He Called Me an “Eloquent Stalker”

There was once a man who called me an “Eloquent Stalker.” I’ll get to who that was and why in a little bit.

But first, I confess that I’m a word nerd.

As a teenager, I remember watching “Say Anything” for the first time. Diane Court (played by Ione Skye) was the class valedictorian, and her dictionary sat on her desk, marked up and highlighted.

I was instantly intrigued. In fact, at the awards ceremony held at the end of my senior year of high school, I received a hard-bound American Heritage College Dictionary which, 20+ years later still sits on my desk.

And, yes. There are hundreds of words inside which are highlighted and marked.

In fact, after I lost my interior design job in 2008, I started a business named by a word I found in the dictionary. I was looking up “Virtue,” and just above it spotted the word “Virtu.”

A knowledge of or taste for the fine arts.

This was PERFECT for the interior design agency I was trying to build, and “Virtu Interiors” was created.

Unfortunately, Virtu Interiors was doomed from the start. I had no desire to be an interior designer (despite having $100K in student loans), and it showed it my dedication (or lack thereof) to my work.

The twenty years since I graduated high school have been disappointing word-wise. Most the new words I see on the internet are lazy acronyms: FOMO, YOLO, TMI, LOL, etc.

How about if we take our lazy language and actually express how we’re feeling? What if we put down the phones and devices and actually engage in deep, feeling conversations?

What if we stop telling people what we think they want to hear (especially in business), and instead tell people WHY we do what we do and WHY we’re passionate about doing it?

For example, I’m passionate about Positive Productivity and it’s pillars (systems, support and self-care) because, after four years in business and hundreds of sleepless nights, my sleep deprivation had me at the brink of suicide.

My mission — and the mission of Positive Productivity’s Team Awesome is to support burnt-out business owners and help them set up the systems and support they need so they can have time for the self-care they deserve.

Were I not so attached to this, and had I not experienced extreme burn out myself, then I wouldn’t be nearly as attached to and vested in my work.

But I am, so therefore I am.

Now it’s your turn to be eloquent, but first you need to discover the emotion behind your words.

Without the emotion, I’m sorry but success in your mission probably won’t mean crap. It won’t light up your soul, and in the end, you will do what you do for the financial gain and not the feeling gain.

Does that sound like “Happily ever after” to you?

Back to the story of the “Eloquent Stalker”…

You’ll never believe who called me that.

My husband, Dave.

During the early stage of our relationship, Dave and I broke up for three months.

If you ask him, he’ll tell you that I scared him because of how “nice” I was.

He wasn’t used to women being kind, generous and, for the most part, selfless. When I went to the kitchen, I offered to get him a drink. I drove 30 minutes to surprise him during his 15 minute morning break with hot (good tasting) coffee. And I spent half a day searching for his favorite chocolate treat (Cella’s).

So, he tested my loyalty by placing an ad on the site we met on, Craigslist. He was trying to see if I was looking for other men (he had dated/married a string of cheaters), and after he broke a much-anticipated date, I went to the same site to see if HE was looking for other women.

And there it was, his new ad. I was livid, however, I didn’t read the words. His whole ad was picking apart our conversations and trying to lure me in. They were inside jokes, and had I not been looking for the bad, I could have seen the humor.

But, I didn’t, so I blew up and we broke up.

I thought we were over, but I had a problem.

I dreamt about him every.single.night.

The thirteen years before Dave had been spent dating and married to my high school sweetheart, and I had never dreamt about him (the ex).

My dreams of Dave woke me up in tears every night. I knew that in real life he was being burdened by extreme levels of stress, and in my dreams, his stress took him to the breaking point.

I attempted to give him space (as he requested), but the horrifying dreams kept pulling me back. My deep concern made me worry that the dreams would come true, as many of my other dreams had.

So I would write (physical letters, which I mailed) and texted Dave. I told him I cared for him, and that I was checking in on him. I sent him care packages (he was deployed during his first marriage multiple times, and his wife never sent him so much as an email), and remembered his birthday.

But my good intentions were too much for him.

After one text, he wrote back that I was an “Eloquent stalker” and needed to leave him alone.

Not knowing what “eloquent” meant, I pulled out my trusty dictionary and looked it up. How ironic.

So, I backed off. I gave him a week or two with no contact and then would only contact him once a week. I tried dating other men, and did my best to keep my time and mind occupied.

No matter how hard I tried, however, Dave was always in my mind.

I compared every other man to him. Songs on the radio reminded me of him, and I always seemed to be surrounded by other men wearing his cologne.

And his car (the same make, model and color as mine) would pass me constantly. But, it wasn’t him. It was the dozens of other people in my small town who had suddenly decided that, they too, needed to drive a blue-green Chevy Cobalt.

The Tuesday before Easter, 2011, I was at the store taking care of my boys’ holiday supplies. There, on the candy shelf, was a big case of Cella’s next to bags of plastic Easter eggs.

I dropped everything else in my basket, bought the case of Cellas and a bag of eggs, and spent 30 minutes in my car assembling my final care package.

And then… I drove to his house.

With fear in my belly and my brain asking me if I was a mental case, I walked to the door. I stood there for two minutes before gathering the courage to knock, and he answered immediately.

Without saying a word, I held up my hand, and on my fingers I showed him post-its which asked, “Can I Talk to You?”

I didn’t get the reaction I expected.

He opened the door, started laughing and swept me into a big hug. “Oh, I’ve missed you. Of course you can talk to me.”

We spent hours talking, and if I’m going to be honest, he moved in that night. We’ve been together since, and were married 11 months later.

That night, however, he was the eloquent one. He said, “I love you. I’ve loved you since shortly after we met. But you scared the shit out of me.”

Sometimes, my friend, the eloquent stalker DOES win, if their intentions are pure and their motives are not self-serving.