Dating online adventures continue

So after closing my page with Match.com (I mean really after seeing my scammer BACK on Match with another name but EXACT same profile), I decided it was time for me to move on.  I’m still connected until the end of February when my contract with them ends, but I have zero faith that I will contact anyone from that site ever again and when I see Match commercials on tv I want to throw my remote at it (but I don’t because I am trying really hard to stop throwing things, I mean I am not a two-year old I really should stop acting like it).

My friend NYU girl has met a tonne of guys from Go Cupid which is a free site, so yesterday while twiddling my thumbs bored out of my mind, I signed up and filled out parts of the questionnaire.  I still have a few sections to fill out (that damn self-summary will be the death of me) but I added a couple of pics and answered what seemed like a million personality questions.  I downloaded the free app to my phone and thought “here I go again”.

I haven’t really played around on that site yet, haven’t taken any real look at the guys profiles, but I am trying REALLY hard to keep an open mind.  At the same time, I feel like at this point I am going to be picky. I mean if I can be thirty-two and single I think I should have high expectations and be a bit picky.  I know I am not the hottest thing since burnt toast, but I am a catch.  I have a lot going for me and someone special is going to be pretty lucky to snatch me off my feet!

This morning I had an email from go cupid explaining someone emailed me.  I saw the guys pic and wasn’t immediately impressed.  I read his profile and it was filled with his bragging about how amazing he is at oral sex!  I mean that’s great and all, but really – in your self summary you feel a need to talk about that – we are not a match my friend.  I find guys who brag about their expertise” are usually the ones who are horrible and have none.  Then this guy talks about his physical disability.  I look back at the pictures – and he is in a wheelchair!  I had to take a step back for  a minute.  I had to think would I date someone in a wheelchair?  I didn’t know the answer right away.  I want to think I would, that I wouldn’t discriminate based on ability, but after having spent almost ten years taking care of my dad, I honestly don’t want to take care of someone else, no matter how abled they are – they would still require some assistance.

I won’t be responding to this man, thankfully it isn’t because of his abilities or lack there of – he just writes in a way that doesn’t interest me at all, that was actually a huge turn off.  Tonight since I have some time I will review some of the matches on go cupid as well as Eharmony which I still have a profile for and see if anyone catches my eye.

Time will tell…

XOXO

Nikilee

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A huge thank you!

I want to take this time to thank all of my readers, supporters, friends and family who have spent the past few days telling me how amazing, smart and beautiful I am. 

I was ashamed that I was foolish enough to believe my scammers lies, to believe that someone whom I had never met could say such nice things to me.  I felt like I should have known.  That this was my fault. 

However, thanks to a select few people, I know in my heart, that I did everything right – that I was duped by a man who made me believe I was important.  I have taken all means to protect other women.  I have emailed MATCH twice now because I found him again online this weekend with a different name and a different picture (however the same poor guy so I warned Match about that).

I have been fortunate enough to have my weight watchers support group and Twitter followers tell their friends and family members and my blog address was retweeted on Twitter by some pretty big names (Gail Vaz-Oxlade and Steve Roberts thank you).  I am have watched a Dr Phil episode about this exact problem as well as Ricki Lake.  It is prevalent!  It is a global problem.  The truth is, many of these so-called men are in little huts in western Africa with a list of emails and phone numbers and are “dating” many women at a time. 

Some tips for online daters that I got off of Match (ironically) and Dr Phil’s website are the following:

  1. Don’t use personal email accounts right away – use the chat site set up on the dating site.
  2. If they tell you they are military or travel for work to foreign countries, beware
  3. If the person has no online presence (No Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn etc) or has an extremely low number of friends or followers – RED FLAG
  4. Don’t give any personal markers when just emailing (birthdate, address etc)
  5. Do not give money – if they ask for money before even meeting and establishing a relationship with you – huge trouble is coming your way. 

I just want to thank you all one last time for reading my blog, for taking the time to understand what has happened.  For telling your friends and family. 

XOXO Nikilee

 

Online dating horrors (A true PSA)

In December 2012, I decided I had been single long enough and had moved on enough from my last relationship to get back into the dating game.  Since I had no desire to be hooked up by my friends (since it didn’t work out so well the last time) I figured I would take the plunge and join Match.com.

I filled out the online form, changed my introduction about a million times before submitting the written portion along with a couple of photo’s that were at least somewhat flattering (I tend to make really stupid faces when people are pointing a camera at me).

The first couple of weeks were a complete bust.  As I sat at Crazy Cat Lady’s house making fun of the men I was matched with (really a wrestler – no thank you) I was feeling like I would be single forever because none of the men were catching my eye.  I had something negative to say about all of them (hint – guys don’t put pics of yourselves with ex girlfriends and just crop their bodies out – we can tell and you with your shirt off, cover that shit up).  Crazy Cat Lady was thoroughly enjoying my misadventures and by the time Christmas rolled around I was ready to cancel my subscription and move on with my life single.

Christmas Eve I checked my matches and there was a picture of a cute guy whose username was lexwr774848.  He described himself as 37, divorced father of 1.  Self-employed of Irish decent looking to find love again.  Affectionate and caring, loves bowling, baseball etc etc.  Sounded pretty good and he had a really kind smile so I winked.  A few hours later he winked back and sent me a message with his email address.  I emailed him wishing him a Merry Christmas and the emailing continued back and forth a couple of times a day every single day afterwards.

ImageThis is the picture on his MATCH profile

We would email long drawn out stories about our lives and sometimes just short little tidbits saying hi and hoping the other had a great day.  It was romantic.  He told me all about his son Neal who was 9 and lived with his mother, but whom he got to see every 4th day and spoke to every morning.  His sister Kathy lived in Ireland still and she was his best friend.  His father was a jerk who left the family when he and Kathy were young and his mom had relocated to London and he spoke to her every couple of days.  He visited Ireland every year because that’s where he has his roots.

He told me he worked in construction for the past three years, but recently moved into self employment supplying construction material to overseas work sites.  Now I am sure he explained this better in the emails, but since I have no clue about this industry I didn’t pay to close attention and didn’t ask many questions as I am sure I would just get totally lost.

When I left for Cuba on January 12th he started texting me since I wouldn’t be checking my email while away.  We texted every day while I was away, planning to meet soon after I returned.  We were both extremely excited – after all the flirting for a month, I was eager to see if there would be actual chemistry with this man.  He had sent me two other pics and I had sent him a couple of pics as well.

ImageThis was my favourite picture of him

Two days before I came home from Cuba he told me there was an issue and had to travel for work and would message me when he could.  I heard from him this past Monday night.  He was in Benin Republic (Africa) and customs was giving his crew a hard time and not letting the machines come through.  He was having long days and just couldn’t wait to come home and see my smile.  What a sweetheart right?  At this point I was smiling constantly, checking my email’s regularly.  BUT, at the same time, I had a weird feeling in my stomach (other than the nasty flu bug I brought home with me from Cuba).

I told my suspicions to my security guard at work and D told me to send him a pic and he would reverse image online and let me know what was up – he didn’t like the sound of the whole thing as there was a few scams going around western Africa with men praying on North American women.  However, I had no real reason to be concerned.

Until Wednesday night.  Wednesday night he sent me a long email complaining of customs and how they needed an extra $3000 until everything would pass and his mom and sister could only scrape together $1500 and he needed another $1500.  He said his ex-wife wouldn’t help and he was afraid he would be stuck there longer if he couldn’t get the extra $1500.

Could I help?

I almost spit out my water from laughing so hard – I knew in my heart I was being scammed right then and there.  I told him no, I had no money from my laser eye surgery and my trip and I was in no place to help him.  I decided to play nice – until I had more proof.   He emailed me yesterday morning saying no problem he understood, he’d figure something out and then asked how my Zumba class had gone.

I didn’t reply right away.

I took another of his pictures and reverse imaged in on google. To do a reverse image check on someone go here: http://images.google.com/imghp?hl=en  The first item to come up when I downloaded his photo – www.romancescam.com

There were all of his pictures with women talking all about James Howard, and sample emails he had sent them – emails that were WORD FOR WORD THE EXACT SAME AS EMAILS I HAD.  I immediately replied back with his new name (Alex Howard) and told them my story with him.

I think we all assume he is an African man living in or around Benin Republic.  I have posted his pictures so any woman on dating sites that see this picture will be warned to stay far away.  I have also emailed Match.com even though his profile is no longer present because they must have a credit card for him.  I also have the phone number he gave me.  (646) 493-1227.

Alex 2This is the final picture I have of him

I am blogging about this foolishness because online dating scams are real – they are not just horror stories you see on tv.  If I was any other woman, I may have given him the money just to get him back home to me.  What he didn’t bank on was me not really needing him in my life, just liking the idea of him in it.  I am asking all my readers who blog to make a link to this story in their blogs so all women can beware of this horror.  Tell your friends who are online dating, tell your mothers and sisters and aunts and nieces who are looking for that special someone online.  This is an incredibly prevalent problem.  This is a paid dating site – it is not just the free sites where these scams take place.  I will be removing my profile in the next day or two as I am no longer interested in meeting strangers.  If I am meant to be single, then so be it – if not, then I will meet my man the old fashion way – face to face!

I emailed Alex/James to let him know I knew everything and that his mother would be deeply ashamed of him, that he is pathetic and blah blah blah – nothing I am sure he hasn’t heard from many other women time and time again.  Needless to say he never responded…huh shocker!

I am grateful I am the strong, independent woman I am, I am grateful for my friends (and security guard) for having my best interests at heart and for protecting me when I needed it most.    If anyone reading this wants or needs more information, please just comment and I will reply to you ASAP

Don’t worry about me now, I am good.  Now that I am safe and my money is safe I am relieved.  I just want to warm as many people as possible!

XOXO Nikilee

P.S This man in the picture is PROBABLY not the scammer.  He is probably some poor sap who had his photos lifted from facebook or flickr or some other social media site.  If you happen to know the man in the picture – pls tell

 

***************just went on Match.com cause I was bored and I saw JROBB1060 with the same pics I have!!!  This guy never gives up and Match clearly isn’t doing anything to stop him since I sent them his pictures**************

Just a spoonful of sugar…

Growing up I had the same family doctor as everyone else in my family.  Dr. D was a general practitioner and we went to him for everything.  What he couldn’t do for us, he would refer to someone who could.  

It never occurred to me that people wouldn’t have a family doctor.  I mean, you need one right?!  When I was in University I decided that Dr. D was no longer the right Dr for me for a few reasons: 1. I wanted a female doctor to perform the pelvic examinations and 2. Dr D told me when I was 17 I needed to lose a few pounds and I had just confided in him that I had suffered from Anorexia from 14-15 and lost over 50 pds in a matter of months.  I was unimpressed with his bedside manner.  So I left him, even though my father and brother were still his patients (though in 2003 when he almost let my father die I did consider running him over with car as the smug bastard went home) 

I did some research online and found a Dr who was located close to my house, a female and spoke perfectly clear English (I had visited one who I swear English was not a priority for her).  Dr B. has been my family doctor now for 10 years and she has helped me through everything!  She knows my entire history – things no one else knows, all my embarrassing issues, my annoying thoughts and my family troubles.  She is wonderful.  I have no plans to ever leave her practice unless she retires.  

So what’s the problem then?  Why am I blogging about a woman who hasn’t taken new patients in years?  Am I bragging…hahahaha I have a family doctor and maybe you don’t?  No, of course I’m not.  I am blogging because I am upset.  I am upset that in Canada we have AMAZING health care.  We don’t pay an arm and a leg to visit a doctor.  We don’t have to decide between getting a check up and paying the rent.  We are blessed.  

However, there is a scary trend popping up (at least in Toronto) and I don’t like it.  The general practitioners office is disappearing and these obnoxious walk in clinics are opening up everywhere.  Walk in clinics have a few doctors and MANY patients.  You can book an appointment with a specific doctor if you want to but this is not always possible.  Most of the patients are walk-ins.  They have large waiting rooms with sick people – like really sick people who are coughing and hacking all over the place and even walking by the walk-in clinic near my house makes me want to vomit.  You can go to numerous walk-in clinics – a different one every day.  It doesn’t have to be the same one and your file never transfers with you. 

This scares me.  Dr B knows my health history; she doesn’t have to rely on me to tell her anything.  She has a running tally of everything that’s happened to me in the past ten years.  What could a walk-in clinic doctor possibly do for me?  They know nothing about me and when I go back in 6 months, I’ll get another doctor who again, knows NOTHING about me.  Dr B has significantly decreased her hours of availability and my terrible fear is she is considering retiring.  What I will do then I don’t know.  I don’t want to utilize a walk-in clinic for my health needs, but I don’t know many people who have a family doctor anymore.  They seem as obsolete as the VCR, the record player and Walkman, not impossible to find, but you have to search really hard and some days you will come up empty-handed..  Will I be forced into a confined space with 100 other people who are all hoping some random doctor hurries up and sees me and remembers that I have had surgery three times in four years??  God I hope not. 

XOXO Nikilee

Fever and Quebecers

What do you when you are in Cayo Coco Cuba with a fever of 102?  Nothing, you do nothing, but sit and pray you sweat it out in time to enjoy part of your seven-day vacation. 

K, J-Mo, little C, S and I left for Cuba last Saturday the 12th and when I woke up that morning, I felt a frog on my chest.  I knew I was in trouble.  I blasted myself with Dayquil and cough syrup and since I had energy I set out on my way.  I felt fine the whole rest of the day, the whole flight and through customs and check in and everything! 

The resort was great, check in was perfect and our rooms were fine.  We all went to the buffet to eat and almost as soon as I ate my last mouthful of pasta I felt it – the heat to my head, the frog was back and I felt exhausted!  Little C was also acting up and warm and had a temperature.  All I could think was “here we go again” Little C and I got sick last vacation (strep throat) and I was sure we were headed down the same road. 

We all had an early night and I popped myself full of Advil cold and sinus praying for a better day.  Waking up I felt okay.  However as the day progressed and especially after dinner, I was feeling the exact same way!  Finally brave enough to take my temperature it jumped to 102.  I wanted to cry.  I wanted to scream and shout, but all I did was throw on as many clothes as I could and snuggle under the covers to hopefully rip it out of me!  

I played this fever game for three and a half days.  I enjoyed every DAY of my vacation and was thoroughly MISERABLE every night of my vacation.  Thankfully this was not a party vacation, I got to sleep, and relax and enjoy time with people whom I truly consider family.  Now that I am home, I no longer have a fever, but I do feel like I have Cholera – let me tell you, THAT is not a good feeling either!  I see the doctor tomorrow and I am sure she will tell me I am not dying, that I just have a stomach bug, but the fear of Cholera has me terrified to eat or drink anything (maybe the McDonald’s breakfast the morning of our return was not a good thing). 

 

I want to talk to you a little bit about people from the province of Quebec.  I have met MANY nice people from Quebec.  HOWEVER….the visitors to the Tryp CC the week I was there I met MANY Quebec people (especially men) whom made me utterly ashamed to be Canadian, or rather that they are Canadian.  A group of young men from Quebec beat up a security guard and were allowed to stay on the resort and got in NO trouble at all.  Rumour has it they also kicked around a cat that was roaming the grounds, but at that point I had witnessed so much disgusting behavior I could NOT listen to anymore. They were loud, drunk, obnoxious and foolish the entire trip. 

I truly am disgusted at the way Quebecers portrayed Canadians and I hope to GOD that the people on the resort knew it was not Canadians, but Quebecers that were causing so many issues.  Shame on you!

 

XOXO Nikilee

My trip advisor review of Tryp Cayo Coco

In case some of you are planning to travel to Cayo Coco I figured I would post my trip advisor review for you to read.

I will post my actual trip story in the upcoming days.

TRYP CAYO COCO

Travelled from January 12-January 19 2013.

Travelled with 3 other adults and one baby (aged 2.5)

Travelled with Air Canada Vacations 

A

I went with a friend’s family to the Tryp Cayo Coco on the above dates and I am going to tell you the pros and cons of the resort, not the weather (which was fine, if not cool at night) and not the other people there (Quebec residents – shame on you for your behavior) because the resort is not at fault for those things.  

Chase and I having fun with the camera

Chase and I having fun with the camera

Check in was swift and we had booked two rooms with one room requiring a crib for the baby.  We had emailed a few weeks prior requesting block 10 and this is EXACTLY what we got.  We were able to change our Canadian money right beside the check in desk at almost hours of the day.  We were not asked if we wanted assistance getting our room – and I think this would have gone a long way since it was pitch dark outside and we had 5 suitcases, 5 carry-on bags and a baby in a stroller.  However we managed to get to block 10 and find our ground floor room with minor struggles. 

Flamingos

Flamingos

The roads leading to all the buildings are in rough shape and require paving.  Our little boy fell once from a big divot and scratched up his knee pretty badly and pushing the stroller was tough. 

Beautiful view

Beautiful view

Our room was dated – a bit muggy, but overall it was comfortable and had what we needed for sleeping – which really is the only time we needed the room.  I suggest if you have a stroller, young children, or bad knees you request ground floor because there are a lot of stairs if you have a second or third floor room. 

BEACH

BEACH

The fridge is not stocked with anything, but you do get one large bottle of water a day which we drank and used to brush our teeth daily with. 

There are three pools.  The main pool which had the warmest water, but was way too loud and crowded for our tastes (but all the young party people seemed to frequent there), the baby pool which is next the main pool and where we camped out most days and the quiet pool right outside our block and was great but very deep and cold so we rarely swam in it. 

Like every full capacity resort getting a lounge chair by the pool can be difficult and leaving your towel on the chair early in the morning seemed to be the only way to guarantee a spot.  Some people complained of towels being stolen (which is 20 CUC if you don’t return your towel) so I recommend bringing towels from home. 

The beach was nice, not as nice as in Holguin, but still soft and good for the baby to play in.  The ocean was also warmer than the pool so that was nice.  It was extremely windy most days by the ocean, so we didn’t spend a tonne of time there. 

The buffet – was edible.  I suggest getting the hot meal (eggs and French toast at breakfast, spaghetti, stir fry and meat and fish at lunch and dinner) or else your meal will be luke warm only.  

We tried two a la cartes (Italian and Cuban) both excellent and tasty.  

This resort is laid out very nicely.  It’s convenient to get to almost everything which is great since we had a little one with us.  We also fed the flamingos bread a few days out of the week (the flamingos are located near building 5) 

I was sick 80% of the time (I came to Cuba sick) so I didn’t drink any of the alcohol, but there was a lot of drunken people so I am going to assume it was good! 

Overall, since we paid $709 CAD for the week I would go again in a heartbeat.  It was completely worth the price.

Any questions or concerns – just message me through this blog!

XOXO

Nikilee

I turned (32) yesterday shhhh

Is it crazy that I love my thirties but dread each birthday??  I think I may be losing it a bit.  I mean my twenties were filled with school and bad jobs and obnoxious people I had to be nice to.  My thirties are filled with work I love, school only when I feel like it and great people whom I love and cherish – plus my blog which I also love!

However every time a birthday comes around, a sense of panic fills me – I am getting older.  I have passed all the fun milestones – sweet sixteen, 18 (I could vote), 19 (I could legally drink), 21 (I could legally drink in the U.S.A) and 30.  I feel like the next true milestone is 50 and that is years away (THANK GOD).  I love being in my thirties – this will be the decade I will have a child or children – the most important thing to me.  I will probably buy a home, develop my friendships even further and travel to numerous countries, building more memories than I can fit into my big head!  I love it.  I look forward to it, but on January 9th, I had a panick attack that left me crying in my bed at 11:00 at night. 

I’m a freak right?  Maybe freak isn’t a nice word…but that is how I felt.  When I woke up yesterday, I felt no different then I had being 31, I wasn’t excited or sad, happy or mad.  I was just me – and I continued my day like any other day – more excited about going to Cuba and meeting Irish guy later this month, and going to Vegas in April with my mom and aunt and hopefully receiving a transfer to an office closer to home.  The birthdate had nothing to do with any of it.  This year will be amazing because I will make it amazing – not because my age changed.

Last night my dad took me, my brother, sister-in-law, sushi bf and his girlfriend D to the Keg for dinner – I LOVE THE KEG.  Just had to put that out there.  I came home and crashed, belly full and ready to work my last day before my CUBA vacation.  I’m taking a blogging break people – but I will return with stories, not as juicy as the gossip from my trip to DR, but still great stories non the less!

XOXO Nikilee