July 29, 2011

Rumpelstiltskin

This is the story of playing a game of guess my name.

I have a story that I have thought was amusing, and every time I tell it in person, I get good feedback on it, so I thought it deserved its own post.  So, here's my yarn about how Grimm's Fairy Tales made an appearance in my romantic life.

I had met a gentleman through a dating site a while back.  He was my age, professional, and far enough outside of the mainstream to keep me interested (meaning he had an interesting worldview, deliciously long hair, and was right out of a Gothic romance novel.).  We'd been conversing for a little over 6 weeks before we finally agreed to meet in person.  After we'd been out once or twice, he'd told me that he was having car trouble and was trying to find a part.  I told him that I knew a mechanic who worked on his make of car, I can give the guy a call.  My efforts ended up saving him some cash, so I joked with him about it, asking if that was enough to be told his last name.  Actually, I said something along the lines of "So, are you going to ever tell me your last name, or shall we continue playing Rumpelstiltskin?".  Up to this point, I hadn't learned it, so I thought that was a charming way to ask.

Well, he said he could have sworn he'd told me his name, but he kinda liked the idea of making me guess.  Alright, I'm down with a good "chase" like that.  Bring it!.  He gave me three clues.  It was a Germanic name, can be spelled with or without a silent D, and it's single syllable.  Psh.  That would require me to play fair!

Now, let me say that I don't spend my time obsessively googling people I take an interest in.  Your bunnies are safe from me.  However, in this case, challenge accepted!  I googled my competitive little heart out.  It took me a few hours and several search engines, but I came up with the goods.  (Also, let this be a warning, I didn't have to spend a dime and found out his home town, names of his family members, the high school he went to (he wasn't a local either), his cell phone provider, his facebook page, his myspace page, where he graduated from grad school, and the name of his supervisor at his job.  All I had was a photo, an online moniker, a cell phone number, and a first name.  The internet can be used for good and for evil.)

Now being that I'm a weird kind of devious and enjoy being smart and resourceful, I came up with what I thought was an awesome way to unveil my guess.  Let me preface this by saying that once I came up with the following idea, I did run this past a few of my friends; both male and female.  I got good feedback and encouragement.  So, if this is creepy, I'm not alone on this sinking failboat.

Now, for those of you familiar with the classic fairy tale, you'll remember that the miller's daughter is locked away in a tower to spin straw into gold because the miller bragged she could.  Her first born can be saved by that odd little man, but only if she guesses his name.  She searches far and wide for unusual names, but ends up getting it right because he is celebrating a little too early and yells it out as he's drunkenly dancing around the campfire. 

So, here's what I did.  I enjoy writing, and had a bit of leftover resume paper in my computer room.  I took a piece of it and crumpled it up, smoothed it out, and then crumpled it again.  I did this over and over till it looked old and worn.  I tore off the edges so it looked more like parchment, and singed the edges with a lighter.  I then took my felt tip pen and wrote out a short verse I'd come up with and signed my name to it.

Begun in mirth
finished in verse
So good to make your aquaintance
Mister Dxxxxx Mxxx.

That completed, I moved on to round two.  I stopped by my local Borders (RIP) and bought a small copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales.  I picked up a spool of golden embroidery thread from Hobby Lobby, and headed out to my parents' house for some straw, some ribbon, and a box.

I put a bookmark on the first page of the Rumpelstiltskin story, and laid the book down on the bed of tissue paper and alfalfa I'd put in the box.  I put the spool of golden thread next to the book, wrapped them both in the top of the tissue paper, and put my note on top.  Then, I closed the box and tied it shut with a natural fiber ribbon.  My plan was, the next time we got together, I'd present it and I'd either be right or wrong.  (I was 98% sure I was right though.)

*sigh*  The best laid plans though, right?  He called a day or so later asking if I had a guess.  Well, I caught a case of the stupid and said I did, but I wanted to make it in person.

You know how you get that sense the split second *after* you've done something to change a person's perception of you? Yeah, totally happened here.  I think that caught him off guard and made him start thinking I was some kind of stalker because his responses suddenly got really guarded.  We got together over dinner a couple days later, and I could present my gift/guess.  (I was right, by the way.)  I think he enjoyed the effort I put into it, and I learned that this particular story was one that he has a personal connection with.  I thought I did something really cool and clever.  Who knows what his thoughts were.

In the end, we just didn't gel.  Last I knew, he's still with the woman he met immediately after me.  I wish them well.

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