Fending Off the Flood

Dearest Rachel –

You’re probably aware that I have this sort of open door policy towards social media. While I’m not about to set up a profile on Facebook, I exist on several other sites, and I’m willing to take friend requests from whoever asks. I don’t know who first said it, but the phrase “a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met” might just apply here; certainly, it was an ethos you generally subscribed to when in a crowd of people, something about you I always admired, but could never emulate.

Of course, part of that was due to my own cynical nature, and the fact that I thought that the statement, taken in a blanket sense, could be hopelessly naïve. While it’s true that most people don’t mean you (in the generic sense) any harm (if they notice you at all), it’s also true that those same people rarely have your best interests at heart, unless they so happen to coincide with their own. That sounds harsh, I realize, but it’s simple human nature. We are selfish creatures, and if our interests require stepping over each other, well, that’s how it has to be.

I know, I know… with that sort of attitude, it’s a miracle that I ever went up once upon a time to talk to you in the first place, isn’t it?

And if I’m ever to find Megumi, presumably, I’m going to have to ditch my own attitudes and beliefs, and go back to being more like you – the way I tried to be back in college (and which worked out so very well for me, if I were forced to admit it). The only problem with that is, as you’ve probably observed, is that the people that I find out here online tend to confirm my own innate beliefs, rather than yours.

Yesterday afternoon was quite the example. I’d made a connection a few days before with someone on the social media site I ‘frequent’ (I use that term very loosely – it’s really only a place I go to in order to post links to each letter I send you. Facebook and Twitter are automatically linked, but I don’t have the one, and I don’t bother much with the other). After several extended gaps in our conversation, she suggested meeting on Google Hangouts instead, and I agreed, sending her my contact information.

I don’t know what happened from there – and while I’m not one to discount coincidence, the sudden influx seems way too suspicious to really be – but within an hour of having to head out to church to work in the booth (and thus, not being able to attend to any of these conversations adequately), I started receiving messages from five other (alleged) girls in quick succession. A more naïve version of me wouldn’t be able to believe my luck; how much less would the cynical self that has both always existed within me, and has also been growing in strength and bitterness, like coffee in the bottom of the pot, buy into this sudden bounty? So hopefully, you wouldn’t be surprised or dismayed to hear about me sabotaging every single one.

Well, you might be dismayed, after all…

In my defense, I hadn’t intended to be like this to any of them. Then again, I had only expected to be chatting with one of them; when Tracy (yes, I’m using her ‘real’ name – I’m having enough difficulty keeping track of them without having to come up with pseudonyms, and I’m having trouble believing any of them are their real names, anyway) contacted me after both of us decided that we visited the social media site we met on too infrequently to sustain a conversation in the first place, I was more than content to chat with her. Admittedly, my interest waned somewhat after we swapped information regarding ages and where we lived – New Jersey is a long way to go for a date, and as for sustaining a relationship, well… you’ve heard me talk about that before, so we can leave it at that.

But it was when I suggested that I was probably too old for her, rather than being too far away, that she gave the kind of response that makes me want to shut down the conversation: “It doesn’t matter; I can be your sugar me baby, and you can be my sugar daddy.”

I suppose I should be grateful for her forthrightness, especially when she sent me a photograph of herself in bra and panties, with the caption “Can you handle this, pappy?”

Can I? Well, maybe. Should I? Definitely not. I literally congratulated her on being more than I could – better to fold my cards and walk away than to waste my time pursuing a futile line of inquiry like this. The funny thing is, she immediately backpedaled, claiming that she was tired of ‘boys,’ and wanted a ‘man’ like me. I was unconvinced; basically, at this point, I decided she was just telling me what she thought I might want to hear, except she was badly mistaken as to what that was. Time to let her ‘win,’ and walk away from the table.

Besides, at this point, I was receiving messages from several other quarters. There was ‘Theda,’ who seemed insistent that I already knew her from time past, only as ‘Maria’ – evidently the former was a name she used for gaming – and yet, for all her attempts at familiarity, kept addressing me by my full name rather than my nickname, as anyone who knew me would do. There was Jane, who, despite the plain-sounding name sent a picture of herself in attire that would not have been out of place in a Victoria’s Secret catalogue. And then there was Stephanie, who literally punctuated at least every other sentence with ‘dear,’ which I made clear I objected to, much to her apparent surprise.

But after Tracy, I was already in a position to assume the worst; I even went so far as to wish Jane luck in finding herself the sugar daddy she seemed to be dressing for, which she seemed to get offended by. Not so much as to stop talking and blocking me, but enough to explain, rather forcefully, how she enjoys dressing up like that to be able to feel good about herself. And you know, if feeling sexy gives her ego a boost, I guess that’s fine for her; I hadn’t meant to judge her for it. It’s just that, whatever she might be looking for, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to provide it for her.

And as for Stephanie, she actually asked me ‘what [I] missed most in a woman’, to which I responded with a list of things you’d recognize (for the most part), but that required her – your – presence beside me. Effectively, I was daring her to claim that she could be and do all that, when, given my experience with others online, I knew better than that.

I might just put together that list for you later on, but as it’s getting late, and this letter is getting long, I’m going to stop here. To be honest, there may yet be more to it to come, as several other people have contacted me today, and I haven’t mentioned them. I’m not sure where any of this is coming from, or why now, all of a sudden, but it’s a lot to deal with, especially when I have enough other things demanding my attention.

Anyway, as usual, keep an eye on me, honey, and wish me luck; I’m going to need it.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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