I stumbled across this picture in my phone and remembered a blog-worthy story.
Back in July, my best friend and I were celebrating my belated birthday weekend at this trendy margarita bar near where we live. They have an awesome outdoor patio with string lights, lawn games like Corn Hole, and this cool fireplace that runs on these fire rock thingies. And tacos– they’ve got tacos. It’s awesome, and I can never go there again.
I had just been through a breakup- about two weeks before graduation, I met this guy who I had immediate chemistry with. He was tall, but not lanky, and he had this cute smile and these innocent, pretty eyes. He loved Mumford and Sons, so instead of studying for finals together he made me a playlist of their best songs in order of greatness and made me listen to it until I loved them, too. He sent me a picture of a bowl with Dora the Explorer on it because I was a-dora-bowl (say it out loud if it’s takin’ a few read-throughs). That’s an awful excuse for humor, but that’s the only kind of humor I know. And yet, though love doth conquer much, long distance doth beateth the fucketh out of everything wonderful.
So, as I lamented this loss, and as my best friend nodded and told me that I should go out and find someone new, a forty-year-old man with a Daiquiri emerged from a group of preppy white boys at the Corn Hole game and came up to our table. I thought: yes! This is what I need! A meaningless fling with a man twice my age! Gosh, this was truly fate at work.
Just kidding. We figured he was probably drunk, and would harmlessly hit on us and we’d politely refuse. To our surprise, he said:
“I’m supposed to be a wing man for those guys over there. They asked you to play Corn Hole with them before, yeah?”
We looked over at the group of guys who, indeed, had asked us to come over and play with them. But Megan, my friend, has a boyfriend, and I was in mourning, so we’d stayed.
“They wanted me to come over here and ask again if you want to play. But if you ask me, you shouldn’t go. They’re douches.”
Our eyes widened. Why was this middle-aged man hanging out with kids? Why did he say he would be their wing man and then murder their game with a sledgehammer??
“Why are they douches,” I asked, intrigued.
“They’re your typical guys your age, man. They just want to hook up and leave you in the morning. You’re beautiful girls! You deserve someone who’s going to treat you right. You have someone who treats you right?”
Oh, he just wanted us for himself. When we didn’t both immediately say yes (because the point of the conversation we’d just been having was that I didn’t), he, of all things, pitched his Instagram account to us, where he posted about how to treat women. Luckily, before we’d been roped in so far that we had to follow it, someone put his arm around the man’s shoulders, and distracted him.
“Hey, bro,” he said. Our savior was tan and trim, with great hair and perfect teeth. One of the guys from the Corn Hole Group. “Isn’t it time to call your wife?”
“What? What time is it,” he asked, suddenly alarmed.
“It’s 11:30 bro, you gotta call.”
The older guy said some things as he walked away that he wouldn’t want on his Insta for sure.
“Sorry,” the younger guy said. “A few of us work with that guy and he likes to pretend that he doesn’t have a wife and kids at home. Pretty shitty if you ask me, but we come here every [day of the week I can’t remember] and he’s in the group chat where we made the plans, so we had to invite him. You guys sure you don’t want to come over and play?”
We looked at each other and shrugged, and followed him back to his friends. On the way over, I tripped on the grass in my wedge heels, and he caught me by putting his hands around my waist. We did the thing where we looked into each other’s eyes for a quick second before I coyly looked at the ground. When I was stable, he moved his hand up my back and said “careful, it’s dangerous out here.” He nodded at my shoes and flashed a sexy smile. “I see you’ve got weapons but just in case they don’t work, you better keep me around.”
Mmm, he needed more than a sledgehammer to kill that game.
By the end of the night, he’d asked me to dinner for the next night and I said yes, partly because I hadn’t been on an actual dinner date since I was eighteen. The next morning, I excitedly told my mom about him, and she asked his name.
“Rob,” I said.
“I need more than that to Google him. Where’s he from?”
Oh, I thought. That’s a good idea. I told her the town he said he was from, and her hand flew to her mouth.
“Is this him,” she asked, turning her iPad around to face me.
I read the headline and scoffed. Come on, what were the chances of that? Then, I got the nerve to look down at the picture. Yes, yes, it was him. Four months prior, he had been charged with selling heroin and cocaine, and possession of other drug paraphernalia.
Now, I can’t be sure, but this guy did not look like someone who was using heroin. In my experience, people who are in the throes of a heroin addiction look haggard, ill, disheveled, etc. Rob was very well put together and perfectly present in our conversations, so it seemed likely that he was literally just making money off of other people’s life-threatening addictions, and I can’t think of something that could make a person more scummy. Again, I know sometimes addicts can function very well in society, but it seems to me that this guy with his carefully tousled hair, perfect teeth and brand-name clothes from a neighborhood where heroin is not prevalent, was just taking advantage of people with mental illness to make money. Absolutely disgusting in my book.
A few hours later, he texted me.
“Nicole Marie, don’t you dare answer that text,” my mom said. Despite my rant, I must admit I thought briefly about ignoring her and getting a free high-end meal bought with dirty, illegal money, but I did eventually take the moral high road by ignoring it.
But wait– when I didn’t answer Rob, he had his friend text me, from a different number, asking me what happened and to meet them at the bar next [day of the week I still can’t remember]. When I ignored that, too, I got a second text that insinuated in some quite unkind words that I had led Rob on, and was generally not a nice girl.
And so, since I can’t remember the day of the week that the Corn Hole Group goes to that particular awesome bar, I have said my goodbye to the frozen margaritas, and have bid the tacos adieu (adios). I have resigned myself to never again seeing the cool fire rocks, but as the old adage goes: some things are just not worth being sought after by a truly terrible human being and his douchey, over-involved friends.
What’s your take on this situation? Was I too hard on him, or do you agree that he was someone I should stay away from? What would you have done?