Stalkers and Flypaper for Freaks
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This thread came about as a spin-off of Nitz Kitty’s weird date thread. In fact, realizing how many truly weird situations I have allowed myself to be in (or have been victim to) I am considering writing a book.
They say, write what you know, and this is what I know… As I said in her thread, my kids tell me I am flypaper for freaks. I think I said it one day in frustration, many years ago, and they never let me forget it.
I’ll start light and add better stories as I post. The dirty old man story made me think of a situation I found myself in when traveling to a military graduation for my son.
I had come out of an ugly divorce (and had made the mistake of not asking for a penny after 13 years of blind commitment) and was struggling to make ends meet. I had to take a week off, to fly down to my son’s military graduation; I had managed to put-off a few bills and squirrel enough money away to make the trip. I got a pre-paid credit card to buy plane tickets, hotel room and rental car.
Because my son was going straight from graduation to Germany and possibly to Iraq from there, I upgraded the hotel and rental car for two days, ordering through priceline.com
However, the airline made a myriad of mistakes and the only way I was going to make it, was to be flown into a different city and drive 6 hours through the night, to make it just in time for the graduation (yes, they also lost my luggage).
They bumped me one last time and I ended up about a half hour away from the base with about a half hour until the gradation ceremony. I was not able to get a hotel or rental car because priceline does not honor things that are out of their (or your) control. Because the airline was now shipping me into a different city than planned, my hotel reservation was hours away and a day and a half late. I had just enough of a buffer left on my card to get a rental car, but they wouldn’t take a pre-paid card.
So, still without luggage or my son’s graduation gift, arriving a day and a half late without having slept, needing a shower, on the verge of tears at the prospect that I would miss his graduation altogether, I hailed a taxi.
A very nice older gentleman picked me up and off we went to the base. He was very polite and sympathetic to my situation. He was from Germany, and I enjoyed hearing about how and why he came to live in the US. And I shared my hardship regarding this trip (and how I had missed my son’s graduation from boot camp a few months earlier because I had driven down from Maine to SC and snow storms forced me to delay, using up the full day’s leeway I had given myself.)
When we arrived at the base, the graduation was over, and I was absolutely wrecked, knowing that he had told everyone I would be there, picturing him surrounded by his buddies and their families, with no one there to show that he, too, was loved.
This cabbie really went beyond the call of duty to help me track my son down, and we caught him just before he was boarding a bus to leave for the airport.
The cabbie took us back to the airport, and I left him a polite thank-you card (with a $20 bill from the ATM enclosed) on the seat when he was unloading my son’s luggage at the airport, knowing he would find it after I had left.
Here’s where it gets weird. The cabbie had debited my card, and obtained enough info to get my home address in Maine and send me a letter. It was very cordial; about how nice it was to meet me and all the similar viewpoints we shared. I sent him a letter back, thinking he was this nice, grandfatherly person, who I could learn a lot about in regard to Germany, the viewpoint of outsiders settling here, etc.
The next letter he sent was more personal. He said how beautiful I was, and that when he had first laid eyes on me, he knew we would be close….
I passed some of it off as a cultural lack of social skills (and am very used to men saying inappropriate things to me that they seem to think are a compliment, which I have learned to take with a grain of salt), and responded to the letter with a very cordial, non-emotional reply, asking about his homeland and family, sending my regards to his wife.
His next letter said that he had moved out and was going to leave his wife, and wondered how he would do once he moved here with me. It was so unexpected! He enclosed lovely cards that would have been very well received had I felt the same way he did. He sent photos of his family, and pictures of Christmas decorations he had made. Mostly, he went on and on about our life together, and how grand it would be. He referred to us in detail, as passionate lovers. (Each letter was 8-16 pages long in small, script.)
I was going to write back and explain how I felt. But, I had learned that - with people like him - it’s actually more effective to stop all contact and give them the time to get over the disappointment, rather than drag it out by continued contact, making them just feel more hopeful and giving them an opportunity to attempt to sway me to their way of thinking.
He sent three more letters, the last one telling me that he had read all our letters (he kept photo copies of all those he had sent me) and realized that he had been reading far more into them than I had ever written and apologized for being inappropriate. Even still, he closed with the hope that we would meet someday, and perhaps he could visit me as a dear friend.
I never heard from him after that, but spent many months, looking over my shoulder, expecting him to show up at my house for a surprise visit.
So, if you have a story about stalkers or clingers, please do share!
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