Because all the winners seem to go for me (aka The Break Up Bag)...

Sometimes things happen to me that are just far too ridiculous to keep to myself.

A guy I went to high school with (but hadn't seen in 10 years) friended me on facebook. We'll call him G. Turns out G is getting his Ph D in education at a prestigious university, and he saw on my facebook page that I had been a teacher. He messaged me a few times about teaching and why I decided to leave the profession, and rather than have a long drawn out conversation via facebook messaging, I proposed we get together and actually talk - as in a real conversation. He agreed and then proceeded to list all of the days and nights he was busy, leaving my only option as a Friday night.

Pencil me in for Friday, I said.

And he did. Now, I'm thinking we'd go to Starbucks (I know I'm so original) or maybe spring for a cheap dinner somewhere, but he called me on Thursday night and left a message saying he had made reservations for dinner at 7:00 pm and to let him know if I could make that. Reservations...I'm usually pretty clueless when it comes to affairs of the heart, but even I know a guy who goes out of his way to make reservations for a dinner with a chick he hasn't seen in ten years is thinking date. I felt a little uncomfortable about that, but I was broke, and a free dinner (assuming he'd pay), especially a nice free dinner, might be kind of a treat.

I went to dinner. We went to Little Fish in South Philly, and the food was A-Mazing. They had cute little handwritten menus and only enough room for six tables in the whole restaurant. The waitress was a sweetheart, and the company (ie. the date) was actually not bad at all. I honestly had a good time. I knew G was intelligent, and we managed to easily get past the what-have-you-been-up-to-for-the-past-ten-years conversation and fell into several thriving and reward philosophical and political discussions. And at the end of the night, when I went back to my car, he didn't move in for even a hug. I was safe, and he paid for dinner.

Three days later, while in DC, he sent me a few text messages about Obama and political ongoings and asked me about my trip, and since I was coming back into Philly in a few days via the Chinatown Bus, he suggested we grab dinner. I agreed but stipulated that we had to eat somewhere cheap. (I really would feel guilty about him continuing to pay for expensive dates when I had no intention of putting out.)

I got back into Philadelphia from DC on a Wednesday night and met G for sandwiches at a cute vegetarian place near Chinatown. Again, we had a great conversation, intellectually stimulating. And again, when I left, he didn't even try for a hug. This to me said despite him paying, we were friends.

We went out a few more times over the next three weeks. And every time we saw each other, he'd give me a book I'd mentioned wanting or a magazine clipping I'd said that I'd seen. At first, the presents were flattering, and small enough that I could just smile and be appreciative at how well G listened to me. But after the fourth book, I started to feel a little uncomfortable. So I mentioned that he didn't need to buy me things - it was nice - but he really didn't have to do that. I also explained for the second time my whole horrible marriage/divorce/engagement relationship history which is usuallly a huge turn off for guys and not so casually threw in there that I wasn't interested in any sort of relationships except friendships for the time being. He seemed to agree. Only he started calling, texting, emailing, and facebook messaging me several times a day, as well as buying tickets for events and shows without asking me first if I wanted to go. He even invited me to go have dinner with his parents and his sister and her husband one night. (oh, yeah, I declined.) When he dropped over $100 on Rent tickets for Saturday night and told me about it on Friday, I told him I didn't think I could go, and that I needed to take a step back.

I mean seriously, we'd never even hooked up and I was starting to feel like I was in a long term relationship. (not that I said that to him. I tried to be tactful.)

Too bad, G doesn't do tact.

He proceeded to argue with me about Rent and he talked me in cirlces about going, listing all the reasons I should go and trying to ensure me we were just going as friends, and he made a good argument, and I was so wholly unprepared for someone to argue with my feelings that by the time I hung up the phone an hour later, I was still going to Rent.

Rent was wonderful. The music was amazing, the cast incredible. The dinner at the Four Seasons was also spectacular. But at the end of the night, I still felt like this had to stop. I just didn't have any feelings for G, and his behavior was starting to stress me out. But again, when I brought it up, he tried to argue with me, and I ended up being sort of terse and just leaving. I got home a half hour later and had an email in my inbox which was a bulleted list of all the reasons we should date. Yes, a bulleted list, along wtih the following explanation:
I am sorry if I made you uncomfortable by "spoiling" you. It was not my intention to buy your affection, and I certainly never meant for you to feel guilty. It's just my way of showing that a) I enjoy doing little things that add up to a lot (hence the cookies, teas, etc.), and b) a small financial investment is representative of my larger attempt to be be generous, thoughtful, and eager to do things with you.
***I don't know if it's just me, but this was very much a Pride and Prejudice - Mr. Collins proposing to Elizabeth Bennet moment for me. "Financial Investment" is just about as unromantic as it gets.

If I hadn't been put off my G's advances at that point, I was definitely put off when I finished reading the email.

A few weeks went by, and G called because I had borrowed a book he was reading in one of his education classes and he needed it for a final exam. He needed it ASAP so I offered to drop it off at his apartment, and when I got there, he asked me to come in. I said I couldn't - I was meeting a friend for dinner - and he told me to wait because he had some of "my stuff."

I'm a stickler for language and "my stuff" generally means "stuff belonging to me" but oh no, this was "stuff G bought for me or with me in mind and hadn't given to me yet."

He came out of the apartment with two brown paper grocery bags which included: two books, two magazines, a newspaper article, three CDs, a pair of pink socks, pajamas, a purple towel and wash cloth, face wash, deodorant, a toothbrush, soap, a carton of soymilk, and tortilla chips and salsa.

Now, let's say G didn't want to read the books and for some reason couldn't return anything he'd bought for me. Okay, so he gave it to me. I can accept that even though the face wash, toothbrush, and soap were a little on the creepy side. I can even accept that he bought soymilk in case I wanted to drink something with soymilk while at his house, and then gave it to me because who really drinks soymilk unless you're a veggie like me. But tortilla chips and salsa? They're one of my favorite things to munch on, but seriously? It's not like they go bad or something. It's not like he didn't eat them when we went out for Mexican food. Why didn't he just keep them? Who really gives tortilla chips and salsa away in a break up bag?

But of course along those lines, who really gives a break up bag to a girl they've gone out with over a span of three weeks?

Hell, I didn't even know we were dating.

Just another slice of proof that men are like parking spaces. All the good ones are taken, and the only ones left are handicapped.

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Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

I realized I hadn't ventured through your blog enough, and I'm so glad I decided to. (Though I'm sorry you had to deal with a non-boyfriend - those are always the worst.) While I try not to laugh at other people's...misery...I completely lost it at the end about the chips and salsa. Holy crap, who does that?!


suzie townsend said...

hahahaha, I know right? It's seriously weird.