In the age of Facebook and Twitter, we all love to throw the stalker word around. And I do too. Oh I loves me some Facebook stalking. Not that I'm actually interested in the people I "stalk," because it's more of a voyeuristic peek into someone else's life that fascinates me. And the more content the better. I may barely know someone, but if they have tons of photos or notes, I'll waste years of my life poking through them. And yeah, without Facebook providing this sordid habit, it would never occur to me to care about my friend's cousin's wedding photos from 5 years ago. But they're THERE. For ME. To LOOK AT!
Don't tell me you haven't clicked on someone's profile and discovered their content isn't private and felt like you just discovered El Dorado and the entire Incan Empire. And Amelia Earhart is there. And she's partyin' with the lost colony of Roanoke. I know how that feels, yo. It's fucking golden.
But that's all innocent until you discover your husband has 4 other secret lives complete with wives and children and dogs.
Wait, how did this post turn into a post about Facebook? This post, Internet my love, was supposed to be about my stalker story.
I think most women have at least one stalker in their lifetimes. And I'm lucky, my stalker didn't turn into violence. Though I've known girls who've experienced very scary situations. Some that I was present for. I'll tell ya sometime about how I once stupidly stood between a friend and a crazy guy with a baseball bat. Turned out okay, but it easily could have gone badly and I would be writing this from a wheelchair and a computer with voice recognition software.
I think I must have been 21 at the time (so, the days WAY before Facebook). I had yet to move to Hollywood to live the ohsoglam life and was still subjected to my boring and dusty town with a nonexistent dating pool. Misery for a young girl ready to take over the world. So when this new guy came into my life all shucks and sweetness and openin' the door, I swooned. He was the brother of an acquaintance and so I thought, someone I know knows him, therefore: SAFE.
I went on one date with Stalker Boy. And it was okay. No alarm bells sounded. He was nice. We laughed. And ate food. He drove me back to my little apartment and gave me a very chaste kiss at my door. I didn't feel the earth crumble or hear music swell. But it was nice. I thought I might go on another date. Maybe. I would consider it. I had to work the next week, but after that, maybe I'd go out with him again. Probably.
He called while I was at work the next day. 5 times. I had gotten home (I worked retail) pretty late so didn't return his call(s) that night. And I worked early the next day so it would have to wait until later. Except he'd called another 10 times by that evening.
Freaked out, but still sure I could calm his obvious eagerness by simply calling him, I did just that. And dumbly agreed to another date. Which did calm him down. No crazy phone calls between dates. That's crossing a line. And the next date was similar to the first. Nothing terrible. Nice. Mellow Saturday night.
It must be mentioned that at the time, I occasionally attended a church. I worked a lot and my heart wasn't in it, but I sometimes went. And Stalker Boy attended this church too.
So the Sunday after the second date, he just shows up at my door, ready to drive me to church. Which, even at 21, I found damn presumptuous. We'd been on two dates, for one, and I wasn't ready to be claimed, to show up on his arm as his girlfriend (besides, I've always felt I should be asked before that title is used). But also, I hadn't said anything about going to church that day. He'd just assumed I would. How did he know I didn't have to work anyway (I found out later that he'd looked in my planner and seen my work schedule).
I didn't go with him that day. Principles aside, I wasn't dressed for church. So whatevs. The same routine of a million calls a day repeated for a few weeks after that. He never did show up at my door again, but I was pretty sure he'd still claimed me for a wife and was not going to give up. I got used to deleting all of my messages every night before even listening (I didn't yet own a cell phone). I wavered over what to do. Should I call him and tell him to leave me alone? That didn't feel safe somehow. I just felt like angering the beast was a bad idea. So I never did call him back. The calls eventually stopped and I didn't run into him, so I went on with my life.
But that is not the end of this tale.
Oh no it is not.
I wish it were, but I have one final, creepy incident.
After he stopped calling me and I was on with my life, one of those life changes included the leasing of a new car. I must mention that I in no way saw Stalker Boy during this time. I didn't go to church and I didn't run into him anywhere. But would you believe? I came out of work one late night on the closing shift, locked the doors to the store, walked to my (new!) car only to find a note on it. From Stalker Boy.
And I swear, Internet, that I have no recollection of what that note says. Either it was inconsequential or so horrifying that I have blocked it from my memory. But that is not the point. The point is: how in the HAIL did he know it was my car? Had he followed me to work? Maybe he'd simply staked out the parking lot near my work waiting for me to show up so he'd know which car was mine? Or maybe he'd been lurking around my apartment and saw my new car (it should also be noted that my apartment was a back house that I rented from an old lady and my parking spot wasn't visible from the street).
What do you think I did next, Internet? Well, I can tell you. I freaked the shit out. It had gone from annoying and creepy to SCARYASHELL in 3.5 seconds. You have to understand that I was truly scared. I had no idea if he was watching me then, but I called me dad pretty fucking terrified and stayed at his house that night. The next morning I called his sister, told her that if he didn't leave me alone I was getting a restraining order, and she believed me. And that was the end of it. Thank the lard (copyright Coco).
It could have been worse and I'm glad it didn't. I mean, obviously. But I probably could have taken more precautions, but girls are made to feel badly when falsely accusing a guy of anything. But you know what I think? Screw that. Better safe than sorry. You do what you have to to stay safe, yo. And truthfully, that may be one reason I dated a cop after that. I mean, I did like Cop Guy (even if I never saw him) on his own merits. But the incredibly large flashlight he gave me as a gift didn't hurt either.
A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
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