Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why Do I Attract Stalkers?

DJ has quickly become another one of my stalkers.  One of the men who just lacks the ability to let go. For some reason, I seem to attract nut cases.  At first I worried that "like attracts like," "birds of a feather flock together," and the other sayings that would mean that I'm crazy as well, but I'm chocking it up to bad taste in men and a great time in bed (ha, I'm kidding!  The first nut case barely even got into my pants!).  Really, it's because I continue to engage these men after they've gone off the deep end.  I need to ignore them better.  Regardless, it makes for some funny stories.

Cry Baby
My first stalker was an old high school boyfriend, Cry Baby.  In the summer after 10th grade I went away for a month on a trip to Israel and Europe.  I came back with a new perspective on life, a desire to date Jewish boys and promptly dumped him.  Cry Baby's teenaged heart was crushed and (since it was back in the pre-cell phone days) he would incessantly call my parent's house in an effort to get me to back.  He told me he wanted to hurt me and made some terroristic threats on the country where I had just visited.  One day, Cry Baby called my parents house and my brother, who is 8 years older than me and at 5'8" was significantly larger than my pint-sized former paramour, picked up the phone.  Cry Baby was crying (hence the nickname)and begged my brother (through snot rockets and hiccups) to let him speak to me.  I picked up the phone at the same time I heard my brother boom, "Stop crying you f*cking pussy!  You think I'm going to let you speak to my sister after the pathetic crap you just spewed out?!  If you bother her again, I will kill you, do you understand?!"  Have I mentioned how awesome my brother is?

I didn't deal with another stalker until years later.  ESPN was the man I dated immediately before I met my ex-husband, who, as you might guess, worked at ESPN.  I had broken up with him but he was determined to win me back.  He spent a month calling and texting me, emailing my friends to ask them to talk to me and even told me he would have proposed if he had had a ring.  It got so bad that a law school friend who used to work for the FBI, offered to get me a gun for protection.  Thankfully, I was living over an hour away and didn't feel the need for a firearm.   ESPN finally stopped harassing me when I got engaged to my ex-husband, a mere 3 and a half months after our breakup (I know, I know...)

My ex-husband was another one who just couldn't let go.  This likely had more to do with the fact that I sprung our divorce on him like it was a surprise trip to Disney World than anything.  That, and the fact that we were married and had vowed to spend our lives together, he presumably loved me very much.  But since actions speak louder than words, we'll go with the surprise factor for the reason he couldn't let go.  I won't divulge too much (you know, because I'm nice and/or because I've blocked out the entire messy divorce process from my memory) but he actually had the nerve to ask my parents (in the courthouse, immediately before our divorce hearing) if they could get me to reconsider my decision.  Dude, let it go.

Teacher was someone I dated for a few weeks in October.  He was a single dad of 2 daughters and a high school English teacher. I told him I wasn't ready for anything serious, as I was just starting to date after my divorce.  I'm very into baking and arts and crafts and had given him some good ideas about things to do with his girls.  I told him that I was baking a cake in the shape of a turkey for Thanksgiving because my nephew loves it (I'm not going to lie, I do too, it's a freaking awesome cake mould!).  Then he tells me how excited he was that we would be spending Thanksgiving together--me, him and his kids.  Umm, WTF?!  I quickly ended things after I realized that he wanted an instant wife, step mom and mother (for himself) all in one.  He freaked out and sent me the most grammatically correct scathing emails that I was overwhelmingly impressed and scared at the same time.  I ended up filtering his emails, threatening a restraining order and commenting that a restraining order might affect both his teaching job and his custody situation.  He emailed me a few months after to apologize and ask to grab some coffee.  Umm, no.

I wrote about BR here and here and a few other places that I'm too lazy to link to.  He begged for a second chance and I gave it to him even though I wasn't really feeling a connection.  Fast forward and I realized he was relationship stupid and I was attracted enough to him to fix it.  He didn't go off the deep end, per se, but he wrote me email novellas as to why we would be good together, how he could change, how my feelings weren't justified, etc.  He finally stopped when I ignored enough of these emails and deleted him off Facebook.  Just last month though, he sent me a Facebook message congratulating me on the Bar Exam and making a comment on how we should get back together.  No thanks.

I worried that DJ would also go off the deep end, as he seem unsatisfied with how I broke things off.  He seemed like a very even keeled man though so I sent him a final email explaining some things I hadn't previously mentioned and how they were non-negotiable for me.  I stated that this would be the last of the discussion and wished him luck.  Surprisingly, it was not the end of the discussion for him.

He told me that he respected my decisions but wanted to argue his way and change my mind.  Umm, WTF?!  That's no where near respecting my decision.  I continued to ignore his emails and text messages and hoped it would go away...until yesterday.  I was out with friends when I received a call from a florist.  My heart sank.  I knew that DJ had sent me flowers.  For a man who claims to have paid attention to me, he must have zoned out on the conversation in which I told him, "I do NOT like flowers.  They shed and die and smell.  I especially dislike roses.  I think they're an overpriced waste of money.  Please never get me flowers."  Of course, he got me flowers, lots of them, with roses.  The arrangement was topped with a pleading note and about a zillion "xoxo's" before his name.

"One drink is all I ask :) xoxoxo :insert name here:"

That wasn't the end of it though.  A few hours after the call from the florist, DJ called, asking about the flowers.  I sent the call to voicemail and I thanked him via text. I told him there was nothing to discuss and wished him luck.  He called again and was sent to voicemail.  Dude, get the message already!  

He then proceeded to berate me via text message and email about how I'm a terrible evil person and how he at least deserves an explanation as to why we can't live happily ever after together.  "I at least deserve to sit down with you for a drink," he texted.  My response, "The only thing you deserve at this point is a padded room and a restraining order.  Leave me alone!"

Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday.  I'm not the biggest of birthday celebrators but this year is different.  It's different because unlike last year, I'm happy.  Last year my birthday fell a month, to the day, of when I filed for divorce.  I had gone through the period of elation that follows when you leave a bad relationship and went from telling myself "This isn't my problem anymore--woohoo!" to asking myself, "What the hell am I supposed to do now?"

Emotionally bruised and battered (as divorce tends to bring out the worst in people) I decided to cancel my birthday.  My parents protested, telling me not to "let him win" and refused to let me wallow.  But it didn't matter.  I was miserable.  For every birthday wish I received, I thanked them and asked them to hold the wishes for next year, when I would resume celebrating.  To make matters worse, I could not escape my soon-to-be-ex's repeated attempts to contact me, presumably to wish me a happy birthday, but succeeding in evoking only crying fits of rage.  Despite my attempts at cancellation, I went out for a wonderful birthday dinner with my parents followed by a couple drinks bottles of wine with a friend.  I ended the night drunk and crying and telling my parents details of the past year and a half that they had never imagined possible.

This year is different.  I am independent and happy and have the world at my feet.  While I'm still not keen on getting closer to 30 (today is my 28th birthday), I could not wish for more at this moment in life.  I spent last weekend with my parents, brother, sister-in-law and nephew in New York City followed by dinner at our favorite restaurant, Victor's Cafe to celebrate mine and my sister-in-law's birthdays (hers was June 29th).  I'm very lucky to have such a wonderful and supportive family.  I cannot express the gratitude I have for the support and love they've given me during my life, especially within the past year.  Knowing that no matter what happens, we're always there for each other, is priceless.  When we're together, the love in the room is palpable and the laughter is plentiful.

Birthday dinner with family

I have amazing friends.  The kind of friends who have their babies FaceTime at 9am me to squeal while they sing me "Happy Birthday" and send me gag and housewarming gifts that show they're always thinking of me.  Friends who, despite working 80 hour weeks at their dreaded law firms during a holiday week, still manage to email me birthday wishes.  Friends who insist on me coming down to the Jersey shore to fist pump with the guidos.  Friends who will likely send me some dick pics just to make me laugh (I'm counting on you BK!).   A friend who I care for in a more romantic way who, despite only knowing me for a short time, planned an entire adventure day because he knows that I'd rather have a fun memory than an expensive gift.

Hilarious gag gift
My best friend knows me well

I have my health.  I'm very blessed to be healthy in both mind and body.  I'm in great shape, despite the pound I gained from sangria and tostones at Victor's Cafe and cheesesteaks and ice cream at Six Flags and the half pound I'll likely gain this weekend from cheesecake and beer!  I'm happier than I've ever been and I feel content (aside from the fact that I can't fix this font--stupid blog formatting issues!).  In 28 years, I've accomplished many things, had both good and bad experiences and have so much to look forward to.  I'm focusing on the now, instead of planning ahead, and right now, things are amazing for me.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Save Me!: Excuses for Leaving a Date Early

In the past week I've had two frantic text message conversations with my friend from Dating Without a Net.  Being one of those women who has a penchant for dating creepy men (don't be offended, you know it's true), she sometimes finds herself on dates that would make the most level-headed woman attempt to stab herself with a fork as a means of escape.  I've decided to compile a list of excuses for getting out of dates, in hopes that my fellow blogging friend, and my other dating friends out there, may no longer have to suffer through a terrible date.

We've all seen the episode from Sex and the City where one of the women (Charlotte?) gets out of a bad date by having another one of the women call her to say that "Something bad happened". While this is a fine idea, it leaves too much room for error for me to be satisfied.  What if your friend forgets to call?  What if you're a terrible actor/actress? What if your date asks follow-up questions?  What if your date offers to help?  There are phone apps like Bad Date Rescue that leave less room for human error, but that requires you to either keep your phone on the table (which is pretty rude) or to hear it ringing from your purse in a bar or restaurant (unlikely).

In my opinion, the best way to use an excuse to end a date is to come up with the excuse before the date goes sour.  If possible, these excuses should worked into the first few minutes of the date when you realize there's no chemistry.  By working an excuse into conversation early, it seem more legitimate than if you spring it on them at the last minute (planning is important) and you don't have to stress over coming up with an excuse while you're pretending to listen to your date's awful conversation.  Also, if you decide that you don't want to ditch the date (perhaps you were a little too judgmental about his choice of footwear and he seems like really a great man), you can use your aforementioned excuse as a means of showing them that you're interested. "You know, I could stay for an extra drink, my overweight dog isn't going to starve to death!" 

However, some of these excuses, should only be used when you are sure you never want to see your date again, since using the words "explosive diarrhea" (#2, #3 or #5) and flipping out on them (#10) will convince them that you're crazy.


  1. Volunteer commitment--Tell your date that you have a volunteer commitment that you need to attend.  If you don't volunteer, you should.  Not only is it a nice thing to do, but you'll have an excuse to get out of bad dates.  Soup kitchens, women's shelters, youth centers and animal shelters are usually looking for volunteers.
  2. Not feeling well--You might not want to go as far as my mother suggested and tell him you just got your period or have explosive diarrhea (or maybe you do), but mentioning that you have been feeling under the weather is the perfect out.  It shows that you're a martyr and were willing to meet him while feeling like crap.  This excuse will work best of someone who is a germaphobe--cough in their direction or ask them to see if your throat is red to send them running. 
  3. You're a parent--This is the best excuse in the book.  Kids offer a multitude of excuses--you have to get home for the babysitter, your kid is sick with explosive diarrhea, you need to tuck them in and kiss their adorable forehead goodnight, etc. Be creative, people without kids won't get it and people with kids will pretend that they're a good parent too and understand your plight.
  4. Homework--The perfect excuse for a student.  The catch here is when your date says something about the fact that you already imbibed 2 beers.  The appropriate response here (since you're not interested in them anyway) is a smug guffaw followed by saying, "Pfft, puh-lease, I do everything better after 2 beers!" and stagger off.
  5. You have a pet--Similar to #3, being a pet parent is a good excuse to leave a date early.  Anywhere you can insert the words "explosive diarrhea" will make it easy to leave without protest...unless you're dating a vet, doctor or someone with a scat fetish.
  6. Early morning--Whether it's an early meeting you have a prepare for or a 6am spinning class, having to be up at the ass-crack of dawn is a tried and true excuse for leaving a date.  This will also weed out the whiners, who will pipe up with, "Nooo, stay for just one more driiiink. Come onnn, it's soooo earlyyyy!"
  7. Late errand--Use store closing times as a good excuse for needing to leave a date early.  Be sure that you pick a provision that isn't sold at 7-11's or other 24 hour stores though.  Good examples of things you need at a specialty store include: portfolio pockets (for that fictional early meeting in #6), grain free pet food (for your hungry dog in #5), an obnoxiously specific type of pen (for your homework in #4), soy formula (for your sick and lactose intolerant child in #3), a menstrual cup from the crunchy hippie section of Whole Foods (for your period in #2) or PlayDoh (for the children you volunteer with in #1).
  8. Be on call--It's always a good idea to tell dates that you're busy with work.  If you like them, it shows that you are ambitious and can multitask.  If you don't like them, it's a good excuse to leave a date. Mention to your date that you're expecting an email from work.  Be smart though, do the math and pick a country whose working hours will fall within your date time (think: Asian countries and states in the Pacific Standard Time).
  9. You're on a diet--Tell your date you're on a diet and you can't drink or eat anymore because you've gone over your allotted calories for the day.  Bonus points if you break our your iPhone, log into My Fitness Pal and show them exactly what you've eaten.
  10. Turn them into a jerk--This is especially easy if the person is actually a jerk or a borderline jerk.  Start taking offense to things they're saying until finally you can't take it any longer and storm off in a fit of rage.
Telling the truth, that you don't feel any chemistry or you're just not into them, is also an option, but let's face it, that's difficult to do in person and is more easily articulated in a text message the following day.  Hopefully one of these excuses will save you suffering an extra hour or two on future bad dates.  Do you have any other excuses to add to the list???