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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stalkers and Valentines

I wasn't going to write anything related to Valentine's Day at all. Nope, nothing. Despite the special requests that were sent in by a couple loveless people, I was going to let it go... I was going to make my way past that stupid holiday and say naught about it. But after yesterday, I decided The Universe wasn't on my side with that one and I am now forced to say something.

It's difficult to ignore the "romance" and my lack of it when I basically spent Valentine's Day weekend driving out to Rhedondo to have dinner with my ex-husband and his new wife in an attempt to help them smooth out some blended family issues with the kids. Need I go into detail over the mixed emotions that later tied me in knots that night?

So I had to play nice with the enemy, so what, right? So I had to sit in their new home and eat food prepared in the kitchen of their beach house, big deal. I can shake that off, no problem. But when I came home Monday night I came home to some flowers. (Don't bother with the "oos" and "aws" because this is me we're talking about here and it wasn't like that.) There was no name on the card, so I stood there with the flowers in my hand running through the mental files of who I knew that would possibly send these to me. I have a few friends that could've sent them, knowing how miserable I was over the weekend, but none of them took credit for it. So I just stood there with dread in my stomach because I was certain I knew where they came from.

Back in August I went out to dinner a couple times with a man who instantly fell head over heels for me. After dinner number two, I knew he was nuts and I also knew it was a waste of time to do anything more with the man, so I politely explained to him that I was not interested. It seemed to me, being thirty-something, that we both held enough maturity to shake hands and part ways and wish the other well. Apparently this thirty-something man adheres more to "the menace to society" idea than anything else because he proceeded to stalk me.

He called me incessantly, sent crazy text messages telling me he was in love with me and I just didn't realize that I was in love with him, showed up at my home unannounced a few times, left gifts at the front door and so on and so forth. I had told him in September that this was harassment and, aside from a random love text on Halloween, it seemed to die out.

The week before Christmas I came home and found more gifts from him at my front door (expensive gifts at that). Knowing that I have the ability to break necks and rip out trachea, I was unafraid when I packed up his stupid gifts, drove out to his house, and handed them back to him saying, "You have disrespected me and my requests to be left alone. You have shown up at my front door unwelcome and unannounced for the last time. Contact me one more time, in any manner, via phone, text, email, snail mail, gifts at my door, anything and I will contact the police, I will file a report, and I will place a restraining order on you." His dumbfounded wide eyes were an indication that he understood me and I hadn't heard from him since.

Obviously, while holding a bouquet of flowers in my hand with a note saying, "I hope this isn't weird, but ..." I assumed that in the past two months of silence, the man had forgotten my threat and the promise I would follow through. I instantly went into battle mode; it was time to get the evidence and make allies of the police. I called the flower company and learned they can't give out the sender's name without permission. I let them know that if I didn't get the information from them I would have law enforcement find it out for me. An hour or so later I get some text message from a number I don't recognize saying, "Hi Pandora. This is Leonard...from Walgreens. Did you get the flowers?"

...the Hell?! Leonard?! From Walgreens?!! What the hell is going on with my life?! I can't even pick up a prescription with a smile without someone looking up my information in a computer and feeling the need to send me flowers?!

I have never wanted to be tied down by the sacred bonds of matrimony more than I do right now. I'm not joking. This is getting old. I hate dating because it's always some lame story, but the fact that I can't even walk around and be polite to the local Walgreens cashier without the dude thinking he might strike up a romance with me by dropping me some flowers (on phone and address information that I didn't volunteer to him)is just silly and creepy! I had to stop getting a cup of morning coffee from the Circle K because the old bald guy behind the counter believed I was coming in to see him. Now I have to change pharmacies?

The Mormons are right. If you're not married and getting laid regularly by the age of twenty-five, you are a menace to society. Circle K has now lost business because of the menace working behind the counter. Walgreens is about to lose business because of another menace working behind the counter. And I'm a walking talking apocalyptic menace to capitalist America because companies are losing money due to the fact that I'm not walking around with a nice big rock on my left hand to deter these idiots from saying or doing something stupid.

This whole single thirty-something mess is really starting to bug me. It's as if The Super Power Forces are having too much fun toying with me, but it's really starting to feel like this has crossed over from "the slightly irksome" to "the downright ridiculous." And Valentine's Day, one of those happy little holidays with cupids and hearts posted on windows everywhere, did nothing for me. My friends are always amused. One friend, after the Walgreen Guy Flower Episode, likened me to the Cameron Diaz character in _There's Something About Mary_, and until yesterday that's not how I would've seen myself. Unfortunately, the thought of a pizza guy pretending to be a crippled architect, a private detective hired to spy on me, and a past boyfriend with a stress related rash sounds a little too much like the men in my life. After laughing at me, my friend did her best to remind me that Mary was going to tie the knot with Bret Favre and that maybe this means I have Kurt Warner waiting in the wings for me somewhere. You and I know better though.

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