Five-Year Plan

Dearest Rachel – I’m gonna preface this later by admitting that I really don’t feel like doing anything today. Even something as small as dictating to Siri feels like a herculean effort. So you’ll understand if it turns out that this letter is rather short. The thing is, however, that it’s the moments that areContinue reading “Five-Year Plan”

First Contact

Dearest Rachel – After discovering last night (or rather, this morning, I suppose) at 3:30 that I had fallen asleep in the bedroom rocking chair five hours earlier, I made to brush my teeth, get myself undressed, and drop myself into bed where I belonged. It was easier than it had been for some time,Continue reading “First Contact”

The Pile of Questions

Dearest Rachel – I’m sure that you would tell me that I’m a too bit free-spending these days, dropping money on frivolities that I neither need nor even want, if I really were to think about it. Granted, part of it could probably be attributed to the combination of prices going up as our portfolioContinue reading “The Pile of Questions”

Another Weight Lifted

Dearest Rachel – One of the advantages of being confined to the bedroom while the boys are watching anime in the family room is that, if I get tired or bored, I can just shut my eyes and I’m already in bed. As a result, I’m pretty sure I was asleep before ten last night.Continue reading “Another Weight Lifted”

And Another One Down

Dearest Rachel – Yep; another one bites the dust. Thanks to Logan’s image lookup technique, I have spotted a problem with Aileen. Shortly after she was allegedly assigned to the San Diego naval base, she sent me a picture purporting to be of herself in front of her barracks, wearing what she claimed to beContinue reading “And Another One Down”

Going South (featuring Alexa Brandy)

As promised, honey, this was the chat between me and Alexa once I arrived at the hole-in-the-wall place I’d suggested we meet at, and you can watch as it all fall apart. I want to believe I tried to be as much of a gentleman as possible, without letting on that I was suspicious ofContinue reading “Going South (featuring Alexa Brandy)”

Walking the Fine, Fine Line

There’s fine, fine lineBetween love… and a waste of your time “There’ s A Fine, Fine Line,” sung by Kate Monster (Stephanie D’Abruzzo) in Avenue Q Dearest Rachel – Well, I got what I expected to out of yesterday’s adventure. I didn’t actually have a lunch date (in fact, I didn’t have lunch there atContinue reading “Walking the Fine, Fine Line”

Another Step Forward… Two Steps Back

Dearest Rachel – It’s just about nine in the morning, and I need to head out to the ‘office.’ But I can’t exactly say my mind is entirely on my ‘work.’ My mind is somewhat preoccupied with what’s going on later today. It almost seems inappropriate for me to be going on a date thisContinue reading “Another Step Forward… Two Steps Back”

I Want to Believe

Dearest Rachel – You might dimly remember this slogan; it was the motto of “The X-Files,” which, for all your love of the science fiction and horror genres, you never seemed to get into. Maybe it was just having our hands full with a new baby; maybe it was the fact that we could onlyContinue reading “I Want to Believe”

Turning Away More Than Wrath

Dearest Rachel – So… I’ve gone into great detail to you about my many adventures – and misadventures – in trying to meet people online. Not complete detail, mind you – that won’t happen until the last of them stops ‘sliding into my DMs,’ as I understand the expression goes. I’m ambivalent about that day,Continue reading “Turning Away More Than Wrath”

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 phraseContinue reading “Fending Off the Flood”

On the Last Few Pages

Dearest Rachel – After spending Sunday driving home from camp, showing up at church without even bothering to stop at home first, spending the rest of the day resting up from the weekend, and then yesterday trying to get back into my routine in order to set aside what the day represented in terms ofContinue reading “On the Last Few Pages”

A Tempting Cliché

Dearest Rachel – Ever since I let my subscription to that dating app expire, I’ve been waiting for the shoes to drop for each of the last two ladies that I’ve been speaking with. For a while there, it seemed the closest I was going to come to that was when Aileen informed me thatContinue reading “A Tempting Cliché”

Live and In Person

Dearest Rachel – Some time before you left, back when I was still considering assembling some form of YouTube channel, I was reading up on artificial intelligence, and how it was able to compose music. As I had no particular talent in that field, it seemed like a great idea for coming up with originalContinue reading “Live and In Person”

One Last Throw of the Dice

Dearest Rachel – Well, my subscription to that dating website/app is about to expire, and I’m not sure I’m really going to miss it. It’s given me a fair amount of fodder to write you about, to be sure, but up until now, there hasn’t really been all that much in terms of real results.Continue reading “One Last Throw of the Dice”

490 Grains of Dust

Dearest Rachel – For all of Pastor Scott’s assertions that he’s never met any alleged skeptic who, when confronted with the challenge to ‘name one’ of the supposed many contradictions in the Bible, hasn’t backed down, there are a number of issues one can deal with when going through scripture. One of these is puttingContinue reading “490 Grains of Dust”

The Farce is Strong with This One

Dearest Rachel – Saturday, July 9 (3pm) I have so many potential titles for this letter, but it may have to wait to see how things play out, which means that this will need to carry over through tomorrow, because it’s not going to be able to be wrapped up today. However, today is notContinue reading “The Farce is Strong with This One”

Lowering the Boom

Dearest Rachel – Another day, another tranche of falsehoods to deal with and dismiss. I’ve already given up on the online dating scene, but I keep having to deal with the occasional zombie that crops up and refuses to go down. Fortunately, like with the walking dead themselves, they seem to be somewhat short onContinue reading “Lowering the Boom”

The Curtain Can’t Come Down Soon Enough

Dearest Rachel – In a different context, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’m about to break my promise to myself and you about keeping politics to a minimum with a title like that – it’s the sort of sentiment anyone with our belief system (or even dealing with the struggling economy) has to beContinue reading “The Curtain Can’t Come Down Soon Enough”

Abandoned

Dearest Rachel – Last night’s dream was a weird one to wake up from. What I can remember of it had to do with the family and a handful of others (including animals) needing to get back from somewhere in central Missouri, and quickly. So, while most of the others got cars to drive homeContinue reading “Abandoned”

Palm Tuesday

Dearest Rachel – So, I stayed home yesterday in order to be with Daniel, and to make his day special. Far be it from me to claim that was a mistake; while there were still times that he seemed to need his space – and let me have mine – I think things worked outContinue reading “Palm Tuesday”

Three Last Chances

Dearest Rachel – I have to admit, I woke up yesterday determined to write to you about Father’s Day, and the fact that I felt like I was being ignored during it; Daniel had told me that my mom suggested he go out and get a card for me, which he didn’t get around toContinue reading “Three Last Chances”

Judgement Call

Dearest Rachel – “You’re judging me!” I can almost hear the hurt in the voice that I’ve never heard (and will never hear). Whether it’s an act or not, I really couldn’t say; I may not be a cinematic devotee, but I’ve always appreciated an authentic acting performance. The trouble is, while I can doContinue reading “Judgement Call”

The Whimper of Chance

Dearest Rachel – It’s not exactly axiomatic, but it should go without saying that it’s the misadventures in life that make some of the best stories. This wasn’t the kind of misadventure where the worst possible thing happened, so it won’t be the most ripping of yarns. And yet, it had all the potential toContinue reading “The Whimper of Chance”

Don’t Buy Dünderbeck a Hot Dog

Dearest Rachel – I confess to never having been a fan of love poetry; for one, it takes too much effort to cobble together something that fits meter and rhyme, and for the other, once assembled, it sounds cobbled together, slightly off and unnatural. As much as I enjoy the stories told by Shakespeare’s plays,Continue reading “Don’t Buy Dünderbeck a Hot Dog”

A Quick Change of Plans

Dearest Rachel – By rights, had everything worked out according to the original plan, Daniel and I should be re-packing again today. it’s a quick turnaround from last weekend, sure, but that’s when Memorial Day weekend falls, and we would traditionally drive down to the Nashville area to see Kevin. I’ve abandoned certain traditions sinceContinue reading “A Quick Change of Plans”

Folding the Hedge

Dearest Rachel – Every so often, I come up with a title that needs some explanation; however, this is going to take some time for me to get to. Feel free to guess a little while I try to set the table here. I’ll give you a hint, though; it has absolutely nothing to doContinue reading “Folding the Hedge”

No Substitute

Dearest Rachel – You know, if you were still here, I wouldn’t have anything to do with social media. It’s just no substitute for the real thing. But you aren’t, and I do. It’s not ideal, but you work with what you’re given. I was woken up this morning at twenty to six by theContinue reading “No Substitute”

Long Term Plans

Dearest Rachel – Well, wouldn’t you know it. Just yesterday, I was saying how I need to be telling you a bit more about Yvonne, and last night, she comes out and asks me some hard questions. So, it looks like I need to talk about her at this point. I will say that timeContinue reading “Long Term Plans”

Not Encouraging

Dearest Rachel – There are times when I have to remind myself that I shouldn’t be pinning too much hope in this whole online dating thing; it’s just for entertainment purposes (and maybe for a little something to write to you about). Other days, it’s perfectly obvious that’s what it is. Yesterday was one ofContinue reading “Not Encouraging”

‘Dear’ in the Headlights

Dearest Rachel – I have to confess that I’ve all but given up on watching Doctor Who any longer. Not because it’s ‘gone woke,’ like some people claim. Heck, I’ve enjoyed Jody Whittaker’s distaff take on the role: she comes across as the team mom for a fairly crowded TARDIS, much like Peter Davison’s Fifth,Continue reading “‘Dear’ in the Headlights”

Hitting the Wall

Dearest Rachel – Long-distance runners talk about the concept of ‘hitting the wall,’ both in practice and in competition. There is apparently a point at which your body basically tells you, “That’s as far as I can go, kiddo. I’m tired, I’m sore, I’m gonna give up, and I recommend you do the same, becauseContinue reading “Hitting the Wall”

Closing My Eyes

Dearest Rachel – I don’t remember where I heard about it – probably in the Readers’ Digest when I was a kid; I spent a lot of time going through my grandparents’ cache of them, with particular emphasis on their monthly features on ‘Laughter, the Best Medicine’ and ‘Toward More Picturesque Speech’ – but thereContinue reading “Closing My Eyes”

How Can I Miss Her…

Dearest Rachel – I will occasionally wonder what things might have been like had our roles been reversed that awful day. After all, freak accidents don’t just occur to the risk-takers, or they wouldn’t be considered freak accidents. I went down that hill a few times myself – I even lost my phone during oneContinue reading “How Can I Miss Her…”

Messages in the Morning

Dearest Rachel – It’s six-thirty in the morning; I need to get up and prepare myself for the day. It’s ironic that it’s the weekend in which I have to wake up and be somewhere, while during the week, there’s never any rush (although I always feel the need to let the folks know whenContinue reading “Messages in the Morning”

Poisoned Dove

“·Listen [L Look; T Behold], I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. So be as ·clever [wise; shrewd; cunning] as ·snakes [serpents] and as ·innocent [harmless] as doves.  Matthew 10:16, Expanded Bible Dearest Rachel – When I first signed up on the dating app, Jan had helped me put together a profile (although later on, she pointed out that I should not haveContinue reading “Poisoned Dove”

Itching Ears

Because the time will come when people will not ·listen to [put up with; endure] the ·true [sound; healthy] teaching but will ·find many more [gather around themselves; accumulate] teachers who ·please them [meet their needs/desires] by saying the things ·they want to hear [their ears itch for]. 2 Timothy 4:3, Expanded Bible Dearest RachelContinue reading “Itching Ears”

Pocket Veto

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been told that one way to keep a marriage fresh is to continue to treat each other as though you were still dating. Make an effort to keep winning your partner over; behave as if you were still young (to the best of your ability, of course – some things areContinue reading “Pocket Veto”

Crashing and Burning

Dearest Rachel – It’s the craziest thing, sometimes. The stories I hear from people online can be so impressive, until you look them up. And do they think I’m not going to? I’ve been chatting quite a bit today with E.C. She’s been asking me the sort of… interesting questions that one might ask onContinue reading “Crashing and Burning”

Blowing Up My Phone

Dearest Rachel – You’re probably confused by that title, aren’t you? Yesterday I made a comment about the compulsion to throw my phone overboard, and today, it sounds like I’m talking about detonating it. What gives, you might be asking? Well, honey, that’s not what it means when your phone ‘blows up’ these days. ItContinue reading “Blowing Up My Phone”

Turing Tested, NOT Approved

Dearest Rachel – The weird thing about this morning’s letter, was that I barely covered the topic I’d originally set out to discuss with you. I kind of got sidetracked by the fact that up until now I hadn’t talked much about certain things you enjoyed, simply because I didn’t really share your enthusiasm forContinue reading “Turing Tested, NOT Approved”

Date, Marry or Dump?

Dearest Rachel – Sometimes, it’s not so much the dream that’s memorable, as the idea behind it that I need to write down and tell you about. I’ve already pretty much lost the specific images that I saw, but the concept, well, that’s worth talking about. For all that we enjoyed watching various YouTubers playingContinue reading “Date, Marry or Dump?”

You’re Going With That?

Dearest Rachel – You know that I try to avoid politics in these letters if I can; we always understood each other and our political positions (although I couldn’t help but be amused as you and Daniel changed position around me during that last year and a half, taking me from being the most conservativeContinue reading “You’re Going With That?”

Here We Go Again

Dearest Rachel – This will probably not come as a great shock to you; it didn’t to me, although I was nevertheless disappointed to see it happen. After all, Ruby had gone so long without being too clingy (I tended to chalk up her contacting me on a daily basis as being a case ofContinue reading “Here We Go Again”

The Visitation

Dearest Rachel – I’m told there was a French king who had been raised Protestant – a dangerous thing to be, when the deeply Catholic country was persecuting Huguenots, and your faith was pretty much inextricably linked to your patriotism (one more reason America deliberately decoupled church and state). Upon the death of his predecessor,Continue reading “The Visitation”

Why So Serious?

Dearest Rachel – These words, spoken (and written) by pop culture’s favorite nihilist, the Joker, seem so innocuous in print. Indeed, I’ve long known a more homespun, friendly-sounding take on this perspective, thanks to being a fan of Walt Kelly’s Pogo: “Don’t take life so seriously, son. It ain’t nohow permanent.” But hey, everything soundsContinue reading “Why So Serious?”

Laying Out a Fleece

Dearest Rachel – Considering all the concerns I’ve voiced about Ruby, you’ll probably find it weird but we still haven’t made arrangements to at least meet face-to-face and determine once and for all whether we’re right for each other. That’s the trouble with that kind of distance; even though we’re still in the same county,Continue reading “Laying Out a Fleece”

So… Darned… Close

Dearest Rachel – I’ll give Ruby credit, she’s making the effort to keep in touch with me, contacting me every day while she’s supposedly down in Phoenix with her siblings. She’s also informed me that she’s told her mom (who I guess is down there with her siblings? In which case, shouldn’t she have mentionedContinue reading “So… Darned… Close”

Déjà Vu

Dearest Rachel – This weekend is going to be considerably quieter than the last few. After two weeks in a row, the girls won’t be coming over tonight (or next Friday, for that matter, if I recall correctly). It’s how scheduling goes, and that’s fine. I can’t expect them to be here every single week,Continue reading “Déjà Vu”

On Being ‘The Grenade’

Dearest Rachel – I’ve spoken to certain people who find themselves amused at some of the stories I tell you about my life lived after you, particularly those having to do with finding a successor to you (if you’d want to call her that). It offers a measure of comfort to me that, if IContinue reading “On Being ‘The Grenade’”

There’s No Way to be Subtle

Dearest Rachel – I’ve spun more than a few tales about my misadventures – and misgivings – in attempting to find romance via online sites and apps. Given that I have no idea who I might or might not be dealing with out here in cyberspace, I’m moving at a snail’s pace, because I’ve comeContinue reading “There’s No Way to be Subtle”

I Never Dealt with Nightmares

Dearest Rachel – I should tell you upfront that Daniel does not seem to approve of Ruby. Every time the phone ‘thrums’ to indicate a message from her when he’s in earshot, he gives me a sideways glance as if to ask ‘her again?’ even if he doesn’t always say it aloud – which heContinue reading “I Never Dealt with Nightmares”

Spaces In Our Togetherness

Dearest Rachel – These days, Ruby will occasionally ask me whether I’ve spoken to another woman, especially if I don’t contact – or respond to – her on Google Chat quickly enough. Maybe she’s worried that she’ll lose me to someone else too early in the game, in which case I suppose I should beContinue reading “Spaces In Our Togetherness”

Real Life Rickrolling

Dearest Rachel – I would like to think that I wouldn’t have to explain the concept of the rickroll to anyone on the internet. Anyone who’s been out here any length of time has probably been conned into clicking a link that took them to Mr. Astley’s music video, and those who haven’t, really justContinue reading “Real Life Rickrolling”

When Wheedling Won’t Work

Dearest Rachel – When I first joined this dating app, Jeff (who’d met his wife on one a year or two back) warned me that I should prepare myself to face a hundred rejections or so before finding anybody. Surprisingly, that hasn’t happened thus far. But what has happened has pushed me very nearly toContinue reading “When Wheedling Won’t Work”

Too Early on a Saturday

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know if it’s that I haven’t acclimatized myself to the time zone, or just that I fell asleep too early while Daniel and Logan were in the family room watching this or that. Maybe it’s just the wind, whipping around outside the bedroom; since there are windows on three sidesContinue reading “Too Early on a Saturday”

Found

Dearest Rachel – You’ll recall me mentioning the other day when I was wandering around Basel how you’re never truly lost; that it’s just a matter of not being where you want to be. As a consequence, being ‘found’ isn’t the opposite of being lost; it’s just a matter of someone else realizing where youContinue reading “Found”

They Can’t All Be Gems

Dearest Rachel – I know I have permission to skip a day or two now and again, but that wasn’t how life was like when you were still here. There was rarely a day that went by that we didn’t talk to each other. I mean, there were occasions when you were out of town,Continue reading “They Can’t All Be Gems”

Spooky Stuff

Dearest Rachel – Yes, I know Halloween was over three weeks ago, but the days continue to get shorter, and the nights continue to get longer – and there are still spooky things that come out of the woodwork as time goes by. I woke up this morning with an idea in my head toContinue reading “Spooky Stuff”

Adhesiveness in Anytown

Dearest Rachel – Last night, after a few hours of gaming with Kevin, I found myself in conversation with another individual on the dating app. She’d sent me a smile, and while I generally tend to limit my connections to those residing here in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, I couldn’t quite figure out whereContinue reading “Adhesiveness in Anytown”

The Shoe Finally Drops

Dearest Rachel – I teased about this the other day, because it was happening almost at the same time I was writing about dealing with another scammer on the dating app. But this one was longer in coming around. In fact, I was wondering if it would even actually happen. But I think I knewContinue reading “The Shoe Finally Drops”

The Power of the Ping Compels Me

Dearest Rachel – I promised myself that I wouldn’t be suckered by these ladies. But I have to confess, I’m almost incapable of leaving anybody on ‘read.’ I try not to start a conversation, but if someone addresses me, I almost always feel the need to respond, even if it’s only out of sheer courtesy.Continue reading “The Power of the Ping Compels Me”

Is It Really ‘Just A Number’?

Dearest Rachel – In my continued adventures in online dating, I’ve noticed that ones who have been responding to me have tended to be younger than myself. Coming from a cultural background where that’s more the rule than the exception (sure, there are plenty of couples where both are more or less the same age,Continue reading “Is It Really ‘Just A Number’?”

Curiouser and Curiouser

My! People come and go so quickly here! Dorothy (Judy Garland) observes Glinda’s departure in The Wizard of Oz (1938) Dearest Rachel – You’d probably take me to task a bit for conflating Dorothy Gale… …with Alice Lidell… …just for the sake of an interesting title and quote to lead this letter off with. YouContinue reading “Curiouser and Curiouser”

A Saturday Off

Dearest Rachel – There’s about two hundred guys up at camp this weekend. Neither Daniel nor I are among them. Needless to say, this Saturday seems… off. Normally, at this hour, I’d be returning from the Bible study, probably after running an errand or two in the process. I won’t say that I’ve been thereContinue reading “A Saturday Off”

If You Laugh at Different Comics…

…If you root for different teams,Waste no time, weep no more,Show him what the door is for.Rub him out of the roll callAnd drum him out of your dreams. Oscar Hammerstein II, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair”, South Pacific (1949) Dearest Rachel – I mentioned before about the fact that thereContinue reading “If You Laugh at Different Comics…”

A New Theme Song

Dearest Rachel – I think I’ve mentioned the joke before in these letters, and when we were all watching certain meme channels, we were familiar with it, but it bears repeating: if you think of your life as a television series, your alarm clock is basically your theme music, since it’s what starts each episode.Continue reading “A New Theme Song”

The Games We Must Play

Dearest Rachel – For all that I said the other day about women who insist that they don’t want someone who ‘plays games’ – and yet they inevitably play games themselves – the fact of the matter is, there is really no getting away from playing games in this process of finding someone to fillContinue reading “The Games We Must Play”

Replacement

Dearest Rachel – Well, if it’s here at church, no one’s seen it. So tonight, I bought myself a replacement Grief Share workbook. The few bucks spent on it are of little concern, but I’m none too thrilled about losing four weeks of notes. Still, this ought to guarantee that the old one shows upContinue reading “Replacement”

A Touch of Nervous Energy

Dearest Rachel – What with having woken up before six o’clock on a Saturday to shower and tend to the dog (although in fairness, I actually managed to do the former without waking up the old guy! Huzzah!), making a point to attend this morning’s Bible study, followed by running about on errands until aboutContinue reading “A Touch of Nervous Energy”