Chances are that you were too distracted by the YouTube stream of the Texas legislature last night to tune into the second season premiere of MTV's Catfish and that's fine. That's better than fine. You made the right decision by choosing to experience HERSTORY live as opposed to tuning into a show about a bunch of dumb-dumbs who get tricked into fake online relationships. That said, what you missed was one helluva Catfish and one helluva dumb-dumb.
Cassie is young woman living in Miami, Florida. For two years, she's been in an online relationship with "Steve" and things are getting serious. How serious? Well, her email actually starts with "I need help meeting my fiance, Steven!" So things are serious enough between Cassie and Steve for them to get engaged, but not serious enough for them to have ever met in person or videochatted.
What makes Cassie so profoundly gullible isn't that she's in an online relationship and in love with someone she's never even interacted with face-to-face. It's 2013, baby — crazier things can happen and maybe this is just the face(lessness) of modern love. If being in that sort of relationship leaves you happy and satisfied, I say good on you, girl. A great poetess once said, "Remember only God can judge ya/Forget the haters, cause somebody loves ya" and there's truth in that, you know?
Here's what actually makes Cassie so jaw-droppingly foolish. In the 2-years they've been emailing, Steve has only ever sent Cassie 6 photos of himself (surprise — he looks like a model) and while he says that up-and-coming Atlanta-based rapper who's consistently in the studio or out promoting , he has absolutely no web presence to support the claim — not that Cassie would know. She's never even tried to Google him — and in a post-Manti Te'o world no less.
Unsurprising to anyone who isn't Cassie, Steve turns out not to be a real person. He's actually the creation of Cassie's best friend Gladys who created Steve to help improve Cassie's self esteem during a rough time. It was her that was actually sending Cassie supportive text messages as Steve, sometimes texting when the two were in the same room together.
Most fucked up of all is that Gladys enlisted her male cousin to help. As the voice of Steve, he and Cassie had extensive conversations and — in a disgusting violation of Cassie's trust — the pair even engaged in regular phone sex. In the end, Cassie ended up forgiving both of them because she claims that they did end up making her feel better about herself and she knows their actions came from a good place. (Cassie is a grown woman who went to college.)
The whole episode was so ridiculous that I'm tempted to believe that part if not all of the episode was staged. (I mean, who names their millennial daughter Gladys?) But just in case it is real — hang in there, Cassie. At least until your friends invent a new man to help get you out of your post-Steve funk.