Hopeful 7 Hopeless 3
When Patrick e-mailed me the second week of October, like I said, he wrote that we should "get back to each other" about details for a second date. It was really the postscript of that e-mail that stuck with me. He said, "P.S. Je suis resté très surpris quand je suis tombé par hasard sur ton blogue !!" He just dropped a bomb on me!
I was totally busted! One of the nine had found my blog. Thomas and Amin knew about the blog, but they discovered this because I told them and because I was comfortable telling them. Besides, Amin did not read my blog and Thomas only had some vague curiosity about it. Patrick on the other hand had found it himself. I had not had the chance to explain anything to him. "What must he think of me!" I wondered. It was not possible to tell, since all he wrote was that he had found my blog "by chance".
I knew that when I put this blog online, this was a distinct possibility. So when I chose to post, I chose to assume the consequences of having this content online, consequences such as Plenty of Fish guys reading it. I just had not really expected it to happen. That is why I was shocked when it did. I was especially surprised that Patrick should say that he found it "by chance". That did not seem right to me. I had checked myself to see how easy it was to Google my blog. It was not that easy when I tried it. He had also mentioned to me during our first date that if you put your real name on your Plenty of Fish profile, people can Google you. That made it sound like he was accustomed to Googling himself. I Googled my pseudonym and was pleased to find that there was an actress and also a singer by that name. That added strength to my case that it was highly unlikely for any of the Plenty of Fish guys to find my blog. So in my mind, Patrick had to have been Googling and trying pretty hard to find it.
I was having an aneurism. I was not only shocked, but also flipped out. I was chatting with Thomas that evening and had already been agitated before finding this e-mail. The conversation file, in fact, was later titled "On avoiding aneurisms". "Aneurism" was the word that had come to mind that evening, when I was confiding in Thomas about something that was worrying me. Directly related to what was worrying me was the matter of my feeling pressure from being the only candidate for him and Amin. I may have had a few choices from Plenty of Fish, but both Amin and Thomas were not considering anyone but me. I knew I could only choose them if they were right for me, but it was not the same as with the others, who also had other options. I felt this was more delicate and that the chance of my hurting Amin or Thomas was greater under the circumstances. As they both knew, because of Kyle, I was terrified of that. For whatever reason, the pressure was really getting to me that day and I was having a meltdown. Thomas was being a good and sympathetic listener as usual and was helping calm me down. It was also memorable because that is officially the day that he removed himself from my list. He told me to stop thinking in terms of potential. He told me that he was comfortable getting to know me better, but that it was not a good time in his life to be dating anyone. He seemed to think that this was sufficiently clear based on one or two previous conversations, but that is when it crystallized for me. Up until that point, Thomas was a front-runner on my list. So taking a step back felt a bit strange, but it was also a huge relief for me that evening.
Understandably I was already in a tumultuous emotional state that evening when Patrick's e-mail came in. Thomas had been helpful to make me feel calmer, but that pushed me back over the edge. Since we had agreed to talk about "lighter" things in order to feel better, I did not tell him until later about the e-mail. I simply said that I was having a secondary aneurism, but that I was trying not to think about it. That was true: I tried to put the e-mail out of my mind. After all, it was not something that I could solve that night. I would need to sleep on it, to be sure. The earliest I could possibly reply was the next day. I stayed up for awhile longer chatting and finally, when I felt calm enough, I went to bed.