Sunday, April 22, 2007

Phone snafus

My mother was in a tizzy yesterday. She met a guy for coffee two weeks ago. Last weekend, he'd tried to call her, left a message, but they didn't cross paths. He has a bunch of grown children and, at the last minute, he was inviting her to come out for the day with them; family members were in from out of town. She was bummed to have not gotten the message earlier, because she liked him very much, more than anyone else I've heard her talk about.

Yesterday morning, she had another coffee date with him. He lives close to where her new house is, so meeting early in the morning still allows her to get new house things done.

A couple hours later, she was at her old home and she called the number he'd left so she could inquire about something; it may have pertained to their date coming up on Wednesday, the one in which "we'd decided to have dinner and sex." Thanks for that image, Ma.

A woman answered his phone. For the first call, my mother hung up, as it was the wrong number. Then she grew suspicious and called back. Turns out the man gave my mother a false name and he's been married for two years, divorced from a long marriage with eight kids. His physical description checks out as does his back story with locations, education, retirement, and children. It's the same guy, different name.

The wife was calm, but flabbergasted, of course. They'd mixed up cell phones that morning by accident. She kept exclaiming over and over, as my mother recited details he'd told her, "You're not a kook. You're not a kook."

They had two conversations. The first, while the wife was at work, outlined the basics and then she called my mother after work from home in the afternoon. My mother's repeated mantra was, "That Son of a Bitch," as she loathes the thought of dating married men and is very careful not to. During this talk, they filled in lots more details when the unsuspecting, cheating husband came home to an ambush. The wife merely handed him the phone and said he had a call.

My mother asked, "Is this Tim or Jim?" and he quickly replied that it was a wrong number. Little did he realize it wasn't a new call. His wife piped up, "Oh, no, it isn't a wrong number. This woman knows entirely too much about you." Click. Tim/Jim hung up.

Supposedly, the newlyweds would have been reported by observers to be the lovey dovey-ist one you ever saw, the model couple. In fact, the wife told my mother they'd had sex Saturday morning, just before my mother's coffee date with him at 7:30am. I'm sure that was exhilarating for him. Further, the wife said she was on the outing last Saturday, so I guess his late invitation to my mother was a ploy to act available, then it was convenient to be on the water and supposedly not have cell phone access.

We know how to pick 'em, huh? In a lapse, me saying something that she would say, I told her that it was nice to find out after a mere two dates instead of two and a half years like me. Actually, I think it finally hit home with her what I've been through. However, she broke up a marriage by accident and I actively chose not to, although it still niggles my brain sometimes.

Simultaneous to their coffee date, Ted and I had a phone conversation. I do believe it was our last fight; parts are recounted below, but I won't got into it all. He took to yelling at me, yelled that he wasn't yelling, then cancelled our plans together for the day. Fine and good. Part of the crux is that he refuses to believe he is OCD in addition to his ADHD, although those words never came up. In the past, he's said his habits are due to being raised by an organized engineer, but I counter that what made Daddy alcoholic and controlling makes his brother alcoholic and him obsessive.

My point is that I have realized another angle of him that is controlling - of me, not of how his possessions are arranged or lists made. He considers himself to be very teacherly; I used the word 'didactic,' it went over his head, but he tried repeatedly to use it and could not pronounce it - par for his course in trying to imitate intelligent speech - but I am getting catty here as I digress . I agree that he is 'dimacatic,' however he needs to realize that sometimes it is not welcomed or appropriate. He took great offense that I didn't want advice on talking to ex about something I don't want to fix, particularly because I have known ex for 33 years now and do not need a "guy's perspective" on talking to him.

Everything boils down to gender. I think he hates women because he hates his mother. I think he tortures her by not providing for her, not getting something so simple as food for her cat or milk for her coffee. She gets upset and her overwrought (and unpaid) neighbors buy for her (about which I would be horrified that others had to step in for me!), then he counts down how many days the items will last, which serves to get her upset again as she runs out, and finally he decides to do for her. He has her over a barrel and she yells that he's just like his father.

He had the gall yesterday in the early part of our conversation to say that he refuses to allow her to treat him that way. I did really try to just provide support on this topic and not judge the way he wanted to handle his mother, me thinking all the while that life would be so much better if he just bought the cat food. And besides, why did he need to dick her around? Why be so dismissive? She just lives a mile away. Instead, I came up with something atypical for me, "Oh, you twoooo." It was biting my tongue.

A while later, he gave that phrase back to me after I'd talked about ex and summer visitation (I don't get much time off this year), after he gave me advice on talking to ex, after I was compelled to remind him of something he already knew: ex and I generally have a good relationship, we both probably bite our tongues out of respect, and we do try to keep the peace, so I don't need advice about talking to him, as if we had arguments all the time. I didn't like the implication. Ted came back with an "Oh you twoooo" and I felt like it was condescending. It didn't apply. Ex and I rarely fight, unlike he and his mother. Ted countered that he and I had used the same words, but would not acknowledge that the same words could be used differently. He has a thick skull and he yells so much there's no getting a word in edgewise. Just the night before, he'd twisted my words in both talking to his mother about getting cat food and with a mutual friend we'd met at a bar. I was sick of my words being twisted.

Then he got really pissed when I said that I didn't want to be taught. What true teacher, i.e. not a control freak, crams advice down the throat of another? He has no clue that he has no right to stick his nose in, that there are times he should just listen and keep his mouth shut. He cannot hold his tongue. He feels like he's a teacher to the core and needs someone to appreciate that.

Anyway, the cheap ass owes me about $100 and I left about 5DVDs at his house. I could forfeit it all, but I feel the need to be a teacher. He needs to pay the debts he owes and not conveniently "forget."

Enough already. With the whole lot of 'em.

In this my final (I hope) Ted bashing, I do want to convey one other thing, though, because I more fully understand it now. It revolves around the teaching thing and collides with my pet issue. We went to dinner last Wednesday. Gentleman that he is, he was ahead of me and sat on one side of the booth. When I got there, I quietly asked if he would switch sides with me. Of course, he made a big production about it and wanted to know why. In the throes of my infant self protection mode, I'd spied a 3mo old at the next table and I wanted to be next to it instead of having it in my face. He was incredulous that I would not want to look at a baby. See how good I've been at the SIF stuff lately, people? Ted and I have been talking since January and he had no idea. I replied some days are worse than others and I was choosing not to expose myself during that dinner.

Well, I realize now I was wrong to request changing seats. I would have been better off facing the baby, sucking it up, and not drawing attention to something he could teach me about.

Look, the baby is eating a cracker.

Look at that head of hair.

Look the mom is playing with her.

How old do you think the baby is?

Look at those fertile parents with two children under 3!
[Okay, that's my interpretation.]

I could not get him to give it up. He had to show me how wonderful that baby was, although he would never admit to cramming it down my throat. He was a teacher with a lesson plan and a right to force that lesson on anyone within listening distance.

Obviously, although it's not official, this break up has been a long time coming. He was Mr. Right Now, not Mr. Right, but I was willing to settle for a while. No longer.

My mother summed it up well. (When did she get so smart?) She asked if I remembered what I told my sister twenty five years ago when Sis asked why I didn't like her boyfriend, the one who wrecked her car and she took the blame, the one who stole from our house to support his crack habit. I replied to my sister, "It's because I've never heard you say anything nice about him."



Cricket said...

I haven't talked to him. Don't really want to.

Something has occurred to me, though. His mother is moderately well off. Big house, big boat, Lexus, etc. Worth a good bit, probably a couple mil.

She also has high blood pressure and he reminds her all the time to stop yelling because of her blood pressure. What if that is what he really wants? For her not to die a slow death from dementia, but to die quickly from a heart attack or stroke? He sure draws things out in order to upset her.

She had a stroke last fall, but maybe the next event would kill her. He says he puts out her meds in a pill box, but she doesn't take them. Maybe that's convenient.

If she were gone, then he wouldn't have to pay thousands each month for a nursing home and he'd get all her stuff. Because stuff is what it's all about to hm.

Anonymous said...

Hey, isn't there a quote somewhere about how if you want to know how a man is going to treat you, look at how he treats his mother?

And speaking of moms, yowch!

h2o girl said...

Crikey. The baby stuff would have sent me over the edge. What is up w/people who are so convinced they're right and they somehow need to drill their opinions into you?

I usually loathe Dr. Phil, but one thing he said sticks with me - "Would you rather be happy, or right?" Not that that applies to Ted, since he is clearly misguided, as well as a cheap ass.

Onward and upward, sweetie.