The Love Buffet

   E and I met him by the pool when we were drunk. I think we were drunk most of that year. We all hate our jobs. Lucky I didn’t stay there for twenty. I thought he was decent looking and articulate. He also had a good job which was a rarity in that town. When we went out to the local bars we were screwed. The women got pissed off at us because their men asked us to dance and the men got pissed off at us when we said no in order to avoid angry women confronting us in the battered washrooms. We learned to drink out of town fairly early after our arrival. I dated a local for a while he was a long haul trucker with other girlfriends no doubt, but when he was in town he always brought me lunch at work and took me dancing at the clubs in Mexico.

Anyway. I liked this guy for E who was still mooning over some ex university boyfriend. He offered to take us out to the lake in his boat. He was careful to suggest she bring a couple of friends. So we did and we had a nice day. They went out on a few dates and I thought: finally I will stop hearing about this stupid ex.

Sadly E informed me that he kissed like a lizard and she ended the relationship. Every time I saw him at the apartment complex after she shared this information I saw him as a skinny green lizard and in time we called him lizard man behind his back. He stopped me one day and told me that she was “too nice” for him and he hoped he did not hurt her feelings when he ended things. On balance, I believed E’s version simply because I to had been kissed in a lizard like fashion and concluded there was no hope for for pleasant coupling. E later dated and married R who apparently kissed rather well but had severe employment difficulties. He didn’t want to work as much as talk about what he wanted to do with his life one day. Initially E took this talk for greater ambition. We all did.

J dragged me to the rodeo and then to the bars after to met a cowboy. She actually met a rancher. He was very unavailable at times. He lied to her about where he was going. J made me go out on stakeouts with her to track him down. We drank in the car and then one of her colleagues suggested she go to a spell casting woman since some other woman obviously either put evil upon J or her own powers over the rancher. These things make ultimate sense when sobriety is rare and the weather is constantly hot. The spell casting woman made up a dubious concoction for J to drink and wanted once weekly sessions to strengthen the spell. J ditched the concoction and just continued stalking the rancher. I tried to point out that in a small town there was a high degree of certainty he would realize she was dogging him. As it happened he did notice and he thought it was “cute”. They got married.

I went home for a visit and ran into a guy I went to school with who suggested a movie. He let me pick the movie and then complained about the subtitles even though I asked him several times if he minded seeing it. It was weird to see you there with a blonde version of me. Ironically my date was also blonde. My date asked me if I liked “American” movies. I said,” you mean where a bunch of shit gets blown up or where some really hot woman gets won over my a nerdy guy.” A mutual friend told me that he talked obsessively about me but then declared he never wanted to see me again. We only had a few dates when I visited home from time to time and he never really enjoyed whatever I suggested we do. I thought it was interesting that he jumped right in the shower after we had sex. He used some pheromone to help get us both in the mood (if you’re wondering what are pheromones? you can learn more online.) It was a great night and I felt so sexually attracted to him. I thought we could have a long-term relationship.

F and R had a problematic relationship. R’s parents had a habit of showing up at their place unannounced and then inviting him out for lunch or dinner. Just him. She got annoyed by this and pushed R to confront his parents about the exclusion. His parents were puzzled when he finally did and said,”what are you talking about.” F and R broke up and his parents gave him money to go back to university. He dropped out after a year and married a woman a few years older than him. F was outraged when she ran into them. The woman was quite plain when contrasted with F. F was also an excellent cook and far more organized than I. ” Fuck”, she said,” I don’t get it aren’t you supposed to upgrade in your next relationship?” F later married a christian drug addict. She was an atheist and not much into drugs. They divorced because the religion thing got too much for her to handle. She did not mind paying for rehab.

You thought my desire to get my MBA and eventually open a sandwich shop was horrific and banal. “Only corporate assholes get MBAs”, was your response. When I pointed out that you were being an asshole just not a corporate one, you didn’t think I was funny at all. You were very unpleasant to L when she did marry a guy with an MBA. As it happened, L wrote a children’s book while she was at home with the baby and vaguely bored since her husband did not want her to work. L and the MBA broke up because she ended making more money that him as an author. He told her she was a bad mother even though they had the most well adjusted kids I ever met and they hated having to visit dear old Dad. L told me you called her and asked her out for dinner and when she turned you down you declared she wasn’t a “real writer.”

While I was dating the man I would marry, you suddenly called me and said you had undergone a self transformation and concluded that the problems we had were not problems at all and that you now trusted me and wanted to be together. My husband was away for the weekend with some friends camping for male bonding which he described as “not shaving for a few days, complaining about women and telling one another how great we are.” We weren’t married yet and I might have been stupid enough to meet you had I not seen a picture of you in the paper. You had an exhibit at a local gallery and even though you looked exactly the same I felt shockingly neutral.

I thought D was gay when I met him. He was married with two kids and had one of those perfect seeming lives he and his wife gently teased one another but then told charming stories about one another to dinner guests that clearly revealed deep affection. D’s wife told me they still had great sex even after 15 years. Other couples who got invited there for dinner felt inevitably insecure out their own relationships after spending an evening under the spell of D and his wife. I have had people confide to me they often thought,”holy fuck my relationship is shit” after being a guest in their home. D did leave her for a man who I have met and guests still feel inadequate after being invited to their home.

My husband said that D’s wife made a blatant pass at him and told him he would ultimately find me “too complicated” to marry. You told me that D’s wife tried to flirt with you and she told you that I was “going to bore you eventually.”

D’s wife hugged me on the street after they broke up and said she could finally “be herself”, the fact that D was gay bothered her less than the fact that all of their mutual friends seemed to like him better.

People always ask me if my husband is as happy as he seems or if it all an act and he has dark places. He was a small undersized kid in school with thick glasses. I saw the pictures but even then he was smiling. Perhaps he knew he would have a growth spurt and get better looking frames? He has no bad memories of growing up even though his older brother recalls him being picked on at school and his parents who are now both ill still favor the older brother. His older brother does some kind of corporate law that requires a lengthy explanation and causes people’s eyes to dart around. He and his wife plead with us to sell our house, move to their neighborhood and put our son in a “better school” and join their suspect church and get out of that “ghastly city”. My husband uses the long commute to his restaurant as an excuse to blow them off but privately admits he would rather not. Under any circumstance.

I wasn’t going to come and visit you but your wife called me and specifically asked me to since you recalled me to her as a “great friend who understood you well”. Either you lied to her or yourself.

Your wife has aged well despite looking tired. She is gracious to me.

So. Here I am to say good-bye.


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  1. And it helped me avoid housework for a while….

    • Miep on September 27, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    with sentences instead of phrases.

    I like it. You have an ear for language. It’s like some kind of spoken word piece; it would work well out loud.

    Very cool. Thanks for this.


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