Monday, September 13, 2010

True Confessions of the Obsessive Kind

Remember when I told you that I dated "the boy next door" but it was really the man across the street?

We met because we lived across the street from each other (duh). Being neighborly eventually turned into going out for dinner. Which turned into dating. Which turned into one of us doing the "walk of shame" every morning across Park Street.

I think we confused the hell out of most of our neighbors for a few months.

Obviously (and I say obviously because I married someone else), the relationship ended. I wouldn't say it was an easy ending, even though we both knew it was time.

I don't really let go very well. It's definitely not one of my better qualities, especially in a situation like this.

For the most part it was not a nasty breakup, and over time we managed to form a rather nice friendship. In fact, he and his now wife came to my wedding.

But for a while there right after the breakup, the crazy in me reared its ugly head. And I obsessively monitored his comings and goings when I was home. From my bedroom window I could see his driveway and front walk into his house.  And I knew the sound of his car so if my bedroom window was open, I knew when he came home. (And if he's reading this, because I told him about my blog a while ago - ummm, Hi ex-boyfriend, you did know I was checking up on you right?)

I may have even spent some time with the lights off in my house watching through my bedroom window with my best friend. That is what best friends are for, right? To help you in your crazy time of need?

It was definitely obsessive, and probably bordered on the line of stalker-ish. But I promise, I never followed him! I'm far too lazy to go to that much work.

Eventually he started dating, and then I started dating, and then I met Rich and within a few months Rich and i were engaged and I moved to Philly.

And that is about as much as I can relate to Alice, the main character in our current From Left to Write book club selection Following Polly by Karen Bergreen. Well, at least as much as I'm going to admit to in writing or to anyone other than my therapist.

Following Polly
About the book:
Would you call Alice Teakle a stalker? Or just someone with an, um, healthy obsession with golden girl Polly Linley Dawson? No one much notices Alice: not her boss, not the neighbors, not even her Mother.

Besides, everyone follows Polly: her business selling high-end lingerie you can imagine only her elegant self wearing, her all-over-the-social-pages marriage to movie director Humphrey Dawson, her chic looks, her wardrobe. Alice just follows her a little more….closely.

And when she loses her job and starts to follow Polly Dawson one Manhattan autumn afternoon, Alice stumbles on the object of her attention sprawled dead on the floor of a boutique. Alice is forced to become truly beneath anyone’s notice. Invisible, in fact. Because she’s accused of murder.

But can another obsession help save Alice with the fallout? Charlie is Alice’s longtime unattainable crush. He might be able to help her out of the mess she’s in…in return for a favor or two, that is. And how will Alice find out if Charlie is really the man Alice thinks he is?

Following Polly was a fun read, even if you don't have a history of obsessive stalking. 

This is an inspired post written for the "From Left to Write" Book Club. A copy of Following Polly was provided to me by the publishers. I am not being compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.



  1. I think most people have spied on their ex, but it has to be tough with your ex across the street! I am sure there were times you didn't even WANT to check out what he was doing but you had no choice! NIce post!

  2. If he was right across the street, you really had no options.

  3. I agree with @Sky hardly can be considered spying if he lived right across the street. I mean, EVERYONE looks out their window from time to time, right? I mean, what's a single girl ("single" meaning one with time on her hands) to do?? :)

  4. Oh God, I can so relate! I took one break-up particularly badly. My boyfriend broke up with me to go out with someone else, and we ALL worked together. I had a second shift job and since he lived so close to me, before I would drive home I would swing by his to see if HER car was there, which it was, almost always! How pathetic was I?

    Eventually the two of them got married and pretty quickly, I couldn't help being please, got divorced. Now he's on his FOURTH wife...and I am on my one and only husband:-)

  5. I regret not getting this book! It really does seem like it'd be a fun read.

  6. In the spirit of honesty, I've checked out a couple ex's on Facebook. Not because I miss them, I'm quite happy now. But don't you kind of have to wonder how they ever resisted your irresistibility? Luckily it sounds like we all ended up better off without them.

  7. The closest I can get to this was being in college. There were only 800 of us, so things got a bit incestuous and obsessive on a regular basis. You'd watch each other at parties. Your friends would keep an eye on your ex and report back. It was easy to keep the pain alive longer than was necessary. But I have to admit there was a twinge of pleasure in it as well.

  8. What IS it about us women that makes us go a little nuts like this every now and then? Um, no, I can't relate at ALL!