Never pack at 1 in the morning.
Because when you get up the next day at 6 am, bags packed and ready to go, you won’t be able to find your car keys.
This begins the great Thanksgiving-not-going-away-for-the-weekend saga of 2005.
Three hours later with a pristine house, no keys and no girlfriend who is suppose to be picking you up at 10:20am – my neighbors are starting to help search for my keys in the yard. Anxiety sets in, as I can’t leave without my house keys or car keys.
I call my x husband to see if he has any of my spare keys. Even though I have my issues with him, he does always come to help me if I am freaking out – if he is not the cause. He shows up in minutes and joins in the search, having me retrace all my steps from the night before.
Keeley the girlfriend who is blowing me off calls and informs me that she and her husband have been in a huge fight and has taken off – so we can’t go to Tahoe – I am relieved since I don’t want to go without my keys.
My neighbors are now combing the bushes and the lawn for my keys. I am stressing and go into my kitchen, where all my cupboard doors are open from Thanksgiving when I painted the trim – they day before – which is the reason I was packing at 1am.
But I digress.
I decide to look through my kitchen garbage can for keys and bend forward without paying attention and BOOM! I plant my forehead into the corner of a cupboard . . . and it sticks. “God %$#@*&^! **#$!!”, I swear with the yell of twelve people, pulling my head back as blood begins to run into my right eye.
My x husband is first to my side, “Dammit Catherine – I do not want to spend 6 hours in the emergency room today!” He drags me into my bathroom and sits me on the stool. Brian is close behind because when there is blood coming from a forehead boys are very interested.
Brian reaches under the bathroom sink for the first aid kit, handing it to my x. He moves toward my head with a damp towel as I flinch. All his years in rugby, my x is pretty good at treating flesh wounds. He makes a butterfly bandage and places it over the wound, pulling all the torn sides of skin together. My head is now throbbing like a large heart inside my brain.
My x walks me to my recliner in the living room and tells me to “Just sit!” He calls a locksmith, arranges for him to come out on Saturday to change my locks and smartly insists upon taking Brian with him. As he is leaving he slaps an ice pack on my head (with orders to stay put) and leaves.
Later, this new guy I am dating calls from the city he is in to check on my trip to lake Tahoe. I tell him what happened and, being that he is a medic, he is concerned about me not having stitches “Babe, I’ll come back Saturday night instead of Sunday and check on your wound” he says, in this thick hot-sounding voice that melts butter.
This should be my first warning sign that it is never going to work: never date a guy who sounds sexier than you on the phone.
The second warning sign should have been that he was spending Thanksgiving with his ex-wife.
“I am hating it here and want to see you, plus my daughter has the stomach flu and has been in bed this whole time – that is when she isn’t throwing up,” he continues.
The third warning sign: When man refers to me as ‘Babe’ – something bad is about to happen.
He insists upon changing his schedule to come back early and silly me, the girl with the throbbing doorknob-size, red swollen forehead wants to see him. I go to bed Friday night, only to have my forehead grow to resemble something like a pitchers mound in baseabll. Saturday night, Babe man calls me three times on his way back. His final call comes, as he is blocks from my place “Babe, I am so in love with you” (Uh what???).
Life about to go up in flames warning sign.
Maybe he didn’t hear himself say that and I’ll just pretend I didn’t hear it.
He comes into my place wearing a hockey shirt, the beret and carrying a Doctors black bag. He is my best wet dream. I should run for my life.
Even better, he kisses me and begins to play doctor. He removes the bandage and admits that my x did a great job with the butterfly. The scar shouldn’t be too bad. He re-bandages the wound and puts a special ice pack on my head. With me fixed up, and my bulging forehead we begin to really kiss. Maybe gross head wound turn him on. But with every race of my heart and hormonal raging it sends throbbing (and I mean throbbing) beats to my head. Oh the pain!
I say nothing about the bulging pain in my forehead cause this guy sooooo turns me on and pretty soon we are rolling around my living room floor. My head is throbbing so hard I can’t hear us breathe, just as I am about to yell out in pain and say “I can’t do this – I am in too much pain!” he jumps up, says, “Oh my God!” and runs to my bathroom to throw up.
Maybe throbbing head woulds make him sick. Hellooooo . . .
Or maybe he remembers he said those three early relationship killing, vomit inducing words: I LOVE YOU.
I pull myself together and go to the bathroom door where he sounds like he is throwing up the skin up from the bottom of his feet. I wait for a reprieve, “Are you OK, what can I do?” I hope he says ‘nothing babe’ because I need to lay my head down because I feel like my forehead is about to explode. “Nothing Babe, I think I have my daughter’s flu.” See God does hear me once in a while. He then proceeds to throw up for what seems like a half hour more, crawls out of the bathroom, collapses on my bed and passes out.
Wow aren’t we a smoking hot couple.
I make him comfortable. He does have a high fever. I am definitely not sleeping next to him. He begins to moan and rolls over. I take a pillow and go to the couch to spend the night. My head is killing me.
I have a bad feeling about all this.
At 8:00am on Sunday Babeman drags himself out of my bed and appears in front of me in the living room. I can tell he feels like crap, but can also tell we have crossed some sort of ‘he moved too fast to the love you’ threshold. He is embarrassed and uncomfortable. I don’t know what to say. I can see that this is a guy who always likes to appear to have everything under control. Last night, he was out of control.
Why do I always date control freaks?
He leaves with a hug and I am left to strip my bed. The “Babe I love you” is ringing in my head. We are in deep shit Catherine I tell myself.
We continue to date a couple of weeks, but it is different now. I can see that he is not the kind of guy that can laugh off a bad experience and make it funny. He can’t relax with what happened. He can’t get over that he threw up in front of me. But he really can’t get past saying I love you before I said anything close to I like you – want to meet my cat? Our third date after the throw up we have the talk: too fast – too soon – too much – too scared – too little time since his divorce – too – too – too.
After spending 500 dollars to re-key my car and my house, I find my lost keys in my bathrobe pocket a week later.
I’m giving up celebrating Thanksgiving.
Next year I am just going to work through the whole week and weekend. It’s safer that way.
Until next time –
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