You’ve all heard of Sex and the City - the show that followed the trials and tribulations of dating in the Big Apple? Well, this ain’t about that. As a matter of fact, this is about as far removed from Carrie Bradshaw and her buddies as you can get. This is Dating in the Sticks.
Dating in the Sticks follows the adventures of young Prudence Block, an attractive and confident young woman living in a small(ish) town in America’s Bible Belt. And Prudence isn’t looking for a good time, she’s just looking for a good man. (Which is starting to look more and more like one of the most endangered species on the planet!)
In today’s episode (Harassment is NEVER OK!), Prudence has met a young man she finds cute, polite, and more than a little shy. We’ll call him Mr. Regular (since he’s a regular at Pru’s place of employment).
So there was this one night when Mr. Regular had come in, blushing and stumbling over his words more than usual. All I can say is, his shyness added a touch of vulnerability that made him even cuter.
We spent some time talking, exchanged numbers, and made plans to see a movie together the next week. That was the last time I saw Mr. Regular before he became Mr. Regular Weirdo.
Seriously, what guy texts a girl he just met 30+ times a day? I mean, a 14 year old girl, yeah. But a 29 year old man?
Then the phone calls and voicemails started, wanting to know why I wasn’t responding to every text. Which would have been bad enough if he hadn’t also started hanging around where I work, harassing my co-workers about why I wasn’t texting or calling him back.
So, my big plans to see a movie with a genuinely nice guy were put on hold until I could actually find a genuinely nice guy.
I told Mr. Regular that he was coming on way too strong and that we needed to just call it a day and move on with our lives. Thanks, but no thanks.
That was when Mr. Regular morphed again, becoming Mr. Regular Nightmare.
The trips to my place of employment didn’t stop. Instead, I guess he figured if he couldn’t win my heart with charm, he’d do it with a belligerent, shitty attitude.
And can someone please tell me when a romantic gesture went from flowers and chocolate to spending half the night sitting in the parking lot and watching a girl through the window? Because I failed to get that email and I’d seriously like to protest!
But that’s exactly what Mr. Regular decided was his next best move, until he was asked by Management to move his ass off the property and never come back.
One would have thought that would be an end to his dreams of a relationship. If one were a normal person, one might be right. Instead, (according to the co-worker who viewed the security tapes) he decided drawing a Swastika on one of the outside decorations at my place of employment somehow seemed a great way to get my attention. (In case I failed to mention it, I’m openly converting to the Jewish faith.)
Whatever happened to just spray painting a girl’s name on a water tower or overpass?
The sad thing is, I’ve been feeling a tiny bit responsible to Mr. Regular’s bad behavior. You know, kind of like I encouraged him by giving him my number and agreeing to go out with him?
My friends keep telling me that making plans to see a movie was in no way saying, “It’s OK to make my life an anxiety ridden hell.” And they’re absolutely right. So why do I still feel like I’m the one who’s done something wrong?
The only thing I DO know right now, is that the whole “crazy hermit in a cave” lifestyle is starting to look better and better…
Tune in next week when…
Sadly, this isn’t a made-up scenario for an After-school Special or Lifetime Movie of the Week. This is what my daughter has been dealing with for the last two weeks and it’s not in any way, shape or form fun or funny. It’s plain and simple harassment.
Besides the fear factor, the worst part is she really does feel partially responsible for Mr. Regular’s bad behavior. As if agreeing to go on a date equated giving permission for this kind of stupidity?
I don’t need to tell you that the level of Motherly Fury in this house is currently through the roof! Not to mention concern (and more than a little guilt) about things I’ve written and pictures I’ve posted here.
Even though I’ve never used real names, The Girl has shared links on her personal pages, proudly proclaiming I’m her Mom. Since we really do live in a small community, it certainly wouldn’t be hard to find us. (That sound you’re hearing? Is me grinding my teeth.)
I can say that steps are being taken to end this before it escalates any further. I can tell you, in the mean time, she’s being escorted home from work by family members, so she’s never alone. I can also say that it’s a monumentally huge pain in everyone’s ass, all because one person is refusing to understand the concept of boundaries.
So here’s today’s moral - If you’re a fellow parent, blogger or otherwise, these are some of the things to keep in mind when you’re posting. You may not name names, but pictures are worth a thousand words and some of mine definitely talk too much.
If you or someone you know is being stalked or harassed, you can find information about what you can do to stop it and a list of resources HERE.