I had been single for 6 months and a friend told me it was time to get back out there on a date. I had been getting messages from an old college classmate that sounded promising. I didn't find him particularly attractive but I was willing to give him a chance. (WHY do I always do this?! What a terrible pattern - going out with people I am not interested in.)
I want to say we met up at Macaroni Grille but I can't really remember. I do remember he walked me to my car and said he was shocked I had agreed to go out with him; that he was surprised I noticed him.
(Note: I never know what to say in these instances. I feel the other person is either looking for a compliment or is trying to (badly) give me a compliment. If you say you didn't pay much attention, that doesn't make them feel attractive AND it could tarnish the potential for a second date. I also don't really think people pay that much attention to me but you don't want to sound self-deprecating. Lose-lose here. PSA: We should all be more comfortable in our own skin. Anyway...I digress.)
I didn't have a bad time at that dinner. Conversation flowed and we reminisced about our old classes and professors. I liked the attention and, true to my pattern, I decided to continue to date him.
He lived about an hour away from me out in the "country". He shared a house with a fellow police officer. He had two very overweight cats, who would jump up on the bed while we were sleeping and lay on my head. (For all of you that think of this as adorable cat behavior, this is when I will mention I am quite allergic to cat hair.) Even knowing of my allergy, he didn't try to keep them out of the room and his bed was covered with cat hair. The lack of cleanliness didn't stop there. Like a lot of twenty-something males, he kept a very sketchy bathroom. I'm not sure how a toilet could be that dirty and one doesn't clean it but hey, maybe I was being too critical? (No, I was not.) Showers should drain and not have all sort of hair and dirt everywhere. Anyone else seeing red flags? Just wait...
He unashamedly picked his nose. You read that correctly. He would drive us to dinner in his big white pick up truck, cranking Dallas Smith, and pick his nose. I made a comment about it and he said he didn't care if it seemed gross. He was not afraid to show who he was or do what he felt like doing. So there we would be. Me, looking out the passenger window pretending it isn't happening, as he flicks boogers out the window. Now, Reader, you must be wondering if I was suffering from head trauma to stick around. You aren't far off. I was in a relationship previously that left me with a lot of emotional hurt. I was trying to distract myself and give someone a chance and admittedly, I was desperate to feel a connection with someone (I believe this mental phase is best described as "pathetically lonely").
I usually drove out his way but at the time I was happy to do it (or, at least, too dumb to speak up about all the miles I was driving). He worked odd hours being a cop, so I thought there wasn't a reason why I couldn't do something nice for him. Also, at the time, my work commute was crazy long...so maybe I was just used to being in the car all the time? (Head trauma sounds more logical.)
One of these trips out to see him was on my birthday. I didn't know what he had planned but he just told me a time to show up. I took extra care doing my hair (I mean, for the birthday picture post at least!) and when I got to his place there was no truck in the driveway. He wasn't home. I called him - no answer. I waited. And waited some more. He didn't show up until almost 2 hours after he asked me to meet. He was picking up a rifle he bought.
He didn't seem clued into why I was upset. He actually said "What is the big deal? We had nothing specific planned other than seeing each other." After I threw some more glares in his direction and I burst out with something very mature along the lines of 'gee, what a thoughtful way to celebrate your girlfriend's birthday'. Reader, as you may have guessed, he forgot. He tried to say that I never told him when it was. Nice attempt to gaslight me...but it didn't work. Even Facebook tells you. I decided to go back home. Not a great birthday.
Again - you would think there were enough red flags here indicating non-compatibility to decorate a Communist hall with. No. I still stayed. It is like knowing you have a raccoon problem where they knock over your trash bin and rip apart the bags making a gross mess in their wake but you STILL don't put a lid on the can...you STILL put out the trash during prime raccoon mischief hour and despair over the banana peels and congealed salad dressing splattered on the back deck.
(Speaking of salad dressing...I get making a late night snack and having a side cup of dipping sauce. I get taking the snack to your bedroom to watch TV. I don't get leaving it sit there for days to harden in the bowl where you need a chisel to clean it out. Yes, I found many dirty dishes throughout his house. I'm getting off track here again...but seriously, why am I stepping loose cat litter scattered all over his floors?! Did he even own a vacuum or hell, even a broom?!)
He decided to move into a new house (one way to get out of cleaning the old one, ha). The new place was absolutely gorgeous, no doubt about it. Nice amount of property - newer amenities...a shower that wasn't stubbornly grimy...a beautiful fire place. The downside? It was farther away than his old place.
At about this time, I was preparing to bring home my new puppy. He went with me so that I could hold the pup in my lap for bonding purposes on the drive. Little did I know what a problem this would be for him. Of course, having a new puppy really limits how long you can be away from home and when. But he told me I couldn't bring the dog to his house. As stated previously, I was the one traveling to him nearly all the time. How is it that I still have to do all the work on top of finding a puppy sitter? And he is telling me that I don't make him a priority? After I got the puppy, we didn't see much of each other. I was so frustrated at the lack of support I was being given.
After 7 months together, it was finally trash day. With a secure lid.
The inability to be flexibility with the new addition in my life really grated on me. I listed a list of reasons why I thought we should "go on a break" in spectacularly awkward fashion. It was the first time I was initiating a breakup with someone who I was exclusively seeing. To his credit, he did try and salvage what we were trying to build but I wasn't having any of it. So the awkwardness of trying to dump him, while being a polite, dragged on over two phone calls before I was able to be fully blunt. He threw some insulting words my way (some of which I deserved because I really botched the break up speech) and that was that.
A couple months later he wanted to meet up to talk. At least it afforded me the opportunity to apologize for how badly I managed that break up chat. (Note to self: One can't be too nice when delivering bad news.) Meeting up also afforded me to see I made the right choice. Nothing had changed. He picked his nose and wiped it on the bar. If that isn't trashy behavior, I don't know what is.