Kids, the journey to meeting your Dad was a long, often humorous, sometimes scary and exciting one. Although the 28 Dates challenge kept me busy, I somehow managed to find the time to rack up a stalker or two too…
New Year’s Eve 2013 …
Mr Winchester, my not-so-reliable Opel Corsa GSI and I were cruising along Main Road in Observatory, on our way to your Nan’s so that your aunt S could have him while I rang in 2014 with friends, when this red Corsa and his driver kept following us and blowing his horn at us.
Naturally, we didn’t even give them a second glance because a) we were far too busy rocking our signature drive tune, Eye of the Tiger, at full blast and b) after the Prince of Egypt, I no longer looked or smiled or encouraged strangers in ANY way.
But Red Corsa’s driver was persistent and followed us all the way to Iman Haron Road in Claremont, catching my attention while we were stationary at a traffic light. “What?!” I asked somewhat tersely. “Your back wheel is about to fall off. Pull over and let me help you,” he responded.
I thought this guy was taking a fat chance so I waved him off and said I’ll have it looked at, and drove off but he proceeded to follow me all of the way to Rosemead Avenue and insisted I let him help me.
By now, I was seriously worried that something indeed was wrong with my back wheel and because I was an inexperienced driver and car owner, I followed the Red Corsa Driver into a side road, to let him take a look at it. Yes, I know, “Stranger Danger!” – What the heck was I thinking?!!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the driver turned out to be mechanic named Jeremy who just so happened to specialize in Opels, and considering the numerous issues Mr Winchester had been giving me in the nine months I’d had him, meeting this guy seemed like a gods-send, right?
After allowing Jeremy to fix my wheel, drive me to the closest Engen garage for brake-fluid, paying him for his efforts, making arrangements for a check-up the next week and giving him my number, I made the colossal mistake of revealing I didn’t have a boyfriend, fiancé or husband.
Look, I’ll be honest, I enjoyed having him tell me that a pretty girl like me shouldn’t have to take care of a sports car by herself but seriously it seemed like no more than an innocent ego boost on the last day of the year, and all I saw Jeremy as was a means to fix my car. If only that had been the end of it…
Later that evening, as I settled in for a Dr Who NYE marathon ( don’t judge me, as Cape Town’s resident socialite who attended way more parties than the average person, a night in on the couch with friends was the only way I wanted to spend December 31), Jeremy texted me to ask if the car was ok. I responded that it was but then he started asking about what I was up to (classic code for “booty call”). When I didn’t respond, he began calling me at random intervals, which I ignored too.
By now, I was a little freaked out… what had started as purely a means to an end was becoming decidedly weird and stalker-like.
This pattern continued in much of the same manner for the next week – he’d call and I’d ignore him until one morning, at 2 am, my phone rang again.
Kids, my small apartment in the City Bowl has always felt like a safe haven, from the minute I stepped into it, but that night, knowing someone was actively stalking me and as irrational as it sounds, possibly parked outside in my street (even though I hadn’t given him my address, who’s to say he hadn’t taken down my car registration number?), I was seriously frightened!
Eventually, I blocked Jeremy from calling me – so he could dial my number but his call would be stopped – and life settled back into normalcy…
Until one morning three months later, when I answered a call from a private number, thinking it was your Nan calling. When I answered with a casual “Hello”, Jeremy said: “Oh, so you do know how to answer your phone. Do you know who’s speaking?” I pretended not to know who he was and ended the call.
A few minutes later, I received a text from him saying: “Wow, if I had known how rude you were, I’d never have been interested. I get the message, I won’t contact you again.”
What the actual F***?! Are you serious, dude?! You stalked me for months, I avoided your calls so clearly I’m not interested and you want to lecture me on etiquette? Oh, hell no! This not 50 Shades of Grey –get a freaking life, pal!
I thought I was rid of the creepy, I-want-to –tie-you-up-in-my-basement-type until …
Mr Fix It was your Great Gramps’ and Uncle D’s family mechanic, who did wonders on their fleet of vans and your Nan’s Yaris too so naturally, when Mr W was once again having a starter switch issue, I turned to him.
I had a sick week off work and was spending it at your Nan’s, to help her pack and host farewell parties before she jetted off to Melbourne for a two week work trip (yes, that’s your grandmother’s style, leaving for 14 days but hosting parties like she’s immigrating!) so Mr Fix It came by every day to tend to the car. Consequently, we spent a hell of a lot of time together, which sadly Mr Fix It misconstrued as us falling in love.
Here’s the thing: I have always been remarkably good at being a guy’s best girl (as in platonic) friend – I’m the chick you tell your deep, dark insecurities and secrets to, who will match you in eating the most junk food and discuss the intricacies of a fight between Batman and Superman.
I am also super friendly, so I will ask you about your mom, your dad, and your day, how you like your coffee and what your plans are for the weekend. BUT, and here is the important thing: I am NOT flirting with you – at ALL!
I’m serious, Kids, I wasn’t – in fact, on more than one occasion that week, Mr Fix It saw me in all of my un-combed hair, brunch- gobbling glory – it wasn’t pretty! So why the heck he thought this was the start of a beautiful relationship, I have no freaking clue.
Besides making his intentions to marry me known to my grandfather (who, bless him, gave Mr Fix It one look and said “You’re no match for my granddaughter!”), religiously asking my aunt and uncle if they had seen me AND sending me random texts to ask what I’m up and why I wasn’t responding to his texts; Mr Fix It started hanging out with your Nan’s friends, in the hopes of running into me at a social event. Gods Almighty, man, get the picture: I’m just not that into you!
It’s been months and I haven’t received a text from the poor guy in a while – let’s hope it stays that way.
I have more than enough trouble keeping the Mr Eagers of the world in check, I don’t need Christian Grey wanna-bes dogging my every move too.
F*** it! Next!