He was older than me. Maybe, 50. My first encounter with him, I instantly disliked him. Love at first sight? Well, you know that it’s never worked that way for me anyway. Don’t get me wrong though, this guy had a presence and was good looking but he was arrogant and chauvinistic . He was standing at the bar wearing a F1 racing cap. He had broad shoulders that gave good support to a strong chest and a firm steak belly. He was drinking 100-year-old whiskey out of a goblet that was carved from peasants bones. He had also, quite obviously, formed an opinion of me long before he had actually met me. You gotta love the media and word of mouth. I was the “scorned ex-wife” of that wonderfully controlled ex-cricket captain. They said controlled. I said conceited . Potato, Potata.
I was branded many things by journalists that sat at their computers all day, building stories about people based on a ‘join the dots’ technique that they had probably learned in college. Otherwise known as ‘social media stalking’ . I was the girl who dared to air her dirty laundry 3 years ago in a moment of weakness. Thankfully, I’ve yet to meet a person, post-divorce, who having formed a negative opinion of me prior to actually meeting me, can’t help but state, “how did the media get it so wrong with you? you’re not at all what I expected”. It’s always a very ‘awkward silence’ moment but I’m always humbled by their compliment. Here’s the way I see it, if any of us ever meet people who have just gone or are going through a difficult period in their life, what representation of themselves do we actually see? Is it in any way accurate? Is it in any way who they really are? But unfortunately, empathy so often gets lost in this judgemental world that we live in and we are all guilty of it sometimes.
Anyway, I had sussed this guy out in 5 minutes of listening to his ‘tone’ . I thought “ let me just allow him enough rope to hang himself here.” “There you go cowboy, lasso up!!! ” And so I sat back and sipped on my champagne glass as I watched him interact with all of the other questionable men that surrounded the bar. This particular night I found myself in a sea of first prize plonkers. I decided to have some fun with ‘The Arab’. For every insulting, sexist and provoking statement he made or question that he asked me, I decided to deflect and so I started to ask him questions about himself. It didn’t take long for me to understand that he actually was quite irritated with his own life and he was projecting onto me. He was seeing his own ex-wife in me and so he thought “let me just ‘ex-wife bash’ any woman going through a divorce, that I come across”. I could see he was very intellectual though, he worked in the fuel business and his business was incredibly established. Apparently, he was a “big deal”.
So here’s what I find most appealing in a man, above all else, ‘intelligence’ . I find nothing more appealing than a man who can teach me something. Words are my thing. Arrange them properly, let them roll off your tongue with confidence and conviction and I’m smitten. Speak with passion about the things that you love and I go a little bit weak at the knees. So 2 years ago I was still very unsure of what I wanted in a man, but by the time I started dating again, I was prepared to explore that uncertainty .
The more I spoke to this, for want of a better word, ‘moody’ man, I thought I’m strangely attracted to him. Go figure! He challenged everything that I believed in, by contradicting almost every statement that came out of my mouth. One would imagine that’s quite annoying. The challenge for me was in trying to change his ideology and narrow-minded outlook to a healthier perspective on this wonderful life. He backed down on occasion and I started to see his vulnerable side. He asked me out on a date and still to this day, I have no idea why I said “yes” but I will say that when all of his friends were absent, it turned out that he was, in fact, a lighthearted, nice guy. This obnoxious attitude was mostly ‘a big ol’ front’. We fine dined and drank wine. There was clearly no shortage of money for this one. Hence the steak belly. It takes a lot of money to get a steak belly! It’s not like a beer belly, it’s rounded differently. Packed out more at the sides! You see the Arabs, they have ‘real’ money, like the Texans, “wealthy wealthy”, not like Irish wealthy or South African wealthy. I’m talking “I have 24 super cars and a helicopter pad, in my house’ wealthy. Our common ground was that we both were divorced, (in fact he was divorced twice), we were bonding on a negative and I knew that, but it was a comfort point in our conversation and he hadn’t done enough yet for me to realise that this one was an absolute “no”, for me.
One of my pet peeves is when someone that I’ve just met, asks me about my ex, from my side the conversation will literally end in 60 seconds, “bye” or when someone I’m on a date with introduces me as “Morgan Deane, she was married to Glen Stiff.” This Arab did that a lot, and do you know what that screamed to me? He saw me as a trophy. A bit of a prize. By constantly pointing out to people my association with my ex-husband, he was taking pride in sharing something with the ex-cricket captain and that to me was hugely off putting . He thought that that point would impress those whom he was introducing me to. But because he was so emotionally unattached to reality, his EQ was non existent, he was forgetting that his point of pride might actually be my point of “pressure.”
If every time someone introduced you to another person, they without warning, took you right back to a negative stage in your life, how would you feel about it? Let me show you some examples. “Hi Greg, this is Steve, he went bankrupt in 2001 and the bank took his house from him”. “Hi Greg, this is Sarah, you can look down if you like and you’ll see that Sarah has a club foot and she has to wear shoes with soles that are two different heights”. “Hi Greg, this is Morgan, she used to be married to Glen Stiff remember the whole divorce thing?” It took everything in me to not turn to him and say, “Oh would you, for God sake, just shut up!”
He didn’t care about me. How could I ever have paved a new path when this guy was constantly dragging me back to a negative space in my life. People can be strange. I see it all of the time. Very little scruples. If you feel the need to tell your friends who my ex-husband is or was, that goes for whether he was famous or not, (because you know you might meet me in the future, I may very well be on ‘husband number 4’ and at that stage some of them may have been famous and some of them may have not been famous) if you feel the need to ever bring up an ex-husband of mine, then for goodness sake, do it behind my back like a normal person. That way I don’t have to hear it. Here’s a tip, no-one likes to bring up their ex-husband or ex-wife within the first 3 seconds of being introduced to somebody new. I’m happy to tell them my name and where I’m from. Hell I’ll even tell them that I have children, but on that initial encounter, I will never feel the need to tell somebody anything about my personal life. If I do choose to tell someone, then that’s an entirely different story. I’m absolutely sure that most divorcees ,who have gone through it and are out the other side of it, will feel the same. That’s how manners work! Got it? OK! You’re welcome.
I dated him maybe 3 weeks. Again the “after dark activity” was atrocious. Yup! It was all in our minds. We would get to a point where one would imagine that we were about to ‘get down on it, get down on it’ . Just like the song. We would have that look in our eyes and it certainly felt as if it was heading in that direction but then, before he even got there, it would be over. “Eh” … ?!? I was so confused. Ladies and gentlemen, we didn’t have a non starter this time. We had a ‘non laster’. Are men really this rubbish? Had it been so long that I’d forgotten what it was actually like? In the beginning of my time spent with “Aladdin of the Arabian-Nights” I used to think that maybe he was so good that I was blacking out on impact. Maybe he was so on point that I was physically passing out and therefore had zero recollection of what had actually happened? But alas, that was not the case ladies, and another sad tale was revealing itself right before my eyes. Morgan was wrong! Morgan was not passing out. Silly Morgan. The fact of the matter was that it simply wasn’t happening at all. 3 seconds doesn’t count. 3 seconds! 3 seconds! It takes longer than 3 seconds to take my shoes off. It takes longer than 3 seconds to get my key in the front door of my house. It takes longer than 3 seconds to stand up from a sitting down position. Don’t waste my time fella, I could be watching ‘Modern Family’ right now. 3 seconds? and everytime? “Hell to the no sister” I thought, “wonderful, I’ve been sent another stud”. “Sorry, did I say stud?” Oh, my apologies, I meant dud.
I still wasn’t giving up hope though. Oh Stella! I knew that if I just waited, if I just had a little faith, then eventually I would have to find someone that ticked more boxes than these guys were ticking. I thought to myself, “Dear God; look I’m gonna level with you here. I’m not looking for ‘Mr Perfect’, I’m just looking for ‘Mr. Perfect for me’.
Is that a lot for a girl to ask for?