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Booty Call Blues

Emily Flake

By Mink Stole | Posted 12/11/2002

I'm a dynamic and talented 24-year-old woman. For more than a year I dated a 37-year-old man (never married, no kids) who I thought was terrific! He wined and dined me, took me on trips, and even introduced me to his family. We quarreled occasionally, mainly about communication, and I did try to break up with him once. But he insisted we had potential and didn't want me to go, so I stayed. Then, after helping him celebrate his parents' wedding anniversary in July, he went on vacation in August and then came back and broke up with me, saying that if we married it would end in divorce. I had never ever even mentioned marriage.

A few days later he called, saying he loved me and wanted to get back together. Well, we did, but it didn't work out, and we decided to be friends. Except that we kept sleeping together. BIG MISTAKE! For the next three months he only called when he was "in the mood," and he never took me out anywhere. Well, last week I told him I didn't like being treated like a piece of ass (understanding that I allowed it), that he was controlling and self-absorbed, and that all he had to do was say the word and I'd get out of his life for good. He didn't get mad; he hugged and kissed me, and he said that we'd get together after he'd processed what I'd said. I haven't heard from him since. I realize I should just write him off as a loser and forget him--after all, I'm young and beautiful--but I still have so many unanswered questions. Why couldn't he just make a fucking decision? Why did he have to leave it up to me whether I wanted to deal with him? Why did he ignore me when I told him how he hurt me? How can someone lie about loving someone and treat them like shit and get away with it? And how is it that he was able to move on so quickly? (He's already dating again!) I really need some advice, because this booty shit keeps happening to me.

FED UP WITH THIS SHIT

Dear FUWTS:
Good for you for being fed up; it's about damn time. Because what I'm reading is that, for the last year and a half or so, you've been a young, beautiful, dynamic, talented doormat. You ask me why he couldn't make a decision. Honey, he did make decisions--he made all the decisions. He decided you wouldn't break up with him, then he decided he'd break up with you. Then he decided to have you back. Then he decided he didn't really want you that much. Then he decided when you'd have sex. And when you finally got up the nerve to speak up for yourself, he decided you were more trouble than you were worth and walked away. And even at that point you wanted him to decide for you that you should get out of his life. ("Say the word . . . ")

Look, there are guys who are world-class championship daters. They've got the wining and dining and money-is-no-object-and-you're-worth-it-so-let's-enjoy-ourselves thing down cold. They're charming and smooth and addictive. But it's no wonder they're good at it; they practice. It's their favorite sport, their favorite form of entertainment. But the minute it stops being amusing and starts being work--meaning the minute you start looking for some emotional accountability--the game you didn't even know you were playing is over and you're out. It may drag on for a while, but ultimately you're dead meat. If it makes you feel any better, you are not the first woman he has put through this, and I promise you won't be the last. Much more important, however, is for you to examine, possibly with a therapist or counselor, why you were so willing to give him so much control, and how you can gain the self-esteem you need to prevent it from ever happening again.

I just want to say THANK YOU for your response to Stressed and Distressed (Think Mink, Nov. 27). I have multiple sclerosis. A long time ago, before my diagnosis, I was married to a man who had cystic fibrosis. Though the marriage ended for various reasons, he did teach me many coping mechanisms that have helped me since my own diagnosis. One of the most important is something I encourage in my caretakers/friends/family/lover--get support and time for yourself! Having been both the supporter and the supported, I applaud your comment that "when the money goes, the love goes with it." Chronic illness does cause a lot of problems in a relationship, and taking the very practical approach may seem unromantic, but it certainly helps in the long run. I also confused guilt with love for a long time. Hopefully, SAD will be able to take a more objective look at the relationship thanks to your advice. Despite her lover's disability, he must take some responsibility, too.

Multiple Possibilities

Dear MP:
As much as I love having people write in to argue with me, I really appreciate it when someone--especially someone in a position to know--writes in to support me. Thank you.

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