Thursday, April 17, 2008
Money Can't Buy You Love
We met at a boxing charity event. One of those grand dining things where you pay a couple thousand for a seat. It was a black tie event with a fancy dinner and boxing matches. Odd mix, I know. W was at a table of wealthy men. I was one of the women hired to walk around in an evening gown and make small talk all night. I was twenty one at the time and found this event to be a great place to network. W was 40 and the second he saw me grabbed my hand and didn't let me out of his sight. I make that sound more dramatic than it really was. In a way he played hard to get and for whatever reason I found him charming.
I should have known right away something was odd because an attractive millionaire in really great shape is unlikely to be single at forty years old. I didn't notice though. I thought he was a lot of fun. We would go out to some quiet little place and have a glass of wine or wander around the city. It started off very low key. I was uncomfortable going out with him because I didn't want him spending money on me and I didn't have much at the time. We spent a lot of time at his gorgeous lower east side apartment. One night we ordered a pizza and this should have been the major tipoff. When the delivery guy showed up he could barely speak English and couldn't understand why W was being sarcastic about it taking almost an hour to arrive. W got agitated with him, barely tipped the guy, started yelling, and slammed the door on him. I was in shock. I recall saying "What the hell was that about?" but he didn't seem to understand I was talking about him. I let it go but it obviously didn't leave my mind.
The more time we spent together the more I realized he was constantly trying to impress me with with his possessions and the lavish life he could provide for me. At the same time he was slowly cutting me with little reminders of how little I have or the insignificance of my career. He sought out my insecurities and used them against me. If I had realized that in the beginning I would have run for the hills but he was sneaky about it. It was a slow process.
W had a house in Miami but during the time we dated he spent a lot of time in New York with me. The few times he spent a weekend at his house he would call me and tell me to go hop a jet blue flight. He supposedly missed me and wanted to see me right away. He was going to pay and I just couldn't handle that so I never went. Looking back on those moments I realize he was trying to use this as another way to manipulate me. I'm glad I didn't take the bait.
Over Thanksgiving I attended a family reunion at my parents house in Illinois. W called me several times a day. It seemed charming at first that he cared so much he kept checking in. I think he was lonely that Holiday. I don't remember what was said anymore. I think I blocked it out but I remember being so embarrassed and disappointed with him over what he said to me that I hid from my family and cried. I was screwed at this point because I really did care about him. Stupid Stupid Girl.
Then I got strong again. Manipulate me and you get it back. I disappeared for a bit but then we started talking again. He told me he wanted me to stay at his apartment while he was living in Miami. I said no. He would try to mess with my emotions and I would turn the tables on him so fast he didn't know what hit him. Don't think I don't know your insecurities too honey.
One time we were sitting in front of his fireplace and he was harassing me about something. I said, "Don't start with me. Don't think I won't hit you." He continued. With the back of my left hand I hit him in the chest. You know the kind. A "Knock it off." tap. He screamed in a high pitched tone like a little girl which caught me off guard so I immediately fell for his games again and asked very concerned if he was okay. I quote, "I can't believe you hit me. Never, never hit me like that again." I laughed in his face. You are kidding, right? I thought it was a joke. He was serious. Confused I let it go but about an hour later out of the blue he said. "Don't you ever hit me again." Look, I'm not an abusive person and if I thought I had hurt him or did anything wrong I would apologize but this was outrageous.
There were a few more occasions, usually over the phone, where he would say something outright rude and eventually I was fed up. I cared about him at some point but he killed it. I finally admitted to my friends that I thought he was emotionally abusive and I was done. He kept calling and sending me rude e-mails. I ignored him. I saw him almost a year later. He was in town because he was backing a new restaurant about to open. I showed up for a minute to say hello before meeting a friend. He asked me why it was over. I told him I felt he was emotionally abusive. He offered me a job as a go-go dancer. That was the last slap in the face. I told him he would be lonely forever and left.
On the outside of this relationship I was viewed as the young gold digger that was with him for the money. I don't know what people said to him about me but I can assume. I know everyone around me thought it was ridiculous I was dating a man so much older. There were certainly labels. Poor pathetic W didn't realize he had no reason to be so insecure with me. I think he had been used for his money before but I'm not that person. I think he knew that too. He just didn't know how to treat someone right. It explains a lot in retrospect. I don't regret anything because I learned a lot. I learned what that sort of relationship is like and I will never be in one again.
Looking back over this post I realize I painted a dark picture. I want to reiterate that wasn't all there was to it. I am not the type to take shit from people. There was a real romance happening at the same time. It's just obscured by my memories of all the bad.