Today I will be briefly plunking myself into a sort of mental exile from the office insaniacs to make a wholehearted attempt to (“t h a n k” ???) say something nice about all the exes whose pathological personalities and outright horrible behavior propelled me like a rubber-band slingshot to madness and back again. You see, I’ve been struggling with this Jiminy Cricket-ish problem lately…
Each time I attempt to draft my (hilariously) derisive tales of woe based on my first marriage – or any of the relationships which followed – the disapproving grimace of the hippie, free-love, karma-and-incense wielding Daddy who loved me appears in the back of my mind. My relationship postmortems might be uproariously funny, but methinks Dad might shake his head and say, “Isn’t that a tad too revealing and kind of harsh?”. Actually, he would definitely say that…
Hopefully, this post will come across as a more constructive, therapeutic exercise rather than my usual snarky rants. As all of you know by now, I tend to cultivate my unsavory desire to jab furiously at someone as if they were a voodoo doll; using my pen/keyboard as pins. The point (no pun intended!) is I did manage to compile a nice long list of eureka moments and forehead-slapping epiphanies out of a decade-plus of muck from which all you loyal readers can benefit. It doesn’t really matter that I had to sleep with a few morons and a handful of man-slut psychos to get them, does it?
My first marriage successfully illustrated to my disbelieving, twentysomething self that “Stupid” wasn’t always stupid. Once upon a time, a nice-looking doofus tempted me to perform various acts of compassionate assistance; but pity ran cold and bitter when it became quite obvious that his clueless facade was only a tool to perpetuate my sympathy. There were only so many times my mind was able to interpret “scrambled pancakes,” accidental impalements, drunken stupors and mechanical mishaps (setting a dishwasher on fire or flooding our 24th-floor apartment) as “cute”.
While “Stupid” perfected the art of all things moronic, I managed to craft my own “How to Deal with Dummies” guide:
- How to duck to avoid cordless handsets flying towards my face: It helps that I’m short and can “drop it like it’s hot”.
- How to make good friends with cranberry juice and acidophilus (after a one-year stint on Macrobid).
- How to skillfully use creative nonfiction and a bucket of tears to significantly reduce thousand-dollar long-distance bills: After an entire hour of begging and crying, AT&T finally agreed to take Mr. Himbo’s current address. Somehow the collections department didn’t initially believe my exaggerated sobbing or that he was entering MY apartment with the key he kept (after we separated) at the time of all those 900-number calls to phone-sluts in the Dominican Republic.
- How to stand up for my right to free speech by way of momentary insanity and a steak-knife: My journal, which he had stolen to show his coworkers the glaringly unkind (yet uncannily accurate) poetry I wrote about him, was returned to me – all pages intact – immediately thereafter.
- How to finally shake off the spell of “Stupid” long enough to tell him to talk to the hand: Assisting in my wakeup call was a 200-page eviction notice taped to the door of our lovely, affordably-mortgaged co-op apartment thanks to Dumbass not paying for several months. Without saying a word.
- How to find the ability to thank Husband #1 for the painfully slow and super-excruciating lessons which illustrated how far from myself I should really draw the line in the concrete and how to finally upgrade my standards.
After years of putting up with a spouse who was way too comfortable pretending to be mentally challenged, I gave him the gift of his freedom; which was something his moronic behavior and incessant lying told me he really, really wanted. He continues to display his appreciation to me by telling everyone who will listen that I am a sneaky cunt who ruined his life; even though he’s currently living large and in charge up in a nice, new house in a New York suburb with a fancy name. He sits home counting his allowance, waiting for his severance to run out, watching porn and driving the smart-car (how appropriately IRONIC) his third wife bought. You’re welcome…
Apparently HE experienced some growth after our experience together as well and our son was nice enough to share this gem of information with me. Moron took the boy aside one day – on an increasingly rare weekend-visit – and endowed him with all he learned from being married to me. In his infinite wisdom, he told the then 18-year-old that I successfully ruined him for skinny women forever. (As a size 6-8 on a slightly-less-than 5′ frame, I’m really not “skinny”.) My ex-husband will never, ever date or marry another single-digit sized woman again. If you’re a size 10 and under, feel free to REJOICE! Sizes 12 and above, email me.
*Ladies, take heed that too much tolerance & kindness because a boyfriend is seemingly a harmless, sweet moron is not a good thing.
Ok, Daddy – I’ll try again…
I would now like to allocate some gratitude to a succession of ex-boyfriends who came around during the end of that marriage for some much-needed positive attention in a world of depression, self-doubt and negativity. Some arrived bearing gifts of dubious political correctness – what do you bring a sexy half-Latina upon arriving for a booty-call? BACARDI, of course! Some borrowed money never to be repaid. Some blamed me for the implosion of their lives – couldn’t possibly have been the alcoholism and womanizing, could it!?? One turned me into a pile of question marks after I called in sick to spend the day in bed with him – He stripped showing off an instantly horrifying, sexy-mood obliterating, venomous insect tattoo just above his private-area. If that’s not an awkward WTF message when you’re on the verge of getting it on with someone … I honestly don’t know what is.
Lastly, there is one person for whom I would love to throw a HUGE, confetti-strewn “Thank You” parade down Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn.
Full of ancient, Mediterranean pride, hilariously butchered American colloquialisms and a wardrobe which included an array of uber-fashionable items from International Male, the crazy behavior of my then-beau highlights my dating files with flashing neon bulbs of warning. Since then, if I was out on a date – or even out with friends for drinks – and a red flag popped up in my head, it was because something or other (a crazy waitress; flying napkins; an angry drunk) reminded me of the Crazy Greek.
Although he possessed many talents and skills such as the aforementioned slaughtering of common American idioms (illustrated here); the ability to practically charm my mother’s pants off by ordering my favorite goat-cheese salad while I tended to needs in a restaurant Ladies Room and a penchant for manic displays of spontaneous jubilation while watching The Wall on DVD – this single, most complicated relationship really took the cake. The entire fiasco provided me with the best motivation in my life, besides the ordeal of marriage #1, to once again reassess my mate-selection skills.
Despite sharing a fair amount of laughs with the Big Fat Greek Nut-Job, I could not avoid the thwack-walloping, jaw-dropping moments of self-destruction brought on by his brand of Bizarro-World Tony Robbins coaching. After finally earning myself an honorary Associate’s Degree in Dispute Management and Ditching the Lunatic 101 from being the Crazy Greek’s on-again/off-again main squeeze, I gained a few more skills, some priceless experience, and maybe one odd facial tic:
- If a boyfriend is constantly trying to help you improve yourself and the effects of his less-than-gentle guidance are your puffy eyes, ice-cream binges and the urge to fondly caress your HS art-class X-Acto knife, then he should be urged to date someone else.
- I am more than OK with having “relationship problems” if I decide to cut MY hair or wear that coat the boyfriend absolutely hates.
- I now possess a nose for manipulation and generic insanity. I kid you not – my sniffer now functions as a slightly itchy radar-indicator whenever someone tries to pull a fast one on me or fires up the crazy-train to Lunatic-ville. Some twitch-inducing scenarios that may have caused this noticeable sign of neurosis:
- Exhibit A – PLASTIC MAN: Fancy-evening out just to tell me he thought he felt a lump in my breast 3 weeks earlier and perhaps it might require a little re-examination after some Ouzo – wink, wink. Ummm, okayyy…
- Exhibit B – “DRIVERS’ ED”: “Helping” me learn some driving skills via incessant bitching & moaning. After I made several attempts to dodge, his bitching escalated to screaming orders at me to immediately fix his intentionally crooked-ass parking job. Right before our date. He always really hated the fact that I did not drive so after an endless half-hour of verbal bullshit, I wound up shoving the ignition key in so hard that it jammed the steering wheel. This thereby disabled my ability to turn off the car as well as any potential to enjoy the rest of that evening. The non-stop scream machine blocked my path around him until I finally couldn’t take it and pulled a duck & run. What was really fun? – Riding the bus home while crying uncontrollably; trying to silence my cellphone which was beeping nonstop (texts from the psycho), while at the same time digging for tissues in my bag to wipe my face and nose. Maybe this is why I hate multi-tasking…
- Exhibit C – THE “911”: He took me on a half-hour departure from a restaurant where we took my father for Father’s Day. Wacko-boyfriend insisted I help remove something from his throat, or his eye or WHATEVER-the-FUCK it was – SIX BLOCKS AWAY near his car(!!?).
Another lesson of exceptional value is that if the boyfriend leaves more than three messages on your answering machine in one evening because he’s mad and the caller ID and the background noise changes after the first 4 messages, then he is most likely a stalker. As an add-on to that lesson, NEVER take the first-floor, street-side apartment. He can always see when you’re home (the last 6 or 7 of the aforementioned messages).
Really, Daddy – I AM trying!
To examine the place where I am today and everything I’m lucky to have – a job that inspires; a healthy second marriage; my sanity (which took a bit of work); a son who doesn’t dwell too much on the idiot father who stopped talking to him over a Facebook post 3 years ago – NONE of it would be possible without the entirety of my past. I still sometimes receive kudos for not being more psychologically damaged; for not requiring meds to keep me even-keeled on a daily basis or a padded room to keep me from walking off a ledge.
For this, I must curtsy in thanks to the aforementioned gentlemen. (Notice the lack of quotations?) May Destiny have already blessed and continue to bless you with everything you deserve…
It remains a high point for me to know all the ways in which it has – Crazy Greek is still an unmarried, obsessive-compulsive, well-dressed hoarder (like the TLC show) and ex-Mr. Himbo has 2-going-on-3 failed marriages, 2 kids with different mothers and is currently unemployed and chained not only to NYS Support Services (the REASON I am a sneaky-cunt) but also to his third wife who owns everything including the deed on his balls.
Well, I tried. Sorry Daddy!