This tale is one long chapter, but I could not keep you hanging, so bear with me!
Dating can be so so difficult when all the eligible fish in the ocean are dwindled down to some small stock in a large or even medium lake. I take that back. Small pond. Yes, more of a small pond for the eligible guys for me: educated, fully monogamous and heterosexual, tall, good teeth, open minded, considerate, funny, full of integrity and honesty, non-420 (yes, I live in Colorado, but still), no drug dependency issues, non-alcoholic….there must be more, but the other qualities are not coming to mind at this moment.
So when I went on OKCupid to try my hand at this option several years ago, I found a very select few nice guys. They were not for me, but nice enough for someone who likes grow men smoking pot, living rent free in basements and loving it, between careers, between jobs even…..THEN I ‘met’ Mr. Cairo in December 2015. Mr. Cairo lives in Boulder, CO, or so he says. I briefly emailed back and forth on the site and then we texted on our phones. Then I didn’t hear from him for a few days; no biggie. Then he reappeared and we set a date for about a week right before Christmas. We were supposed to meet that Sunday, the week of Christmas. The evening before he states he needs to go to Cairo (not Georgia, not Illinois, not New York, but TRULY the land of pharaohs and pyramids) on business THAT night right after his business meeting in Boulder that he had told me about. He said he would be gone 2-3 weeks at the most and did not want to lose contact with me. Great. That didn’t seem too bad. Right after the holidays, he would be back and all would be grand. I was thinking that’s not too far off and we can text as he said that he would text every day. Fabulous.
We texted pretty much every day. We even started talking on the phone, coordinating good phone call times with the nine hour difference. The reception was horrible. Most of the time, we had to repeat ourselves over and over, making a 10 minute convo last 40 minutes. I will now admit full heartily that I really liked this British guy. He said he was from Manchester, England and he holds two passports, US & UK. He said he owns his home in Boulder, CO and lives close by two his children, two teens: a girl and a boy. He’s been divorced some years and that’s always a plus as newly divorced drama is too much for me. I learned that the hard way.As usual. Anyway, we learned about each other and never once did he ask me anything inappropriate as most guys do. The two to three weeks passed so quickly. Then I started asking a lot more questions.
Advance a month (mid-January 2016): It has now been a month and the road blocks are coming up. The reg flags started to wave furiously. While he is telling me he’d love to take me to Mexico of my time off work in February, he just can’t seem to get away. I do understand that offering to take a stranger to Mexico after a month and no actual physical meeting seems odd, dangerous, red-flag raising. I got caught up in the moment and actually for a minute thought this was a viable and reasonable way to spend some PTO time. With a total stranger that has two passports that I have never met. A man currently in Cairo with no clear return date. I came back to earth shortly after that, several weeks even. A bit too long for my personal liking, in retrospect. Being taken in by this invitation came slightly before his new road block that I am about to tell you about.
Then a week or two later, another road block pops up. This time, it’s about tariffs for some construction in Cairo (where he is working and has his own apartment, but no car). This gets resolved, but for the first time in weeks, I don’t hear from him for several days; you would think this is not a big deal for long distance with him being in Cairo after all. For us, it was very odd. We talked or texted every single day. After the weekend, a new road block comes up after he got the tariff. Now he has to raise 50K dollars “or so” to buy some machines; then everything “will be done” and he can come “home” to Boulder. At this point, red flags have been clearly raised. Flying sky high. The more I ask, the less answers I find. Things are NOT adding up. He has said he put 500K dollars into this project to get more than 1.3 million dollars back.
I started doing a little research on this man. He put up a Face Book page with nothing on it but his photos and a nickname. He had no Facebook page until I asked why there is nothing I can google on him. It’s his picture, but no other posts. Nothing. He has no links or hits when I google him. By our age , I expect we can google someone and there will be some reference to something. NOTHING. I even looked up Cairo construction projects and did not see any clear information about construction in Cairo over the Dec/January 2016 time period. He has NO proof of ownership of a home under the name he gave me. The assessor’s office has public records, but to no avail. I couldn’t find any hits on the people finder websites either that matched the name he told me. I know he lived in Michigan and California previously. Nothing. Things started to send up flags at every turn.
Advance to the beginning of February 2016: he is now hoping to be home by the time I go on my PTO in February, but states he is having a hard time getting back. Weeks later, he is still talking about finding people for the 50K that he needs to get back “home” to Boulder. By now, I just said “I surely hope you are not going to ask me”. He said ” I’d never ask you for that”. By the weekend of February 14th, I am hearing from him less and less and texted him on 2/14 telling him how disappointing it was not to hear from him. On Valentine’s Day. Yes, I texted many times. I am fully culpable. This is after a period of time we texted and talked on the phone every day. Nothing now, within about a week after it was clear I was not giving him a cent. Then a few days later on 2/17, he texts me “Hey babe. Are you there. Are you getting this”. I texted him many times to check as reception can be pretty crappy. I give him the benefit of the doubt for that reason ALONE. I then thought as he texted me that day at around 9pm or so his time, he may have fallen asleep, with his 10-12hours days and all. So I text a bit more the next day. Nothing. Yes, I should have definitely stopped there. One more text on 2/24/2016 and you guessed it: Nothing.
That was my last text to him. I will be honest. This was so disappointing. I honestly felt that because he wasn’t asking me for explicit information about me, no monetary conversations other than his own business needs, no demands for phones and laptops and iTunes cards like others have tried to scam me in the past, he seemed okay. Until things weren’t. Until he mentioed the 50K several times, denying my “need” to send him anythig. Until I just couldn’t get past the fact he couldn’t verify his identity in any real way at all beside some half-assed FaceBook page with his nickname only. It was truly a let down. I think he tried the most perfect scam. The others didn’t invest time or effort with their obvious scams; they made demands pretty quickly (within a week or two, which I didn’t fall for then or now). His was a pretty perfect scam. Let her really like me and offer me the money. Let her come to me with offers to get me “home” to Boulder.
I must tell you his name. I know it has to be fake. I know there is nothing verifiable about this name after a google search and searches on three different people search sites. I think the reason I am going to tell you his name is that if he is enough of a douchebag to try to scam another intelligent woman who will google his name, maybe this will come up on a search for them and they can know the truth.
Or maybe it is just me that believed some of this crap before it stopped really adding up.
I could be the idiot. Writing this definitely felt good, though!
His name (as given to me): James Austen.
Hang tight for douchebag #2. What an ass!