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January 31, 2000 e-mail e-mail to a friend in need

Can't tell you how much it bugs me when people assume that -- just because Breakup Girl has "Girl" in her name -- she helps only girls! I mean, Wonder Woman didn't help only women! What's that about?

Plus, when you see "girl" together with ".com" these days, doesn't that usually denote something, um, for men?

Which brings me to the followup to/underbelly of last week's column:

Hourly Rates in the Superhighway Motel

Last week, we decided that -- cyber-socio-neuro-psycho-philosophical discussions about the nature of virtual reality aside -- on-line attraction was, if not Velveteen Rabbity Real, "real" enough. Because such discussions/definitions of "reality" are beside the point when nothing on Earth is, in practice, more real than feelings.

Especially hurt ones.

Thus, this unfortunate corrolary: the Other People (or at least Pictures) we meet online are also...real enough. As I told Leah (abridged version here):

Dear Breakup Girl,

My husband was spending 10 to 14 hours a day talking in chat rooms to other women who even sent him pictures. One day, I found him having cybersex. I found out who she was and told her how I felt. Then he had the nerve to tell me to apologize to her! Why should I owe anyone an apology? He says I am too jealous. I'm not thinking that he would ever run off with this person, but it just hurts that he spent so much time typing to her, and other women and ignored me and his son. What do you think?

— Leah

Dear Leah,

Jealous, schmealous; he's your husband, darnit, and he is behaving badly! I don't care about cyber-sex being all "virtual" and anonymous and detached all that. For him this may be out in cyberspace; for you, this is your life. On Earth. Call a counselor, even a lawyer. Plant your feet on the ground and demand some respect.

Breakup Girl



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