The Strange Stranger
The short version of the story:
I met a Stranger.
I thought he could be a friend.
He acted really strange.
I felt uncomfortable.
He threw a tantrum.
He deleted me.
For the long version, keep reading.
I met someone.
Now don’t go thinking I was swept off my feet into relationship oblivion. It wasn’t anything like that.
After my move to a new city, I found myself feeling very lonely. Finding adult friends or just quality beings in general is REALLY HARD! We have all been on a long road in Life and making room for others sometimes doesn’t always feel easy or convenient. I know I made a lot of room for Dream Guy but that space is now clear and closed off. As a means of healing, I feel like my social realm is limited to V.I.P. only. But there are times where I really crave companionship. My close friends all live elsewhere, all have different shifts, they probably don’t feel like a mangled up mess like I do! People have their own messes to deal with and it is hard to keep my own mess out of the forefront that I feel I have forgotten what it’s like to have fun!!!
So I’ve been keeping to myself. A lot.
And then I met a Stranger…….
We were both in great moods. He was articulate, talking of the great music he played on the jukebox, he made someone’s night by giving them an unexpected tip and anticipating his world travels.
The conversation was exactly how I would want meeting someone to happen. It was random and interesting. I didn’t feel like it was forced. Since it wasn’t through a dating app, it didn’t feel like a connection was anticipated. It felt like a first time for me– a natural way of meeting someone. It was pleasantly different!
Because of his travelling, I had currency that I needed to get rid of so I offered the business-like exchange. He thought this was a great idea and enjoyed my insight from my own previous travels and asked if he could give me his phone number. Although more business-like rather than date-like, I enjoyed this interaction. It felt functional and like both of us left happy that we met each other!
A day or two goes by and I text him. It was specific. It was the currency I had, and the current exchange rate it was going for. It was only $60 but the nearest bank to exchange this was over 4 hrs away for me. He was happy I texted and he agreed to this transaction.
We made plans in the next week or two. He was excited to see me. We talked like a bunch of teenage girls at a sleepover. It was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed his energy! He was Army, loved photography, and is exquisitely articulate! I liked his beard. He left to go meet with some friends, kissed my hand and left.
I received a surprise text later that he really wanted to kiss me. I’m thinking, “uh-oh.” I told him I wasn’t interested in kissing but was glad I met him.
Some nice conversations later, he wanted me to send him a picture. Ok. Me and my dog while I’m doing housework. I’m simple like that. But he was wanting something a little more specific, I learned. He wanted a picture of my legs. UHHHH, awkward. No. He asked why. “I don’t like the sexual nature of it. It makes me feel uncomfortable.” He asked why. In my head, he’s jerking off and coming on a $.50 stuffed pig that came out of a claw machine. It made me feel disgusting.
PLUS, I barely knew him. Remember my free space is empty and closed off. I would require some broken hearted maintenance and something told me he wasn’t proficient in anything but his own hammer. Rather than divulge in some deeply seeded sexual history, I tried to veer him off the subject.
He did assure me that due to our great geographic constraints, that we could spend the time getting to know each other and use it to enjoy “flirty things.” Here we go again. I’ve already mentioned I am not interested in kissing and that his desire for me to send flirty pictures was not something I wanted to do, I called him out on it. “Are you trying to wear me down to send u pics of my legs??”
“No. I’m not trying to pressure you into sex….just want you to see my perspective on the matter…….i thoroughly enjoy our discourse.”
I told him I can see his reasons and accept that it differs from mine and told him that apart from him wanting to see my legs, I enjoyed all the other parts of our conversations.
He sent me a broken heart emoji. I laughed it off and told him he could rest assured that I will never pressure him for sex!
What he said next, alarmed me. “No, you’ll just continually reject me until I want to off myself.”
He added, “ I just don’t know why you feel the need to push so hard against me…..Constantly reminding me you’re not interested in new and creative ways! Let your guard drop with me, you may like it!”
I’m sure that ending a long relationship I wanted so badly to work has something to do with my power to push people away who give me the slightest indication they are interested in a more emotional/physical connection. I wasn’t thinking romantically with him. AT ALL. I’m sure it’s my high levels of anxiety and stress I bestow upon myself that keeps my social interactions to an almost non-existent minimum. But his pushing to put me in a position that I am not ready to be in just makes me resist that much harder. It’s not what I want. I’m not ready to let my guard down in that aspect. I want to establish quality people first. I need someone to relate to, not have relations with!
We talked on and off a little over the course of another week. Until one day, via snapchat, he wanted to know why I was talking to him. I explained how I enjoyed our very first conversation, that I was excited for his travels and believed he could be a good new friend in my life. I can only guess that didn’t make sense to him because he brought up again that I would not show him my legs, was not open to flirting and how he wanted me to open up to him. After that first intense conversation, I thought boundaries were made clear and established. I really didn’t want to rehash this again. I tried to politely excuse myself from the conversation by explaining to him that it was a long day, I just got home from taking my kids to the doctor….and his response:
I got that message in the middle of texting him but when I hit send, the message showed that he had already deleted me. “Your chat is pending until Strange Stranger adds you as a friend.”
Maybe it’s for the best. As lonely as I feel sometimes, I always will enjoy solitude over public poison.
Bye bye, strange stranger.
Listening to The Doors: People Are Strange