I met Stephen, my first (and clearly failed), attempt at Match.com. Stephen was the classic case of being everything one could desire in a mate such as being chivalrous, steadily employed, and relatively attractive. For all intents and purposes, he was a real catch. The one tiny predicament? I had absolutely no magnetic draw to him whatsoever that you should have when being in a relationship with another human being. None.
After a few weeks of relentlessly attempting to convince myself that there is no reason to NOT find Stephen desirable, I had to end the charade and call it quits once and for all. He was significantly more into me than vice versa, so it was difficult to break the news considering he was such a kind and upstanding gentleman.
One thing Stephen and I had in common was our love of watching ice hockey. Me being a loyal Pittsburgh Penguins fan and him, the New York Rangers, we would often sit at a local watering hole, drink beer (gin and tonic in my case because beer is disgusting), and watch the games.
During the playoffs I would always go to the designated New York City ‘Penguins’ bar to cheer on my team with fellow Pittsburgh fans in the all-too-familiar sea of black and gold nostalgia.
This year, when the Penguins were slated to take on the Rangers in round one, Stephen knew just where to find me.
He began texting me again, and countless times he had invited me for dinner in the attempt to get back into my life to which I always politely declined and made it perfectly clear that I was uninterested in pursuing anything further with him.
One day he texted me to ask if I would like to watch the Penguins/Tampa Bay Lightning game with him at the Penguins bar, assuming I would be going anyways. I did in fact have plans to go with several girlfriends but was not too keen on the idea of him accompanying us.
I made the mistake of telling him I was completely exhausted from the work week and had planned on viewing the game in the privacy of my living room. Being the persistent little shit that he is, he suggested he come over and watch it with me, an idea which I also shunned.
Considering he lives about 3 subway transfers from said establishment, I figured I would be in the clear. In addition, there are about 2,200 sports bars on the island of Manhattan, what business does he have at this one if he thinks I am not there?
I sat on my bar stool nervously watching the Penguins take on their opponent sipping my drink of choice and sporting my beloved Sidney Crosby jersey. They finally got the puck into the net and the crowd erupted in celebration.
I got a text from Stephen. ‘Hell of a goal, huh?’
‘Yes, yes it was.’ I said.
‘So, are you enjoying watching the game at home with the cats?’
‘Yes, yes I am.’
‘Oh, that’s funny, because I just happened to walk into Foley’s and there is a girl sitting at the bar that looks and sounds just like you. Even has the same jersey you wear. The exact same cute glasses too!’
As soon as I read it I felt a tap on my shoulder and my heart sank.
“Do you want to explain yourself and why you just blatantly lied to me? Let’s go outside and talk right now.”
“Stephen, come on. I’m not going outside. I’m sorry I lied to you but I kept saying no I don’t want to hang out and you just would’t take the hint and I just wanted to come with my friends. What are you even doing here? You aren’t a Penguins fan.”
After continuously insisting I speak with him outside, some fellow patrons of the bar started pestering him to take a hint as well.
Stephen finally left, and while I did learn my lesson about lying, I was just desperately to avoid hurting his feelings. Hopefully he has learned HIS lesson that stalking is just creepy.