Hallmark Card for the Other Woman

One of my girlfriends brought up a topic very near and dear to my heart recently – poaching. Now, I’m not talking about elephants or baby seals or eagles.  The poaching we talked about tonight referred to the art of breaking up a relationship and taking your share of the spoils.  And I didn’t just make that term up – this stuff is scientifically proven. And it’s also proven to be a really bad idea.

I am ethically opposed to poaching. I think it’s selfish and I can’t think of any verse, vow or bumper sticker that says, “Love is, first of all, selfish.” Still, I’ve seen poachers at work, someone tried to poach me once, and ultimately, I was in a relationship that fell victim to a poacher, so, I do have some insights into poaching.

The way I see it, here’s how you do it:

1)   Hook. Establish a secure connection. Find Common Ground. Enter as a friend. Foster intimacy through discussion of deeper human emotions and needs. Become a confidant.

2)   Line. Passively criticize the relationship. Phrases like, “You always seem so unhappy after you talk to her,” “Long distance is so hard, I don’t see how it’s even worth it sometimes,” and, “I’m concerned about you” tend to work well, but use your imagination – that’s why poaching is an art form!

3)   Sinker. Give poisonous relationship advice, “If you are feeling this way, it’s really not fair to her that you’re together.” Give a shoulder to cry on, “I’m always here for you, no matter what.” Be hopeful, “You are such a great guy, any girl would be lucky to have you!” And, ultimately, ENABLE, ENABLE, ENABLE, “You’re doing the right thing, believe me, it will be better for both of you in the long run.”

Unfortunately, what do you get if you are successful – a guy who dumps his girlfriend for you. It’s a pretty sad consolation prize, actually. According to this article in Ladies Home Journal, he’ll probably end up either cheating on you or getting poached later done the road. Yikes!

Another Erin poached my Ex from me. Really, I don’t know much about her, but it did take me almost a year before I stopped resenting all other girls named “Erin.” I prefer for her to remain somewhat of a mystery to me. It helps me forget she exists and stalking just isn’t my thing anyway.  I’ve systematically de-friended Facebook friends that she, my ex and I have in common to prevent our social networks from colliding as much as possible. When I found out she had started following me on Twitter one day, I blocked her. It was just a little too weird for me to think of my tweets in her feed, ya know?

Still, I assume she may check out my blog now and then. I don’t blame her, it’s a great blog, right? Anyway, I wrote a letter to her awhile ago that I’d like to share here.  Really, I harbor no hard feelings, she’s almost like a little sister to me – heck, if she had just held off poaching for another 8 months, we could have ended up being sister wives instead.

Dear Other Erin,

I’m writing about someone who used to belong to me – well, as much as one person can belong to another – he did tattoo my name on his chest, you know. I guess it’s your name too – how, um, convenient. Still, it’s kinda awkward because even though our names are the same, I’ll always be the Erin on his chest. I’m sure it’s a little difficult for you to see him with another woman’s name over his heart, so we don’t have to talk about it anymore. Rest assured, it is my name, but he’s in your arms – he’s all yours now. You won – sorta.

I used to know this guy so intimately, I could have written you an owner’s manual. Eh, things change and honestly, I wouldn’t know the first thing to tell you about him now.

Still, some history might be good for you, just in case things happen, complex adult relationship things, and you are need help figuring them out.

He used to smoke and dip – maybe he picked it up again? Either way, he quit after we started dating, specifically on our first road trip from Astoria, Oregon to Colorado Springs. Having made up his mind, he committed to his decision, and quit – cold turkey – that was a fun trip. When he quits things, that’s how he does it – out of the blue, quick, final. Having been on both sides of him quitting things, I’d say it’s like a blessing and a curse.

I introduced him to sushi and wine. The first time he ate sushi was at a world-renowned restaurant in Malibu. He hated it. I made him try sushi that was a little less authentic – lower quality fish, but more exciting ingredients and he loved it. Malibu is also where he discovered his affinity for red wine. We shared quite a few bottles of Pinot Noir back in Oregon. If he is still into wine, I recommend 7 Deadly Zins. It’s my new favorite.

I taught him it was ok – fun even – to spend his money.  If he needs a refresher in this, I recommend you have him spend his money on taking you on a cruise. You’ll make memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t go that first week in December though, the weather is a little too unpredictable and the water will be too cold to go snorkeling off of Key West.

When he was with me, he learned how to listen, really listen, and how to communicate with women…He didn’t pass with flying colors; actually, I’d give him a B- but still, he figured it out. He got an “A for effort” since he read both The Female Brain and Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus in their entirety and listened attentively to select excerpts from The 5 Love Languages. If you read, you might want to check those books out.

He’s a great big spoon because I am such a violent sleeper that he would have to wrap both his arms and legs around me to keep me from thrashing about and kicking him all night. It didn’t take long before his signature big spoon move almost resembled a full nelson. He used to get so mad at me for radiating too much heat, but he’d never let me go – either out of stubbornness, love, or the animalistic instinct for self-preservation.

That awesome thing he does with his tongue – Just know I taught him that.  And you’re welcome.  *wink*

You owe me a lot. But I owe more, which is why I custom designed this card for you.

Front

Inside

 

Xoxoxoxo

The Original Erin

 

If you think you are in the market for a Hallmark-quality card for the “other woman” in your life, feel free to check out my card on Zazzle.

Or, make your own! Here are a few submissions I got from some of my friends for potential “Other Woman Thank You Cards”:

1. Dear Sloppy Seconds, Hope you enjoy his kankles as much as I did.

2. To the one who stole my man’s heart… Wait till you hear how much he farts.

3. Homewreckers are like housekeepers… leave some spare change around and they seize the opportunity.

4. How’s my __________ taste, __________?

5.  I.have.no.words.

Honestly, relationship poaching is something so many of us have dealt with – in one form or another. I’m not going to pretend that I’ve never been tempted to engage in a little recreational poaching myself – justify my deeds by telling myself that he’s my soul mate, my Mr. Right and he’s just with Ms. Right Now and the timing is unfortunate, but who am I to stand in the way of the proverbial freight train of love!?

Then, I think….Karma. I think of how bad I felt when it happened to me and how long it really took me to gain perspective and be grateful that I didn’t end up married to the wrong person. Divorce is so freaking expensive.

When I go out on the hunt, I respect what’s already been claimed. It’s the only way to coexist.

 

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About ermodi

i like champagne and nachos. i watch people’s mouths move when they talk to me and judge if they are a good kisser i like to write with fine-tip Sharpies because i think it makes me look confident i bite my nails i think doing the dishes is a very lonely chore i think “autumn” is the prettiest word in the English language. i believe in love – or, at least something that resembles love, but i don’t trust this idea of forever.
This entry was posted in Advice of the Solicited and Un Kind, Featured and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Hallmark Card for the Other Woman

  1. Roy Durham says:

    good post i have had to laugh but i know it not funny but i like your card. thank you and god bless

    • Ermodi says:

      Thanks, Roy!!! I was hoping people would laugh when they read it!!! I know bitter is the new black, I’m hoping it can pass as the new “funny” also!!! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Patti Fritchie says:

    Wise beyond your years and seasoned with tears. Love this blog, its all so true. I’m not sure which song I heard it in but it is so true, “Never love a man who is no stranger to treason.” That’s what infidelity is really, treason of the worst kind.

    Stick to your ethics Erin, they’ll never let you down and always will represent you as a stand up person.

    Hugs,
    Patti

  3. Kevin Armstrong says:

    Totally love this! I have been the victim of this as well but it was friends of mine that poached the woman I was with. Cant say that I am upset about it now because I ended up on the better end of it but it totally shows you what people are capable of doing to those that they “love”.

    By the way, badass card! I wish I was quick enough to think up something like that!

  4. Cathy says:

    Erin;
    Things do happen for a reason. As painful as this was for you, there was a reason this happened. Could it be to give you the experiences life brings so that you could write articles that seem to touch a chord in just about anyone who reads them? I LOVE your articles by the way and can’t wait for the next one! Cathy

  5. Emily says:

    Hell hath no fury like a woman who’s been victimized by poaching! This was a fantastic blog. Absolutely hilarious. It was so kind of you to give advice. I think you should market this idea to Hallmark. After all, poachers should be thanked for taking the wrong people out of our lives. She definitely saved you some money in divorce. Besides, what goes around comes around…

  6. Savy says:

    Humor and sarcasm a nice but deadly combination! One learns from life’s experience and hopefully never get a chance to repeat the mistake….

  7. Ermodi says:

    Thanks for the awesome comments everyone!!!! I’m so happy no one has called me a “bitter harpy” yet haha – Really, I do appreciate all of the experiences that have shaped my perspective on the world, this one included. And it does seem like a circumstance that can deeply resonate with almost everyone.

  8. Bongo says:

    I wish Erin had moved on in BEFORE I said Ï DO”LOLOLOLL..As always…XOXOXOXOXO

  9. Mel says:

    It’s REALLY not fair of you to make me burst out laughing in the middle of a public place, making all bystanders gawak at me =) beautiful, wise, amazing post. As for your experiences, I know for a fact that you could NOT have written any of this a decade ago, and I truly love the woman you are today. You are the bravest, most resilient, & good humored person I know – keep it up, you’ve got relationship hacking skills as well!

  10. OneofVincent'sWomen says:

    Love the Card.

  11. CarrieAnne says:

    I cant imagine what pain you must be going through. Its so hard to lose someone that you love but it sounds like you still arent over him.

    • Ermodi says:

      Hi CarrieAnne, Thanks for visiting and commenting!

      Sometimes my honesty is a little brutal and this was one of my more scathing posts.

      Still, I think I’m safe in saying that I’m over the guy and the subsequent heartbreak, although it took me some time. While I am in a place in my life where I can appreciate the engagement coming to an end, I don’t believe I will ever be appreciative of HOW it ended. Tasteless, if you ask me.

      Of course, if this whole crazy mess of a story ends up scoring me a book deal and a reality television show, well, then I’ll write the Other Erin a heartfelt toast expressing my gratitude for how it came to an end. That would only be fair.

      Cheers!

  12. Firefly says:

    Ermodi, this was a hilarious post! As I read it, you couldn’t be more over that guy! I don’t know what CarrieAnn was reading but it wasn’t this! I can tell you write from your heart. I think you’re just saying what anyone who’s ever been poached wants to tell the other one. And that’s coming from another poachee. Keep these articles coming.

  13. sukanya says:

    Nice! Was this cathartic for you in some ways? it must have been a painful experience for you but I am glad you managed to put all this behind.

  14. T says:

    You are destined for something much greater. I’m SO glad you can laugh about this now. Because really, it’s funny. I don’t even know the OtherErin, but thinking about the tattoo makes me laugh every time, and I wonder what she really thinks of that when she takes the time to be honest with herself…

  15. Ermodi says:

    Thanks for your comments, Sukanya and T – You’re right, totally cathartic! And, it kinda cracked me up. Destiny – bring it on!

    Firefly – thanks for the love! xoxoxo keep writing that happily ever after of yours, much love to you and the fam!

  16. Clo says:

    Ahh, that was great. And I really hope Other Erin reads it. Not to be catty.. I just think she aught to know how very second place she is. 😉 xoxoxo

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