Tag Archives: Missouri

The Bushwick Bushwhacker

23 Jun

I met “Casey” last year while attending a birthday celebration in Brooklyn.  We struck up a conversation and discovered that we had both attended college in the same small town in Missouri.  My friends were leaving so I gave him my number and he kissed me goodbye in front of his colleague.

The following week we met for drinks in Williamsburg.  He was cuter and funnier than I remembered and it turned out he was a writer of humorous articles for various websites.  I admitted to him that I used to blog about blind dating (I hadn’t in months at that point) and he shared how he had gotten into trouble for something similar in the past– writing an article incorporating a graph which showed the correlation between female pubic hair length and higher levels of education.  According to Casey, women who dropped out or never went to college are typically completely waxed, while women with an Ivy League education tend to sport a full fur pelt.

I knew it wasn’t an entirely prudent decision to go to his place on the first date, but he assured me it wouldn’t be a one-night stand… which seemed convincing enough at the time.  He lived alone in an incredibly nice apartment, and I couldn’t believe that a writer could afford a place like that.  I also couldn’t believe what swayed before my eyes like a great willow when he vacated his corduroys:  the longest, straightest 70s fringe I’d ever seen below the belt.  I remember remarking “I thought you said you went to the University of Missouri?” but the rest of the night is all a blur.

After that night, I attempted to make plans with Casey several more times to no avail.  His efforts went towards a series of post-1 a.m. booty calls.  After one of his late-night invites, I tried to text my friend “he’s attempting to lure me into another session with his lengthy pubic bangs.”  Unfortunately, I opened the wrong chat and sent that message to Casey instead.  When I realized what I had done, I figured there was no way around it and added “so…uh, what are you doing Saturday?”  He responded with “trimming my bangs.”  Ok, so he ended up using me for a one-night stand.  I wasn’t too bent out of shape about it since his pubic bangs were forever immortalized in an artistic bar napkin rendering hanging on the wall at a certain dive in the West Village.

Fast forward to three or four months later when I got a text from Casey out of the blue asking me out for drinks.  I was curious about his sudden renewed interest, so I agreed.  We met at the same bar as last time where he explained that he had been dating a girl from OKCupid.  She was a former Miss New York in a Miss USA pageant whom, he discovered on their first date, had lost her pageant body and grown a small beard.  They dated for three months but he eventually broke things off when intimacy became too difficult on account of her beard mixed with his already weakened sex drive due to Propecia.  I asked him what he had actually liked about this girl and he said that she had a good job.  A true New York romance.

Casey seemed aloof and depressed this time around and I didn’t feel like we had much chemistry.  I figured he was using me for a rebound from Miss Beard USA, but still went home with him because I didn’t really care at that point.  He gave me a hard cider and turned on the classic rock station.  We then retired to his lofted bedroom where– this is the only way I know how to describe it– I got scrolled on like an iPod Classic.  Afterwards, in a state of shock, I awkwardly commented on the sprinkler system not five feet above his bed, to which he made some half-assed joke about it being there in case sex got too hot (not possible).  I grabbed my cider to cope, somehow spilling it all over myself and his sheets.  He mumbled “you can stay here if you want” then rolled over and began to snore.  I had to get the hell out of there, and fast!  I threw on my dress and descended the steps to discover that his dog had chewed through my shoelaces and was now focusing on a frenzied game of tug of war with the bottom of my dress.  It was cold out and I wasn’t exactly sure where I was, so I grabbed one of Casey’s hoodies, yanked my dress from his dog’s teeth, and limped outside so as not to lose a shoe– thankfully procuring a cab.

The next day I felt a momentary pang of remorse, so I sent Casey a text saying “sorry I spilled cider all over my naked body on your bed.”  He responded “it’s ok, I got most of it out.”  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  It’s not like I want to go run a marathon across eleven bridges or explore the ancient Mayan ruins… but a little zest for life once in awhile might be nice!  Casey asked if I wanted to come over to his place and “drop off his sweatshirt” a few nights later and I told him I could Fedex it.  It might be a clue that you need to work on your game if a girl is offering to use her Fedex account at work to return your clothes.

Rock Paper Scissors

6 Dec

Let us travel back in time again to my senior year of college.  One night, I attended a house party deep in central Missouri with a few of my friends.  A girl I was with was dating a tenant of this house, and he lived with a slew of other young men.  I had my eye on one in particular.  His name was Bolten and he had a huge lightening bolt tattooed across his back.  Right up my alley.

Much of the usual college tomfoolery transpired at the party, but my favorite was a little game called Strip Rock Paper Scissors (I may or may not have introduced this game to the undergraduate population at my school).  A select group of partygoers hid upstairs in one of the guy’s rooms where we locked the door and began to play.  The boys were almost naked, Bolten bare-assed on his roommate’s desk chair, but my friend and I still had on our bras and jeans (we were old pros at SRPS).  All of a sudden we heard frantic knocking and shouting coming from the hallway, “GET THE F&%# OUT OF MY ROOM!”  The angry roommate karate-kicked the door in and screamed at us to leave at once.  It was later revealed to me that he was an extreme germaphobe with OCD.  That desk chair was never sat on again.

Bolten asked me out a few days later and we kissed under the awning of a used video game store.  He had a huge fro of curly black hair, giant blue eyes, the kind of lips that always look wet, and a penchant for optical illusion shirts.  At some point, he accompanied me back to my apartment and we made out on my bed.  Before anything else could happen, he said he had something he needed to tell me… “I might… uh… have one or two… umm… TINY……… warts.”   I leapt from my bed like it was on fire and he said he was going to go.  I had never met anyone with an STD before and I wasn’t about to scrutinize his Johnson under a microscope like that science class where I had to scoop around in a pond and then examine its scum.

Actually, that’s not true– I had met someone else with an STD.  My freshman year suite-mate had announced to me on move-in day that she had genital herpes and that we would be fine sharing a toilet… as long as she didn’t decide to use my soap in the shower.  She also said that I would know when she was having an outbreak because she would be in her room laying naked and spread-eagle for days.  I petitioned for a new roommate to no avail, so I ended up just removing everything that was mine from the shower each time I bathed.  I didn’t have much room for my stuff in the bathroom anyway, as she kept a lifetime supply of Sweet Love Douches lined up on the shelves.  I’m not kidding.  She was from Arkansas and was dating a dwarf with beads in his beard, and the only reason she went to college was to get away from her mother… who was having a lesbian affair with her (my suite mate’s) best friend.  She dropped out at the end of the semester and I moved off-campus.

Anyway.  I had mixed feelings about Bolten.  On one hand, it was very mature and respectable that he had told me about his genital warts.  On the other hand, I was in a glam R&B group called ChoCha with three of my friends, and it was PERFECT material for my next hit song.  Here are the lyrics:

Please Leave On the Shorts, If You Got the Warts

Chorus:
Please leave on the shorts if you got the warts
Please leave on the shorts if you got the warts

You may speak Spanish, you may have a tattoo
But there’s a better reason why I won’t get with you
Loungin’ in the desk chair completely nude
I’m starting to think you’re a real super dude
The lights are low, you’re covered in hair
And of your ailment I’m not yet aware.

(Chorus)

Just found out your mother dresses you
But it’s still not enough to keep me from you, boo
(Spoken) “YET!”
I still like your hair, I have no fears
Until you stole my friend’s QTips to clean out your ears
You made me spoon, you forgot to take Prozac
Player, get your own masseuse cuz I ain’t gonna scratch yo back!

(Chorus)

Just burned my sheets, had to buy a new cover
When I found out about your warts you couldn’t be my lover
Somewhere in your seven you got a disease
But unlike ingrown hairs, that shit lasts eternities

(Chorus)

(Spoken) “You might wanna wash your hands after this…”

Ten Years Gone

28 Oct

This post is dedicated to one of my best friends, let’s call him “Jack.”  I met Jack through a boy who auditioned to be in the one-act play I was directing for Fine Arts Week back in high school.  The boy was cute so I cast him in my play and started hanging out with him and his equally attractive twin brother.  At some point, the twins came over to my dad’s house when he wasn’t home to take advantage of his full bar, and they brought Jack with them.  He was tall, handsome, and soft-spoken, albeit a trouble maker… and we began spending a lot of time together.

Jack worked at a movie theater so we went to a lot of movies, drove around in my old Nissan Altima listening to music, or drank at whichever of our parent’s houses were vacant.  This was also around the time that I was trying to figure out which college to go to.  I was freaking out and being self-destructive; drinking, smoking a lot of pot, and collecting pocket knives because I thought I was a real bad-ass.  I got my eyebrow pierced, which Jack was there for, and I think he was there when I got my first tattoo.  I skipped school a lot, would drive over to the other high school (where Jack was a junior), pick him up and we would hang out in a nearby park together, drinking Captain Morgan’s and watching Indians play cricket.  He was having some issues with his parents, culminating in them calling the police to have him arrested for “stealing” their car.  Eventually he moved out of his house and in with the twins.  Once, while Jack and I were lurking around our favorite park at night, he swiped one of my knives and went crazy on a gigantic event tent that was set up for the next day.  We burned matching marks into our wrists with cigarettes, and experimented with drugs.  The first time I ever did mushrooms was with Jack in his parent’s basement.  I don’t remember much about it, other than him taking every cigarette out of his pack and lighting them in one big log, then passing out and burning his shirt.  Such rebels.

I think it was around this time that we slept together.  It only happened a handful of times throughout our friendship, it was always pretty impersonal, and we never ever talked about it.  I loved Jack in a way I can’t explain.  I never thought of him as a boyfriend or even someone I was casually dating, because we never were.  To me, we had a stronger bond than that.  It was unspoken– Jack didn’t talk about about his feelings for me, but I knew I was important to him, too.  Others were curious about our relationship, however.  One time, while Jack and I were hanging out in the park, his ex-girlfriend was there.  She saw us together and started yelling at him and throwing beer bottles at my head.  There were a few times when his friends mentioned to me how much Jack cared about me.  But Jack never did.

I had been dating another guy from my high school who was in a punk band.  He really liked me, but I had other things on my mind.  I was about to leave for college in Missouri in a few weeks and was still in a complete freak-out mode.  The night after I broke up with my boyfriend, Jack and I broke into the outdoor swimming pool in an apartment complex by my mom’s house to go skinny dipping.  I found a pair of kid’s swimming goggles next to the pool and put them on.  When we were done swimming, I left on the goggles but left off my clothes to drive Jack home.  Not paying attention to where I was going, I crashed my Nissan into the back of a big parked truck.  Jack threw me the remainder of my clothing and took off into the night, leaving me to deal with the wreckage.  I think he was on probation and was afraid the cops would show up.  I left a note on the truck’s windshield (the damage was pretty much all on my car) and drove my smashed vehicle up the street near where one of my best friends lived.  I called her crying, asking if she could come pick me up because my car was totaled.  She said she was in bed and couldn’t come.  I didn’t know who else to call, so I called my ex-boyfriend that I had broken up with the day before.  He was nice enough to pick me up and take me home… where I had to wake up my mom and tell her about the car.

Not long after I left for school, Jack took a bus down to come visit me in Missouri.  I was surprised he was willing to make the journey, but excited to see someone from home.  He stocked my mini-fridge with booze and we spent the weekend doing our normal routine of drinking, walking around, and occasionally making out.  I had a good time with him, but had moved beyond the destructive pranks– like him emptying an entire bottle of my expensive hair product onto my head while I wasn’t looking, and him tearing down signs that some girl had on her door in my dorm.  My dorm was women-only and I had had to get special permission to have a boy stay in my room for a few days.  When my bitter R.A. reported that my guest had torn down the girl’s sign, I got called before the disciplinary board for “vandalism.”  This was a joke to me because I hadn’t even seen him tear down the sign.  I got put on dorm “probation,” whatever that means.

The next time I saw Jack was that Christmas vacation when I went home.  I was happy to spend time with him again after he had made such an effort to visit me at college.  I had to go back to school before the rest of my friends, and one of my best friends ended up sleeping with Jack after I left.  It was the first time that I realized maybe I felt for him in a way that was stronger than just a friend.  I was upset that he had slept with my friend when we had such a close bond that was also physical a few times.  On the other hand, I couldn’t say anything because several months prior, I had hooked up with his best friend (one of the twins).  Whoopsie.

After that, we continued to get together when I was in town, but I guess lost touch a bit.  I went to the East Coast for grad school and didn’t spend much time at home until a couple years ago when I moved back for a few months.  I was having another moment of personal crisis; my three-year relationship was falling apart, I was trying to save money to move to New York, and I was taking a lot of anxiety medication which wasn’t helping.  I remember going to Jack’s bar to visit him, but spending most of the time outside fighting with my boyfriend on the phone.  He understandably kept his distance.  He had cleaned up his act, wasn’t going out as much, had gotten really into biking, and less into wreaking havoc around town.

I finally moved to New York, got my life back on track, and now two years later here I am!  Last Christmas, I intended to hang out with Jack, but was mainly concerned with spending time with another guy friend.  I ended up rescheduling with Jack a couple times and then when we finally saw each other, it was only for a few minutes.  I felt like an asshole the next morning when I saw his text “Nice seeing you for fifteen minutes last night…”  The next time I saw Jack was when I went home for a wedding a few months ago.  I was excited to see him and make up for how I had acted over Christmas.  The night we hung out he was incredibly cold and ended up ditching me for his work friends.  I asked him if it was because he was angry with me, but all he would say is “I don’t know what to say to you anymore.”

Over the next couple months I wondered if I really had grown that far apart from one of my most beloved friends.  But how could he feel like we had nothing in common?  I’ve always thought of him as one of the funniest people I know and I’d like to think we have a similar sense of humor.  He is also the person who introduced me to a lot of the music that has become important to me over the past ten years of my life.  (The title of this post is the name of the Led Zeppelin album that was the soundtrack to much of our time together when we were teenagers.)  I felt like despite his inability to open up about his feelings, I knew this guy pretty well and we hadn’t grown apart as much as I feared.  We had gone through one of the rockiest times in both our lives together and I hoped that we both appreciated that.  I wanted to give it another chance.

Jack and I hung out a few days ago and I was relieved to find that things seemed to be back to normal between us.  He was seeing a new lady-friend and had just gotten back from a cross-country bike trip, so he was in good spirits.  We joked around like we used to, talked about what music we’ve been listening to, and he taught me how to play shuffleboard.  As much like a cliche teen drama as it may sound, I didn’t realize that I had taken our friendship for granted… until it almost fell apart.  Out of all of the friends I have, there is a small circle of people that I will always make exceptions for because they are like my family and I love them.  Jack is one of those people.

OK, back to the blind dates.

The British Dude

1 Jul

When I was twenty years old, I was attending a private women’s college in the middle of Missouri.  I was cute and optimistic, drove a Lexus, had a fake ID, and was basically the type of college kid I would want to smack today.  My friends and I went to bars all the time and boys from the university would clumsily attempt to pick us up.  I never reciprocated their advances because I had been in a series of serious relationships for the past four or five years of my life (most of high school and all of college up to that point).

However, the first semester of my senior year, I had just gotten out of a year-and-a-half -long turbulent and detrimental relationship with a former classmate.  All of a sudden, I was single and all too ready to take full advantage of my newfound freedom.  One night early in the school year, my friends and I went to this sports bar that we had been known to frequent.  Next to our table was a raucous group of British guys, who, at the insistence of one of my friends, joined our group.  I began chatting with a young chap from London named Jack, who was doing a semester abroad.  I’m not even going to change his name because that is one of the only things I remember about him- it was seven years ago and I had undoubtedly imbibed multiple gin and tonics at this point in the evening.  I also remember him being extremely attractive, in addition to having a charming accent.  My friend suggested I bring him back to my apartment to hang out with us further (we all lived in the same building).  I had never picked up a guy in a bar before.  I didn’t know the protocol for this procedure, but I had definitely taken a liking to this rugby-shirted individual.  He ended up walking back to my apartment with me, where we discovered our shared love of The Streets (I really liked them in college, it’s true).  My curious friend joined the party for a bit… and then you can probably assume what happened next.

The next morning, we got up and he offered to buy me some tacos from Taco Bell on the way back to his dorm.  Best morning-after modus operandi still to this day.  For whatever reason, months earlier, I had stuffed two Cadbury eggs in a balloon and tied it to my rearview mirror so it looked like a scrotal sack (which is a really good word to use when playing Hangman, by the way).  I didn’t even think twice about my “balls” because I was so used to them hanging there, but Jack cupped them in his hand and asked “What’s this, Love?”  I wanted to roll him up and eat him like a burrito, he was so cute.

We enjoyed a chalupa-fueled final moment together, I dropped him off at his dorm, and never saw him again.  He’s probably married somewhere in Europe with gorgeous, blonde, rugby-playing babies.  I guess I really missed the boat on that one!

99 Problems

24 Jun

As I descended the stairs to Fat Cat on Tuesday night, I had no idea what I was in for.  The full-figured 24-year-old Canadian I was meeting had chosen the venue, and my coworkers had warned me that I wasn’t going to like it.  They were right.

The place is a huge basement, with florescent lighting, pool and ping pong tables, darts, board games, and a slew of ratty couches.  It was packed with students and young professionals, and I was instantly transported to my college years in Missouri.  Except back then I was actually in someone’s basement, not a bar trying to look like someone’s basement.  I was afraid I would get bedbugs if I sat on any of the couches, so I waited for my date at one of the four lone barstools- feeling out of place without my messenger bag and ironic Salvation Army tee.  While I waited, a tiny man who looked like he had just hit puberty (and was wearing five shirts layered on top of one another) literally leap-frogged onto the barstool next to me and asked me if I came there often.  “No” I said a little too forcefully, simultaneously noticing the salsa band setting up in the corner.  Oh god.  I contemplated leaving as images of giant trouser gyration situations floated through my mind.

“Dennis” showed up and I reached my hand out for him to shake it, but he said “Oh, come on!” and pulled me in for a big hug.  He was wearing a shirt that wasn’t doing him any favors, a torn pair of stonewashed jeans, and a pair of two-foot-long sensible New Balances.  They were seriously the longest sneakers I ever did see.  I don’t remember why I had decided to meet him in person… probably because he was 6’3” and lately I’ve only been going out with men who are at least five inches taller than I am.  He had sent me a couple texts that week that just said “Hey you”, which seemed out of place coming from someone three years my junior.  I could tell he was a huge dweeb from his profile, but nothing could have prepared me for the next hour and a half.

Dennis bought us beers, took a large sip, swished it around in his mouth like mouthwash, and said “I’ll get the first round if you get rounds two, three, and four.”  I would soon find out that he wasn’t joking, as I ended up buying his next two beers.  We relocated to one of the couches, and I tried to figure out whether bugs were crawling on me or if it was just my leg hair blowing in the extreme wind gust generated by the industrial-strength fan.  He said “OK, now you have to tell me everything about yourself starting from the day you were born and don’t leave anything out, GO!”  I tried to give him a brief overview of my time here on Earth, but kept getting distracted by the queer faces he was making.  As I was talking, he kept turning his head away, then snapping it back to look at me with an open-mouth fascinated/surprised/insane look on his face.  Each time I would lose my train of thought due to his off-putting faces, he would histrionically tip his head to the side and in a loud, nauseating voice squeal “EEEELABORATE?!”  After awhile, I gave up and told him to talk about himself.

The tone of his voice sounded like Pete’s from “Mad Men” and he ended every sentence with a smack of the lips and an “Mmmhmm.”  He looked exactly like a cross between my high school choir teacher, a lava lamp, and Alf.  His job was something involving math, but no numbers… I stopped listening because the salsa band had begun to play and he had moved his leg onto mine in one fell swoop.  I jumped up and procured another round of beers.  When I returned, he again scooted himself close enough so that we were almost touching, and asked me about my theatre experience.  He shared that he had been involved in two plays during high school, one of which was “The Crucible.”  He had enjoyed being in “The Crucible” so much that he and his best friend would do poetry jams about it at their local coffee house.  He told me he didn’t know if I was prepared for his favorite line from their “Crucible”-inspired poetry because, to this day, he thinks it’s the funniest thing he’s ever heard.  I told him I was ready and he beamed and said “I got 99 problems but a WITCH ain’t one!” then proceeded to belly laugh for five minutes.  If someone informed me that a colossal meteorite was about to crash into Earth and kill us all, it would be funnier than that joke.

I guess at that point he had really warmed up to me, because he was on a roll with horrific jokes.  He made actor jokes, OKCupid jokes, jokes about how he had been wearing the same underwear for a week, and a boatload of jokes about being Jewish.  Each was about as funny as a concrete block.  One of his jokes revolved around the fact that he wasn’t brought up Jewish in a religious way– unless you count being raised on Mel Brooks movies.  I told him I have been obsessed with Madeline Kahn ever since I was a little kid, to which he responded “Who?”  I asked if he had ever happened upon movies like “Blazing Saddles”, “History of the World p.1”, or “Young Frankenstein” in his vast study of Mel Brooks films.

I went to the bathroom and when I returned, I lamented over how the ladies room was out of order, so I had to go in a stall next to a man peeing in a urinal.  Dennis scooted all the way over to my side of the couch, put his hand on my leg and said “Hey, if you want to see a penis, I’ll show you my penis.”  I told him to get back on his quadrant of the couch and stay there.  After that, I think he finally got the message that this was not going to go anywhere.  We left the bar and I walked five blocks out of my way so I wouldn’t have to take the train with him.

It’s not that I was mad I paid for his drinks… I just felt like someone should’ve paid me $20 to babysit him for 90 minutes.  Geez.  I still had four more blind dates to go this week and I was already exhausted.

So Big, So Red

7 Mar

Once, during my freshman year of high school, I was sick and waiting in the nurses office for my mom to come pick me up.  While I waited, I picked up a few guidance counselor pamphlets and mindlessly flipped through them.  Quitting smoking…understanding homosexuality…how to tell if you have Chlamydia…the difference between love and infatuation.  That caught my attention.  I read the brochure front to back, and for the first time in my fifteen years of life was able to gain a little perspective beyond the urgency of my teenage hormones.

I was either eleven or twelve years old when I first met “Rob” doing community theatre in Madison.   My earliest memories of him include nineteenth century bloomers, a velvet tailcoat and a red ponytail tied with a festive bow.  I would sit backstage in my petticoat and mop cap, watching him flirt with all the girls then go out with all the adult men for a smoke.  Rob was only a year older than I, but he was very suave and seemed much more mature than the boys at my middle school.  I was instantly captivated by him.

Rob lived in a huge house with several siblings and every household pet you could imagine, including parrots, fish, turtles, iguanas, cats and dogs.  We bought a hamster together once, but one of his cats ate it a few days later.  Going to his house was fascinating to me.  He and his brothers basically did whatever they wanted; no curfew, rules, or chores.  They had multiple cars and a boat that they would take out on Lake Mendota.  Once, I was on the boat with Rob, his brother, and our friend “Mark.”  As the brothers tested their new scuba gear in the lake, Mark and I dissected raw cornish game hens and threw them at the boys (a wild afternoon by midwestern standards.)  Eventually, I noticed that we weren’t going out on the boat anymore and was told that Rob had sunk it.  It’s whereabouts today remain a mystery.  The brothers would go through phases where they became obsessed with the idea of a new hobby, buy a million books on it and all the equipment necessary to pursue the hobby, then tire of it a week or two later.  Aside from scuba diving, there were also phases of dog breeding, beer making, and bee-keeping.

When I was in eighth grade, Rob had already started high school.  We still did theatre together, but he began dating a girl two years his senior who became my nemesis for much of my youth.  He never admitted to me that she was his girlfriend, but his friends and brothers told me so.  His relationship with her did not mean that he stopped hanging out with me, however.  The summer before I started high school, my best friend “Emily” would sleep over at my house almost every night.  We watched old MGM movies in my basement and waited for Mark and Rob to sneak through my backyard and knock on the window to be let in.  They came after my mom was asleep (around midnight) and stayed until the sun starting coming up.  We never really did anything with them other than make out and perhaps some light groping.  That, or get extra rebellious and sneak out to Denny’s in Rob’s van to eat pancakes at 3am.  It didn’t take long for my mom to catch on to our shenanigans.  Once, she confronted me about a huge pair of muddy footprints leading from the sliding door to the couch and another time when I was coming home from sneaking out, she locked me out.  She told me later that she was going to make me ring the doorbell to get back in, but was too pissed off, so she sat in a desk chair with her arms crossed in front of the sliding door until I came home to find her there.  My mom rules.

My affection for Rob was at an all time high and I was convinced he felt the same…until I started high school that fall.  Now that all three of us went to the same school, (his girlfriend a senior, he a sophomore, myself a freshman), the reality of the situation became clear to me.  I rerouted my path through the hallways at school so I wouldn’t run into them.  We stopped hanging out as much and his brother told me it was because they had started sleeping together.  I remember Mark showing me Rob’s private notebook, and when I opened it to the most recent entry, he had written “Happy New Year.  I got laid.”  I was devastated.  As infatuated as I was with Rob, I wasn’t willing to give up my virginity as a last-ditch effort to win him back.  So what did I do instead?  I buried his learner’s permit in the desert in New Mexico next to my grandma’s teepee (she lived there at the time…not in the teepee) and started dating his girlfriend’s younger brother, “Dave.”  THAT got his attention.

Dave was a year older than Rob, two years older than I was, and he was the starting quarterback on the football team.  My high school’s football team was embarrassingly bad, but it sounded like a jazzy idea at the time.  Dave and I also had met doing a play together, and when we began hanging out, Rob was suddenly interested in me again.  More specifically in what Dave and I were doing together…which wasn’t much.  Once, Emily and I went over to Dave’s house and listened to his father lecture about how they are direct descendants of General Custer.  To this day, Emily still swears he claimed their relation was to Colonel Mustard.  Anyway, Dave and I broke up after I caught him giving a hippie in a fairy costume a back rub.  Ah, thespianism.  Shortly thereafter, Rob got accepted into a performing arts high school in another state and moved away that week.  When he told me the news, I remember dramatically throwing my cordless Panasonic phone across my bedroom, taking a chunk of light blue paint out of the wall.  Hey, I was fifteen and this was life or death.

I lived for the school vacations when he would come home for a few weeks.  Once, we drove through the countrysides of southern Wisconsin for hours in the rain, listening to music and talking.  We eventually ended up at some sort of nature center and he announced to me that the two of us should get married.  Rob’s younger brother, “Jeff,” also went away to the same school and had a thing with my other best friend at the time.  The summer before my junior year of high school, my mom and sister went to our family’s lake house and left me home alone for a couple weeks because my dance team was attending a competition.  Rob and Jeff were home from school and the four of us spent the week together at my house, partaking in unsupervised activities.

That fall, Rob was about to move overseas to begin his BFA.  One of the last days we spent together before he left, we went to my grandma’s house to watch a movie.  For some reason that I don’t recall, we had taken two cars there.  My grandma lives out in the farmlands and on the way back into town, Rob followed me to the intersection where he was supposed to turn and go his separate way home.  Instead, he kept following me.  At first I thought he missed his turn by accident, then when he turned into my neighborhood, I figured he was messing with me.  Before I got to my street, I looked back and he was waving for me to pull over.  Confused, I did so, and he bolted up to my window.  “I love you!” he blurted out before kissing me, running back to his car and driving away.  I felt like I was going to have a heart attack.  I had been wishing he would say that to me for years, and no one aside from my immediate family members had ever told me they loved me before.  I returned home with the most ridiculous grin on my face ever.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the most romantic gal…but this remains one of the most romantic scenarios that anyone has presented me with to this day.

I moved to Missouri the following fall and began my freshman year of college.  Rob called and said he wanted to come visit me.  We went to all the bars I had scoped out that didn’t card, hung out at the local arcade, and got what some consider to be “matching” tattoos.  (Sure, they are both paw prints, but mine doesn’t have claws, thus they are not the same!)  I had a good time with him, but it occurred to me that at some point the tables had turned.  I had spent years of my youth obsessing over how much I loved this guy and wondering why he didn’t want to be with me.  Now, he seemed more interested in me than ever before and I was feeling pretty indifferent.  I was at a new school, with new friends, and meeting new guys…and then there was the whole pooping in my dorm parking lot thing.  We were coming home from dinner on the final night of his visit and were probably fifty yards from my building.  He decided that rather than waiting until we got upstairs, it would be a better idea to lean against a wall and take a dump in plain view, between two cars.  I politely waited until he was finished, then informed him he was sleeping on my floor that night.

The next time I saw him was when I returned home for the holidays with a guy I was dating and a few of my friends from college.  Rob and Jeff were having a huge new years eve party at their house and had invited us.  Rob was hammered and, after he tried to pull one of my friends into his bed by hooking her with a giant candy cane, he asked me to join him in his mom’s bathroom.  Obviously, I said no.  My boyfriend was downstairs and that would not have gone over well.  He begged me, saying he needed to show me something….which turned out to be deep bite marks on his Jack Johnson.  Apparently he had sustained these injuries from a young lady that had appeared on his doorstep a few days prior and who had stayed for the party.

The summer before I started graduate school in Boston, I got a job at a restaurant where the staff performed songs onstage in between serving duties.  Rob asked me for a job.  I was dating one of the other servers, “Aaron,” but ended up getting him hired at the restaurant anyway.  It was fine…at first.  Once, Aaron had a big party at his apartment and I went with my friends Emily and Mark.  Rob wasn’t invited because he had made some light death threats to Aaron in the previous weeks.  Aaron lived on the second floor of his building, so everyone was shocked when Rob scaled the wall and flung himself over the balcony, crashing the party.  A few weeks later, Rob invited myself, Aaron, Mark, and Emily over to his house, where he slowly and systematically took apart a lamp and threatened to maim Aaron with it, then picked me up like a caveman and carried me out of the room.  I had to borrow one of the family’s cars to remove myself from that situation.  This was the same summer that he allegedly hit it off with a lady at a gas station while, ahem, bargaining for some provisions.  She had given him her address, and later on that night, he made Mark drive him there.  When he knocked on the door, her husband answered and pulled him inside.  A few minutes later, Rob came running out from around the back of the house with both hands full of fishing poles.  He leapt into the getaway car, yelling “Drive! Drive!” as Mark sped off into the darkness.

I haven’t seen much of Rob since the summer of 2006, although I heard rumors that he dabbled in pornographic films for awhile.  In the past year, I’ve become good friends with one of Rob’s former lady friends.  She informed me that Rob had been using me to make her jealous for years, telling her that we were still seeing each other, had matching tattoos, and were even engaged at one point.  I recently saw his younger brother and asked him simply if Rob was still big and red.  His response was “SO BIG.  SO RED.”

I guess the moral of the story here is:  Just because someone is your first “love” doesn’t mean they are your last.  And pooping in a parking lot can be considered vandalism at some small liberal arts colleges…so tread lightly, my friends.