Beam me up Scotty… I’ve had it with Captain Kirk

Winter can be boring and isolating and so I thought to myself, why not expose yourself to the hell that is internet dating. It’s always good for a story or two to entertain my friends.

I tend to look at my internet dating history in batches. So I dust off my profile, respond to messages from a bunch of guys , talk on the phone if their grammar is wooing enough and if they are appropriately charming and smart, I might even meet them, all the while shrinking the group at each step. It’s kind of like interviewing for a job. They submit an application, are screened, offered a phone interview, and if they are so very lucky, they get a real life interview and chance to meet me.

So in this most recent group, there was a guy who really stood out from the rest. We’ll call him Kirk ( not his real name btw). He caught my attention by using a creative opening line, making Asian driving jokes and generally being awesome. He was smart, funny, appeared to have his shit together and aside from a cowboy hat that need to go, was pretty adorable. Once we started talking, there was a click and we started talking more and more and he advanced to an in person interview.

We met for dinner at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants near my house even though it was an icy night and he lived on the other side of town. I, of course, was a few minutes late because well, I suck at time management. I arrived and was pleasantly surprised that he was cuter than his picture and had a Diet Coke waiting for me. ( on a side note, I wonder what kind of kick backs I could get if I changed my Facebook status to in a relationship with Diet Coke) He stood to greet me and gave the best warm hug. We ate dinner, talking non-stop the whole time and he even held my hand some. It was super nice. We eventually left the restaurant and he walked me to my car to make sure I didn’t break a hip on the ice.

I am not sure if this is TMI but well, who cares, it’s why you’re here. So I bring him home and we hang out, do some cuddling, so much more talking and a little smooching. – Full disclosure – it was part time roommate night, so I did technically have a chaperone that night. But when he left at 11:30, I was SMITTEN. I’m not going to lie, it felt nice.

So we talked everyday, texted, became Facebook friends, probably shared too much but generally just kind of rode the wave. I saw him again the next week and he ended up sleeping over and like last time, there was just so much cuddling and talking.

At this point, I start to think. I am starting to like him, but here’s the dirty secret. He was a fucking truck driver for Wal-mart and there was no way on God’s green/blue earth I was going to be party to that shit show again, so I don’t know what to do. I’m liking him more and more but I am also painfully aware that this situation is not at all what I want. So we’re talking that weekend and he makes some comment about how he’s not 100% sure the chemistry is there and I see an opening and try to politely and gently suggest he use it to no avail.

So I see him again. This time he brings dinner over and in what can only be called a genius maneuver, a case of Diet Coke and pie. Seriously? It’s like someone wrote a book called, “How to Woo J-Fo” and he was reading it. So. Much.Diet.Coke. And given my long history with leeches and losers, of course this impressed me. We had another lovely night of cuddling and talking. ( please tell me you understand what is/isn’t happening here – I don’t want to have to spell it out and then be embarrassed thinking my mom might actually read this one). He stayed most of the next day. We had coffee in the morning, he did his taxes while I worked, made me lunch. I know, it sounds fantastic. In Theory.

Another week goes by. More talking, texting, sharing of insane Facebook posts. However, by now, I’m kind of getting tired of hearing about every single house for sale in the state less than about $220, 000 that Zillow has to offer. And there was an incident that really bothered me. He was driving in the weather and went to deliver at a Wal-Mart store (obviously, he’s a Wal-Mart driver) and they wouldn’t let him in the dock door or answer the buzzer. So after some time he had to go into the store and ask the manager to have someone let him in and he calls me and tells me about this and the first thing out of his mouth was that the manager was the “fattest and ugliest” person and he goes on to tell the story repeating the phrase about this woman and frankly, it didn’t sit well with me.

Side note. Especially, when speaking to someone you allegedly “like-like” who is sensitive about that, do you think that maybe you could censor yourself a little? There are plenty of over ways to insult a person – lazy cock sucker, moron, fucking moron, lazy fucking cock sucking moron to just throw out a few- that are not so personally degrading and to me specifically, offensive.

So I let him rage on and vent and don’t say a word. We talk more. He scores me some Hostess Apple Strudel Coffee Cakes I was after. Comes over and tries to fix my toaster. Almost started a kitchen fire. We had a lovely night of more talking and cuddling. We go to sleep and then morning comes.

Morning, where we spent three hours in bed, talking and cuddling while he looked at his phone. At one point, we were spooning and he decided my breast would be the perfect place to rest his phone while looking at houses and showing them to me. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Finally, it’s decided that we’re going to get up and coffee and yada. Now I’m super annoyed with what didn’t happen and I may have made a snarky comment ( I know, me?? Can you even believe it?) and he responded by telling me that it was very hurtful. Like 47,000 micro-rejections over the last month weren’t? So I politely said that I didn’t think it was going to work out. I’ll spare you the play by play except for my favorite part, which I promise I am not making up.

We’re laying there wrapping things up and I did get a little teary. I had grown a little fond of this one. He looks at me and goes – I shit you not – “I hope you don’t cry for like 3 days over this” And I look him, shake my head and say, “Don’t worry, I won’t. I’m fucking JennyFoster” Mic drop

God always answers our prayers. Sometimes the answer is no.

Sometimes in order to move forward more efficiently, you need to let go of things, ideas and notions that you have been holding on to for longer than you should. A plane with too much drag never gets off the runway.

So last time, in our discussion of the scary over-reachingness of AI, I mentioned my friend Joe. Today, let’s talk about Joe.

I met Joe when I was about 23 years old, naive as could be. He must have been almost 30 by then, if not a little older. He smoked, he drank pretty regularly, was working on his Ph.D and hung out with some, we’ll call them “fun people”.

At the same time, I met this guy named Mike who was 27, claimed he was a financial planner, talked a good game about future plans, didn’t smoke, seemed better on paper, so I dated him and not Joe. But Joe and I talked often and became quite close and at one point, I was thinking about breaking up with Mike to date Joe, but again, Mike still looked better on paper and was clearly the “safer” choice, so I stayed with Mike.

Mike ended being his own special kind of shit show and we’ll save that for a different chapter. Obviously, at some point, Mike and I break up and of course, by that point, it’s too late, Joe had moved on and was with someone else ( who, by the way, he ended up marrying).

So the years go by, I go from one heartbreak to the next and in my heart of hearts all this time, I certain that this was the point where my whole life could have been better, could have been different- the summer of 1998 when I picked Mike instead of Joe. If only I had picked Joe.

About 2 years ago, I connected with Joe on Facebook and just quietly lurked. ( full disclosure – he is fully aware of my stalker like behavior) And one Friday night this past fall, fueled by Captain Morgan and my high-jinx partner, Jenny, I direct messaged him on Facebook. And he like instantly responded. We talked that night and it was awesome. It was like no time had passed at all. We communicated daily and it was wonderful.

But, since life isn’t actually a Hallmark Movie, time had passed. We had grown up and found we are different places in our life, both literally and figuratively. He lives on the west coast now and I live in Wisconsin. He’s a Democrat and well, I’m not. So when we saw each other this February, there was no magic reunion. I spent some time with my good friend.

And I realized, in a moment very like a cheesy movie where the main character gets a glimpse at the path not taken, that we don’t always know why, but things work out the way they do for a reason. Joe is in my life to be my very good friend and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Especially when said friend gives you an Echo Dot and I have now Alexia here to bless me every time I sneeze, or need a joke, or the time, or to know if dogs have tonsils ( they do) or when my new toaster is coming.

I think AI is going a little too far.

So, get in with me, if you will, to the way back machine and we’ll travel back about 20 years to like 1998. I’m still intermittently attending UW Madison while working and make friends with a Ph.d student named Joe. One night, Joe presents me with the abstract for his thesis, the main idea of which is artificial intelligence, or AI for short, and I have no comprehension of what I am reading. To me, this was some science fiction crap and I just didn’t get it.

Fast forward back to today, our world where the second you change your Facebook status from in a relationship to single, your banner ads are suddenly for dating websites. You mention a Five Guys Milkshake while on the phone with your friend and BAM! the next day, there is an ad for it. We all know that these ads are not merely coincidences, and at times, it gets super creepy. Like to the point where I kind of want to go to Best Buy to Google stuff on the sample computers so I don’t start seeing ads for it on my computer.

So in November, my friend Jenny, who is often a source for the hi-jinks in my life, introduced me to a TV show called Love after Lockup. It is by far one of the best bad reality shows. The premise of the show is couples who meet on inmate.com (yeah, that’s a thing) and begin dating while one person is prison. Their courtship consists of letters, phone calls, sending money, the occasional jail visit and of course, declarations of love and promises of marriage once the inmate is released. The show follows them as they figure out life together with them both on the outside. I hate to admit this, but it’s like a good train wreck and you just can’t look away. (Kind of in the same way watching Hoarders makes your house feel clean) I can’t even believe this show is a thing and start telling people about it, because it’s practically unbelievable. ( it’s on WE by the way)

In what I can only figure is a cosmic misuse of AI, shortly after my obsession goes full speed on this show, I get an unsolicited letter in the mail from an inmate at Fox Lake Correctional who allegedly got my name and address from some newspaper which I don’t quite understand but that is neither here nor there.

His letter is quite polite but the whole thing is incredibly unfathomable at the same time. He does talk about how to find him on Facebook, which I never did because we all know, once you troll someone, you show up as someone they “might know” and a friend suggestion and I didn’t want that. My friends looked for me. 🙂

Below are some pictures so that you can share in this experience with me. I underlined some interesting info as well as how to find him on Facebook if you are so inclined. And no, I did not write him back.

Envelope Creep factor 10/10
Card received with letter
Inside of Card
Explanation of why he is in jail. It’s his ex girlfriend’s fault. Clearly. Isn’t it always?
In case you wanted to do some Facebook trolling of your own….