"Cypripedium calceolus - the yellow ladyslipper orchid... One of the rarest orchids on the planet. I actually photographed this in Central Park in May.
How about, if you're interested, I buy my new beautiful new friend the biggest cup of hot chocolate we can find, we bundle up some (hat optional, hair twirling mandatory) and I show you where I found it...? Mark and Heather stay at home and you & I unwind together and have some fun. Hey, I don't only "take charge" with large, bald bartenders ya know!! You in? ;o)"

The saddest part is that if I only felt the same way, this would have been the sweetest and most well-received email I think my in box has ever known. I didn't know what to do. I am horrible at telling people flat out when I am not reciprocating their feelings (though I am getting better at this with time... not sure if this is a good thing though) so I did the only thing I know how... I kind of avoided him all morning. I said that I slept in late, then spoke to my parents on the phone for a few hours, then, I said that I was feeling a bit down about my heart break. Of course, he had to turn around and be nice about all of that! Ugh!

After stalling a bit more over with my sadness (it wasn't really a lie) he responded:
"Neither of us is even close to being ready for some sort of involvement so we can stop worrying there but I AM wicked attracted to you - your humor, your sweetness, even your freakin' eyes so yeah, I'd like to spend more time making you laugh and maybe even giving you that kiss you dashed away from last night ;) It would suck if depression made you miss out on all that :)"

Here's a hint guys, if there are ever any of you reading this: If a girl dashes away from a kiss... she probably does not want it!!!! *spinach tooth*

That sounds mean but I feel compelled to be a little mean. You'll see why.

Finally, on Monday, I got up enough courage to write this:

"Hi! Happy Monday--- or is that an oxymoron? I hate Mondays. So, Craig, it is not that I don't find you very cute and very nice, because I do. I'm just not sure we have very much in common... You said it yourself when you asked me if I was a "party girl" and although I don't think that title defines me 100% accurately, I think we may have different ideas on fun. Now, I wouldn't be so bold as to state that I know this for fact, but it is just my initial assessment. After all, you'd probably puke if you saw my pink living room!!! I agree that our emails last week were VERY fun, but sometimes these types of cyber relationships don't translate well and I think once
you really got to know me, initial attractions/flirtatious emails aside... you might not truly enjoy me as much as you think.... Either way, it's not that I wouldn't want to hang out again, but I think easing into any kind of friendship etc. is more appropriate either way. We've both been through a traumatic situation in the last few months and we wouldn't want to risk any sort of "replacement therapy" as I feel that with that sort of "band-aid",you just end up shooting yourself in the foot, as I've found from experience...."

Too harsh? You be the judge... but what transpired directly after really knocked my right out of my cubicle. I never emailed Craig again but I received these preceding scathing emails right in a row, one after another:

"Wow, you're a bigger flake than Heather is. Honestly, DO NOT REPLY TO ANYBODY ELSE until you get the stick out of your ass about Mark because all you do is use and then drop people once they become a reality to you. Fucking pathetic, that is all I can say. I am a REAL person, not some cyber game. I get that you're fucked up but that is NO EXCUSE to use someone for your amusement and that is exactly what you have done here. And the bullshit excuses you're trying to make up about why we suddenly wouldn't be a good team are insulting. If that's the best you can do to justify your flaky change of heart then stick to the dumb pretty boys who won't be offended that you're so goddamn shallow"

Followed directly by:
"I'm deleting every word you've written. Try to contact me again and see how ugly things can get in a hurry "

And then:
"If you fuck with anyone else's head like you did mine, I wish you all the pain you have coming... You are CRUEL"

And lastly, and this is the kicker, for me anyway:

"Seeing your true colors now, I commend Mark for letting your ass go"

WHAT THE F*CK??? Is he kidding? We shared some emails, a two hour date at a museum, a couple of glasses of wine (me) a few sips of beer (him) and a peck on the cheek! Perhaps I am the delusional one here, but I just did not see how the punishment fit the crime. I was worse than Heather!?!?! She cheated on him after he devoted himself to a life full of hospitals & spent two years trying to nurse her to health! I also didn't see how someone so seemingly harmless could start to make me fear for my safety! I actually forwarded the most threatening one to my good friend, who in turn mistakenly responded to HIM!!! OMG!
She said something like paraphrased: "Oh my god, this guy is a psycho!! How dare he threaten you like that!!" in which he promptly responded to her "FUCK YOU!!!!!!"

I really was worried. I had told this guy the intersection that I live on. I know a city block is big but not big enough. I remember looking over my shoulder for a few weeks, and what's funny now but wasn't then is that my mother was coming in for a visit within a week of this transaction. My brother, who had heard the story through the Phelps grapevine (we aren't related to that Phelps Vineyard out in Napa, unfortunately, our grapevines are purely just for gossip) called and said to me "Don't you dare let mom get killed." I laugh at that now, but it wasn't funny at the time!!!

I guess the moral of the story is to never let your hopes escalate to the point that you are no longer seeing things on a realistic level. That and NEVER peruse the personals on craigslist.com!!! In our emails, he seemed like the man of my dreams. I should never have wasted so much energy before actually meeting him in person, this is the lesson I take with me, really. I never exert any energy via 2 dimensional connections... it sometimes just doesn't translate in the 3-D world.

What I thought was "kismet" didn't even result in a kiss at the Met!!
There's some ever-so-artistic irony to smack me in the face.

I don't think I've really been on craigslist since... I just go to Ikea.