After the relationship from hell I waited a year before opening myself up to love and falling for a stranger who kept walking down my hallway. I couldn’t help realizing we were perfect for each other, simply because he seemed to have decent hygiene and looked fairly normal. If you follow me on social media you’ll know just how rare it is for someone at my workplace to appear normal.
When I realized these encounters occurred every Friday afternoon, I began washing my hair on Thursday nights.
I learned an incredible amount about him in the 1.2 seconds it took for him to pass my office: He was a fast walker and always wore the same very fancy looking shoes. He also liked to keep a pen behind his ear, which was mildly douchey but something I could overlook and tease him about whilst we cuddled in front of a fireplace.
I was so convinced of our inevitable matrimony that I launched a full-scale reconnaissance mission, enlisting my various spies until I learned his true identity: He was the clinical director of the children’s ward and did not wear a wedding ring.
An unmarried doctor? Yes, I have found my soulmate.
Armed with his full name, my coworker and I began googling and traced his genealogy back by three generations and two states. We reviewed his speeding tickets and checked the property value of the huge-ass house he owned in a nearby suburb. When I found court records from his divorce a few years ago I realized it was up to me to nurse him back to a life of love.
An IT Guy walked in on us while we were mid-stalk and I tried to re-position my laptop so he couldn’t see the 19 tabs I’d opened to various creepy websites. My coworker, however, did not respect Girl Code and immediately outed me.
“Oh, him?” IT Guy said. “All I know is that his wife left him because she realized she was a lesbian.”
Once again I was overwhelmed with pity and a desire to shower him with more love than an 80’s ballad.
Hoping to earn a spot as one of my bridesmaids, my coworker took matters into her own hands and called the doctor’s secretary to detail my passionate love for him.
“Yeah, Aussa. The redhead. Yes, the one who dated Psycho Ex, yeah that was crazy. Anyways, you should tell him to make a move.”
I was mortified, waving my hands and trying to yank the phone away. It had been all well and good to fantasize like a high schooler but to have the equivalent of a “Do You Like Me? Check Yes or No” phone call made on my behalf was enough to make me shut my door on Friday afternoons.
A couple weeks later my boss asked me to attend a meeting while he was out of town—a meeting where I would likely run into the doctor. Naturally, I washed my hair and bought a new outfit, but for the most part I wanted to stop existing and do nothing other than stare at my iPhone the entire time.
When he walked in, I couldn’t help checking him out. It was the closest I’d ever been and I was shocked to realize he had a mildly creepy mustache situation going on. And he was way shorter than I’d realized because I’d only ever seen him from a distance whilst sitting because sitting is my profession. He sat to my left and when I finally got the nerve up to throw him a casual glance, my world was shattered.
His top three buttons were undone, revealing a lack of undershirt and some sparse scraggles of chest-hair curled about his pale chest. We were 45 seconds into the moment I’d been waiting for my entire life and I realized I was no longer madly in love with him.
He looked at me with an arrogant gaze that made it quite obvious he knew I’d already named our future babies. I felt my pride withering inside of me until it no longer existed and was only recalled via some sort of phantom limb syndrome.
When he spoke, it only got worse. He had the most country accent I’ve ever heard and his delicate hands waved about with every word. These lady fingers of his were so distracting that I almost didn’t notice what an elitist piece of shit he was until this sentence escaped his mouth: “Well, our patients like to have a lot of sex because they’re low class and that’s the only thing people like that know how to do without screwing it all up.”
When the meeting ended, I bolted. It was time to move on from the infatuation and find someone else to plan a theoretical life with. Unfortunately, the intel kept pouring in from my spies even though I’d put a hard stop on that request.
“He’s only been in one relationship since his ex-wife, and it lasted almost a year.”
I couldn’t have cared less until they mentioned her name. It was The Other Woman’s daughter.
When The Other Woman and I had met up for a drink to talk about our shared hatred of Psycho Ex, her daughter had been dating Lady Fingers. The shadiest parts of my world were colliding.
I realized I needed to expand my horizons and join an online dating site so that my love life would stop overlapping with the shitstorms of yesterday. This would eventually lead me to The Boyfran but first I had to fall in love with another stranger– He was a few years older, new to the city, and very well traveled. I flipped through photos of him in various countries, imagining all the adventures we would have together. I was in the process of planning our wedding when I clicked on a photo of him in Germany. He was holding a pint of beer and smiling into the camera. Sitting next to him in an overly unbotttoned shirt was none other than the faintly mustached Lady Fingers, there to remind me that there is no escaping the karmic cycle of online stalking.
Have you ever developed a crush on a stranger? Who do you think you know based solely on info you’ve found online? Has anyone ever failed to meet the expectations you arrived at before you met them?
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