Monday, August 31, 2009

This Is Why My Blog Is Not Linked To My Facebook Account

Let me try to let you in on this Facebook stalker thing. I don't know if it's stalking when someone all but calls you up on the phone to tell you, "Hello. I am stalking you. How are you enjoying it? May I have a pair of your panties, please? Used if you have them. Thanks. Love you. Bye."

I've had good luck reconnecting with folks via Facebook. I guess I was due? I met with a friend in Seattle who I haven't seen in like 25 years and it was so much fun and not weird at all. I regularly have dinner with someone I barely knew in high school but truly enjoy now. I was just chatting about the relative benefits of Aspercreme with another Facebook-found friend. It's been so good up to now.

Anyway, the stalking. A guy I went to high school with, he was in my class, he must have been in my homeroom and might even have sat next to me given the way the alphabet works. I have the vaguest picture of him in my mind from back then. It doesn't look a thing like the one photo he has on his Facebook profile. The profile shot isn't informative. It says a lot to me but it could go either way, don't want to profile his profile, you know? He wrote (on the FB) and asked if I'd like to have lunch or dinner. I'm trying to make it a policy to say yes to more things so I said yes and asked when he was coming to NYC. Well, he didn't know he'd get back in touch when he got back from Europe.

Later, weeks later, he asks me to send him a picture of me. That day his status update (the first one I've gotten) says, "Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx is tired of being single." Again, with that whole benefit of the doubt thing everyone is so fond of this could go either way. I ignore it. As does everyone else from what I can see. Days later I finally formulate a response to the photo request and explain to him how to see the photos on my profile, since they're open to everyone that seems reasonable. Maybe he's not so technically savvy. A few days later, as I'm getting back from my trip to ME, his status update is "Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx is tired of being single and alone." This makes me nervous. Makes me more nervous when I scroll through all the things I've missed while traveling and find that earlier in the day he'd posted the plain old single version and then, I guess, decided to elaborate. I also got a terse message saying he'd already looked through all my photos.

So? Why the request for a photo to be sent? What is that about? Confused and, I can't stress this strongly enough, creeped I simply don't respond.

Last night I'm noodling around on the computer and it seems I have another FB message. It's Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx again. It says simply, "Who is Cxxxx? Is he your boyfriend?" My profile says I'm single and the photo I can only assume he's talking about is of me and my cousin Cxxxx, just our backs, as we stand with a good foot between us, gazing at picturesque Multnomah Falls. The caption identifies him clearly as my cousin.

Least smooth guy on the face of the planet or man on the edge of taking an uzi into his gym? (And I don't say that to make light of the gentleman who recently did that. I say it because I'm seriously beginning to wonder. But maybe that's too harsh a judgment.) I wrote this back: "Xxx, you've got to read the captions. If you do you'll know who Cxxxx is. Also, if you're looking to get together solely because you're looking for someone to date that's probably not a great idea. I'd be happy to catch up but I'd rather keep things casual." It occurs to me that maybe he's not coming to New York and planning to have lunch with me while he's here but that he may be coming to New York solely to meet me because he's widened his search area for a date. That seems crazy, right? But also possible?

On the one hand I suppose it's possible he is just crazy-bad at this whole chatting chicks up thing. I can relate, I'm a klutz no matter the gender of the chattee and suspect I've made more than one person uncomfortable. And I'm someone who comes across better in writing than in a first conversation (just ask Zelda!), if the internet is to be believed that's unusual. If that's the case I probably have made him feel bad and I hate that, he's clearly lonely and nobody needs to feel lonely and bad about it. On the other hand, if he's truly as creepy as he's coming across and he overcomes my gentle rebuke then I'm probably going to feel bad enough that I'll actually go to lunch with him (in a well-lit, crowded place far from my home and I've already lined up at least one person to come with me).

I'm so bad at these things, please tell me WWID*?

*What Would the Internet Do?

8 comments:

  1. First off, email me with the guy's name. If I remember him, I may be able to add to your considerations with my impressions of him (recognizing, of course, that HS was 20 something years ago and a lot can happen in a couple of decades).

    If you want ME to look up his profile, I'd be happy to do that.

    This is just weird. I think, given what you've said here, that you're right to be creeped out. Keep your security in place; well-lit, crowded place far from your home and with a friend in attendance seems like a brilliant plan.

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  2. Hmmmm...I think your plan to meet him for lunch is sound, but you need to know what message to deliver. And deliver it pro-actively, rather than expecting he'll "get it". What do you want to say to this guy?

    And don't be in denial - if what you really want to say is "I really don't want you to contact me again, and I am going to de-friend you" - then say it, don't water it down by saying, "Oh, sure, we can still be casual friends," when you really don't mean it.

    OTOH, if you think you CAN be FB friends, then keep an open mind. Maybe the guy has some developmental or learning disability problems that affect his reading/writing.

    I don't have a good feeling about this one, though - I think you should probably defriend him.

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  3. Update to say that his "disability" is that he's reading on his phone and can't, I guess, always get the captions. He replied and told me that. He did not address the other part of my note. Perhaps he couldn't read that on his phone either...

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  4. This guy sounds like his social skills need some brushing up. Perhaps even a full scale wash/cut and dry? If you email me his name, I'll dry to dredge up what I can from the memory banks. I think your plan is smart -- well-lit, nondescript place that you do NOT normally frequent and bring reinforcements.

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  5. Shiz! Don't ignore the gift of fear Kizz. You just never know what people become. And without being cynical and since you already have !!!!!! alarm bells going off in your mind !!!!! I would call it a day, remove him from my facebook and never meet him for lunch, ever.
    Then I'd go home and settle in with a nice book about Ted Bundy.

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  6. If the hair on the back of your neck is standing up....it's doing it for a reason.

    You do not need to feel bad for maybe sort of almost kind of offending someone you knew 20 years ago.

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  7. Run, don't walk, far far away.

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  8. I agree with MAB. Follow your instincts. Delete!

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