I used to date this guy. He was a Nice Guy, and he was kind of a douche. His major was mortuary science and his trade was bartending, so he could strike up an amiable conversation with just about anyone (dead or alive). He lived with his boss, and in that den of iniquity his drinking problem flourished.
He started off the relationship on his absolute best behavior, and because my bar is tragically low (midgets couldn’t limbo under it), I was all, wow, someone’s being nice to me! Someone shows up at 2:30 a.m. (after work), falls asleep next to me, and doesn’t cheat! Someone rounded out my collection of Seinfeld DVDs as a Christmas present! That’s thoughtful and stuff.
Of course, he also gave me cash for my birthday. I didn’t want to be a bitch about it because, well, it was a fair amount of cash, but that really does speak volumes about how incompatible we were.
He led a stupid life characterized by constant inner tubing, even in the winter; a bacteria-infested hot tub belonging to his boss; an endless supply of booze (including a Guinness tap in the garage); far too much football; and, most importantly, a ton of racist and sexist jokes.
I really did try to call him and his stupid friends out on it. I was the sullen Libracat Politically Correct Feminazi Bitch in the corner protesting that, no, it’s actually not okay to say those things, that, yes, sometimes context does matter (I can call myself a bitch; you, mister misogynist bag of cocks, cannot), and I didn’t want to hear anymore of their reprehensible bullshit, I didn’t care if they were joking or serious.
I don’t think his friends were terribly fond of me.
But then, I wasn’t fond of them either. His boss/roommate was a forty year old douchebag with a beer gut who somehow managed to sleep with girls younger than me. (They were all drunk at the time, of course.) His other friends were drunken dudebro loser types who leered stupidly at my ass and mocked my politics. I met his mom and stepdad once, but I don’t think I impressed them much. They barely spoke to me, and I just sat at the table feeling uncomfortable.
It probably didn’t help that my boyfriend kept calling me a “democrat.” HORRORS.
He said he loved me numerous times, and I started to feel guilty about not saying it back. Eventually, the words were passive-aggressively wrested from my mouth. But I didn’t feel the words when I said them, and I regretted it almost immediately.
But he wasn’t being a complete asshole yet, and when he did act like a dick, I blamed myself. I, after all, am sullen. I’m cranky, I have a low bullshit tolerance, I roll my eyes a lot—whatever. If there were something wrong, it must be my fault, because I’m the one who sucks at relationships, who shies from commitment, who never shares her feelings, etc. I suck.
Except, dude. He would not sleep with me. And I really did try.
His reasons? Something to do with waiting, getting to know each other, not wanting to move too fast, and other bullshit. But he always made it sound like, you know, give it a little time—a rich and fulfilling sex life awaits! So I stuck it out. And that amazing sex life never came (heh heh).
I would ask, and he would evade. He was a master evader. He was also good at tricksy, under-handed slut-shaming. Whyyyy was I sooooo obsessed with this? Why couldn’t we just get to knooooow each other?
Yeah, fine, but we’ve been dating a few months now. Condom?
At some point I realized that I wasn’t actually very attracted to him, but I’m stubborn as hell, and my confidence was sinking, and every time he said no I just wilted a little inside.
It’s not that I have a problem with waiting. I mean, it’s not for me, but whatever. People do what they want. But it’s completely unfair to act as though you intend to have sex with someone in the near future on the grounds that they remain in a monogamous relationship with you, and then deny them for months. Seven months.
So we were stuck in this interminable battle of wills, and I became progressively bitchier, and he stopped introducing me to his friends, and we talked less and less.
And then. Oh, then. His inner douche came roaring out. The disappearing, disinterested, drunk-driving douche. The douche who, when I came into the bar one ill-fated night with Pepper, said hi and then turned back to his friends. He and I actually sat at different tables for most of the evening. When he finally swayed drunkenly over to us, he made a bunch of racist slurs and pissed us both off. Pepper almost killed him, while I turned into one of those embarrassed girlfriends who makes apologies for her precious little pet of a fucktard and then shuffles away all red-faced.
I saved his life that night, and he should be grateful. The bruises to my dignity have yet to fade.
I should have broken up with him then, but I didn’t. I wanted a boyfriend for my birthday, not for the presents, but because I never seem to have a boyfriend on my birthday and I wanted the experience. Hey, maybe we’d actually have sex! Who knows.
So I kept him around, or rather, he hung around, limply, in the periphery of my life. He would schlep down to my place after work, or he would pass out on the couch in the basement of the bar. If he passed out, he never called to let me know he wasn’t coming, because, well, he didn’t care. If he came to my place, he was usually drunk. I would ask him if he drove and he would either tell me he’d walked, or not answer at all. I could have gone out to the parking lot and looked for his car, but a part of me didn’t want to know.
One night he wanted to sleep at his place, so he swung by my house and picked me up. He was drunk as hell and driving like a fucking maniac; when I yelled at him to pull over, he laughed and swerved all over the road. He compared this magical irresponsible law-breaking drive to a roller coaster. Then he got distracted and almost rolled us into a ditch.
When we finally made it to his house, I locked myself in the bathroom and had a quiet panic attack. He passed out, and later, when I joined him in his Bed That Has Never Known Sex, I lay there listening to his gross roommate and his latest barely legal chickie have sex directly above us. It was gross.
And then one night I was at the bar (probably with Pepper, who, incidentally, always hated this guy—and rightly so). I was drunk and my stupid boyfriend was in no shape to drive (was he ever?), so we both crashed downstairs. And somehow we got into a fight about what a huge flaming bitch I was.
I was mean—so, so mean. He didn’t want to introduce me to his friends because he thought I’d hate them. They would hate me, actually. Why wasn’t I more appreciative of him?—he’d spent so much money on me for Valentine’s Day. And he’d cooked for me. He gave me free beer all the time. I was just being mean. So, so mean. Mean. And my friends were mean. Nothing made me happy. He was just a nice, simple guy, and I needed to deal with that.
I hate to admit this, but…I didn’t dump him then. I stayed. I stayed for three more miserable weeks. And then I went on spring break with Pepper and, um, this dumbass that I later dated for two months, and then I came back, and I finally (finally!!) kicked him to the metaphorical curb.
It was hard, though, because he really did make me feel like I was this horrible heinous bitch. He got along with everybody. People adored him. He never actually cheated on me, he didn’t steal my computer (unlike another guy I dated), he, um…gave me free beer?
But he was a douche, and there was NO sex. And I really, honestly resent the time I wasted on him.
And I want out of this town. The dearth of options is absolutely appalling.