People have been asking for advice on the internet pretty much ever since it was invented. And even before that, columns like "Ask Amy," "Ask Polly" and "Ask Anita" graced the pages of newspapers to everyone's delight.
It's somehow fascinating to hear about the romantic or familial plights of other people, partially because they help us feel better about our own lives, and also because they equip us with tips we might use if we're ever faced with a similar problem ourselves.
But then there are other stories that are so crucially out there, we have to follow along just to see how they end. Such is the tale of reddit user mentosallaround, who sought out advice from the platform when he walked in on his wife rehearsing a speech for his funeral.
This story might make you think twice before taking your personal problems to the internet.
It all started one day when our protagonist came home from work early, presumably in a great mood. He could hear his wife talking in the study, and assuming she was on the phone with a friend, decided to give her some privacy. But he kept hearing his name mentioned, so he inched a bit closer to the door.
"I heard her say 'my late husband'," he explains in his post. "She was giving a monologue, saying things about me like an eulogy or like she was talking about me, after I died, to someone who didn't know me."
From his side of the door, he could hear her say things like, "'I couldn't stay in the city after my husband passed, everything reminded me of him. I had to sell the house even though I loved it so much, we had just bought it...'," referring to the house they had in fact just purchased. "Things like that," he wrote. "Details about me and our life. It was weird AF."
At that point, with a piqued curiosity, he opened the door and expected to find his wife on the phone. But he didn't.
His wife was just standing there, "her eyes were watering," and she quickly claimed she was reading aloud from a book — except there were no books around.
"I asked what book it was, she said, 'it's personal' and changed topics, telling me family stuff," he explains.
But that's not all. Later that evening, he admitted to snooping on her computer, and was shocked (to say the least) about what he found.
"I looked through her browser history," he wrote, "and she is shopping for wedding dresses? She was also shopping for something I wanted for ages, so I guess that is cute. That she wants to get me something nice before whatever it is that's going on."
That's pretty much the entirety of this user's first post, which he finishes by asking some pointed questions: "Is this normal?" "Have you ever thought about your loved ones passing away and what you would say?"
The internet had a lot to say about this unsettling situation, mostly along the lines you're probably all thinking — THIS WOMAN IS ABOUT TO MURDER YOU.
"How much life insurance do you have?," commented one user. Another sarcastically wrote, "Can you tell your wife to post an update after she murders you?" One added, "Do you have a disease or something where you might be dying soon? If not, maybe don't eat anything she cooks anymore."
Pretty much everyone agreed they'd be feeling pretty paranoid too, if they were in this guy's shoes.
The post was so compelling and curiosity-inducing, over three hundred users chimed in to share their opinions with this man. And the entire community was on the edge of their seats until he posted an update to his story two days later.
The update to the original story, titled "I (35M) caught my wife (29F) rehearsing a speech for my funeral (?)" begins as follows:
Met a buddy for lunch and told him the whole tale. He too found it morbid AF, but didn't see her committing first degree murder. Asked me if I thought she could be having an affair (he has a history with weird stuff turning out to be cheater SO). Suggested I get a PI in case of cheating, and call my lawyer in case of murder.
I said I'll consider it. But I know my wife, she is usually pretty shy. I'm still REALLY thinking this might be something silly that got her embarrassed. Was it any other topic, I'd have asked right away. The funeral thing just got me creeped out and I probably would leave it alone if not for my growing curiosity.
Buddy makes a point that there is no harm in calling my lawyer just to check on the procedure to change beneficiaries on life insurance and such, so I'm prepared in the event things go even more weird. I agree, no harm in that. Call the lawyer, tell him I'm discussing finances with the wife and we are thinking about changing both our beneficiaries (trying not to make it look like I suspect her, you know), he says he's stepping into a restaurant with a client can he call me back.
After calling his lawyer, our protagonist goes on with his day at work. This time, it's a long day, and he gets so caught up in his tasks that he forgets entirely about the call he made to his lawyer.
When he got home to his wife that night, let's just say, things EXPLODED for our protagonist. So much so that he began regretting posting the story to the internet in the first place.
"My wife is upset," he writes. "And that is an understatement."
1 — Lawyer called. He wasn't able to get a hold of me anywhere else. Was wondering what were the questions we had about changing the beneficiaries on life insurances. Wife had no idea what he was talking about. He seemed uncomfortable upon hanging up.
2 — Turns out my buddy talked to his wife (in confidence) and told her everything. His wife told a couple of close friends (in confidence) as well. And on it went until the gossip reached a friend of my wife's who actually knew what was happening. She called my wife and told her she should talk to me ASAP.
She is mortified. Upset, hurt, confused, embarrassed. The whole deal. A little mad as well. Maybe more than a little.
These days, we're always relying on the internet to spread the word about things. But never forget how quickly gossip travels in small towns, no matter how much technology advances.
According to the author, his wife then claims she joined a community theater and is playing a widow. By her account, the monologue is just an exercise in tapping into her emotions.
Hmmmm... Claiming you're rehearsing for a drama club when you get caught practicing your husband's eulogy sure makes for a compelling excuse.
She lied about it being a book because she too thinks it is a creepy thing to do, and didn't feel like sharing at the time, since the whole drama club is something she was doing for herself. But she thought I only heard her speaking, as in "her voice," not "what she was saying." Had she known what I heard, she would have explained it.
I ask her why didn't she tell me about the drama club. She looks at me like I have no business asking her another question for as long as we both shall live, not even about the weather. But she says it is "her thing" and she even made her friend promise not to mention it because she didn't want all of us at one of the plays (we are a tight bunch) until she was more comfortable on stage.
At this point, he says she could have mentioned her new activity at some point, but she quickly rebuts by saying he's incapable of keeping a secret. Given all the friends (and the internet communities) who he's roped into this most recent drama, it seems our writer's wife does have a point.
So, sure, this explains the monologue... But what about the wedding dress?
I'm still missing a piece of the puzzle. So I ask, "what about the wedding dress?"
This is when I realize this part of the story didn't reach her yet. She asks me "what" and I have the pleasure of telling my wife I went through her personal computer.
AHHH!!!! Now the wife is, understandably, out for blood.
[She] grabs me by my shirt, drags me up to our closet and shows me "the wedding dress" (in the making) for the play. It is amateur theater, so they have more than one job and she is also helping with the costumes, wardrobe, whatever it is called. She was looking online for cheap dresses or for styling ideas to make her own (she is quite skilled in making clothes and such, and the search history did say "old" or "vintage" wedding dress). She also shows me nun's clothes and a pirate's in her closet and asks me if that means she is attacking the British. By now I am just wondering what the f--k is this play about? A bride, a pirate and a nun? Who the f--k is writing this s--t? But I'm guessing I shouldn't be talking anymore.
Yea, it's safe to say this dude should just shove his foot in his mouth going forward. The wife is LIVID, with good reason:
She is pissed that I would think she is capable of murder enough to call our lawyer, that I told all our friends about her embarrassing monologue and went through her personal computer. Not to mention ruining the drama club she was enjoying.
I just nod, apologize profusely, try to explain that things didn't happen quite like that, and show myself to the guest bedroom because we both know where this is going.
She then tells me I can't even sleep there. Since my brother and his wife will be staying with us for a few days, she already changed the sheets and had everything cleaned and ready and says "you will just make a mess."
So, last night, our beloved author had the privilege of sleeping on the couch. And who knows when he'll be allowed back into the bedroom. If he were my husband, never. But I digress.
And this is how mentosallaround learned (the hard way, admittedly) that sometimes it's better to confront your fears and problems with the person they involve directly and in the moment. You know, rather than publishing your suspicions on a forum with more than a million subscribers, and spreading it to your friend who will tell his wife who will in turn gossip to the whole town.
My, my. I hope their marriage survives this.