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The Narcissist? – Part 1

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While I’m having a lazy Saturday, I thought I’d take some time to write about the disaster that was my relationship with TFW. It’s a fairly long story, so I’ll have to do it over several parts.

I know I use a lot of acronyms in this blog – it’s frankly to protect identities. It doesn’t take much ingenuity to figure out what TFW means, and unfortunately after some considerable time the acronym is still appropriate, in fact probably more so as time lends clarity to what took place.

The relationship I had with TFW was the first I’d had since Tom, and actually was at its peak of disaster around this time last year, which is possibly why it’s on my mind a bit lately. I did keep a very private journal at the time – it’s probably the only thing that kept me strong and sane actually – so I will have some recourse to that while I write this.

Anyway, I met TFW just as a result of a normal life occurrence – I suppose what I mean by that is that I didn’t meet him through work or online dating (I’ve never done online dating and never will, and given that the only people I meet are generally through work and I won’t have relationships with clients, I guess I’ll be single for the rest of my life, which doesn’t bother me). I was getting a kitchen upgrade in around May last year and he was one of the cabinet-makers.

To be honest, I can’t say I was instantly attracted to him. He had a nice smile and I was well aware he was deliberately using it to win me over. What I couldn’t figure out at the time was why he would bother. It was quite clear to me I was older than him – in actual fact he looked older than me but he made a point of saying how old he was quite early in in the piece when we were chatting in the kitchen so I knew he was nine years younger than me. I knew also he was angling for me to tell him how old I was, but I don’t like age-ism in men so I made a deliberate point of not telling him.

During the few days that it took him to make my kitchen, he did make some overtures, I suppose. For example, he asked me for my number because he said he could buff and polish my floors for me, and also he made a point of texting me over the ensuing day about nothing that couldn’t wait. I didn’t really think much of it because as far as I was concerned, there was nothing there, he really wasn’t my type. Not because he was a cabinet-maker – I actually am attracted to “blue collar types” despite or maybe because of my profession. To be brutally honest though that attraction vanishes if the man concerned is illiterate, can’t spell or uses text language. The last two applied to TFW and the first one nearly did. But aside from that, even though he wasn’t bad looking by any means, he just physically wasn’t my type. He had a rectangular torso (whereas Tom was an upside down triangle), long black sideburns, a goatee, not real great teeth and he was kind of short. He was very friendly and charming though and I was definitely not averse to becoming friends with him.

In any event, he finished my kitchen, and he basically slipped from my mind as I assumed I’d never see him again – I was pretty sure the offer to buff and polish my floors was an empty gesture. However….

Lo and behold, probably two weeks later he texted me. I hadn’t saved his number to my contacts and it took me a few seconds to realise who it was – just the previous texts and the mention of pricing a floor buffer helped me realise it was him.

A bit of polite back and forth ensued, then… he comes right out and texts “I think you’re very sexy”. In actual fact, he texted “I think your vry sxy” but we won’t go there.

I was equal parts shocked, surprised, flattered, annoyed and suspicious. It had been 2.5 years since Tom and I honestly had not thought of myself as a sexual being for a long time, and definitely not sexy. When I met TFW I wasn’t out to have him “like” me, I was just myself. I hadn’t thought of myself as sexy or even attractive so I suppose it never occurred to me to flirt or do any of the usual things people do to seem attractive. However, I also thought the fact he came right out and said it when he barely knew me was highly inappropriate and I wondered what the hell he was up to. Maybe I was and am out of touch and that’s normal behaviour, but even so I was uncomfortable.

I fielded the comment by making some joke because I didn’t want it to continue, and the exchange petered out shortly after.

However, he continued to sporadically text me over the next week or so and made his intentions clear, I guess you can say. He suggested we catch up “for a few drinks”.

By this time I suppose my imagination was superimposing another man over him because I couldn’t quite remember what he looked like and I suppose also my enforced celibacy and quiet existence outside of work made him and his offer quite appealing. He made a suggestion of the following Wednesday, and I was looking forward to what I assumed was going to be my first date since Tom.

Of course the subject of relationship status was broached, considering how things were progressing. He said he was “separated but on good terms”. I told him my status. I did feel a tad uneasy about the “separated” bit but dismissed it.

Wednesday approached and although we exchanged texts before then, he never said where we were actually going for the “few drinks”. He did have a new handle for my kitchen cupboard door which I assumed he was going to give me when he saw me.

Just goes to show how dreadful texting can be as a mode of communication, especially when one party is not very good at writing anyway. It turned out that his intention was to come to my place in the evening, and we would have a “few drinks” here and he would put my cupboard door handle on, even though I was quite able to do it myself – this I found out on the actual day when I asked him what the plan was. Which was all very well, albeit disappointing from my point of view that he didn’t want to go on a “normal date”, but I don’t have alcohol in the place plus my kids were home and I didn’t really want them to see me with TFW at this stage. So I rather grumpily suggested he pick up the drinks, and organised for the kids to go to their dad’s for a few hours.

He said he would be at my place around 6 but by 7 he still hadn’t arrived. Then I get a text from him:

“Goin 2 lay down for a few hrs sore baby sore. Will call u l8tr xxxxx”

I was initially confused then realised the message wasn’t for me. Shocked and angry I texted him back “Let’s make it another time”. Then he rang a second later.

First of all he said he was in the bottle shop and what drink did I want. For all that he didn’t address the text, he sounded defensive and terse which only made me madder. I repeated “ let’s make it another time, ok?” And then he said “that text was for my daughter, sorry about that”.

I knew it was a lie. His daughter was 18 and from what he’d told me they had been estranged for years. And who texts their daughter like that? He pressed me again for my drink of choice and said he would be at my place “in ten”, so I reluctantly conceded.

That leaves Part 1…

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