Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Phone Request

With only a few days left in 2007, I received the following email (number changed, obviously)

"Can you call me at XXX-YYY-ZZZZ?"

Yes, quite innocent. In fact, I kind of admire the simplicity of it.

I never called. I knew why she wanted me to call. I didn't want to. I already had a girlfriend at the time, who I've been with since. I would have to tell her that. It's a big pain in the butt having to let someone down, especially when it has to do with dating and relationships. If I didn't have a girlfriend, it would have been worse, because I would have had to explain why I would rather remain single than have crazy as a girlfriend.

I didn't feel I owed her anything either. We weren't good friends. We weren't close. Aside from that initial period of two or three weeks, we didn't even talk much to each other much, despite being in the same place about once a week. It had been nearly a year since I made contact of any kind with her, and that last time was only to be polite.

In retrospect, it might have been wise to make the call.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mid August Email

The first one was very short.

"I want to go to Wonderland. Do you NOT want to go with me?"

Oh, you are a clever one, aren't you? I couldn't figure out what her angle was here. Why did she put the question that way? Was she assuming that, by not responding, I was indicating that I wanted to go? That I would be confused by the question, and accidentally say that I did? Trying to take advantage of the ambiguity of the response to a question asked with a negative? Or was she just trying to be cute? I never responded, and she never asked again, so I assume it's not the first. Still, I can almost imagine her standing at the gate waiting for me, thinking that my lack of response meant that I would be there.

Friday, January 23, 2009


In the fall of 2006, I met a girl, and subsequently fell for her. About a month later, she told me that she wasn't good for me. I disagreed. We had a long discussion, during which time I had hoped that she would realize that she was wrong. She didn't. In the course of that discussion, and in later conversations, I realized a number of things that I had done wrong. One of the major things is that I simply did not believe that she would like me. This is perhaps why she wasn't good for me. I don't think a relationship can be healthy if one of the partners doesn't believes they deserve it. In fact, anyone who I liked would have been wrong for me at the time, because I didn't feel that anyone who I would like would also like me back. It had been many years since I had a girlfriend, and it was hard to convince myself otherwise (I now realize that this was bad luck more than anything else, and act accordingly). Because of this, I failed to present myself as anything but a brick wall. I wouldn't allow myself to pretend to be someone else. I'm not a good liar, so any pretence would be short-lived. Yet I didn't present myself as myself, because it was my belief that who I was was not likable. Slowly, I began to realize that this simply wasn't true, and I vowed to do things differently. Even if I didn't believe that I was likable, I was going to act like I was. I would still be myself, but without holding back just because of how badly I thought of myself (or rather how badly I thought other people would think of me).

It wasn't until the school year was over, when she had moved out of the city, that I actually tried put this into practice. Over the summer break, I met a few more girls who I thought were interesting (and I bunch who I didn't, but that's beside the point). To be honest, none of them were as interesting as the first. Regardless, I decided to "put myself out there" as one of my friends would frequently tell me to do. There wasn't much to it. I would just talk to them like I would talk to one of my friends, but more intentionally so. That summer, nothing ever turned into a relationship. One girl moved out of the city. There were attempts at dates, but stuff got in the way. Another had just started seeing someone else at about the time I met her, and not long after, they were together. There were a few who, despite their initial attractiveness, could not maintain my interest.

And of these, there was one who could not shake her interest in me. She was mildly cute, but not cute enough that she could get by on her looks. She was fairly smart, having completed two undergraduate degrees and nearly completed a master's degree in statistics. By virtue of circumstances, she was also the one whom I had the most exposure to. I talked to her, made her laugh, went to some event that she invited me to. I was nice. I tried to show her my good side. But within two weeks, I realized that she wasn't even close to what I wanted from a girlfriend. She didn't have much going for me on besides average looks and above average smarts. Besides, there was something a little off about her, like she wasn't quite normal. So I backed off. It didn't even seem like she was even interested. There were a few other instances after that where we ended up talking. Having no reason to be mean to her, I wasn't, and treated her like a normal human being.

The last time that I talked to her that summer was when we were both looking at the same place to rent. She decided to rent there. I found somewhere else that was nicer, and better located, although for a somewhat higher price. When she found out, she sent me a few emails trying to convince me to change my mind. I didn't. That she was begging me to change my mind was the first indicator that she might have been interested.

In the following school term, we often ended up eating dinner at the same place, along with about 30 or 40 other people in rather cramped conditions, so we didn't end up talking much. But I started noticing that she often seemed to be looking at me. This confirmed my suspicion that she was interested, although I still wasn't certain. She called me over a few times to talk. Not having a good reason not to, I obliged, although I was sure to maintain a distance and tried not to say anything that would make her think I was interested.

She moved out at the end of the first term and asked me to help her. I didn't, for the same reason I kept my distance during the term. I felt a little bit guilty, imagining that she might really have been without help, so I emailed her later on, to make sure that the move went well. That was the last effort on my part, at the beginning of 2007. After that, there was a long silence.

Then the emails started coming, one in late 2007, and a bunch in early 2008. The last email I sent her was sent more than a year ago, but they keep coming from her. The first few didn't deviate significantly from normality, but everything after that confirms my initial impression that she was a little but nuts.

I think I've included all of the relevant background.

And that brings us to the purpose of this blog. Over time, I plan to publish each of these emails, for no particular reason, except perhaps to demonstrate how not to act toward someone you like.