Con Artists Are Everywhere

Daily Prompt: Brilliant Disguise: by Krista on March 14, 2014 Tell us about a time when someone had you completely fooled, where the wool was pulled right over your eyes and you got hoodwinked, but good. Was it a humorous experience or one you’d rather forget? What was the outcome?


“Quit being so gullible, Martha Ann. People will take advantage of you. If someone offered to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, you’d buy it.”
“What’s the Brooklyn Bridge?”
“That’s beside the point.”
“Is someone going to sell me a bridge?”

I heard this as a very small child and over and over and over and over again. I’m easily conned and I’ve been conned royally all my life. Conned to the extent that I want to punch the Daily Prompt for even implying it can be funny to be “hoodwinked.” My life has been an extended and sometimes sadistic April Fools joke.

My mom was (as I’ve written before) a secret alcoholic. THAT was a con job. My brother grew up to be, also, an addict. Addicts are cons. They have to be because if they were WHO THEY ARE in front of their marks, the mark would never “help” them by giving them money, a place to live, etc. etc. etc. Addicts need the peace, freedom and safety with which to pursue their career choice. The dynamics of a family in which there is a drunk in charge are pretty standard; these families require a patsy. In my family, I was the patsy, the fool who held their lives together, believed things would change, believed what they said, believed I was at fault, and, paradoxically, believed I was the only one who could fix our broken world. (I will add that I’m also the last man standing, so maybe not such a patsy after all! 😉 )

My mom was right. My gullibility might have served her ends, but it has made it easy for people to take advantage of me. An even MORE interesting phenomenon is that I seem to emit “patsy” pheromones. Cons can spot (smell?) me MILES away. This strange quality led to the descent (as in predator onto prey) of the Evil X whom I ejected from my life with violent verbiage in 2008. I listened to this song over and over bringing Mr. iPod into the sacred automotive precincts of Mohammed’s Radio:

Victims or Perpetrators? 🙂

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18 thoughts on “Con Artists Are Everywhere

  1. Yikes. That sounds like a most unpleasant Neverending Story. Your mom really sounds like a Master of Puppets.

    (Yeah… someone had to do the 80’s music reference since WordPress forgot to annoy you with that today. 😉 )

    • If WordPress used songs like THAT as starting points I’d like it better. 🙂 Master of Puppets — that was my mom. I used to listen to that song a LOT and think of her. Another was Alice in Chains happy little ditty “Would”.

  2. Martha, I have been reading your daily posts for three weeks (roughly). I started reading this one with my usual expectant smile. It changed somewhere in the middle. Great writing. I admire your honesty and strength.
    Ps…I have most if not all The Who cassettes. Seriously! I even have The Who Rarities (both volumes). I have the Quadrophenia soundtrack on Vinyl. (Great soundtrack!!!!).
    I was their biggest fan as a teen. They got better as the years went by. I was a bit of a Mod in those days.
    Won’t get fooled again. Good call.

    • I’m a Mod. I know this because a few years back I took a quiz on Facebook that said so. If that’s not definitive, what is? I was given Live at Leeds back in 1970 by a boyfriend kind of thing (an older man, 25, sold pot, had a beard and a VW van). I wish I’d kept the album! The Who are (IMO) the best band of the era (and many other eras).

      This is a tough subject. I resolved after my bro died I’d write straight about it and speak openly about it whenever the occasion presented itself. I do. Lots of people in this situation are the same as I was; they don’t know they’re there, and my heart goes out to them.

      • No shame. Nobody is perfect. No family is perfect. You write with experience and dignity. I mean that!
        Like you, I also feel for those who think that their situation is as good as it gets.
        Great writing, Martha.
        ps…would love to hear more about the dude with the VW. Such a vivid image, of him, you implanted in my head. Wittle him into a tale or two, when the opportunity arises. 🙂

  3. Yes! It’s kind of amazing that you draw people to you like that. I think it’s because you have to learn something. Maybe to be aware of something and don’t do something anymore.

    • That’s what I think. I finally figured out that I WILL be attracted to that kind of person. That’s a huge leap of awareness for me! I’ve become better at standing up for myself, too, but I’m still very gullible — but I thought about that. I’d rather think the best of people rather than the worst.

      • Me too! Why look for bad things or mistrust people?
        But at the same time one has to listen within oneself. Listen to the intuition and follow that little voice. And learn to say NO or STOP or I DON’T LIKE THAT or whatever is needed.
        By the way! It’s a bit awkward. At your picture you remind me very much of my elder sister when she was young.

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