Don't Fall Victim
- Don't Fall Victim To Predators at The Water Cooler
The office “water cooler” can be a place where employees gather to gripe, vent about how stupid their boss is, criticize some new company policy or talk about the employee that gets on everyone’s nerves. However, it can have a darkside.
Like most women over forty and single I was looking for someone better than the toads I’d kissed before. Who am I kidding, I was just looking for somebody with a pulse. My last boyfriend withdrew from society after passing gas in his yoga class – a class that was being filmed for the evening news. He became an internet sensation. People all over the world watched “Downward Farting Dog.” After that I was leaving trays of food at his door. Finally, I slipped a note under it ending things.
One day I was strolling through the park when the guy walking in front of me dropped his keys. I picked them up and called to him. He turned around and stiffly walked towards me. His face looked like it had an unfortunate encounter with a gang of knife wielding fire ants, but he was dressed nicely so he got extra points. I'd just gone on a date with a guy whose pants were so tight he had "yeast infection" written all over his face. But I digress...
Anyway, I handed him the keys and he began to flirt immediately saying, “Ah you found the keys to my heart.” I thought, “Not so fast tin man,” but next thing I knew I was giving him my phone number.
Our first time getting together was for lunch. I met him at a trendy sushi place near his manicurist. He’s the first guy I've dated that had one, but lots of guys these days get manicures and pedicures I thought. You know they’re called metrosexuals. My nails looked like I’d used a concrete block for a nail file and I couldn’t remember my last manicure or pedicure.
Pretty soon were inseparable. He liked to cook and enjoyed the arts. He was sophisticated and I liked that because he taught me about cheese knives and wine glass tags. However, there was one thing that hadn’t happened – the parents. He met mine first.
My mother didn’t care for him. She thought he talked about himself too much and avoided eye contact. Shiftless, I think is what she called him. That day he wore a pair of black shoes with a long narrow toe that curled up. When dinner was ready my mother told me to tell “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” to come to the table. When she gave someone a nickname it was a kiss of death. My dad, on the other hand, was more interested in picking the bunion on his big toe. I still use that visual as part of my weight loss program.
Meeting his parents was like going to the circus. His father had a big red nose from the bourbon IV I’m sure he was hooked up to. His mother had a beard. Yep, a beard so thick she’d probably short circuit an electrolysis machine.
He had two sisters whose combined weight was probably over six hundred pounds. They both have law degrees, like my guy, but one sister works in a library and the other waitresses. One talked to herself and the other had delusions of walking the runways of Paris. Confusing...did she mean the runways at the Paris airport?
My guy seemed like the only normal one in the family – well at least at first. Soon into the relationship, we moved in together and I began to feel like my womanly testosterone was the only testosterone in the house. My new love not only liked getting manicures, cooking, shopping to pick out clothes for me and Lifetime, he also was a bit “bitchy.”
At least once a month he’d become moody and would stop speaking to me for the slightest reason. If I joked about something he was wearing or had constructive criticism about a meal he’d fixed he wouldn’t talk to me for weeks. The longest time was three months because he accused me of shrinking his favorite t-shirt. Another time during one of his hissy fits he stuck his tongue out at me and went to sulk in some other part of the house.
His male friends weren’t exempt from Mr. Temperamental either. If one of them didn’t return his phone call or said they would meet him after work and didn’t, he wouldn’t speak to them for months. I was confused. Men I thought would just call their friend back or reschedule their plans to hang out. At least that’s what the men I was use to would do.
There were other things that bugged me. For example, I dodged out of the shower and grabbed my towel. He grabbed a little terry cloth skirt he wrapped around his waist. On my side of the vanity sat the essentials -- lotion, soap tooth paste. His side looked like Bath and Body Works. I would brave a cold day with no gloves or hat. He had to moisturize his hands and find the right gloves, hat and scarf because he feared getting the sniffles.
Finally, the last straw was when he turned into Mr. Roper from “Three’s Company” and I became Mrs. Roper. I had to put on track shoes to chase him around the house when I wanted some intimacy. When I caught him, because shocker – he couldn’t run that fast, I was met with, “I’ve got a headache” or “I’m bloated.” I know what you’re thinking and I thought it too, but the sites and pictures on his computer showcasing women in their best gynecological poses suggested otherwise.
I broke down and confided in my mother. I could always count on her wisdom. “He’s got more estrogen flowing through his veins than you and I put together,” she said. “I’m surprise he doesn’t have breast,” she chuckled. In a voice that crackled she said, "He needs to man up!"
Once again my mother had put things in perspective and I knew this relationship would have to end. I knew I said I was looking for a pulse, but not a man with the other "p" word. I had girlfriends that did all the things he did. He was going to be a project that I wasn't ready to take on.
I came home and broke up with him. That weekend he moved out. If we had been married our divorce papers would have read, "irreconcilable hormonal differences."
This relationship showed me that I wasn’t ready to settle. I still knew what I wanted and I needed more than just a pulse.