party weeks back, my friend Angela fell for a handsome Brit named Al
after he charmed her with tales of his off-the-beaten track existence
traveling the world. The next evening, they talked life and politics
over a steak dinner then agreed to meet again.
charmed Angela even more the next afternoon when he canceled plans with
his buddies to join her on a trip to Verizon to get her phone fixed.
After spending the afternoon and subsequent evening together, Angela
thought she’d finally met a mature, baggage-less man with whom she could
have a relationship. If only she knew.
a dinner party the following Friday night, Angela reached for her phone
to discover Al had called. Six times. Though a bit ruffled, she
decided to make her way to the bar where he was drinking with friends.
When she arrived, Al was completely hammered, saying things like, “I
shouldn’t have called you, are you angry? It’s just I couldn’t get
through and I thought maybe you were avoiding me. You don’t like me, do
you? I know you don’t, why would you? You’re too pretty for me and
I’m shit as a boyfriend, absolute shit. I don’t want to mess this up
with you. I won’t get attached, I won’t get attached!”
Y’know, the kinds of things some guys think but neeeeeeever actually say.
some reassurance from Angela, Al nixed the heart-on-sleeve talk and
continued to enjoy the IV of pilsner stuck into his veins. End of the
night at his place, Angela’s attempts at being intimate were interrupted
when Al declared, “you’re too sexy. I’m shit in bed, absolute shit,”
then passed out. Angela fell asleep beside him and was getting some
good REM sleep when the bed started shaking. She woke up, looked across
the mattress and…
Al was picking his nose…and eating it…in his sleep.
Angela was stuck since it was 5 am and she was on the other side of
town. The next morning, she made a lame excuse then bolted to my place
to tell me the whole story and see if there was any reason to salvage
things. Together, we broke it down to what worked and what didn’t.
Pros: when he’s sober, he’s smart, funny and kind. Cons: he eats his
In the midst of our analysis, Al called and said, “I thought maybe you’d like to come over.”
“I’m with my friend,” Angela told him.
“But I thought it’d be nice if you came over.”
“My friend’s not feeling well,” Angela lied. “I should stay with her.”
“Look,” he said angrily. “Are we seeing each other or not?”
But before she could answer, the call dropped.
“Okay,” Angela told me. “This is sooo finished.”
But she didn’t even get the chance to end things. Angela was the
dumpee. Sunday morning, Al left a message saying, “hi, um,
yesterday’s conversation was discouraging relationship-wise, but you
know, it’s hard to find good conversation, so maybe we could stay
friends, go for coffee and talk about bollocks, and you know, that would
be nice, and, well I’m shit on answering machines, so I’m just going to
say goodbye now, so, okay, well, take care.”
worst part for Angela was getting dumped by a neurotic booze hound who
ate his own bodily fluids. The best part was she no longer had to date a
neurotic booze hound who ate his own bodily fluids.
the end, we hoped that Al, as friendly as he was, as funny and
generous, wasn’t as much of a neurotic nosepicker as he seemed. In
fact, we imagined it was all a game, a bet he made with friends to see
who could self-sabotage himself out of a decent relationship in the
shortest amount of time:
illustrator from London who enjoys hiking and badminton, his hobbies
include using his inner demons to back himself out of relationships with
pretty women and eating boogers. He’s got enough intimacy issues to
sink a Russian sea liner, he’s Al, ladies and gentlemen, give him a
Anyway, I’m fairly certain he won.
**Reprinted from Laura K. Warrell's blog Tart&Soul at www.TartandSoul.com.