Monthly Archives: January 2013

Replies Often

When a man contacts me on OKCupid I often reply. I am, therefore, ranked as someone who “Replies Often.” I would put my percentages at about 98%. Those other 2%-ers don’t hear from me either because I’m distracted or busy or…just can’t think of anything nice (or smartass) to say. In other words, I can almost always think of something to say.

Which, you might think, is a good thing. It is, in fact, a bad thing. A VERY bad thing. It means I respond to men I don’t find appealing. Men who probably copied-and-pasted the same overture to me and about 100 other women. Men who are 25 years my senior. Or junior. And men who live in Alaska. Worst of all are the men who are encouraged by my reply, even if I say, as politely as possible, that I’m not interested.

Such a cyber-courtship unfolded today. After a number of “No, thank you”s, G. persevered. This time I was less polite. He wrote “Let’s talk” and gave me his number. I envisioned this exact two word directive sent off to dozens of unread profiles and replied, more curtly than in the past: “Not interested, sorry.” And then got roundly chastised. I (stupidly) backpedaled and suggested that if he was that interested, he was welcome to come visit me at work. Which he did. And he was as unappealing in person as he had been online. But he eyed me salaciously and told me, “You look goooood.” Uh, yeah, thanks. I think.

Let me tell you, gentlemen, that though women are almost always flattered to be flattered, basing your “interest” in us on looks alone reduces us to a slab of meat in a deli display. This particular gentleman made no references to my profile when he emailed me or when he showed up in person. He did, however, make reference to my photos. I felt like an ice cream sundae. Which, I will admit, would’ve been awesome if the ogling had been working both ways. But it wasn’t.

I had asked him, after his chastisement, “And you are interested in me, why? Our match percentages are pretty low. Do we have anything in common?” His reply gave no indication of what he saw in me. And aside from appearing to be pleased with how I looked in person, he didn’t share any of his reasons for choosing me when he sat across the bar from me, either. So when he leered, “Now that we’ve done the look-see thing, how about a real date?” I painfully, politely declined.

Now, you don’t need me to tell you that rejection is more easily taken through the ether. It is what makes online dating so appealing. Everyone gets to do the rejecting from the comfort of their own home. In person, ouch. So I wasn’t surprised that he left abruptly, before I had a chance to say goodbye. And I was even less surprised when he immediately sent me a flurry of rude emails, culminating with “You are not as hot as I had hoped.” Ah, good thing. How sad if he’d been rejected by someone really hot!

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Abby, you callous cunt. The guy came all the way to your bar and you shut him down! Well, I tried, repeatedly, to dissuade him. Would it have been better if he’d spent $50 on dinner? I guess the next time I’m not interested, I’d best not respond. Soon I will be branded with the fearsome “Replies Selectively.” So if you don’t hear from me, you’ll know why!

Winter Blues

WARNING: Rant Alert!

Sometimes maintaining the eternal optimist stance is exhausting. Today I feel…depressed. I hate it when people talk about their depression. Everyone is constantly sharing their ever-changing moods on Facebook — along with their plates of food, pet antics and other annoyances — from elation to thoughts of suicide. Instead of making those emotions more immediate (or at least important) it merely minimizes them. How serious can your suicidal thoughts be if you’re broadcasting them to a thousand of your closest friends? Seriously depressed people don’t blather on about it. They just…are.

And yeah, no one wants to hear it. I certainly don’t. I don’t even want to hear about my own depression. Don’t want to feel the feelings or write about them. Yet here I am. So let’s try and turn it around, shall we?

The weather has been depressing. Dark and cold. But I love winter. Rather, I love seasons, as in the changing of. The same old sunny days, day after day, is maddening, which is why I find California so intolerable. But it’s the actual change that I enjoy. When all of a sudden you need to throw on a jacket. Or you can take out that awesome scarf again and rummage around to see if you still have gloves that match. A few weeks into winter and those gloves have gotten grimy. The scarf has been snarling your hair. And you’re ready for the next season. Well, I am. They have. And it has been.

I don’t have a stereo. So I turn on the TV for background noise. After a while the “Tena Twist” ads and the incessant insistence that THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU implied by all these commercials really wears me down. I need a drug to get up and move, another to go to sleep. One to cure my depression and still another to augment that, since those damn antidepressants apparently don’t work all that well. My lack of need for prescription pharmaceuticals is a disadvantage in the random surveys I fill out, hoping that I’ll be called in for a paid focus group. Have I been diagnosed with this, that or the other? No. I am perfectly healthy. And evidently the only 53-year-old in the world who isn’t taking anything for…anything.

OKCupid has become a necessary evil, one populated with smiling, shriveled old men who “are lovin’ life” and “enjoying a good glass of wine” clicking on my profile. And not even emailing me. Is this what it’s come to? The emails that do come? They’re either from a 23-year-old who wants to live out his mommy fantasy, a non-entity with a grey heart where his photo should be or some walrus mustached truck driver from Montana. I. Just. Can’t.

Over the weekend I worked a checkpoint for the Idiotarod. It was the warmest, fuzziest shopping cart race ever, with the added feature of assisting businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy. There were dozens of adorable 20-somethings, possibly a few 30-somethings, all of whom I would’ve been seducing in my younger days. But, uh, yeah. I ran into a gentleman who friends have intimated “has a crush on you” and…nothing. After a few words in line for the toilet, he seemed far more interested in chatting up someone else, someone…younger. A week ago I was speaking with a woman who had spoken to a professional matchmaker. The most depressing part of our conversation? This quote from the matchmaker: “Women in their 40s don’t get many dates because men in their 40s, 50s, even 60s all want to date women in their 30s.” Uh-huh.

I am not happy being old. NOT. HAPPY. I do NOT WANT to be old. I know everyone says it’s better than the alternative but I’m not so sure it is. When I think like this I try to remind myself that I want to be around to see my sister’s kids get older. But do I? The eldest is already distancing himself. Will the next three do the same? What else do I have to look forward to? My High Holy Days? Let’s see: I can’t afford to fly to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Santa Con has become such a nightmare than no one wants to participate anymore. The Mermaid Parade seems to be moving in the same frat-tastic direction. Halloween was cancelled this year. And Burning Man has become nothing more than a job.

I’m working on an event and booking people is so problematic that I’m not sure I even want to bother. All for what? Being a nervous wreck the entire night, worrying about making enough cash to pay people. And maybe making, like, 20 bucks. Bah.

I have a job. One day a week. I barely make $200 for eight hours of work. I was hoping to land a shift at another neighborhood bar but I guess they went with someone else, someone…younger. I go 48 hours without leaving the house on a regular basis. The only thing that’s been saving me is a glue gun and battery operated tiaras. Ack. And fuckety-fuck-fuck.

She Who Wears the Crown

I received a third letter. My boss let me know another one arrived today, so I went to the bar and picked it up. It showed up so quickly, I thought I’d respond just as quickly. Since this is the only way I have to communicate with my Mystery Man, I’ll ask you to bear with me, dear readers, as this strange little drama plays out.

Rather than type out the entire missive and then respond, I think it makes more sense to respond paragraph by paragraph, as though we were having an actual conversation. I’m not saying this will make it any more compelling but at least you’ll get to “come along” on the ride. So to speak. The phrases or words he has put in quotes usually refer to my words from previous posts.

“…is this day and age…” when a boy is interested in a girl (intended usage) a smart boy will revert — or make the attempt — in a manner that is not as prosaic as what has sadly become accepted norm. This is hardly “too much time on his hands rather, it’s showing the girl she’s worth it. In other word (sic), “wooing.”

So I guess you’re saying that sending me an email would’ve been “the norm” and, thus, too prosaic. Point taken. I’m flattered that you’re taking the time to “woo” me.

“you have a secret admirer…” is so banal, as is an anonymous valentine. That could be from ANYONE, and it’s been done to death (as has “secret admirer.”)

True enough. Though I’d have to say that these notes could just as easily be from “ANYONE.” Thus far, you’ve done nothing to set yourself apart from the thousands of other strangers out there in the city. I will withhold my judgement for the time being, however, given that you’ve indicated you’ll be sending more.

Before I go any further, I’m suggesting you not get too excited about this; I’m not your type for 2 very important reasons that I won’t reveal. How do I know? You’ve made numerous references in any number of blogs as you regale your minions of adventures in love[less]land.

I’ll be sure to check myself if I start falling in love with your typewritten pages. Since it’s evident from said notes that you’re capable of stringing sentences together (with proper grammar and spelling!), I’m guessing those two reasons are variations on the “old” and “out of shape” infractions germane to men in my age range that I regularly bemoan here. Sadly, meeting in the brick and mortar world — as opposed to the online dating universe — is always preferable, as looks become less important. Given that you are, regardless of your aversion to the term, both an admirer (of sorts) and secret (unknown to me), it would’ve been easy to just show up at the bar one day and hang out. No need to make a big deal out of it. Actually, you could still just show up. There’s no way I’d know…

Why bother then? Because you’re worth it; I get the sense that you like mental stimulation… and fun. (There’s NO stalking! Jeez! And no “ransom” intent. It was a graphic (font) device. “Ransom” suggest extortion and you’ll surely note I wanted nothing of you.)

Okay, first, let’s not get hung up on the word “ransom.” What I meant was that your “graphic (font) device” was reminiscent of ransom letters. No need to address that again.

Yes, you’ve got me wondering “Why bother?” I’m flattered that you believe I’m “worth it.” But worth what? Worth stimulating mentally? I’ll admit, there is a “fun” aspect to this, the curiosity and the time you’re taking to mystify me. Though then the question is, “To what end?” Will the letters just keep coming? Until? Until I lose interest? Because if, as you’ve indicated, we will never meet, then what is the intent?

So please accept what follows — and this may take some time — in the spirit in which it’s offered.

Agreed. Though I’m a bit wary of what’s to follow. Letter after letter, letting me know how I can be a better…blogger? Dater? Human being? Or perhaps merely have my ego eternally stroked? I’d say I’m game for anything but, well, that would be an untruth.

Also, a favor. Please don’t beat me up too much in Bloggedyville. There’s something to be said for “stirring the animals” (as H.L. Mencken referred to the masses), it’s another for your gangs (and you have them) to attack when someone, anyone, dares to ding the tiara of she that wears the crown. Frankly, I’m surprised you had ZERO replies to the “stalking” piece (thank god!)


Bloggedyville? Hah! I was surprised, too. I have no idea what motivates people to respond, though a catfight sure brings in the hits! I won’t make any promises I can’t keep. Thus far there’s no reason to beat you up. But given that I have no idea what’s to come, I can’t predict how I will react. I find it hilarious that you (and other commenters) believe I have these “minions” and “gangs” and “supporters.” On my best day, my blog had about 200 hits; only a few of my readers are friends. Sure, there are a rabid handful who defend me but they are usually coming from a place of not just knowing me better but knowing what I mean. Often the catfights result when my words are misconstrued. Besides, if they were to “attack,” what would it matter? You are — and will, apparently, remain — the Mystery Man. Is your skin that thin, even from afar? And from strangers?

And one last thing: in context of “which is worse, the ones that got away or the ones that never were?” the “never were” (implicit being “never gonna be”) was a simple “floated idea.” Go to YouTube and type in “the people that you never get to love” (the “mrquickryder” version.) It may be too sappy for you (the Susannah McCorkle version is the best; unfortunately unavailable) but I think you’ll appreciate the sentiment of the lyric. Or not.
Stay tuned…..

I still don’t quite understand your thought process behind these notes. The first one was a “floated idea?” A sort of “what if?” From reading the rather wistful lyrics of that song, I understand what you’re getting at. Though I can’t even imagine all the people I never got to love. I’ve loved (and continue to love) so many. Why waste time on regret? If you are including yourself in the group of people (men?) I never get to love, aren’t you counting yourself out of the game before it’s even begun? Do you believe in yourself so little?

I dunno…I suppose this will unspool in whatever way you choose, since you’re sort of in the driver’s seat. Or sender’s seat. Let’s just see, shall we?

“Shy” Stalker’s Intent? Intrigue! Hmm, Intriguing!

A week after receiving that peculiar anonymous note at work (which I wrote about in my Stalking post a few days ago), I received another:

Dear Abby,
This is going to spiral out of control, and in a hurry.
What was intended as intrigue, curiosity, piqued interest, has back-fired into the unfortunate use of the “s” word. There’s no “stalking” involved; if there is an “s word” it’s shyness. The danger in doing what I thought was cute is that it will take on a terrible life via social media — really not my intent — and create the wrong impression.
There’s a big different between “too much time on one’s hands” and an attempt to be clever. As such I’ll stop immediately and apologize for whatever consternation I may have caused.
Once again, I’m sorry.

No signature or name. This time the envelope wasn’t hand addressed. And it was postmarked: New York, NY 18 JAN 2013 10PM. Guess it was sitting at the bar for a few days! So. I’m going to address the sender here, since he obviously reads this blog.

Apology accepted. I’m hoping you didn’t overlook the fact that, in the end, I decided to take the letter, as odd as it was, the way you’d actually intended: as a compliment. In this day and age, people don’t even spend time licking an envelope or slapping on a stamp for those they love, so I was flattered (if, simultaneously, freaked). Its arrival merely happened to coincide with my desire to write about stalking. A note from an unknown source can be taken in many ways; in the context of stalking, it fit right in. However, being a shy admirer, most certainly, isn’t the same as stalking. The anonymity of the note made it a little…creepy. Now that you’ve (sort of) outed yourself, it wasn’t stalking at all. Yes, the wrong impression was created. Now that you’ve revealed your intent, that impression has been modified. And the note, less creepy.

Of course, it leaves so many unanswered questions. I’ll start with What, exactly, did you mean by “never were”? Which leads to, Are you one that “never was”? Or are you one that just hasn’t been…yet? Are you so shy you can’t face me in person? Or have you faced me and found yourself unable to…say hello? Ask me out? Do we know each other or are we total strangers?

Whether we’ve met or not, I’m primarily interested in your use of words. If you were attempting to be “clever” why not just say something along the lines of “You have a secret admirer”? With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, an anonymous Valentine would’ve had a much different impact; it would have been an indication of actual interest, which was what your ransom note-ish missive, with its ambiguity, unfortunately lacked.

Beyond all these obvious initial questions, I must inquire further: Are you now out of the picture completely? If so, that would be a shame. Because now I am, indeed, intrigued.


A Kiss Is Just A…

How important is a kiss? Or more specifically, how important is it that a kiss be good? Maybe not perfect but, well, at least good enough to keep…kissing.

Even in the most unconventional situations — with the obvious exception of hookers — a kiss or two (or 20) is commonplace before sex. Ideally it leads to sex. If the kissing is good, mmmm, whether it takes months or moments, it serves as the gateway drug to intercourse. Kissing involves more than just lips. The tongue gets involved, arms entwine, you’re close enough to smell your partner in pucker. And if all of this feel wonderful, why wouldn’t, well, more feel better still?

Okay, I can tell you’re nodding in agreement so I’m going to forge ahead. What about the opposite? What if the kiss is not good? At all. What if the kiss is terrible? If you find yourself thinking, mid-kiss, “This can’t go on. I simply cannot go on kissing this person for one more moment.” Then what?

There are many reasons you might think this but the bottom line is that everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a good kiss. And this changes for each person over their lifetime. Believing you’ve just received the best kiss ever when you’ve never kissed anyone before makes perfect sense; you have no other kisses to which it can be compared. But when you’ve kissed dozens of frogs, er, I mean men, then you’re evaluating that experience through very experienced lips.

Well these experienced lips have experienced some pretty damn good kissing. Every man I’ve kissed did it differently. Some were better than others, of course, and many improved with each subsequent smack. One, in particular, was the Best Kisser Ever. Making out with him was like being in a movie, the scene where the starlet is melting into her leading man’s arms. Thank goodness this man came along late in my life or think how many others would’ve been held up to his example! As it is, he’s a tough act to follow.

Which leads me to a few of my latest kisses. They’ve been less than spectacular. So lackluster, in fact, that any chances of lust resulting are all but nonexistent. “Can’t you train him?” friends have asked. Well, yeah, sure. But wouldn’t you think that in my sixth goddamn decade of life, providing educational opportunities such as these is really asking a bit too much?

There’s a reason so many women eschew new relationships and wind up living alone in a house full of cats. This is only one of them. Factor in revealing yourself, naked, to someone new, adjusting to sharing your bed (again), navigating the likes and dislikes, foibles and quirks, bodily functions and sexual dysfunctions, ack, the list is endless. Honestly? I’m not sure I can do it. And if I were going to even consider it, the guy’s gotta at least be a good kisser.

French Kiss

French Kiss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Be Here (or There) Now

During my recent two weeks in the Bay Area, I changed my location on OKCupid to “San Francisco.” I was, in fact, staying in Marin but what the hell? The Bay Area is the Bay Area, at least for dating within a 100 mile radius purposes.

First, let me say that the pickin’s out there are far superior to the pickin’s here. No idea why but I will venture one guess: guys can get easier exercise and perhaps care more about physical fitness. Secondly, I observed that the clichéd “laid back California vibe” carries over into online dating. Even though I only managed to meet up with one man, most seemed open to a casual date with an out-of-towner; their general reactions to my emails were more welcoming.


I wouldn’t say I was being dishonest by listing my location as California. But I suppose I wasn’t quite honest, either. I don’t live there. I was there for a visit and thought, what the hell, why not? One of my “Visitors” emailed me, “Weren’t you in SF yesterday?” Apparently people do pay attention, even to the whereabouts of strangers. I told him I was.

When I got back home I changed my location back to New York City. A guy whose profile picture was a sousaphone caught my eye. I KNOW! I have condemned men who don’t post photos but the brass instrument (heh) piqued my interest. I thought perhaps we’d met since, well, ’cause my social circle includes plenty of marching band members. Gah. Anyway, cutting to the chase, I emailed him but he isn’t in NYC at all. He is in Switzerland. SWITZERLAND! In his defense, he is, at least, planning a trip to New York in the very near future. But to make his wicket even stickier, he’s coming into town (well, not into town, but to the state of New York, anyway) to meet with a lover who doesn’t approve of his polyamory. She doesn’t want to be one of his many. He believes this visit might go south and, I guess, was hoping to perhaps actually go south himself and shop for a new polyamorous lover in Manhattan. Well, that ain’t gonna be me! I was so boggled by his multi-location, multi-lover lifestyle, not to mention how he thought I might actually fit into it, that I couldn’t quite compose myself enough to effectively communicate.

When OKC threw an interesting looking guy at me — I can’t recall if it was a “You might like” or if he popped up in “Activity” — I was intrigued by his screen name, “IamHeAsURme,” and visited his profile, which further intrigued. He was local and listed himself as 6’4″, so I enthusiastically emailed him. I must’ve hit a button by accident because my initial message went out with only one word in it: “Licentious.” It was a word he’d used in his profile. I tried again:

Shit. Why does technology always betray me? 
I was trying to say: 
Love that word. 
That is all…

He responded soon after:
I love it when I meet a woman for the first time and the first thing she says is, “Shit” 
I want to tell you right off, that I know exactly what you are doing. 
I too have been around the block my very beautiful sister. 
Every time that someone tells me they “love” something of mine they are really demanding that I give it to them. 
The people who resort to this method of acquiring things know exactly who to prey upon to achieve maximum success and get away with it. 
The good news is that I freely give away my possessions with great joy and you probably suspected that…didn’t you. 
I will give you LICENTIOUS 
But if you want to have it in conjunction with “kiss” 
it’s gonna cost you! 

Despite our match% numbers; when I meander into your bar someday…or run into you on the street or at Burning Man…I believe that we will be enthralled with each other. 
Just a hunch… 
And you are absolutely spectacular. 
That is all…

Again, nice. Very nice. Clever, playful. Smart. I was now beyond intrigued and flat out excited. But I played it cool. I wasn’t quite sure whether he was flirting or kinda blowing me off:
I think. 
Looking forward to the day that you meander in sometime soon. 
Very soon. 
And ideally in a licentious manner. 
The kiss? Perhaps down that random road…

I gave as good as I got. (Or at least I thought so.) And within 20 minutes he zapped right back at me:
Ah…I have won success! 
It is always good when I meet a women for the second time and her first word is, “Thanks” 
I must warn you that people have called the cops because of the licentious way in which I meander… 
I have since learned to keep it toned down when necessary. 

What is the name of “your bar” and where is it? 
if I may be so bold as to ask… 

Erik with a “k” 

Okay, so now that was flirty. I was even more excited. Not two minutes later he followed up with:
Dear God… 
Enchanted_Love just visited me.

Uh, not sure why he chose to share that with me, but I forged ahead:
Hello, Erik with a “k”, 
I am unable to view Enchanted_Love so I cannot empathize. Is she (he?) a horror? 
Shit and Thanks are both words I use often. Not always in immediate succession. 
Meander licentiously into the Double Down Saloon, 14 Avenue A (any time, but I’m only there on Wednesdays, noon till 8) and enjoy cheap drinks, a punk rock jukebox and seriously disturbing viewing material on the TVs. And me, of course. (Whether or not I am seriously disturbing remains to be seen…) 
Abby without an “e”

I realize that the internet makes seriously strange bedfellows and, well, I’m embarrassed to say that by this point I was really excited. It’s hard to find smart, quick and good looking tall guys in my age group. So yeah. I was already projecting myself into an actual date. True love! Licentious kisses! Ridiculous, I know. Another 20 minutes later he responded:

Dear Abby, (that has a familiar ring) 
Enchanted__Love turns out to be fine and dandy! 
Her name turned my stomach a bit…that’s all. 
I love everyone really…just some people I have to love from afar so I don’t get caught up in their craziness. 
Son of Sam, I would love from afar.. 

I am actually traveling at this time in a Kerouacian manner through the U.S., and I hope to get up to the Big Apple by Summer. 
Of course I know that you have a life and you do not put it on hold for anybody. 
I hope that we can stay in some kind of touch until we might actually meet and see if sparks fly. Two things I can guarantee are; my honesty and loyalty. 
But as always, as you wish… 
With utmost sincerity, 
( You said you were without an “e” so here is mine 🙂 

Okay, so there are a few things a little off about this. One is that he had already mentioned Enchanted_Love, for no apparent reason; the fact that he went on to elaborate that she was “fine and dandy” was kinda pushing it. His admission that he “loves everyone” was a bit odd and his qualification that he has to love some people “from afar” leads right into his following revelation. He’s traveling? And won’t be in New York City until summer? Um. What? But whatever, as I said earlier, I listed myself somewhere I didn’t live. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I decided to just play nice:
Hmm, okay. Might I ask why you’re even on a dating site if you’re itinerant? 
I leave every summer for three months in the desert, working for Burning Man. So when you (eventually) meander (licentiously or any other fashion) into Double Down I may not be there. 
Best of luck in your meanderings and whatever else! 

His response was genuine:
Why yes you can ask. 
This site not only has people looking for dates and relationships, but also accommodates people who want to find friends, activity partners and long distance pen-pals. I happened to check off all reasons for being on this site except for casual sex. 
I also have found that if I get to know a woman for the sole purpose of forming a relationship/partnership, it always ends up bad. 
That is the way it is for me anyways… 

“Always ends up bad.” Well, that’s telling it like it is. Thus forewarned, I thought I’d play along, you know, as a friend:
I guess the proper question to ask might’ve been Why list yourself in NYC if you aren’t here? I was just in CA for two weeks and similarly sought out “activity partners” so I get that. 

His response ventured a little further into Crazytown:
My profile, (and I have had one in different forms on and off since my divorce in late 2009) travels the English speaking World. My search for kindred souls is not limited to any one local. 
And I in fact am not limited to one place on this planet. Last year I relocated from MA to CA to make a life with someone I met online. 
Unfortunately this lovely woman died unexpectedly this past May. 
I have not been with anybody since. 
I see that you feel misled by me, so I in hopes that it does not happen again, will amend my profile to make things clearer as to my whereabouts or lack thereof. 
Actually, I am going to Burning Man this year for sure. 
I have never been, but have been wanting to go ever since I heard about it. I would love to arrange to meet you there…even if as a fellow tribe member 🙂 
Please forgive me for misleading you.

Died unexpectedly? Okay. And I wouldn’t want to limit anyone to one locale but you’re gonna have a tough time finding someone to have coffee with if you’ve listed yourself in, like, you know, a city where you actually aren’t. Even a pen pal needs to know where to send mail. But I was still willing to believe and be one of those pen pals. Though actually meeting up with him in whatever sort of future (or the chaos of Burning Man) seemed to be a bit of a stretch.
Yeah, passing yourself as someone in NYC when you’re not (at all) is kinda lame. Apology accepted though you have yet to amend your profile, thus continuing to mislead others. A shame, since you seem like an intriguing sort. 
Burning Man is months off. I go out there in July and stay till October. We can certainly attempt to meet up, though that’s a tough one even under the best of circumstances (as in two people who already know each other and are REALLY interested in getting together). With 60,000 people it can be difficult…. 
That said… 
Best of luck to you in your perigrinations! 

His response, a half hour later:
I actually added this paragraph immediately after I messaged you last. 

“Please know that I am likely not in the city my profile represents me to be in, as my search for kindred spirits takes me around the Globe. 
If I so desire, I can relocate anywhere in the free world.” 

I accept your opinion that my actions are lame, but I have had plenty of experiences in NYC to have as equal claim to the City as any who are not native born. 
I also always let people know as soon as a conversation starts where I actually am at the time…as I did with you. Moving my profile around saves me a lot of time as I have learned that my best prospects are those that find my profile, like it and make first contact…as you did. 
I am the kind of guy who stands out of a crowd of 60,000 so I will see you this Summer! 
Yours Truly, 
Erik the Tall 😉

The Tall? Oh, how I wanted this man to be real. Real and honest and close by!
You can have all the claim you want. But if you aren’t physically HERE why not say where you ARE? Which is WHERE? 
I’m sure you’re awesome. Making it all the more irritating that you aren’t here.

Was I being too enthusiastic? I mean, 6’4″? Was that too good to be true? Even if he was far away? Ten minutes later, he returned the compliment:
I am sure that you are awesome. 
Your awesomeness is inspiring me to finally get to Burning Man. 
I Must Go There.
My profile is now where I am…a lovely place!

So where was he? Alabama. Fucking Alabama.
Be here now. Or wherever you are. I said.
Of course Abby, 
Till when later is here now. 
he said. And a few hours later I noticed that he was no longer in Alabama. He was in LA. Wow, you made it from Alabama to LA in record time! I said to him. In four minutes he said: Ahhh…Thanks for noticing! 
I may make a hop to Honolulu later… 
I met some great Girls in London yesterday. 
I even proposed marriage to one. She said yes…but she called it off when she awakened and sobered up. I of course understand and was not too disappointed. 
I kid you not,

Ooooohkaaay. Okay! Cuckoo? Yup. Fuckin’ nuts. No surprise that the site now says “Sorry IamHeAsURme no longer has an account.” That’s probably a blessing to all the (other) susceptible and gullible gals from Honolulu to London, Alabama to LA and those of us who sincerely wish we could meet a handsome, witty, 6’4″ guy right here in ol’ Manhattan. Maybe he married one of his pen pals. Yup. Him and Manti Te’o.


Stalking is an emotionally charged word.

The trouble with writing about it, in a personal context as opposed to a general or societal one, is that it will most likely encourage more…stalking. So I realize that even using the word might result in attracting former, would-be, or those inclined to be stalkers. So yeah. Somewhat counter productive. Or conflicted. But has that sort of thing discouraged me in the past? Hell no. So.

photo-29Yesterday at the bar I received a piece of mail. An anonymous piece of mail. See accompanying photo. Once upon a time I might’ve been able to at least figure out what city the letter came from based on the postmark. But in the 21st century there are no more postmarks and all the sleuthing I did failed to find a way to glean that info. The handwriting on the envelope might be an indication but I don’t recognize it.

photo-28Among the many things that are odd about this is that there actually is handwriting. Well, printing. Why bother with the “ransom letter” jumble of fonts on the letter and then address the envelope by hand? But more curiously who would take the time? And why? First, a few digressions.

In answer to the question posed by the letter, I would have to say, um neither. The blog post the letter refers to states quite clearly that I have no past loves who could be called “the one that got away.” And who, precisely, might constitute “the ones that never were?” Never were? Does this mean…every man in the world? Every man I’ve ever met? Or met and never dated? Dated and never fucked? Fucked and never saw again? I have no idea.

If the purpose of this letter was to provoke thought, it has succeeded. But hey, I’m always thinking. If the purpose was to creep me out, mission also accomplished. And cause me consternation? Yup! See, I have never been a fan of anonymity. In any context. My first pseudonym was for Selwyn Harris’s Happyland fanzine; I came up with one upon his request. But it was only used once. And I’m pretty sure that I used my real name in the accompanying bio. When I published my fanzine, Porn Free, I invented my EditrixAbby pseudonym but it wasn’t something I hid behind, it was more a “title.” I’ve always argued for personal transparency, believing that if you were doing something you were so ashamed of that it required a false identity, perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it.

When people comment on this blog anonymously, I think it’s chickenshit. If I don’t know you, you don’t need to hide. And if I do know you, why would you want to? Are you that scared of me? Of my purported “supporters?” Contrary to recent commenters who think I can’t tolerate people who disagree with me, I have lifelong friends with whom I often conflict. Seriously. Why does anyone need to be anonymous?

This person, whoever they are, clearly has too much time on their hands. Anyway, back to the stalking topic.

On my trip west for the holidays, I got together with E., the woman who found me through her admittedly somewhat stalkerish methods (and her consequent comments on this post). She’d experienced a less-than-pleasant liaison with my ex and, when he told her about his “estranged girlfriend in New York City,” she wanted to find out more about me. This resulted in an online acquaintanceship that has since become a brick-and-mortar friendship, as well as a mutual admiration; she reads my blog, I read hers. She mentioned that her blog had recently received a number of hits from a reader in Gerlach, NV. Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who that reader is: our common ex. (Given that there are only about 200 people in Gerlach and that the chances of any of them randomly finding her blog are probably zero, a fairly reasonable deduction.) Why on earth he’d be reading her blog — STILL! Lo, these years later! — was a source of amusement for us both. And it made me wonder if perhaps, in his endless idle hours in Nowheresville, Nevada, he was also still reading this blog.

A bit of background: Over the years of our relationship, this man complained quite a bit about his “stalkers.” When I eventually befriended his previous girlfriend (the one before me, that is), she told me she had been trying to reach him because the collection agencies that were after him were driving her crazy and his debt was screwing up her credit. They had co-signed for a car together. She merely wanted him to remove his name from the papers. (And probably do something to redirect all those collection agencies! Not to mention take away all his belongings he’d left behind in her home.) His interpretation of her attempts to reach him for perfectly legitimate reasons as “stalking” seem laughable in retrospect. I will admit that he says — and does — things to cultivate an eternal psychic connection with him. (Which is, of course, why I was reluctant to write this. Best not to feed the troll! But in the interest of over-sharing…)

When I started blogging in the fall of 2011, this man was among my readers. He commented — and not anonymously. His  irrational “fear of stalking” was probably why he blocked me on Facebook yet I wondered why he would spend his time, more than a full year after our “breakup,” keeping tabs on my life. Not that he had anything to worry about, since any stalking behavior was in his head. Well, except for all his own stalking behavior.

But back to this odd, anonymous note. I am, admittedly, super curious. And, perhaps foolishly, flattered. I mean, someone out there took the time to craft the note, print it out (on a color printer!) and slap 45¢ of postage onto the hand-addressed envelope. How special I must be! How valuable the pearls of wisdom I share here must be to this person! Well, that’s what I’m gonna keep telling myself!
[An interesting cyber-aside: WordPress often suggest photos to accompany your blog. For this particular post, WP offered an interesting selection, including two photos of me that Danger Ranger shot at the Golden Spike ceremony, 2008. Precisely why this is extra creepy, beyond the usual “the interwebz knowz stuff and that’s creepy” is possible fodder for a future post. The photos appear below.]

6453 - Golden Spike Ceremony

6453 – Golden Spike Ceremony (Photo credit: DangerRanger)


6431 (Photo credit: DangerRanger)

Senior People Meet Still Sucks. And Our Time is the Same Shit.

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting different results, then I’m outta my mind. Yes, I decided to reactivate my account on SeniorPeopleMeet, which is also being marketed as OurTime (which is beyond misleading…BEYOND). It is still a sordid cesspool of illiterates, cretins and men who apparently haven’t been on a date in decades.


I would say that this photo of “CultureStyle” says it all. But then there was this genius:

He Said:

You Said:
The fact that you need to ask sort of points out how incompatible we would be.
Thank you for your interest, though, and best of luck in your search!

He Said:

 You Said:
If you want to know the meaning of a word, use the INTERNET AND LOOK IT UP!
Move along.
He Said:
Oh, I’ll get lost, all right. This one’s for you, Wendy. I’m SORRY if I want to date men who can SPELL. Who know how to use a FUCKING APOSTROPHE! I am obviously WAY too PICKY and I am DOOMED to be SINGLE FOREVER! Seriously, how is it that so many men can be this socially inept?
To balance things out, I will say that I had an OKCupid date Sunday that was very pleasant. We got coffee and strolled through the flea market, each of us buying a few things and conversing while we perused. There wasn’t much chemistry or even a whole lot of “friendship” type connection but it wasn’t awful. He didn’t do anything to make fun of, complain about or be appalled by. This is to support my “I’m capable of being a human being” argument; if it doesn’t lead to true love, or even another date, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If falling in love were easy, there wouldn’t be online dating sites. Everyone would just wind up with their best friend’s partner’s best friend and that would be that!
But since that isn’t how it works, I soldier on, battling the bumblers and fumblers, the ALL CAPS USERS, the distant and dimwitted, the lost and the losers. I know there’s a man out there somewhere who will be the yin to my yang, who’ll “get me” and who I’ll get right back. And he might even be on OKCupid. But I’m pretty damn sure he isn’t on SeniorPeopleMeet. Or OurTime, which is the same damn site with slightly less embarrassing graphics.

Costume Insanity

IMG_1838Yes, here it is. An exhaustive listing of all my costumery. Literally decades of creating and collecting, hoarding and bargain hunting. Seven and a half years of weekly fetish parties, with a new theme every week, required that I be ever-inventive. The parties ended ages ago but, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to stop myself. I spent over $100 just today. Oy vey. Just about everything is for sale. For a price. Or for rent! Yeah…that’s the ticket. I’ll rent this stuff so I can afford the rent on the damn storage space!
[I may edit, update, add and delete to this list as I buy or sell stuff. If so, I’ll change the date here–>Jan. 14, 2013.]

And yes. This is what I do with  my spare time. Unless I’m making tiaras. I suppose I should probably be writing…


Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Red Black & Yellow Oversized Plaid Coat with Stag Horn Buttons
Black Suede Fringed Jacket with White Trim
Purple Velvet Cloak with Cream Satin Lining
Red Metallic Motorcycle Jacket
Long Black Velvet Coat
White Tux Tails
Red White & Grey Marching Band Jacket
Orange & Metallic Moon Cloak
Floor-Length Pink Satin Opera Cloak
Yellow Chiffon Tiered Cloak
Teal Tyrolean Coat
Black Velvet Queen of Halloween Cape with Orange Satin Lining
Pale Turquoise Velvet Genie Coat with Gold Trim and Burgundy Velvet Lining
Long Black See-Through Catherine Coatney Coat
Long Black Open Cloak with Sparkly Swirl Appliqué
60’s Beige Trench Coat
Black & Grey Striped Choir Robe
Black & Lavender Metallic Bolero Jacket
White Fake Fur Short Jacket
Hot Pink Fake Fur Corset Jacket
Fuzzy Pastel Easter Coat
Purple Silk Cape (extra long)
Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket with Red Bones
Red Wool Felt Hooded Eskimo Coat with Embroidery & White Fur Trim
Black Feather Jacket
Black Fake Fur Capelet
Long Black Religious Robe
Long Black Hooded Cape with Purple Satin Lining
Long Black Wool Cape (4)
Long Black Blazer Coat with Rhinestones
Black Short Waiter Jacket
Black Velvet Vintage Cape (2)
Rainbow Sequin Cloak with Black Boa Trim
Green & Ochre Wool Leprechaun Coat (military style)
Distressed Cream Religious Cloak
Turquoise Velvet Blazer
Cream Canvas Button Coat
Red/Burgundy Military Blazer with Gold Buttons
Red 80s “Power Suit” Blazer
Long Black “Toga” Wrap with Gold Trim
Burgundy & Gold Pirate Cloak (Kathleen Marie) with Lace Neck Ruff
Mad Scientist Lab Coat

See-Through Metallic Sequin Vintage Slip
Black Slip
White Silky Short Robe
White Silky Robe with Black Lace Trim
Long White Vintage and Lace Robe
Long Black Eyelet-ish Vintage Robe
White Slip with Blood Splatters
White Lace Nightgown
Black Lace Bra
Black Jersey Bra
Black Merry Widow Bustier
Black Half-Slip with Flowered Ribbon Trim

Cream & Blue Empire Waist Dress
Olive Green 70s Dress with Rhinestones
White Mexican Dress
Yellow Flowered Mexican Dress
Burgundy Evening Gown with Black Beads
Green & Lavender Sequin Go-Go Dress
Red Beaded Vegas Dress
Black Flowered 40s-esque Dress
Black & Gold Polka Dot Cocktail Dress (80s)
Black Flowered Cocktail Dress (80s)
Black Bridesmaid Dress
Green Zombie Girl/Night of the Living Dead Dress
Black Vintage Dress with Beaded Designs
Long Black Dress with Lace (open back)
Vintage Sheer Navy Dress with Rhinestone Pin Accents
Long PVC Strapless Dress (new)
Black & Cream Mud Cloth Blazer Dress
60s Black Quilt & Neon Flower Hostess Dress
Blue Crushed Velvet Peasant Dress
White Nurse Uniform
Black Velvet Vintage Dress (torn)
Black Dirndl Dress (Germany) with Pink and Black Apron
Silver Spandex Dress with Neon Pom-Pom Trim
Red Long-sleeved Long Robe/Dress with Gold Trim
White Crushed Velvet Spandex Dress (long sleeves)
Blue Star Trek Uniform
See-Through Black Vintage Slip Dress with Metallic Sequins

Red Plaid Pleated Schoolgirl Short Skirt
Long Cream & Brown Plaid Kilt
Cream Lace/Ribbon Steam Punk Skirt
White Tulle Long Skirt/Slip
Long (really long) Silver Leather Skirt
White Leather Lace-Up Miniskirt (matching corset)
Black & White PVC Racing Stripe Miniskirt
Graffiti/Anime Miniskirt
Opalescent Blue Sequin Miniskirt
Leopard “Strips” Skirt
Black Sequin Short Skirt
Black Lace Skirt
Long Sheer Silvery Skirt
Red & Black Plaid Latex Skirt (schoolgirl)
Long Black Swirl Skirt
Black Denim Zipper & Metal Trim High-waisted Miniskirt (80s)
Black Nylon “Cop” Miniskirt
Black Cotton Miniskirt with Purple Ribbon “Slip”
Long Rose Tulip Skirt
Long Red Satiny Pencil Skirt
Long Pale Blue Satin Skirt with Peach Chiffon Tiers
Long Lavender Opalescent Skirt
Long Black Latex Circle Skirt
Long Black & Gold Victorian Skirt with enormous Bustle Slip
Teal Rayon File Draped Skirt
Royal Blue Tube Skirt
Red White & Blue Square Dance Skirt
Black “Strips” Skirt
Black Sheer Catherine Coatney Skirt
Teal Lamé Mermaid Skirt
Orange Crushed Velvet Short Skirt
Long Blue Teal Satin Skirt with Stars
Black Goth Skirt with Chains, Zippers, D-Rings (new)
Royal Blue Cotton Mexican Skirt with Yellow & Turquoise Geometric Designs, Sequins & Embroidery

Emroidered (by me) Levis Work Shirt (70s)
Sheer Shredded Black Blouse
Cream Pirate Blouse
Black Lace & Multi Ribbon Blouse
See-through Sparkly Leopard Blouse with Bell Sleeves
Black Latex & Mesh Top
White Cream Chiffon Hippy Blouse/Poncho with Green & Peach Embroidery
Baby Pink Cropped “Ed Wood” Sweater
Cream Long Sleeved Blouse with Silver Buttons (Germany)
Sheer Blue Flowered “Poncho”
Black Scoop Neck Blouse with Leg-o-Mutton Sleeves
Short Cotton Blouse (for dirndl)
Orange Chiffon “Endora” Flowy Tunic with Beaded Choker Neck
Black Knit Strapless Bustier-like Top with Pastel Rosettes
Cream & Gold Metallic Tunic Blouse with Popcorn/Ruching

Black Spandex Hot Pink Flames Burner Pants with Hot Pink Fake Fur Bell Bottoms
Burgundy Wool Knickers with Grey Piping
Brown Lace Pants
Lavender Dumb Clothing with Black Velvet Flocking
Blue Metallic Fabric Fringed Pants
1980’s Magenta Gloria Vanderbilt Corduroy Pleated Pants
Camo Raver Pants with Orange Trim
High-Waisted Black Jeans (80s)
Black & Neon “Vegas” Jeans
Navy, Teal, Green & White Lilly Pulitzer Paisley & Leopard Corduroy Pants (vintage?)
DogPile “Punk” Pants Patchwork Plaids with Zippers (new)

Disco Ball Pants & Blazer
Purple Stretch Lace Empire Waist Hippy Shirt with Purple Pearl Cabochons, Matching Purple, Brown & Navy Stretch Lace Bell Bottoms
Mummer/Mardi Gras Costume: Pants, Tunic & Hat
Burgundy Velvet Pére Noel Pants & Cloak with Brown Fake Fur Trim
Patsy Cline Costume: Black Cowgirl Shirt & Circle Skirt with Red Velvet Applique & Cream Fringe
Black & White Fringed Cow Print Mini Skirt & Tie Top
Blue Fringe Pants (handmade by me) with Matching Fuzzy Sweater
Red Velvet & White Fake Fur Trim Santa Jacket & Skirt with Black Belt
St. Pauli Girl Costume: White Blouse, Red Skirt, Blue Apron, Black Velvet Corset-like “Belt” with Gold Lacing
Dumb Clothing Grinch Santa Outfit: Neon Green with Hot Pink & Metallic Fake Fur Shirt, Skirt, Hat & Boot Covers/Bell Bottoms (not pants but elastic knee bells)
Mermaid & Neptune Costumes (Kitty Boots)
Red Sweatshirt with GLF (Gnome Liberation Front), matching Gnome Hat & Beard
Superman: Red Cape with Satin Logo, Red Body Suit with Satin Logo (must be pinned), Yellow Satin Waist Sash, Blue Shorts
Five Fairy Costumes (bodysuits & wings)
Wonder Woman: Bustier Cover (red with gold appliqué), Blue Satin Panties with Stars, Red White & Blue Cape (worn), Gold Rope Lariat of Truth, Wristlets (gold with red stars), Gold Tiara (from another costume), red socks with white ribbon stripe
Red Knit Clockwork Orange Pants Suit (pajama pants & tunic top)
Degas Ballerina Costume: Impressionist Tights, Tulle Skirt, Bodysuit, Ribbons

Mauve Sparkly Vest (Janis Joplin)
Black & Flowered Jumpsuit (80s)
Red Satin Tunic with Red Orange & Yellow Sequin Trim
PVC Cat Suit
Long PVC Tunic Vest
Shredded Black Cut-Off Shorts
Columbia Blue, Pastel Yellow & White Argyle Vest (Bermuda)
Duck Vest (Burning Man 2002 Lucky Larry’s Casino)
Red Union Suit
Long Black Denim Shorts
Plaid Madras Patchwork Bermuda Shorts
Silver/Grey PVC Boxers
Baby Blue & Pink Flowered Vintage Romper (60s)

Plexi & Silver Magic Wand
Magenta Cummerbund
Black & Copper Mesh Fabric
Black & Gold Star Fabric
Rubber Chest with Fake Fur
Black Satin Playboy Bunny (not finished)
Black Fur Cat Ears, Tail & Bow Tie
Extra Long Fairy Wings (chiffon with plexi rods)
Sheer Red Holiday Apron (Extreme Fetish)
Felt Gambling Table Prop
White Fake Fur Boot Covers
Black Fake Fur Chaps/Pants
Two Sets of Rubber Appliqué Bones
Scary Rubber Horned Face Mask
Red Felt Bones

Blonde (2)
Emerald Green with Bangs
Neon Green with Bangs
Neon Orange with Bangs
Platinum Blonde
Red Curls
Royal Blue with Bangs
Platinum Blonde Curls
White Afro
Multicolor Burneresque Clip-On Dreds (orange, turquoise blue, hot pink & bright green)
Ratty Black Vixen
Black Curly
Long Blonde
Long Ash Blonde
Neon Green Curly Extensions
Orange & Black Extensions
Men’s Grey
Curly Grey

Black with Silver Trim
Orange with Black Trim
Sea Foam Green

Royal Blue
Vintage Orange
Lavender with Pink Lace
Orange with Black Lace
Hot Pink


Black Platform Boots with Purple & Green Flowers
Black Anime Platforms with Velcro Closures
Black, Yellow, Green & Red Wingtips
Red Plaid Doc Martens
Silver Doc Martens
Black Ankle Strap Mary Jane Doc Martens
White & Reflect-y Platform Boots
White Doc Martens from Barney’s SF Opening (Kitty Boots)
Pointy/Curled-Toed Genie Shoes
Black Granny Shoes with Teardrop Cutouts
Blue Plastic & Wood “Candies” Stilettos
Black Penny Loafers
Purple & Silver Cowboy Boots
Silver Platform Stilettos
Red Doc Martens Mary Janes
Red Patent Leather Doc Martens
Blue Doc Martens
Black Patent Leather Short Boots with White Stripes

Cream Mark Montano Top Hat with Multi/Pastel Trim
Blue Denim Floppy Hat with Velvet Lace & Trim
Black Velvet Floppy Hat with Gold Metallic Trim
Black Rayon File Soft Top Hat
Antique Black Top Hat
Green Leprechaun Top Hat
Red Velvet Fez
Green Velvet & White Fake Fur Santa Hat
Bear Hat
Crushed Red Fedora with Red White & Blue Ribbon Trim
Black Fake Fur Bendable Pimp Hat
Pirate Hat
Tall Toad Ornate Pirate Tri-Corn
Rod Keenan Black Top  Hat
Fur Hat
Extra Long Red & White Santa Hat
Patricia Underwood Cream Wool Top Hat
Chef Hat
Black & Red Extra Long Santa Hat with Spike
Pink Kitty Hat
Lavender Top Hat
White Velvet Top Hat
Magenta/Pink Abby Yarn Top Hat
Neon Orange/White/Chartreuse Abby Yarn Top Hat (UV Reactive)
Black Straw Oversized Beret with White Band
Large Straw Sun Hat
PLUS all the hats on my Etsy page:

Peppermint Princess
Easter Egg-Splosion
Mardi Gras
Beaded Fire
White Trash Diva (plastic spoons, forks, knives)
Gingerbread Queen (with matching magic wand)
Mayan Mermaid
Goth Skull Gold, Black & Lace
Goth Skull Red Roses and Green, Red, White, Black Ribbon
See Etsy:

Red Satin with Black Lace Trim
White with Red Trim (Dark Garden)
Black Patent Leather with Silver Leather Swirl Appliqué (Dark Garden)
Brown Steampunk (Corset-Story)
Black Raw Silk with EditrixAbby Tattoo Flash Appliqué (Delicious Corsets)
Pink with Lavender PVC Trim
Black Leather
White with Silver Trim
Black Latex with Feathers
Black & White Pinstripes (Corset-Story)
Black & Blue Plaid Underbust (Dark Garden)
Gold Metallic with Black Trim
Pink & White Gingham
Black & Grey Striped/Lace Floral (Corset-Story)
Black Satin Ruffle with Rhinestone Flames
Silver “Tank” (Garo Sparo)
Pale Blue Suede Bandana with Black Leather Piping
Burgundy Velvet with Gold & Black Trim Pirate (Kathleen Marie)
Chartreuse Raw Silk with Teal Rayon File Trim (Dark Garden)
Blue Denim with Black Leather Trim
Black Patent
Black & Multi Brocade (broken zipper)
Black & Gold (really old, distressed)
Brown Satin with Gingerbread Decor
Black Velvet with Straps

Lavender Peep Bag
White Vegas Casino Chip Bag
Red & Black Patent Devil Bag
Blue Mesh & Sequin Virgin Mary Bag
Vintage Fur Zipper Envelope Muff/Bag
Red Metallic Bracelet Bag
Gold Vintage Metal Mesh Bag
Woven African Bag (3 sizes)
Gingerbread House Bag
Silver & Bakelite Box Purse
Shredded Chiffon Multicolor Strips Bag

The One That Got Away

For some reason this phrase has been on my mind lately. Not for any sensible reason. I don’t feel that it defines me at all to anyone and I can’t think of an ex I let “get away.” I’ve also never heard anyone I know personally use these words. The only place they seem to come up is in fiction, most specifically romantic comedies. And fairy tales. (Probably in romance novels as well, but I’ve never really read any.) Is it a construct? An overly romanticized concept that might move a plot line along but never actually happens in reality?

Along with the absence of the phrase in my friends’ love lives, I can’t recall any of them even referring to an ex in any sort of overly-regretful way. It seems most exes are exes for good (if there is such a thing) or at least sensible reasons. When the topic comes up onscreen, however, the characters converse; they discuss “the one who got away” in glowing terms: “Cindy was so amazing. Why did you let her go?” Or “Max was so great. What happened to him?”

With the somewhat current usage of (reliance on?) the vaguely annoying (and oddly powerless) “Everything happens for a reason,” we can all write off the ending of any relationship as the best for both people. As was recently pointed out to me by one of my detractors (critics?), I never refer to any of my past, less than successful (failed?) relationships. (Well, the possible exception could be “Scared Sexless,” from ages ago. I ‘m sure my detractors will hate that post, too, and find some way to twist my words into misandry.) I’m not much of a regretter. While I don’t subscribe to the “everything happens for a reason” school of thought, I do believe that my relationships ended in a rather mutual fashion. In other words, both of us reached the conclusion that things weren’t working at more or less the same time. So while there were varying degrees of heartache and angst, feelings of love on the part of both parties slipped away as opposed to being abruptly cut off. (Obviously these exes may disagree. You are all free to contact them and ask.) So none of my friends have ever wondered how I let any of these guys “get away.” And I doubt any of their friends have harassed them by saying “I can’t believe you let Abby ‘get away’.” Of course, no one says this to the dumped one, only to the (perceived) dumper. It would be callous to ask “Why the hell did you accept that breakup?” And I can’t imagine anyone saying “You deserved to be dumped.”

But man, in the movies, we’re always pulling for our protagonist as his/her exes’ friends give him/her hell for letting said protagonist “get away.” They work behind the scenes to ensure that the star-crossed lovers will ultimately be reunited. And we know that, in the end, our underdog will eventually get his/her girl/guy. Unfortunately life is far messier and, while there are plenty of happy endings, they usually don’t come about in a tidy, 90-minute way.

Yet I find myself fantasizing about my exes’ friends asking them,  “Why did you let Abby get away?” I can’t realistically believe that being reunited with any of my past “protagonists” would be a good idea. Or that the relationship would be any more successful now than it was previously. Could it be because if life were a romantic comedy, everything would be resolved in a neat 90 minutes? And that I’d be guaranteed my happily ever after? Maybe if I grow my hair long enough I can drop it out the window and a handsome prince will climb up and rescue me…