On December 31, I got on the PanOptic Net around 5pm, hoping to see a Vampire message, but not really expecting him to be around to chat. Yet there he was. His girlfriend was still blowing him off, and he wanted to meet me, so we made arrangements. Mom watched our chat online, and found it funny.
We described ourselves to each other. I said I wore no makeup, and he wrote, “Oh, a natural beauty.”
Then the Vampire called me on the phone, but I found it hard to talk to him without the computer. I also kept giggling. The Vampire kept saying, “You’re so quiet!” and feared I was some giggly, silly, giddy creature. He was glad to find out otherwise when he met me in person.
He kept saying, “We’re coming to get you,” like he really was a vampire and was coming to steal me away. As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t know about Internet safety, and neither, apparently, did my mother.
The Vampire also said he had an earring and was overweight, though women generally seemed to find him attractive.
He was taking me to a New Year’s party, so I dressed up a little. The Vampire seemed to take forever to arrive as I sat there anxiously awaiting my first date in months, so I decided to go to the bathroom.
I did this because it seems to be a universal rule that if you go to the bathroom, your friend will come to the door then. It worked: he came to the door while I was still in there.
Mom also anxiously waited for him. She told me later that he looked for me as I came into the room, and smiled because he liked what he saw.
(By the way, in December 2001, hubby Cugan, Astrid and I were waiting for some other friends to arrive so we could go to Lord of the Rings. I decided to go to the bathroom, just to see if they’d show up then. And you know what? They did. Cugan could not believe it.)
I liked the Vampire’s voice on the phone, and he wasn’t bad looking, but I did not feel instant attraction. He looked “old” to me.
(Must have been the mustache: In 2014, I friended him on Facebook, saw some recent pictures, and he looks good now. But I never have liked mustaches, which make guys look older and goofy.)
His friend or brother drove us to Elkhart in a pickup truck. I think it took half an hour to an hour. I felt a bit uncomfortable, since I still hadn’t mentally made a connection between the man sitting next to me and the Vampire I had long, deep conversations with online.
I felt even more uncomfortable because his friend seemed even older, and I was sitting between older men I didn’t know and didn’t have anything to talk about with.
(That’s funny considering that the Vampire was only three years older than I was, and Charles’ age. Maybe I was just used to hanging around mostly college kids.)
The Vampire told his friend that my handle was Nyssa Of Traken, and they talked about Doctor Who.
At the Vampire’s sister’s house, where he’d been living, I met Vampette and the Vampire’s sister. I don’t remember much about them, but I do remember his sister crying out when I walked in, “You’re so pretty!” That was good for my self-esteem. 🙂
Once, I went to the bathroom and overheard the Vampire talking with Vampette. I didn’t hear everything, but it sounded like I wasn’t as warm to him as he’d hoped. He could tell I wasn’t as interested in him as he was in me.
(This is one reason why you shouldn’t get engaged to or agree to start dating someone you’ve only met online, even though some people do: because the chemistry may not be there when you meet in person.)
At one point we went for a walk around the Elkhart neighborhood he lived in, and he expressed his concern that he wasn’t attractive to me, that now that I’d met him I didn’t seem quite so interested in him.
I forget what I said, but I did feel more comfortable talking with him alone like that, and more like I did on the computer.
I soon discovered that this is just how I respond when meeting an online friend for the first time: It was the same with Tyger, with various people from TCB and Online Fond du Lac, and with Richard. I may have shared my innermost thoughts with these people for some time, but stick me in the same room with them, and they’re a stranger I can barely speak to.
The shock of meeting slammed me into shyness and reserve for some time. But once he put me in front of a computer to call PanOptic, and then coached me on how to have a little fun with this guy named Tyger, I finally felt more comfortable.
I must admit, I was half-expecting someone kind of weird-looking, but he wasn’t. You know, some weird vampire guy with long, dark hair and pasty skin, perhaps.
The Vampire used me to play with Tyger. I sat there typing whatever the Vampire wanted me to type, since I didn’t know Tyger or how to have fun with him.
The Vampire wanted me to play with his mind and flirt with him. He had me type that I was blonde, tall, and 17 years old, since this would really get Tyger going. He also had me ask about Tigress, Tyger’s girlfriend. I also came up with a few things on my own.
I don’t remember when or how I admitted to Tyger that I wasn’t tall, blonde, or 17, but I don’t believe it was that night. I don’t think the Vampire liked Tyger, and maybe Tyger had done something he didn’t like. I don’t remember now.
It seemed like fun at the time, though now I wonder if it was really all that nice. After he found out the truth, though, Tyger still liked talking to me, and wanted to meet me. (We finally met in July.)
One of the things the Vampire had me write used the word “lamer.” I first heard this term from him; its meanings are here. Vampire used it with either the “cracker wannabe” or “annoying” meaning. (In 1995 I learned of a bus company called Lamers, and found this funny.)
The Vampire told me a superstition I’d never heard of before: that whoever you kiss at midnight is the person you’ll be with for the rest of the year.
(It wasn’t true, of course: I kissed Peter at midnight on New Year’s just about a month before he broke up with me. And we kissed not just once, but twice: once at South Bend’s midnight, and once at Wisconsin’s midnight, since they were on two different time zones.)
At midnight, as we sat at the computer, the Vampire brushed his hand against my shoulder, but could see I didn’t want him to kiss me. He later thanked me for this, maybe because I didn’t lead him on.
The Vampire and his sister told me about Forever Knight, a Canadian, vampire TV show. Later on, we sat watching it and eating pizza. I also petted one of their pets, a dog who liked me a lot.
On the computer, misgivings about compatibility don’t seem to matter so much, and you can be seduced with understanding words typed on a screen. But in real life, the misgivings were signs that we would have to stay friends.
His magic use was one problem; another was our different value systems, despite being Christians; another was his smoking; yet another was his on-again, off-again girlfriend.
On the drive home, it was just the two of us, speaking of Deana and probably other things, and I felt a lot more comfortable talking with him.
On New Year’s Day, I found the Vampire online and went into chat mode with him. I told him I wasn’t not interested: It just was too quick for comfort, words to that effect. But he said the thing with Deana was still uncertain.
I thought he was through with her after she didn’t call by 8pm New Year’s Eve, but now he said they “kinda” patched things up, so I didn’t know what was going on. Deana was glad that, despite how she treated him, he wasn’t alone on New Year’s.
Since the idea of spending Winterim in Florida fell through because of Pearl’s surgery and a recovery full of pain pills, I signed up for a class called Celtic Roots.
Though on the one hand I wished I could have gone to Florida, on the other I did enjoy my class very much, especially learning about the people some of my ancestors (Kenneth MacAlpin, Duncan, Malcolm III (often called Malcolm Canmore), St. Margaret, St. David) ruled more than a thousand years ago. Yes, my penname is similar to Nyssa (Nerissa) and the House of Canmore (McCanmore).
During one of the breaks, when Pearl was feeling better, Pearl’s family did take her to Florida and spent a short time there with her. We roommies were jealous, of course.
According to my diary, I apparently returned to school on the fourth, even though that was the day classes began. I had an afternoon class, one to four each weekday, so maybe this wasn’t so strange.
Apparently I didn’t have to start my morning shift in the library that day; maybe I hadn’t set it up yet. I set my shift for ten to twelve, which made me get up early and see the sun during those short, mid-winter days, and gave me a chance to work with Sharon each morning.
The fourth may have also been the time my parents and I went through Port Washington on the way back to school. I know this happened while I was still getting over Phil.
If it happened after Thanksgiving Break, I probably used the little trip as an escape from my problems; if it happened after Christmas Break, it was probably one of the many fun things that lightened my mood.
Port Washington is a cute little seaside town next to Lake Michigan. We drove through the downtown, with its small shops and store windows (which had been drawn on with chalk). I forget what the drawings were for, maybe a Christmas celebration or contest. I think one drawing was of a pirate.
The show Step by Step on ABC’s TGIF Fridays was supposedly set in Port Washington, but never showed any of the actual town. I thought this was a shame and a disservice to the many people who could watch and find local color and see the cute little town. (By this time I had stopped watching TGIF Fridays.)
Sharon had cut her hair short. She credited me for this, saying, “You taught me how to be my own person and do what I want to do and not what other people want me to do.”
You see, my friends sometimes said I’d look cute with short hair or a spiral perm, but I wouldn’t hear of it. I liked my hair long and a cross between wavy and straight. (At the moment it was wavy; how wavy my hair is after each cut seems to vary.)
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)
Table of Contents
December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?
April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign
October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:
Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams
June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:
July & August 1994: