I get it. I do. Sometimes, even I have to step back and wonder if I dreamed it, made it up to make myself sound more interesting, or if I really allowed myself to step into these situations and hold myself there till they played themselves out.
Doug was an ex-corrections officer who retired from jail life and started his own security company. He specifically went after low risk jobs and managed to build a successful business. It went well until he got caught napping while working a sweet sixteen party. Word got out that he was not really securing anything at the events he was hired for, and he dissolved his business. After calling in a bunch of favors, he invested in a case of No-Doze and got hired as an employee by another security company. Then he met me.
On the outside, he was beautiful to look at; tall, muscular, chiseled face, and exactly the right amount of facial hair to interest me. But inside, the book did not match the cover. Inside, he was an old, crotchety, neurotic mess. He complained of back pain, he was always tired, and every time we had dinner, went out to lunch, or did anything with a price tag, he made sure to tell me exactly how much everything cost. He wouldn't allow me to pay for anything, but I did pay. I paid every single time the server cleared our plates. Dessert was served with a side of what felt like guilt. First Doug would sigh. That was the warning shot. Then he'd lean in as if I was his friend. As if we hadn't only been on a few dates that had all gone exactly the same way. "CF", he'd say, "I live way beyond my means.”
I was patient for three months and a dozen or so dates. I thought what my generation was taught to think, he will change, he will do it for me. It took me a minute to realize that none of his problems were my problems, and that I didn't even like him enough to care if he ever changed. I finally grew tired of his complaining, and I tried to end things, but it didn't go well.
Me: "Doug, I don’t think we should see each other anymore."
Doug: "Why not?"
Me: "Because I don’t want to."
Doug: "Are you on your period?"
Me: "What does that have to do with anything?"
Doug: "You women are not in your right minds when you’re on your period. I’ll talk to you in a week. Will that be long enough?"
Me: "No, absolutely not."
Doug: "Are you serious? You bleed for longer than a week? You should get that checked out. That and your irritability."
Me: "No Doug, I mean I don't want to talk to you in a week. I don’t want to talk to you at all anymore. You're so rude."
Doug: "Sweetheart, sweetheart, calm down…see? You’re all upset because you’re on your period. We’ll talk another time, when you’re better."
Me (yelling): "I do not have my period, and I’m not sick! I don’t like you! This is over!"
Doug: "It’s ok. I understand. Just give me a call when everything has calmed down."
A month later I got an email that said: "Sweetheart, do you miss me?"
I deleted it.
I thought I'd learned my lesson. I even gave Doug credit for it. I certainly learned something, but not enough not to kiss a few more frogs since then.
CF Winn's blogs have been syndicated on multiple sites including The Masquerade Crew. More posts like these can be found at Humor Outcasts and The Patch where she is a regular contributor.
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