Mr. Sweet (Nothings)

I often write things down as they are happening hoping to use them right then and there, but for reasons I am unable to post them. Maybe they need to be cleaned up, or maybe they aren’t completed, and need the fat trimmed. More often than not they are absolute crap that will never get placed on here. This one I came across happens to be a mix of fatty crap, but nevertheless, I’m placing it up here.

Let’s call it my late July happenings, because I suspect that’s about when they occurred. Could have been a tad earlier. It’s right about the time I met The Young One, who throws a complication (one that I have no complaints about, but complication nevertheless) into things. I also happened to meet the Mr. Sweet-But-Poor-As-A-Church-Mouse, who I will just refer to as Mr. Sweet from here on out, because his finances really had little to do with why he is a Past-Tense Man.

Cue the harp music to take us back in time …..

I decided to get back into the dating pool. Reactivated that online profile as well as having a friend do a set-up for me. I don’t know what spurs me in these directions. I also can’t figure out how one day I can log onto a site, and it’ll be crickets or nothing but pandering assholes for weeks, changing me from this secure well-adjusted human, to something more akin to feeling wrung out and worthless, with my spirit thrown in some corner like a pair of used pantyhose. Then just to fuck with me, the next time I log in it’s literally me drowning in men and I’m at the helm of the Titantic screaming that I am King of the World. Yes I know I should be Queen, but that throws the whole quote off.

I’m trying to recall what exactly got the ball rolling this time. Things are complicated and weird. I mentioned that a friend of mine recently set me up with a guy she’s known for a while. (I’ve retracted most of that, as it is a near duplicate of: It was cool because I didn’t head into things with any sort of expectations; I really only had one piece of criteria and that was I didn’t want a relationship.

Well that’s not entirely accurate, because every interaction is a relationship of some sort. My point was I didn’t want anything too serious. I wanted someone to spend time with, but that wouldn’t have me feeling like I was in a stranglehold within weeks. If things progressed at the rate we both wanted, great, if not – great. With this newly adopted and defined attitude, I decided that I needed to spread myself a little thinner. Date more than one. The Young One was new, and intoxicating and I needed a diversion, so that I didn’t immerse myself to the point of drowning. So back I went to that old online account, and this time it was shooting fish in a barrel.  

The first one that caught my attention, as well as had the most impact was Mr. Sweet. Attentive, cute, funny, but I smelled trouble. He was a couple of years younger than me, but he was one of those who has a story or an explanation for everything. Even something as small as “So what do you do for a living?”, turned into a novelette. My brain for holding onto details was getting scrambled trying to keep up with everything. You just know when something feels a little … off. He was in all respects opposite of everything that The Young One is. He is as poor as a church mouse. On our first date, — more like our first physical meet-up I simply felt obligated to pick up the tab on my own drinks, and he didn’t blink an eye at that, OR suggest that was a threat to his masculinity. Eh, I didn’t care much at that point either. He is uneducated, but far from stupid. I liked his looks in general. Tall, pretty eyes, nice goat, raspy voice, strong hands. But – he had so much baggage lined up he could start a Luggage Shop. No marriages, (well neither does the Young One) but lots of long term relationships (who am I to point a finger in that direction). I have a small suspicion he could have a drinking problem too. Couple of old DUI’s that of course were never his fault.  On paper things could be lined up to make it all seem perfect. Or at least pretty good. He moved home after losing a job, and his father being diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer. (Cue the sweet “Ahhhhh’s” here) In person, you can see the frayed edges and the stories take on a new meaning. Lack of car because of this. Girfriend gone because of that.

I tried to silence the warning bells that were going off at full kilter. I told him to slow down with me, because he came on like gangbusters. Not physically. Which of course was the hook. I had to actually be the aggressor for a kiss good-night the first night (Yes I do sometimes take the initiative) which of course just endeared him to me a bit more. I’d be a liar-liar if I said I didn’t love the texts that made me laugh. They were consistent. He was building a rhythm. Good morning. Good night. Make me laugh during the day. But the fact was as much as I said slow down, he was pedaling faster and faster. I sort of felt like I was on the back of a bicycle and I was dragging my foot, trying to be the brake that he apparently didn’t know we had. In one respect he would at times almost act like he wasn’t that interested, that we were buddies, and then the next moment he would flip the switch, and would start professing his increasing interest in me. Keeping me off kilter is also an old M.O. that used to work wonders on me. It was almost as if he got a hold of the OLD Handbook on How to Care and Feed a Gina. Someone should have told him the newer version came out years ago.

After a bit though, the cornball jokes got stale, and I found myself mustering up a fake LOL. There was an edge of boredom that was starting to creep in. I think he might have been playing all of his best cards, and was running out. Out came the proverbial tap shoes and one-liner jokes. I had this suffocating feeling I was back in high school, and I know, that had I continued this, it would have been solely to feed that monster of an Ego that I was slowly starting to bring to life. I wasn’t going to bring out the best in this guy, and he was certainly not going to bring the best TO me. The few things we had in common initially, were quickly starting to fade very fast when we would start to talk.  

If I were looking to rescue someone, or even looking to fall into a relationship, this could have temporarily worked. As it was, he came over this past weekend, things were starting to feel a little cooler with the Young One anyway. I’m still having to learn how to do things that don’t have a progression to them outside of just learning one another better. I go back and forth on what I want. I seem to think I know more of what I don’t want, than what I do. There was a small sense of irony that in dating the Young One I am having to learn to slow MY pace down, and at the same time I’m screaming for brakes with the Sweet One.. Like a very weird warped version of Relationship Telephone. Anyway, after a couple of weeks and having met and vetted one another out so to speak, I invited him to my place. My neighbors keep a good eye on me, and while I might be blinded by sweetness, I wasn’t made stupid by it. I offered dinner, but he was good with just a couple of drinks. It was storming outside and we sat on the patio watching the rain fall and talking for hours. I have to say that part was really nice. Then he opened up and told me a story about a woman who I think was a bit more recent than I realized (he’d made it seem like he had been in the “healing process” for about a year, same as me) and the story – well it sort of threw me off. He hadn’t done anything horrid. No animal mutilation, or weird stuff with a kid. No, this showed me the lengths he would go to be in a relationship, and — well any budding respect I may have had for him sort of went down the drain quickly. 

He saw it immediately in my face, and said aloud that he wished he hadn’t shared it with me. I tried to be soft and sweet, and explain that I was glad he had, because there was a part of me that really was. I hate punishing someone for honesty, as much I hate being punished for it. It made him vulnerable, and the fixer in me immediately pinged up. Fortunately the smarter person inside me took control, and was honest with him. I asked him if his life was truly in this much of a shamble, what did he think he could possibly bring to the table in a relationship? He agreed not much. By the time he left he had decided to take down his profile from the site we met on. He said he needed to work on himself, and he realized he wasn’t ready for anything either. He was good for his word. He at least took down the one I knew about. Maybe there are others. He texted me later when he got home that he was going to get his shit together, just wait and see.  

I hope he does. He’s a sweetheart, but a screwed up one at that.  

That’s where I ended this one. Both the entry and the guy. I never saw him again. He continued to text me for a couple of days, but that school boy ardor was missing. I had seen behind the curtain and he knew I had seen. We went from daily texts to maybe a couple a week. I saw that he reconnected his profile within a couple of weeks of taking it down. I think that moment of finding himself was overshadowed by looking for the next woman in his life to take care of him. Which is really what I think he was looking for. You can’t really fault that too much. Women do that allllll of the time. I just didn’t want a guy that I needed to fix, or take care of.

The woman he had told me about that rainy night? He had moved in with her within weeks of meeting her. WEEKS. Like TWO! But — she had money (Needy and a Gold Digger?) and had bought him an expensive bike within a week of shacking up. I saw him for taking whatever life would offer him, without scruples. I knew at that moment I could never have respect for him in the future. Fortunately I don’t have the kind of money to keep a man, nor do I have the personality to want a man who could be kept. Maybe he figured that out too, and that’s why the texts stopped. Maybe he didn’t like the reality that reflected back to him when he looked into my eyes.

Had I been willing to settle for simple and sweet, we might have had a short go of things. I did like his future plans, but they weren’t realistic. And fortunately The Young One is still there, still making it happen.


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