Shit, I Have a Stalker

At the end of the week, I was heading home. I’m ready to see my chosen family-the loves of my life, and I’m ready to forget about Boston for a week. I have sufficiently dodged Mr. Kennedy for the last few days. I’m not interested, and we haven’t spent enough time together for our interactions to warrant anything more than a fade out.

He texts me 14 times that first weekend. Asking me how I am, telling me every two seconds to have fun, calling me by ridiculous pet names over and over again.
-I’ll top bothering you now, and during your trip- just wanted to check in as I’ve been concerned about how you’ve been feeling the past week or so. Enjoy the big day, and have a great flight and time! Texas-bound 🙂
-Did you make it? Yes.
 Glad you made it baby 🙂 and thanks for letting me know. Enjoy the much deserved break my dear. Have a sweet time in Texas (jealous) and with the bestie (hi HLM!)
SO many texts before and after. I’m with my friends and annoyed he continues to bother me- sending one or two word answers, then altogether ignoring him.
As he continues to reach out, I read all of this to my friends, them feeling more and more incredulous at his gall.
Then, he reaches out on Facebook:
-I’ll leave you alone Han but I just want to ask one thing
-Do you have time for a quick call? Or we can just talk when you return
I ignore him, because this is getting ridiculous. I don’t even talk a 5 year long boyfriend when I’m traveling and with my friends. Then, another hour goes by, and he calls. I text him.
-Mr. Kennedy, please relax. I’m with my friends and family and that’s the headspace I’m in
-Ok thanks. That’s all I needed to know
-Just please tell me that next time from the beginning- I completely understand that headspace, and I sensed it which is why I’ve been trying to leave you alone. All it takes is 5 seconds to tell me that – then I don’t have to worry this whole past week or so. Enjoy the rest of your time! 🙂
Incredulous by the way he thinks he deserves any sort of response after his ridiculous, needy, possessive, unwarranted behaviors, I ignore him one more time. Then, he calls AGAIN. 
-Mr. Kennedy, I think you’ve made it clear over the last week or two how invested you are in this. I am not ready to date just one person or start a relationship. I just want to focus on my own self and life right now. I don’t want you waiting another week like you said- so I’m ending things. Wish you the best. 

*he calls me-I ignore*
-I had a feeling Le Distraire. Can I at least talk to you for a few minutes? I feel like ending it this way over text is a little harsh, I’d prefer to talk to you over the phone.

-I really don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t have any other explanation besides that I don’t desire it in my life. Sorry that it’s harsh for you. 
*he calls again*
-It is very hurtful, yes. And I was very invested in you…I guess I’m just surprised how quickly it turned for you. I really thought we had a special connection and we’re taking things at a reasonable pace meeting once a week. But I had a sense things were up for you. I did everything I could for you and my generosity and care for you far exceeds some stupid cowboy holding a door for you. I have a big heart and with that comes big losses I suppose for me 
(*he clearly has been looking at my Twitter without following me, because I tweeted about a nice southern boy holding the door in a sweet gesture*)
We had such great chemistry, we even had the same personality type! What went wrong?
-It’s not even a month yet…
-And I opened my heart to you through my writing. I have done that for very few people.

*yikes! yikes! yikes! the intensity level is so clearly elevated way past what makes logical sense that i’m freaked out and annoyed at his anger* 
This is exactly why. Way too intense way too quickly. I think you sensed feelings from my side that just aren’t there. You’ll find someone but it’s really not me.
*he calls again-ignored*
I feel like the least you could do is have a phone call with me even if it’s 10 minutes. Obviously you wouldn’t like to but it would mean something to me- not sure if you care about that or if you ever did. I have never had a text message break up before…
-And I really would expect more from you
-Please Le Distraire.
-And you just removed me from Facebook…wow.
-Very sad day, Le Distraire.

At this point, I’m incredibly weirded out and mad. He’s behaving like we were together, but we weren’t even close. He’s berating me and refusing to leave my alone. He calls me again, I ignore it, but my best friend accidentally calls him back when she’s listening to his latest crazy voicemail.
-Sorry was on the other line – I can talk now
I didn’t mean to call-I don’t feel like I owe you any more explanation. Please stop reaching out. You’re making me uncomfortable. 
-Weren’t you just calling?
-Sigh.
-I’m just curious- how was I being too intense? I did join online dating in the first place for hopes of a more serious relationship than college. And to be fair, some of the more romantic/heavy items like the ballet were things you suggested. And you wanted to see my writing…and you wanted to see me on Wednesday. I’m just confused.
-I never asked if you were dating other guys…and you asked about my family, wanting to see my hometown, etc. I wanted to see you once a week and say goodnight to you, is that so intense?
-Stop. Now.


He’s seriously delusional. The things he mentioned were casual, general interest things. Oh you never stop talking about being a writer? Sure, I’ll read something if you send it. Oh, you love your family a lot? What are they like? Literally, just normal trying to gauge someone in the first few dates. Nothing intense. No huge connection. Hence, the try for the slow fade. Two hours later…
-Ok. I mean hopefully you can understand how I’m quite heartbroken…and was hoping to talk about it. There was a lot I would have liked to talk to you about before you dropped this. All I can say is, I’m sad…and I will miss you.
*an hour later*
Will you miss me at all?
I think that was a pocket text. Please Le Distraire…I hope you take some time to reconsider this decision :/
*an hour later*
I’m sending you one final email which I hope you will read as I have things to get off my chest- all I ask is you read. If I never see you again, I wish you the best Le Distraire. I enjoyed every minute we had together.
*the next day…literally…all of that was one day. i’m exhausted and worried for my safety*
-I just sent you an email (not long, don’t worry) which I please ask you read. Basically, I’m sorry. But I hope you take it to heart.
*an hour later*
-When you have read it please let me know.
The email was sent as an attached Word document…
Le Distraire,

I want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry for taking things so seriously. I clearly had the wrong mindset about where we were in our relationship. My mindset was probably something that would have been more appropriate at something like the 6 month mark instead of the 1 month. A lot of this I blame on myself, because I do have a big heart, and while it means I am selfless and extremely generous on the one hand, I also can get carried away emotionally. My heart carried me away – and I’m sorry. It’s something I’m working on, it’s a personality thing I have to keep in check and I freely admit that. The last thing I wanted to do was scare you off. I should have left you alone ever since Wednesday and during your whole Texas trip. On top of my own heart, I think I felt an extra urgency to accelerate by the fact that you seemed inches away from leaving this place from early on. I felt extra motivated to be your support network up here, and I jumped in too deep. I was trying to show I cared. I wrongfully thought of you as my girlfriend at this point, and you rightfully didn’t consider me your boyfriend quite yet. I just wish we had an honest conversation about this before you decided to make this decision, I think it would have helped things a lot and I could have easily adjusted if we were just frank with one another. 
Le Distraire…I’m sorry. All I can ask and hope for is that you give me a second chance. Life is all about second chances, and if it weren’t, it would be quite a cruel and harsh world. I would love to start from scratch and date on a casual basis – have a much more slow and open relationship where we see each other less frequently than we were, be fine with dating other people, and seeing where it takes us. I just feel like things ended way too abruptly and that we were just starting to get to know one another. 
Please Le Distraire, I hope you take my apology to heart. I’ve been losing sleep over it as you can probably tell. I hope you find it in your heart to reconsider this decision and to open up lines of communication with me again.”
*
4 hours later- another email*
I really had zero right to question you yesterday about a lack of communication on the basis of 1 month of casual dating. I wish with all my heart I could take it back. I’m truly sorry Le Distraire. And I wish I wasn’t so intense about us. All I can say is if you decide to see me again, I’ll be different – I’ve already learned a lot from my mistake. I do hope you will consider getting back to me and consider casually dating me again – we had a spark that I don’t want to see die :/
*
two hours later- a text*
-I’ll stop bothering you, you’ve made yourself clear. I hope you keep your promise of hanging onto my number if you ever change your mind!
Time can change a lot of things
Again, I ignore this. I haven’t responded in a full day. My male friends are offering to call him. My pseudo moms are worried about my safety when I return to Boston. I’m STILL SO ANNOYED BECAUSE I’M WITH MY FRIENDS and he’s doing the very opposite of what I said I wanted, PLUS he thinks there’s anything between us that might warrant this reaction from him. Holy. Shit. I have a stalker. A this point, I really think he’ll just leave me alone. I promise my friends I will be way more firm if he says anything else, but I just know that he has to be done.
Then, he calls me again, and basically reads the email verbatim begging me for another chance. Another chance at what?! Getting to know if we wanted to see each other again? You don’t get a second chance in that. I just wasn’t interested. I thought you were boring and awkward. And boy was I wrong. You are intense and insane.

-I’m not going to reconsider and the way you continue to handle this is making me feel threatened. Do not contact me anymore in any capacity including a response to this message. I’m blocking your number and will take further action if you violate my request.

He hasn’t reached out since.
And with that, I am officially marrying my dog.

 

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So Wrong

We went on 2 more dates and watched a movie one more time. First, we went to the beach in his car. He was boring and had nothing to say in the car. I chocked it up to nerves-well, I crossed my fingers at least. The beach was beautiful though, and so were the charming Cape Cod style houses everywhere. I was grateful to have my dog

with us so I had something to do. The next date, he picked me up at my house. We went down the street to the local gay hot spot. He ate a teeny tiny pasta dish, which annoyed me because aren’t you a grown man? Eat some real food. You just said that you were starving. We headed to the ballet after that. He purchased tickets for us. Not just any tickets, the most expensive ones. Honestly, I dressed for the show. A twirly black skirt and a lacy semi-see through black tank. I was stopped three separate times and told how beautiful I looked. Mr. Kennedy just sat/stood there stupidly attentive with not much to contribute. Over the next few days, I kept trying to find any of the spark I thought we might have. We fooled around a bit-which was a complete mistake. He was terribly inexperienced, and worse, grumpy once I began directing him some so that maybe it might be enjoyable. After that, I was completely turned off. I just wanted him to go away. I cancelled on our plans for the next night claiming a “headache”. I agreed to see him Wednesday to watch Spotlight. I begrudgingly stuck to these plans. He showed up all eager. He picked up burgers on the way to my place, but didn’t order fries for himself. He doesn’t like them. WHO DOESN’T LIKE FRIES?! I was not feeling it to the point where I could barely look at him and made sure there was a pillow between us on the couch. I shrugged away from his touch. It was clear to every other person that this would definitely be our last interaction. I wasn’t feeling it and we hadn’t seen each other enough to even warrant a discussion about it. We briefly discuss my being annoyed at my coworker earlier for generalizing that my home state is racist and a few other quick day updates. It was a super fast conversation-like one you might have with a casual friend over a rushed midday lunch. Trying to be polite and bring up topics that sound like you care that they’re there and that they’re not just a distraction from your windowless office.

I don’t respond to him that night when he says he makes it home. I’m heading back to my home state that weekend and fully expect that the 4 days I’m gone will solidify the previous night’s awkward and dull closure.

Boy. I was wrong. The next morning at work, I get this:
“Had a great night with you Le Distraire. Really hope your headache dies down and you start feeling better :/ I still feel so bad that I’m the one who likely got you sick from the ballet, I’m sure I at least didn’t help. Hopefully the winter-related sicknesses will be done with soon. Loved watching Spotlight with you! Just a very important film that everyone should watch and be aware of – really shows the power of journalism at its finest and reveals how horrific those events were. Hope you got a good night’s sleep 🙂 Of course liked hanging out with your dogtoo.

Enjoyed our convo afterwards too, funny how politically we really mesh as moderates, and aren’t easily defined. I’m so sorry that you have to deal with these incredibly annoying and bigoted individuals at work – all I can say is PLEASE don’t let them discolor what you think of This Town as a whole. They are certainly not representative by any stretch. I know you aren’t letting it impact, but I’m sure the thought has creeped in your head, and my family and my friends could not be more different from those who are making fun of you or Your Home State or over-generalizing about anything. I am basically obsessed with Your Home State and always romanticized about the South ever since I was a a kid, and like to think myself a very tolerant person – that’s how I was raised and those were the friends I gravitated to. I strongly disagree with Northerners on many issues, too many to count. And I can totally agree and see what you’re saying about This Town not being a paradise of tolerance and openness. While the state has done some things right, there is no denying that it is not the tolerant paradise many claim it to be. Maybe because it’s such a blue and supposedly progressive state, the hypocrisy when it shows sticks out a lot more, but I’d also like to think we’re better than at least some other places in this country. But I totally can see where you’re coming from, and that New Yorker girl sounds like a downright disgusting human.
There are certainly plenty of detestable This Town-isms to go around, which there is absolutely an element to truth to all of them, but like just about everything in this world – the state and the people are overall more complex than that, just like Your Home State
 is way more complex and diverse than your remarkably rude and annoying co-worker would claim. And I know you love This Town but I also wanted to make sure this girl didn’t completely ruin the image. In terms of diversity, while it is far, far from good, even in my own life I can attest to at least some diversity. My cousin is married to a black woman and another cousin is dating a black woman, I work with a very successful black man (married to a black woman) on a daily basis at my financial job, I went to high school with many black kids (I think 10-15% of the school is – not defending my school by any means, I don’t exactly look at BC High with rose colored glasses either), I commute with blacks every day on the train, my best friend from here is Jewish (he was also born in Your Home State!), and my older brother’s fiancee is Korean and Methodist. While there is a LOT of improvement to be had in this city as you aptly claim, and there are definitely racist trends here, and many homogenous sections (a substantial part of MA consists of WASP yankees and Catholics as you have pointed out) I think it also points to a racist underbelly throughout just about all of America, and one thing I agree with Obama on is that America has never really, truly liberated itself from its racist legacy. It still lingers, even flourishes – look at Trump’s rise in all regions – North, East, South, West – in this country just to speak to that alone. And even though yes I did go to Catholic high school and college, to me the most important thing is being Christian in terms of a relationship. And with friends, I have made friends of all races and religions. Again, I was raised that way.
Also just want to clarify, even though I may come from an elite background, I could not think or act more differently from elitists. And our family certainly does not identify with elitists or anyone from the “rich” class. Not too many people know this, but I really did not have a great experience in college like I told you today. I did not relate to the majority of Georgetown students because of the elitism. My best friend from college (Philip, Presbyterian from Missouri) was also not an elitist, so we got along really well from the first day in college and were roommates up to the last day. I just don’t want you to get the wrong picture about me. I’m very sensitive and self-conscious about money, elitism, status, all of that – and it really could not be further from who I am. If I could live life my way, I would just listen to country or read on the front porch in flannel and jeans all day with a glass of lemonade in hand. I actually enjoy mowing the lawn. And I love the Southern lifestyle. Sometimes I wish I just went to a Southern public school, like you did, where people are more down to earth and the culture is more up my alley. And for the record, I do not look down on ANYONE who went to state school. Intelligence is not something that is determined by the school name attached to your diploma, it’s all about the person. You are brilliant and went to state school. Trump is case and point of the all-too-frequent spoiled rotten, self-entitled, egotistical, stupid moron who pays his way to an Ivy League education or whatever someone claims to be a “great” school. I knew a lot of idiots at my school. 
And even my point about athletes, don’t want to be misunderstood there – obviously well-rounded people like Your Best Friend who work so hard deserve every reward that comes their way. Athletic training is essentially a full-time job for those that take it seriously like her and are as successful as she is. I guess the image I had were spoiled, pampered Vineyard Vine-wearing lax bros who had literally a 1.5 GPA and offers left and right, whereas other much more hard-working students who were not graced with good looks or physical superiority do not get the fair shake they deserve in comparison, that’s more the point I was trying to make I guess. And this is coming from someone who played basketball in high school and did D1 crew at Georgetown freshman year. But even then it’s not something I’m super passionate about haha, just was an observation. Besides like you said, athletics does a lot of good especially for Southern schools – in helping out education which obviously I’m all for!
Sorry for this rant! Lol, I just had a lot of thoughts after our convo…as the Mean Girls quote goes, “I just have a lot of feelings.” But Le Distraire, I also wanted to say all of this (I admit – partly for selfish reasons) because I don’t want you to leave This Town, at least not yet. I know we’ve only been dating for a month now, but speaking for myself I have enjoyed every minute together. I feel a special connection to you – for many, many reasons. I feel like we have great chemistry but also really click in terms of Christian and life values, personality, humor, etc. At the same time I want what is best for your career, your life, your happiness, and obviously you know in your heart what is best for you. And I don’t want you to be killing yourself in a job that you hate and is physically tolling on you, because again, I really care about you as I hope you know by now.
All I can say is – if you do decide to leave the job, I would plead that you stay in the city for at least some time to see how things turn out for us. This Town has a lot of great medical training and resources (I know from my brother) that I’m sure would be great for you to help with pre-reqs and experience for you wanting to become a midwife. And there is good, affordable real estate in hip/cool areas of the city. Even for me, I do not envision myself staying in This Town forever, and I always have dreamed of moving down South someday to raise a family. But for the near future I’m probably going to be stuck here. If it ever comes to you leaving This Town, I am 100% down to continue us long-distance until we were in the same place again – as long as you are. This is a lot of hypothetical and “what ifs” but I just wanted to be clear about my hopes for us amidst your doubts about This Town and also how much I care about you and your well-being. If it ever does come to the point where you are seriously considering leaving the city, I guess all I ask is that we have a heart-to-heart first. But no sense in worrying about this unless we have to cross that bridge 🙂 
I’m sure we will talk before Friday afternoon when you’re at the airport, but have a safe flight babe and please let me know when you land. And of course have an awesome time in TX with Your Best Friend and your other friends! I’m glad you are getting a much-needed reprieve from This Town and the chance to visit home again for a little while. Even though I’ll miss you over the next week (or two? if I don’t see you before you leave for Maine the next weekend), I’ll try not to bother you, so you can enjoy your precious time down there. You’re gonna have a blast!
Anyway, end rant. Just wanted to elaborate on some thoughts I didn’t get to tonight.
-Mr. Kennedy
P.S. I talked to my buddy Tom from work and he is down for a double-date soon, probably in April? His GF was visiting this weekend but of course you’ll be out of town – I’m sure we’ll figure out something for April though.”

What. The. Hell.

Who is this guy? Why did he react like we had hours long conversations? Why does he make it sound like I’m a super conservative biggot???? Like…our little conversation has ZERO relevance to this insane response. I couldn’t function after reading this. No way. Go away. Why does he use so many platitudes? And WHY DOES HE THINK WE ARE DATING?!?!?!

I’m annoyed. I’m disgusted. I’m weirded out.
I respond with:
“Wanted to let you know I read this. I don’t have time to respond right now.”

I thought it would be done. Again. I was so so SO wrong.

 

Good Vanilla? Not Plain Vanilla?

He shows up in khaki pants and a button up shirt that men would most definitely describe as flannel, but is actually a plaid shirt that is a mainstay in every Lands End catalog. Mr. Kennedy is adorably himself. Not charming- but he is sincere. Not confident-but he is authentic. Not extremely pulled together- but has a boyish, hopeful air about him.

I make a drink for us. Pulling together vodka, lemon juice, and soda while I try to appear smooth and lighthearted. Mr. Kennedy  is quick to listen and ask questions, but quite slow to entertain me with his own life and stories. I fill the silence while I brush the tops of the glasses with lemon and press it into the course salt. He stays standing, a bit awkward in how to be in the same room as me. I can almost hear his body asking  Should stand or sit? In the chair or on the couch? Can she hear me if I’m all the way over here? I want to press him down into the seat and make him tell me a story. He makes me nervous with how intensely he focuses on me.

We walk to the restaurant- a jazz club with famous drinks and a sprawling building with intimate little tables. Plying me with alcohol, I stop thinking as much and recognize how comfortable he makes me. I admire that he likes to write- truly write. Like, he edited his high school and college literary magazines. I like how tall he is and his dark hair and his big lips. I tell so many stories about myself that I begin to feel a bit like a circus monkey, entertaining my crowd. I can’t tell if Mr. Kennedy is just the kindest man who prefers to focus on everyone else, or if there possibly isn’t much happening-if he is too vanilla.

Isn’t it weird how we say we want one thing in life and then always go for the opposite? Me? I always say at the heart of things, I want someone who is kind and genuine and adores me for me. In reality, I date firecrackers. Odd birds. The ones that make for good stories on blogs and who press me to be the person they want instead of the person that I am. I say I want a calm, straightforward man who will balance my roller-coaster self. This guy? He’s that. And here I am calling him vanilla. Asking myself if he’s too boring for me. If he could keep up with me and my friends and my life.

Then he gladly, and quietly pays the hefty bill. I notice that he tips 30% to the waiter. My doubts dissipate for a minute while I admire his generous heart, and gobble up the free dessert our waiter gave us because of said tip and because “It’s Valentine’s Day and isn’t it good to be together with someone?” Yes, Mr. Waiter. It is nice to be with someone

We shiver on our walk back to my brownstone. I brush his arm and try to give him some subtle hints. He goes to touch my back and does the hand hover thing that men do when they’re nervous. We watch an episode of Criminal Minds that is terrible, and Mr. Kennedy does what he does best, compliments me and my taste in all things the whole time. I truly have a great time and wanted to update my friends right away.

“So he’s a totally nice, normal, nerdy guy. I haven’t not kissed a guy on a second date in about 6 years…and he was too nervous to kiss me. So cute. Precious.”- I quickly copy and paste this to all of my girls at the top of my text messaging list not two minutes after he walks out my door. Then my stomach drops. In my haste, I send the text to Mr. Kennedy himself. Nightmare.

“Hahaha yes!! I am so happy I got this”- Kennedy
“Nooooooooo I’m mortified”- Me” Lol you shouldn’t be at all. I’m so please right now. Glad u had a good time :)”- Kennedy

He proceeds to compliment me, telling me what a good personality reader I am. I stick my foot in my mouth, and he is incredibly gracious to a point that makes me uncomfortable. Uncomfortable, but happy. Uncomfortable, but a little giddy. A kind man is a good man. And maybe it’s time I met a good man.