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Girl Gets Catfished By Old Man, But Somehow Ends Up With The Dude He Used As Bait? WHAT?!

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Atlantic- “Oh my God, look at the guy!” she giggled, as they swiped through his profile pictures. He was boyish yet mysterious, like the kind of dangersome male model who steers sailboats through cologne commercials. But according to his profile, Ronnie was a 34-year-old electrician in England’s West Midlands, just 100 miles away.

Emma discovered that she and Ronnie were two lonely Europeans working blue-collar jobs in England. Charming Ronnie attempted a little French, but when Emma wrote to him in Italian, she was surprised that he didn’t speak it. His mother was English, Ronnie explained, his Italian father spoke English too, “except when he swears.”

When four red heart emojis appeared on her screen, Emma was thrilled. Unlike her ex-boyfriend, Ronnie seemed mature and attentive. Ronnie was easy on the eyes, funny, and caring, but there was one problem: He did not exist.

Ronaldo Scicluna was a fictional character created by Alan Stanley, a short, balding, 53-year-old shop fitter—a decorator of retail stores.

Emma decided that she needed to protect others from his scam. On September 16, 2016, she wrote a Facebook message to the Turkish model:

“Hello Adem, we don’t know each other but a year ago I met a guy online and that man is using your picture and pretends he is you under another name. I wasn’t sure if getting in touch with you was a good idea but I needed you to know, kind regards, Emma.”

Something about the sincerity of Emma’s message stuck in his mind. He wrote back in broken English. “And the conversation just started,” Adem told me, in a gruff, Turkish voice.

On March 31, 2017, Emma sent her catfish a goodbye text message:

“Alan I wanted to tell you that tomorrow I’m going to pick up Adem at the airport. And I still don’t know if it’s good or bad but I’m going to meet ‘my Ronnie.’ You built up all this shit, I’m not sure if I should thank you or detest you for that. But this is happening.”

On April 23, 2017, their story became a tabloid sensation in England. “My catfish became cupid,” Emma told the Daily Mirror, “And now we’re living happily ever after.”

Super long, intriguing story from the Atlantic detailing this insane catfishing situation in England. I’d encourage you to read the whole thing, but here’s a summary. For the most part, it’s a typical catfish: girl meets handsome Italian model online, guy is really an old man, girl is stupid, they date for a year without meeting, and finally it all comes crashing down because you can’t hide forever on the internet.

Without a doubt, it would be tough to go from the guy on the left to the guy on the right:

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That’s a serious demotion. From a 9 to a soft 6. Guys are accustomed to that 3-point swing. Meet a beautiful girl under the lights at the club, you’re a few drinks in, you both like Jon Krakauer… you bring her home and the next morning, you wake up to an entirely different person. We’re accustomed to that. But for a girl to experience that mutation, it must be harrowing.

But here’s where shit gets AMAZING. Emma did a reverse image search and found the dude whom she thought she was dating all that time. She reached out to let him know that some creep was using his likeness to foster false relationships. Somehow this led to a facetime call, which led to more facetime calls, which probably led to facetime sex until… whoopsie daisies, he’s on a plane to England to meet her for real. WOW! The catfisher becomes the matchmaker! Who would have thought?!

There are so many amazing pieces of this story. First, once the catfisher was caught, he apologized profusely and came clean to his victim. Months later, they met so that she could have “closure.” But… apparently they hung out a couple times? And bought each other fancy presents at Christmas?! Sounds to me like the young lady had a touch of Stockholm Syndrome (not exactly the right syndrome for this case, but close). Meanwhile, she’s building up a relationship with the actual handsome dude Adem (yes, actually how he spells his name). She tells the old guy about it, who, by this point, is boinking her on the reg. Can you imagine being the old dude? You uphold a vicious, detailed lie for a year, finally come clean, meet the girl to apologize, find out you still have a shot, crawl all the way back from the dead and WHAM–cucked by the very dish you served her in the first place! Don’t close your eyes, kids, for you’ll never see anything like it again!

Good for her though. I’m honestly happy that her false reality became a reality. But you know what would be even more awesome? If, in the end, she dumped this handsome dude because she realized she truly loved the old man. THAT would be the most romantic ending of all time!! “After all this time, it was you,” she says, weeping in his crinkly, wrinkly arms. True beauty lies within. That story would read like Beauty and the Beast on steroids. Which reminds me, how much do you think the Beast could bench? Dude was huge.

By the way, I was watching “You’ve Got Mail” the other night, by myself, eating ice cream, waiting for the Midol to kick in and mitigate my cramps. There’s a scene (attached below) that is incredible. It completely foreshadows the Catfishing phenomenon long before Manti Te’o was asking A/S/L in “lonely linebacker seeking beautiful young woman” chat rooms.

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“I don’t actually know him.” (Meg Ryan, ashamed)

“Really?” (Tom Hanks, amused)

“I only know him through the…” (Meg Ryan, confessional)

“Let me guess, the internet?” (Tom Hanks, omniscient)

“Yes!” (Meg Ryan, relieved/ecstatic/mildly aroused)