. The first time it was “she’s 48 but looks 30″. The last time it was “she looks 21″. She seems to be getting progressively pubescent. Or my father-in-law is getting
dumber blinded by loneliness more smitten. Let’s not forget that he believes that anyone who is against this idea is just jealous because he’ll then have the youngest, prettiest wife in the family! I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried, folks. I’m a good writer and I’m pretty creative, but I’m not that damn good.
By the way, I’m the youngest wife in the family. I’m 41, she’s 48. I win.
Does anyone see a problem here or am I just being bitchy?
My Husband and I were still trying to wrap our minds around this revelation when F announced that he may adopt this strange woman’s children.
Hey honey, you may be getting two new sisters, one of whom is only three years older than your daughter. How do you feel about that?
But my father-in-law has assured us that he has made his will iron-clad and the life insurance is enough for us to buy a house anywhere we want and have money left over. His home in Orange County is to be sold and the proceeds divided equally between the three granddaughters for their education. Well that puts our minds at ease. NOT.
While I’m honored that F wants to make sure all of us are taken care of after his passing, I would prefer him to be here and a part of our daughter’s life for as long as possible. He is The Diva’s only grandparent and she absolutely loves him to bits. His moving is breaking her heart. And ours.
I have tried to talk to F about how crazy this idea of his sounds, but his mind is set. I have expressed my trepidation because you never know who a person you meet online truly is in real life. She could be after his money. He could get off the plane, walk through the door of her house and be murdered. Or she could wait until after the wedding and adoption to off him. If she waits until after the nuptials, Misty will be set for life, even without a life insurance policy. She will get F’s military disability pension, retirement and his social security. Plus she will be able to go to any military base in the world and her children will have medical insurance until they are twenty-five – provided F adopted them. That’s what I call making out like a bandit! Hell, she didn’t have to do much of anything to get it, either.
Let’s not forget she will get a very expensive and large house regardless of what happens. She wins either way. I wonder if my father-in-law would still be on the hook for the mortgage on that place if he can’t even be on the deed?
F says he’s being careful. He knows what he’s doing. Sure you do. You’re still using Internet Explorer and we all know what a great and safe browser that is, don’t we???
Even the story about her youngest child’s birth and Baby Daddy did not shout “scam” to my father-in-law. Supposedly, Miss Misty went to Iran to work as a domestic (housekeeper). While there, she either had an affair with the wealthy boss or met an Iranian man and had a baby with him. That’s all plausible until you hear the second, and most fantastical, part of the story: Baby Daddy #2 decided to become a Muslim extremist and wanted Misty to convert from her Catholicism for him. She refused, things got bad and she fled to Turkey on horseback with a wee babe in her arms.
So now the scam artist is being chased by Muslim extremists??? And it doesn’t make anyone, including my father-in-law, say “back the truck up, Nellie”???
Misty does not have her own computer, so she uses one in the local internet café. While this could be a completely innocent activity, since the Philippines is a very poor country and wages are extremely low. To me I see it as a way to hide the criminal’s IP address. But maybe I’m just bitter and mistrusting?
Nah, I’m just really damn smart and I can smell an internet scam from 20 miles away. The fact that F cannot, no matter how many times I try to point it out to him, is what frightens me the most. And if anyone else in the family smells danger, they aren’t saying much. It seems most everyone is content to let my father-in-law have his lapse in judgment. I just don’t know that I can sit idly by and watch someone I love do this to themselves. I’m not one of those laid-back kind of people. By the way, F’s mom’s house has not sold yet, so at least there’s that. Though it’s no real solace because he’s still leaving in two short days and we have no idea when, or if, he’ll ever come back.
What would you do? Would you do anything you could to stop your dad from making this kind of mistake or would you support him, even with your misgivings, and hope the heartbreak isn’t too painful?