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  • Saturday, September 16, 2006

    Amusing distraction

    This article in the WaPo about disastrous dates was a fun illustration of human behavior. And a reminder why dating is truly a game (although it shouldn't be). Bleh.

    I don't have any dating stories that are this bad... although I do have a few memorable ones.

    How about the guy who got married at 21 and divorced at 35 and only when I met him was he living on his own for the first time ever at 38...? Straight from parents' home to married life to a series of live-in girlfriends and never on his own. No big deal usually, but wait... there's more that makes this lack of independence quite meaningful.

    So, it turns out that "date guy" grew up with an extremely dysfunctional homelife. Mother was divorced from his father and remarried. Dad had run off years earlier, and date guy grew up with step-dad. Date guy was so disgusted with his dad that he changed his name to step-dad's last name in college. I guess step-dad was his male role model, such that he was. Mom wasn't any better. Apparently, mom didn't think much of men, so she always berated date guy and derided his masculinity, etc. while he was growing up. Clearly, she had issues of her own which she transmitted to him -- e.g., she worked as a stripper, and she made date guy (as a young boy) lie to his grandparents (her parents) and tell them she was a night student. So, he didn't have much of a female role model, either. Only a set of really selfish parents (by his description) who didn't raise him with love or a sense of self-worth (my description).

    I guess it's no wonder he married really young -- to get out of the house! And probably because he finally felt loved for the first time in his life. He and wifey married very young and had two kids. And divorced some 14 years later.

    Why? Turns out that wifey had an affair with step-dad. Yeah, I'm not kidding.

    Sad story. This guy was pretty much screwed and emotionally abandoned by every woman in his life. Good reason to divorce, eh? And then, on top of it, wifey changed her name back to her maiden name (from his name, which, remember, was the name he took from his step-dad, the one who had the affair his wife) and then changed the two kids' name to her maiden name. So not even his own kids had his name. (But then again, neither did he, I suppose.) He said he didn't mind about the kids, but whoa. I don't blame her for wanting to drop the step-dad's name, but he never did -- that is, blame her nor change his last name.

    Well, despite this history, date guy asserted that he had his act together and carried no baggage, but let me tell you that I can't agree with that assertion. Let me just start by suggesting that he had no sense of himself, if that's not painfully obvious. And that he needed other people to prop up his self-esteem.

    I would joke with him and kid around and tease him, and he would descend into the depths of defensive depression such that in order to regain some measure of equilibrium, he would need his friends to tell him how great he was. Anything approaching criticism sent him a-twitter. He had no self-worth, and anything and everything I said -- what others would see as flirting or overtures of getting to know someone -- he took as a personal assault.

    Okay, I know I can be sarcastic and obnoxious and mouthy, but not everything I say is a personal assault. Not even half. Some people even enjoy my sense of humor. Go figure.

    So needless to say that dating scenario didn't last long. It sounds like the plot line of a very bad movie, but I assure it's true. Yikes.

    But this isn't as bad as my boyfriend's story of the woman who burst into tears during dinner on their first date. Ouch.

    More of my own dating disaster stories in a later, forthcoming post...

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