The message alert popped up one morning – you have a new message request from Inappropriate Ex-Boyfriend’s Online Alias.
A few months before this message request, I logged into my old email account and saw a message from him that had “Hello” as the subject line. I felt sick to my stomach until I opened it and saw it was spam. A deep sense of relief instantly took over.
Back to this message request that was really from him.
Is this guy serious? Does he not remember our last exchange?
At the same time, curiosity is tugging away whispering open it, open it. What’s the worst thing that can happen?
I think back to the last time I heard from him – it was during the MySpace days (about eight years ago) where he had to go through almost 800 profiles that matched information for women in my age range, ethnicity, and city, because I didn’t use my first and last name on my profile. That was enough crazy in itself and should have been a giant red flag but when I heard from him I was not put off, I accepted him as a friend (after double checking that there wasn’t anything super personal like my son’s name or picture on my profile).
At first the messages were us catching up with one another. He told me about his girlfriend of a few years and some video game console she bought him. I told him about my nephews which he remembered as babies. Then talk moved on to few of the shows we used to watch together, what we were currently watching, and music we were listening to.
It was the equivalent of having small talk with a co-worker you really don’t like but have to seem social with at a work function where the big bosses are watching you.
I was at work and called into an impromptu staff meeting. MySpace was blocked on the network, so I could only use my Blackberry to respond but clearly I could’t do that during a meeting. I was away from my desk for about 20 minutes and when I returned, he had (mis)taken my “silence” to a question about a tv show as a fuck you and unleashed a tirade that reminded me of why it didn’t work out (spoiler alert: he was verbally abusive, immature and super insecure and I grew tired of the drama).
The gist of his tirade boiled down to how I was trying to manipulate him by not responding to his message. I was clearly still mad about our relationship (note: we had been broken up about 9 years at that point in time) and how I was still a fucking bitch that needed to take the stick out my ass.
Tell me how you really feel Inappropriate Ex-Boyfriend.
I sat there blinking really hard at what I was reading. I didn’t know whether to laugh or delete my profile. Was this guy really serious? Why, yes he was and this would be the last time he would get to unleash at me like that.
I went to reply to his message to thank him for reminding me why we couldn’t stay friends when I realized the sucker had blocked me. I decided to delete my profile but had to wait it out so he wouldn’t know it was a direct response to his shenanigans. I added a reminder to the calendar to delete the profile in a year. (Trust me, I did not forget.)
Five years before the Myspace exchange, he emailed me to wish me a happy birthday. I thanked him for the birthday greetings and we exchanged a few short emails just asking how our respective families were – nothing super personal or intimate when he sent a last message do me a favor, don’t email me like nothing happened – this isn’t good for my mental health. I need to stay away from you. Don’t contact me again.
I’m pretty sure HE emailed me first because it was MY birthday – this was what I get for entertaining his foolishness I thought at the time.
I went back to looking at messenger and once I was able to log on using the web, I saw his message: just wanted to say hi and happy holidays. if that’s you…
Yes it is me. After all there is literally one other profile with the same first and last name as mine. I refused to fall for the bait with him.
His message has sat unacknowledged for almost 400 days and counting.
Sometimes all you need to know is that the curiosity you may be tempted to indulge in is not anywhere close to value of keeping the peace in your life.
Keep Pandora’s box closed!
(Today’s daily writing prompt: tempted)