Sunday, November 18, 2012

Addicted To Love Or Adventures In Singlesville

By Doug Vehle, The Daily Bosco

So he was almost through the door, almost into a place 'Where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came.'

Right at that moment he just about burst, saying "I'm not going in THERE," then as he stalked off he let loose with "DOOOOOOOH!"

There was nothing wrong with the restaurant that I was trying to get him into.   It was just too peaceful for him. He wanted to be loud tonight.

He had woman trouble. 

This is a guy from the neighborhood when I was growing up.   I was friendly with all these guys, but didn't get to be friends with them because they were into things I didn't want to be around. I'm still friendly with those who are still alive.

So now his divorce is getting old enough that he really should be getting used to dating.  Of course he never got used to it before he was married, so why start now? This time around he's learning about types of women he didn't have to worry about before.

It starts with a hundred or so here and there, works it's way up until he's trying to give her $500 before she can ask for $1,000. This is for a woman who doesn't discourage the guys from trying to talk to her when she's with him.  He's seen her hand out her phone number if he steps away.

Getting back to the subject of what I don't want to be around:  He'd already had a few drinks,  and now the guy who quit smoking is digging out the last cigarette from the pack he bought less than 24 hours ago because he needed it too much.

I'm asking him what he thought was going to happen, he says "I just wanted to be happy." I remind him women are the cure for happiness, not the cause of it.

He holds that cigarette in a way I'm all too familiar with even though I never held anything that way myself, or wanted to be around anyone holding it.

"So you're back to smoking all of it?" Best way to handle them is point blank. He starts to insist he hasn't smoked anything else since he doesn't remember when. "I still have some at home, but I don't. . . ." So he wasn't going to finish that thought, he just suddenly stared off in the distance as though he had just heard his name called.

I've dealt with a lot of addicts.  They admit to thinking they hear the drug of choice talk to them at times. This one I don't really think of his drug of choice as being what he would smoke. It may have gotten him through his bad marriage until she finally left him, but I remind him he might have had better sense than to marry her if he hadn't had his little helper getting him through.

Now the hair of the dog in his case wasn't really a drug.   It was the familiar pain of a bad relationship. So I wasn't going to be able to sit him down in a calm environment and just talk and laugh. Just before I met up with him someone was asking me who the woman was I was with Friday night.

I said I wasn't with a woman on Friday, but he insisted he saw us walking on that very block we were standing on just two nights earlier. To which I realized he had seen me the perhaps 300 feet I'd walked along with an old girlfriend I'd run into. Again friendly, but into things I didn't want to be around.

As a newlywed she'd walked in a nearby restaurant I was in and shouted for her husband "Here's that guy I was telling you about. Like on the TV commercial." She told me of the exciting turn of her life in that she'd actually rode on the back of a motorcycle. To her I'd been some sort of wild man, so much so that the commercial she was talking about came on a screen and she pointed to it: I'm sure you're guessing it was the Dos Equis "Most interesting man in the world" campaign.

Her husband had seemed boring enough for her, I'm not sure why the marriage didn't last. But I'm sorry, that conversation I had with her last Friday night wasn't going to last. Even though it sure seems the alternative is nothing at all. That quick little reminder of more monotony than even I can stand was immediately followed by meeting up with the guy seeking more excitement than he could stand. How many times could he fit "It's over, it's ALL OVER" into one evening? How many jokes about another evening of him saying that could I make?

At last I learn the real reason he needs so bad to be out: She left something at his house. He told her he'd leave it at her place in the morning, she insisted on coming to his place for it that night, so he didn't want to be home. Now he was thinking of the tools of his salvation that awaited him. He'd been shouting about not wanting to be alone anymore, now he was remembering how he'd handled that problem before. He could rush home and be ready for her.

I was pointing out that he could put the item she conveniently left at his house in case of emergency outside the door. Even if she knocked he wouldn't have to let her inside. But I knew she get would get inside. He would go back to the comfort of familiar pain, telling himself he was feeling no pain at all after a protective smoke. The work of cleaning himself up was going to unravel completely. He'd never been in the gutter, a lot of people who wreck there lives don't do it because of what they're using, it's only a tool to aid them in self destruction.

He'll just accomplish it quicker than if he was clean and sober. Just like the guy we knew who, on television, wouldn't stop for the police after he'd just bought and killed himself running that red light. And I'm reminded of once trying to talk to a still new girlfriend about her drinking, before it reached the point it was beyond her control, before things reached the point I was beyond my own control. I remember that moment when she told me her drinking was more important to her than I was, oh boy do I remember that moment.

That's what happens to those who confront problems head on. Oh, what I said leading up to that moment. This from a woman who wasn't trying to hide that she was husband seeking. So hard to walk away from what had otherwise seemed like a great relationship so far, but harder still it would have been the next year after I'd weathered what was obviously coming. As I was witnessing when this guy jumped in his car and drove off in a rush. I had told him if he let her in the house he'd be indifferent about all those things he said about her before. And I'm sure she got in. Not that he's admitted it.

I've had well over 100 employers working freelance; never what I asked for. I don't think I've had 100 first dates, it only seems like it. Never asked for that either. Seems like every bad first date leaves me to relive all the other bad first dates.

Watching this guy reminds me I could not ever want a second with this particular bunch. I just wish I'd realized it every time. Before you say that makes me the wrong person to talk to about woman trouble, I say it makes me just the right one. He's on only the third girlfriend of his life. At least I envy him that. But he's only starting to realize there's a pattern to it all, that in his case he wants this noncommittal relationship where this time his coming up with the money spares him some overt demonstration of caring while she probably didn't realize she'd lapsed into the role of the user any more than he realized he lapsed into being used.

But I've seen it all before, I have it memorized. Makes it hard to think about going on another first date. Especially for the type who'd have probably married the first girlfriend of his life from back in gradeschool, had there been one. What a laugh, when I think about who that would have been. Talk about seeing your girlfriend not discouraging these other guys. . . . Instead all these first dates have become a very familiar pain, but it's definitely not a pain I'm comfortable with.

Your type may be the stable, ready to deal with life sort, but being that way doesn't make a woman single and available. Ah well, as he drove off to meet his fate I was thinking about how mine wasn't decided yet.

A short walk away, a woman was working a cash register. One who always puts my change in my hand with both her hands, sort of cupping my hand in hers for a moment as she looks up so earnestly. She's lost more than 20 pounds recently, I'm wondering if being around her would cause me to do the same.

Might be worth it getting hit up for a few hundred if I did lose it.

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