Road Trip Drip
My Very Worst Date was more like a marathon weekend. I had met and developed a friendship with “Sam” on the internet. We been on a few dates when we were in each others’ respective towns (he was from Portland and I am from Northern California) on business and we seemed compatible during our limited face time together. There was a mutual understanding that maybe it could be something more if we could spend more time together.
Sam had scored free tickets to a concert in a city about 6 hours from where I lived. The tickets included a meet-and-greet with the band. He said it was worth it to him to drive wherever he needed to go, even if it meant 12+ hours one way. He invited me to use the extra ticket and suggested we make a long weekend of it. He would drive to my house and spend Friday night, we would go to the concert on Saturday, come back on Sunday, and he would leave go back to Portland on Monday. It was the perfect excuse to get together and see where things would go.
He arrived at my house on Friday evening and we decided just to hang out and rest up for another long day of driving. The next morning while I was packing, he approached me holding an empty tube of toothpaste. “This was in your trash,” he said. “Are you sure you don’t need it for the trip?”
“No,” I replied. “It’s empty. I have another full one I can take.”
“What are you talking about?” he demanded. “There’s like two more days of toothpaste in here!” He proceeded to manhandle the tube until a little more paste beaded up at the top. “See!” he declared proudly, “Plenty left! You were just going to throw this away?” he said with a touch of reproach.
I was unimpressed with his feat of strength and declined to use his newly found treasure. I suggested he use it instead and he seemed unfazed by the fact that he was going to put something in his mouth that had been languishing in my trash for two days. He still couldn’t believe that I was being so wasteful.
As we prepared to hit the road I asked whose car he would prefer to take. He had previously insisted that whoever drove would not have to pay for gas, to compensate for the wear and tear and mileage on the car, but we had never decided whose car would be taken. Now, as we were about to leave, he said that he wanted to take my car but felt like I should also pay for gas. Taken aback, I pointed out that was not what he thought when we planned the trip. He said, “Well, I got to thinking about it and I feel like I already drove all the way here. It’s not fair that I should have to spend any more money getting the rest of the way there.” I reminded him that he would have gone to the concert regardless of whether I went and if that had been the case he would have had to pay for all of his expenses, including food and lodging, alone. Did he really want to haggle about it now, as we were leaving? Apparently so. Standing at the car with suitcases in hand, we renegotiated. I would drive and he would (grudgingly) pay for half of the gas.
We almost missed the meet-and-greet because it was before the concert, rather than after as he had anticipated. He tried to blame me for running late until I pointed out that I had never seen the tickets or the meet-and-greet passes and therefore couldn’t possibly know what time we needed to be there. He was the one who insisted that backstage passes were always for after the show. Even though he did get to meet the band and see the show, he was in a bad mood after that. He complained that the (free) seats weren’t good enough and we spent the entire concert wandering around trying to find a spot where security would not pounce on us and tell us to go back to our own seats. He also provided a running commentary about what a rip-off everything was, from the price of concert t-shirts to the cost of our very cheap and dilapidated hotel room.
After the exhausting road trip, I was looking forward to relaxing back at home and hoped that he would mellow out once the stress of splitting costs and meeting celebrities was removed. It had started to snow a little and we decided to play his favorite board game while watching the world turn to white. He was going to teach me to play Axis and Allies so when I visited him (because it would be my turn to drive to his home next) we could play with his friends, as this was their major pastime.
After blazing through the rules, he suggested we just start playing and that I’d pick it up as I went along. I never had the chance to even try to learn, because if I paused at all while trying to make a decision about where to move my planes and tanks, he would jump in and tell me exactly what I needed to do. He would sigh heavily when I told him that wasn’t helping me to learn the game and then very condescendingly would tell me what I needed to do, but slower. Eventually, I was just rolling the dice and letting him make the moves and before long I didn’t even have the privilege of rolling the dice. He was literally playing his turn and mine while I watched. After two hours, when I got up to get some water, he hollered, “Where are you going?! You’re about to win!” Thirty minutes later, I did win but I couldn’t help but feel like my victory was hollow.
Monday morning finally arrived. By then I knew that we were not destined to be a couple, and I couldn’t wait for him to be on his way. Unfortunately, the gentle snowfall that we had enjoyed the night before had left about three inches of slush on my unplowed road. Even though it was sunny and the slush was melting rapidly, he didn’t see how he could possibly drive in such unsafe conditions and suggested he just stay for another couple of days. I told him that he really needed to leave and that I had to get to work. He countered by saying it was impossible to get his car out and said he didn’t mind hanging out by himself while I went to work. I told him that once he got to the main road it would be plowed and if I could get MY car out, he certainly could too. I literally had to stand over him while he packed his things, whining the whole time about having to drive a half-mile in the “snow.” I escorted him down to his car, thanked him for the concert and told him that after spending a few days with him I didn’t think we would ever have a romantic relationship.
I actually got behind his car and pushed to make sure he got enough traction to make it down the slushy road.
He continued to contact me after that under the pretext of being “just friends” but every conversation revolved around why I didn’t want to be with him. I tried a few times to just say we “weren’t compatible” but he wanted specifics. When I gave him specific examples, he would argue about whether that qualified as something that made us incompatible. Finally, I flat out told him that I thought he was cheap, immature, and passive-aggressive (complete with examples) and basically the most annoying person I’d ever spent time with. He still insisted that we could have something special together until the day I finally stopped talking to him altogether.