I have a concern which by rights may not be mine.
A friend of mine (Iíll call her Dolores) has, to my mind, chosen her partners poorly. Previously she was involved with a much older guy (Iíll call him Mesmer). She was sixteen and seventeen, he was twenty-two. I suppose love occurs in all places, shapes and sizes, but that situation was questionable to me.
To my continued regret, I never did anything. They were one of those couples who only wanted to see each other (perhaps by his explicit request?). Old friends were suddenly an afterthought to her. I suppose thatís natural a bit, albeit not to the degree I saw, and it did nothing to dispel my fears.
From that point I heard very little from her, which aside from being disappointing and more than a little hurtful led me to hear about her secondarily. She confided in her best friend (Iíll call her Mona) who confided in me. In retrospect, that may have been deceitful and voyeuristic, but such is not the concern of this post.
I grant that Mona disliked Mesmer and would have allowed that judgment to cloud the opinions she rendered to me, but I consider her far too mature to have fabricated stories about their relationship. I was told that Mesmer had convinced her into sex. Consensual, yes, but rough, unprotected sex. His behavior out of bed also worried me. He would become suspicious if Dolores did not speak to him on the phone. He showed up to her place unannounced after she had requested that he not show up.
Eventually they broke up, although he continued to speak to Doloresí mother (more on her later). They did see each other once more, and he tried to follow her home. While she (or rather, her can of mace) did convince him not to follow her, this was clearly not a good thing.
Mesmer was the apogee of disgustingness so far to pass through my social circle; but Dolores has previously shown poor taste in men. Add that to her inability to engage in (or at least convince her boyfriend of) sensible sexual protection. Her mother, who is of strong religious and irrationally capricious persuasions does not help either. It is to me perversely curious that she would continue to speak to someone her daughter had broken up with, especially under such tried circumstances. I doubt that she would encourage responsible sexual behavior. It may be my own paranoia, but I get the distinct impression that Doloresí mother is trying to marry her off to someone as quickly as possible.
I am worried about Dolores. Even if it wouldnít convince her, I want to know what to tell her so that I donít feel like I ought to have done something. I donít care if this would involve admitting that I had heard things from her trusted confidant that I probably shouldnít have. Thatís my problem, and Iím far more concerned with a friendís well being than petty social demarcations.
How do I tell her to protect herself from infection, from pregnancy, from creepy schmucks and from her motherísÖ whims? How ought I bring up such a thing? Is it even my place to speak?