I had been corresponding with a guy on the West Coast for about five months before I finally made the trip to meet him. The initial pen friendship was incredibly great for the ego. He was charming, witty and seemed to be the type of guy that I couldn't seem to meet in my own city. The fact that he was a friend of a close girlfriend made it all seem safer.
But there were some hard spots that we hit. First, he mentioned that he was being stalked by an ex-girlfriend who also happened to be one of his employees. It got very dramatic--she would follow him around town, he would confide in me how upset he was about their relationship, the situation would be resolved, and he would profess his affections for me. Then he became hot and cold and I declared the ultimatum: make up your mind or let's forget about this.
He finally convinced me to book a flight to go and see him so that we could decide whether a "real" relationship could take place away from the phone and the computer.
Such a foolish, foolish girl that I was.
Of course, what he never did reveal in complete honesty to me was the fact that he was courting another women who lived in his town. On what was supposed to be one of our Friday nights together with his friends, he brought along this young girl--never once properly telling me that we were both "rivals" for his attentions. When I forced the issue, he sheepishly admitted that this other woman was someone whom he had "short-listed" as someone for dating purposes.
So what the hell was I? The pinch-hitter?
As I got to know him during my visit, I took relief in knowing that there were too many things that this guy never told me. At least I got to find out now before it was too late. He never told me that he had this gorgeous Belgium Shepherd dog that he never properly walked during the day -- poor thing was caged in the backyard all the time. He never told me that he wore brilliant white knee socks with sandals and shorts. He never told me that he liked to laugh and clap his hands like a trained seal during public dramatic performances. I got off lucky.
I never hear from this frog again and eventually forgave my girlfriend too for thinking that this was a potential Prince Charming in wait. At least I have a good story to share about meeting online blind dates.
-- Name Withheld