Saturday, November 10, 2007
Well, it took 39 years, but it looks like I've finally got me a stalker. Yes, indeedy. I remember whining a few months ago about the fact that no one had been pissed off enough about my opinions on here to get all freaky-deaky on me. It was tongue-in-cheek of course. Now that I have someone who is injecting herself into my daily life in unwanted fashion, it's not nearly as entertaining or flattering as I thought it would be.
Strangely, my new stalker -- I like to call her CrazyBitch -- didn't find me through this blog, which is where I would have expected a stalker to come from. I lean to the left, so I figured maybe there'd come a point where Ann Coulter, or one of her underlings, decided to come after my ass. But that's not how it went down. I found CrazyBitch online, in that cyberspatial forum we call Yahoo. Aptly named, Yahoo is, as it seems to be a breeding ground for nutjobs. You can hide your psychosis a long time behind a profile and a screen name. It all started a couple of weeks ago when some random woman who I'd long ago deleted from my Yahoo buddy list emails me from out of the blue. I don't recognize her email address, so I write back with a "Hi, who is this?" She responds that we'd chatted a long time ago, and her name is "Lisa," as if I don't know any other Lisas and I'm supposed to remember her. We have a few more back and forth emails, and eventually, we get on Yahoo IM, where we talk some more and eventually exchange pictures. When I see her picture, I vaguely recall her from a couple of years ago. She's Asian, young, and attractive, assuming of course, that she sent me a real picture, which is by no means assured. This is Online Pitfall Numero Uno.
We chat on Yahoo IM a couple of more times, and it goes reasonably well, so we agree to meet for a drink after work at some undetermined date in the future (which leaves me wiggle room to change my mind should the need arise). Due to the way she contacted me out of the blue, I'm a little paranoid that she's someone I know who's playing games with me. This has happened to me 2 or 3 times before. Someone I know in real life makes up a fake name and profile and chats me up to get certain information out of me. Well, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me four or five times, shame on me. So I tell her before I meet her, I'd like a couple more pictures please, and I want to talk on the phone. She agrees, I give her my cell number, and she calls me. This was last Saturday. I answer my cell and hear nothing. This happens like three more times, and I start to get annoyed. Then she emails me and accuses me of not picking up. For you, the viewer, this is the first clue that I'm dealing with someone who is five marbles short of a full bag.
I call her back on my cell and I get her voice mail. "What's wrong with this girl?" I'm thinking. She emails me again and tells me that she got my voice mail, but she has a lot of things going on in her life and isn't sure if she wants to meet, but we can continue chatting. (I'm getting all these Yahoo emails on my Blackberry). I find this funny -- it never ceases to amaze me, the assumptions people make so soon after you meet them -- and I respond that it's totally fine, I wasn't expecting anything from her, whatever. (What I didn't say is that because she was acting like such a loon with her silent phone calls, I wasn't sure I wanted to meet her myself.) Then she says she gets a lot of dropped calls and that's why she's not able to connect on her cell. Then she asks for my home number. Indignant and defensive about her earlier accusations, I stupidly give it to her. So she calls me from her home phone this time, and the same thing happens, I pick it up and hear nothing. Now I'm seriously annoyed, and this is where I fuck up. I call her back on her cell from my home phone, and I forget to block my i.d. Dumb, dumb, dumb. So that's how CrazyBitch got my name.
Anyway, we finally connect on the phone and speak for a few minutes. She sounds normal, but her voice is halting and nervous, and her English sounds a little broken. For some reason, she won't stay on the phone long, and then she directs me back to the computer, which I'm not interested in doing because the phone was working perfectly well. So, I decline and go to watch a movie. She doesn't seem pleased by this, and I get a couple of pissy emails on my Blackberry afterwards and some other weird shit happens that cements my view that this girl is Looney Toons.
Before I go to bed that night, I log on and there are a couple of angry IMs she sent me on Yahoo that pop up. They are threatening, but I can't remember exactly what they said. In speaking with her earlier, we'd discussed some dating experiences we'd both had before (that's when she told me about her engagement crashing and burning). When I told her a couple of dating anecdotes, including a brunch date I'd had that same afternoon, she sounded jealous, which I found strange, but then again, I thought she was kidding, so I didn't take it too seriously. Well, now that her true colors are coming out, I can clearly see that she was NOT kidding. Before bed, I email her in a nice way that I'm not interested in meeting her, and it was nice chatting, and thankyoubye. I thought this would be fine, since, as she said, she has a lot going on in her life right now.
Um, no, it wasn't fine.
In this age of the Internets, once you have a person's name, it's not that hard to get a whole host of other information, including, but not limited to, where they work. CrazyBitch did some quick research (she's quite resourceful) and found my office address. In the ensuing days, she proceeds to threaten me with silly punishments if I refuse to meet her. She knows where I work, she's going to show up at my office, she's going to find my parents and call them, blah, blah, and blah. Given the four layers of security in my office building, I'm not too worried about her coming to see me at work, but it's still annoying to be threatened with an unsolicited visit from a crazy person. If she's unlucky enough to locate my mother and actually talk to her, then she's royally fucked. My mother will verbally rip her throat out. She doesn't know my mother.
Before long, she threatens to send around a picture that I sent her of me in my Boo-Berry t-shirt -- the one that I took in Maui a few months ago. (I had it posted on here until recently.) I actually think I look pretty good in that picture, so I don't much care if she distributes it to the Pope and Santa Claus; it doesn't bother me a bit. But the mindset underlying CrazyBitch's threats do start to get me pee-ossed. Blackmail, no matter how trivial the threat, is a transgression worthy of the most extreme punishment. Not waterboarding -- I would never advocate torture -- but maybe some really hard hair-pulling, and definitely some openhanded, or even backhanded, bitchslapping. Until the time I'm presented with such an opportunity, I figure the best course is to make CrazyBitch feel irrelevant by ignoring her messages.
Sadly, this only worked for a couple of days. Upping the ante, as stalkers are wont to do when you ignore them, she starts doing things right out of Sleeping With the Enemy or Single White Female. Like sending me creepy emails along the lines of "I'll see you when you get home, honey." And calling my office. I hear my secretary answer my phone and then tell me that Lisa is on the line to talk to me. Well now, that's just creepy.
Initially I tell my secretary to take a message, but ten calls and hangups later, I decide I have to out myself about CrazyBitch. So I tell her about my little stalker issue. I work on a small floor where people hear things and everyone pretty much knows everyone else's bidness. So once my secretary learns of this mess, I figure I need to tell a few other people to minimize the gossip damage. Now it's a bit of a running joke, which isn't all bad. If CrazyBitch decides to mass email my entire office with some lie about me -- ah yes, a fucking nightmare that would be -- at least a few people will have early awareness about this insanity, and they can vouch for my ass. After she started calling me at work, I figured it was time to start using words like "lawyers" and "police" and "prosecution." Since then, she's quieted down with the emails (she's apparently not stupid enough to continue to leave a paper trail), but her annoying phone calls have increased.
As you might imagine, apart from the obvious embarrassment, I find all this quite unbelievable. Not that someone would stalk me, of course -- I mean, you've seen me, what's not to stalk? -- but it's CrazyBitch's mentality that has me incredulous. I just can't understand the mindset of someone who refuses to take no for an answer. Where's their fucking pride? I don't like to brag, but in my life, I've had plenty -- P-L-E-N-T-Y -- of women who were not interested in me after I showed some initial interest. If you stay single this long, it's going to happen. Did I pursue them once their apathy was made clear? No. Did I tell them, in a voice tinged with Patrick Berginesque obsession "I can't live without you, so I won't let you live without me!" Um, no.
What I do in such situations is leave skidmarks on the driveway. I believe in myself, who I am, and what I have to offer someone. I believe I'll eventually find someone who I click with on many levels, and vice-versa. And if I don't, I'm actually pretty fine by myself. I'll just travel more, take more pictures, and write more stories. The bottom line is, I have zero interest in pursuing, much less obsessing over, someone who isn't interested in me. Why would I? You can't force someone to want to be with you. Getting together with someone is a mutual choice. That's "mutual," as in TWO people have to want it. If one of them doesn't, well, it's a big world out there, with lots of people in it. Somewhere out there is someone who is more compatible, who will see you for the great person you are. Or in CrazyBitch's case, someone who will appreciate you for your "quirky passion." So get over yourself. There's no need to fixate on one person for anything. Ever.
The other thing I've learned from all this insanity is maybe I need to cut down on my online interactions. Just a tad. I think it's time to turn more of my focus to ladies in real life 3-D. Maybe I'll start asking women out on the subway, or if I can't get up the nerve, I'll create a website dedicated to them to get their attention. Hey, it worked for this guy. Then again, that does sound a bit.... stalkerish.
Hmmm, I'll figure it out. In the meantime, friends, Romans, countrymen (and women), please watch my back.