The Lying Lumberjack

10 Jun

The other guy I was seeing back in January, around the time of Jazz Shoe Man, was a drunken woodworker named “John.”  I did not meet him on OKCupid, but rather through one of my sister’s friends.

In early January, my sister and I went out for drinks with a bunch of her boyfriend’s wood friends.  I had been eyeing one woodworker in particular all evening.  John was not at all the type I am usually attracted to.  He had a blonde buzz cut, baggy jeans, lumberjack shoes, and was shaped like a t-rex.  Regardless of all that, he was cute and also from Wisconsin, so I was sold.  That night at the bar, I only spoke to him briefly, and it was the first time I have ever seen someone’s eyes cross because they are so intoxicated.  At the end of the night, John was drunkenly chatting with a gay man at the bar, oblivious to the fact that we were all leaving.  One of his friends tried to pull him away, and the man asked “Aren’t you going to kiss me goodbye?”  To everyone’s surprise, John grabbed the man and gave him a big kiss on the neck before turning and exiting the bar.  All eight(?) of us piled into the back of my sister’s boyfriend’s van.  I was seated next to John, who kept putting his hand on my leg every time the van hit a bump in the road.

Since drunken tomfoolery is clearly a green light for me, I got home and expressed my interest in him the old-fashioned way:  by friending him on Facebook.  A day or two later, he sent me a message saying that he wanted to take me out sometime.  I was thrilled, but responded with a casual “I’ll be at the Rusty Knot on Friday night, if you’d care to join.”  That Friday, I went to the Knot with my sister, and he showed up with his usual crew.  He was already drunk when he got there, and continued to get more so as the night went on.  At one point, I was trying to talk to him, but he kept closing his eyes like he was about to pass out.  I got him a glass of water and asked if he needed to make a trip to the bathroom.  His friend noticed my dilemma and took him outside, where apparently he barfed all over the sidewalk.  He came back in, sat down next to me, and seemed completely sober again.  It was the fastest turnaround I’ve ever seen.  He told me that he was embarrassed and had really been looking forward to going out with me that night.  He asked if he could take me out on a real date because he really liked me and wanted to get to know me better.  During this conversation, he reached over and held my hand.  I was speechless.  Ten minutes earlier, I had been annoyed that he had gotten so drunk because I was excited to hang out with him.  Now, he was speaking clearly and I was enamored by how forward he was being about his intentions with me.

I went out to dinner with him a few days later.  We went to one of my favorite restaurants and then to few bars in the area afterwards.  He is the one who introduced me to the Polish dive with sleeping patrons and one dollar jello shots.  It was one of the best dates I had ever been on.  He was fun, sweet, and affectionate, and even his Wisconsin accent (which is usually a big turn-off) was charming.  We both got a little drunk that night, but he managed not to fall asleep at the bar, barf, or kiss any dudes.  Over the next few weeks, we spent a lot of time together.  I chose to overlook the fact that he hated cats, said “Ahyup” like a grandfather, usually had black pepper in his teeth, and had the sense of humor of a thirteen year old boy.  He chose to overlook the fact that I don’t like camping or fried meats, and that I was also seeing a teacher who wore jazz shoes.  His best friend told me how John frequently spoke about how much he liked me.

A few days before the Super Bowl, John came over and I made him dinner.  He complimented my cooking and told me that, even though there was going to be a Super Bowl party at his place, he wanted to come over to my apartment and watch it with us instead.  He had had several glasses of whiskey during dinner, and afterwards, we went to a bar around the corner for a beer… which, in hindsight, was not a wise decision.  We were about halfway through our beers, when I put my arm around him.  He had done this to me a hundred times and I didn’t think anything of it, until he pulled away and snapped “Don’t do that!”  I asked him what the problem was and he said “We don’t even know each other.  I mean, you don’t really even know who I am!”  He was drunk.  I reminded him that we had been seeing each other for about about a month and that he had just been all over me not thirty minutes earlier.  He put his head down on his arms and laid on the bar as I sat there in shock, with tears in my eyes.  The bouncer came over and told me I could stay, but he had to leave immediately.  We both left and returned to my apartment, where we slept on separate sides of my bed.  The next morning I woke up to him wrapping his arms around me, saying he was so sorry and he never wanted to upset me.  We got coffee together and he told me that he was concerned he had a drinking problem and wanted to take a break from going to bars.  I usually try to lighten the mood in uncomfortable situations… so I suggested some sober activities like apple-picking, going to the library, canoeing, and arm wrestling.  I found out later that he thought I wasn’t taking him seriously.

The night of the Super Bowl, I was pretty tipsy after having a few glasses of wine on an empty stomach.  Although John had been texting me all day while I was at work about being excited to watch the game together, he was incredibly stand-offish that evening.  After my sister went to bed, John told me he was going home.  I asked why he even came over in the first place if he was going to ignore me all night, and he said he was annoyed that I was drinking after he had expressed to me a couple days earlier that he didn’t want to drink anymore.  This was interesting because he had never asked me not to drink around him… AND he had had a couple beers during the game, as well.  After our argument, he ended up staying over, but left in the morning without even saying goodbye.  I couldn’t comprehend what had happened.  Less than a week prior, everything had seemed fine.  Even though he was obviously the one with the issue, I was convinced that it was my fault.  I texted him apologizing, and we made plans for him to come over a few days later to watch a movie.

The night he was supposed to come over, he texted me an hour before saying his body ached all over and that he had discovered he had a rare disease.  He had diagnosed himself using WebMD (because we all know what a reliable resource that is).  He told me that he had gotten up to come over, but couldn’t even walk to the door without bracing himself on the walls… so we were going to have to reschedule for the next night because he was staying in and doing some stretching.  He said he was sorry and he didn’t want me to think he was just trying to get out of coming over (which he clearly was).  The next day, he called me an hour before our plans to tell me that he had had a really stressful work week and that he needed some alone time because we had been moving so fast… but he would come over for dinner the following week.  I pointed out the fact that he had now canceled on me twice, and he promised he wouldn’t do it again.

The day he was supposed to come over for dinner, I had planned three different dishes to make and had gone to three different grocery stores to get all of the necessary ingredients.  I texted him earlier in the day to confirm our plans and he told me he would see me at 7pm.  Confident that there was no way he would stand me up again, I started cooking two hours before he was due to arrive.  At about 6:30, I got a text from John saying that he was sorry, but he didn’t feel “comfortable” coming over.  I called him (trying my hardest to remain calm) and asked why he was telling me this a half hour before he was supposed to be there, and after I had already been cooking for an hour and half.  He said he couldn’t explain it.  I hung up the phone, shaking because I was so upset that I had let someone ditch me three times in a matter of a week.  I wanted to throw all the food I had made out the window, into oncoming traffic, but instead I calmly put it all in the refrigerator and went to bed at 8pm.  As much as I tried to sort out what had happened in my head, it was no use.  I tried to blame it on the fact that he was trying to quit drinking… until a week later when his best friend mentioned to my sister that he was out getting drunk with John and their friends.  I felt like an idiot.  He had projected his issues onto me and I not only let him, but had given him way too many chances.

On the plus side, I had disabled my OKCupid account because I was seeing John… So now I could reinstate it, go out with more weirdos, and continue to write about it.   The other lesson learned from this experience is that just because someone is from Wisconsin, doesn’t mean they are awesome.  Up to this point, I always believed that to be the case.

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2 Responses to “The Lying Lumberjack”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Choose Your Own Adventure « What's in the Box? - August 31, 2012

    […] fairly certain this has given several guys the impression that they can walk all over me (remember The Lying Lumberjack?).  After the second or third cancelation, it’s probably time to call it quits.  Sticking it […]

  2. Chad’s Chickens « What's in the Box? - September 6, 2012

    […] people from Wisconsin that I’ve met in New York has been less than reassuring.  Much like The Lying Lumberjack, Chad enjoyed building things with wood and dressing like he was out on parole.  Both seemed to be […]

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