The woman I responded to in this week's column wrote back… with some new, and previously unrevealed, information.
Wow, Dan, thanks for answering my letter! I can't believe my stupid letter made the column, mostly because I knew all along I wouldn't go, and I'm not going. Your response did put some things into perspective, though. I could maybe afford half the airfare, but I definitely couldn't afford half the airfare and a hotel room. Plus, it might be the romantic adventure of a lifetime for some other girl, but not for me: I lost my virginity in Paris. The "friend" who vetted this guy was my first, and is equally pretty. It didn't end well but we stayed in touch, and I met this new guy when I was chatting with my original Paris friend via webcam. I guess what I wanted was not an adventure so much as a do over, with the possibility of a happier ending. But I wouldn't have even gotten that.
I didn't mention in my letter but this new guy is married. Both he and my friend are Algerian, and he married some French chick to get his papers. Also, in the first conversation I had with him after reconnecting, he offered to pay half my airfare, so you might be right about a screw being loose. Plus, I'm already seeing someone, not seriously yet but I like the guy I'm seeing enough not to go to France. So I knew even before I wrote to you that I wasn't going to go. I don't know why I wrote to you, Dan. I guess I was just bored.
Thanks again Dan! I'm sure your response will be helpful to others who are actually seriously going abroad to meet someone.
Anxious Straight Girl
If the hypothetical scenario you laid out in your first letter had included these additional details—the boy is MARRIED, you're seeing someone else, you had already made up your mind not to take the boy up on his offer—I wouldn't have advised you to go to Paris. So I'm glad you're not going. And perhaps my response will be of use to other girls thinking of going to Paris to hook up with married Algerian francophones. But next time you send a letter to an advice columnist... err on the side of too much information, ASG, not too little.