Four Years A Bride: How I Met Alex

I’ve been trying to find a way to write this post for quite some time.  I feel that it’s a sweet story, with tons and tons of hilarity.  But also some moments of WTFness and I feel I’m finally ready to share.

I should start at the beginning.  Back in 2010, I dropped out of college at UAF for a variety of reasons.  I wasn’t mature enough to take college seriously, I didn’t want to move back to Minnesota, I had convinced myself that I was happy working at a deli for barely above minimum wage, and I was having more fun doing underage drinking and staying out until four in the morning than actually studying.  Also, I was an English Literature major, and English Lit majors never find jobs.  It’s just a fact of life.

Why yes, I can analyze Shakespeare... I just can't do actual work

Why yes, I can analyze Shakespeare… I just can’t do actual work

So I cut my losses after two years of school and dropped out.  I started renting an apartment from an army guy and a girl who lived in my dorm freshman year.  I lived there for five months before moving into a house with three women as old as my mother, while working full time at the deli.  I eventually got a job at Eielson Air Force Base as a cook at the bowling center.

So from 7 in the morning until three in the afternoon, I worked in a deli.  Then from 4 until 10 I worked as a short order cook in a bowling alley.  I would work for weeks at a time without a day off, and overall I was just exhausted.  But I wanted to prove I could survive on my own.

About a month after working at the bowling alley, I had gotten an account on Plenty Of Fish, a dating website that I do not recommend to anyone.  It was awful.  But right before one of my best friends got married, I got an email on my Plenty of Fish Account.

The picture was of a man who had coke bottle thick glasses, a goofy smile, and a shaved head.  His email was novel length (in his defense, my profile was also novel length), but it had weird comments in it, such as, “Is it too soon to say I love you?  We should get together sometime soon.  Where do you work?  I’ll stop in and try out your cooking.”

This person hadn’t even met me before, and it all just came off as so damn creepy.  I explicitly said “Only Midwesterners or Alaskans should contact me, I’ve never much cared for east coasters or southerners, and west coasters don’t really have the work ethic I care for.”

I know that sounds biased, but I’m a hard worker (at least I like to think I am) and whenever I’ve worked with Californians, it seems that they have no sense of urgency, which drives me batty.

This person informed me that he was raised on both coasts.  Born in Connecticut, from age 6 until after high school he lived in California, but spent a good deal of time in Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York and North Carolina.  He also had family from Missouri.

To say the least, he was very detailed in his information.  And it just went on and on.

So I did what any sane person would do: I told him to leave me the hell alone.

He emailed me back within ten minutes, asking me why I thought he was being a creeper.  I told him that I had no interest in dating military men.  Also that his picture was creepy and I didn’t much care for the pedo-stache.  He changed his profile picture immediately, asking if I liked him without the mustache.

He looked far less creepy, but he still wasn’t really my type  All I could think was how rude every east coaster had been that I’ve met.  And I was afraid that if I said the wrong thing to him, he’d flip out.

I told him he looked less creepy, and he should back the eff off.

Far less creepy without the stache

Far less creepy without the stache

He emailed me one more time, asking me to just let him take me on one date so he could prove himself.  I told him no.  So he said he’d leave me alone.

Since I’m really, really weird, I had to show everyone this horribly creepy email that he sent.  I was at my friend J’s house, her daughter was doing homework and we were having a glass of wine in her living room.  When it came to dating, I liked to talk to her.  She was 14 years my senior and was that in-between of the wisdom I needed, but the modernity I needed to seek advice.  She wasn’t old fashioned and she knew what she was talking about.

When she read the email, she gave me a dark look.

“He doesn’t sound creepy, Leah, he sounds lonely,” she mused.

I shook my head.  “Really?  I thought he sounded horribly creepy.”

She pointed at some of the sentences in the email.  “No, see?  I bet you he just got stationed here and he’s fresh out of basic training.  He probably hasn’t had a real friend since before basic.  If he is new here, you should give him the benefit of the doubt and go out with him once.  For all you know, he could be prince charming.”

I thought about this, and since I was fairly tipsy, I emailed him, with J looking over my shoulder.

My friend said I should give you the benefit of the doubt.  When were you stationed here and when did you first join the military?

He responded fairly quickly.

I joined eight months ago and I got stationed here about two months ago.  I still haven’t met anyone really and I really didn’t want to come to Alaska.  Why do you ask?

Shit, J was right.  I felt horrible for treating him so poorly.

I’ll make you a deal, if you can guess where I work on base, I’ll let you take me out to dinner.  I’ll give you a hint, I work where they make the best food on base.

He waited a day to respond, to which he asked if I worked at the Enlisted Club.  I was deeply offended, the Enlisted Club was awful at that base.

Hell no, I work at the bowling alley.

I’m stupid, if you can’t tell.

The day after I sent that message, I got to work a few minutes early and I saw a guy at a table checking out his phone.  I didn’t think anything of it so I went into the back office to clock in.  When I came out, the guy I saw sitting was at the front counter, and the top of my head only barely reached his shoulder.  He had a shaved head, coke bottle thick glasses, and his name tape matched his screen name on Plenty of Fish.

Fuck.

He was first to speak.  “I know you!”

I stopped dead in my tracks.  I was greasy from working my morning job, I hadn’t changed into my evening job uniform yet, it was -20 outside so my cheeks were really red from the cold, and my facial expression was deadpan.

“I don’t know you,” I retorted, casually walking towards the snackbar.  Since his legs are ridiculously fucking long, he caught up to me with no effort at all.

“Well I know you, your furniture looks great from the yard.”

Totally legit

Totally legit

I stopped to look at him.  “What?” Is this fucker stalking me?

He realized his mistake.  “Oh no, it’s a quote from a movie.  Come to my dorm and I’ll show you.”

WTF

WTF

As you can see, he isn’t the smoothest chap.

“How about no?”

“Hey, you said if I figured out where you work, you’d let me take you out on a date.”

“But I told you, so it doesn’t count.”

“It totally counts.  How about your next day off?  My treat.”

Since I was broke, I figured why not.  And I figured that if I went on one date with him, he’d leave me alone.  Besides, he was pretty cute in that nerdy type of way, and his voice was so high pitched that he seemed harmless.  So I agreed…

Don’t worry, there’s more story to come.  How did you meet your significant other?  What kind of creepers have you met?  Let me know in the comments!

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18 thoughts on “Four Years A Bride: How I Met Alex

  1. This story is totally perfect for a romantic comedy movie , ill wait to see what happens next !! I don’t use the word creeper that much but yeah I have met a lot of Crazy people in life

  2. west coasters don’t really have the work ethic I care for

    I have half a mind to reach through my computer screen, through the Internet, and bop you senseless with an inflatable squeaky hammer. Where is J? Would she be willing to do it for me?

    How did you meet your significant other?

    Go to wavemistress.wordpress.com (this is one of Cimmy’s blogs)… and start reading her posts titled “My Story”, starting with “I’m a Crazy Stalker.”

    What kind of creepers have you met?

    *cough* A middle-aged mom who left her husband and kids to go flirt with people at Live Action Roleplaying games. (Husband decided since she was cheating, he’d cheat with another married woman.)

    Then there was the young engaged woman who cyberstalked and sexually harassed me.

    • Please don’t hit me!

      And I said californians… And it’s been hit or miss. My family is very much “EVERYTHING MUST BE DONE YESTERDAY!” and everywhere else people are more relaxed… which drives me batty. I can tell just by having talked to you that you’re not going to take your time doing a task— you’re going to get your shit done.

      And awkward about the young engaged woman who cyberstalked you.

      • Oh, Californians! That makes sense. You do know why Oregon exists, don’t you? Quick, read this:
        http://basicinstructions.net/basic-instructions/2010/10/26/how-to-insult-a-large-subset-of-the-human-race.html

        This makes even more sense when you consider California’s been flooding us with their cheese, as well as their people. Also, Scott Meyer is originally from Outlook (near Sunnyside, Sally Ride is from there, too), so he speaks the truth about Washington, especially Eastern Washington, even if it makes me cringe admitting it.

        California and much of the West gets its culture from the Midwesterners that settled them. Remember that. Anything else I tend to blame on Oklahoma and Texas. Especially west Texas.
        Oh. I’m B+ type personality. ‘Nuff said for now.

        And the cyberstalker wasn’t just awkward– it was downright creepy. Here I go for the hat trick: she was from the Midwest. She was creepy enough to agree to talk on the phone… of course, she had to make fun of my West Coast accent. Cimmy not only gave her what for; she took part in the conversations. I guess we tend to play with our food. To boot, she knew someone we met from Ann Arbor. Totally a small world sometimes.

      • Oh, but I think we generally agree on Californians, on average. Like, totally. And probably that Oklahoma is Texas’s frying pan.

        Sorry, Leah. There’s just something about the Midwest that makes it tough for outsiders: we don’t know when you’re actually discontent, uncomfortable, etc. It gets hidden under stuff like “that’s different!” But I also chafe at Christopher Kimball’s “how do cook this THE RIGHT WAY”, which is just full-on New Englanders gotta be right. (He’s from Vermont.)

      • Oh I know it’s hard for outsiders. Alex experiences it every time we go home. We’re really passive aggressive, the food is bland, the people are friendly as all get out to visitors, but as soon as they move in they keep their distance. I read an article that it takes, on average, a person to feel welcomed by the community 2-4 years after moving to Minnesota, far longer than any other state. I felt welcome immediately in Louisiana, I felt welcome immediately in Alaska, but even when I go home to visit, since my accent has changed quite a bit, I’m given weird looks even though I spent the majority of my life there.

      • *snort* The oldest of my 3 younger sisters went to France and England for a school trip, and she took on some strange London accent immediately… “Hello, is Mum & Dad there?” and I swear she was takin’ the mick with us. Then one of my cousins actually married a Brit (& divorced them, then married a… boy) and my aunt & uncle called bullshit on her accent. Whatevs. It seems we just take on accents quite easily. I used to have a strange mixed accent in Spanish as well as English, too.

      • When I was in france for three weeks, I definitely picked up a southern french accent, which is just slurring some of the words together and using hard A’s when I spoke, which isn’t too far off from the Minnesotan accent. So whenever I speak french, they can usually tell I learned my french in the south of france.

        I pick up accents really easily. Someone recently asked me if I was from Missouri because I’m starting to get a hint of a southern twang, something that I’ve been actively avoiding. However, a southern accent is really easy to pick up.

      • Yup yup. When I lived in a small farming community, I came home saying “ain’t” and such and my mother said something like, “Don’t say ‘ain’t’! Do you want people to think we’re hicks from the sticks!”

        I got some fair revenge, though; I found a recording from when we lived in the land of Napoleon Dynamite, and she had a Rocky Mountain drawl… LOLOLOL

  3. Hey! What’s wrong with southerners?! Oh wait, they’re awful and racist. Nevermind.

    And you should never date someone that is creepy. I mean, sure, it worked out for you. But for most women it does not. Poor Alex. I bet he was so lonely because he was coming on too strong with everyone.

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