Where Do You Meet These People?

Welcome to my first installment of “Where Do You Meet These People?” This series was inspired by something a co-worker asked me, when I launched into a story about some wacky/crazy/scary person I encountered. Names will not be mentioned. Some of these people are former friends, some are people I “met” through email, and some I spoke with by phone. It's because of these experiences that I try and distance myself from people, and why I haven't seriously put any effort into meeting men on dating websites. Because even the people you think you know well can do things that make you wonder if they are suffering from brain tumors. So here's WDYMTP number one.

Subject: male
Location: Hamilton, Ontario Canada?
Relationship/friendship length: seven months, estimated
How we met: Through the Internet, but never in person

Years ago, I had a 'zine. I got an email from some guy in Hamilton, Ontario. At the time, my mother was in the last months of her life, although I didn't know it yet. I was trying to take care of her, and at the same time try and make her well again. During this time, I was emailing this guy. Seems he'd seen my 'zine and decided to write me.

I admit I was pretty vulnerable at this point. I'd not dated in years. The guy I'd been hanging out with, the guy who said for years he wasn't going to get married and have kids, ended up marrying a single mom five weeks after he came to Chicago to visit me (he might be a subject for a future WDYMTP). So since he moved across the country with his wife and stepson, being friends and hanging out were out of the question. I'd come to the wedding reception, at the invitation of his brother, and my former friend was furious, because it seemed his wife was completely jealous and insecure. I'd found out later on he'd yelled at his sister, the brother who had invited me and his mom, all because I'd showed up. Anyway, on with the Canadian guy's story.

I started looking forward to the Canadian guy's emails. I told him I would come for a visit when I could manage it. I couldn't leave my mother, and I didn't.When she did finally pass, I wanted to take a trip. My brother was driving me crazy with his verbal abuse. I felt I'd have a breakdown if I didn't get away. So I decided to take a trip to Toronto. I figured I could get a new lease on life, and maybe meet this guy. I'd sent him copies of pictures of family members (stupid, I know, but at least I didn't send him the originals) and opened up to him emotionally. I told him I was coming to visit, but the closer it got to my trip, the more things seemed “off.”

For starters, he wouldn't call me. He kept making the excuse that his dad lived with him, and was an alcoholic, and therefore he couldn't call me and talk to me in peace and quiet. I started to think he could buy a cellphone and drive somewhere and talk to me if he really wanted to. Except he didn't. I gave him my number, but he never, ever called.

He told me he had a couple weeks of vacation coming, and he wasn't planning to go anywhere. Then, ten days into his vacation, he said he was going to England. He said he wouldn't be back in time to meet me, even though he'd be back in plenty of time for my arrival.

He sent me a fuzzy picture of his tattoo, and that didn't look right either. It looked fake.

When I told him I would be driving up to Toronto, he offered to meet me halfway with some of his friends. I really didn't want him to do that.

I told him to call me, but he didn't. I told him when I'd be arriving. I picked a hotel near where he SAID he lived, but I didn't tell him the name of the hotel. I was beginning to get suspicious. A former friend (who might make another installment of WDYMTP) said she was worried about this guy. I bought a present and a card for him, and took it with me. Right after I arrived in Hamilton, I went to an Internet cafe and sent him an email and told him to PLEASE CALL ME and gave him my cellphone number. I got an email back saying he was frantically driving around Hamilton looking for me. So at that point, I gave up. If he wouldn't call, there was no point in trying to meet him, unless I walked around Hamilton wearing a sign with my name on it and asking people if they knew this guy to please come and meet me wherever I happened to be.

So I had a really good trip. I did drive by his house where he claimed he lived, but I was too chicken to knock on the door. So I took my gift (Snoopy on a motorcycle) and left. I remember calling another former friend (who might make an installment of WDYMTP) and crying because I loved Toronto so much I didn't want to leave, and because the guy from Hamilton didn't want to meet me.

I get back and we start emailing again, but we eventually get on Yahoo chat. Soon, I'm getting off work from my second shift factory job, and getting online and chatting with him. Talking with him is like walking a tightrope that's fraying and on fire. The least little thing sets him off. He'll leave in a huff. Then he'll get back on, saying he's sorry. This yo-yo, fucked up “relationship” continued.

Valentine's Day is looming, He cons me into giving him my mailing address, saying he wants to send me flowers. Of course, he gets into a fight with me the day before Valentine's Day, and I don't get any flowers.

The last straw comes when he confesses he has to tell me something important. He says he needs to know that I'm going to love him unconditionally. I say I can't make a promise like that, because I can't. We go back and forth, back and forth, and then he finally confesses to me that he's a hermaphrodite.

Uh huh. A HERMAPHRODITE. So, I'm done. Finished. This guy is probably up in Hamilton, or wherever, laughing his head off for yanking my chain for months. This experience is probably why I loved the movie Catfish so much. Because I can relate. And I even drove up there to meet him, but his refusing to call me was the big tip-off. That, and the fact that he said he had a two-week vacation, and said he wasn't going anywhere, then ten days into it, he says he's going to England.

So I hope this guy goes to hell for stringing me along. I feel completely foolish for thinking that I've met a nice guy, in a country I love, and that we would meet and he would accept me. Once burned, forever shy. I'm on a site to promote my erotic fiction, and occasionally I'll get friend requests from guys, and when I'm on there, I'll get guys wanting to chat, but I feel like I can't trust anyone ever again, either through the Internet or in person. I hate myself for being as old as I was and so gullible, like the hopeless, dateless, dorky-looking teenage girl I was and still feel like.  


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