Kids, before I met your Dad, I spent a lot of time chasing or being pursued by the elusive, the unattainable and the unavailable man.
This is the guy who is attached in some or other form to another partner, but for some reason pays ardent attention to you. That attention takes many forms, whether face to face or online, but it always leads to the same thing: disappointment, and in some cases, heartbreak.
I wish I could tell you I was above being drawn into their deceitful webs, but here’s one of my harrowing Mr Unavailable tales:
February 2013 …
I met Scott totally by accident – my manager at the time asked me to take a meeting in her stead, because she had a more pressing matter to attend to. While I grudgingly agreed to it, upon laying eyes on the rugged-looking Scott, I was only too happy I had.
Handsome in that country boy way – all check shirt, rolled-up sleeves, dimples and scruffy beard – Scott was the SA personification of my current TV character crush, George Tucker of Hart of Dixie, at the time. My reaction upon seeing him for the first time was something that had only ever happened to me once before – my knees literally went weak and I had to hold onto the back of a chair to steady myself. I was swooning …HARD!
It sounds like a Mills&Boons/ Fifty Shades description but I swear to the gods, old and new, it’s true…
Don’t ask me what was said during that meeting because I spent most of it unapologetically staring at him and fantasising while our colleagues negotiated a trade exchange deal … yes, I know, “TMI, Mom!”
Anyway, fast forward to a few months later, and Scott and I are in regular contact, exchanging content. You know how I’ve told you that people just randomly share personal things with me? It doesn’t just happen in person but electronically too – I got to know Scott pretty well – studies, favourites reading genres, things he likes to do to relax etc.
Conversations bordered on playful teasing and being flirtatious back and forth for a while and it took him several months to reveal he has a girlfriend. Sure, I was a little bummed about that because by then I had started to really like him, but it was a good thing too because it helped to set boundaries … or so I thought.
Over the next 18 months, Scott grew ever more flirtatious in his emails (one particular gem included him telling me he likes being at the top of my to-do list); popping by for coffee in person on the odd occasion he was in town (which is when I realised he wasn’t THAT hot) and actively stalked me on social media platforms. I couldn’t post a single photo or tweet without him liking and favouriting it in within seconds – and not just from his personal account but his business one too, as if I wouldn’t know it was him!
Calling him out on the online stalking proved useless as he just brushed it off as everyone being allowed to have a “creepy day” … dude, it’s more like having a creepy year!
But here’s the rub: once I calmed down about the stalker behaviour and started responding in kind, even going so far as to relax and be comfortable and flirtatious in his company (so sue me, being chased that hard boosted my ego!) when we attended industry events together; Scott suddenly went ice cold on me, and froze me out of his life, preferring to conduct business through his co-worker.
I was hurt, sure, and it made me feel crazy, like I had imagined the entire thing. I berated myself for weeks for flirting with a man who was spoken for and vowed to not have anything to do with him or his ilk ever again.
April 2015 …
As someone wise once told me: “What you resist, persists”. Scott popped back onto my radar a few months later, asking for help promoting his new venture, back to his old flirtatious ways and you would think that I’d have told him to go jump off a cliff but… I’m human and susceptible to dimples, ok? I indulged his requests and tentatively flirted back for a while until…
Gods, Kids, let me tell you this: there is nothing as cruel and soul-crushing as opening your social media newsfeeds and coming across an engagement/pregnancy announcement … particularly those of people you have a murky romantic history with. As was the case with douchebag Scott – turns out the lovely girlfriend he so often tried to make me forget about, is making an honest man of him.
I was tempted to find the largest pool of Nutella around and drown my sorrows in it but f### it, he just ain’t worth it… NEXT!
Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight … wait, this is NOT a Disney movie! What I’m trying to say is, your father, a good, trustworthy, loyal and most importantly, available man, was out there, just around the next date, email, meeting or event, making his way to me … all I needed to do was be patient.
Next time on How I Met Your Father: Faz puts Bridget Jones to shame with embarrassing moments …