Odds are pretty good that unless you live in some kind of drafty, dark unheated cavern—which is unlikely given that you’re reading an online blog at the moment—you’ve likely heard something about Manti Te’o. If you haven’t, let me sum up: the guy played linebacker for Notre Dame, was the runner up for the Heisman Trophy this year, and, apparently, played like a man possessed even following the car-accident death of his girlfriend in September (did I mention the poor girl had leukemia, too?).
As was reported by Deadspin earlier this week,
the girlfriend, supposedly Stanford student Lenney Kekua, was not killed in a car accident and never had leukemia. And that’s not all, she never had a 10th birthday bicycle, didn’t ever go to prom, and never filed her taxes. In fact, the only thing she does have going for her is a remarkable similarity to Spider-Man’s comic-book girlfriend, Gwen Stacy.
No, no. Not that she looked liked a two-dimensional drawing, but rather, that she’s a complete and utter work of fiction. See, she didn’t actually, you know, exist.
For his part, Te’o claims he was the victim of an awful hoax and had no idea his former girlfriend was more likely to visit Peter Pan’s mythical Never-Never Land than she was to visit him in South Bend.
By and large, most people are looking at this whole story with a raised eyebrow, a shake of the head, and a healthy dollop of dubious.
But if you ask me, the media isn’t asking the right people. Yeah, they should totally be talking to my people. Because absolutely no one knows more about made-up, pretend, fictional, spun-from-whole-cloth girlfriends than my brethren, the geeks. Seriously, if you put believe the tales of the high school nerds of the world, Canada would be overrun with totally smokin’ hot girls in long-distance relationships with guys having surprisingly little ability to interact with the opposite sex.
Really, though, is having a fake girlfriend all that bad? I mean, you get all the cache of being, you know, a ladies’ man, but you don’t have to pay for that corsage for prom that’s just going to die in the back of refrigerator in a week or two. You don’t have to worry about missing out on poker night with the guys because that’s the night you’re supposed to go together to see Grease Live and concerns about ever having to meet her disapproving parents are a thing of the past.
Admittedly, there are some benefits you miss out on, too, when you’re girlfriend is more fiction than fact. Humans do, after all, attempted to pair up in service to various psychological and biological needs, which is something no amount of video games can substitute for, and believe me, I would know.
That said, I’m pleased to offer you two (related) topics for this weekend’s silly Weekend Debate:
Which is the better girlfriend, the real, local one or the fake long-distance version?
Monti Te’o: Duped or Duplicitous?
And yes, of course there’s going to be a fake girlfriend poll. What kind of operation do you think I run here?