Sept. 23,1983 / Montrose Voice 21
There Sure Are a Lot of 'Johns' Out There
By Joe Baker
During the past 12 years that I have been
writing professionally, I've probably written several hundred thousand words and
thousands of news and feature stories and
Few of those, however, prompted the
reader response I received following my
column of a few weeks ago entitled, "Dear
John, Wherever You Are, This Column Is
In case you missed it, the column dealt
with a personal experience: My "Mr.
Right" turned out to be an inconsiderate,
I wrote the column for several reasons.
First of all, I had to get the hurt out of my
system. For me, writing does that.
I also felt that a lot of gay men and
women could easily identify with my experience. In addition, there was a message I
wanted to get across to the "Johns" of the
And, okay I'll admit it, down deep I
hoped that my former infatuation would
see the column—and realize that if I ever
saw his car parked in some parking lot, I
was going to let the air out of his tires.
Reader response from the column was
overwhelming. I never realized there were
so many people like my "John" in Texas.
Readers who wrote or talked to me in person all wanted to tell me their horror
stores. Everybody had a similar experience with somebody who broke their
hearts. They all agreed with my plea to the
"Johns" out there in that big, bad world
that "a little honesty can go a long way
and save a lot of hurt."
I'd like to share some of the comments I
received from readers. It sure makes us
realize that we are not alone. We all love
and hurt the same way.
"If you think you got dumped on, let me
tell you about my 'John.' We were together
for six months, and he was everything I
could want in a man. It was pure love.
"One day I came home from work—and
all my best clothes, my color television, my
stereo, my records and tapes and some valuable pieces of art were gone.
"He left a note, though. It said, 'So long,
sucker!' That was five years ago. I've
never seen him since and have no idea
where he went."
"Thank you! Your article made me stop
and think.'Have I been Mr. Right for
someone and treated him the way John
"I hope your article touched other hearts
the way it did mine and made them think
the way it did me."
— o —
"My 'John' cruised me for three hours
one Saturday night. Every place I went, he
showed up. Finally, we got together and
later decided to go back to my place. I was
sorry I had played hard-to-get for so long,
because he really turned out to be a terrific
guy. I could hardly wait to get home alone
"He followed me all the way to my place,
but when we got to my driveway, he didn't
follow me in. He just drove on."
— □ —
"There are also female 'Johns.' I gave 20
years of my life to this woman and could
not have loved her more. When I turned
60—and figuring I would be spending the
rest of my old age with her—she walked
out on me for a younger woman."
— D —
"Boy, did your column make me think!
I've never taken the dates I've made very
seriously. I've stood a lot of people up—
never bothering to call and cancel or to
call afterwards and explain. I guess I've
hurt a lot of people."
"Can I ever tell you some 'John' stories!
I don't make dates anymore. I've been
stood up too often. If anybody wants to get
together with me, we do it right away or
not at all. I don't trust gay people."
— D —
"I met somebody once, and he told me all
the things I wanted to hear, too. I thought
he was great. He told me one thing I didn't
want to hear, though. After we spent the
night together, he informed me he had the
— D —
"I also don't understand why gays treat
each other so badly. Sometimes I think is
it all a game: Hurt somebody before they
— D —
"I've met dozens of Mr. Rights, and
they've all turned out to be like that John
you wrote about. Everyone of them had a
lover they couldn't bear to leave. Of
course, they never brought up the lover
until after I had fallen in love with them—
or they wanted to dump me."
"You might just as well get use to gay
men treating you like a piece of meat. That
is all they are interested in. You have to
become the same way just to survive."
"Joe, I know what your problem is. You
are going after too good-looking guys. The
prettier they are and the better bodies they
have, the bigger aBBholes they are. Fall in
love with an average looking or ugly man,
and you will be treated wonderfully."
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