Getting Ornery in My Old Age

It was the last day of March, 2017, and I innocuously responded to a post made in an enormous private Facebook group created to be sort of a digital watering hole for people in my profession. It was just a basic post asking where everyone was from. I responded in the thread’s infancy, so I kept getting the subsequent notifications when other people would comment. Whenever anyone else said they were from my home state, I would go and Like the comment, for solidarity’s sake…or maybe just because I was just bored at work and dicking around.

Not long after liking one of these comments, I got a friend request from its writer. I noticed we had a few mutual friends and that he worked in my state and thus saw no harm in accepting a colleague as a friend – I do that pretty often. Not long after I accepted, he started messaging me about where I’m from and where I work. For all intents and purposes, we shall affectionately refer to this person as Lucifer (definitely no foreshadowing at all going on here).

Lucifer started off very polite and charming and extremely complimentary. He made it known right away that he thought I was beautiful and that he was definitely approaching me in a romantic sense. Only Lucifer was at the moment deployed to the Middle East as part of an Army National Guard unit and wouldn’t be back until late July.

It was for that reason, and the fact that he is several years younger than me, that I started off very guarded with him and took him and all his flattery with a grain of salt. But Lucifer was persistent and before long he grew on me. Whereas initially I was indifferent to him reaching out and about talking to him in general, before I knew it there became a time when I started looking forward to his messages and realizing that they put a smile on my face. I started liking Lucifer. After all, Lucifer had made it very clear that he was looking for a serious dating scenario when he got back from deployment. And it didn’t hurt that he was fairly cute.

When I started developing more of an attachment to Lucifer, I made sure to pore through his Facebook page to look for any evidence of any current romantic involvements; I could not find anything recent. The last pictures I could see that looked like it could’ve been a girlfriend were from a wedding in 2015. Otherwise, there was no other photographic evidence to be found. I’d monitor his posts fervently when he made any to see if any suspicious comments were made by any females. Nada.

Now, as our talking progressed and Lucifer appeared very consistent and genuine with his contact and his intentions, admittedly, our talk turned increasingly steamier over time. Even though I told him right off the bat that I was definitely NOT planning on being any kind of x-rated entertainment for him, and he seemed okay with that, eventually things did progress toward that end. But it was okay, because I liked him and he seemed into me and it was fun. And I also thought it was sweet that when I asked if he needed anything over there, like supply-wise, he only asked for letters. I ended up writing him 3.

Only…at certain points, most notably starting around Memorial Day weekend, his contact started to wane a little bit. Whereas I was used to hearing from him almost daily, it started being a couple to several days before he would say anything to me. And while I gave him the littlest bit of the benefit of the doubt given that he was deployed, it was hard for me to keep on doing so when I could clearly see him active on Facebook, liking posts and things of that nature.

Then, not only was his contact becoming more sporadic, but slowly but surely it became evermore focused on sexual talk when he did bother to say anything to me. There were several times that I called him on this stuff but he would just say he’s sorry but it’s just been busy…he’s just lonely…blah, blah, blah.

I knew deep down that something was amiss, I just really wanted to believe him, I guess. But what really started to grind my gears was the fact that, as his deployment timeline started wearing down and eventually it was just a matter of weeks before he got back to the good ol’ USA, he wasn’t at all forthcoming about any kind of general time frame or anything. Everything I managed to scrounge up regarding his unit’s homecoming was via Facebook. Nothing from him.

When his unit came got back to the United States, they had to go to Texas to be demobilized or whatever. So there’s Lucifer, finally back in the United States with normal phone capabilities. Did I get a phone call? A text? Nope. And I had made sure to give him my number at one point, so he could make “real” contact with me – I figured he’d be delighted to after having been relegated to Facebook Messenger chat the whole time, but nope. Not a peep.

I’m not dumb, although I act like it sometimes. I knew the writing was on the wall when the guy who had spent the last 4 months romancing me over Facebook Messenger did not at all bother to actually make phone contact now that he certainly could. But alas, I held out, certainly not bothering to trust my own well-honed intuition when it comes to these things – because what’s the fun in that?

He was in Texas for like a week before coming back home for good. I got a Facebook message the night he came home to let me know he was back. We vaguely discussed plans to hang out in the future. I told him I understood that he firstly has family and friends and business to attend to now that he’s home, but it would be nice if we could hang out sooner rather than later. He seemed to agree.

And then…nothing, for the most part. He wasn’t even really making conversation with me. I kind of called him out on that at one point and he claimed his house flooded and he’s been busy with that. It was like the first weekend in August at this point; he had been home for just shy of 2 weeks. And over that Friday and Saturday, those 2 consecutive days, he said we could hang out and then he abruptly canceled on me both times. Ugh. Then back to radio silence.

One night during the second weekend in August, I had swung by a buddy’s retirement celebration and then met Carly and her boyfriend out after. I was also waiting for Scout to make an appearance. But there I was innocently browsing Facebook and what do I spy? Lucifer has been tagged in several pictures at a wedding with a lovely date.

Wow…really?

And that’s exactly what I remarked on one of the pictures, being as I was absolutely floored, although really not too surprised. His date was someone who had first ended up on my radar maybe around the beginning of June when I saw that he had tagged her name, along with one of his brothers, on a music artist’s post. All he wrote was her name so there was absolutely no context to it, but upon noticing that she was a very pretty girl who lived around his hometown, I kind of had a feeling about her. But her page was fairly locked down so I wasn’t able to glean much other than that he was all over every picture or status she would put up. I did find my way to her Twitter, but there wasn’t really much to go on from there either. All I knew was that I felt a certain kind of way about the tagging, and my instincts turned out to be correct.

Well, unfortunately, as I never had a phone number for Lucifer, and he had already proven to be quite unreliable with checking his FB messages, at least when it came to me, I had no other recourse but to call him out on one of the pictures: “Really, Lucifer?” He promptly blocked me. Ah, but not before the date noticed (it was her post and he was tagged). She ended up sending me a message later in the night asking if there’s something she should know, and we got down to business.

The gist of it was that she and Lucifer had been acquaintances for several years, but were never really single around the same time so nothing ever took off. Around the time he started creeping on me, he started sliding in her DMs as well. And clearly he saw more value in her as a potential girlfriend since she was obviously the one he came running home to date. They were at that very moment out of town together for the wedding of one of his friends. So I surmised that all my instincts had in fact been correct and that he had just been pretty much using me for entertainment after a certain point.

At this point, it’s not like I had any clear cut ammo against Lucifer, but I was just trying to be honest and let her know what’s what. I showed her screenshots of things he had said while he was still deployed and clearly telling her the same shit (although in her case, I guess he actually meant it). According to her, he had asked her to be his girlfriend maybe a week prior to this, and I had clear screenshots of our ill-fated attempts to hang out, which would’ve been subsequent to their relationship starting. But I guess none of that was truly hardcore evidence of any wrongdoing on his part, depending on how you wanted to swing it. I mean, there was some slight overlap but the fact is is that we had never actually met and while he was being slightly shady, there was really nothing conclusive. I was just being honest about what went on – she could take it as she wanted.

But funnily enough, she said she had had some suspicions about me from some activity on Lucifer’s Facebook. Ha. Which really did make me seriously question his intelligence level since, given that me and the GF were both friends with him on Facebook until that night, what did he really think was going to happen?

She did try to play the strong, empowered, “take no shit” woman role for a bit – saying he’s done with him and all this and that. But the fact was is that they were currently staying in a hotel together (he drove and had been drinking, so they were stuck). So I knew the likelihood of him being able to sweet talk his way back into her good graces by the next morning was pretty high. And lo and behold, the next day I heard from a friend that they had made it “Facebook official.” So you know it was extra serious then.

So, of course, Lucifer was just one additional jackass in a long, storied line of jackasses. Nothing really new. But I think what really bothered me about the situation in particular is just the abject callousness in how he discarded me immediately once his ass was on the line, and then that was just that to him. I’m not particularly angry at the fact that he had been talking to someone else all along and then set his sights on her – that’s just an inherently sucky part about dating…you’re always kind of implicitly starring in the bootleg version of “The Bachelor” – it was just the fact that he never bothered to address anything with me.

I never really got closure, I guess. Like, to date (and this happened last August), I have never heard a word from him. Not a “thanks but no thanks,” not an “I’m sorry” or anything like that. I mean, you don’t have to want to date me, but I kind of feel like it takes a bit of a psychopathic mind to have spent 4 months befriending someone, getting her to trust you, asking her to write to you, and then just kicking her to the curb without explanation or warning without a second thought. Like, am I not a fucking person?

No worries, though. Karma is a bitch sometimes.

Around the time I got my surgery that fall, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands since I had to take it easy for several weeks. And still feeling a certain kind of way about the Lucifer situation. So one day I came up with a fantastic plan to try and screw with him.

I rounded up some pictures of him, typed out a couple of super basic, bare-bones lines about his interests, and I made him a Plenty of Fish account. And the work pretty much did itself from there. I did reach out to a few girls at first with basic greetings, but I really didn’t have the energy or inclination to actually carry on conversations with people as if I am really him. Especially since a couple of people I reached out to indicated that they had interacted with him previously. Not exactly knowing the nature of these interactions, I didn’t want to risk blowing my cover too soon.

And I quickly learned that I could be way more subtle anyway, because Plenty of Fish shows you everyone who looks at your profile. So all I really had to do was to set my location to his town and find as many girls in the vicinity as possible so I could look at their profiles and be in their history. I figured that someone eventually would be a friend of the GF’s and it’d get back to her somehow that “Lucifer” is creeping on Plenty of Fish. And eventually, I did strike gold because I did run across someone who obviously knew of them:

JA

I think I followed up with “just looking for friends” which is exactly what an asshole like him would probably say when he gets caught. Never heard anything back though and didn’t want to press it so as not to be too obvious. I wasn’t really sure what I expected out of this adventure anyway, but I was happy with that if it caused him even the tiniest bit of strife somehow.

While enacting this course of action, I was also inadvertently able to obtain further evidence of just how much of an asshole he is: one girl ended up reaching out to “him” and it was immediately clear that he knew her somehow. It turned out that they went to high school together and that she had liked him back then but he apparently never liked her. But then about a year before, they had talked a bit and decided to meet up at a park. I get the impression that he just wasn’t into her in person because apparently he just kind of upped and left really quickly and then kind of ghosted on her. She was still a little salty about that, but she did seem to really like him still. God knows why.

That was the only thing that made me feel a little bad up about what I was doing. I had 0 scruples about screwing with him in itself because he deserved it wholeheartedly, but this girl was so obviously into him and excited to be talking to him and thinking she actually had a chance.

She kept pressing for phone contact, but I told her “I” had a girlfriend and was kind of just trying to sort all that out first. She started getting really pressed and impatient. She claimed to have been able to dig up his number and then asked if she could text, but I told her that wasn’t a good idea for now. Clearly I didn’t want her actually reaching out to him because he’d obviously know that he wasn’t on Plenty of Fish. BUT I think she ended up doing just that. When she didn’t speak for a few days, I hit her up because I had a feeling, and she told me she knew my account was fake. Ugh…well…ya got me there!

At that point, having been discovered, and not really knowing where else to go with this because I had already seemed to make contact with someone who knows the GF, I deleted it.

Later in the year, I happened to find out through a little birdie that Lucifer and his GF had broken up. I think they made it to maybe early November (my POF adventures took place in mid-to-late October). One of the reasons cited by the now ex-GF was Lucifer creeping around on Plenty of Fish. When she called him on it, he tried to say his identity had been stolen. LOL. There were also questionable meetings with other women mixed in the reasoning as well, so while he did get falsely accused from the POF angle, he still in fact is a certified asshole and got everything he deserved.

He was still trying to win back her affections as of her birthday in December, because he apparently sent her flowers, which she promptly threw away. Awww.

And these days, per her Instagram account, she’s now seemingly enthralled with someone else who is not Lucifer.

And we all lived happily ever after. Except Lucifer, because fuck him.

The Lowdown on Ben

It just occurred to me that I never wrapped up the sordid Ben saga, that situation coming to a head and completely disintegrating around Thanksgiving.

Because it was a couple of days beforehand that I tried to make conversation and he responded with telling me that the girl he is seeing is in town. Ugh. Admittedly, I was the slightest bit jealous because I kind of liked him, but I couldn’t really be mad because I knew he was seeing someone and thought that he was trying to be the tiniest bit honest at least.

Or not really.

Because shit ended up hitting the fan the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when I hit him up again, thinking perhaps maybe the coast was clear after she came to spend Thanksgiving with him or whatever. All I did was send him a message saying his name: “Ben…”

He responded back abruptly and bizarrely saying that he thinks its best if we cut off contact because he wants to be respectful to her. And then he promptly blocked me. Yikes. I was a little bit blown but I figured he was right…maybe it’s all for the best…

But then an hour later, I’m getting FB messages from a random girl asking me about the nature of my relationship with Ben. This person turns out to be a good friend of Ben’s girlfriend and she informs me that Ben and his girlfriend are currently embroiled in a huge fight over me because she saw my message to him. Ben was trying to play me off as just a “friend” but I quickly inform Ms. BFF that that is not at all the case.

The gist of the situation was that Ben and his girlfriend had been dating for about a year and a half. They had broken up over the summer because of his habitual cheating, but then she took him back some time around late August. The BFF was trying to establish whether or not Ben and I had had sexual contact since then and I informed her that we definitely did, sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Eventually the GF herself starts messaging me for more details about the exact timeline. Because not only had they gotten back together, but they had been discussing marriage and she noted that one of our hookups occurred within days of them ring shopping. Yikes.

Other notable facts I found out over the course of our conversation, which extended into the next day: Ben gave her chlamydia the first month they started dating. Ben has literally NEVER been faithful to her – the first time she caught him cheating was the previous October when they had only been together for several months. Ben might be a little bit of an alcoholic. Ben might be a little bit of a racist. Ben is broke. Sex with Ben is boring (I disagreed there – I thought it was great). Her family doesn’t like Ben. She was in the habit of combing through Ben’s apartment whenever she visited looking for traces of other women – how romantic!

I felt bad for her, really, and tried to be as helpful as I could with details and screenshots showing the depths of his depravity. I was definitely done with Ben at that point – I only sent a text the next day to tell him I felt bad for the way everything went down (which he did not answer) – but was just maybe sort of hoping she would wise up and get away from him because he really made a fool out of her.

I didn’t really care either way though – I had washed my hands of the situation and moved on with my life. Until a week and a half later when I woke up one morning to find a FB message from Ben. He had taken the time out to unblock me and send a message about how there are “no hard feelings” and how he realized how much pain he had caused to his “future wife”…and then reblocked me again.

WHAT? First off…no hard feelings? LOL. Why the fuck would there be any towards me when he’s the one who was the complete liar the whole time!? Yet he had the nerve to come at me as if he’s blessing me with the gift of forgiveness over a situation that he brought on himself. Wow. Okay, buddy. Then secondly, I was a little flabbergasted that his GF actually took him back after alllllll that trash she talked about him. I just found something really pathetic and corny about that. Then I guess ultimately it just rubbed me the wrong way because it felt like he was pretty much just trying to rub it in my face that he had salvaged his relationship when I would’ve been just as content never hearing from him again. I kind of took as a “Fuck you.” Alrighty then…

So, I decided to drive the point home about how much of a psychotic, cheating bastard Ben is and how pitiful the GF is by creating an Instagram account of nothing but screenshots of exchanges between Ben and I which pretty much drove the point home about how devious, dishonest, and how much of a complete hound he is.

I tagged her, the BFF, and as many friends of hers as I could muster up. She blocked me right away; it took the BFF a little more time. Everyone else I’m sure did as well but I stopped caring to log into the account after amusing myself with it for a few days.

So after I wore myself out with that, I left it alone and forgot about the situation. Until this past Saturday when I received not one, but 2 “Heys” from Ben via text. I figured out it was his number almost immediately, but he never responded. After a few hours I asked him wtf he was texting me for. He said he had noticed my number on his “blocked list” and wanted to know who it was before realizing it was me. Uh…what?!

Yeah, okay buddy. So you felt the need to text a number you allegedly blocked for what reason? That didn’t really make any sense and I told him so. He stopped answering after I pretty much called him on his nonsense. I think he knows it was me and was trying to put out a feeler of some sort. No thanks.

Bachelor #2 (Or maybe the ONLY at this point…)

Bachelor #2 is a a handsome airline pilot I matched with on Tinder a few days before Christmas. Let us call him Dale.

Dale had a blurb in his profile about possibly needing a date to a concert in late January, and I opened up conversation by declaring that I would in fact be his date. He affirmed and we both agreed we were glad that that was settled. All in facetiousness, of course.

And from there, we just haven’t stopped talking yet, although meeting in person is still a vague concept for the time being. It turns out he lives 850 miles away; we surmised that we must’ve matched when he was on an overnight trip nearby at some point. Drats.

Yet, I don’t know…it doesn’t seem to be a deal breaker for him. He’s not fond of the dating prospects in his area because under-educated working class single mothers are ubiquitous and he prefers more education in his women. And he doesn’t have a lot of time to waste with people between work and his 6-year-old son (he’s divorced). But he’s stuck there for the time being because of his son.

And it’s not so much a deal breaker for me either, honestly. It’s not ideal, of course, but he’s an airline pilot so even if we leaved near each other we would regularly be “long distance” due to the nature of his work.

And most importantly, we just seem to click. We have talked on a daily basis for the most part since December 22. And while we have maintained a mutual PG-ish flirtatiousness, he has not at any time been sleazy or crass or tried to solicit anything out of me of a sexual nature.

There was a time a couple of weeks ago when I thought it was probably done for, but that turned out to be a false alarm. Shortly after we first started talking, Dale explained that he liked his current airline, which he has been with since the summer (after retiring from the Marine Corps), but that he has to commute to the main hub several states away when his work periods start, and that can be physically taxing and also takes away from time with his son. Delta is his dream job, but it just happened to be that his current airline called him for an interview first so that’s where he ended up.

But it so happened a couple of weeks ago that Delta finally called him to schedule an interview and he is really excited about it. But it will take a lot of preparation and studying on his part because Delta is apparently known for having a very intense/difficult interview process. As he was telling me all this, I surmised that he was pretty much trying to say that between work, his kid, and now the upcoming interview, I probably would not hear from him as much, and so I just went ahead and threw that out there, and he concurred.

Bummer. Best case scenario: he was being genuine and would just have too much going on to give any attention to some girl he has never met. Worst case scenario: he was just trying to blow me off and this was a convenient excuse.

But that’s just how these things go sometimes so I couldn’t be mad, especially with him taking the time to warn me. I told him I understood and that I had enjoyed talking to him, and he agreed. He then advised that he didn’t plan to be totally off the radar, so that kind of made me feel better.

He seemed astonished at my understanding tone, because he asked “How are you so reasonable?” I replied that I can appreciate the fact that he has a lot going on right now, and that I am a proponent of the philosophy that if it is meant to be, then it will be in time.

He never responded that night (a Thursday), and then I didn’t hear from him at all on Friday. So I wasn’t sure if this was the beginning of the “prep period” limited contact phase or if maybe I had laid it on too thick with the “meant to be” stuff and he somehow was put off by that – like maybe I was thinking way too much into this or something.

But that Saturday morning he texted me again and our contact since really hasn’t seemed to dissipate much since, despite his warning. And the way he texts sometimes is almost along the lines of “checking in” – like, just to show me pictures of whatever he and his son are up to at the moment, or to regale me with tales of how he is at dinner with the rest of the flight crew, who are all elderly, and they are conversing about other people they know around their age that have died. Whatever the subject matter may be, it’s like sometimes he is just thinking of me and wanting to reach out – it’s cute.

But I’m like 0 and 22 with pilots though, so…