“I know who you think you are, sorry I’ve turned you on but now I’m kissing you off, your lines are whiskey and cigarettes. They’re not enough to make me forget”-Halestorm
When I first met Lestat I would get gifts from him for Mother’s Day, Christmas, my birthday and even Easter, yes Easter. And in turn I would bake his birthday cakes and buy him a shirt or something I thought was meaningful, like a pen set and name plaque for his desk. Then he told me that he knew I didn’t have much money and that I didn’t need to buy him anything. Before he began to ask me what I wanted as a gift for Christmas or birthday he would just buy me something he thought I’d like. For the first ten years or so I suspected he thought he was shopping for his wife because I got clothes that only a goddamned short, fat, matronly English teacher would wear, you know sweaters with appliques and shiny crap all over it. I never once wore them, but I thanked him very lovingly.
As time went on I could see he began to pay attention to my sense of style and taste in fashion, or so I thought. For the last couple of years of our relationship I began to get things that pertained to my alma mater (UTEP) and my favorite NFL team (Steelers). And I thought to myself now he’s paying attention to my likes or dislikes. He gave me jewelry on two occasions one was for Mother’s Day, he gave me a beautiful gold and diamond heart shaped pendant and for the last Christmas we spent together he actually asked me what I wanted and I told him I wanted a Pandora charm bracelet.
But before then I had gotten a lot of NFL and College swag which I loved, until one day as we sat together and he was looking for a picture on his phone of his dog (I don’t remember why). As he scrolled that’s when I saw it, a picture of Fiona and his kids in front of their house and that’s when I thought to myself this fat bitch is wearing the very same pullover sweatshirt with a big embroidered UTEP in the front only it was a different color. Then it was confirmed by another picture he scrolled past of her ugly face with the exact same scarf and beanie except hers was bearing the Green Bay Packers logo and mine was from the Steelers. Now to some this isn’t a big deal, but I believed that I was unique in so many ways so as not to be lumped in with his idiot wife Fiona. So what did I do? I went off on his stupid ass! I told him that it wasn’t killing two birds with one stone, and what the FUCK was he doing buying her shit like that if he didn’t care for her! Then the motherfucker actually asked me “Is that bad?” Before I went off on him again I had to think of an ex-boyfriend of mine that he hated (I mean really hated) and that was Kyle the brilliant Military man and physician, he hated him for being successful and handsome oh and younger than me.
I responded with “So if you knew you had something I had given you for Christmas and you found out I had given Kyle the very same thing you’d be okay with it?” He looked at me with that deer in the headlights look he gave me only when I’ve caught him in an emotional dilemma that he didn’t have an answer for. He then looked straight at me and then he said “You’d better not give me what you gave him!” And then I said to him “I rest my case, one) because I’m not as fat as your wife, two) because I have taste and three) I am sophisticated and classy god dammit so don’t ever fucking do that again!” He couldn’t resist, he asked me if I had given him something that I had gotten Kyle in the past.
Of course I didn’t answer him even though I knew I hadn’t and you know why? Because I was going to let him wonder about it for weeks to come, I knew him well and this would bother him to no end. Like the splinter underneath the skin. I’m not that fucking stupid or insensitive but I wanted him to suffer a bit, of course he forgot about the Him/Kyle question but continued to remind him about not buying me and his wife the same fucking types of gifts every chance I got.
After this little “spat” I took all the shit that he’s given me that was exactly like hers and put in the Goodwill donation bin. Earlier in our relationship I would have never, ever thrown anything he gave me away. I’m serious when I say this, up until the last five years of our relationship, I had kept each and every rose and the cards that came with the flowers. I would cut the buds off the stems, let them dry and I had all of them, fifteen years of dried rose buds in a pretty little treasure box. Along with the cards, one which said “I will allways love you” yes, that is how he spelled always. They meant something to me, those things were important somehow because they came from him. But after this insensitive and ever so stupid and thoughtless gesture, I took all of those dried up flowers and cards and set them on fire on my backyard grill.
As I watched all those, once sentimental items go up in flames that is when I began to feel my heart start to harden, become jaded in ways I never thought possible. I stood there with lighter fluid in hand, as the smoldering flames consumed the handwritten cards, the words written in ink turning the beautiful card into black-brown ash and disappearing into the wind. That is when those items turned from something special to just a pile of dead flowers and stupid cards with meaningless words.
During the course of our on and off, dysfunctional relationship, I decided to give online dating a try, because of course in the age of social media this is how people met. It wasn’t being set up by friends, meeting someone at work, going out to bars or restaurants and hoping to find someone worthy of meeting. But, I did try and turned out to be a complete disaster. The very first attempt I was contacted by a guy who claimed he was a US Marshal, and of course I didn’t have any reason not to believe him right? Of course not, but something in the pit of my stomach told me that he may have embellished his occupation. He had a picture posted on his online profile and one couldn’t really see his face because he had a football helmet on. He claimed he played for a city football league. So I thought he’s athletic, something Lestat wasn’t, and he was younger than Lestat, but older than I was. So I’ll call this lying bundle of shit Rick, and when he’d call me I’d get a “private” or “blocked number’ message on my phone. Hmm second suspicious thing right? Yep I agree, but I’m going to go on with my story, it gets better. Anyway Rick managed to ask to meet me and of course I said yes, so we met and all the prick did the entire time was talk about himself.
He scarcely asked me about what I did, where I was from or why I was on an online dating site but I still gave him the benefit of the doubt, even though I shouldn’t have. After three weeks of him telling me he was a US Marshal and getting blocked calls on my cell I decided to do a little bit of detective work (it helps having friends in law enforcement). So what I found was that this loser (yes LOSER) was still married, on his way to a second divorce because his current wife was getting back with her ex-husband, and he seemed to have an M.O (modus operandi) in relationships. This is what he did; he’d stalk out his target, somehow convince them to marry him, then when that relationship began to go south he’d begin looking for another before the current wife/girlfriend kicked him out of their house and usually she was the one with the money……..yeah total LOSER!
With some arduous detective work (and help from some law enforcement buddies) I also managed to find out that he wasn’t a US Marshal (shocker huh?) and that what he really did was he was a maintenance man in a plastics factory on the eastside of town. AND he also had more than a few child support legal actions against him so basically his entire paycheck was going towards paying child support. No wonder he chose women with money or with some money at least because he was fucking idiot. He bragged about his high school years of playing football (sound familiar?) and that he coached a youth football team as well. I went to go see one of his team’s games, I took my youngest son with me and it was enjoyable until of course he turned out to be a complete and utter fraud. So after not getting a phone call or text from him for two days I decided to take things into my hands. The next time he called I decided to tell him that it was a good idea if we didn’t see each other anymore.
About a half an hour later my doorbell rang, and as I looked through the peephole and saw him standing at my front door, dressed in a suit and overcoat and (get this) a badge clipped to his belt. I was curious so I opened the door, I mean I could have just let him keep ringing my doorbell until he left. But I wanted to see what this asshole had to say, so I opened the door. As soon as he saw me he threw a huge smile my way and that’s when I noticed he had a tooth missing from his right side, the first premolar to be exact. I mean, how could I have missed this, really? Anyway he was decked out in his Sunday duds and I stood there at the door and he kept smiling and I finally said “Yes?” and he asked if he could come in and I said no. He asked why and I said to him “do I need to have a reason why? No I fucking don’t because it’s my house right?” His smile quickly disappeared.
He cleared his throat and said “I came right over as soon as I got off the plane I came by to ask you in person why you came to this decision” (yeah plane from where asshole, the corner of 1-10 and Yarbrough?) I was already in my pajamas because it was fucking 8:45 on a Sunday night and I stood there with my arms crossed and carefully thought of my response. “Well, Rick, if that is your real name, I came to this decision because I don’t like being lied to. I think that maybe you need to find yourself someone stupid with money as opposed to me, someone smart but broke.” He looked at me and asked me “What are you talking about? Lying? What?” I stared at him up and down and then said to him “yeah, lying. I mean what is it that you’re looking for here, a place to move into? Just so you know, that isn’t going to happen. Also I want you to know that impersonating an officer is bad, but impersonating a federal agent that’s even worse.” Finally even the sarcastic smirk was gone from his face because he must have known that I knew the truth about him.
I told him that I had several friends in local and federal law enforcement (it’s true) and that I had asked one of them in federal law enforcement to look him up and then he actively began to panic. I threw the kitchen towel I had been holding over my left shoulder and told him that I knew he was still married, that he worked at a plastics plant and what he really did for a living, I mean other than impersonating federal agents that is. I told him if he didn’t get off my front porch I would call the real cops on him and he could explain to them why he was standing there with a fake federal badge clipped to his belt. Without a word, he quickly turned around and walked to his 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix and got in, and without looking back he drove away. I could now feel the cold of that crisp November night and thought to myself as I sighed out loud, man can I pick them or what?
Needless to say Rick the fake US Marshal never bothered me again, thank God. But that was only one in a long string of losers and miscreants that I encountered in my online dating adventures. I mean I’m not saying that all the guys on there are bad because they’re not, I met a few who were really nice and potential boyfriend material as a matter of fact. They just didn’t like or weren’t interested in me. So on to online date #2, he was from Las Cruces, and I was okay with that because I’m going to give a guy a shot at impressing me no matter where he is from and I hoped that they will do the same for me in return. So the thing about online dating is that people lie, they lie about who they are, what they do and about their physical appearance. That I why I only looked at profiles that had pictures on them, but let’s face it even those pictures can be doctored or worse they can be years old and that isn’t what they look like anymore.
I get it, we all want to project our best self but what the fuck is going to happen when you finally meet this person face to face and find that you’ve aged, gained weight and lost your hair? Come the fuck on Bridget (Bridget Jones Diary) follow the light and get back to reality! So, onto date #2, we began talking and we talked a lot, I mean A LOT! Like three weeks into our phone relationship (somehow I felt I should have begun to charge him) and although we talked constantly, not once did he mention wanting to meet me. What I did was I decided to ask him out on a date, and I even offered to drive to Las Cruces and have dinner over there. He said yes and we set a day and time to meet. As the day got closer I began to get a bit more excited because I had seen pictures of him online and he sounded like a truly nice guy. So that Saturday I got all gussied up in my best, picked out a sexy (but not too sexy) outfit, picked the perfect set of high heeled shoes to go with it and carefully applied my makeup.
As I drove 46 miles to Las Cruces he called me to tell me he was excited to meet me and that he was anxiously waiting for me at the restaurant we picked, the Winery in Mesilla NM. But that it was super packed and maybe we should go to our second choice, an Italian restaurant off the interstate. I said that was fine and he said he’d be there in about fifteen minutes. Meanwhile I was already driving into the parking lot and I told him I’d wait outside the restaurant for him. We hung up the phone and my hands began to sweat, I hadn’t been this nervous in a long time, since I first met and kissed Lestat actually. He had described what he was driving and as I saw an SUV similar to what he had described my hands began to sweat. I saw the driver side door open and this kid jumped out and I thought to myself, aww how sweet his son drove him because he’s nervous…….WRONG!
The little kid jumping out of the driver side door of the Chevy Tahoe was him. He began to walk towards me and I heard him say my name, “Veronica?” And I looked at him and I got up from the wooden bench I was sitting at and it got worse as I stood. I towered over this motherfucker by like two entire feet! Okay maybe not two feet but the guy couldn’t have been more than four foot ten, he only came up to just a bit below my shoulders and I’m 5’4! He had to lean upwards to kiss my cheek and that’s when it sunk in that this date was going to go very bad. First of all let me explain as to not make myself sound pretentious or narcissistic in anyway, I don’t have anything against short guys. But with that said, I am very rarely attracted to guys my height because I love tall men. I think it has to do with my ex-husband who is one inch shorter than I am and that experience was not a happy one. So maybe it held over from there but I know what I like and what I want.
We went into the Italian restaurant and they sat us in a small table in the very front of the restaurant facing the road passing by the NMSU (the University) and the waitress took our drink order. He began to talk and I was already mad because yet again I had been lied to, his fucking profile said he was 5’10 and there was no way this Oompa Loompa was five foot ten inches tall. So even then I told myself I was going to give him a chance because we had talked over the phone for over three weeks and we had a good rapport. Then we ordered and I had mentioned to him that dinner was on me, but that didn’t mean sending back the dish he didn’t like and ordering something else……TWICE! He kept complimenting me on how beautiful I was and how pretty my eyes were and shit like that, which lets face it I hadn’t heard in quite a while. Then after his fourth glass of wine I asked for the check, as I was already annoyed that he had asked for doggie bags for the food he didn’t like. Then he made the mistake of telling me he was literally going to take the leftover food home to his dog!
As the waitress brought me the check, I decided I was going to see if the motherfucker would attempt to reach for it. But he didn’t all he did was order another glass of wine and when the waitress came by with the bottle to pour it into his glass I grabbed the check and told her “Please put that on his tab, I’m not paying for that, thanks” and I walked over to the register to pay for dinner and he followed me (carrying the plastic bags with the food he was talking to his fucking dog) and somehow that annoyed me even more. He asked me if there was something wrong and I said “David, I’m going to go home now and it was nice to meet you, thanks but no thanks” and I walked out of the restaurant with less dignity than I had prior to getting there. As I walked out towards my car he followed me, running while holding a plastic bag in both hands and yelled “Does this mean I can’t call you?” I turned and looked at him, didn’t say anything and got in my car and left the parking lot as fast as my Ford Fusion could go.
I got into I-10 headed east and in stunned silence I thought to myself I needed to give up online dating all together because I keep attracting nothing but liars who thought that if they lied on their profiles women would actually overlook these things when meeting them in person. WE WON’T! You can’t lie about something like body build or how tall you are, that’s only lying to yourself. As I drove in the darkness of the Organ Mountains my phone rang, it was David. I mean what the fuck did this dude want? Not only did I pay for dinner, which he not once offered to pay for, but then I realized that I told the waitress to put the other two entrees he’d ordered and doggie bagged on a ticket for him to pay for along with the last glass of wine, so maybe that was it. I let it go to voicemail and he called me five times before I put my phone on silent and drove back into El Paso in disappointment and disheartenment. Stay tuned for part 19….