Paranoia and Guilt
March 7, 2000

This definitely fits the term 'weekend from hell.' I am not a happy camper, and that is totally ignoring the fact that I have a virus.

It started on Friday when someone added me to their ICQ list. I had no idea who they were, but if that stopped me, I wouldn't do anything on the net, not to mention missed meeting a lot of really cool people. Anyway, to make a long story short, he was looking for a friend of his who has the same name as me - and he lives in Canada. Plausible so far; I double checked and I'm the only one with that name (which I did go and change - yay for me) on the list, not to mention that is where the family comes from. So I figured this was pretty cool. Ya know, another person in another country to chat with.

Then along came Saturday afternoon. When I mentioned I had a cold, he seemed rather... over considerate, but, well, after cancer, nothing really seems that bad. Perspective. Anyway, then Romeo pulled the classic singles bar move that will prolly haunt the net for ages to come. "Relax, sit back, and let me tell you a story" that basically ends in 'will you be my girlfriend'?

Ok, time for a vote. Am I the only one here thinking 'stalker'? Met less than 24 hours ago, know next to nothing - including such little nitpicky details like age, religion, prison record, hobbies, personality, etc. - not to mention the fact that I tend to repeat I am a geek and look like it.

But there's that damn thing I call an overgrown conscience that won't even let me commission an artist without wondering if I'm bothering them. I've been emotionally burned before, and I've dealt with friends that've been on the receiving end. I don't like hurting people. Combine that with no previous experience in the relationship field and a habit of taking the route of least resistance when I panic, which this definitely qualifies for, and guess what?

Expecting "you're a nice person but I'm afraid you're a stalker"? Bzzzt. Wrong. Damn me for a fool, but I said yes. Oh, I equivocated for a bit, but he has a great kicked puppy routine. I figured by the time he did get to know me, I'd end up as "one of the guys" (hey, that's what happens all the time IRL) or at best option, he'd dump me. I don't care how many declarations of fate, destiny, and love at first sight you spout off, love only works as a two way street. And while I'll quite happily admit to lust at first sight, love - real love, not just overactive hormones - only happens when you get to know someone. I don't care how good some guy looks, if there's no brain there, I'm gonna get bored with Mr. Boy Toy. I think I just realized something else that bothered me; after the first day, he had no sense of humor whatsoever, regarding himself, me, or much of anything. If you can't laugh at yourself, who can? Gimme someone I can laugh and argue with, please. A compliant Ken doll gets boring far too quickly.

So anyway, little miss optimist here figures we'll just take it bass-ackwards here and get to know each other. By the time Sunday rolled around, I had 3 "get better" ICQ cards and 1 bouquet of a dozen virtual red roses and knew he was into sports, poetry, and band, a previous girlfriend had died in a car accident, and he beat up a guy who made fun of his previous girlfriend (not sure if it was the same one). I also got guilt-tripped upon learning he's 16 (jeeze, my mom is 5 years older than my dad and I should care that I'm 2 - or is it technically 3? - years older?).

By that time I figured I was dealing with one of 4 options:
         A. he was really what he said he was
         B. a computer geek who's desperate
         C. some jock out to impress his friends by stringing the geek along
         D. a psychopath

All told, it's the first and last that bothered me the most. Last is obvious why, but the first.... well, like I said, he has a great kicked puppy dog routine. I didn't want to hurt anyone that... sincere (if that makes ANY sense at all). And I do have to admit that some of the guilt is mine. I played along lovey dovey most of Saturday and half of Sunday, mostly from the panic attack, but also there is the fact of the experience in itself. What can I say, I'm only human, not to mention a teenager. That means hormones. And basic human need.

Anyway, by Sunday I'd had time to calm down and think. All those declarations of undying love when he hadn't even looked at my page (which I'll admit is about personality stuffed as you can get with code), let alone gotten to know me, was really really freaking me out. Maybe it's one too many fantasy/adventure movies and/or books, but three-fourths the time undying love means nutso with Bad Things (TM) happening in life. So the crazy geek went out and dumped him before anyone (especially the geek) got hurt, right?

Don't I wish. Besides, if it was like that, I wouldn't even be bothering writing this up. Just another net encounter. Well, I tried to let him down as easily as possible, but we are talking one serious fantasy built up here. Even though I didn't mention my stalking fears, admitting I have no idea what this guy is like ended up with him trying to guilt trip me -which really only pisses me off- and then going off to sulk. When he came back, we agreed to try for friends and started 20 questions; something I've found to be a great source for conversation with M.C. (::grins:: so long as we don't kill each other when we hear "your turn"), along with what possibly ended up being the basis for our friendship. Anyway, on with what happened.

Actually, what didn't happen. 20 questions is the basis for conversation; you don't just ask and move on. It's allowed to dissect and go into detail and whatnot. Needless to say, I was sorta relieved when he had to leave.

Monday, I just avoided the problem. Simply stayed on invisible, rationalized that it would let him simmer down and switch from "Romeo" to "chummers". Today....

Oh gods. Today. We did the whole hi, what's new, then (uncomfortable? comfortable? what???) silence routine, then he asked that we 'finish the question session' (on a side note, while inspiration occasionally runs low, M.C. and I have yet to finish ours even after 6, 7 months). Second question; "ever gonna talk about us again"? "Why not?" So my response is followed by "Ever gonna consider me again?"

I tried to dance around it, the whole 'who knows where we'll end up' line, throw in a little humor by pretending to refer to a magic 8 ball. So he pulls out "ive been thinking about us a lot and at night your the last thing i thimk of before i fall asleep and i tell myself it will be okay! and you like me but just dont know it yet!"

Can you say "oh shit"? Hypocritical as it will come across, I believe in honesty. It will come back to bite you in the ass, but at least you can remember what it was. In other words, great and wise geek that I am, figuring he can handle this, "Um. I know this is gonna come across the wrong way, but I need to say it: I enjoy humor and... devotion to beliefs, but stalker behavoir only freaks me out."

To cut it short, he blew up and told me off. Tried guilt tripping me again -still just annoying me- and refused to listen when I tried to explain that I take things slow 'cause otherwise I'll end up as the 6 o'clock breaking news bulletin as an example to all the nuts who think the Net is eeeevil.

::sighs:: Sorry, Pablo, but next time, take it slow.

Note to self: next time you meet a guy online, say you're gay.

As always, comments can be e-mailed to or Instant Messaged to the same address. Right now I'd prefer to avoid strangers on ICQ.

Back up, will ya? Back to the Rantings Page

Run away, run away!!! Retreat to the home page.