Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned...

No, I'm not catholic. In fact in light of recent events I've become as anti-Catholic (as currently structured) as a 19th century Scottish Presbyterian (how's that for an obscure reference?)

Anyway, my oldest daughter is 8. She looks older which scares me. She also has never really had that clumsiness that most kids have. This leads me to one worry about one thing: boys.

They're going to start creeping in. I can feel it. So as a way to appease the gods or subvert karma, here's my brief confessional on treating women badly. This is not a complete list for the simple reason that its public, my real name is all over this thing, a client might stumble on it, and - most importantly - my wife reads it.

First off, I met my wife young. I was 19 and just home from freshman year of college. So the list of transgressions is short. Also, I just didn't take things that seriously then. That lighthearteness appeared to be cruelty at times.

One first date: the girl was being very rude - bitchy even - from the time I picked her up. This was junior year of high school. By the time we got to the restaurant I wasn't in the mood to deal with it. I don't like messy situations plus this wasn't my fault. So we placed our orders then I excused myself for the bathroom and walked out the front door and went over to my friend Fred's and watched some movies. Around midnight I got home. The girl's father had called. Surprisingly my dad wasn't mad. I explained what happened and he just said to not do it again. I was expecting hell.

Senior year girlfriend. First "serious" girlfriend (i.e. she was, I was, well, sort of). Felt bad about two things here.

One summer evening, I knew the end was coming. She asked me to a local greasy spoon and after ordering food she weepily dumped me. The first thing that ran through my mind was not "Oh, the heartbreak!" or asking her to take me back, but was "Well, I'm sure as hell not paying for her half of the bill." But I handled it cooly. Put on a sad face. We split the ticket.

A couple years later - junior year of college or so - I stopped by an old roommates house that he shared with what seemed like 12 other guys. Anyway, he had a picture of me in his room - no it wasn't gay - just some pic of guys being drunk and rowdy from Freshman year. Well, my old roommate got my old girlfriend (she was a year behind, but came to the same school) into his room. She noticed the pic of me and got all weepy on him and said breaking up with me was the hardest thing she had to do. Old roommate asked me about my heartbreak and I told him there was none. Then I asked, as any man would, "Did you nail her?" "Oh, yeah," he said. "Once for me and another time for you. Then I tossed her out for breaking up with you." That seemed like one of the funniest things I'd ever heard to that point but now I guess it was mean.

I "dated" such as it was two girls freshman year of college. The first, for whatever reason I just lost interest in after about 3 months or so. I guess I should have told her, but it never crossed my mind. I just stopped comin' 'round. After I brushed her off a few times, I guess she got the hint. I didn't mean to be mean, but I guess I was and in case there was any doubt about a month later 2 of her friends let me know it very loudly and very publicly for 5 long minutes outside the dorm one day while I was with another girl. This other girl had zero romantic interest in me so after the enforcers left, she laughed her ass off.

With the next I was definitely a jerk. We dated for however long a semester is - 5 month? Freshman year had just ended and I was to spend the first week of summer meeting her family about 3 hours away from my parent's house. She called to say her father was there to pick us up. Nothing was premediated but like air out of a balloon I just lost all interest in a long car ride followed by meeting strange family members. Everything got heavy. I picked up my bags and started to head over to her dorm. At the stairs a friend passed and asked "Hey, wanna get drunk?" He flashed me two bottles of Seagram's V.O. (O' Canada! indeed!) I thought to myself, "Yes. Yes I do." I followed him back to his room where we and a few others met us and we had a nice time. I hid out as long as I could, then hitched a ride home the next day with the girl who lived on the south side of Ft. Wayne. Saw her plenty of times over the next few years but never spoke to her.

A week later I met the Divine Mrs. M. and that was that.

That's all I'm willing to cop to now. I hope that it dampens the karma. And - if my daughters read it - I hope it will serve as notice to them that even their beloved all caring all providing father could be a real jerk. Then they'll know that all men are jerks and act accordingly.

Stay You.
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