Being deaf, I find chatting to people over the internet a lovely way to communicate. About 12 years ago I even had an internet relationship with someone from America. It didn't work at all - and he blamed it on my deafness. I'll let you be the judge of that though and let you read what actually happened. I wrote it up shortly after he left while it was still fresh in my memory. Nothing has been exaggerated - it's all as it happened.
I thought it would be a good reminder about the Pitfalls that can happen with internet relationships, particularly on Valentines day. I haven't bothered trying to date on the internet since - and I'm not likely ever to again LOL!
I met him at the airport early Saturday morning. He had flown in from America. He was huge. He hadn't looked like that in the photos he had sent over the net. I mean - this was the guy who had only told me that he couldn't see himself romantically involved with a woman who was more than 50lb's overweight. I had calculated my weight - and although I wasn't this overweight, decided that it was near enough and had started dieting. He had chubby cheeks, a real beer gut and he couldn't walk with his feet together cos his legs were so fat. He was definitely no Brad Pitt! Oh well - looks aren't everything. With the help of a shoe horn, I loaded him up in my Honda City and took him home. I now know what the term ‘packed in like a can of sardines’ truly means. I’m surprised the police didn’t pull me over and issue me a ‘dangerous load’ ticket.
Once home, the first thing he asked was for a microwave dinner - he was hungry! I made him a toasted sandwich instead as my freezer didn't do microwave dinners. He would stuff his chubby cheeks then eat with his mouth open - it sounded and looked like a squirrel – except squirrels are cute and this was definitely not!. The second thing he did was get onto my computer to check it all out. I sat on my two seater couch and after about an hour he joined me. He swung his legs over mine. He moved his bum - I thought he was just getting comfortable - but no, he forced out a fart. ON MY LEG!!! I gave him a filthy look which he ignored. He did it again. I can still feel the vibration of this, and it makes me shudder every time!
That night we had Christmas Dinner at my mother's house as my brother, wife and family were going off to Tauranga for Christmas. I grabbed a few beers out my well stocked fridge and a bottle of champagne and off we went. The American offered nothing but his windy presence. The American showed more rudeness by reading before dinner. He obviously didn't want to talk with us! He sat in the same room and read books. He would fart then look at my mother to see what kind of reaction she would make. She didn't bat an eyelid.
Dinner was bedlam as usual - made more so by the American constantly getting up and walking outside to look at the view. Along with eating with his mouth open he had no table manners either - but by now I wasn't surprised - only super embarrassed! He would start before the host was at the table - just dug in and helped himself. He would talk with his mouth full, wander outside, wander back in. We were all very perplexed! Are Americans really like this? Dessert was served. Mother had made Meringues especially for the American. Kiwi Dessert! Yum.
"Oh - What's it' made of" he asked
"Egg white and sugar" Mum replied
"I'll try it but I don't like sweet things very much" he said while I raised my eyebrows cos I had watch him devour cake etc.. earlier and he had gone back for more!
Again - before we were all seated - he started his dessert. He took a bite of his meringue.
"Bleeugh" he said spitting the meringue out on his plate. Little white bits of meringue went flying everywhere. I can't look at a meringue now without thinking of this scenario.
"Ewwwwwwwww that's horrible" he said.
We were all so shocked we said nothing and carried on as if nothing had happened. Clearing up after dessert my sister in law asked him
"Have you finished with your plate?"
"Take it away" and motioned with his hand for it to disappear as if she was just the hired help.
He stood up again then turned to my mother "Are you serving coffee in this place?" he said really rudely.
Mum dutifully went off to make the coffee. On hindsight we should have kicked him out then and there. But I believe we were all in a state of shock not having had to deal with this sort of behaviour before in our lives. I took him home fairly early cos he was tired - jet lagged! My family put his behaviour down to jet lag. It must be. No one would behave like this in real life! I knew differently! My heart was at my knees.
I had been talking with the American over the internet for the last 6 months. Over the computer he was witty, caring, funny, intelligent and interesting. In real life he was none of these things. You certainly can't see table manners or hear the breaking of wind over the net. Computer dating will not be successful until real time videos and sound cards are on every PC!!
The next day Sunday I took him out for the day. First stop Takapuna for breakfast. He insisted on the waffle place and proceeded to have a waffle with bacon and eggs. He scraped off the bacon and ate that separately then ordered two lots of maple syrup and doused his waffle completely. This is the guy who the night before said he didn't like sweet things. My daughter and I gagged on our bacon toasted sandwiches. He had a coffee before breakfast, another one during and another one afterwards. We then went to Auckland Zoo. The first thing he found was a loo, the second thing was a place where he could get another cup of coffee. We wandered around the zoo - every 5 minutes he would moan that he had to sit down. My daughter and I stuck together. He breathed a huge sigh of relief when we finally hit the cafe so he could have lunch. Daughter and I weren't very hungry having had breakfast only a few hours ago. We settled for a scone and cold drink while we watched the American devour sandwiches, and carrot cake! And yet more coffee!
On to the waterfront. As we passed McDonalds - "Pull over here - I'll get a coffee" he said
Never asked if my daughter or I wanted something. Just went in got a coffee and came back. This became a regular feature of our outings. Never any please or thank-you for this service. By this time we had learnt that New Zealand was 50 years behind America, that it lacked basic amenities such as fly screens on windows and doors, and air conditioning in houses. That our instant coffee was awwwwfull, and everything was 30-50% more expensive. He decided that to live in New Zealand you would have to earn a heck of a lot of money. He also threw in that I needed to lose weight!
"And you're Brad Pitt" I muttered
"What did you say?" he asked
"Nothing" I said!
My daughter giggled!
After going one more place - Kelly Tarltons Underwater World - we went home. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling well. I said that I wasn't going to cook dinner tonight. He ordered my 11 year old daughter to cook him something! I stepped in and said I would order a pizza. We ordered the special - Order a super large for $25.00 get a standard size free. Daughter and I had a couple of pieces each and he ate the rest!!! The super large is enough for 5 people!!
He was allergic to cats. I had two. His nose began to run. I got him a box of tissues.
"Where is the rubbish bin in your living room?" he asked
"I don't have one in my living room - it's in the kitchen 3 steps away" I replied
"I'm not going in there - you should have one in your living room" and he promptly started throwing the snotty tissues on my living room floor.
By the time I went to bed the floor was littered with snotty tissues. I said nothing and hoped he would pick them up by the time I got up the next morning. Pigs might fly!
The phone rang in the morning - a friend was popping round to pick something up of hers that she needed. I asked him to pick up his mess because I had a friend coming.
"House too messy for your friends?" he asked
"Yes - with your litter" I replied
"Could you pick that up" he asked my daughter pointing to his snotty tissues
"Pick them up yourself" she replied.
In actual fact she added a swear word in that sentence and for once I didn’t chastise her for swearing, as if it had been me, I would have too!!
They weren't picked up. I finally said in a very strong disapproving tone!
"Could you please pick up your tissues on the floor - I have a friend coming"He grumpily did it, but was pissed off with me for asking! Twice!
I took him to town that morning. It took 1.5 hours to get from Downtown to Vulcan Lane (I can walk it in 5 minutes) because he had to stop for food, toilet, coffee and had to sit down cos he was tired! He bought a sweatshirt.
"I have to have my hands free" he said and gave my daughter the bag to carry. Three hours later daughter and I were laden down with his shopping and he still had his hands free. We sat outside with the baggage while he was in a shop and I sorted out the purchases we had made. When he came out I presented him with three bags to carry. He refused so I left them on the seat and started walking away. He finally got the idea!
Back home I was cooking dinner.
"Are you pleased to have me here?" he asked
"I'll think about it" I said.
He got really upset and went and lay down. I carried on cooking dinner and ignored him. After dinner he went and lay down again. I got a fax from a friend asking us over for coffee. I accepted. At about 7.30pm I walked into his room and told him asking him if he wanted to come.
"I'm too depressed - I need to sleep" he replied
"Well - we're going - we'll be back later but we're also going to St Lukes Shopping Mall afterwards because it's open til midnight - are you sure you don't want to come?"
"We shouldn't be tooo late" I said looking at my watch and seeing it was 7.30pm
Yippee - a few hours without the slob! Wonderful. I got to my friends and got it all off my chest. My friend made me promise her that I would throw him out - and if I couldn't do that, to at least give him the hard word. I promised. It was such an enjoyable couple of hours in comparison to the tenseness of my last few days. We went on to St Lukes where my daughter and I partook in some retail therapy! We couldn't afford it of course - but gee it felt good!
We got home about 11.00pm. The slob was pacing the floor.
"Where have you been?" he ranted and raved
"Where I told you I was going" I said
"I thought you had been in an accident" he said "I was just about to ring your brother"
"This is my country - I do this all the time - I'm an independent woman - I told you St Lukes was open til Midnight" I said
"You could have phoned me" he said
"No I couldn't - there were no special phones" I said pointing at my hearing loss.
In fact I had never thought to phone because he knew where we were, and I don’t need special phones to hear, but the phone vs hearing loss meant there was no more argument. I put my daughter to bed then told the slob I needed to talk to him - carrying out my promise to my friend earlier.
"We have to talk" I said and he sat down on the opposite couch. "I can't stand your slobbish behaviour. My friends have far more respect for me than you do. They don't come here to my place, fart, carry-on, throw snot rags all over my floor. I invited you here as a friend - I'm not your mother to pick up after you and clean up after you. Furthermore my daughter is not your lackey and you're not to order her around all the time. She is not here to carry your luggage. Perhaps you should leave? "
He burst into tears. Sheesh that's all I needed. I wanted a man not a wimp!
"You said you would put me up while I'm here" he said
"You said you would leave if things got uncomfortable" I reminded him but he chose to ignore that. I then added - "I'm not travelling around NZ with you. I'll buy you out of the rental car and give you the South Island itinary - but I can't spend my money or holiday with someone I don't particularly like"
He cried even harder. I got tougher. Tears were not going to sway me.
"The reason we don't get on is because you're deaf" he told me "I can't communicate with you"
"No-one else has that problem" I said.
Typical – such a human thing to put the blame of a failed relationship back on the other party to make them feel okay. And also to pick on something that could be painful.
Unfortunately for him - it didn't work - it was sooooooooo obvious that he was the one that had the problem - that I didn't even question his reason!
It took another 5 days for him to finally leave. I had no male friends I could call on to help me kick him out. He made numerous toll calls to USA without paying me for. He helped himself to all my food, drank my alcohol without replacing it, didn't reimburse me for petrol used on our sightseeing ventures. He never - not once the whole time while he was here - asked me if *I* wanted something. He would get himself a drink - but never find out if I wanted one. He even had the cheek to ask if he could borrow my camera while he went around the South Island. When I said no he replied..
"I thought that would be the answer - hmph" and he sulked sighed and grumped and ignored me for the next few hours.
When I bought him out of the rental car - I deducted two tanks of gas off the total figure. He was disgusted with that but I held my ground. I should have taken another $50 off for toll calls but I forgot at the time - I was just so glad to see the back of him.
His cheek was unbelievable. That someone could be so selfish, arrogant, inconsiderate, rude, and slobbish was a paradox to me. Obviously next time I date over the internet more questions need to be asked. I'm busy designing the questionnaire that will weed out the weak.
But two of the questions will be...
1). Do you fart on people's legs? and
2). What do you do with snotty tissues?!!