Apropos of nothing, back in the mid 1990's (before computers had been invented) I used to write to a lot of people. It was obvious that email was going to be my undoing. However back then it was the Old Fashioned method, involving envelopes, and stamps, and soforth. Like with emails and blog posts, it wasn't uncommon for me to string 2000 or more words together at a session, and I must thank anybody who had to endure a line of correspondence with me for their sheer bloody-minded tenacity.
One of my favourite correspondents was a girl in Perth, Western Australia (not going to name names, but it wasn't my mate Kristen who I still keep in touch with & love to bits), who I got in touch with by way of Venturers (a section of Scouting, which I was really really heavily into at the time). I think we wrote for at least 18 months, usually once a week each if the pressures of high school weren't too unforgiving.
It was pretty cool – we seemed to hit it off, at least in written form, and after a while the envelopes started to contain photos, little presents, and then the presents graduated into birthday presents, christmas presents, and soforth (at least as far as our adolescent budgets would tolerate). At a couple of points along the journey I even convinced Mum (who remained reluctant) to let me make an Interstate Phone Call (ooooooooooooh). This was devotion in its purest form.
One day I received a letter from my effectively-what-had-developed-into-a-mutual-postal-crush saying that she was going on holiday to the UK at the end of the year for a couple of months, and she'd spoken to her parents, and they'd agreed to let her come home via Adelaide, so we were finally going to get to meet each other.
So the scene was set – I set about organising Fun Things To Do In Adelaide for a week (quite challenging, considering my budget at the time), and as the date approached my excitement was palpable.
The big day arrived, and I went down to the airport in my best Save Ferris t-shirt and Levi 501's (the pinnacle of style). She arrived happy and smiley, and we collected her baggage, then went outside to get in the limo. Yes, that's right, I'd cunningly hired a stretch Chevy limousine to pick us up from the airport & drive around Adelaide a bit before heading home. Smooth.
So we're sitting in the back of this thing, and as we climb into the Adelaide Hills to a particularly good vantage point of the city, I say “So, welcome to Adelaide!”.
Her reply is, “While I was away I met this guy named —— and in 6 months I'm flying back to England, and we're going to get married”.
Now whilst admittedly slightly crestfallen (and after nearly 2 years of slow-motion flirting, who wouldn't be), I think I was more pissed off that she somehow thought this was an appropriate response to my feeble & ill-advised yet absolutely well-intended attempts at hospitality.
The rest of the week was more or less like that. Several activities I'd planned she just flat-out refused to participate in, and the only real positive points I scored was when I took her to see Adelaide's offering of professional musical theatre for that 4 yearly period, Cats. As a dancer, this interested her greatly, and she'd probably have been happy and thankful, had I not apparently failed to say we were going to the theatre and consequently not made her think to bring her glasses along. Additionally, I left my leather jacket behind in the auditorium and never saw it again.
So yeah, the week ended, she went home, and I think I heard from her once after that.