Jan. 16, 2018


Once upon a time, I had a male friend. That’s nothing new since-- from childhood until the present-- almost all my friends have been men.  But, this male (notice I don’t say “man”) was “different.”

Let’s call him, Mack, to protect his identity….although I certainly don’t owe him any favors.  The year was 1983 and I was a candidate for Mayor of Pine Bluff, Arkansas….my hometown…. when Mack stopped by my headquarters, introduced himself, and made a nice donation to my campaign. He was fifteen years younger than me, I knew his parents, and I was just happy to have his vote.  

From the first day we met—when he was 28 yrs. old and I was 43 yrs. old-- I noted Mack had a child-like persona, and he seemed very immature despite his age.   Oh, don’t get me wrong---- Mack was well-read, educated, and dressed in a traditional, classic style---tassel loafers, navy blazer, white shirt, silk tie--- the way I like men to dress.  He also had beautiful manners, which, for me, is a huge-plus.  After a few minutes of describing what he admired most about older women,  he invite me to dinner and volunteered to serve as my personal assistant during the campaign.  Surprised, and wondering what to say next, Mack announced “You’re safe because I’m a virgin”.

Although I lost the Mayor’s race, Mack and I remained friends. He was well-liked by my father, my daughters, and by Miss Starr, my elegant standard poodle. You might say—Mack had become a part-of-the family.   When I left Arkansas to find employment elsewhere, we stayed in touch. But, little by little, year after year, the space between our phone calls grew wider and we spoke less and less often.  But….like I always believed: “once a friend, always a friend” until…. I received a nasty email from Mack in 2008.

 After buying my home in Little Rock, I learned from the realtor that Mack had moved to Little Rock more than 20 years earlier.  I looked forward to renewing our friendship so I sent him a quick email.   I said “Hi, dear friend. I’ve bought a house in the Cantrell-Reservoir area and will be moving to Little Rock in two weeks.  I hope to see you sometime soon.”

 I was shocked to receive his reply: “You really have some nerve, moving back to a state that hates your guts. Don’t expect me to be your friend. You are a self-centered Bitch; everything is always about you, and what you need and want, and I don’t intend to have anything to do with you.  I have a great circle of friends, I’m happy, and I don’t want you in my life-ever- so…get lost!

Eight years later, shortly after my book was published and I was busy promoting it on my Website, I received an unexpected email.  Mack wanted me to know he had purchased my book, using his Aunt’s name and credit card, and to let me know how impressed he was with my writing. He never apologized for his nasty email remarks of eight years earlier but did ask if I would accept his phone call.  

Maybe I was curious, maybe I believe in second chances….but had I not taken Mack’s initial phone call….I would never have learned about his Aunt, his fantasy life, or…how he assisted my youngest daughter in her efforts to damage my reputation.

For almost twenty years, Mack's been living with his “Aunt”. I soon realized  his nasty email was sent so I wouldn't attempt to contact him again.  Mack needed to devote all his time and talents  to his wealthy "Aunt". 

Early-on, wanting to know about this never-before-heard-of-Aunt, I asked several questions. Mack reluctantly  answered but seemed determined to change the subject. I remembered Mack’s mother died while he was in college and, being a momma's boy, he had endured great pain.

 Now, I was being told this "Aunt"  was from his mother's side of the family. When I inquired about how she "fit in" with others in his family, Mack replied that his father and two siblings had never met this "Aunt" because she lived in Little Rock, was always busy with her professional career, and had a very active social life.  Very convenient.

The "Aunt" was once married and, when her husband died, twenty or so years ago, Mack moved in with her immediately after the funeral....so she wouldn’t be alone. 

It's a fantasy come true.  “Auntie” has no children, no family, but lots and lots of money. So, Mack quit his job at Walmart (yes, as a night-stocker), the first and only job he had after his father stopped taking care of him. So now, more than twenty years have passed and Mack is the full-time assistant for his “Aunt”…..sound familiar?

 Mack manages her money, chauffeurs her on  errands and appointments, .... like the beauty parlor, shopping, and medical appointments.  Mack also has power of attorney so he can  handle all her legal and business affairs including banking, paying bills, all the important matters.   Since "Auntie" is now 93 years old.... her loving, kind, and benevolent "nephew" who--incidentally just turned 61 years old--continues to manage all her affairs, as well as his own. After all, everything is in his name.

Mack bragged that, for a long time, he and his “Aunt” enjoyed traveling everywhere, visiting the best restaurants, drinking the finest wines, but…after a while….it was time for them to slow down and enjoy the big, expensive house his "Aunt" purchased in Maumelle, overlooking the river.

It was only after my realtor-friend…the one who’d sold Mack's “Aunt” her new home---described the bedroom arrangement---that my suspicions were confirmed. Apparently the “Aunt” not only doesn't want to live alone but…doesn't want to sleep alone either. The “Aunt” specifically designed one big bedroom with a king-sized bed and included two large closets---one for him and one for her.  When it came to the enormous bathroom, she made certain to have a tub for her and…a man-size shower for her “nephew”.   Sounds like the family that sleeps together, stays together, right?

More and more, I listened to Mack lie about why he stopped dating more than twenty years ago and why he didn’t have any close women friends. But, he still couldn’t explain why he spends all his time with his “Aunt” ...the one he'd never met while his mother was alive. 

Now his 93 year old “Aunt” has Alzheimer’s and her physical problems are limiting her ability to move, to walk, and remember.  If Mack leaves her for even thirty minutes, she roams the neighborhood, often barefooted and scantily clothed. Recently, the doting “nephew”  experienced severe panic attacks, a racing heart, and  dangerously-high blood pressure. He's also developed diabetes. In fact, Mack has been rushed to the emergency room numerous times in the past year and, in my opinion, It’s just a matter of time before truth will triumph. As the old saying goes: We reap what we sow."

Shortly before my book was published, a so-called fb friend by the phony name of Beauregard Rothschild V sent me a message about a website he’d found called: sallymillerlies.com.  He suggested I check it out.  This “friend” who said he lived in Romance, Arkansas, was an obvious fake. Several  of my friends had also been watching him, convinced he was a political spy. After looking at the nasty website and finding its source, I quickly blocked the Fake from Romance (obviously a friend of my daughters) and moved on.

Not long before Christmas, I decided to end my second-chance friendship with Mack.  I was tired of his lies---his sick fantasy about his older girlfriend being his "Aunt."

Our so-called friendship was days from crossing the finish line when, early one morning, Mack called to casually ask where I was moving once my house sold.  I said I didn’t know but was open to suggestions.  In response, Mack said “I think you’d enjoy living in Romance, Arkansas.  Why not look there ?” 

At last, I knew the identity of Beauregard Rothschild V, the phony facebook "friend" who claimed to live in Romance, Arkansas. Now I knew who used his access to my Facebook page to make certain I saw my daughter's nasty website .

It was time to block Mack from my computer, my phone, and my life. Like a puzzle with many missing pieces, I'd suddenly hit the jackpot. Now, everything fit together; I'd finished the puzzle. 

I never stop learning and, as I do, I carefully file my new knowledge away in a safe place....lest I forget. For me, Knowledge is Power.

In the case of Mack, my lessons-learned are clear:  Once a liar---always a liar; Once a fake friend---always a fake friend. And....

Once a Gigolo---always a Gigolo.