While I search for a new job and enjoy my life, I have picked up playing an MMORPG again. (No, it’s not World of Warcraft.) Anyway, I was a member of a guild there for a long time and discovered that I had not been kicked despite the long inactivity.

About two weeks ago, one of the Guild’s officers asked me whether I would be joining them for their annual guild meeting. I told her that I would like to, but couldn’t justify spending a lot of money on a trip while I was unsure of my professional (and thus financial future).

“Too bad, Secretgeek,” she said, “because then we could have the sort of conversation we have had this week, in person.”

Needless to say, I did not think anything of this.

The Plot Thickens

So the guild meeting came and went and I didn’t go there. After her return, the officer told me it was “too bad you couldn’t come” and “did you see the photos yet? They are on our forums. Guess who I am.” After I had identified her – there were only three women at that event – she asked me to guess her age. I declined (“Never guess a lady’s age”), so she told me; she is quite a lot younger than I am. “But I really find I can talk to anybody of any age,” she added.

Another day she asked me to guess where she lived. I did work it out, much to my pride.

Needless to say, I did not think anything about any of that, either.

That kind of changed a little when we had a voice chat (on Ventrilo, a voice conferencing software used by the guild) and she sent a link to a fantasy book, as an example of what she reads. I was still reading the synopsis on Wikipedia.

“What do you think,” she asked.

“Sounds fun,” I said. “I can see myself reading something like this.”

“Yes, but what do you think of the illustration?”

This I had not expected. I looked at the image – a sleek dragon. I realized I did not know what she did for a living. Illustrator, perhaps? Unlikely but not impossible.

“The dragon is cool,” I replied truthfully.

“I’m glad you like it,” she said. “I had, of course, an ulterior motive for asking – I basically have that dragon as a tattoo on my back.”

….Hang on a moment!

Why would this woman care what I think about her tattoo? One, I might add, not visible on any of the photos. That is, it is completely covered by clothing.

I started to sense something was amiss, though I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.

She subsequently asked whether I would be at the next meeting (which has not been organized yet). I agreed that I would.

As you may know, I am really not good with subtleties, especially when it comes to boy-girl type interactions. I asked a friend (Carina – she and I still stay in touch after those many years) for help, and she swears the woman is interested me to “some extent”.

“She is Swedish, right?” asked Carina. I agreed that she was. “Well, in Sweden, they don’t really have a dating culture. You are just friends and then – poof – you turn into boyfriend/girlfriend.”

She Likes Me, She Likes Me Not, She Likes Me, She…

For the past few days, we have had a semi-lively private chat going on while in the game. Sometimes, I feel like she is trying to flirt with me. At other times I feel like I am completely wrong and she is just being friendly. I also have no clue whether she is single or not, though Carina says that “if she were in a relationship, she would have told you by now, the way you two have been talking to each other”.

I had first noticed the lady in question a long time ago, before my hiatus. I never really talked to her much until I returned. Normally, I would shy away from this situation like the Wicked Witch from water; not only is there a considerable age distance, there is also quite some distance involved.

However, this woman would appear to be “tailor made” for me – from my admittedly still limited data, she is everything I’d look for in a girlfriend: She is a geek, extremely smart and very well educated, I really like her attitudes about things, she is a gamer, “not a party person at all”, her English is impeccable, she has a really cool voice, and to top it all off she is also quite pretty.

It seems like every time she talks about herself, my reaction is “cool – I like that about her”. There are a few things I do not care much about, but overall she is so much my sort of woman that I have started to wonder whether I fell into a parallel universe.

I’m feeling kinda lost

The worst problem is, I really don’t know what to do about it. I have been engaging her in conversation, but the reactions are always a bit mixed. I mean, she replies, but as I said I sometimes get a very “friends” vibe from her. It does not help that this is all text chat – voice conference chat is (mostly) reserved game talk.

I can’t ask her out. I can’t tell her, “hey I like you”. I don’t want to be pushy and I can’t even decide what her attitude towards me is. Yet at the same time, I am building up a stupid infatuation. As Sheldon would put it, setting myself up for “crashing into geek mountain again”.

Why can’t this sort of stuff ever be easy?