Lonely Granny Shoots Younger Man Over Rejected Kiss

Helen Staudinger

Helen Staudinger

Stolen stripper poles, pink guns, and now this: retaliation for a refused kiss with gunfire from 92-year-old Helen Staudinger's semi-automatic handgun. Coincidentally, all three incidents occurred in my home state of Florida. Lucky me.

Staudinger seems to have been under the impression that she and 53-year-old neighbor Dwight Bettner had a romantic liaison going on. Bettner says that he has been neighborly with Staudinger, helping her with her trash and getting her a part for her stove, but that there was no relationship. He even told Staudinger that he had a girlfriend.

When Bettner wouldn't kiss her goodbye, and after he told her to leave his house, an incensed Staudinger got the semi-automatic handgun from her house and came out shooting. Luckily for Bettner, she missed. All four times.


Staudinger's mug shot makes me feel sad for her. Ninety-two years old and living alone. And rejection can really be painful both emotionally and physically, that punched in the gut feeling. But reacting to it by trying to shoot your rejector? Not a good choice. A few other poor choices to make when handling rejection:

  • Keying his car. Carrie Underwood made this act of retaliation for scorned love the theme of her song "Before He Cheats." It looks like it feels good in the video but vandalism is illegal, punishable by a hefty fine or jail time.
  • Blogging about your rejection using your real name or anything close to it. Sure, writing about an unhappy event can be therapeutic. I know it works for me. But turn it into a work of fiction. The Internet has no shelf life. Once something is published online, it's likely to remain there forever.
  • Drunk dialing, texting, or posting on Facebook is a surefire way to make a complete fool out of yourself. Hold on to any seemingly great thoughts you want to post while you are drunk until the next day. If they still seem appropriate, then go for it. 

Rejection sucks. Having someone say they don't want to be with you anymore, or even just deflecting your romantic advances, hurts. But there are healthier ways to handle rejection than grabbing your semi and shooting.

The best things to do? Face reality and move on. Take the time to do the things that you enjoy with the people you are close to. Let your friends help you keep your emotions in check. And don't watch any romantic comedies. Time heals all wounds, but gunshot scars are forever.

What are some of the ways you've handled rejection?

Image via Marion County Sheriff

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