An international incident from October 26, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I’m a 28 year-old single woman with a house, a garden, a couple cars, a PowerMac — the whole nine yards. At long last, I can finally say I’m as happy as I imagine clams must be, what with that handy calciferous shell and all. I mean, sure, I’d like a guy to bum around this wacky planet with, but it’s no big deal. For real.
Anyhow, around the first of the year I met this guy (he’s 31) from another continent on the Internet. I knew he was far, far away, so I didn’t take it seriously at all. But Around-the-World Boy had other emotional ideas, and I got a little swept along. After about four months he decided he wanted to come visit me. It seemed like a zany, romantic adventure and I was really looking forward to it — but he bailed at the last minute, saying he “didn’t feel the same all of a sudden.” For the first time in my life I heeded those big, red bells clanging away in my head, cut my losses right there, and told him I didn’t think we ought to write anymore. A teary, sorta embarrassed (I mean I met him on the *Internet*…) call to mom, a pint of coffee Haagen-Dazs, and a couple margaritas with the gals later I was already starting to forget it.
Flash forward a couple of months, and what should arrive but some mail from ATWB saying he’d been thinking about me. So I replied in a just-friendly kind of way, and we’ve been writing to each other a few times a month ever since. In the meantime, I’d made arrangements to use my frequent flier miles for a free overseas vacation. Since ATWB and I had once discussed meeting in the country I’m going to (I’ve wanted to go there for years), I debated not telling him that I was going because I didn’t want him to think it has something to do with him, which it honestly does not.
So, now he says wants to meet me there. Granted, I’m not holding my breath that he’s actually going to show, but it *would* be nice to have a travel companion. (I should add that — aside from that bailing thing — he has honestly been a stand-up guy all along. I *like* him totally aside from being attracted to him.) Okay, so here’s my question — if he does show up, should I go for the vacation fling, knowing I may wince a little afterwards, or should I forget about the fantasy of the Romantic European Vacation and just stick to the postcard souvenirs? Thanks, BG.
– To Fling or Not to Fling?
The thing about flings is that they tend to “sorta just happen.” Well, at least people pretend they’re not premeditated, as if they hadn’t already written to Breakup Girl or said the code word to the Secret Service. Anyway, that gives you license to do exactly what you should do: obsess about possible play-by-plays, and then play it by ear. See how you feel when you meet him. If you’re not into him, well there you go (back into that calciferous shell). You want Around-the-World-Boy to be Around-for-Vacation-Boy, fine (especially since you met on a Mac!). Your first-round wincing wasn’t too big a deal; this would probably be no worse, except for a side of romantic vacation nostalgia. So I think your feelings are pretty sturdy, but — according to BG’s rules of flings — do check on his, too: if you just want a travel (as opposed to longtime) companion, make sure he’s not planning on moving heaven and, well, home, to be with you forever. Either way, bon voyage!