Hey, remember that writing contest where everyone submitted stories to be included in the NieNie Fund book? I sent in a handful of stories at the time, nearly all of which came directly from this blog. I could only manage to come up with one previously unread story. It wasn't the one that got picked, obviously. Possibly because it was depressing and pathetic. I don't know. Anyway, I figured I'd finally stick it on the old blog. Again, for posterity's sake. Man, posterity is SO fricking lucky!
A few friends and I were talking the other day. I wondered aloud how some people managed to get married in this world, what with them being complete freaks and all. Then I continued by noting that I'm positive many, if not all, of the people I've met have wondered the very same about myself, calling my husband's selection criteria into serious question.
It should come as quite a shock then to learn that no fewer than five men/boys/weirdoes have sought my hand, some with more aggressiveness than others. I think the most aggressive of the group had to be Crazy Italian Boyfriend. I will call him Guido. I met Guido at work and my-oh-my was he crazy. However, I didn't know this until later. On our first date his incomprehensible ranting was endearing--after all, I assumed he was showing his Crazy because he was perhaps a bit nervous on our first date together. And our second date. And our third date. It was on that third date that I came to the conclusion that his insanity was not a nervous mental tick, but rather his normal state of mind. It hit me right about the time we finished watching a movie and he turned to me and announced that he was going to marry me but we had to do it right away so we should go ring shopping as soon as possible. Overwhelmed by his romantic gesture, I swooned, "Excuse me?" To which he insisted this was the prescribed course of action, after which he gave me a rundown of his savings account and how much of a ring he could afford. "Must...escape...Nutty...McStraightjacket...." I whispered to my terrified myself.
It's here that I would like to abandon my Christian principles and pick the man apart. First of all, I dated him for his sexy uniform. He was a cop, complete with badge and gun and everything (more on that later). I will also admit that I found him more than attractive even in civilian clothing, let alone in the uniform (the rippling pectorals didn't hurt, either). He was genuinely kind to me--at first--and I found his Brooklyn accent amusing as well. A few conversations at work with him (he stopped me in the hall each time to talk to me, which was intensely flattering) and I was taken. Sure, he talked about odd things, but who doesn't have strange thoughts, right? So I decided to date him. And kissing him was fun, too (yes, I was a kissing slut. Shut up.).
When the real Crazy started to come out I learned that he was not the funny or entertaining kind of crazy, but rather the fricking scary kind of crazy. He would drop off photos to be developed at the drug store and use an alias. He never put down his address or his real phone number. When we decided to meet at a Metro subway stop to go into D.C. on a date, he pretended to be talking on a pay phone until I arrived so no one would know he was waiting for someone. He never sat with his back to the door. You know, stuff like that. Then he'd brag about the neighbors he'd spied on as a strange sort of father-son bonding activity he and his dad used to do when he was young. He suddenly decided he desperately wanted to work for the CIA, and he filled out their application in a second-grader's scrawl in pencil (he surely could have done no worse if he'd filled it out in crayon). I imagine his being thrown out of the Navy after only a few months in (for what he claimed was a problem with authority, but which later came out to be for psychological issues, like...wait for it...delusions of grandeur--the real kind) probably did not help his chances either (thankfully, they never called).
Guido used to regale me with his brilliant thoughts, all of which he repeatedly insisted were completely original, despite my having learned some of the very same concepts in my college Freshman entry-level classes (which he never believed). And he proudly invented inventions, brushing away my comments that they already existed. When I told my father about the insanity I had immersed myself in, he exclaimed, "You know, one day you're going to be watching the news and you'll see this guy on the steps of city hall, ranting and raving, wrapped in a Nazi flag, and you'll say, 'Hey! I used to date that guy!'" Indeed.
Why didn't I drop him sooner? The gun that he carried everywhere whether he was in uniform or not. Angering/surprising an armed, insane police officer is not my idea of bright. And frankly, I loved living at that time and did not wish to stop. So I kept dating him, putting off his matrimonial advances, and trying to gradually distance myself until perhaps he tired of me. I intentionally made comments that I knew he strenuously disagreed with. My favorite response came after I suggested that if a wife made more money than her husband she should go to work and he should stay home and raise the children. He FLIPPED OUT. Did I mention he disapproved of the fact that I had a job at all, saying that I was the cause of the decline of society? I asked sarcastically if I should be still sitting in my parents' house, waiting for a banker to knock on my door and propose marriage to me. He said yes. And he was very, very serious. Again, with the Crazy. So suggesting that a wife should be the breadwinner I think finally did the lad in and he never pushed the marriage issue after that. However, he still wouldn't leave me.
I had been looking for a good enough excuse to dump him--an excuse so obvious that even he would see the value in it--and I found it at Thanksgiving. A kind couple in his church congregation had invited him to their Thanksgiving feast and he invited me to go with him. He lived a good 45 minutes from me and traffic was terrible. I arrived at his place 15 minutes late. He had already left. No note. No directions to the couple's home. No nothing. I was angry, to say the least. I called his cell phone from a payphone nearby and he was already having dinner. He said I was late so why should he wait for me? I gave him my one good fricking reason, which he had apparently not thought about prior to my pointing it out to him. I hung up on him and drove home. I spent Thanksgiving in my apartment, alone. I was thrilled and relieved.
The following Monday after work I knew I would run into him on my way out the door. I asked my boss to walk with me, which he didn't mind at all. My boss was somewhat wide, and I figured if shots rang out I could use his body as a shield. I saw Guido standing near the exit, waiting for me. He asked if he could talk to me and I told him no. He asked again as I walked past, again telling him he could not, nor could he at any point in the future. I kept walking and lived to tell the tale. He emailed me a few times afterwards, which only set my blood pressure spiking, and he eventually stopped after my many angry responses pointing out his raving lunacy to him. He married some poor, young, unsuspecting thing, despite her mother's pleas to reconsider. And then he got fired for spying on his coworkers--something he found perplexing since he was positive that they were terrorists. "Stupid laws!" he complained. So. Very. Comforting.
Is there a moral to this story? But one: clearly, I am entirely and completely irresistible. And you can take that to the bank/asylum.