A long lost ex-boyfriend contacted me over the weekend. He apparently reached out via LinkedIn on Saturday. I'm not terribly dedicated to my Blackberry so I didn't discover the email until this morning while in line at Jamba Juice. His email said:
"Hi, Granted, this is a rather sterile way to contact you, but I didn't want to go through shared acquaintances. With that said, I'd really like to know how you're doing. I think of you and your family often. I hope this finds you all well. "
Here's the long-story-short version of our last year or so together: We tried to be friends after we broke up but he was not happy with me dating someone new (about a year and a half after the breakup), even though he had been dating soon after the breakup. Mostly, he clung to my family. The family he never had and, I believe, wanted to emulate desperately. I have a wonderful family while his parents weren't terribly reliable or kind to him when he needed them. Also, he had NO long term friendships. Well, he had one friend from high school but, I bet that one didn't last either. He couldn't seem to keep a job for more than about 18 months either. I now look at "Lack of meaningful friendships" and "Lack of long term employment" as a big red flag issues when it comes to men. Eventually I had to tell him that I was in love with someone else and he sort of freaked out one day. After that, I asked him to go away and never contact me again, and I meant it. I later learned that he continued to contact my mother and brother through email. When I found out he had been corresponding with them, I was not happy about it. This guy sort of creeped me out near the end of our relationship. He was WAY too attached to my family. My Mom ultimately said "Look, if you don't like it, I'll stop emailing him. You're my daughter so whatever you want is what I'll do. My loyalty is entirely with you." I said "You're my family not his. He doesn't get you. Cut him off." Looking back, it was a bit harsh. It was my one and only Queen Elizabeth I moment, but I'm telling you he gave me the creeps and I just wanted nothing to do with him ever again. They both said "No problem" and never questioned my "cut him off" request. I said "Stop it" and they said "You got it.". I was touched and impressed with their loyalty to me. I'd never questioned it, but still, it was the first time I'd seen a family circling the wagons reaction and it felt good.
That was many years ago. Friends and I have since referred to him as "Stalker Paul", due to the nature of his going around me and contacting my family. I know it's sort of mean but he was so dang strange near the end. What can I say? The name stuck.
After receiving the email this morning, I decided to take the high road and tell him the truth about my life. I admit that making up a fictitious existence was tempting but I have nothing to hide and I'm not in high school anymore. I figured, it's been so many years, why not? I rattled off a few thoughtful paragraphs about me and my family and hit send. He soon replied with an incredibly sterile list of bullet points. What kind of detached freak replies with bullet points? Bizarre. His response ended with:
"Let me know if your travels ever take you down to San Diego. I would love to catch up with a bit more detail."
I won't be replying. I can't put my finger on why, but the whole exchange gave me the creeps. I sent a sincere reply, assuming he was normal, and got a rather strange and cold response. I just thought "Well, you asked jackass." Maybe he heard I was single and assumed I must be miserable about it. Instead he heard from a very happy and satisfied ex-girlfriend who I'm willing to bet has a lot more going for her than he ever will.
God, I wonder if he's found this blog. *shrug* Well, if he is reading this, all I can say is "Sorry to disappoint Big Guy but I love my life. Suck it!"