Seth was one of my first forays into online dating after my divorce. Wide eyed innocents together we bonded over our shared confusion that our marriages hadn’t quite worked out and our love of bicycles. He was a little short for my taste but he did have the requisite big nose and seemed to think I was the best thing since sliced bread. He was a product designer – which sounded sexy – he loved his mom and he had a cool apartment in Capital Hill. Plus on our first date he told me I was the prettiest thing he’d ever seen. Nothing like a man who thinks you’re awesome to soften even the hardest of hearts, even if you know he’s lying. 2 weeks in and I was meeting the ‘rents and planning camping trips. 4 weeks of wine soaked evenings and premature declarations of affection and my girlfriends were getting worried.
‘Nooooooo…..you can’t…….He looks like Bambi’
Sure, Seth did have a kind of wide eyed vacant stare, and he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed but he sure did like me and I had 3 years of denied affection stored up. I loved being adored.
So he looked one brain cell away from drooling, but it was kind of cute if you didn’t think too much about it. Instead I focused on feeling pretty, having a man want to hold my hand, stare into my eyes and spend every spare minute with me telling me how amazing I was. He wanted to love me forever, make babies, get married…
Which is when reality started to filter through the love haze. At his mention of marriage I finally got rational (well I did play with the idea of a ring one afternoon, but then I got rational. Those things are pricey).
Seth talked about his skills – a lot. As the lead designer for a solar company I had assumed he had some idea of what he was doing, but as I listened to him talk about his job, I started to hear what sounded like an arrogant asshole slinging blame up the food-chain. Now I might not be Warren Buffet but I have the basics covered and refusing to do something because its not in your job description is a no no, (unless it involves cleaning or loving of any sort). I don’t recall that criticizing the CEO to his face isn’t a good idea either. And when someone starts excluding you from meetings… hmmm… I casually mentioned that he might want to update his LinkedIn profile.
His eyes were wide eyed and horrified at the suggestion that he might be anything but loved by his colleagues.
‘But I’m the lead designer
..they need me’
I hated to burst his bubble and he didn’t take my suggestion that things might be less than stellar very seriously, slamming the door on the way to his car. I felt bad that I’d potentially hurt his feelings and misjudged his situation.
Until he got fired the next week and showed up at my doorstep, crying.
Now I hate to be sexist, but watching a man cry because he was fired isn’t up there on my list of attractive moments. Watching the snot dribble from his nose as he sobbed and whined pretty much cemented my panties in place. When he suggested that he use my work computer to start to look for jobs I was startled but silent.
‘Will you help me look?’
‘….for a job?’
‘Yes. You know me’
This was waaaaaaaaaaay to much for a 6 week relationship. I felt nauseous and had to take myself off for a walk, trying to shake the feeling of being smothered. Had someone just left their baby on my doorstep? I mean he was crying, and now he needed me to help him find a job? Even my ex husband hadn’t asked for my help when applying for new jobs.. and we’d been together for 5 years. But… then my ex had been kind of insular. Maybe this is what you did in a normal relationship? You were supportive. I know I can be coldly rational sometimes so I ovaried up. Armed with the intent to lend a hand and at least get the guys resume in some kind of shape, I marched back into my house…
…to find Seth measuring my closet.
‘What are you doing?’
‘See whether we can fit my stuff in here. If we widen this walk-in closet, I think we can double the space and it will work for both our stuff’
Holy shit.. was he intending to move in?
‘well I’m unemployed now.. I won’t be able to make rent.. I just thought….’
I was thirsty for affection but I didn’t need a hose pipe. An instant roommate/ dependent wasn’t what had been on my mind or my match.com profile. No amount of doe eyes was going to get me to foster Seth through adulthood. Even Bambi made it work on his own and I’m no Thumper.