Friday, 1 March 2013

The Michelin Man

Day 204
161 Days Remaining

Wow, I am a real slacker.  Look at how many blog posts I managed to get done in February: two. TWO!  How in the world did time go by so fast that I only squeezed out two posts?  And with hitting these "important" milestones (like the halfway point, and the 200-day mark, which I hit on February 25th), you'd think I'd be posting a lot more, if only to scream with excitement that I made it this far!  
...and counting.
Well, I can't be too hard on myself.  Truthfully, I've been incredibly busy with school - it's midterm time again, so between writing 13-page essays and studying hard for my Biology Lab and Lecture midterms, I'm almost literally feeling sick at the thought of sitting at the computer and staring at that screen some more.  I do mean that - my eyes are aching and my fingers are cramping up!  I've also spent the better past of the last few days in bed - attempting to keep up with my studying - laid up with rhinovirus.  Terrible, isn't it?  (Don't panic; I'm just practicing using my nursey words - "rhinovirus" is the common cold. But you probably already knew that.)  So here I am, already into March, forcing myself to take a few minutes to jot something down.  I don't want the record of The Evolution of Lisa to suddenly disappear; this time I fully intend to finish what I started.

A few interesting developments have happened since I last wrote, the weirdest of which is that I am being pursued - romantically - by a celebrity.  Well, a pseudo-celebrity, anyway, depending on your preferred television fare.  I don't even really know what to think of it at this point, but it's definitely interesting!

This particular famed individual happens to have been on several seasons of my favorite television show, so if any of you know which show that is, you could perhaps hazard a guess as to who he might be.  He is, actually, very well known, but only people who watch that show would be very familiar with him.  Let's call him..."Mitch Michelin".

It didn't start out as a romantic pursuit, of course, although I'm not naive enough not to realize that if he hadn't seen my photograph, he may not have contacted me in the first place.  I follow his "Official" page on Facebook and had posted on his Wall with comments on occasion, and one day, out of the blue, I received a text message from an unfamiliar number.


>Who's this?

>From way down in the United's Mitch Michelin. :-)

Of course I`m thinking, why would Mitch Michelin text me?!  So, that's exactly how I responded.

>Why would Mitch Michelin text me?   

>I was going through Facebook, and I saw you had your phone number posted, and I'm spontaneous.

Now at this point, I was really confused.  I hadn't realized that my cell number was that easily accessible (I'm set to "Friends Only"), so that gave me pause, but just the fact that he was texting me was so weird!  I, of course, happen to be a very spontaneous person as well, so I could understand how a famous person might want to send a random text message to make the day of some fan, but how did I know he was who he said he was?  On the other hand, why would someone pretend to be Mitch Michelin, of all people, and begin messaging me?

Long story short, Mitch Michelin has been texting me for more than two weeks now.  I have confirmed that he is who he says he is (I made him email me a photograph of himself holding up a piece of paper with my name written on it) and I actually really enjoy hearing from him, but I can`t stop myself from feeling a little strange about the whole situation.  No, he didn't start off with anything romantic on the table, but as we talked more, I must have said something - or a few things - that he liked.  It's definitely evident to me now that he hopes to try for something with me sometime in the future, and I'm not really sure how that makes me feel at this point.  I guess the fact that he is so far away (he lives in a completely different time zone in a completely different country) makes me feel safe, but at the same time, I'm very aware that I really don't know this guy.  All I really know of him is what I've seen on TV, and let's face it, that means absolutely nothing.

So what I've been trying to do is to stop feeling so fascinated that Mitch Michelin - himself - is texting me and wanting to be in touch with me - and actually called me one day and chatted with me for two hours - and start reminding myself that I need to always and continuously be aware of the Red Flags.  I don't want to be star struck by the fact that someone who is in fact very well known has declared that I am his favorite human being (and yes, he actually did say that, and I know that there's no way that he can know that without meeting me in person).  The fact that he is famous is not what matters about him.  The fact of who he is is what matters about him...and I have no idea who that person is yet.  I'm cautious, and I'm getting a clearer picture as time goes on.

Red Flag #1: He avoids direct questions - which, granted, happens often with text messaging, but I still don't enjoy it.  However, when we speak on the phone, he does respond clearly to direct cross-examination (I told him how much it frustrates me, and he invited me to ask anything that I wanted).

Red Flag #2: He's never met me and yet he is pursuing me quite adamantly from a distance.

Red Flag #3: He's been married three times.  Now, when I look at it from a different stance and think, well, if I had been married to each of my significant relationship partners, I would have been married four times, then I guess it is's still a red flag.  Yeah, no.  It's not the same thing at all.  Is it?
Red Flag #4: When I told him I was on a dating hiatus, he saw it as a challenge, and has declared his intention - whether he said this facetiously or not, I don't know - to break me before the 365 days are up.  My back got up at that one; I told him quite strongly that I am not a challenge to be overcome!  Even if he flew here tomorrow with six dozen red roses to woo me, I would not let that sway me.

I have to also admit that I have spent a lot of time Googling him since we began this correspondence.  I typed in "Mitch Michelin scandal" and "Mitch Michelin cheat" and "is Mitch Michelin a bad person" (yes, I know, that one is kind of weird) and I tell you, I can find absolutely nothing but good about this guy on the Internet.  I think it's next to impossible to keep such a clean record on the World Wide Web these days, especially if you're well known.  What I did find: yes, he's a Christian.  He is known all around the world as a genuinely nice guy.  He has worked in Christian publishing and produced one of my kids' favorite Christian radio shows.  He gave away hundreds of Bibles for free.  He's a good dad and everyone seems to love him.  And when we talked on the phone the conversation flowed easily and I really liked him.  I guess I'm scared that I'm overlooking things because he is famous, and because he is a Christian, and because right now, well, he's making me feel pretty darn good about myself.

And then I just tell myself: IT DOESN'T MATTER RIGHT NOW.  I have made him no promises; he has made me no promises, and any chance of meeting is way in the future.  Even if we met before August 9th - my last day of this hiatus - there still would be no possibility of even looking at anything romantic until after that date has passed.  And by that time, I definitely will either a) know him quite a bit better; b) have stopped hearing from him altogether; or c) have picked up on any other Red Flags that mean I need to say goodbye.  You can bet that if I receive any "iffy" photographs in my email, I'll be shutting him down (or I suppose I could sell them to the National Enquirer...).

So, what I thought might happen when I began this year (the possibility that someone would want to date me and I would have to make him wait) has happened, albeit in a very unexpected and totally surreal way.  Let`s just hope he stays in the States for a while and his interest in me peters out soon, if it`s going to.  Otherwise, who knows what will happen?



  1. Hmm, I'm both excited and cautious for you. It made me think of my Stalker/Super Fan. I don't know if you read any of the posts about him, but my friend, Lauren, had a very strong reaction to the red flags she saw, which don't seem entirely different than yours here with Mr. Michelin.

    Stick to your guns!

  2. Thanks for the advice...I'm keeping on my toes! I'm cautiously optimistic at this point. It's very surreal the way things began, but as we've been talking more over the past weeks, I've come to believe he's a genuinely good guy. Time will tell, and I'm not afraid to use the remainder of my dating hiatus to get to know him even better.

  3. With love, and quite frankly for my women's self defense research -- what's the difference between a Red Flag and a Red Flag that means you have to say goodbye?

  4. Going through these particular Red Flags - and hopefully not with blinders on, at this point - the only one I still have issue with is the multiple marriages. Red Flag #1 has been addressed very well; any time I feel as though he is holding back we are able to talk either on the phone or in FaceTime, and can communicate very well to get everything on the table in a way that can't be done through short & sweet text messages. Ease of communication and (apparent) honesty is the norm now. The "dating hiatus challenge" was a joke - yes, he would like it if I "broke" the sabbatical to be with him, but he does have respect for my wishes and we've also talked about that.

    A Red Flag that points to something in his personality that could end up biting me in the butt later on is what these four were. Time is essential in the getting to know someone process; a Red Flag that means goodbye would definitely be one that is followed through by actions that prove this is not a man I can be with. If he is practiced at hiding information, I would be cautious that he is a liar, and I cannot live with a liar. The pursuit from a distance made me worry that he is a player and that this is something he does regularly with many women; time and communication have proven to me that is not the case. The fact of several marriages is still a warning to me, and will have to be addressed more thoroughly when we meet in person: I see it as a potential sign that he is easily bored and will "fall out of love" with me when things get tough or boring. A good friend of mine sees it differently and says she sees it as a good thing, in that he is not afraid to commit and throw himself into something he believes in. That is VERY true of his personality as I know it so far, but even that concerns me because even if these women left him and not the other way around, what were their reasons? I am not saying that I would never be with someone who has multiple marriages, because I understand everyone makes mistakes (even big ones, and even several times!), but at this point that is the real niggler for me. It just means that I need more information.

    Immediate Red Flags that would mean I have to say goodbye are: arrests or jail time; not being allowed (by court) or not wanting to see his children; evidence of sexual deviance (that would include finding a copy of the ridiculous Fifty Shades on his bedside table!); negative attitudes toward his ex(es); killing or harming animals; a controlling or manipulative attitude; complete disregard of my needs, wishes and fears; snooping or hacking into personal accounts or my purse; constant negativity; personal verbal attacks on me or anyone else; withdrawing socially and not being interested in seeing or spending time with my family; and constantly talking about himself with no interest in anyone else. There are probably more, but those are a few definites for me.

  5. In my mind, a Red Flag is something that is potentially harmful, as opposed to something that is just incompatibility. And I think you've correctly identified four very real Red Flags (and from what I know, I would add a few more). Here's what I think you should watch out for:

    1. Charm is a verb. If he is being charming, he is doing that to you with a purpose.

    2. The relationship moves too quickly, and he seems to be driving this.

    3. Pay attention to how he talks about his ex-wives. Does he use blaming language? Does he label them (lazy, crazy, aggressive, etc)? Does he claim to be abused by them? Also if he claims that he sacrificed his whole life for them or otherwise acts a martyr.

    4. He violates your boundaries. (As in, you tell him about your dating hiatus and he sees it as a challenge and vows to break it. This is a HUGE one). Watch for language that centers around winning, that minimizes your commitment to your goals, that questions your reasons for doing things, or tries to talk you out of decisions you have already made.

    Love ya. Be safe.

  6. All good things to be reminded of during my trip. Thanks for the concern. :-)