~Monday, December 04, 2006

Losing My Words

"I'm not a scumbag."

I took a sip and looked at him. I didn't really know what to say to that. I met him in a bar. There was a guy passed out on the other side of the table we were sitting at. Chances are he's a scumbag. Instead of responding, I remained silent.

"When I first came up to you, you narrowed your eyes, took a long drink, and asked me evenly, 'So what are you, the wingman?'"

I nodded.

"I told you I'm nobody's wingman. I do what I want to do."

I nodded again. The line made me laugh-- he won points for that.

"I went to the bathroom and you started talking to another group. I came back and asked you why. You said you didn't think I was coming back."

I didn't remember this, but I was on gin and tonic number six. It sounded exactly like something I would say, so I chose to believe him.

"When I kissed you, you pushed me away. You liked that I kissed you though."

I didn't think I pushed him away. Did I? Was it subconscious?

"I have been nothing but decent to you, and you are acting like I'm a scumbag. I just want your number. An e-mail address. No pressure."

Before I could respond, E charged up, "Is he being a douche?" She looked at him accusingly, "Are you being a douche?"

"No," I cut in. "He's been nothing but decent." I used his words; I still didn't have any of my own. Pacified, E returned to her own man of the night.

"I'm not a scumbag," he repeated.

Anxiety rose up in me, overtaking my entire body. I couldn't even give him my e-mail address.


Sunday morning I was sitting in the dining room of my mother's house. My mother was sitting Indian-style on the carpet, crying in front of an open window. My step-father had lied to her again. This was nothing new: I found my childhood diary a month before and apparently I've been writing since I was nine years old that my mother wanted to leave my step-father.

"I'm a prisoner in my own house," she cried.

My mother has always had a flair for drama.

"I paid for this house. If I leave him, then he'll get half. Half of my house. I love my house. It's the prettiest prison I could have."

Again. Flair.

"Maybe I'll just use reverse psychology on him. I'll feed him fatty foods and buy him cigarettes. That way he'll get cancer and die."

While I almost fell out of my chair for what my mother just admitted to me, she seemed to like the idea, "My friends' husbands lost the battle to cancer in about three months. That's not very long."

I debated saying she would feel really terrible if he did actually get cancer and die. That watching someone suffer is never fun. But I was curious to see how far she would take things.

"I think he has sleep apnea. Do you know what that is? He isn't getting enough oxygen when he sleeps. He could stop breathing and die from that. That would be quick."

No wonder. No wonder I end things over mouth-breathing and lava lamps and bad kissing. No wonder I spend more time testing men than I do trusting them. No wonder the idea of getting hurt by them gives me anxiety attacks. No wonder I am such a mess.

No effing wonder.


Phil said...

It's a wonder how normal you actually are. I think your instincts with barguy were on the money.

"I'm not a scumbag. I've been pretty decent. You owe me your phone number"

Guilt trip as seducation. Nice.

That's not far removed from:-

"I bought you dinner and a few drinks. You owe me sex"

Jen said...

The more they protest that they are a scumbag the more likely that they are. Trust your gut...which I think you did.

Walter said...

Reading about your mom, and a little of your past, it's total wonderment that you're not like your mom. You're doing a fine job rising above all that, but if you could only take Tae Kwon Do lessons so you could kick scumbags in the crotch. Just kidding about the last part. ;)

Indiana said...

Any guy who has to say to a girl in a bar "I am not a scumbag" is in fact saying he is.

Which sort of flies in the face of my "we are more truthful when drunk" theory.

Steph said...

He sounds like the Elephant man saying "I am NOT an animal". Twat.

Sarah said...

Phil- Thanks for the vote of confidence, I thought I was going to get another slew of comments about how mean I can be.

Jen- Does that also apply to "nice guys?"

Walter- I would be a very unhappy individual if I was like my mother. Call it a self-preservation instinct.

Indiana- Ooooh! A hole in one of Indy's theories!!!! What a Dear Diary moment!!

Steph- Lol!

Anonymous said...

I always heart Phil's comments. He has a way of saying things that just... hits the point right on.

Sarah, you are NOT your mother and her choices don't have to reflect your own. You know what you do want and what you don't want. You're going with your gut instinct with men. Sure, you have some issues - don't we all? But bottom line, you're forging your own path, taking your own road, deciding on your journey.

You've got the control to make the choice(s) that come around; not anyone else.

So far, you've made some smart decisions regarding men. You're not completely naive and I think you've avoided more than one head-on collision with disaster because of the choices you've made.

Your mom is in the relationship she's in by her own choice.

You're being cautious, careful, and making men earn your trust and respect instead of handing it to them on a silver platter - along with your heart and your bankbook. One day, you'll find the person that is worthy of your respect, trust, and love and the pieces will fall together.

Until then... don't beat yourself up. You're not nearly as fucked up as you think. :)

M said...

haha, one thing I have learnt in my life from boys. If they say they're not a scumbag/dickhead/cheater/wanker then they most definitely are one.

Actually..if they say 'hey I'm a really nice guy' you usually can't trust that either.. oh bugger.

um..maybe we just don't listen to men at all from now on. heh heh.

Sarah said...

RMP- Thanks! I really think I would end up in a straitjacket if it wasn't for this blog where people tell me I'm not absolutely psychotic.

M- When have we ever listened to men? lol!

Anonymous said...

try some indian baby. most of indians are normal, if u could believe.


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