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Pen Pal Heartbreak - The True Story of Fred Ghost32
My friend Lourdes decided, many years ago, to sign up with a pen pal organization. This was before the Internet made such a thing so quick and easy that, as they say, A Caveman (or in this case a Cave Woman) Could Do It. However, she had a powerful source of encouragement within her own family.
Her younger sister, Jo Jo, had found an American husband through such an organization.
It hadn't been easy for Jo Jo. Nowadays, it's pretty tough, perhaps even impossible, for a man in the United States to "snag" what is sometimes called a "mail order bride" from overseas without traveling to his fiancee's home country and jumping through a few hoops. But back then, it was easier (for the man), and Jo Jo's intended required her to fly alone to Los Angeles without ever having met him face to face.
She is a tiny woman. When her fiance saw her looking terribly lost at the airport, wearing a bright yellow dress and lugging a large suitcase, he was overcome with guilt. Which is not always a bad thing in a man; sometimes, it encourages a good, honorable man to do very well indeed.
They did get married and moved to Las Vegas, where both of them work as janitors to this day. They have a solid marriage and, as the saying goes, lived happily ever after.
Lourdes, who was twenty-six, hoped to do as well as her twenty-three year old sister had done. And for a time, she believed her ship had truly come in. She received a letter from an American man who worked in a San Diego insurance office. He was literate, considerate, intelligent, strong, honest, and charming. These were her first impressions, which she believes to be correct to this day.
One day, after the American and Lourdes had been corresponding for several months and were seriously discussing the possibility of marriage, she received a Dear Jane letter. Except, of course, it was really a Dear Lourdes letter. The man explained that he was really, really sorry to have to tell her this, but he'd met an American woman at a singles dance....
The man also wrote that he wished he could at least tell her about another man she might find interesting, but he could not do so.
Because he knew of no other unmarried man, not even one, that he felt was good enough for Lourdes.
To say my friend was heartbroken would be an understatement.
She dealt with it, thankfully. It took years, but eventually she met another man (not through a pen pal agency), they got married, and she lived sort-of-satisfactorily ever after.
Why did I write this Hub? Because, dear reader, there are so many warnings out there about the dangers to the heart and sometimes to the finances of men who become involved with these so-called mail order brides through pen pal correspondence. Yet, while there are many such warnings, there are few warnings indeed about the dangers to the heart of the women who are too often summarily dismissed as being somehow unworthy, perhaps even less human, than the men who make first contact.
Pen pals need love, too.