Tag Archives: Relationship

But Really…Isn’t the Truth Good Enough?

Isn’t the truth good enough?

For some people, maybe not. I knew a young man once who worked in a French bakery. He, Italian girlfriend one-point-oh, and I, hung out some. And he told us how he played guitar in a band on “the Vineyard”—where he came from—but he didn’t have his guitar anymore. He also mentioned one time that he studied Kung Fu. I didn’t think anything of either of these declarations, because they seemed perfectly normal.

And then one night he was supposed to come join us for dinner at our apartment, and he was very late. Eventually he showed up, and said he had a problem with some driver who tried to run him (a pedestrian) off the road. He said he jumped on the hood of the guy’s car, and kicked in his windshield. Wow. I was impressed. It was Boston after all, and I had my own run-ins with the idiot drivers, so it really didn’t seem over-the-top. Not quite. Almost. The part about kicking in the windshield…he was wearing sneakers, and they didn’t seem the worse for the wear. Just how could a soft foot in a sneaker break a windshield? But I didn’t think too much about it at the time.

I had my guitar out, and I offered it to him. He hesitated and then picked it up carefully, and spent ten or 15 minutes touching it delicately, carefully, as if it were made of fine glass, without ever fingering a chord. How weird. “Just play it if you want.” I suggested.

“No, no, I have respect for an instrument. I just want to examine it.”

Okay, so he went on like that, it was painful to watch, and we eventually broke off and had dinner. He left, and I mentioned to Pal, my girlfriend, how odd he had seemed that night.

She looked at me matter-of-factly, and with a resigned sigh said, “He can’t play guitar.”

“What?” I asked.

“He can’t play guitar, and he doesn’t know Kung Fu.”

“What? Why would he tell us all that?”

“He’s chronically late. He made an excuse about kicking the guy’s windshield. It’s all bullshit, to distract us from the fact that he was over an hour late.”

“Really?” I couldn’t believe it! I just couldn’t understand why anyone needed to create such an elaborate story around something so minor as being late.

“Yea,” She continued, “He dug himself into a hole when he told you about ‘his band’, and when you handed him your guitar he had to improvise, but not on the guitar, because he can’t play.” She finished with a smile, revealing her slightly crooked front tooth. Adorable.

Jeez. Anyway, I was skeptical about everything the guy said from then on. I lost track of the guy, but he was the first of several “pathological liars” I have known. It always surprises me how gullible I feel when I realize afterwards how obvious it is that they are lying. How easy it is to believe them, and how bizarre it seems that they create this stuff, inevitably, to enhance their own image, or escape their own human frailties.

I was working retail, selling computers. There was a guy in the service department, and I used to hang out there and chat, waiting for things to get assembled, installed, or fixed. (In those days, a personal computer had to be “built” with certain options – type of video card, amount of RAM, type of drive – were all optional. I know kids, it’s hard for you to even imagine what I’m talking about – we’ll discuss that in some future post.)

This guy, I’ll call him “Bob”, was a little older than me, but not much older, a big guy, maybe six-four, over 225 pounds. No matter what shirt he wore, his belly always bulged over this pant waist. He was generally very friendly and upbeat. And out of the blue one day he started telling me about his time as an Army Ranger. I didn’t even know he had been in the Army.

“Yea, it was pretty good. I know how to use a knife, and I was a sniper.”

“Really?” I asked, in awe, “That must have been quite an adventure!”

“Yea,” He said, “The worst thing was when I got this infection.”


“Yep, snipers can’t move for days. I was camouflaged, on my belly; I had to pee in my pants. For days. My dick got all infected. When I finally got back to the base, the doctor had to slice me open to let out all the puss.” He was very matter-of-fact about this.

“You mean?”

“Right,” He said with a sniff, “From the base almost to the tip! Like a hot dog. That’s why I can’t have kids.” His words were even more descriptive than this, but I will spare you.

“Shit!” I said.

“I was serving America. Shit happens. I have a scar to prove it.”

I didn’t ask to see the scar. Six or eight months went by. Bob married his girlfriend. She got pregnant. I wondered how that happened. I mentioned it to Bob’s boss, who I also hung out with. “How did Carol get pregnant?”

“The usual way I would think,” Roger replied.

“I mean, with Bob’s injury and everything. Did they have a sperm donor?”

“What injury? What are you talking about?” Roger asked.

“From the Rangers, when he was a sniper. Don’t you know about that?” I figured he must, they worked pretty closely there in the service department.

“He told you that story too? It’s bogus, I called him on it. He was never in the Army, and certainly not the Rangers! He was having some fun with you.”

Yea, ‘having some fun’. A gross story with pretty elaborate detail in the effort too. And never cleared up the mess. I’m glad I didn’t ask his wife about it! And from that day forward, I didn’t trust anything that Bob said.

Maybe I’m just gullible. Or trusting. Or Carraway-esque? There were a few more big liars in my life, and I’ll tell you about them when I get a minute.



Waterfalls and Pitfalls in Profiles – more on Online Dating

Waterfalls and Pitfalls in Profiles
Once you start shopping around on a dating site and reading profiles, you start to draw conclusions. Such as: they all sound the same. I don’t shop the male profiles, so I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m pretty confident it’s an equivalent scenario for you gals. Women, they like long walks on a beach, candlelit dinners at a fine restaurant, snuggling by firelight, and a man who is a complete gentleman. Well of course. But no guy is going to get excited about a woman who writes that. Especially when there are so many profiles that say exactly the same thing. So the guy is going to look at the pictures (which I’ve already discussed), or look for profiles that are different.

The next step up—the “my friends tell me I’m interesting” profile. These are all the same too, the adjectives change but the story’s the same. “People tell me I’m interesting, fun, easygoing, lighthearted, and energetic.” Okay. That’s what they tell you, so you are like a million other women, but what do you think you are?

Move up to the ones who tell you. This level has potential. These ladies make no qualms about other people. They tell us who they are. “I’m fun, exciting, love a good meal and interesting conversation. I like to play sports, but hate watching football. Breakfast is my favorite meal, especially with someone I’m just getting to know. (Wink.)” I vote for these ladies. A cliche is a cliche is a cliche. But who can resist a pornographic cliche? Still, we’re not done. We still have to talk about the profiles that go over the top. Way over.

Usually these are women around my age. They’ve been married; they’ve loved and lost; they’ve had kids, they’ve raised families; and they’ve had time to find themselves. Yes, and in profiles, they’ve decided for some reason, they want to talk about all the great risk-taking adventures they’ve had. Cliff-jumping in Aruba, white-water rafting in South America, scuba diving in the shark infested waters of the Australian Great Barrier reef, underground cave tubing in Iran, riding a barrel over Victoria Falls, and of course the old standby, not just sky-diving but for the really risk-taking, BASE jumping, preferably off some enormous cliff in Montana or Idaho in a flying wingsuit, or into a huge open-mouthed cavern in Central America through an enormous cloud of giant fruit bats, like an episode of Nature. I even had one “match” with a photo of herself standing on the wing of a small plane in a flightsuit a-la-Amelia Earhart, with the statement that she really wanted a guy with a pilot’s license, so they could fly off together-because life on earth with gravity-bound mortals is so droll sometimes. I had a -vision of a couple of big sea birds, winging out over the ocean with no land visible on the horizon. Have fun kids.


What’s wrong with this picture? I’m sorry. I don’t find the idea of dating a female Indiana Jones particularly romantic or attractive. What are these women saying? To me it sounds like, “Hey! I’m different. I’m no home body. You’re not gonna tie me down! I’m wild and free! I risk my life and do exciting things and I don’t need a man to do them with!!” Which is great if you’re not a man. The trouble here is that men generally take serious risk-taking adventures either alone, or with other men. There’s the whole manly tradition of the man bringing home the mastodon meat after a long dangerous hunt, of returning from war or some other fantastic journey (think Odysseus). We want to go do stuff, and then come home to the hearth and hero’s welcome. I know Penelope had a helluva time without that lunkhead around for twenty years, but I’m just sayin’. How many men want to play a good game of tackle football with their wives? How many guys think, “Shit, I’m gonna see if I can climb Everest without killing myself or getting any limbs amputated from frostbite, and I’d like you to come along and risk your youth and beauty with me!!”

This idea that your potential spouse/mate/partner is going to not only find your adventures attractive, but is going to want to share them with you, ignores or overlooks the truth that much of life, and many of its great moments, are solo excursions. As a man, I know it is true for me. I propose naively that this is also true for women. I LOVE to share new things with someone I care about, but I also know there is an unfathomable and exquisite pleasure from risk-taking adventures that derives from the unique sense of accomplishment that is NEVER a team accomplishment. Whether it’s rappelling down a cliff face you have climbed, racing a dirt bike up the sandy loam of a desert arroyo, or jumping into a glacier fed pool from the top of a waterfall, this is something you do alone, because even if you are with friends or lovers, even if you are holding hands when you jump, when you get to the bottom you don’t say, “Hey, I could never have done it without you!!” It is YOU that does it. And that’s at the heart of these adventures, probably because they remind us of the ultimate and irrevocably solo adventure, death.

I can see having a relationship, being close to someone, and having common interests and sharing new and exciting experiences. But like great sex, these adventures would be the product of the relationship, not the reason for it. I love Paris; who wouldn’t? I love nature. Let’s explore together when we know we actually like each other, have some chemistry, a common understanding, enjoy being with each other, and can carry a conversation. If we can have those things together, the remaining catalog of life’s adventures could be endless.