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So In Love: The Dos and Don'ts of Eloping

Locked N. Loaded

So, you and your significant other are so in love that you simply cannot stand to be apart any longer. But his or her parents don't give a damn about your wishes. And the "law" says he or she can't leave until he or she turns eighteen. What to do, what to do... Well, here are some hopefully helpful hints from someon who's been there on how to take your lives into your own hands and "get away with it."

To start with, let me make you aware of some of the "legalities" that might pertain to your situation. Remember that if you are over eighteen and your girlfriend or boyfriend is under eighteen, you are breaking the "law". You could be considered a kidnapper. (Also watch out for that statutory rape, stuff.) Or perhaps you are both under eighteen. If this is the case, you won't be considered a kidnapper, but anyone over eighteen that helps you might be considered one. And if you are caught, the least that will happen is that you won't be with the one you love.

But let's assume you are over eighteen and he or she isn't. You took a "minor" away from a "parent". (The reason that I put the word "minor" and the word "parent" in quotations is because I don't consider all people under the age of eighteen to be minors and I don't consider any person that would keep another human being against their will, a parent.) So don't take this lightly. The "government" isn't concerned with right and wrong; they are only concerned will "legal" and "illegal". And you, my friend, just did something "illegal". Welcome to the world of outlaws. Relax, I've been one for years and I haven't started knocking over old ladies yet.

Okay, now on to the "getting away with it" part. Try and give yourselves as many options as possible. No matter how foolproof your plans may seem, something could go wrong. You may have forgotten something vitally important in the planning stages. Someone could be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Someone you thought you could trust may not have been trustworthy. Try not to put all of your eggs in one basket. Have another place to go. Have some extra money. Have a little insurance. Trouble might not come, but it does and you have assumed that it would and have prepared for it in advance, you've better chances of getting away.

During the planning stage talk in person. It is easier to communicate with the person and it also greatly reduces the possibility that someone will be listening in. Or perhaps a secure e-mail server like hushmail.com might prove handy. Try not to let any more people in on the situation than is absolutely necessary. If they don't need to know, then simply do not tell them. You are only endangering them and yourselves and it helps no one. Further, since lying is a dangerous game to play, I suggest that whenever possible you simply don't answer people's questions. A friend that won't accept you saying, "I'd rather not talk about it," isn't a friend. But as a precaution I suggest having a good story that you both have memorized down to the letter in case someone with a gun and badge wants to know something. Those people are trained to pick up on inconsistencies in people's stories.

Depending on the exact circumstances of your situation, the greatest threat to your and your significant other's wishes is either his or her parents or the fuzz. If your girl's father is a psychopathic child abuser, then you may have a problem if he decides that you are the cause of all of his most recent problems. And if you, like me, flatly refuse to use the institutions of legal aggression against anyone, including a psycho father, then you may be at a disadvantage. Remember the psycho won't have the same principle. He is a right rapist, after all, and would thus have a feeling of kinship with fellow rapists that go by the name of "government". So he would have no problem, for example, with attacking you and then calling the cops on you after you defended yourself. He/she simply wants his/her whipping post back, and won't let truth, reason or right and wrong stop him/her.

The cops can do almost anything they want once they get their foot in the door--and a fight between a father and his daughter's boyfriend might be all they need to get a search warrant. So I suggest that you try to send both her father and the cops' investigations in the wrong direction. If you're going to Florida, say that your love is going to stay with some friends in Colorado in the run-away letter. Pretend to break up for a couple of weeks before-hand. Leave several fake clues towards directions you have no intention of going. If you are going to stay in the same area that you ran away from, perhaps you should try to change your appearance--some hair dye might do the trick. Also, anything that was mentioned in any flyers or "missing child" posters should be gotten rid of, luggage and clothes, for example. If you have an animal that you won't be able to take with you, it might even be a good idea to try and change your scent slightly, perfume or body lotion, can be particularly recognizable. Another suggestion that I am particularly fond of is changing your names. Under certain circumstances it can really be a life saver. If you expect things to get really hot, perhaps a car that can't be traced back to you is a good idea--maybe you could rent one from an aquaintance you're not seen with very often. Once again, this isn't a game. I know from first hand experience how quickly things can go bad.

Lastly, go over all of your plans again, and make sure you have as many of the details thought out as possible. And never ever, underestimate the potential insanity of the other persons parents or you own for that matter. It isn't a game and it is dangerous. So make absolutely sure that the person you are in love with is as dedicated to the relationship as you are. And that both you and your girlfriend/boyfriend understand fully the dangers that you are both about to be exposed to and that you are both completely willing to take these risks to enable your relationship to go forward. The last thing you need at the moment of truth is a change of heart.

(c) 2000


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