In response to the Daily Post’s prompt Third Rate Romance
For a woman who is quite comfortable being single–and who is more likely than not to stay single for long periods of time–I sure seem to have more than my share of dating disaster stories! In fact, I may have to make a little series out of this prompt…
I came home to Texas for Christmas 2014 and unexpectedly met a man I really clicked with. Our first date, for example, we ended up sitting in his car afterward just talking until nearly 7 a.m. the next morning. He had an incredibly interesting and inspiring life story, and we instantly connected due to our passions for social justice, education, and sports.
Upon my return to Missouri for my final semester of graduate school, we continued talking and even were able to see each other: he traveled a lot for work, which allowed him to fly up and see me while he was out on business. For Valentine’s Day weekend, he was being sent to Chicago and asked me to come, offering to pay for my flight. It was a busy week for me with school and work, but I (of course) agreed and prepared for the trip. After work ended for the day, I went shopping for weather- and date-appropriate clothes…and came home after 10 p.m. to a very large, unfamiliar man sitting at the top of the stairs to my apartment, right in front of my door.
Startled, but determined not to show any fear, I walked up the stairs toward my door and informed him that I did not, in fact, have a cigarette he could have. As he eyed my shopping bags and leered down at me, he began asking me invasive questions–such as how long I had been there and whether or not I lived alone–and trying to look inside my apartment. I was able to get inside safely and lock the door, and immediately called the guy I had been seeing, very shaken up. He answered but did not seem too bothered by the occurrence, laughing the whole call with his friend (who had flown up to Chicago to see him) and quickly getting off the phone.
Although I was bothered by his reaction, I still went to Chicago to see him (though I did pay for my own flight; I thought it prudent not to seem like I was attracted to his money more than I was to his personality) and I was excited to visit the city for the first time and have my first Valentine’s Day in four years with someone. He had called me the evening before my flight to let me know his friend hadn’t left yet because he had found a cheaper flight later on and would be having breakfast with us, but that did not bother me too much (indeed, I was just excited to hear the word “breakfast!”). When he picked me up, he then let me know that his job informed him they would soon be transferring him to Chicago and he had had to schedule a time to see apartments before the prices skyrocketed. I agreed to that too, figuring we had several days and it was nice that he wanted my opinion on where he was going to stay.
As it would turn out, the entire first day was spent dealing with apartments (and I had pulled an all-nighter getting things done, so I was already exhausted and still had work to do). When we got back to the hotel, the two of them started making plans for the rest of the weekend…and that was when I realized that his friend, whom I had never met, was going to be spending the entire Valentine’s Day weekend with us. In the bed next to us. And he had not seen fit to tell me, ask if I still wanted to come, or even apologize. I then found out that his blase reaction to my dealing with the strange man in front of my door (who, it turned out, would end up terrorizing my neighbors and I for the next couple months, but that’s a story for another post) turned out to be because he and his friend were out at a strip club and my safety was simply not a priority right then.
Needless to say, I was quite angry, and the rest of the weekend did not improve. We talked, and because he seemed genuinely sorry, I decided to give him another shot. Things were okay for another week, and then he offered to fly me home for my birthday weekend…which miraculously turned out even worse than Valentine’s Day. That story, however, will be continued in my next post: Third Rate Romance #2.