Tag Archives: Tattoos

Planet Lars

4 Sep

I’m going to get the moral of the story out of the way now in case you’re pressed for time.  Here it is, my friends:  Do not get a tattoo on an OKCupid date.  I repeat, DO NOT GET A TATTOO ON AN OKCUPID DATE.

Last November, I met a wealthy Texas oil tycoon named Lars.  Well, actually his parents were wealthy– he was on a monthly allowance, livin’ in the big city in the name of a most noble accolade: a doctorate in philosophy.  I don’t remember much about our first date.  It was at Art Bar, my former go-to blind date spot (when I used to date).  That night, I recall being pleasantly surprised by the fellow before me– he was cute, well-dressed, and insanely smart.  A little on the skinny side, but you can’t have it all.  He had a charming gap between his front teeth, which I saw a lot of… because he talked a mile a minute the entire evening.  When I would attempt to interject, he would freeze for a polite nanosecond, then pick right back up where he had left off, as if restarting his paused cassette tape.  I gleaned that he didn’t take social cues very well.

Acute Asperger’s aside, I was enthralled by this strange specimen of mankind.  His stories were detailed and funny– prior to our first date he had come from a city-wide scavenger hunt for pig-related merchandise with a clan of fellow Texan trust fund babies who, during which, had somehow gotten themselves mixed up in an illicit exchange gone awry between two moving train cars.  Who does that before a first date?  I was further intrigued by him after a little innocent cyber-stalking turned up some eyebrow-raising results.  First, I found a seemingly dormant Facebook page with an all-American relationship picture of him and a cute blonde girl.  It seemed he had also been in the Navy (which fit with the blonde girl)… then in rehab for a spell… then Rose McGowan’s personal assistant in LA– before she publicly and scathingly fired him for putting her in the wrong car at Chateau Marmot (seriously, it’s on YouTube).  He had mentioned in his compatibility questions on OKCupid that he had had a homosexual encounter in the past, and joked to me about a male colleague attempting to touch him in an very un-collegiate manner.  So I was a little on the fence about his sexuality AND his sanity at this point… but fascinated nonetheless.

Lars and I continued to hang out in various dive bars around town and he certainly never lacked in the entertainment department.  Once, he said he had turned down a date with a sexually frustrated foreign exchange student who had suggested they meet for the first time in the bathroom of an all-you-can-eat buffet.  Another time, he showed up to a sports bar in Midtown wearing a tuxedo.  Then there was the time when he recollected a German stripclub he had recently visited where the performer "made an origami house out of a dollar bill, then wrote a postcard to her sister, then shot a banana into the air– all with her… well, you know.”  But my favorite story of all was the one about his stalker.  Apparently, someone who claimed to be a 19-year-old girl had been contacting him on OKCupid for months– bringing up personal information about him, trying to persuade him to email her naked pictures of himself, and sending him packs of his brand of cigarettes anonymously through campus mail.  Every time he attempted to meet this person, something would suddenly come up and she would have already left the bar/concert/etc by the time he arrived.  He thought it might be a lovestruck undergraduate in one of the classes he was TA’ing… I thought it was probably another man who wanted to probe his corduroys.

And then we got tattoos together.  I wish there was some sensational build-up to it, but I think we were simply out at a bar one night and someone suggested we get tattooed.  They don’t match– his is an anchor and mine is a flower– but it certainly was a bonding experience at the time.  Afterwards, we sat huddled together in a nearby pub, comparing our bandages and sharing all of our secrets.  A week or so later, he asked me to go out with him for Valentine’s Day… but I unfortunately blew him off to hang out with a much less entertaining Texan.  And then Lars seemed to disappear into thin air.  I recently checked in on him to make sure he was still with us on this Earth and he wrote back to say he was sorry that we’d lost touch, but that he’d been traveling the globe and didn’t have any time in his schedule right now.  Well.

Although much less exciting, my world has most definitely been a better place since I quit OKCupid.  This radical change in lifestyle has enabled me to start facing my troubles (like where I’m going to come up with two grand to get this damn tattoo removed) and my insecurities, rather than hiding them in a daze of wine and fleeting male affections.  I must say, however, that Lars was one of the most special snowflakes I met on OKCupid, and hopefully our friendship will find its way once again.

Perhaps over a nice cup of coffee rather than permanent ink this time.

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Shaun the Faun

26 Mar

I’ve been trying to figure out how I can draw an analogy between the tale of Three Billy Goats Gruff and this blind date because he looked exactly like a billy goat… but then that would make me the troll.  Or, if I outsmarted him in the end and HE’S the troll, then that makes me the fattest of the three goats.  Either way it doesn’t look good for me.  Anyway, I just couldn’t stop thinking about how much “Shaun” looked like a billy goat the whole time we were out together.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE goats… but only when they are full-goat and not half-goat, half-man.

Shaun initially messaged me saying that my profile was the funniest one he’s ever seen on OKCupid.  How could I not respond to such a compliment?  He informed me that we would get along great in person because we have such a similar sense of humor.  However, the more I got a taste of his “jokes” the more I was turned off by the whole idea.  Most of his profile was about how funny he is and under the I’m Really Good At section he wrote “Off-beat, absurd jokes.”  If I’ve learned anything from my experience on OKCupid it’s that if you have to tell people how funny you are… chances are you are not that funny.  Here’s an excerpt from our messages:

Him:  I was once told never ask a woman about her tattoos.  That being said, I’d like to ask about your tattoos.
Me:  Ok, what would you like to know about them?
Him:  I don’t know.  Geez, you’re SOOOOO impatient!
Him:  Ok you caught me, I don’t have any questions.  I just thought it would be a good set up for my hilarious joke.  You know, being like I was asking a question and then not really asking a question.  That’s funny right?

So by now there were a lot of warning signs that this wasn’t going to go well for me.  But, after a regretable slip of my mouse-clicking finger, he had my phone number.  One night, he texted me while I was on the train and when I got home I had an another message from him about how ignoring each others’ texts was not a good start to our relationship.  I wrote back that I wasn’t ignoring him and he explained to me that it had just been one of his off-color jokes.  I tried to reason that perhaps he wasn’t as annoying in person, and agreed to accompany him to see his friend’s band play that weekend.

We met at a nearby bar ahead of time to get the introductions out of the way before going to the show.  The first thing I noticed was that his boobs were bigger than mine.  He wasn’t overweight or anything so I figured he must spend a lot of time at the gym when he’s not busy thinking up bad jokes.  His shirt was too tight for him and the space between the buttons was gaping a bit between his jugs.  He was also sporting a pair of dad jeans, bushy sideburns, and the ever-troubling square-toed dress shoe.  After getting a good look at that shoe, I asked him what he did for a living and he began a tricky explanation of international tax laws or something like that.  He might as well have been speaking a different language, so my thoughts drifted to an image of goats nibbling hay in a petting zoo– their lips wiggling side to side, up and down.  I wondered if Shaun’s lips were wiggly when he was eating grains.  He had bad posture and his upper back was completely rounded as he hunched over the table, his chin resting on his forearms.  I wasn’t sure why he was in such a position, but hey, whatever makes you comfortable.  When I spoke, he would listen with his mouth open, breathing his less-than-fresh breath in a heavy stream at my face.  Before we left, I made a comment about how the couple next to us was practically having intercourse at the bar and he said “At least we’re only catching the TAIL END of it!  GET IT?  GET IT?”  No.  No, I don’t.

We finished our beers and walked over to the bar where his friend’s band was playing.  As we made our way through the small venue, Shaun kept running into more and more people he knew.  He sensed that I was confused and explained that he knew the lead singer of the band because he worked with Shaun’s ex-fiancée.  All of the people he knew at the concert were her friends.  “Wow, this is awkward… I didn’t think about that” he said.  Yeah, a really nice choice for a first date.  Hats off to you.  I could feel about six pairs of heavily-lined eyes glued to me as I took a seat next to Shaun and I had an urge to go over and assure them that I wasn’t interested.  He was again practically curled into a ball on his barstool, so that it looked like he didn’t have a neck.  At one point he said to me “Hey, go tell the band to keep it down because we’re on a date!” then cracked up at himself.  He brought up his ex-fiancée several more times so I finally asked why they broke off the engagement after six years of being together.  “Because she’s a bitch” he replied, then explained “That was a joke!  HAHAHA!”

I ordered a second beer because he had paid my cover to get in, so I thought it would be rude to leave before the band was done playing.  When they were finally finished, Shaun said “Should I introduce the lead singer to you as ‘the sexy guy I’ve been telling you about all night?’  That’s funny right?!  Because he’s a guy and I’m a guy?!”  It was becoming difficult for me to hide my aversion to him so I told him I was going to head home.  He said “I hope you had as great a time as I did!  Sorry I’m blasting in your face! HAHA, get it?!”  S.O.S.  Send help.

Shaun had already messaged me by the time I got home to let me know that he had changed some of the jokes in his OKCupid profile.  I thanked him again for paying my cover and then proceeded to bury my head under six pillows until the incessant BAAA-ing ringing in my ears finally stopped.

Mr. Right

16 Jul

I was supposed to go on a date tonight, but canceled after he couldn’t even make it through the scheduling phase without exhibiting the fact that he is psychotic.  This guy’s profile pictures were very odd, so I thought he might be entertaining at the very least.  His first picture was of him, shirtless and stoned, holding a big glass pipe.  His second picture was him, shirtless again, wearing boxing gloves and showing off his Sisqo “Unleash the Dragon” tattoo.  The next picture was him modeling some man-flares on a mountain top, and the last picture was apparently taken in 2007 and featured him with a large amount of eyeliner, lipstick, and spiky, bright red hair.  The majority of his profile revolved around how he’s smarter than everyone because he was a bioengineering major, and his “About Me” section said:  “Let me answer your questions for you before you ask them:  Yes, I’m really 6’2”.  No, nothing I say is serious.  No, I didn’t read your profile….Please don’t be stupid or crazy….I’ll only go out on Tuesday nights, because my Saturdays are reserved for people I actually like.”

Last night I got a text that just said “Hey stranger.”  I wrote back “Who is this?” and he responded with “Mr. Right.  Let’s meet tomorrow at 9pm.  47th and 6th.”  This is the conversation that followed:

ME:  Lower Manhattan would be better for me.  What did you have in mind?

HIM:  Let’s get drinks, what else would we do ride unicorns? LOL

ME:  It’d be awesome if you’d consider venturing downtown a bit… but if not, I can go to Midtown- just tell me a place.

HIM:  I already told you 47th and 6th.  And what’s with girls asking me what are we gonna do as if they’ve never gone out with a guy for drinks before.  It’s like, you already know the answer, no need to ask.

ME:  I hope you can explain the way things work to me further when we meet.  Give me a bar location.  I don’t meet on street corners.

HIM:  I never understood that.  What’s so bad about a corner?  Every so often I meet a girl who has a thing against waiting at the corner and they’re always so serious about it.

ME:  Because waiting on a corner is silly when you can just go to the destination right off the bat.  Why do like meeting on corners?

HIM:  In case I need to escape.  I had to do that last Friday…

ME:  Wow, this is turning into a lot of trouble.

HIM:  Are you sure the trouble isn’t stemming from you questioning everything I say and then me having to explain it to you?  Also I hope you realize you’ve asked me what we’re gonna do 3 times now.  What kind of drug are you on? LOL

ME:  There is a difference between joking around/not taking anything seriously and being totally abrasive.  I’m not going up to Midtown just to wait for someone on a street corner so he can size me up before deciding if he wants to stand me up or not.

DELETE.

Well, that’s the last time I give someone my phone number based solely on the fact that they have a Sisqo tattoo.

Grandma’s Bisexual Spice Rack

25 Jun

Last Wednesday night (aka day three of my OKCupid marathon) was a repeat.  I rarely go on second dates unless I actually like the person… which, unfortunately, doesn’t happen very often.

I had to go out with this guy (“Cody”) again because I couldn’t remember anything about him other than the fact that I had been intrigued by his bizarreness.  I usually take notes after all my blind dates (sometimes during, like in the case with Dennis the night before) and the only thing I had written down under Cody’s name was “Grandma’s bisexual spice rack.”  I knew he was bisexual and I remembered him smelling like a plethora of dried herbs… but I couldn’t remember anything else.  He had left the country a few days after we first met and it had been over a month since then.  Of course I asked him to bring me back a keychain, but my expectations were low.

We met at a bar in South Williamsburg, and as soon as I walked in, the bartender leapt out from behind the bar to give me a hug.  I hadn’t realized it, but this was the bar that my buddy who used to bartend across the street from my job had moved to.  I sat down next to Cody, who had also acquainted himself with the bartender.  I recognized right away that Cody was wearing the same shirt as last time- with an anatomical sketch of a ribcage covering the front.  He was cute, albeit a bit awkward in his body.  He kind of reminded me of a bald eagle who has seen too much.  He did have a nice head of hair, though.

I also remembered that he drank like a pro.  I think he had about six glasses of straight gin while I was there… and he had been at the bar drinking two hours beforehand.  I took it easy because I worked the next day, and because even I can’t drink like that.  We chatted for a couple hours, he showed me his new tattoo, and reminded me of the story of his worst blind date.  He had told me this story last time, but clearly I had been catatonic and didn’t remember anything.  Apparently, he went on a blind date with a cute girl from OKCupid and the first thing she brought up was her cat and how she suspected he had an undescended testicle.  (The cat, not Cody.)  She went on to tell him that she had to start sleeping on her stomach, because the cat wouldn’t stop humping her chest.  She said it had been getting better, however, since she bought him a stuffed monkey to hump instead.  Now, if your cat’s genitals aren’t a prime first date topic, I don’t know what is.  I have never seen a cat hump anything, but I did have a large Jewish Canadian attempt to ride my leg like a dollar store donkey the night before.

Around this part of the evening, he reached into his man-purse and bestowed upon me the KEYCHAIN JACKPOT.  I never knew airport souvenirs could excite me so much.  He had gone above and beyond the assignment and brought me back a keychain from Quebec, Munich, and Cologne.  He apologized that he had forgotten to get me one from London.

After that, it became more and more apparent just how intoxicated Cody was.  I offered to walk him home and told him I would meet him outside in one minute- I wanted to say goodnight to the bartender.  When I got outside, he was nowhere to be found.  I walked the perimeter of the block, but he had disappeared into the night.  I even tried calling him (I hate talking on the phone) to no avail.  He texted me the next day, apologizing for his weak liver and thanking me for a lovely evening.  It had been a lovely evening.  Contrary to what my blog may convey, it doesn’t take much to please me.  A good bar, some laughs, cat testicles, and a treasure trove of keychains usually does the trick.

 

If You Give a Lawyer a Pretzel

15 Jun

Filling up my key ring with a cornucopia of captivating keychains from around the world is harder than I thought!  I was supposed to meet a man on Monday night who allegedly has a keychain for me, but he canceled because he came down with an “intense nasal infection” as he put it via text message.  Sexy.

This man was actually the reason I got the idea for my keychain experiment in the first place.  After messaging me for weeks and never being able to meet up, I had dismissed him.  His messages would include fun facts that I really needed to know such as: how his dog was taking up all the space on his bed and how she knew he was typing about her, what he did every second of his Memorial Day weekend at his brother’s lake house, and how he was going to Morocco for a couple weeks.  When he was about to leave the country, he texted me asking if I wanted him to bring me back anything from Morocco.  Since, at this point, I had written him off completely, I said “Yes, actually.  I could really use some of those grains of rice with writing on them… or a keychain will do.”  Thus, the 2012 Keychain Experiment was born.  He messaged me immediately upon his return to America, telling me that he had an extra special keychain tucked away in his bag just for me.  Due to his contaminated nasal passages, I have yet to see the proof.

Casting aside my key ring in shame, I set up a quick substitute for Tuesday night so I wouldn’t go the whole week without a date.  This guy was a 6’5” Asian lawyer who selected “Used Up” for his body type (my favorite).  It was pouring rain all day on Tuesday, and by the time I arrived at the bar in the East Village I looked like a moist spaniel.  I looked for “Kyle” in the bar for a good five minutes before he emerged from a dark corner.  We sat down and he stared at me blankly and said “Ummmmmmm…” so I hinted that perhaps we should order a beer.  He was incredibly awkward and clearly did not know what to talk about, so naturally we spent a solid amount of time commenting on the fact that it was indeed raining out.  His behavior was surprising to me because his profile and messages had made him seem so funny and outgoing.

I hadn’t eaten dinner and had heard that this place offered an intriguing soft pretzel appetizer, so I ordered that for us to share.  When it arrived, I cheers’ed his pretzel and simultaneously noticed his obscenely long knuckle hair.  Seriously, I was afraid it was going to dangle in the cheese sauce it was so long.  I moved my gaze from his knuckles to the rest of his hands and observed that the back of his right hand was much hairier than the back of his left hand.  I considered that maybe the right hand could belong to the third primate on the evolution chart and the left hand looked more like the step just before man.

“I noticed you have a tattoo on your arm.”  I was jolted back to the conversation at hand (pun intended).  “Yes, I actually have a few.  Do you have any tattoos?”  “No way,” Kyle replied, “my dad is a huge homophobe, and he thinks that people with tattoos are even worse than gay people.”  I almost choked on my pretzel.  “Well, he sounds like a lovely man”  I managed to get out after taking a hearty swig of my beer.  What?  Who says that?  He spent the next few minutes telling me how much he liked my tattoos and how he wishes he could get one.  Did I mention he was 30 years old?

He ordered another round without asking if I wanted one (you don’t have to tell me twice) and I listened to him make smacking sounds with his mouth while he finished his soft pretzel.  I always say that chewing with your mouth open is comparable to nails on a chalkboard for me… but actually it might be worse.  I attempted to have an out-of-body experience while he finished eating, pretending I was on a boat in a peaceful sea.  This was difficult because, at this point,  he was leaning in very closely.

Kyle went to the restroom and when he returned, his dripping hand-hair alarmed me all over again.  I told him I needed to head home (I actually had plans with a friend in Williamsburg and needed to get a move on.)  He walked me to the L, we shared an awkward embrace and went our separate ways.  I thought about how, even if I had really hit it off with this man, his father would never accept me because of my tattoos, and none of my gay friends would be allowed at our wedding.  On the other hand, he was a lawyer… and our children would have really thick hair.

Ah well.  Godspeed, young scholar.  We’ll always have that soft pretzel.

Judgmental Jonah

26 May

Have you ever wondered who the most negative man in all of New York City is?  What does he do?  Where does he live?  Well, your search is over because I went on a date with him on Wednesday night.  He works in the West Village and lives in Astoria… We’ll call him “Jonah.”

I try not to meet up with anyone from OKCupid who appears to be super serious because I’m not, so it is usually a serious waste of my time.  Under “You Should Message Me If” I even put “You don’t take yourself seriously!” (among other things).  Unfortunately, the serious guys must not think they’re serious because my disclaimer has not always proven to work very well.

Jonah had originally messaged me while he was in Washington D.C. on a business trip.  I told him to bring me back a patriotic key chain and his response was to sketch various keychain possibilities on post-it notes, stick them on his face and send me pictures of this.  I thought “Hey, surely this guy must have a sense of humor about himself if he puts post-its on his face.”  Wrong.  The red flags I chose to ignore on his profile were:  Diet: “Strictly vegetarian”, Pets: “Doesn’t like dogs and doesn’t like cats”, I want my next relationship to last: “For the rest of my life”.  He additionally noted that he isn’t looking for a “flimsy relationship comparable to the durability of Ikea furniture.”  I also noticed that he had answered one of the questions indicating that he would be interested in having sex with a man, which didn’t really seem to fit the rest of his profile.

We met at Art Bar after I got off work.  Apparently, on his way into the bar, he accidentally introduced himself to another girl he thought was me who was also waiting to meet someone from OKCupid.  The girl was about four inches shorter than I, curvy, with pitch black hair, bangs, and a pair of white arms that were covered in tattoos.  After they sorted out the mix up, the girl found her date and Jonah found me.  He had fluffy dirty-blonde hair and looked much older in person than he did online.  He was wearing a shirt that was too short for him, a necklace, and a watch with one of those stretchy metal bands.  I don’t remember the pants or shoes because I was mostly concerned with his jewelry.  AND because he actually brought me a keychain!  Jackpot.

He sat down at the bar and positioned himself so that he could stare at the other girl for the next hour.  Although I attempted to have a conversation with him, he constantly glanced over at their table and kept interrupting me to give updates on how their date was going.  He speculated that she was bored, that her date was much too old for her and that she kept making ‘gun-to-the-head’ gestures at Jonah the whole time.  At one point, I was in the middle of a sentence and he leapt up from his stool and said “I have to go to the bathroom!  Be right back!”  I turned to see that the other couple had vacated their booth.  Jonah raced in the direction of the bathrooms, presumably because he thought he was going to meet the other girl in there to compare notes.  When he couldn’t find her, he did a melodramatic ‘which way did she go!’ movement, rapidly searching the bar for her in a squat position with outstretched arms and everything.  When he realized that she had exited the bar with her date instead of meeting him for a rendezvous, he returned to his seat without even attempting to make it look like he had really gone to the bathroom.  He looked disappointed.  I said “I think she left” and he exclaimed “I can’t believe she would go home with a guy like that!”  Like he had known this girl all his life.  I began wondering if this was a joke or if this guy was actually this unbelievable.

After that, our conversation became even more enchanting.  Literally ANYTHING I said he would shoot down and say he hated it.  In our two hours (maybe) together I learned he hates New York City because he moved here for a girl who promptly dumped him, he hates OKCupid and has hated everyone he’s met from the site, hates sports, hates meat-eaters, hates animals, hates classic rock, hates New Mexico, hates going to bars, hates Brooklyn, and so on.  Whew, this guy was exhausting!  He informed me that my tattoo looks like it should be on an American Apparel t-shirt and I noticed he had a single tiny tattoo of some sort of pill on his arm.  He said he missed California (where he was from) and that he wanted to start a website for guys to meet other guys because he doesn’t have any friends.  I told him there is an app for that, and it’s called Grindr.  I asked him why he is on OKCupid if he hates it so much and he said he’s looking for a serious girlfriend, but every girl on the site is an “aspiring ____.”  He added that he’s sick of meeting girls who are bartenders or work in retail, saying “Just be something cool now, please!”  I started to tell him that I work in retail and am happy with the direction my life is heading at the moment, but figured it wasn’t even worth it.  He went on to tell me that he might delete his OKCupid account because it greatly offends him when ugly girls send him messages.  I asked him why and he said “Because it’s insulting that they actually think they have a chance with ME.”  Whoa dude.  Anyone who dates this guy would need to either be in a coma, or on eighty milligrams of Prozac.

Surprisingly, he picked up the tab before making one last run to the restroom.  I looked at the receipt and noticed that the bartender had given us a free round and he still only tipped her 10%.  I went from strongly disliking this guy to accepting that he is probably the worst person on the planet.  I pulled aside the bartender and said “I’m so sorry, I’m on a blind date with this guy, he just left you a horrible tip and I don’t have any cash.”  She told me not to worry about it because I go in there all the time (it’s down the street from my work) and she knows I’m not a bad tipper.  When he returned, I thanked him for the keychain and got the hell out of there.

When I got home, I googled Jonah and found his Twitter account.  Not ten minutes after we parted ways, he tweeted that his date (me) was “boring, chubby, and judgy.”  Now, I will not deny that I can be judgmental (have you read my blog?)…but coming from the most “judgy” man in all the land, his accusation is a little ironic.  And the only negative thing I said during our “date” was that I hated it when guys used “LOL.”  (I noticed later that he had previously sent me a couple “LOL” texts, so I guess he was mad about that.)  Chubby?  Whatever, but the other girl that he had been eyeing all night was definitely larger than I am.  Boring?  Come on!  He just wasn’t listening to my abundance of fascinating anecdotes because he was too busy interrupting me and scampering around the bathroom like an idiot.  Naturally, after reading his tweet, I sent him a direct message on Twitter that read “Aww, and here I was falling deeply in love with you.”  He deleted his OKCupid account.

You want “judgy?”  You, sir, looked like the Man in the Moon and smelled like lady shampoo.

Happy Saturday!

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.