“I don’t even know her name…”

// 24 September 2012

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antique map.jpg Imagine for a moment that you are shopping in town, or walking in the park, and a man runs up to you.

“Oh my God! It’s really you!”, he shouts, while you awkwardly try to remember who on earth he was. His Canadian accent gives away that you probably didn’t go to school with him and, try as you might, you have no idea who he is.

He starts to explain that, 12 months ago, he asked you for directions in a cafe. Ever since then, he had been completely obsessed with you – unable to date anyone else, or talk about anyone else – and he had flown back across the Atlantic purely to try to track you down. He explains that bookies are taking bets on whether he would marry you, or whether you were already married (as if these are the only two possible outcomes in this scenario).

Would you see this as the ultimate in romantic stories and fall into his arms? Or would you be freaked out and, frankly, scared by the level of obsession shown by this man who is, to all intents and purposes, a complete stranger?

I know which one it would be for me.

[The image is an antique map of the world, made available by Rosario Fiore under a Creative Commons Licence]

Comments From You

brigidkeely // Posted 24 September 2012 at 9:19 pm

Friends told him he’d fallen in love with a piece of Ireland, because she’s not a person, not an individual. No, no. She’s a thing, a part of a country, a cog in something greater. She’s a mythic representation of IRELAND. Who needs a woman when you can have a PIECE of IRELAND?

The Goldfish // Posted 24 September 2012 at 9:32 pm

When I began to read the BBC News story, I presumed that the guy had struck lucky and, perhaps under the sheer pressure of the media attention, the woman (referred repeatedly to as a “girl” in the article – the man is 34) had submitted to a date or something. But he hasn’t even found her! Presumably because any redhead from Ennistymon who visits cafes is either staying indoors or has left the country for a fortnight.

I mean, I understand the guy’s fantasy, a beautiful face lodging in the mind’s eye and all, but when I’ve been struck by such an infatuation, however lasting, I know there are more questions than (a) can I find her? and (b) is she married?

However, even if we forgive him – and maybe he has done all this in a good humoured way and the whole thing wouldn’t have been *quite* so alarming before the media and bookies got involved – what I find really disturbing is that media outlets think this, as it is, is a romantic story. Romance is a two-sided thing. The one-sided thing is obsession.

Sarah Howson // Posted 25 September 2012 at 8:17 am

Have to agree, if I thought someone had been obsessing over me for a year and then started stalking me I’d be a little freaked out. Take out the ‘romantic’ angle and you have the plot for a horror movie!

I really hope someone is keeping an eye on this guy, to have formed such an attachment after only a brief meeting tells me he has something wrong with him, if he does meet this girl and she fails to live up to his quite high expectations, she could be in real danger.

Franzi // Posted 25 September 2012 at 3:04 pm

It would entirely depend on a number of things – do I remember him? did we indeed share some sort of significant moment? how does he come across – respectful, friendly and open to rejection or creepy, expectant and presumptuous? was he involved with the bookies taking bets or did that just happen after he told the tale in the press?

I do find the story romantic but also a little freaky. Like I said, it would depend on how I felt when I originally met him, if it seemed understandable to me that he would have felt we shared something special in our original meeting.

romseygirl // Posted 25 September 2012 at 8:13 pm

I like how it hasn’t occurred to him, his friends, or the bookmakers “putting odds on whether I’ll meet her and marry her or whether she is already married”, that she could be a lesbian…

Shadow // Posted 25 September 2012 at 8:50 pm

Aww just what malestream male supremacist media wanted – another myth to try and convince women – sorry should have written girls that out in the big bad nasty world there will be your Prince Charming.

After having just exchanged a few words this arrogant male thinks he has ‘found the girl of his dreams.’ Yes well innumerable boys – sorry should have written adult males think they know their ‘girl of their dreams when they see her and she is always mute/or else in total thrall to male’s intelligence and physical appearance.

Not surprised male dominated media is promoting this non-story – because it takes women’s minds off other far more important issues such as endemic male sexual harassment of females; the demonisation of women who dare to raise their children without obligatory male father figure.

Men engaged in stalking/sexually harassing women? Nah that’s a myth – such men are like this male who happened by chance to ‘see girl of his dreams’ and now he is determined to find her and claim her as his male sexual property.

I wonder how this male would react if the young woman contacted him and told him to ‘get lost and stop harassing me.’ Media doesn’t know or care because malestream media is only concerned with man’s right (sic) to view young woman as his potential sexual property.

Rose // Posted 26 September 2012 at 3:47 pm

What a creep. If I fitted her discription I’d be in hiding right now.

I have done alot of hitch hiking, giving false names, and never giving away where I live, but have recieved (stuff including), a long love letter from a guy telling me how perfect we were for each other. I don’t know how he worked out my name and address, (he actually used my mothers surname, not mine). I found that intimidating and threatening – not romantic.

By then he knew I had lied about my name, he knew I hadn’t offered any contact details, but had asked around and got information about me – information people shouldn’t have given. His knowing where I lived made me feel unsafe there.

Theres a big difference between a casual compliment, (ie. “you’re such a nice person”), or an open dinner invitation, and a stranger hunting you down.

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