It never fails. My ex who I’ve been trying to shake (albeit unsuccessfully) for the past…well, now how long has it been? 10 years since we’ve actually dated, 5 years since I last saw him (almost to the day), and coming up on 2 years since we last spoke. For privacy sake, we’ll call him Ralph. So I guess I’ve been seriously trying to rid myself of him for a solid 5 years. Wow. Anyway, like I was saying, as soon as I say or even THINK that he might finally have gotten the message, that he might actually be gone, I begin to get lulled into a false sense of security and then – POW! – a message appears in my inbox. It’s as if he has some sort of internal spy network that, immediately upon my thinking, “Hm, so I haven’t heard from Ralph in awhile – maybe he’s finally given up,” alerts him and within 24-48 hours, I get an email. Every time.
This most recent incident was brought on by a conversation I was having with Colleen. We were discussing men for one reason or another on Saturday night. I forget exactly why ex’s came up, but they did and Colleen asked when the last time I heard from Ralph was. “Around Christmas,” I said, “so it’s been awhile, but watch – now that I’ve said that, I’ll bet I hear from him this week.” And, true to my prophecy, I received an email from him this morning at 2:39 A.M. Eastern time. Now granted, one of the things that I had occurred to me prior was that if my old work email (which has been forwarded since The Merger) had been cancelled, it would have returned his message as “undeliverable”. However the forwarding is apparently still turned on and so it came through.
I was telling Jo one of the other times that I heard from him that this was one of the (many) times I wish I was married and could just sic my husband on him. I think the fact that I’m not is one of the reason Ralph feels he can still try to contact me – there’s nothing about me that’s “off limits” in his mind. I hate that. And, to be honest, I really have a hard time NOT writing him back… Even though I know he’s a sleaze and not worth it, it’s still hard – he’s so nice when he writes and he tends to hit me at times when I’m feeling particularly lonely & vulnerable (it’s like he can sense it or something) and so I’m tempted to respond. I usually don’t… Summer of 2005 I did respond since it has been 3 years and he had not given up so I thought perhaps he needed to hear it from me again that I was serious when I told him not to contact me the last time. So we talked and I told him and I thought he had gotten the message. Obviously not.
The email from today nothing exciting – most of his messages aren’t despite his tendency towards over-use of exclamation marks:
am i allowed to write? I hope you are doing well!”
The one from Christmas was a little longer with a nice little “Thinking of you” and “God Bless” thrown in. It’s easier for me to ignore the shorter messages that don’t tug at some heartstring. Even so…it’s never been entirely EASY to ignore a free handout of something I so badly desire, if that makes sense. That’s why Proverbs 27:7 rings SO true to me, especially in this situation:
He who is full loathes honey,
but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.
So here I sit not I having been touched or hugged or kissed or felt loved or wanted or even desirable in…well…years. I don’t think about it all the time. I don’t even think about it most of the time. But I do think about it and long for it and miss it, so even though I know what Ralph’s offering is not what I want, at least not in the great scheme of things, it’s close enough that it looks attractive to me. I’m starving and it’s my “bitter [thing that] tastes sweet”.
Keep in mind that there is also some aspects of this that really piss me off.
First off, it annoys me that he is so disrespectful of my wishes. I asked that he back-off, and he never has.
Second, because I am ultimately trying to keep him out of my life, I feel that I must be careful of everything I do online. For example, I have a MySpace profile and it’s always made me a little nervous because I know he could find me on there if he really wanted to… So far he hasn’t, but it’s never out of my mind. I know I could make my profile private, but I don’t want to potentially miss getting connected with someone I’ve lost touch with because they couldn’t see my profile to know it was me.
Another good example would be this blog. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I should make this blog private. I’m not particularly concerned with my travel blog because there’s nothing so personal in there that I wouldn’t want other people to see, however this blog is much more so. When I first started writing, I was referring to Ralph by his real name, but I’ve changed my mind and decided to go “private” again. Thankfully he hasn’t found me on Facebook or any other sites.
I’m sure this probably seems silly or a little extreme, but what choice do I have? I want to cut him off, but when you break it down, all of these things are ways that he could potentially remain connected. This is the way you have to think when you have a stalker…
In other news, I had a phone conversation last night with a guy from eHarmony. Yes, that’s right…I’m still doing it. Regardless of how many times I’ve fallen off and been kicked in the head by that horse, my eternally optimistic glass-half-full side keeps pushing me back into the saddle.
I don’t want to go into too much detail on this guy, but let’s just say that I liked him – at least to talk to. He was engaging, outgoing, smart, and surprisingly funny (I’m always shocked by how few guys are actually funny despite the fact that most of them think they are). We talked for a long time – I even missed 24 and will have to watch it later. Since I’m leaving this Friday for North Dakota, we decided to plan to get together after I get back. I’ll keep you all posted, but – for those who know my family, please don’t say anything to anyone in my bloodline south of the Mason-Dixon… I’ve learned that it’s best to not mention this sort of thing to anyone down there so as to avoid the barrage of questions that people desperate to see their 30-something daughter / granddaughter / niece married tend to fire off.
For example, I’m still getting hit with questions about the fix-up my grandmother attempted to arrange with myself and the son of a lawyer that was doing some work for her. I had met up with him for coffee when I was down over Christmas – it was a rushed and awkward meeting due partly to the fact I didn’t really have the time to begin with. I managed to squeeze it in the day before I was supposed to leave so that I wouldn’t have to be criticized later for not giving him a chance. Despite the fact that I haven’t heard from him since nor do I think either of us saw fireworks at the Starbucks that day, I’m still getting pushed to reach out to him.
All that is to say, I would just like to avoid another Southern Inquisition if possible. Hence, I promise to inform my family prior to my actual engagement to someone (if one were to be pending), but in the meantime I think it’s better if we just keep these things between you, me, and the lamppost.