February 14th. Hearts and candy day (but not real hearts; at least, I was told to stop giving those as gifts). This is the day when bloggers regale you with tales of romance, stories of love, and oaths of devotion to “the most beautiful wife a guy can have” or “the bestest husband, ever”.

Not me. (Especially not the husband bit.)

While I adore the Insta-Princess and couldn’t have hoped for a more gorgeous and brilliant creature to worship, happiness and light don’t always make for the most interesting stories. No, pain is needed. Sadness. Possibly even some torture if it can be worked in. You know, dating.

Most of my friends own up to having at least one dating tale of woe; some of them even go so far as to seemingly attract the troublesome men and women wandering the dark streets of our city. Not me, though; I mean, yes, I’ve had a boring date (she was brunette, stunning, and probably the most unexciting person I had ever met; it was if she looked into the mirror one day and said, “You know, I’m hot. That’s all I need to be.”); I’ve had the worshipful date (she giggled at everything I said–which, while amusing and flattering the first ten minutes, gets old and grows mold quickly after… which isn’t to say we didn’t make out afterward); and I’ve had the date where we almost seemed to despise each other right off the bat. “Ah,” I said. “So this is what marriage is like!” But, I never really had the kind of date I fully regretted.

Until Gossamer.  Oddly enough, it wasn’t our first date that was terrible; in fact, I’d say that the first handful of dates were pretty good. Gossamer, the woman with a shock of long, red, red hair, was nice, polite, and shared quite a few of the same interests I had. She even taught 8th Grade English, which meant my crush on her was instant. Teachers are awesome, even when they’re nuttier than Mr. Peanut’s poop. Plus, I got to make out with a teacher–my inner child was both awe-struck and disgusted at the same time.

It wasn’t until after we began The Relationship that I found out how truly crazy she was. Gossamer had, the previous year, divorced her husband. Her ex, a guy called ‘Jeff’, was a college sweetheart who had a huge brain problem. That is, his brain wasn’t huge, but the problem he had with it sure was. Gossamer, to her credit, stood by him through it all, even making sure he married her when he could barely muster enough energy to stand, much less mutter his vows through slurring speech and drooping eye. (Seriously. She made him wear an eye patch to cover it up. The wedding photos were priceless.) “We made a promise to God,” she told me.

Huh. I guess God likes pirate weddings.

Jeff’s brain problem eventually worked itself out. Either the swelling went down (I guess he had a big brain, after all), something was sliced, or they sent him to the Wizard, I dunno. But, he healed and they moved to Kansas City. Which is the place he met a cute blond by the name of Shelly, and cheated on Gossamer with her. That, my friends, is the first hint to which I should have paid attention; I mean, if Jeff jumped the Good Ship Coitus as quickly as he could despite the love, attention, and the nursing-back-to-health Gossamer heaped on him, there must have been a giant, flashing neon sign of “No, No! Go Back!” that he saw above her head and I didn’t.

And, boy, I didn’t.

Gossamer had an endless bag of problems (like Mary Poppins, except nothing really cool ever made its way out of Gossamer’s bag), and were they ever the popular ones: she drank too much and became nonsensical and vicious; her father cheated on her mom and then failed to pay enough attention to her after he hooked up with a new family; she was a preacher’s kid two times over, and even had a few uncles who were preachers and a step-father who was studying to become one; she struggled (struggled!) for her kids at work, but never felt as if anyone gave a damn; she had a whole slew of gastrointestinal medical worries (okay, that’s not really a popular problem to have); and whenever she got gussied up, her eyes were weighted down with so much make-up that, if she blinked, it took a half-hour and a crowbar to get her to see again.

Okay, that last one was less a problem for her and more a complaint on my part. But then, I had to keep on buying the crowbars.

One Christmas season, right after some major stomach surgery for her, I drove Gossamer to and all over Oklahoma so that she could spend the holiday season with her divided family. Actually, I was happy to help out; I liked to travel and I knew she wouldn’t have been able to make it without a chauffeur. Unfortunately, she must have misunderstood what it meant to be an atheist (me, that is), because I was hollered at for not singing religious songs with her Father-The-Preacher-Who-Ignored-Her-And-Cheated-On-Her-Mother-And-Blah-Blah-Blah and his family. “But, I’m atheist,” I explained to her.

Didn’t matter, she insisted. I know the lyrics, it’s a family activity, and I should play along.

“But, I don’t know the lyrics. I was Catholic. We didn’t do so well with the Protestant songs.”

Now I was being stubborn, she told me. Everyone knew the lyrics to these songs.

“Except Catholics,” I pointed out.

Nope. Even them.

So, I lost that battle. Disarmed by her craziness and a lack of knowledge concerning Protestant song lyrics , I failed to impress her father, a man who pulled her aside to advise her on how I lacked “a spiritual side”.

“But, I’m atheist,” I tried explaining again. Ah, well.

Still, Gossamer was cute, the red hair was a plus, and I had nothing else better to do, so I stuck with her. Right up until the point she accused me of getting into her e-mail. Man, she ranted and raved for days about how I had betrayed her, and how her ex-husband had betrayed her, so maybe betrayal wasn’t a good thing. It didn’t matter that I had no idea what she was talking about; it didn’t matter she couldn’t explain how I did it or even how I got her password; all that mattered was that she couldn’t trust me and was I ever rotten. She went on for days while I remained baffled, and she continued on until she slipped up by admitting she had been reading MY e-mail the entire time. (This, I knew how she accomplished. I had left a copy of my e-mail program on her personal computer, locked, but once I was careless and left it unlocked and open to sneaky eyes.)

So, I dumped her. And I came to the conclusion that the first date we went on was one of the worst in my life, due solely to the fact that it led to The Relationship and my experiences visiting Gossamer’s own personal insane asylum. I vowed to hold off on dating at that point until I accomplished a few personal goals and until I could devise a way to make sure my next date was not another Gossamer.

That worked for six months until I met the Insta-Princess.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for hot women.

Posted Thursday, February 14th, 2008 at 3:23 pm
Filed Under Category: Live A Little
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Responses to “Valentine: A Love Story (Not Really)”


Wow, I knew that it was bad, but I had no idea it was THAT bad. I remember this chick. 😀 And I hear ya about hot women… I’ll go retrieve my hot-wife-to-be and bring ‘er home on the 26th next month. I hope you’ll be able to make it to the reception (I’m sending out invites soon). Haven’t seen you guys in quite a while.


Yeah, she was one for the Nutter and Co. Still, by the time the ordeal came to its inevitable psychotic end, it was more amusing than scary. After all, when you’re no longer emotionally invested, it’s easy to point and laugh at the weirdo. (Which is usually me. Except, I happened to be out-weirded this time.)

w00t! I’m thrilled you two are finally gonna be on the same continent for, you know, ever. That rocks. We are looking forward to meeting her. (You, too, of course, but she’s much prettier.)