Tuesday, July 12, 2016

There's A Real Person Behind This Blog


I hemmed and hawed a bit about whether I should write this post; it's personal, and I usually don't vent about personal things on Go Retro. People come here to be entertained by nostalgia, whether it's humorous vintage ads, songs lists, or hearing me gloat about Martin Milner (he HAS been a main topic here as of late.) But you know what? Screw it. I think it's going to feel good to get this off my chest. And I actually have been thinking of making the blog a bit more personal (as long as it still relates to something retro.) This post isn't quite so retro, though. And we may end up filing it under "too much information." But here goes.

One thing I have learned from having a blog, which is a public website and putting yourself "out there" so to speak, is you have to be careful. Knock on wood, I haven't had any real horror stories to speak of...no stalkers, etc. And I hope it stays that way.

Last year at this very time, though, something happened to me, via this blog. A reader (who also followed the Go Retro Facebook page) reached out to me, and I found him attractive. I knew the name - he had been liking just about everything I'd been posting to the Facebook page for the past year, and commenting nearly as much. He had actually originally sent me an email three and half years earlier, when he first discovered this blog, and had ended his message by saying that if I was ever out his way he wanted to buy me a drink. I wrote him a friendly message back, but took the invite with a grain of salt since I didn't know what the guy looked like or anything about him at the time (and this was also before I launched the Facebook page.) Fast forward to summer of last year, and he reaches out to me again to talk more about the Paul McCartney concert he had attended that we were commenting about on the GR Facebook page.

Well...he turned out to be married. He didn't tell me he was married; he decided to keep that teeny, insignificant detail a secret, all the while giving impressions that he could be living a divorced or bachelor lifestyle. He flirted here and there in the messages. It was only after Googling him that I learned the truth. An article featuring a photo of him, his wife, and two kids came up. I continued to write, to see if he would fess up. He didn't, and after a week I told him that I knew and how I had found out.

Before figuring this out, I had sent him a Facebook friend request, which he had ignored -- that was the red flag. (Believe it or not, I am connected on Facebook to a few readers -- that I've vetted to make sure they're good people. They are.) His Facebook profile and cover photo at that time gave no hint that he was partnered and a father.

I'm not letting myself off the hook here -- I told him seeing as how we had everything in common we could write as friends. Well, you know the line from When Harry Met Sally: "Men and women can never be friends because the sex always gets in the way."

(We never had sex, by the way. We never met in person -- I made it clear I could not meet him if he were married. Plus he lived out of state -- not so far it wasn't driveable, but far enough away I suppose.)

But it was obvious the mutual attraction was there and the connection was one I haven't felt with a man in an awfully long time. I was eventually told the usual story married people give -- my spouse no longer has sex with nor spends time with me, the spark died after the kids were born, etc. He NEVER talked about his kids, by the way, even when I asked about them, which to me was another big red flag. His only mentioned his son's autism, which I already knew about, and how that had put a strain on the relationship. But after six weeks of correspondence that included some phone calls, he called me from work one night. He had to end it. His wife got access to his laptop and saw all of our emails. At first she was furious but later called him up again sobbing, admitting that she was at fault, and that she was willing to work on the marriage. She also had access to his Facebook account, so she (as him) unliked the Go Retro page and deleted any comment he had ever left on it...stretching back three years.

He did apologize to me, by the way, late in the year, for the pain he had caused me.

Just as I was getting over it, this same reader reached out to me again in January to wish me a happy birthday. And he expected that I was "OK" with "corresponding via these messages."

I told him no.

I told him there was nothing I wanted more the past few months, but that it would be dangerous. That he should be focusing on his marriage and I had to focus on finding someone available that can give me what I want and need. And I didn't really get how -- after knowing how hurt I was and I'm sure his wife as well -- he thought this was a good idea. I refused to be used. And I certainly wasn't about to put myself in a position where I'd be the cause of a nasty divorce, end up hurting someone's children, and have people despising me for the rest of my life.

I thought maybe it meant his marriage still wasn't doing so great. Then I did some Internet sleuthing and saw that a few months prior to that, he and his family had had a photography session done and the Facebook page for the photography studio had shared them online -- some of him and his wife kissing.

Yeah. I was kind of upset. Hence, many of you saw the blog post I did a few months ago where I listed songs about infidelity and how it hurts all involved.

I'm going to quote what one of my readers (and a friend to me) said of this story: "I can't stand it when married people try to pull stunts like this." LOL. So true.

Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. And looking back, I think he was a little obsessed with me. The constant comments on Facebook and the flirting. It seemed he was looking for attention. I also looked up his visits on Google Analytics going back to 2014 and 2015...and there were a LOT. An awful lot, and even during some times when this blog went dry for a month or two. Don't get me wrong -- I don't mind the page views -- but I think I became a fantasy. I think he got carried away. The problem is he couldn't give me what I want and deserve. I don't do one-night stands and relationships that revolve around just sex. This is a woman that wants a serious, committed relationship with the right man. I want to buy a home with somebody and decorate it with vintage finds. I want to go on road trips with him. I want to meet his family and be part of it, and want to introduce someone to mine.

Some of you know I follow the law of attraction and that's the one thing I still struggle with. They say if you're attracting unavailable potential partners that it's because you're making yourself unavailable or vibrating some blockage or negative belief to the Universe. I have an inkling what some of those may be, and I've been working on them and myself for nearly the past year.

But I cannot figure out why I attracted someone that was dishonest with me. (In my opinion, hiding important info to give yourself an advantage is lying.) In the nine years that I've written this blog, I've always been 100% honest and authentic with all of you guys. If I have an opinion about something, it's my genuine opinion...if I like or dislike something, I'm not pulling your leg; I'm for real! That's what has made this experience so confusing for me at times. I like to think that I only attract genuine people into my life.

And by the way, I'm not looking for sympathy (as I accepted and forgave my role in this) nor am I am trying to vilify "Mr. S" (as he shall be known) here. I learned a huge lesson and I should have nipped it in the bud the minute I learned the truth..."I can't correspond with you as you're married, but I'll see you on the blog and the Facebook page." Then again, who's to say that would have stopped what happened from happening? To this day I might be continuing to get the playful comments on Facebook and there wouldn't have been any improvement in his marriage.

Also, I admit I do feel a little sorry for Mr. S. Back then, and now. I think maybe he needed some kind of reassurance that he was attractive to women other than his wife. That's no excuse for giving a single woman the impression that you're not married, but still...I do understand because everyone is human. I think his son is a handful, and not easy at times to care for. I also believe he's on the autism spectrum himself -- something he admitted to me -- and it seemed a little obvious when he got tongue tied and nervous speaking on the phone with me. He works in law enforcement...and we all know how much more stressful that profession has become in the past couple of weeks, as if it wasn't stressful enough to begin with. I also wonder if he had some self esteem issues. Realizing all this was important to help me forgive, and move on.

I did learn some things about myself in addition to the harsh lessons. That is the positive part. I learned that I would be willing to date someone that lived in another state that was still within driving distance, and I'd be willing to date someone with a disabled child, if the chemistry and connection was there.

I doubt he plans on reading this blog anymore. I've stopped looking at Google Analytics to see if he's been by, and the last time he logged on he skimmed several pages in a minute and a half and clearly wasn't reading anything that I've written. I'm guessing there's certain things I'm writing about that are painful reminders to him of what he cannot have. I guess it doesn't matter. Besides, I have so many fabulous and faithful readers to be grateful for.

I know posting about this probably makes me sound like it still bothers me, and it doesn't. I've moved on...although I will admit it was tempting to take this experience and sink into negativity with beliefs in general about men. But I didn't. I still believe that there ARE a lot of great guys out there -- both married ones and available ones -- and I still believe that there's one that's perfect for me.

I just ask -- of all of my readers -- to please be honest with other people...and if you're married or partnered up, please don't go looking for validation outside of your relationship. Not cool. I appreciate the men that are fans of this blog that have reached out through the years to comment on something I wrote -- and are upfront about mentioning their spouse or significant other in email conversation.

Also, I can't answer everyone's email, comments, tweets, etc. I try my best but life gets in the way. I'm 44, I'm working full-time, and slowly making a social life for myself again after being out of work for so long. I think a lot of people assume that Go Retro is my way of living and my be-all, end-all. It's not. It doesn't pay many of the bills, believe me. It's just a hobby and my passion.

And at the end of the day, I'm just a real person behind it with feelings.

19 comments:

  1. Never doubted it for a minute.

    Not knowing anything about the law of attraction, all I can tell you is this: jerks have a way of worming their way into your life no matter what you do. I doubt there's a foolproof defense against them - but you can probably minimize their presence by staying as genuine as you are. The rest should take care of itself.

    Glad you're not hurt.

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    1. Thanks, Rich -- appreciate the positive comments. Actually I feel that staying true to myself and what I want (as I kept saying to myself "he's married; this can't go anywhere and I want someone single") is what caused it to end as quickly as it began.

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  2. I think it's also a pitfall of the internet; I used to assume most people on Facebook were using their real information on their profiles. Over time, I've found out that is not always the case. And you have fake profiles on the dating sites as well. I know I am now very choosy about whom I friend on FB after a couple of bad experiences online.

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    1. Yes, the Internet makes it too easy for people to hide something about themselves...for my female friends that use online dating, I always recommend doing Google searches on a guy they're interested in once they have their last name and/or profession and the town they live in. Unfortunately you just never know. I once paid $10 online to run a background search on a guy I went out with and discovered he'd been caught for speeding, DUI, and resisting arrest.

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  3. Pam, I really appreciate you opening your heart to us here - you didn't have to, but I hope doing this helped you get through this experience. I think the key word here was 'red flag', but it's often true that we do not see the flags until hindsight. As a fellow blogger, I feel you should never apologize for 'life getting in the way' My blog just passed its fifth anniversary (!) and although I've shared over 1000 posts, the real world always comes first. I drop a line if it's been over a couple of weeks, but I know that my little blog, though entertaining for my readers, is really just a fun thing I do, and not a career. (doesn't pay a cent) I have no doubt you will find your joy in life, no matter what. I think you are remarkably funny and should surely write a book! You've more than demonstrated your writing chops here, and you'd have a best seller! So get out there with the people, face to face! I wish you love and happiness in all you do, you make all of us very happy. As ever, Therese xo

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments, Therese (and congratulations on your blog's anniversary and surpassing 1,000 posts yourself!)

      I know I'll find my joy with someone more appropriate. I've had other people mention I should write a book, too. I just don't know what it would be about yet.

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  4. You have a fun blog here, and you seem like a really genuine person. It's an old game played in a new field - the internet, texting, emailing all seem to make it happen a bit easier. Your friend's quote is funny and true. Hang in there.

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  5. Pam, you do have the makings of a book here: check out John Grogan,
    best-selling author of 'Marley & Me'& columnist for The Philadelphia Enquirer, which published, in a series of volumes, his posts on his beloved 'Marley' in Family Life; later to be a Major Motion Picture.
    Your memoirs also have a story to tell &readers that want to hear it.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa, it's a nice compliment but believe me - my life as it's been so far doesn't qualify for a memoir! And one romantic disappointment doesn't qualify, either.

      And here's the thing - I wrote about it here to put it to bed once and for all. I don't plan to write about it again or ruminate on it or rehash it elsewhere. I deleted all of this guy's emails and photos he sent to me including my outgoing emails to him quite a while ago. It's time to start telling a new story as to who I want to attract into my life.

      I forgive him...but I just hope he never does it to anyone else ever again.

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  6. You rock.

    I'm so glad that blogging has introduced us to each other. And, every time I visit, I send out a "perfect partner" wish to the universe for you.

    (I also cannot tell you how many times men write to me to tell me how they can rescue me from my loveless marriage...hello! do they not read my blog? Even though there are skeevy men, for the most part they are wonderful and I'm still going to put that "perfect partner" energy out there for you!)

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    1. Thanks very much, Dr. Julie Ann -- you know I appreciate and believe in those positive vibes! Well, I came close here -- and I firmly believe when something doesn't work out it's because there is something (or someone) meant for you instead. That was the approach I took when job hunting and it all worked out.

      Why am I not surprised to learn you're getting propositioned by creepy guys online? And yeah, you mention "the Mister" quite often enough throughout your posts that anyone with half a brain should pick up on the fact you have a healthy marriage.

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    2. Meant to say, someone/something BETTER meant for you...

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  7. You can't be too careful!
    I remember a simpler time, before the internet, when you had to either move in with somebody or get hitched to discover their secrets and little quirks, like rapid mood swings, penchant for witchcraft, father with mob ties, or extended family of inbred hillbillies.
    M.P.

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    1. Ha ha, hope you're not speaking from personal experience there, M.P.

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  8. The internet can be a wonderful and terrible thing. I'm in contact with folks I haven't seen in 40 years, but it puts you out there in ways no one could have imagined 40 years ago. Since you did share a pinch of the personal, I'm going to be forward enough to offer a little advice. You're an attractive lady and it's a wonder you're not married with 2.1 children already; but you can't wait forever for the right guy to come along. You're interested in modeling/acting, why not volunteer for a local theater group? You'll meet a lot of people that will share your interests and could maybe help you find work doing something you enjoy. Who knows, maybe a nice guy too? Consider this; many authors wrote towering stories that they did not live, most of it is pure fantasy (think JK Rowling). You are a very good writer and I think you could conjure a pot boiler based on what you have already extensively researched; the '60's and '70s. Think Route 66. Try a short story first, Stephen King said most of his early work was destroyed for good reason but it was great practice. If you were feeling particularly brave, you could share it on this blog. We'd be kind and it might encourage you to keep at it. Don't be afraid to step out. Our time on this planet is really just a blink and BAM! it's over. Give it a whirl, what have you got to lose?

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    1. Thanks dryheat, but I've actually been working full-time since February and am enjoying what I do, and lost the desire to try to pursue modeling and/or acting quite a while ago. Both are competitive industries and frankly, a little boring (I got a couple of gigs as an extra and recently discontinued my account with a local casting company.)

      I operate my life by following my instincts and doing what I want to do and enjoy -- there's a difference between taking action out of desperation or frustration to make something happen, and taking it after lining up with the energy of having it because you're being moved/inspired to do so. It almost always leads to more satisfying results.

      Besides, this was proof that I CAN manifest something without taking any action on my part whatsoever.

      I write about the law of attraction and all of the amazing things I've attracted by these principles on my second blog that I started last year, http://www.positivelypamblog.com/ if anyone is interested.

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  9. Pam's confession just goes to show that anyone can use today's technology to be anybody they want on the Web (of deceit). We are living in a Brave New World of selfish distrust which is caused by people not knowing their neighbors, or having established legitimate connections, and by believing anything they see on television or the Internet without questioning it. I find it sad too, because I'm of the "millennial" generation, but I don't like how people my age are so addicted, and distracted, to the point of annoying narcissism, by the digital gadgetry. If people are always looking for easy shortcuts to a relationship by using online dating and other forums like Craigslist, then they're likely to be deceived, and might even end up dead--watch Dateline! However, I believe that there are still decent people who want to be involved with someone. I just take a skeptical view that it has to be accomplished now using the Internet. We are really becoming automatons that are losing our interpersonal skills and social graces when dealing with others. Finding dates and sex are difficult enough unless you're famous, but now in the digital age it's supposed to be accomplished on an "App." Egads, what has happened to our humanity?

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    1. I won't use Tinder. I do still believe there are decent, authentic people using Match.com because I do know of one woman that met the nicest guy on there (as I met him in person) and they ended up moving in together and getting married in less than two years. I've also heard stories from several people that know someone that used it and that's where they met their spouse. I agree that too much technology has made lives a mess for people and they're losing their ability to socialize.

      I had to forgive "Mr. S" once and for all. I recently snooped at his wife's autism group Facebook page and she had posted a video from an event. S was in the background with his arm around his son, who was not participating with the other kids (it was a drumming event) and his body was turned towards his father and he probably did not want to be there. And I realized...this is how my former friend had to spend a summer Saturday morning for an hour...sitting in a church listening to autistic kids pound away on percussion instruments. I am sure if he could have been anywhere else, he would have. I am sure his life is not easy.

      As I said in my post, that's not giving him a free pass and saying what he did was OK. I wish he had fessed up in the beginning about being married (instead of letting me find out by uncovering a published article.) I'm not sure why he didn't think I wouldn't be curious enough to try to find that out. And I don't understand why he thought reaching out to me in January looking to correspond again was a good idea.

      I think that he was going through an unhappy phase of his life/marriage and wanted to pretend, even for a short while, what it would be like to be a divorced bachelor. From what I did find snooping on Facebook, he's now "in it to win it" as the old saying goes in the marriage. I don't think he really has a choice, though. And neither does his wife.

      I was angry for a while and I'm sure there will still be moments when I get angry about it again. But...it's in the past and I can't change it. I've accepted it. It wasn't meant to be. If it were then he would have been divorced and available when reaching out to me.

      I recently had to come to terms with a lot of negative beliefs and I'm in the process of releasing them. This experience had set me back a bit, but I can't let it affect my present or future.

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