Dr. Brilliant Cliche and The Granny Doctor: Internet Creep

mouseDear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,

My 19-year-old daughter isn’t really into school, she’s attending because I want her to. Recently, she met a 35-year-old man online who is from across the country. After two months she thinks she is in love with him. They Skype and she has seen his son and says he is real cute and she loves him too. The man claims he got custody of his child after the end of an abusive relationship with the mom. My daughter wants to drop everything and move in with him.

So far, she has submitted to my ultimatum: “Over my dead body!” But I think that when she turns 20 she plans to leave. What can I do? She says they relate because he “doesn’t think like a 35-year-old.” This is what scares me — my daughter is not the most mature kid on the block. What if she goes? He says his ex was the abusive one but it takes two to tango. What if she has kids? I don’t want to be burdened taking care of her kids should it come to that.


Fearful Mom,

Dear Mom,

Unfortunately, unless your daughter can be proven so mentally ill that she cannot be responsible for her own decisions, there is little you can do. Despite her emotional immaturity, her age qualifies her as an adult. Perhaps you could tell her, “You can go, but I have to move in with you too.” It often helps children behave in school if a parent threatens to go in and sit behind them.

As far as any kids that your daughter may have, that’s a tough issue. What does one do with adult children who have children of their own? I hope that this guy would step up to the plate, but statistically it is unlikely. You should talk to your husband about what your plans are, when and if that should happen. I would also talk to your daughter about a copper IUD; it is good for 10 years. It has a higher risk of infertility than shorter methods, but it doesn’t require any maintenance. Talk to your daughter and her physician about options. Preventative medicine is the best policy here.

Good luck,

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: Your daughter is a fool, Mom. Let me relate a true story to you; this actually happened to an airhead friend of mine.

Jude was a fanciful girl who smoked a lot of pot and tended to think in “cosmic” ways. She struck up a correspondence on the internet with a guy in California who claimed to have his own ranch. He understood her deepest thoughts. They felt the same way about the cosmos and about life and love. He sent her pictures and made promises and she was so besotted that she packed up all her stuff and drove across the country to be with him. When she got there, this smelly little gnome of a guy greeted her at the end of a dirt road, where she followed him to his cabin. Thank god she had her own car. It turns out the guy was a consummate liar and he was actually the caretaker for a large ranch someone else owned. He’d lied about everything. The only reason they “understood each other so well” was that they were both equally stoned and lacked a sense of concrete reality.

Here’s a message to your daughter, Mom: Anybody can say ANYTHING on the internet and make it sound true. Nothing in their real life has to match the fantasy — not their age, their occupation or even their gender. All they have to do is convince someone without any ambition or life plan to believe them. If she’s lucky, your daughter will simply be let down. If she’s unlucky, she could end up dead.

Men will say anything to get what they want. They prey on young impressionable kids like your daughter because no one else will fall for their crap. The internet is a perfect place to do this. Any 35-year-old man who is picking up teens on the internet is a LOSER, no matter how you look at it.

As far as what you can do? I’d show your daughter this column. It may not open her eyes but I hope to god it prompts her to ask a few more questions. Another idea — have your daughter ask the guy to fly out and meet you and your husband. If he’s really serious, he’d welcome the chance to make his intentions known to Mom and Dad. If he refuses, that picture speaks a thousand words.