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Check Your Blind Spots


Andy was working in the emergency room last February when Jan came in with her son, who had a bad cold. Andy wrote a couple of prescriptions.

"There was just something there," says Andy. "She was no great beauty, but she had a weird sense of humor that I liked and I thought, 'I'd like to get know her a little better.'"

Two days later he got the chance when she came in with a bad cold. She and Andy started to see each other, casually. Then in June she fell off a horse and tore the ligaments in her knee. Andy brought her flowers and visited her often. They began to date more frequently and Andy learned that she was involved with Trey. He didn't know how deeply.

What he did know was that he was falling for Jan. "She had everything I was looking for: She was fun, smart, and she gave me a little bit of a run. As soon as we started going out, it just clicked."

Soon they were discussing marriage. Trey had moved out of town, but Andy knew there was still unfinished business between him and Jan. In October he said to her, "Clean up the stuff with him and then let's make some plans." She said, "OK."

This was on a Sunday. The next Tuesday, Andy called Jan's office. Her secretary said he'd better get over there — quick. She was about to leave to see Trey.

Andy raced right over and volunteered to drive Jan to the airport. "I knew this was my last chance with her," he says. "If she got on that airplane, I was dead." He said, "Please — stop and think about what you're about to do." They talked and talked and Jan thanked Andy for bringing her to her senses.

He said, "I love you; I'd marry you today." She said, "Let's do it."

They rushed over to Andy's clinic and had their blood tests done, they had the 24-hour waiting period waived, then they called some friends to come by the courthouse. "At every step, I stopped and asked her if she was sure that she wanted to do this. She said she was." They toasted their marriage in the parking lot with champagne in paper cups.

The next day Andy stopped at Jan's office. "I walked in like I was Rocky," he says. Then, guess who else walked in. Right. Andy says he and Trey had a "bit of a confrontation." Trey was screaming. Andy was screaming. Jan was crying.

Trey finally left. That night when Andy came home, Jan gave him a big hug and sent him upstairs to tuck in his sons. "Those kids would not let go of me," says Andy. "They kept kissing me and hugging me."

The next day, Jan called Andy at work and said she and Trey had to talk to him. To make a long story short, Jan said she had made a big mistake. She had married the wrong man. A few days later, Andy signed his annulment papers. Jan charged him with putting her under "extreme duress." She and Trey will be getting married any day now.

"I'm usually pretty good at spotting weirdos," says Andy, "but she just came at my blind spot."

Or did she? What do you think?

Did Jan fool Andy or did he fool himself? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to And check out my new ebook, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."



19 Comments | Post Comment
you never get involved with people who have unfinished business. You are deluding yourself that you are in first place in their lives as long as there is any unfinished business.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Laurie
Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:00 PM
It's hard to know what to say about today's column, because we're only hearing Andy's side of things, as filtered through the words of the columnist. Andy seems to feel that to marry someone is to take possession of them. Lavin's description of Andy's rush to marry Jan, reminds me of someone rushing to buy the last used car in a car lot, or buy a house in the middle of a bidding war, before another person who was also interested could grab it away from him. I wonder actually if he would have been that interested, or in that much of a rush, if Trey hadn't been "bidding on the same property." All in all, it does sound like Jan was a wild card, and he's lucky to have avoided ending up with her, because life would likely have been endless drama. I suspect actually that she'll show up on his doorstep in a few months, being chased by Trey or some other loser, begging Andy to save her from her dumb decisions ... if he's wise he'll stay off the merry-go-round.
Comment: #2
Posted by: sarah morrow
Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:26 PM
Jan already had a son, who fathered him? Trey? "What is exactly causal dating?" Jan is two timing Andy seeing Trey, Andy don't find out about Trey till after they begin to date more frequently. Jan she don't know who she wants, it's whoever is standing in front of her. Andy thought marriage was a safe all and that Jan would forget about Trey. Then we find out Jan has more then one child "and sent him upstairs to tuck in his sons" - there not Andy's sons - only by marriage. Andy dodged a bullet - a two timing nut case. Andy is to desperate. Trey he don't have much self esteem chasing after Jan. sarah morrow is right about the merry-go-round.
Comment: #3
Posted by: J
Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:11 AM
Maybe she was just using Andy to make Trey jealous. She sounds like an awful mother.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Samantha
Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:12 AM
All in all, he was lucky she let him go with an annulment early on, especially since there was obviously no pre-nup. Since he's a doctor, he's probably got some assets. She could have two-timed him for a while and then sued for a divorce, wanting a lot of money. This is one crazy lady, but you can't call her a gold-digger.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Samantha
Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:17 AM
Agree with Sarah here.

Couple of points from me:

1. If everyone waited until the person they were interested in was completely "free", no one would ever get together. But when you've been dating for awhile and there is still someone else in the picture, then you have to realize that you aren't going to be the only one in that person's life. If that's ok with you, fine, if not move on.

2. Pushing someone into any type of relationship never works long term. Relationships are very organic, you can't force them. You can WORK on them, but unless both people are interested in developing the relationship, it won't work out.

3. There are some people (men AND women) who enjoy having two people in their lives and pitting one against the other. Those people love drama and are emotionally at high school level. Correction, because I didn't even do that kind of nonsense in high school. The minute that I smell drama with a guy, I'm OUT. That should have been Andy's take on this too.

4. Sometimes, things just aren't right with someone. It's hard to describe it, or even to put your finger on what is wrong, but it's there and you need to LISTEN TO THAT VOICE! One example for me: I dated a guy very seriously awhile back, we were very close friends before we dated and when we started to date, I started to notice there was something "off" about him. His anger, which I'd never seen before, came out in strange ways. I immediately broke it off with him. Later, a friend of mine told me he'd been arrested for domestic violence. He's in jail for breaking probation, drug possession and domestic violence offenses. Talk about dodging a bullet.

It's hard to say which one here is more whacked: Jan for leading this scary life (and exposing her son, we don't know if Andy had any kids but there are several possibilities here), or Andy for strong arming the marriage. Either way, Samantha's right that it's better that they got an annulment, divorces are expensive, both monetarily and emotionally.

Comment: #6
Posted by: nanchan
Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:16 AM
Why in the world is someone going out with another person when they are already INVOLVED with someone else? It is true though you can't wait for an attractive fit woman to become available because they never become available and that's because there is ALWAYS someone standing in line. For many it doesn't matter if they are involved with someone anyway.
Comment: #7
Posted by: J
Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:03 PM
I'm with Sarah Morrow here, unfortunately. I think she'll probably show up on LW's doorstep again, claiming going off with TREY was the biggest mistake of her life, blah, blah, blah.

Before that happens, I hope he reads "Of Human Bondage" by Somerset Maugham. It's the story of a medical student who squanders his modest inheritance on a floozy who keeps dumping him and then coming back. Does he really want to be a "Phillip" to another "Mildred"?
Comment: #8
Posted by: Madelyn
Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:59 PM
I feel bad for Andy.. He obviously had strong feelings for Jan, even though those feelings made him blind to her quite obvious flaws. He was foolish and hasty, and it resulted in a broken heart.

Sorry, Andy, but you should have known there was trouble from the start.

Do you all have Cheryl's book? "Dear Cheryl:.." is a collection of the best of Tales from the Front.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Katie Ransom
Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:49 PM
if someone is in a committed relationship, they are definitely off limits. Someone that has been 'asked out by' someone or has been on a date or two with someone is NOT off limits, they are not in a relationship at all at that point.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Connie_NC
Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:40 PM
Sure, Jan sounds like a piece of work, but then again, so does Andy. At first, he sounded really sane -- especially where he tells Jan that she needs to "clean up the stuff with Trey" and then they could start making plans of their own. This makes good sense to me. They started out dating casually (@J -- that means that all parties are aware of the fact that they are NOT in a committed, monogamous relationship and that one or both of them may be seeing other people, too), and when it became clear that the potential was there for something more, he told her to close the book on Trey so they could move on together.

That all sounds really sane and smart -- right up until the moment he freaks out at the notion of her going to see Trey. If he wanted her to "clean up the stuff with Trey," he should have realized that may well involve her having a face-to-face meeting with Trey. In fact, he should WANT that to happen, because if she sees him face-to-face and is able to close the book on him after that, the odds are much better that she really will be ready to move on with Andy. But instead, Andy flies off to keep her from doing what she needs to do to move forward.

And why does he do that? Because he believes -- nay, he says he KNOWS -- that if she goes to see Trey, she's going to leave Andy in the dust. So, he doesn't actually want her to DEAL with whatever her feelings are for Trey, he just wants her to stay with him at all costs. Hence the crazed marriage proposal.

So, yeah, like I said, Jan sounds like a piece of work -- but let's just say Andy may not be the only one who dodged a bullet here.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:45 PM
@ Connie_NC -- yes I agree ( or at least that's what I thought) that if you were in a committed relationship/INVOLVED then you were off limits. But I guess you must set down and discuss what a committed relationship IS with the person you're in the committed relationship with and define what that means. At what point does a relationship start? When you have sex? I've been out with several women that wanted sex on the first or second date, if you have sex does that deem the person
"is NOT off limits?"
@Lisa -- Define "casual dating?" They started out dating casually -- I'm assuming that meant there was no sex. If Jan was having sex with Trey then she was involved with Trey and that meant not going out with someone else. I must have missed the boat or didn't learn something correctly but I thought "NOT in a committed" relationship meant you weren't having sex. But that must be why you wrote "monogamous." If Jan was having sex with Trey then she should have never accepted a date with Andy. If Andy knew or when he found out Jan and Trey were sexually involved then he should have never asked her out or dropped her when he found out.
I can't fathom how a person can be having sex with someone and yet go out on a date with another person. I know it happens because it's been done to me multiple times.
Comment: #12
Posted by: J
Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:30 PM
Re: J:

Did you completely miss the 70s?
Comment: #13
Posted by: Annies Fan
Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:38 PM
Re: Annies Fan -- What an excellent excuse, I grew up in the 70's. So all that God stuff I was taught was a bunch of crap and all the moral and value stuff was just bull. Sex has no meaning. Dating is just another word for sex. Do unto others as they would do unto you. You know I really didn't think it was right to be having sex with someone while dating someone else - guess I missed the 70's. That must be why it happen multiple times to me. Gee that opens up a whole new bunch of women I could ask out. I better get a good supply of Viagra.
Comment: #14
Posted by: J
Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:26 PM
J, with that attitude, you might as well save your money. There's a lot more to morals and values than attitudes about sex. People in the 70s had some good times but still managed to survive and have families that they're enjoying now.
Comment: #15
Posted by: Annies Fan
Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:29 PM
Re: Annies Fan -- Attitude, isn't that the attitude you were wanting? First i say "I can't fathom how a person can be having sex with someone and yet go out on a date with another person." And then you say "Did you completely miss the 70s?" I assumed that meant it was normal behavior to go out on dates and yet at the same time be having sex with another. Then you say I have an attitude problem because I think it is wrong so which way is it? Are you a hypocrite? Do you think that those same families taught their children it was okay to be having sex with someone while dating another? Yes there is more to morals and values than attitudes about sex, but whatever your morals and values are about sex bleeds over to those other morals and values. I sure wouldn't want to do business with that person, they'ed try and pull something over on you. So if Shelia is having sex with Joe and yet goes out with John when asked on a date, then how could the sex with Joe mean anything? It evidently didn't. So if she has sex with John does that mean anything and what does she tell Joe if Joe finds out? I thought sex was to enhance a relationship, is that not the way it was intended?
Comment: #16
Posted by: J
Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:01 AM
I fully agree that in the LWs scenario, that if he knew about Trey, Andy should have never asked Jan out - and she should have never accepted. I was speaking in more broad terms.
Say I am not dating anyone and you ask me on a date. The next day, Bob asks me on a date (for a different day than ours). I am free to accept Bob's invitation and it is in no way cheating on you nor something to look down on my morals for. If I have dinner with you and Bob and like spending time with both, there is no reason to not continue to see you both - BUT after more than 2 dates, I would tell you I was also casually dating someone else.
Personally, I would *never* have sex with someone until I knew him well and would need an agreement that from this point on, no other people would be involved.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Connie_NC
Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:32 AM
Re: J: Your attitude is pompous and judgmental. No woman wants that.

"I assumed that meant it was normal behavior to go out on dates and yet at the same time be having sex with another."

The 70s were a different time. I didn't invent them. As far as what parents teach their children, when I was a young adult in the 70s, I wasn't concerned about anything my parents said anymore. They told me not to have sex at all.

When my kids were young adults, I'm sure they weren't thinking of anything I said when it came to sex. I told them to wait for the right person, but when it came to their sex lives, I didn't get involved. I didn't want my parents involved in mine.

If wrapping yourself in your "morals and values" keeps you company at night, what are you complaining about? Let all the immoral people enjoy their lives and families and you can look down on them from your high horse. With any luck, they won't realize how unhappy they are in their sad little lives. They can go on thinking they are happy, but you know the truth, don't you.

Too bad they don't realize how being moralistic would add so much joy to their lives.

"Am I a hypocrite?" No, but I'm not alone, either.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Annies Fan
Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:47 PM
The problem with a woman dating and having sex with more than one man is that if she gets pregnant, she'll need to wait till the baby is born and has a paternity test to determine the father. Not the greatest scenario in the world to go through a pregnancy like that. Even if she's using birth control, none of them work 100% of the time.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Madelyn
Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:39 AM
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