In an effort to keep things neat (for I am nowt but organised), I was going to just entitle this post `Weird Bollox'. I was also tempted to go with `WTF' in an effort to appear street and cool. However, since both options would be unkind (and rather dismissive) to the people I am about to write about (and who are, I have reluctantly concluded, entitled to their own beliefs) I have kept the extraordinarily long post title to, you know, show how open minded I can be. Etc.
But anyway - and to get down to the nitty-gritty - about four years ago I found out through my mum (who'd found out through an ex-next door neighbour from our old home town) that someone from my old schooldays had been trying to get in touch with me. This someone was now based in the US (Massachusetts to be precise) but, on a home visit with her family, took to calling at my mum and dad's old gaff and, on failing to get an answer, tried our old next door neighbour who explained that we had all moved away but that she would see that a message would be passed on to me.
A scrap of paper with a hastily scribbled down name and e-mail address eventually found its way in to my sweaty little mitts and so, rather curious as to what this old friend was up to, I found myself in front of the Chuppies' laptop on New Year's Eve in 2009 typing her a quick message. To fill you in a bit further : this attempt at communication was not the first time the old friend had tried to get in touch with me and, what with New Year on the doorstep (and the air thick with resolutions, positive vibes and hope) I decided to drag myself out of the funk of not being arsed about re-communicating with someone from the dim and distant past and be a bit more friendly 'n that. So, after firing off a few sentences summarising where I was at in my life and asking her a few questions as to how she ended up in the States and what she was up to, etc., I pressed the magic `send' button, gulped back the last of my Christmas Sherry and plonked myself on the settee next to a snoozing Chuppie feeling jolly pleased with myself.
Four years later I have still to receive a reply to my note.
But, dear reader, that is absolutely fine.
As, after digging on the Net a few months after typing my note (to find out if I actually had the right e-mail for her) I discovered that she had become immersed with these guys, and since these are the sorts of
But that's all water under the bridge.
For, returning back to the present, and really the crux of this post, I now find myself faced with a similar situation.
With a chap. Who I Internet dated about 8 years ago. From Australia.
Although he wasnt in Oz when I met him. He'd been in the UK for quite a few years and was quite the effervescent Londoner about town. And, for the sake of this post, we shall call `Dundee'.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, me and Dundee dated for a few months. He was always the gentleman and would meet (and pay for everything) at wine bars of my choosing (at the time I was rather fussy and, unless a bar for an Internet date didnt come equipped with moody lighting - i.e. dark - lots of expensive vino - i.e. overpriced and stupid - and big enough ladies toilets with enough mirrors to pull oneself together in - after drinking too much pricey plonk in a candle-lit wine bar - then I wasn't interested). Anyway, whilst we were dating, his father passed away. I am a bit hazy on the details here - it was quite a few years ago and well before the Chuppies came skipping in to my life - but I do recall him promising to keep in touch whilst he was back in Australia, which he did.
What I didnt count on, however, was receiving a phone call from a highly emotional Dundee saying that what had happened had put things in perspective, and it made him feel that life was all about grabbing opportunities and holding on to things that were dear to you ...
... and before I ruddy knew it ...
... he'd proposed to me.
Faced with a sobbing Dundee down the other end of the phone, I did the only thing I could think of doing at the time. I changed the subject quickly (which not only worked but also immediately stopped Dundee's tears), promised to `have a chat about things' when he got back to the UK, and terminated the call.
I'm all heart, me.
And Dundee did return. I, however, avoided him like the plague and then the Chuppies came along and our communications went from tentative to hardly ever - until he sent me a note to say that he was returning back to Australia for good. Feeling nostalgic (and also slightly guilty for being such a cold fish to him in his time of need) I offered to take him out for a goodbye drink before he went back but something kept preventing me from keeping to dates we'd arranged for meeting up for the `final goodbye' and, before I knew it, he'd gone back to the other side of the world.
And that was that.
Until a couple of months ago when I cleared out my old Yahoo! e-mail account and came across all our saved messages. Curious to see what he was now up to I sent him a quick note - only to receive an ever quicker response back from Dundee saying it was so strange, he'd been thinking of sending me an e-mail too, and that everything was fine, work was fine, life was fine and he was fine. Glad that he was in a good place and that he appeared not to want to talk about the thing we never in fact ended up talking about (cos I was all heart) I continued communication with him and brought him up-to-speed with me and the Chups, our bungalow, my work and other bits 'n bobs that have occurred since we were last in communicado.
As Dundee's emails back have been upbeat and amazingly comprehensive (no short messages back but lengthy chatty messages) it's been quite nice having a bit of a pen pal thing going on.
But it's all gone a bit to pot.
In his penultimate e-mail Dundee told me that during 2008 (i.e. about three years after we'd dated) he had something happen to him. Something that he has never forgotten and that only his close family and friends know about. He didnt want to elaborate as he it was essentially a private matter and apparently not something you can drop in to conversation without some sort of a warning first but, if I wanted to know further, he had diarised the events in a secret Word document that he could share with me in his next e-mail.
Curiosity getting the better of me I said that I wouldnt mind having a quick gander.
Which I managed to do yesterday.
And I don't think I'll be e-mailing Dundee again.