Monday, March 8, 2010

STALKER JIM

When I wrote about Ron the cop, several of you referred to him as a "stalker". Had I not been dating him, that might have been true. However, since I was dating him, technically, he shed the stalker label and slipped into controlling mode. Both a tad scary huh? Well, I did once have a real stalker but this guy was totally not scary and actually at the time this occurred, the word "stalker" had not become part of our everyday vernacular. Nuisance was.

I met Jim while working at the bank. He was a nice enough looking fellow, about my age. He was still wearing his reddish blond hair in a flattop cut during the hippie years when even news anchors wore it long over the ears. His pale blue eyes were not distinctive and if he had a smile, it was quickly lost as he ducked his head when he approached my teller window. Guess you can tell by now, he was one shy fellow. Had he any amount of confidence, he might have morphed into fairly good looking.

Jim's father owned a large hardware store. That is one of those things that existed before Home Depot and Lowe's and has vanished except in small towns. They did quite well and since it had "and Son" in the title, meant Jim was next in line and got a share of the profits.

Jim came in every week to cash his check and once a month to pay the mortgage on his beach home and buy a CD. Yes he bought a CD every month. No youngsters, we did not sell music , that stood solely for Certificate of Deposit in those day.


Every day as my friends and I left the building to go out for lunch, there sat Jim in his yellow Corvette parked under the only tree in the parking lot. Every afternoon when I got off work, Jim was once more parked in the same spot. He always pretended to be reading something. The good thing is that I never saw him follow me home and he would have been easy to spot in that Easter egg colored, flashy car. Any self respecting stalker knows a white, nondescript car works best.

He always got in my line, even when other teller windows were vacant, so my co-workers called him my "Puppy Dog". I don't know why he picked me for there were much prettier girls on the teller line. I could barely scrounge up "cute." Perhaps he thought he might have a better chance with one of the "lesser" girls--- me.

After months of head hanging, Jim finally worked up enough nerve to raise his head enough for me to see his features and would brief exchange generic pleasantries. Then one day, he broke the stalker mode.

There was a big Rock Concert coming to town and I really wanted to go but I was between boyfriends and the tickets were beyond a teller's salary. This will be hard to believe but this was also pre-credit card days. You either had the cash or did without. The festival was a three day event that would host the likes of Janis Joplin, The Moody Blues and the Rolling Stones. I really, really wanted to go.

One day not long after Jim had progressed to pleasantries, he actually got out of his car when I left the building and approached me. With chin buried in his chest, he asked me if I wanted to go to the Rock Concert with him. Eagerly I accepted for I am a tad ashamed to admit, I would have gone with ANYONE and we actually set up a date.

Jim came to pick me up the afternoon of the concert, oddly he all ready knew where I lived with out asking. He was in his idea of Rock Concert attire of chino's, plaid shirt, leather jacket and shiny loafers. I was in my spanky new hip hugger bell bottoms and while it was a cold November day, I only wore a poncho over my tie dyed tee as a hippie wanta be. That poncho was a move I would greatly regret later. With him in his flattop and me in my sprayed stiff curls, we were both going to stand out by not fitting in.

The timing was not far removed from the Woodstock festival and this was my first experience with full blown hippies. Florida was way behind the West Coast. The crowd was huge, in the hundreds of thousands, and I was wild eyed and loving it. The music was awesome but the people were almost more fun.

Since one could get nowhere near the stage or even see the performers thanks to Florida's flat landscape, people watching and conversing with strangers between sets, was all that was available and great fun. I was just blown away by the kindness, generosity and gentle natures displayed by all I saw and came into contact with. Jim was like a germaphobe in a hospital. We did not do drugs but they were everywhere, free and one could get a bit high just breathing.

As the night progressed, so did the biting cold. In all the years that have followed, I can not remember ever being as cold as I was that night. Florida cold is a bone aching, penetratingly different animal than northern cold. I would have killed for a warm coat and not a poncho. My knee caps were jumping rhythmically in my jeans as I vibrated violently trying to stay warm. Jim tried but his bony arms and shared jacket helped not at all. The body warmth of the masses did not help. Fires were started and eventually, as the crowd started tearing apart the outhouses for wood to burn for heat, we left. The Stones were last on the venue that night and I just couldn't stay to hear them. Sorry Mick.

Jim was quiet on the way home but that was not unusual, he was always quiet. I was achingly cold and thinking about all I had seen and heard. I thanked him for the evening through still chattering teeth as he took me to my door. He made no effort to kiss me, said "bye" turned and left.

The yellow Corvette no longer claimed its spot under the parking lot tree daily. Jim no longer came to my window, in fact he no longer came into the bank. Evidently, me in person did not live up to his "fantasy" of me and I had bombed big time as the real thing. I was being dumped by a stalker. How bad is that? I guess he learned like we all eventually do that the "wanting" of something is usually far more exciting than the "getting."


I did not miss him for we really did not have a relationship but my pride was wounded a bit. I had been on "first dates only " before but the lack of a second had always been my choice. Twas a bit sobering.

Today with all the headlines, I might have never gone out with him at all. It is usually the nice quiet men that keep women trapped in cellars for months before they kill them. Those things may have occurred then, but we didn't know about them. In those days a shy man was just a shy man, not a serial killer.

Jim married that same year and as far as I know lived happily ever after. Of course I was curious how he got up enough nerve to ask someone to marry him. There might have been some nice quiet girl waiting in the wings prior to me and he just had to get his fantasy out of the way. Perhaps I served a good purpose after all.

24 comments :

  1. Ah, memories of the good old days! You have come across some real characters in your life, haven't you?

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  2. Geez, I had some of those dates that I accepted, not because I even liked the guy, but my parents pushed me as the guy met their ideas.

    Some may have made good husbands, but I chose to go my own way. Some days I reminisce about the "Road Not Taken" but it doesn't last very long. I still believe I took the right fork in the road.

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  3. Maybe the poncho was to blame, keeping you distracted with being cold, maybe appearing nervous to him. Maybe he needed someone very forward, to be the leader in the relationship, maybe his wife did the proposing! Maybe you should be glad. :)

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  4. You have such a good memory for all your past happenings. I can barely remember having dates, let alone who with and where we went. There are exceptions of course, but I can't write about those.....LOL

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  5. Oh, the mental picture that your description of the two of you evokes. . .! LOL!

    I'll bet his wife had the warmest coat in town.

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  6. Maybe a rock concert first date was the wrong venue for love to blossom. I never got to see Janis Joplin perform, but I did go see the Moody Blues at the Fillmore East in 1969. I loved their music (still do).

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  7. Your description of the dress-of-the-day and the concert itself is sooo WONDERFUL Patti..And your description of Jim, too....I could see it all, including the Bell Bottoms....Maybe because I wore them, too...lol)
    I'm glad he didn't turn out to be a truly horrible stalker story....

    BTW: As To The OSCARS: I believe I said that Sandra Bullock would be The Academy's pick for Best Actress, even though my own personal pick would be Meryl Streep. I wasn't wrong about that, though I wish I had been. Meryl is STILL my pick! (lol)
    I did think it was very fummy that there were so many references to Meryl and her 16--count them--16 Nominations! An unparreled number, for sure.

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  8. Your stories simply bring a smile... Love them!

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  9. LOL, now that had to be a bummer. I wonder to, who did he marry and did they have any children and what did the children turn out to be? Might be he left some woman a wealthy widow. LOL

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  10. Olga,
    I'm pretty sure there are people right now wondering what happened to that "character" Patti.

    Nitwit,
    I think you did also though it sure took some getting to get him to the alter :))

    Wanda,
    Think your last "maybe" is perfect. Good thing I really wasn't looking for anything permanent.

    kenju,
    You sure you can't write about them?? Aw shucks. Mr. kenju took you off the dating market too soon. I was on it for a looong time.

    marylee,
    We certainly stood out. I have been in 2 degree weather here and it doesn't come close to a Florida 30 degrees. That is a damp cold.

    robin,
    Janis had just been arrested in Tampa at a concert for profane language. Can you imagine such a thing today. I couldn't see her but heard her as she told about her arrest, using the same language that got her in trouble in Tampa.
    She was really good. You could have heard a pin drop in that multitude when she spoke and sang. Have to agree, the Moody Blues are the best.

    OOLOH,
    We should have hung on those bell bottoms for the return trip they recently made.
    I knew you wanted Meryl, I forgot you thought Sandra would win. You were batting a thousand.

    turquoisemoon,
    I am so glad they make you smile for they make me smile also remembering the decisions and follies of youth. We were a trip.

    Patty,
    It was funny and a real ego buster to so easily turn off a stalker.My banker buddies got a big kick out of it. Gee, do you think that was my super power?

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  11. Love your stories! They bring back memories for me of the "good old days".

    I can understand your wounded pride at being dumped by him. It was just not meant to be.

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  12. This brought to mind a woman stalker who stalked one of the male doctors in the clinic where I worked.

    She never approached him but drove up and down the street in front of the clinic until she saw him turn into the parking lot. At noon she was back to see him go to lunch. Then she was back to see him return from lunch, then back to see him leave the clinic. When he made his hospital rounds he would see her in the halls. Grocery shopping, she was always an asile or two over. This went on for years and not one time did she ever approach him. He had seen her as a patient one time before she was banned from the clinic property. She had lost a son in the Vietnam war who apparently looked a lot like this doctor and she became obcessed with something that reminded her of her son. In those days treatment wasn't good for people in her shape. It was very sad.

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  13. Oh, my...what a story!!! I think he was a bit of a strange one...and I think you had a fortunate escape ;-) Your guardian angels were looking out for you!!! This blog is fun!!! I'm so glad you started it...don't know when you did, but I love to read your memories!!! ~Janine XO

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  14. Your last line..that's a nice way of seeing the whole episode!:) Real character Jim!!Scares me actually:D

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  15. You sure do tell a funny story!
    Jim didn't ask you out again? WOW! I can't believe it.
    Now here is the crux - the real tragedy…you never got to drive his Corvette – That is simply tragic and painful!!

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  16. SVB,
    They were a lot simpler and innocent days weren't they? No one likes being the dumpee, dumper is much nicer.

    Linda,
    That case with the doctor is definately of someone going "round the bend". Very sad for the woman who lost her son and unable to get treatment and for the docter being harassed.

    Sniffles and Smiles,
    Thank you so much for stopping by TNS. Welcome. I celebrated 1 year the end of December and really am enjoying the ride. So glad when someone enjoys my ramblings.

    lostworld,
    I think today with all we hear about "stalkers", I would never have gone out with him no matter how much I wanted to go to the concert. I still prefer to think of him as really shy.

    GQ
    Ah, you saw right through me. Yes, I thought I would get to drive his car which when added to a Rock Concert was an irrestible offer. I would have gone with Count Dracula for those perks. The color was a bit much but it really was awesome looking. Probably could have titled this, The Superficial and the Stalker.

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  17. Lovely story again, Patty! I love to read your stories! When is the book out?

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  18. Oh in 1969 I dated a guy with a yellow 69 corvette....He was just out of prison...I was car crazy...Never really did anything other than kiss the guy...He was much older than I was but it was a great car while he had it...I think it was repossessed.....when the car was gone so was I

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  19. Reader Wil,
    Aw thanks so much Wil. It means a lot that you think I could put together anything of interest in a long form.

    4th sister,
    Oh I know about those prisoner types. Had a go round my self with one which is for another day.
    Those yellow vettes really were sharp weren't they?

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  20. Oh boy I too have survived some times when I think back and wonder what in the heck I was doing back then, but I am happy with the way things turned out in the end especially now. Hope it was a good concert, the band billings sure seem so.

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  21. I loved this story....i was grinning to myself all the way through it :-)

    Funny how times change when quiet and shy turn into now days serial killers.

    Wouldn't you love to know why he didn't come see you again???? What fantasy or perception of you did he have in his head???

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  22. Linda Starr
    We don't always make good decisions when we are young do we? The concert was AWESOME. No regrets.

    Amanda,
    Thanks, you always seem to get it. Evidently his fantasy of me didn't come close to reality but then fantasies rarely do.

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  23. WOW! Glad you are not trapped in his basement to this day. Great writing, I was cold just reading your account of that night.

    Have a great day, it is beautiful in my part of Arkansas.

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  24. Park Wife,
    Times sure have changed our opinions of shy guys.
    We have had a write home about day here also. Enjoy.

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