Marathon Man


She’d tried them all — Match, eharmony, Our Time, Chemistry, Zoosk, Okay Cupid, and Coffee Meets Bagel. She’d had her share of weirdos and had learned to use a fake name, fake town, and a fake place of work. She had been stalked in the past. Now she knew how to do it and be safe.
So when Kelly met Jim at her go-to Starbucks for the meet and greet, she was confident that if it didn’t work out or if he felt threatening to her, she could get away easily with no trail for him to follow.
It had already been a busy month. Her daughter had just had twins, and Kelly’s ballroom dance competition was coming up. The coffee date would be all she’d have time for that week and maybe the next.
Jim was a journalist who ran marathons. He’d never been married, had no kids, and lived pretty far away.
He was tall, angular, and obsessed with running. He had spotted on her profile that she had run a half marathon for a fundraiser.
“I don’t run anymore. Now I dance,” Kelly said. “I’m in a . . .”
“But you have run marathons before,” he said.
“A half marathon,” she corrected him.
“But you’d do it again,” he pressed.
“No, I am a dancer now. I’m in a . . .”
“I am a runner,” he said. “I called you because of your marathon photo.”
“It was for a fundraiser,” Kelly said. “Now I . . .”
“So you run to fundraise?” he said.
“No, just that one time. Now I . . .”
“I fundraise, too,” he interrupted. “When I’m not taking care of my parents. I call them every day.”
Forty-five minutes later, Kelly realized Jim hadn’t asked her a single question about herself, her kids, her grandkids, her work, nothing but running, running, and more running.
“I feel we have a real connection,” he said. “Do you want to get together again?”
Kelly wasn’t feeling, it, but something told her to not upset the guy.
“Sure,” she said. “We’ll talk.”
The next day, Jim sent Kelly three emails, but since they went into her special online dating email account, she didn’t see them. Then she got a text the second day.
“Check your emails.”
It had been 30 hours since the coffee date. She found his emails in her dating account.
Email # 1 “You’re amazing, I felt such a connection with you.” (with 2 pages of etc.).
Email # 2 “Why haven’t you answered?” (with 2 pages of etc.).
Email # 3 “It’s really rude not to respond. You have no right not to respond, I am really good for you, I can provide for you.” (with 2 pages of etc).
Kelly read the diatribe and wondered, WTF? We just had coffee! And I got there early and paid for my own!
Kelly sent Jim a quick email. “I am sorry I didn’t reply. Between the grandbabies and the dance competition, I’ve been slammed. I am not that interested and wish you well in your dating life.”
Email # 4 “You led me on! You wasted my time!” (with 2 pages of etc.)
Email # 5 “Why did you give me the coy come hither look if you weren’t interested?”(plus 2 pages of etc.)
Email # 6 “You are a real %$#@*!” (plus 2 pages of etc.)
Kelly was glad she had used a fake name and address. She sent him her last email.
“I don’t want to date you. Please stop contacting me.”
Jim sent five more emails of name-calling and insults. Kelly shut down her Okay Cupid profile and left online dating for almost a year.
“He was bat s**t crazy!”
Kelly is now back online, but she has changed to other dating websites.
“All I want is a decent guy who can form a full sentence and who doesn’t expect me to fully mesh myself into his life and drop all my interests, someone who is a mentally healthy person without anger issues and who is not a narcissist.”
Is that all, Kelly? Why didn’t you say so?

Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
Are you kidding? Nothing to say here.

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