October 26, 2008
My mom and I are collaborating on new Christmas stockings for the family, now that I have a niece and we are six on Christmas morning. I just finished the sixth snowman, and then Mom will quilt the stockings around the snowmen. I predict we will have a busy Thanksgiving week working on these. I might also be needlepointing the cuffs and names — it’s a multi-media project!
Now that the deadline work is done, I can return to doing fun stuff I *want* to stitch!
October 24, 2008
I had several other blog ideas (change we need and space pen should jog my memory later) but then something happened last night that just had to be written down.
For the last three years, there is one thing I can count on for my birthday, Christmas/New Years, and Valentine’s Day (and sometimes a few more random holidays in between): an e-card from my e-stalker. Now I will admit that this year, he was a day late, so I can only hope that this means he is on the brink of a breatkthrough with his therapist or is now on medication.
Three summers ago, as I was embarking on the kitchen renovation, I went out with a guy from an online dating site. We went out four times over the course of about three weeks, and I couldn’t bring myself to go on the fifth date, so I canceled by phone and ended the “relationship,” such that it was. I then promptly jackhammered up a part of my kitchen floor to reroute the plumbing so I could move my stove, and I was without water for four days. I had these things on my mind. Meanwhile, the e-stalker is sending me e-mails moaning about what did he do wrong and sending me song lyrics that reminded him of me (green eyes, etc.). I responded to the first couple — trying to explain that he didn’t do anything wrong and I didn’t do anything wrong, but that we just weren’t right.
A little background — his first wife decided she was a lesbian, and his second wife died. Did I really want to be third? Also, he has six cats. Granted, I have three, but that still makes him twice as crazy as me.
So, I was the first person he had dated since his wife died about two years ago. I tried to smooth the way through the rejection for him — I am, after all, a) a very nice person who wants everyone to like her and b) well-schooled in the online dating rejection game.
So, imagine my surprise when about a week after I “broke up with him,” if you can even call it that, I was standing in my front yard talking to the friend who had been helping me with the kitchen plumbing (it was finally all leak-free) when a car that appears to be the e-stalker’s drives by. I stared at it and then got a really good look as he was forced to turn around in my neighbor’s driveway before beating a hasty retreat. (Joke’s on him — I live on a dead end.) It freaked me out quite a bit — I had never given him my address, but he did have my last name from my e-mail address, and I am in the white pages. Both these things have been remedied in the years since.
So, I broke down and called him to put an end to it once and for all. He said hi, I said hi. He said, “How are you?” I said, “Kinda freaked out.” He said, “Yeah, that didn’t go the way I planned it.” You think? I have news for him, though, no matter what his plan, it would not have turned out that way, unless his plan included me refusing to let him in the house and then calling the policeman who lives four doors down.
I told him as firmly as I could that I wished him well, but that it was not in the cards. He protested a bit more but we finally got off the phone and I didn’t hear from him for a while, except that he insisted on mailing me the demo CD he had gotten at the bookstore where he works and that I had expressed an interest in.
Then, on my birthday in 2005, I woke up in Robyn’s new condo in DC and checked my e-mail. Lo and behold, the first person to wish me a birthday was him. I did not respond, nor did I respond to the half a dozen e-cards that came my way into early 2006. (It took me a long time to realize that he probably gets a read-receipt when I look at the card, so at least I’ve stopped doing that.)
But then, on the anniversary of our first date (which, I remind you, is only a few weeks prior to the anniversary of our LAST date), I get this fantastic e-mail which is now legendary among my colleagues. I’ve saved it, as well as other e-mails from him so that I have proof of the nuisance should I ever need to get a restraining order or something. I am also glad I saved it because it has all the makings of an e-mail that will circle the globe by the Internet. Perhaps I will become one half of an urban myth.
Today (Monday) is one year since our first date. Remember my Match profile said that I’m both romantic and sentimental – so I remember things like that. (I’m not the “typical” guy who needs to be reminded of things like anniversaries or birthdays.)
You might think that a year would be enough time for me to get over you, but apparently not. I still think about you almost every day. I also still can’t bring myself to accept that there was no chemistry between us. I’ve dated a few other women since you, and in each case there was just something missing – call it “chemistry,” a “connection,” or whatever. So I think I know what a lack of chemistry in a relationship looks/feels like – which is why I’m more convinced than ever that there was something there with you &
I. I know that in terms of time spent together, you and I barely know each other. We emailed for a few weeks, and then saw each other 4 times in a bit more than a week [My note: Wrong. It was about three weeks.]. Still, despite that fact, you’ve stirred up something deep inside me that I’m finding incredibly difficult to let go. Every time I think that I’m starting to get over you, something happens that brings those feelings right back to the fore. Most recently it was when I saw that you had looked at my Match profile back in March. I had begun to think that I could finally let go of what I was still feeling for you, and then one day I looked at the “Who’s viewed you” list, and to my surprise, you were at the top of the list. [Yes, I did check. I just wanted to be sure I wasn’t missing out on something good. I wasn’t.] I can’t even begin to describe what I felt at that moment – it was some combination of delight and fear – and suddenly in my mind I was back to last June when you & I dated. Naturally, that started me to wondering about exactly why you were looking at my profile again, given that you’ve resisted my attempts to keep myself in your life.
As you certainly know – at least if you’ve read my previous emails – I’ve never been able to completely accept your explanation of a lack of “chemistry” as the reason why you decided to break things off between us. (I know that may sound like I’m accusing you of lying to me, but that really isn’t what I mean. I believe that you said what you did because it was easier for you to say, and also you may have thought that it would be easier on me.) At the time, I did wonder if maybe you were right, and I just couldn’t see it because it had been so long since I’d been in that situation. But, I’ve dated other women since you, and I now think my first
instinct was correct. I think we did have chemistry – maybe even too much (I’ll elaborate on that in a bit). [Oh, goody.] And that isn’t just my impression. I’ve described that week to several friends, including what we did & said, and all of them agreed with me – that there was most likely something else that you felt was wrong.
I can think of two things that definitely could have given you second thoughts about continuing to be involved with me. First would be a couple of things that I did that may have sent a wrong message about the kind of person that I am. I’m thinking about that Sunday when you met me at work for lunch. When I talked to you later I mentioned something about how I’d used the computer to see what you’d purchased that day. [A Jennie DeVoe CD and a Home Depot how-to book including kitchen renovations… hardly titillating.] Much later I remembered that incident, and then it hit me that although it was totally innocent on my part, it may have seemed very stalker-ish to you. Combined with my showing up at your house unannounced and uninvited, it certainly could have painted a very unappealing picture of me. Mere words can’t describe how sorry I am that I did both of those things. It was nothing at all calculated. When I looked at what you’d purchased, I was already using that program for another reason (something I do multiple times each day), and I just had a moment of curiosity and acted on it (rashly, I’ll grant you). If I had wanted to know what you bought so badly, I should have just asked you – or even just rung up your purchase myself. I do hope that my moment of stupidity wasn’t the reason you gave up on us. That really isn’t the kind of person I am. I just wish that I’d had more time to show you the real me.
The second thing that I wonder about is also from that Sunday. As we were walking back to the store, I was talking about how I felt like I’d known you for a lot longer than I really had. That could have made it seem like I was moving pretty fast and/or coming on too strong. If you were having any second thoughts at that point, I can certainly see how my comments might have hastened your decision. I know that at least some of what happened with your change of heart (if that’s the right way to describe it) was that you were concerned that the relationship had become one-sided. While I won’t disagree that I may have started to come on a bit strong, it wasn’t like I was shopping for engagement rings, either. I just wanted to make very clear the fondness that was beginning to grow, and also how happy you were making me. You also expressed concern that having made such a difference in my life was a lot to live up to. One thing you have to remember, though, is where I was coming from. I had been down about as far as it’s possible to go, and while I had made a tremendous amount of progress before meeting you, I hadn’t taken that next big step – to actually feeling happy about something. I just wish that you had given me an opportunity to show you that I could make you happy, too. This is what I meant above when I said that we may have had too much chemistry – maybe the fact that things looked like they could begin moving fast, coupled with the fact that you were the first woman I had dated since my wife’s passing, made you think that if we got closer I might decide that it was too soon. If that happened I might pull away and end up hurting you. While I can’t predict exactly how I’d respond in any possible situation, I really don’t think that would happen. For one thing, I think enough time had passed so that while I’m not exactly “over” [the wife who died] (which will never completely happen), I knew I was ready to try again. Second, you are so completely different from her in just about every way that it isn’t like being with you would be a constant reminder of her. Finally, the fact is that she’s dead – it’s not a divorce where the ex is still around and could re-enter the picture at any time. Plus, my spiritual beliefs – or rather, the lack thereof – mean that I don’t believe that she’s waiting for me in some afterlife – she’s just gone. (You mentioned to me once that you didn’t believe anything you couldn’t see. I really wish that we’d had the chance to talk about our respective lack of religion, as I think that we would have found that we share very similar views on many things.)
In your Match profile, you said that you’re looking for someone who is loyal, fun, supportive, caring, tender, challenging… Well, I don’t have a lot of material things, but I’ve got all the qualities that you say you’re looking for. I didn’t really spell it out that way in my profile, but I’m incredibly loyal and supportive (just ask anyone who knows about my time with [the wife who died] dealing with her illness), I think you saw that I can be caring and tender, and I think this email could be exhibit A that I can be challenging, too. Stubbornness is one of my less-than-positive qualities (at least there are some times when it isn’t positive). I guess maybe another thing I didn’t have enough of an opportunity to show was that I can be fun to be with, too. Am I perfect? Far from it. You aren’t perfect either. The only question is (to borrow my favorite line from “Good Will Hunting”): whether or not we’re perfect for each other.
Do I know for sure that we’re “perfect for each other”? Of course not, but I think there’s enough of a chance that we are that we owe it to ourselves to find out. I’ve scoured my memories of our times together in the hope of understanding what happened (OK, so I can be a bit obsessive, too – at least I’m willing to admit it). Although it’s certainly possible that I’m putting the best possible spin on things, or not remembering some crucial bit that would change everything – I don’t think that’s the case. I remember things you said, things you did, the way you’d look at me, the way you responded to things I’d do or say – and I keep coming up with the same conclusion – that something was there. To believe otherwise would mean that I’d have to believe that you were putting on an act – or worse, not being honest with me – which is something that I just can’t do. I truly believe that you were being open & honest with me, and that what I saw was your true self. So, why did you suddenly change? I wish I knew. If I did, perhaps I could leave this behind and move on with life, but until I understand what happened, I don’t know if I can. Part of what led to the demise of my dating attempts after you is the fact that I’m not over you – a fact which is incredibly obvious to anyone who talks to me about you. There are also at least 2, and maybe even 3 or 4 other women in my life right now who would almost certainly go out with me if I asked, but I would forget about them in an instant if you came back into my life.
Why am I telling you all this? Why am I still trying to get you to reconsider, even a year later? Well, for starters, if I haven’t already made it obvious – I’m terribly fond of you. I know I told you that I wasn’t in love with you, but I’m starting to wonder if I was wrong. I’m having trouble coming up with another word to describe the feelings that I have for you. In all honesty, I’ve never felt exactly like this about anyone. Quite frankly, I’ve never believed in things like “love at first sight”. I’ve definitely had my share of times when I became infatuated with someone after meeting them once, but this is different. For one, it wasn’t “at first sight.” To be sure, I liked you immediately upon meeting you, and very rapidly felt comfortable being with you. But I didn’t begin to feel something more until later. Two things stand out as turning points: when we were sitting in your car after our second date, and when you came to visit me at work. To be honest, I was scared to let myself begin to feel more for you. I know that I still might be a bit fragile emotionally after my experiences of the last few years, so I’ve been really reluctant to open myself up. It wasn’t until I thought that you were feeling similarly that I began to relax and let my feelings develop. Why did I think you were starting to feel something toward me? Well, I can think of many things: when you practically asked me to kiss you after our second date, [I absolutely do not remember this, but I suppose it’s entirely possible….] when I told you that I really liked you and you responded in kind (in hindsight that was a very “high school-ish” moment, wasn’t it?), when you said in your next email after that night that you were smiling the whole way home, when I turned around at work on Saturday night and discovered you standing there, … I could go on, but you probably get my point by now. And then, when I saw that you had returned to look at my Match profile on at least 2 occasions, I really started to think that I wasn’t so far off after all.
So, what does this all come down to? Why have I poured my heart out to you like this? What do I hope to accomplish? Well, ideally I would get to see you again in person, to talk for a while about what happened last year, and what’s happened with you since. If that’s too much to ask, I would certainly like to just talk to you, even if it’s on the phone. (I’ve almost called you on several occasions over the last year, but always stopped short of dialing. In case you’ve lost it, my cell phone is xxx-xxxx.) I’ll even be happy with a reply to this email. Won’t you please help me at least understand what happened? I have this terrible feeling that you have a very wrong impression of what I’m really like, for the reasons I already described, and I would like the chance to show you who I really am. Look at it this way – not responding to my previous emails hasn’t worked, as I haven’t stopped sending them. So why not try talking to me again? At the very least you might get me to start seeing things your way. And maybe, just maybe, I might get you to reconsider. So, won’t you please talk to me? I promise I won’t show up at your house uninvited if you do. [But you will if I don’t?]
P.S. Sorry about the length of this email. Brevity in writing is not a strong suit of mine.
I think I’ve just spent more time formatting that e-mail for the blog post than I ever actually did dating the stalker. And seriously, I know I’m fabulous and all, no arguing there, but the guy needs to get a life. But, my best friend and my parents both know his name and where he works, so if I ever end up hacked into a million little pieces or taxidermied in his bedroom, they’ll know where the police should look. (Honestly, I think he’s harmless. I haven’t seen him since the fateful drive-by. And the e-mails and e-cards are immensely entertaining for my colleagues and friends. Dad, however, is not so amused. But it’s also sad that there is a bookstore in Indy that I cannot go into. I don’t even like driving by the intersection just in case he’s arriving at or leaving work.)
October 19, 2008
Friday morning I drove down to Bloomington. My primary reason was to time the Jill Behrman Run for the End Zone 5K. Packet pickup was on Friday, and the race was Saturday. That was all well and good, but the better stuff was hanging out with friends. On Friday night, Robyn and Jonny took me to Tallent, a fabulous new Bloomington restaurant, for a slightly early birthday dinner. I ate so much I had to unzip my jeans for the drive to Jen and Matt’s house!
After the race on Saturday, I met up with the Lahertys (I spent Friday at their house but got there after they went to bed and left on Saturday morning before any of them were up.) for lunch and a trip to Lark Ranch, a you-pick pumpkin farm that offers hayrides, a corn maze (where I feared we’d be lost until the harvest), and all kinds of fall fun. Here are some photos:
October 16, 2008
Okay, so the master bath project has been going on for far too long. I really haven’t done anything since about April, when I installed the tub, plumbed the new shower fixture, and hung the durarock for the tile substrate. And that isn’t even completely done.
But, the TuxBro race season is dwindling down, and I am making a renewed attack on the shower/tub. I went to Home Depot on Monday to buy a few sample tiles in order to better plan out the tile. I had long ago decided to use the same tile pattern than I used on the floor when I tiled that about five years ago. And, every time I wandered through Home Depot, it was still available. However, this Monday, I discovered that Home Depot had stopped carrying it! After a quick search of my garage for remnants of the floor job, and a few panicked phone calls, it appeared that I might get lucky and be able to get my hands on enough tile by going to a bunch of stores in the area to buy what they had left on their clearnance racks.
So, yesterday, I started in Noblesville (about 45 minutes from my house) and was able to buy all the bullnose trim I needed and about half of the 8 x 12 field tiles. Great start! Then, after a phone call to confirm with another Home Depot, I jumped in the car and drove about an hour and a half (45 minutes on the other side of my house) to Crawfordsville, Indiana, where they had a whole boatload of the stuff. The great news is that I got home last night about 9:30, with all the tile I need to complete the project. Hurray! And, since it was on clearance, it was cheap enough to offset the cost of driving hither and yon to find the tile!
So, my hope is to have the shower/tub complete by Thanksgiving, which will be the one-year mark since Dad and I removed the old tub. But, that’s just five weekends, and two of those will be spent in Bloomington. I might have to cut myself a little slack and go for having it complete by Christmas. Then, the next step will be to tear out the shower and turn it into a closet, strip all the wallpaper and finish the walls (that’s what I’m really dreading), and install a new vanity with two sinks instead of just one. Maybe I can shoot for finishing by next April!
Look for photo updates as soon as there is anything to update!
October 8, 2008
I had a very vivid dream last night that I had to have two surgeries to have a kidney removed. What is up with that?
October 7, 2008
I have been involved in Storytelling Arts of Indiana for nearly seven years now, serving on the board for six, two as president. Now I’m the volunteer coordinator for our annual festival, and our 21st event is coming up this weekend! This afternoon we’ll be setting up chairs and decorating tents in Military Park in downtown Indy.
We bring in five nationally known storytellers and lots of great regional tellers who perform for school kids during the day Wednesday through Friday and for people of all ages Friday evening and Saturday. The event ends with our “caberet,” a performance for adults that highlights all the national tellers. It’s always an exciting week — a chance to see some people who are the best at the performing art, to be transported to places, times and cultures I’d never otherwise experience. I’m so excited!
For more information, visit http://www.storytellingarts.org and click “Calendar.”
Hope to see you at the festival!
October 2, 2008
Robyn sent me a link to her wedding photographer’s preliminary collection of photos — she was a gorgeous bride!