Monday, February 4, 2013

A Milestone I Didn't Want To Reach: My First French Stalker

Oh.  My.  Gosh.  I am blown away and have to write about it.  I have my first (and hopefully last) Parisian stalker.  Popular culture rags on women for being crazy but in my experience, men can be just as certifiable and the worst type is the stalker.  Seriously, it is so undignified...guys out there, my advice for the day, don't do it, don't stalk, don't obsess, it's so unmasculine and unattractive and it NEVER gets the girl! 

The story:  last week I went on a date with a super hot guy.  He asked me out at a cafe, he was French with all the gorgeousness of a hot French 20-something, and he spoke great English.  I gave him my email address - my cell phone is turned off in France - and he immediately asked me out to dinner.  Stoked. 

We get to dinner and start chatting and then he casually drops mention of...HIS LIVE-IN GIRLFRIEND.  YES.  I made him back up and repeat it again.  He apparently lived with a loving girlfriend who caters to him at every level and cooks him elaborate, delicious dinners on a daily basis.  Huh?! I am so, so sick of French men asking me out when they're already taken!

Why the heck did you ask me out on a date, then?  Him:  "Well, I couldn't resist, you don't see a beautiful [word I didn't understand but which he explained means mixed girl] from America every day."  (For some reason, most French think I am half-white and half-Asian but I'm 100% Asian...I think it's my body type more than anything, if you saw me in person you would understand what I'm saying.) Also, he added, there's something exciting about what is forbidden, no? said he, as he raised his impeccably groomed eyebrows and grinned.  I desperately wanted to shove my fork into those eyebrows.

You would think I'd be sorta flattered that a super hot guy thought I was attractive and was into me (the emails leading up to this date were full-court press), but by this point, I was livid.  I had gotten all dolled up - which for me lately is a lot of work that I don't want to be doing - for nothing.  I could have been happily at home, munching on fresh-baked Parisian pastries and watching Game of Throne reruns.  Nerd rage!!! (hattip: Liz Lemon)

Only the extreme sense of courtesy instilled in me by my strict Asian parents and the years as a corporate lawyer perfecting public restraint made me contain my complete annoyance and stick out the dinner.  I buttoned up my cardigan over my strapless dress and told him, you know what buddy, I don't date taken men, it's bad karma and I wouldn't want someone else to do that to me, we can just be friends and we are cool.  He agreed and we had a fun dinner.  At the end of the night, he reached in for the European two-cheek kiss but anticipating a stealth swoop on the lips, I instead shook his hands.  Night over.  Back into my jammies.  Happy place again.

Then the emails from him started.  Please, see me again, just one date, one dinner, just coffee, I can't bear the thought of not ever seeing you again, me and you have something special (what? I barely know you!)...Non-stop.  Numerous times, every day.  At some point, I just stopped responding, how many times could I tell him the same thing, right?  That was a week ago and to be honest I had just gotten into the habit of erasing his emails without even reading them and I hadn't thought twice about him...it's a big sea out there to waste time on a guppy who already has a girl.  

Today I was coming back home from doing some grocery shopping in the rain, and as I turn the corner, guess who I see waiting for me outside my building with flowers?  Yeah, that's him.  I immediately pulled back around the corner.  He hadn't seem me yet.  What the hell??! What was even more ominous was his car and driver slowly circling the block, most likely because it was a narrow, one-way street and he didn't want to block traffic, but it freaked me out! You don't stalk a lady who is clearly not interested in you, you don't bombard her with non-stop emails that are not returned and you don't track her down to where she lives and wait to AMBUSH her while she's coming home from whatever she is doing.  It might be called romantic when Ryan Gosling does it after making his way back home from a war and mailing a love letter in a bottle or whatever else happens in those Nicholas Spark movies (I've fallen asleep at all of them), but when anyone else - especially one to whom I've made clear I am not interested at all - does it, it's looney-bin scary.  I am done with crazy guys, I've had to deal with a few clingons in my lifetime and to the best of my abilities, it is NOT going to happen again...take a lesson from your friend here, you have to weed out the crazies as soon as you can and make a clean, complete cut with them...any little nicety or courtesy you extend their way will be vastly misconstrued by their craziness as a sign they have a chance with you.  They are WAY more trouble than they are even worth, trust me on this, a clean cut as soon as possible is necessary otherwise they will hang around for years!  Can you tell I've had a little experience with this in my life?

I scurried away and squeezed my panting self and my numerous wet sacks of groceries into the nearest brasserie much to the delight of the owner.  I sat there and ordered a cappuccino and a bowl of soup and stretched that out over 45 minutes.  The whole time I felt angry and annoyed for being badgered by him, which is extremely disrespectful, and having my privacy violated.  Some of you may think I overreacted at this incident, but after having dealt with a particularly delusional stalker over the past year, at the slightest indication of stalkerdom, I will not tolerate that guy AT ALL and will immediately cut him off to prevent any escalation...I've learned you can't reason with crazy people. When I couldn't stand waiting any more and I was ready for a confrontation in the event he was still there, I walked back.  To my immense relief, he was gone.  He had sent me 6 emails in the meantime, but at least he was not physically hounding me any more.  He had also left the flowers at the door which I gave away to a passing neighbor.  Mr. Hottie had been downgraded at our dinner to Scumbag and now he had been officially further downgraded to Crazy Scumbag.

Rue Cler, a famous market street in the neighborhood where I live right now and which I love.  I escaped from le stalker to a brasserie on this pedestrian-only street in the rain with my 20 sacks of groceries. 
Gentlemen, there's a difference between pursuing a girl as part of courtship/wooing her (yes, I just said "wooing"!  Wait, I also said "courtship"!!  I may be traditional when it comes to dating) which is proper for a man to do versus going fatal (as in Fatal Attraction) on her.  How can you tell, then, if the girl may be into you?  If the girl is responsive in a positive way to you reaching out to her if she likes you in the slightest, she will go out on a date with you and continue to go out on dates with you.  It really is that simple.  If you get radio silence to your zillion attempts to reach out to her or if she is kicking and screaming and demanding you leave her alone, then you are officially in fatal territory and the more you push when you are in that zone, the closer you are to a restraining order.  If you have any doubts as to which camp you may be in, ask your non-crazy friends for their objective opinion and have them hold you back.  If you're too embarrassed to tell them the full extent of all you've been doing, you can safely assume you're in fatal territory.

Look, we've all been in a situation where you're attracted to someone who isn't into you (I'm raising my hand too!) and you think, if I just do this or say this, s/he will come around and change his/her mind.  Nope.  People either like you or they don't.  Don't waste your time trying to convince someone to like you:  (1) It's a futile effort; and (2) Why would you want to do that to yourself?  Love yourself, retain your dignity, go after that person who is attracted to you and is into you...they're out there, I promise! Let's make a pact not to be Lloyd:



Haha!  Love it!

***

Fast forward later this evening,  I'm at a restaurant eating dinner with a girlfriend, a cute guy approaches and asks me for my contact info so we can have dinner.  I told him I'd give him my email address "but first, are you married or do you have a girlfriend?"  I turned into that girl!  I hated to ask so soon because it's presumptuous but due to the shenanigans of earlier today, I was at a breaking point.  To his credit he didn't weird out, he just laughed, "no, not at all." Phew.  Email was given and date set for Friday.  

p.s., I've been asked where Beautiful Boy is...he is sulking.  Long back story.  But I still adore him so much. 

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