I once took this online quiz where you entered the date of your birth and it told you what the chart topping pop song of that month was; supposedly telling you the theme song of your life.
Mine was “Man Eater”. This is so ironic it’s almost sickening. I don’t take pride in this, obviously, because the pride and power that I had found in attracting and manipulating men had become a problem. I was using my influence over the opposite sex as a weapon for harm, not for good. I had broken a few hearts over the years, but it was all a defense mechanism so that I wouldn’t have to suffer a broken heart again myself.
This next story I still feel really awful about. I was waitressing at the Olive Garden and my friend (and roommate) was serving a table of cute guys, one of which was interested in me. He had asked if I would come over and talk to him and since I was convinced (at first glance) he looked kinda like a taller version of my crush at the time (Pharrell) I agreed.
I’ll just call this one Pharrell. He was a beautiful, tall, fully tattooed man with incredible style. I emphasize “man” because he was at least 8-10 years older than I was. That in and of itself was instantly attractive. I was over all the dopes that were my age. Come to find out, he lived across the street (like, literally) from my apartment complex. If that wasn’t a sign, I didn’t know what was.
I don’t even remember much from our first date, but I do remember what he said when he came to pick me up. I was dressed super casual. He told me how much he loved the fact that I didn’t try to dress up super formal and showy for him which really showed a lot about the kind of guy he was. This was someone who wasn’t looking for arm candy. He was a chill dude looking for a good girl he could be in a relationship with. The fact that I wasn’t 21 yet, couldn’t drink with him, still read my Bible every day (whether or not I was living by the Word) and was still a virgin, were total turn-ons to him.
I felt safer with such an older man who had such good intentions with me. At one point he even told me that he could see himself marrying me. He called me “Tiger”, a nickname that made me feel all at once sexy, sassy, childish and grown up at the same time. We didn’t really date for long, but his creativity and maturity were absolutely inspiring.
Here’s the extent of Pharrell and I’s whirlwind romance:
-He would come over to my apartment after work and the gym and we’d hang, talk, watch movies with my roommates, drink a little, eat food….just chill….
-We went out on a few dates. They were fun. They were cute. I was digging him.
-He invited me and my younger cousin out with some of his older friends and I said, “Yeah, I don’t think she’d feel comfortable around all your older friends” which he apparently took to mean, “You and your old friends are stupid and we don’t wanna be around them”! He hung up on me. I did NOT mean that.
-I picked him up at a party or something and drove him to his house (he was too drunk, maybe? I can’t remember). Sitting in the car outside his house, he hugged me and then said, “Have you been smoking pot?” He really prided himself on no longer smoking and had explicitly said he was not cool with me doing it either. The crazy thing here is that I had not been smoking pot. Like, at all. No one at the party I was at had been smoking anything except for cigarettes. But for some strange, unknown, insane reason (that I don’t even totally understand to this day) I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Yeah.”
I said YEAH! I knew he’d be upset and I lied anyway. He stormed out of the car and went inside his house.
-I think we broke up after this, but I wasn’t sure we were even “together” to begin with, so, as I had grown accustomed to doing, I just moved on with my life and tried to forget about him.
We kind of hung out again from time to time, returning to a “friendly” status, but I was determined to be over it. I justified it by convincing myself that he was “too moody” and sensitive and opinionated and often made me feel like a young, stupid idiot.
Which, by the way, I totally was.
Why did I lie? Why did I sabotage this perfectly sweet relationship with one of the first non-jerks I had dated in years?
I WISH I KNEW. All I can think, to this day, is that subconsciously I knew he wasn’t the one. Subconsciously I was protecting myself from getting in deep with someone I wasn’t meant to marry.
Obviously, (spoiler alert) he wasn’t the man I was meant to be with (I am currently in a 12 year marriage and you’ll hear about him later). But I think the reason I lied had to do with more than that.
I think I was just afraid. Afraid of being hurt. Afraid of true intimacy. Afraid of real love again.
I made a lot of bad decisions and hurt a lot of people because of fear. And the moral of the story is this:
I’m really sorry about that.