After that mysterious AIM flare-up in late 2005, I went cold turkey in communicating with "Daisy." Not long after I was dumped by Babs (click here for that story) in August 2006, almost by coincidence Daisy reached out on Yahoo Messenger. Daisy had now been seeing the divorced dad for almost a year, and living with him about nine months. I asked about what happened in late 2005, but she wouldn't give me a straight answer. We became Facebook friends and swapped recent photos. A day later, Daisy randomly asked if she could borrow 10 dollars for cigarettes. I explained that I was neither in the Chicago area nor did I have much cash. She thought that was a strange excuse. After three days of on/off small talk, she got upset again, for something else entirely. For a second time, I had to go through the archived conversation and figure what I said, and I could not figure out what I typed that triggered her. Again, I thought it was best to just leave her alone.
We barely communicated over the decade or so. She got married to the divorced dad in May 2010, and between that 2006 convo and 2011 Daisy and I had two, short nondescript Yahoo Messenger convos. In the interim, she deleted and rejoined Facebook at least twice, though only once did I send a friend request. For about four years after that, more radio silence.
In September 2015, Daisy came up yet again as an FB friend suggestion. I hesistated for a couple weeks, but I sent a request. She approved it a day or two later, than followed me on Instagram as well. She had just finalized an ugly divorce with her husband, and asked if I was free to meet for coffee. I agreed, and after all this time we met up at a local Starbucks. I mentioned a social group I was part of, and she was interested in more information. She also made it clear she was seeing someone; this was just friends meeting. We agreed to meet up a few days later, but when I arrived at our meeting place, she didn't show.
I didn't hear anything for two days, then she texted to say she overslept. Then I tried to Skype her, but then she apparently blocked me there and on Facebook. About a month later, she texted to apologize, then asked if I was free for coffee again. I obliged, we hung out for a couple of hours, she unblocked me on social media, then agreed to meet again on Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving that year was a cold, dreary day; I basically sat uncomfortably in my car in 35-degree sleet waiting for her to arrive. Over the next 45 minutes I left one Facebook message, one text, and one voice mail. I drove home to find I was blocked on FB again.
I figured that was the end, but in Summer 2018 she texted out of the blue. Daisy finally apologized; she was in a tough place because of the divorce and was also battling severe anxiety. She was out in Plainfield, with a new job and a new live-in boyfriend. We texted on and off for the second half of that year, but never made any attempt at meeting up. Two messages I sent in late 2018 went without a response, then I just let her be until earlier this year.
This all started with my sister, and Daisy sent an FB request to her. I wasn't sure if I had her current contact info, so I messaged Daisy on LinkedIn. We had a polite conversation that night and the next, then agreed to meet at the same Starbucks on the third day. It was like deja vu; I arrived right on time, and she flaked out. Again, I left a text and voice mail. That Saturday, I asked how she was doing, and this is how she replied:
If you've read all of this, you're probably wondering why I communicated with this woman like a moth to a light? In hindsight, I'm not sure; the 2004 me was probably thinking about sex, whereas the 2015 and 2021 me simply wanted to reconnect. I was also probably too patient with someone who (I'm speculating) has a history of mental illness. Anything beyond that and I'm probably letting my imagination run wild. This whole 17-year experience left me feeling gullible and a little used. I could have easily done some things differently. As much as I love the idea of reconnecting with people I haven't seen or heard from in years, Daisy demonstrated that sometimes the mystery isn't worth it.