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Chasing The American Dream

December 05, 2004


“Sometimes. There’s no exception to the rule (listen baby). It may be factual, may be cruel (I ain’t lyin’). Everybody plays the fool...” from the song by MAIN INGREDIENT, 1972.

I can usually come up with my post titles fairly quickly. I struggled with this one for some reason. Maybe it’s because my brain is still scrambled from being knocked to the canvas. I never saw the punch coming. It was cleverly and brilliantly set up. I have no coach or trainer or scout. I’m not sure if my opponent had any of these either; I suspect yes. But I was clearly outmaneuvered, outpointed, and outboxed. Ultimately, this lead to my being knocked to the floor and not being able to beat the referee’s count to 10. All I remember is an image of arms waved signaling it was game over. Let me see if I can retrace for you just exactly what happened…

My record this year has been dismal. I’ve been knocked out three times this year. Still, I’ve managed to be resilient and have managed to bounce back after each upsetting loss. I think it’s very important to learn from each loss and not to make the same mistake again. With each loss, I’m gaining more knowledge and experience and feel I’m better prepared for the next opponent. I feel if I can survive the early rounds, especially coming off a recent loss, I feel confident I will break through with a much needed win.

Although confident, I had one thing going against me. A lack of experience. Yeah, I was in uncharted waters and was going on instinct. The thing is, I was this close to victory. This close (fingers together an inch apart)! Here’s the play-by-play, blow-by-blow. Maybe you can help me figure out why I lost?

Coming off another devastating loss (future post), I found her on on a random search on JDate. Her profile was extremely well-written, sincere, genuine, interesting, and filled with common interests on life, love, and music. Plus, she was beautiful. A darn-near perfect match except for one thing. She lived in far away in the Northeast. I decided I’d simply say hello and pass her my compliments, just for the heck of it. I didn’t even expect a response.

Surprisingly, I got a response, and a beautiful one at that. She thanked me and said my profile was cool, too. She happened to be online at the time I read her email so I quickly shot her an IM. We ended up trading IMs for quite some time and traded email addresses. Wow, I was actually winning the early rounds! Emails led to phone calls. Her voice was beautiful. It went perfectly with her photo. We stayed up until all hours of the night talking, laughing, sharing. A solid friendship was formed; it was a great foundation for a potential relationship. I thought I was scoring a lot of points and was surely going to win this time.

Like I said, the only thing I didn’t know was how these long-distance relationships worked because there was so much that could be going on behind the scenes. But this could be true for even local relationships. This is where trust comes into play, instincts, a good sense for judging character. Usually my strengths. After about 3 months, we finally agreed to meet. I bought a ticket around six weeks ago. I was going to meet her this Friday, December 10th. We were planning to spend the weekend together. I was going to escort her to my company holiday bash at the Four Seasons. I was excited and eager.

Around two or three weeks ago, she pulled the disappearing act. She didn’t answer my emails or phone calls. My radar was up. When she finally contacted me, I immediately asked her if she still wanted me to visit. I held my breath but she said yes. {Exhale} But then the disappearing act again. The tide was turning. I had bad vibes. I hadn’t heard from her in over a week and it was now less than a week until I was to fly out and meet her. I sent her a sort of desperate email saying I simply needed to know, good, bad, or indifferent whether she still wanted to see me. No response all day. I gave her the benefit of the doubt thinking she could have run into some trouble mentally or physically. She was, incidentally, struggling mentally with relationships, past mistakes, life’s curveballs, etc. Aren’t we all? As much and as badly as I wanted to meet her, I made up my mind. My instincts were telling me that regardless of what she might say, I was not going to meet her on Friday. The timing just did not seem right anymore and I didn’t want to force the issue. Something was not right and I was hoping she’d tell me. I finally got her email late last night.

The first thing I did was my usual pre-game analysis prior to opening it. The email file was large which meant she had a lot to say. I questioned why she went the email route rather than calling me. Hmm, large email + couldn’t call me = TROUBLE. I didn’t have to open it. I already knew. Still, I wanted to stay in there and fight and not give up on her. I wanted to win. I opened up her email and WHAM! She delivered the knock out blow. Another crushing loss. I could try to paraphrase it for you, but I think she said things best. So here you go. Her email and my reply.

-------------- Original message from xxx : --------------

Hey Todd...i am profoundly sorry in how i've been treating you...i have been very confused in a relationship thati've been in for the last two months...i just didn't want to talk about it...i don't know why...well the details..here they are...he's canadian; he came to visit me for three weeks in November..he was going to relocate here but it seemed more resonable for me to go to there for the time being as he is going to law school in the states come september and he wouldn't be able to work in there. I would be able to work in xxx through connections of his. So, I spoke to my ex and the rest of my family....got everyones blessing and poof, here i am...in xxx...i felt so bad not telling you, but this relationship has been rocky due to the stress of the situation and i, until the last moment , wasn't so sure if I was going...well, know I'm here...still unsure , but i really was so confused before i left due to so many things, especially my finacial situation that i spoke about. I have love for this man, and want to see if we could actually live together and be happy...i have a month in mind as far as my time-table of this uncertainty...so please accept my appologies and know I want to continue to be your friend with our phone calls and our music...xxx-xxx-xxxx land and will give you my cell once i get one here...for know call my old cell or the land line...hope to talk soon!

Cruella DeVille (name changed to protect the ‘innocent’)

-------------- Original message from Todd : --------------

I want to thank you for at least contacting me. Most people have no nerve and just disappear. I just wrote about this on my website.

I know I should wait to respond and let my emotions settle, but I really don't think there's much to say. I must say that I am absolute shock right now. I told you I wanted you to be happy, and I meant it. However, I cannot believe you had neither the nerve nor the consideration to tell me. It upsets me that we spoke countless times and you made no mention of any of this. I even asked you two weeks ago whether you still wanted me to come and you said YES. Jesus, girl! And perhaps what upsets the most is that I'm pissed at myself for sadly misjudging your character. I thought you were sweet, caring, understanding, and loving. I dunno. I don't know how anyone in this world can do something like that to someone like me. I'm sorry, it's unforgivable and very hurtful.

Despite my disappointment (not anger), I do wish you well and happiness.

Have a great life.


PS I had mailed you some Hanukkah presents to your old address. I wonder if I'll get it back or whether they'll forward it on to you? I hope you end up getting it. It's not much but it was from the heart. Even the card. Shit, I'm such a goddamn fool...



  • Silly wabbit...don't you know BOXING is rampant with fraud?
    However, you NEED to get up after being knocked down. It's like the Myth of Sisyphus, my friend. You must find meaning in all of it. There is meaning there...somewhere.
    Luck and strength.
    And strength and honor.

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 4:32 PM, December 05, 2004  

  • Oy vey. Sorry, Todd. Although I'm not fond of the "potential life-mate as opponent" metaphor, I do understand how you can feel you've been tackled one too many times by a defensive line. Or something sports-oriented like that. I don't know--not a sportsfan.

    Meeting people online is tricky, because there are so many opportunities for misunderstanding...

    Your disappointment is palpable, and you've got the respect and support of the bloggers. (I have thusly proclaimed it so.)

    By Blogger Esther Kustanowitz, at 5:16 PM, December 05, 2004  

  • I feel the love. Thanks fellow bloggers. You're awesome!

    By Blogger Plantation, at 6:28 PM, December 05, 2004  

  • Very rough, I sympathize. I try not to put too much faith in meeting someone on the internet. It's just too easy for people to be misleading or dishonest. If it happens to work out, great! But if not, you have to be ready to move on. I think your response was fair and honest.

    By Blogger Gatsby, at 10:39 PM, December 05, 2004  

  • Looks like you are going to have to continue chasing the dream .... i guess it was not meant to be for you with this woman.... perhaps she misunderstood your intentions all along? As hard as it is to try and comprehend a knockout blow of this calibre, one is compelled to evaluate what he/she has learned from the situation. Thing are not always as they appear. Take some time to yourself and get up swinging , for the boxing game of life is a marathon , not a sprint. You my friend have lost only 1 round. How you fight the rest of the battle is what will dictate what kind of person you really are. Its 1 girl. There are a million of them out there.....

    sympathetic to your cause.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:18 AM, December 06, 2004  

  • switch to chess. you'll know the outcome well before defeat(thus making it easier to swallow). otherwise get used to: "DOWN GOES FRAZA(sic)!!, DOWN GOES FRAZA(sic)!!,DOWN GOES FRAZA(sic),!!,DOWN GOES FRAZA(sic)!!,DOWN GOES FRAZA(sic)!!".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:16 PM, December 06, 2004  

  • Anon I. I've actually lost 3 rounds and decisively so. No worries, I'm already in training for the next bout.

    Anon II. Thanks Howard C. Couldn't have said it better myself.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 4:31 PM, December 06, 2004  

  • Hey, good impression...now...can you do the "Look at that monkey run" routine?

    Never been a Howard C fan; I've always thought him an edjit. I'm with the Jimmy Breslins of the sporting world.

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 5:11 PM, December 06, 2004  

  • Remember the Twilight Zone episode "The Big Tall Wish"?
    Of course you do. Well, things didn't work out so well for old Bolie because he didn't believe in magic. I believe in magic and have a big tall wish that some magic will enter your life soon. Hang in there Todd.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:24 PM, December 06, 2004  

  • Thanks for the kind words!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:54 PM, December 06, 2004  

  • I'm gettin' my Anon's mixed up. Who's who?
    In my best Rod Serling, "Bolie Jackson. 183 pounds. Who left a career on a rosin-spattered canvas..."

    Thanks anon. May the force be with you.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 4:03 AM, December 07, 2004  

  • Long distance relationships suck. And rarely work (in my opinion). I am sorry that she led you on like that.

    By Blogger Lyss, at 9:50 AM, December 07, 2004  

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