My romantic life has never been what one would call stellar. When I was in my twenties and let alcohol be my guide, I had a tendency to end up in bed with men that I normally would not even have a conversation with if I had been sober.

In the summer before I moved to Madison (1989? 1990?), I was working two jobs, one at Major’s and also at an Italian Restaurant (still around so we’ll call it the Grape Vine). One night, after my shift ended at the Grape Vine, one of my coworkers talked me into going to Denny’s with him. He mentioned that another employee, a line cook named Mitch, would be joining us. For some reason, Mitch and I hit it off.

At this point of my life, I am still in what I affectionately refer to as “The Needy Years” where I judged myself on my worthiness on whether a guy like me. And, as a reward for liking me, I would sleep with them. Because, as I said, I was needy. And extremely lonely.

So, as I said, Mitch and I hit it off. I’m not sure why. Maybe because he usually had a pretty good supply of pot on hand, maybe because he found me attractive, maybe because I was desperate. Probably all three.

Mitch didn’t have a car. If we were going to go out, I would take a bus to the Maplewood Mall. He would meet me there. We walked everwhere. I remember telling my former friend Jake this as though it was a good thing. Which it probably was because I was getting a ton of exercise but still, I am not a walker.

So, let’s list some of the charming things about Mitch.

  1. He had once been in the army. So he would walk around wearing camoflauge outfits.
  2. His idea of a good time was to pretend he was mentally and physically handicapped. I would be so embarrassed being with him when he would do this.
  3. He asked me why I cried at movies. I told him I liked to cry. It was a catharsis for me. He didn’t know what I meant and asked me to explain. I told him it meant an emotional release, one that usually makes the person feel better. He wanted to know why I couldn’t just say that in the first place. Which, in itself is not so bad. I didn’t mind that he didn’t know what the word meant. What I didn’t like was that he didn’t understand my fascination with words. Oh, let’s face it. He was stupid. He didn’t get me at all.
  4. He lived with his step-mother. And when she got evicted, he lived in the shed behind her house. I actually spent the night there with him. And almost died because it was so cold.
  5. Always broke. Probably because of the drugs. So I ended up paying for everything.
  6. Insane. Psychotic freak obsessed with two things – the army and me.

About two-three weeks into our relationship, he asked me to marry him. I said yes. I know. But I told you this was a ride on the WWIT? train at the very beginning of this post. Then, when we went to look at engagement rings, we started arguing over whether I should get a diamond ring. I don’t like diamonds. I think they’re boring. I wanted the black onyx heart. Which was probably an omen. We couldn’t agree so I never got the ring. That’s when I got the dog tags. Yep. Who says romance is dead?

Although many people hate Jake for a lot of the stuff that he did to me, one of the best things he said to me was “You should marry him now. Why let him get away?” when I said that Mitch and I were arguing over a wedding date. I started thinking really hard about what life with Mitch would be like. Fortunately, I came to my senses. I stopped answering the phone when he called and no longer worked at the Grape Vine. He stopped calling after about a week.

Our entire relationship lasted one month.

I was saying to Beth last night that if I knew then what I know now, I probably would still be a virgin. And that reminded me to blog about the time I thought penises became blue when they were erect. But that is a story for another day.

Comments:

At 9:59 PM, brooksba said…

Dana,You are a wonderful person and you deserve more in life than Mitch could give. I’m sure he wasn’t an all bad guy, but you deserve the best guy ever. I’m glad to see you as you are today, a strong individual with hopes, dreams, and the guts to do what you want to do for yourself.

At 12:33 AM, Matt said…

I love you Dana. You are an awesome person, and one of the best friends a person could ever have. With that said, I am wondering, would you have had to wear a camoflauge wedding dress? Because if you did, how would we see you?Matt

At 1:59 AM, angelia said…

since you had to pay for everything…would you have had to pay for your ring too? Just wondering….

At 6:56 AM, The Lioness said…

This is what I think: we are awarded a few freaks during our lifetime. Good thing you got rid of one already. Saves space for the normal ones. See? Actually I think we atttract people according to the messages we send life. Happy to see yours have changed. Many women would have gone on and married the man, anything but being alone. So well done! Really. Not in any patronising way, just really well done.Now please pay attention: write blue stiffy story THIS MINUTE!!! Or I’ll forever withold a really easy liver receipe – and hell if I can cook it so can you, you cannot possibly be a worse cook than I am. Teaser.

At 9:13 AM, CarpeDM said…

Answers:Beth, you rock and always make your day.Matt, I’m betting camoflauge would be extremely slimming but I don’t know what color we would have chosen. We really weren’t together long enough to make any wedding decisions.Angi, I don’t remember. But probably. Which might be why I was so intrigued by the black onyx heart, it was only $149 (I can’t believe I remember that).The Lioness, I’m working on it. Believe me when I say there will be laughter and tears.

At 11:52 AM, The Lioness said…

I’ve been meaning to elaborate ever since I commented but haven’t yet because well you read my post so here it finally comes: it sounds condescending to write “glad to see yours changed”, it’s not meant like that, it’s meant like “we’re all daft at some point and hell could I tell you stories about sending off wrong messages and my stories aren’t even THAT old”. So thanks for not answering “Who do you think you are, b***!” (I’m behaving! ;D)

At 1:07 PM, CarpeDM said…

Actually, I am quite proud of the changes I have made in my life so I was thinking “Oh, how nice of her to notice and acknowledge me.”I think you’re cool.

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