Guy-dar is the term I use to refer to a man’s mental system in which a male synchronized mental receiver interprets waves detecting other men moving in on a current/old/lost/past female objects of their affection. It propels them without clear thought or understanding to contact said female object of their current/old/lost/past female objects of affection.
I know this has happened to you.
I remember when this happened for the first time. I was in college and just moved out for the 2nd time (it’s ok – my mom was getting re-married) with my good friend Teresa, who is this hilarious petite catholic girl I met at an Oakland Raider party in Cotati. She is great fun to go places with and has one of the best laughs I have ever had the pleasure to be around. Her laugh always makes me laugh uncontrollably.
I was 21 when we moved in together. We had these fabulous, once-a-month Friday night “road trips”, where we would drive to the SF Financial District and meet businessmen. It was during these times that she met Bob, the attorney from San Rafael with no furnature, but great wind-up plastic race toys.
I met Gary the worldly tunnel engineer for Morrison Knudsen. I really liked Gary, who by my best guess estimate, was at least 20 years older than me – maybe more. Gary was my very first Mr. Big. Tall, dark, brilliant and handsome, with a flat near Coit Tower in SF that had a baby grand piano where he composed music.
Gary would drive up from San Francisco to take me out. Meanwhile, Rich, my college friend was showing up at the Junior College Football Field running nights (Tuesday and Thursdays) and running with me. When Gary was in Korea for a month (doing something tunnel related) I met Greg while out dancing in SF with girlfriends. Greg and all his businessmen friends bought us dinner.
That’s one hell of an impressive first meeting. I gave Greg my phone number and he came up the following weekend to help me with a wedding I was coordinating. I was a wedding consultant.
Rich hears this story while running with me and shocks me by asking me out to lunch and then to a Yes concert (Is Gary ever coming back from Korea?). The following weekend, Teresa and I go out dancing at Baxter’s in Larkspur and I meet Mike, a tall dark and handsome financial planner from Brentwood. I give him my number and he wants to play tennis sometime (I am a terrible tennis player). What are we up to . . . 4? Then, as these things go with me, I meet Tom the same weekend, out dancing locally – who by gosh – is friends with Rich.
As guy friends go, Tom asks me out.
It’s amazing how much we can piss all over our own lives given the proper opportunity.
Gary isn’t gone a month and I have managed to replace him with 4 other men. Meanwhile, Teresa is watching this and saying, “This won’t go well.” Yeah, that is the understatement of the century.
I liked Gary … A LOT. He was my number one choice for boyfriend into old age. Rich was number two, the others I really didn’t care about much at all.
Rich and I go to lunch and the Yes concert and he is moving towards something more serious. YEIKS. (Good God – AGAIN: is Gary ever coming home?)
I am getting these amazingly wonderful postcards from Korea, which I still have in my love-letter box to this day. I keep telling Rich that I don’t want to ruin our friendship. What a cop-out full of crap line that one always is. It’s bad enough to have it said to me, but to say it myself was lame.
Have you ever noticed that when something begins to unravel in your life, it is like a quickly unraveling sweater being pulled by a dog . . . with the strength of ten dogs . . . with jaws of steal . . . wrapped tightly around the piece of unraveling string . . . at a run like the wind? All you can do is watch it disappear with your mouth wide open.
Gary comes home on a Friday morning and calls me first thing “Babe, I miss you and have to see you . . . dinner tomorrow night?” My heart is in my throat and I am thrilled he is back home. I agree, hang up and realize I have to cancel the date with Mike. I am terrible at bad news, so of course I don’t call Mike right then. I go with Rich to the Yes concert that Friday night and and put off calling Mike until Saturday. I end up missing the time Mike leaves to drive to Santa Rosa. Now he is in route to my place . . . and so is Gary. . . this is pre cell phone days.
I beg Teresa (on my knees) to answer the door when Mike arrives (hopefully first), tell him my brother was in an accident and I am with my family. (Oh bite me – I suck at lying – so my lies suck). Teresa doesn’t like to lie so she is getting mad at me, but agrees to do it, because she is a great friend.
Mike shows up with flowers, as I hide in my walk-in closet upstairs. I could hear his loud voice through the floor, so I know it isn’t going well. Apparently, he shoved his way in our apartment looked around and stormed out. Teresa is not happy, “Don’t ever make me do that again!” I have agreed to clean our place for the next two months.
Gary arrives about 30 minutes afterwards, baring beautiful gifts from Korea. Teresa leaves to go visit her mom and Gary and I settle in on my couch to catch up. He is asking what I did the night before…”I went to see Yes.” (I can’t completely lie when facing someone). “Wow cool,” he says, “with whom?”
“Who? (think on your feet here Catherine) uh with Brenda,” a friend of mine he never sees. “Nice,” he smiles. I continue opening the gifts he brought. I have missed him and am thinking of how much I like him. What a great guy . . .
Then God decides to have a sense of humor, or my relatives Catholic guilt prayers are working.
My phone rings and I get up from Gary’s kisses to answer. It’s Brenda – (no shi*). Not thinking, I say,”Hi Brenda!” as we begin to talk and laugh a bit. I tell her Gary is with me and I have to go. Gary is now kissing my neck and pulls on the phone and asks to say hi. Before I realize what is going on, he is talking to Brenda and says, “How did you like the concert last night?” (Yes, an ‘oh –Fu**’ moment). Of which Brenda replies “What concert?”
I am officially dead.
He hands the phone back to me and I can see I am in deep trouble by the look in his eyes. I say goodbye to Brenda and turn to face the music with Gary. I end up telling him the truth. His jaw line remained like a steel rod while I speak. “You lied to me Catherine,” he said. Well kinda.
I can still remember how this comment stuck in the pit of my stomach . . . and it wasn’t my first lie of the day.
Gary ends up leaving and going back home to San Francisco, while I cry over the beautiful gifts he brought me. I cried for a good hour or more, until the phone rings and the call goes to the answering machine. I am hoping it is Gary, calling me when he has returned home.
I race towards the phone, only to hear Mikes voice instead. “Catherine, while sitting in my car on your street, feeling stood up by you I couldn’t help but notice another guy go into your apartment and Teresa leaving – without him. I figure you are seeing someone else tonight. You could have been a decent person and just told me to my face.”
Slam – he hangs up his phone. I burst into new tears. This whole dating a bunch of people thing stinks! Not to mention how bad I am at it.
Fast forward to Monday night football and no word from Gary. I call him twice over the weekend, once with a large apology, but no calls back. Rich calls on Sunday saying he will call again after Monday night football. Monday night, Teresa (the loving friend and room mate) makes Spanish rice for dinner and sits me down in front of an “anti-Monday Night Football” show to somehow try and cheer me up. She liked to put on The Scarecrow and Mrs. King and make fun of it like we were creatures from Mystery Science Fiction Theatre.
She was successful in making me laugh and at the end of the show, the phone rings. Teresa answers it, sets down the receiver and walks over to me “It’s Rich,” she says. I go over, pick up the phone and say, “Is Monday night football over already? And please tell me the Raiders lost.”
“Catherine . . .” this voice says over the phone, as I suddenly realize it isn’t Rich. I put the receiver over my stomach and call softly to Teresa,“THIS IS NOT RICH!” She puts her hand over her mouth and busts out laughing, then mouths back in a loud whisper, “WHO IS IT?” I mouth back, “I DON’T KNOW!” as I feel this “Catherine!” vibrating into my belly. I put the phone back to my ear as the guy says, “Tell Teresa this is NOT ‘Rich’ – it’s Greg. And no, I am not watching the football game. Are we clear on who this is yet?”
[GULP] Clear as mud.
At this moment I snapped. I couldn’t do it anymore and without another thought, I hang up the phone on him. Teresa, who is watching, rolls off the couch in hysterical laughter, “Oh my Gawd, did you just hang up on him?” “Yes — I didn’t know what else to say!” I replied with a shrug. I think I was in shock – who’s life could have this much bad luck in 3 days?
Later that week I receive one dozen black roses with a laminated $10.00 “Fuc** you” card from Greg. Which, in retrospect, made me glad we weren’t going to be dating. I think he spent more on his FU parting gift then he ever did on dating me.
Gary never sees me again, or returns my calls. In the end, Rich won. Rich thought the whole thing was hilarious and said he is a patient guy who was determined to win – regardless.
I loved Rich, he was a great friend and companion during my 20’s, but from time to time I often wondered what would have happened if I had been able to continue seeing Gary. We women do this kind of thing to mess with our own happiness.
From the dating ‘too many’ experience I vowed never to multiple date again, because I am terrible at it. I figure everyone deserves a one date at a time plan with me. Except, every time I try the dating one at a time – along comes a bunch of other guys calling, emailing, showing up at my door unannounced.
It’s as if I am being tested.
Is this the curse of Gary?
Or is it just a case of Guydar?
Do I really have to date?
Until next time-
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