Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Carter and I meet on OKC. We message back and forth for a few solid weeks. He seems smart and funny and I enjoye our back and forth. On some evenings while we message, he'd say something a bit off, a bit…manic isn't quite the right word. But just a little odd. But nothing troubling and nothing that precludes us meeting.

We meet on a Friday. I'm 3 minutes late, if that, and I arrive to find Carter at the bar half way through a 22 oz beer. I order a cider and we talk. And talk and talk and talk. He seems a little nervous but he's funny and I'm enjoying myself.

We order a second round and keep talking. He's an interesting guy who's lived an interesting life so far. He's candid and honest. Carter really seems like a good guy. He closes out our tab and we walk two blocks over to a different bar.

The second bar is a a lot divey-er (which is never a problem in my opinion). Carter goes to the bar and returns with a cider for me (thanks!) and a pitcher of beer and a glass for himself. At this point its necessary to mention that I don't drink beer, unless its my only option. So I've seen a bunch of guys share a pitcher, but I can't recall seeing a guy put away a pitcher by himself.

Carter and I keep chatting and he's kind of adorable. He has a sister he's protective of, he has a niece he dotes on, he's close with his parents. Just sounds like a solidly nice guy. He's worked with troubled kids, he's saying all the right things about my Kid, like he knows he wouldn't be a replacement but that he would hope to be a positive role model, etc. Carter is great. This is fun! This is what makes the terrible dates worth it. He gets up to go to the restroom and kisses me on the cheek. I feel like I'm glowing. He's amazing and he's into me! He says something a little weird about how he's dating a woman in her 20s with a kid (me) and I try to back him up and say that maybe he is, we just met tonight. Slow your roll Carter. He also mentioned that he had to confess to his parents driving his previous company's van while drunk. Troubling but I'll let this ride for now.

We cash out of the second bar but decide we are having too much fun, its a Friday night, let's keep this rolling. We go to my usual spot which cracks me up because the bartender is this girl Lindsay. She's awesome and we've done a karaoke rap duet, but basically every time I go to this bar, I'm with a different dude. I can't decide if this makes me a slut or a pimp, but I'm choosing pimp.

As I'm flipping through the binder to choose a song for karaoke, Carter appears at the table with another cider for me, and another pitcher for himself. Huh...ok... Carter and I pick out songs and do a few rounds of karaoke. And then spend time talking and kissing while other people sing. We are having fun and other girls keep coming up to me while Carter is singing, saying how cute we are together.

One drunk girl tells me she likes my sweater so much that she "wants to punch me out and then take the sweater." To be fair, its a pretty dope sweater. But I placate the drunk girl and tell her lets just be friends and she can borrow the sweater. This diffuses the drunk girl. I feel like I could be a hostage negotiator.

Carter is still acting super cute and I'm having fun but I hear him murmur under his breath, something that sounds suspiciously like, "I love you," Whoa whoa whoa. Let's not be insane here. I ask him, "What did you just say?"

"Oh nothing, nothing."

"Ok, because you remember this is still a first date right?"

"You're just so genuine and fun. As soon as I saw you, I knew there was something different about you. I really like you a lot. You're such nice person and you're such a good mom"

I know this is supposed to be nice. I know this is what a lot of girls want to hear. But I'm always irritated when someone I don't know tells me about myself. I am smart and genuine. I'm not that nice (I am honest though!). And I'm a good mom, but this guy can't possibly know that about me after spending a few hours drinking together.

I cash out of the last bar and drive his drunk ass home. When we get in front of his building, Carter is trying to tell me something nice and sweet and that he thinks is romantic, but he's hiccuping non stop and is basically unintelligible.

The next morning I poll my chicks. I text Aly and Jessica and tell them that Carter was too nice (I leave out the part about the drinking for now). I'm worried I'm some jaded hardass. Is too nice a thing?  Yeah, its a thing. Aly and Jessica are pretty similar to me personality-wise, in that none of us will put up with bullshit. Aly confirms that too nice is totally a thing. Jessica advises that this guy is going to be clingy. Then I add my mom to the mix and tell them that this guy drank 2 pitchers of beer himself. Done. My Triumvirate of Women (tm)(not really)(but that would be awesome) agree homeboy has a problem.

Carter texts me to say he had a fun night and apologizes for drinking more than he planned. He wants to hang out again, with less alcohol next time. I respond that, yeah, if we hang out again, way less alcohol and tell him I'm concerned that he put away so much beer. Carter apologizes and says he hopes he didn't embarrass me.

First of all, I don't embarrass easily. Second of all, you should be embarrassed. Why would I be?
I tell him this and add that I'm worried he has a problem. The performance I saw, combined with his admission that he'd driven drunk in a company car. Yikes.

"I mean, I should be transparent with you about it. I owe you that. I have struggled with drinking for awhile now. I can't lie about that. As far as the company vehicle thing goes, I was in a really bad and abusive company and I let a lot of things get control of me and I'm really ashamed that I let it happen."

At this point, I guess I appreciate his honesty? I don't even know how to deal with this. And the part about the company car should like excuses. We've all had shitty jobs, but I don't think most of us drive drunk as a result. At least, I hope not. This sucks. I liked this guy. I guess there were little red flags all through the night but he was being so nice to me and saying all the right things so I didn't want to see it. But this is stuff I can't ignore. I can't sink more time into this guy and let him drag me down. And I also don't want to try and help him through recovery because I barely know him and I don't even know if he's ready to knock off this shit and be real with himself.

In the end, I wish him well and tell him he needs to deal with his problem, but I can't invite chaos into my life.

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