He Doesn’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore
Three years ago, after the devastating breakup of my 4-year relationship with J, I reluctantly reentered the dating world. For whatever reason, I decided to give the online dating thing a try. The first guy I met in-person seemed normal at first. We met at the local dog park on a Sunday afternoon, so our “kids” could meet and play. We went out a couple of times over the next week, and on Friday we planned to make dinner together and watch a movie at his place. I don’t know exactly why, but I decided that night that a relationship between us was not going to happen – that the “X” factor was missing, and was unlikely to develop. So I broke up with him. (Although after only one week, I’m not sure it was a true “break-up” – mostly, I just stopped returning his calls and emails.)
He kept calling and emailing, and I thought maybe he just didn’t get that I wasn’t interested, or maybe he just needed some time to get over it. But then I got a nasty message on my phone followed by another in my inbox. Bitterness reared its ugly head once more in the form of a hate letter and dead flowers on my doorstep. FREAK.
Apparently, though, this kind of psychotic behavior is cathartic, because I never heard from him again after that.
The Boy is a Dancing Fool
Last year, I made the grave mistake of dancing with someone at one of my big band gigs. To this day, I cannot reason why, but when he asked for my phone number, I gave it to him. Even though I had just started dating someone else. And even though he had scary, way-too-intense eyes. Having learned my lesson before, I mustered up the internal fortitude to do the right thing and tell him that I simply wasn’t interested – that I was seeing someone else.
So when he kept calling (sometimes three times a day), I got really annoyed. And then when he started showing up at all my gigs, sometimes even popping backstage where I was hiding, I got scared.
Naturally, when eHarmony matched us up at the beginning of this year, I had a meltdown and immediately closed my account. He still comes to my gigs, though – um, AWKWARD!
Coffee: The Silent Killer
Last Saturday, I answered a knock at my door to find the most dreaded of all solicitors – the Orange County Register paperboy selling subscriptions. (Okay, maybe not the most dreaded, but certainly in the top ten.) He was more than a little pushy, tried every sales trick in the book in response to my many excuses, and didn’t listen when I told him I simply wasn’t interested. Finally he left, and I thought no more about our little exchange.
Until later that afternoon, when I left the house to go to a friend’s for game night. I was stopped dead in my tracks at the top of my stairs when I noticed a white, unmarked box sitting atop an Orange County Register. I replayed our earlier conversation in my head and recalled the following statements:
-“Help a guy out, and maybe something good will happen to you. It’s all about karma, you know? What goes around comes around.”
-“I’m out here doing this to keep me off the streets – to keep me from doing drugs and living a life of crime.”
-“You don’t have to talk to me through a cracked door. You can let me in – it’s not like I’m not going to hurt you or anything.”
-“It’s because I’m black, isn’t it? If I was a white guy, you’d get the subscription.”
Now I was really freaked out. Don’t get me wrong, I do not think myself so important that someone would be out to get me. And I’m not usually the paranoid type. But for whatever reason, this particular situation unnerved me. I didn’t want anything to do with that box and whatever was in it.
So I called my community’s security patrol to remove it. No answer. I tried my community’s maintenance guys. No answer. What is a girl who lives alone, whose boyfriend is out of town, left to do? I called the police. I explained to them that I did not think it was a bomb, that it was probably nothing, but that I was a little freaked out by this guy and simply didn’t want to touch the box. Always erring on the side of caution, they proceeded to send two “special” (i.e., bomb squad) officers to my house to take a report and remove the suspicious package.
Obviously, since I’m alive to write this, it was not a bomb. But the irony of this little incident is that it turned out to be…
A coffee mug.
That’s right. A gift from the paperboy, who was apparently hoping to bribe me into purchasing a subscription.
And I thought he was trying to hurt me. Don’t I feel sheepish.