I Was the Other Woman, and It Was (Almost) Exactly What You’d Expect

All the clichés apply, but I’m still a person.

Taru Anniina Liikanen
8 min readOct 18, 2021
Photo by Connor Jalbert on Unsplash

When did you realize you were a cliché?

For me, it was reading Poppy Nagano’s story about meeting her husband’s mistress. I love this story, and I’ve read it probably three times. It’s well-written, funny, empowering and brutal (for the mistresses out there).

There is a part of the story, where she describes her husband’s mistress, that really hit me.

“She was a young blonde Lithuanian student from the local university.”

Those words, in all their simplicity, brought back the memories of my affair with a married man, and made me feel like exactly the cliché I was back then.

He was much older than me, married with three kids. A charismatic, powerful man who knew exactly what to say to make people do exactly what he wanted.

I was 29, an exotic, long-legged Finnish immigrant with blond hair, visible abs and a tight butt. (No boobs, though. I only grew those after 30, when I gained weight post-heartbreak. Life doesn’t always give with both hands.) I had a college degree and I was studying for a master’s. I was relatively smart, if you compare me with the common stereotypes. But I was dumb.



Taru Anniina Liikanen

Stand-up comedian and recovering political ghostwriter. Finnish by birth, porteña at heart. Bad jokes frequent.