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.


gr said...

the dude should have shaped up and behaved and seen you for the great person that you are---maybe a shrink and some psychotropic drugs

Jay said...

That dude is a mess. He's obviously got emotional issues. He probably would have been physically abusive too eventually.

Of course, now that I'm 40, I have no problem with a 40 year old dating a beautiful woman your age. ;-)

Mike said...

Poor guy probably was used and abused by gold diggers for his money, but the flip side is he allowed it to happen, you know?

His behavior was probably his building a wall expecting you to take his shit. When you didn't he didn't know how to react so he got weirder.

Not that it matters now, but hopefully he's shaped up.

GMEyster said...

What a great tale. I didn't think your picture was darkly painted at all. You always strike me as naturally curious and logical. I love that you often say "I wouldn't have changed a thing, because I learned a lot" - that's priceless :o)

Dianne said...

I read the story as being very insightful and balanced.

Anonymous said...

Is it not sad that some people can ruin all of the good guys and we the good girls are left to see his "protective abusive side" I am glad you seen the signs and you decided to bail!

Glad you don't take shit from people!


Knight said...

GR- A shrink was exactly what he needed. Ever notice the people that need to see a therapist the most are the ones that refuse to go?

Jay- I do wonder if he would have become physically abusive. I hope he never did that to anybody. I hope if he did that they did something about it. I have nothing against older men dating younger women. It just wasn't right in his case. Turning forty is a milestone. Run out there and get yourself an intelligent young woman that respects the maturity that sometimes come with age.

Mike- I have no idea what made him behave the way he did. I don't expect he will ever grow out of it.

GMEyster- A little too curious maybe. It's good to discover and learn if you are careful.

Dianne- Thanks Dianne. I appreciate you saying so.

Single- He might not have ever been a good guy. He might have been a spoiled one from the beginning. The real question is how we keep finding all the spoiled ones. I definitely have a good one now! You will too.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you have a point there! I am glad you have Casey, I will find me one.. I have to find the time for a man. I want one, for when I get lonely and then, I am fine without one!..

I am a confusing woman. LOL!!!

Freakazojd said...

You made a GOOOOD choice. :)

BBC said...

All money ever bought me was sex. In the sense that because I made money I was able to attract mates. As for love, it's a confusing insanity. :-)

I've gotten too complex for most women to understand me anyway, I just drive them nuts because I think that sex should be a spiritual act.

As for your comment on my blog. I wasn't thinking of the danger, I just don't want to be around people like that.

Knight said...

Sis- I'm glad I have him too. It's best to always be fine alone. As soon as you are okay with that the right people just start walking into your life. Funny how that works.

Freakzojd- Yeah. I agree.

BBC- "As for love, it's a confusing insanity." So true. So true. You have gotten too complex for most people to understand you. Not just women. You know that though. As for the comment on your blog... that makes sense. There are a whole lot of people like that here. I'm starting to see why you like those mountains so much.

The Mountain Cat said...

I like being alone but I am now getting my personal shit together so when I do meet the one, the relationship will run smoother.

JasonBSchmidt said...

I'm glad to know more about this guy. He was always so mysterious in the bits and pieces you revealed about him.

Jo said...

What a great post, I agree with Dianne, very insightful. He does sound emotionally abusive, and compulsively manipulative. I'd guess you're right & he will be lonely forever...doesn't sound like he learned much from it given how it ended.

You did a good job of protecting yourself while still being open to love...I think that's a great balance.

Jimmy said...

A good post Knight
You were strong and that's not easy

Tink said...

Just goes to show, money really CANT buy you love. He leaned on his wealth too much to learn how to be a good guy. And the sad thing is, he could have had the girl. Not a gold digging girl, but the beautiful one who really cared for him.

Farmer*swife said...

This was a really good read. Apparently, I've missed some of the previous incites to this.

(Possibly before my blogging time?)

What an experience. Life is strange that way.

How smoothly your thoughts are written across the screen. You could turn this story into a novel...

Then You'd be the one with the money ;)

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