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Why I Loved a Dirty Man and I'm Sorry Now

Updated on August 13, 2012

Update: Dirty Inside and Out

I didn't have much hope when I drove downstate to meet a farmer for lunch one summer Saturday. From our lively correspondence on our dating site I knew he was intelligent and politically aware, but those were a mere fraction of what I was looking for. Taking the wrong exit I got seriously lost, and when I phoned his cell he said "Don't worry." I finally got there, 90 minutes late, out of breath and very embarrassed, sure that he would take offense the way I would if a first date had stood me up for an hour and a half. He was sitting and patiently waiting, and I looked into his eyes, and saw them light up like two blue stars.

First impressions: Nice eyes. But does that beard have to be so big? Oh, a hairy chest, too! He's a little large around the middle to be wearing a plaid shirt. And what's with the shuffling? He's wearing Teva sandals: what scary-looking feet! He had fresh cuts on his forearms and although his shirt was clean and his hair and beard freshly shampooed, his nails were lined with black. I immediately asked the waitress for a beer. The restaurant didn't serve any. As we talked and lunched I became more and more depressed. I deserved better. I was still suffering from a breakup with the cleanest guy in the world, who always smelled great, had a good haircut and wore the whitest socks and sneakers. The only problem was that Mr. Clean's every word was a lie, including "and" and "the."

Mr. Farmer told jokes, some lame and some funny. My heart ached. He was trying so hard to impress me and here I was judging him. I said I would pay for my own lunch and he let me: appalling. We'd both just driven a long way so I suggested a walk at a nearby park. He apologized and said he couldn't because he was sore all over: a thousand-pound hay bale had fallen and knocked him down. That explained the shuffling and the cuts on the arms. He could barely move. We sat side by side on a bench in a deserted schoolyard and talked. He was nice enough, smart and kindly, but he really needed detailing. I didn't say so; I wanted to continue emailing because it was at least entertaining. Then I drove on home.

A week later I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Mr. Clean fled and hid. Mr. Farmer was serious and sympathetic. Two weeks later I met again with Mr. Farmer. I thought this time he might have read my thoughts and taken the time to clean up. I was wrong.

I lived. After my surgery, Mr. Farmer was one of the first people to email, and one of the first I emailed in return. I told myself I had found a friend.

To make a long story short, we fell in love. I loved him and for two years and ten months and he said he loved me. I loved just holding him, laying my cheek on his hairy chest. I thought he was a man of impeccable character, so I tolerated his "diamond in the rough" appearance. It was a long-distance relationship, not exactly ideal, and I should have guessed he might start "seeing" other women, but had been lulled into trusting him, he acted so warm and wonderful and glad to see me. He confessed he had taken up with a married woman and had been too ashamed to say so. "I didn't want to hurt you," he said. He was also "seeing" other women, an ex and a cougar, and spreading disease among them and me. I had bladder surgery and $900 in medical bills for an infection he repeatedly gave me.When he finally admitted he was a player, he said, "I'm sorry I'm not the man you thought I was," blaming me for being fooled by his dishonesty. I regret trusting him and wonder why he worked so hard to get and keep my trust if he was going to abuse it.

I will never trust a dirty man again. Go with your first impressions; if he's fat and dirty outside, that's a hint that the inside is infected and oozing.

He was dirty inside as well as out!


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