Quick caveat: this story is chock full of incidences of non-RP behavior. The point isn’t to laud or revile my actions or anyone else’s behavior, it’s to share a story that might be helpful to some.
I attended a respectable university, with the attendant pricetag. That meant a high proportion of the student body came from well-off backgrounds. I was not one of them. Spring break meant extra shifts at whatever crap job I had while most of my circle of friends went to their folks’ home in some tony travel destination. I was always scrounging for cash. I still remember my dad coming to visit and giving me a $100 handshake while whispering to me to go and have fun; I knew how tight it was for him and he still wanted me to fit in and have fun. One of the last of the non-ironic, can fix/ build anything old school alphas, that guy.
So in typical BP fashion I fall for this wealthy girl, let’s call her Libby. She’s very hot, she’s smart, she’s fun, and – and this is important, it really matters – she was nice. A really, genuinely nice person. A thoughtful, down-to-earth person. We hook up a few times but she always kept me at arm’s length. I’m an orbiter. She was always in LTRs with the same type of guy – wealthy, alpha. Anyway, at some point after a hookup I made it clear that I wanted a LTR with her and she, well, she disappeared on me. I mean, it goes totally radio silent (I have enough self-respect not to follow up), and a few months later we’ve graduated. So, I guess I got my answer.
Anyway, I go off to grad school and eventually get into a very lucrative career. I’m not a banker with Goldman Sachs, but I do very well. My first job I was making more than my mom & dad made together in any 2-3 years of their life. I bought a nice condo in the trendiest spot in a major metropolitan area and stocked it accordingly; I own many high-end suits and other nice clothing; I’ve got a nice car. I hope this doesn’t come across as bragging, I’m just trying to set the scene. My career circumstances also help / force me develop some (though certainly not all) alpha characteristics. I watch my friends get married & divorced, while I’m enjoying life. No plate-spinning, just a series of pretty easy-going 3 to 9 month relationships. It worked (and works) for me.
When I’m 30 or so, and during a single phase, I get an e-mail on my work account (easy to find via my company’s webpage) from Libby. One of those “hey, I was thinking about you, looked you up, how are you doing” missives. I respond, and discovery she now lives about 2 hours away. She mentions that she’s going to be in town for the weekend soon and would I like to hang out? Sure, I say. As I said I’m single at the moment and I start thinking the usual thoughts.
Well, the day comes and I head to the bar to find her and her friends, none of who I know. Libby hasn’t changed much. She’s dressed great, though, and I felt a little bad because I showed up in a pair of ratty jeans and even rattier shirt. Anyway, we catch up and I spend a good chunk of time chatting with her friends. They all seem cool, they’re cute, I’m the only guy and it’s a great time. At some point we’re leaving for the next place, though, and when we’re settling up Libby (who was starting to get a bit wobbly) says something like “let him pay, he makes a lot of money.” I treated it like a drunken gaucherie and laughed it off, though I should have run for the door.
Anyway, we go to the next place, we’re getting drunker, and there’s a dance floor, and we’re dancing as a group, then Libby just fucking attacks me with her mouth. She’s so voracious even I’m embarrassed. And I notice that her group of friends just look pissed. Like, really upset with me. And I’m thinking, “why mad?” while they’re shooting death stares at me. Hint #2.
Anyway, Libby drags me off the floor and tells me to take her back to my condo, which isn’t too far away. We grab a cab, head back, and the first 10 minutes she spends just inspecting my place. She goes through my kitchen and is commenting on every appliance / kitchen product I own (“OMG is that XXXXX brand? I love it!”). This would have been annoying, except for the fact that it was obvious how much this shit that was on her friends’ wedding registries was turning her on. Hint #3.
Finally, we bang and it’s fun. We both pass out. The next morning I’m up first – early riser – and I got for a quick run, come back and make coffee and when I finally hear her moving I bring her some. And it’s more of a wake-up for me than the coffee because she looks really unhappy. She seems miserable, won’t really talk. I’m like, whoah, please don’t let this be the dreaded “I can’t believe you took advantage of me while I was drunk” ex-post speech, we were both sloppy but clearly consenting oh Jesus I’m going to go to prison and I’m going to actually get raped SWEET LORD SAVE ME
At this point she asks if we are going to be in a LTR.
Oh, man. I was so relieved. So, so relieved. I would have said yes to anything, and yes to a LTR with a 8/9, smart, cool chick that I’d lusted after? Sure, no problem there. So I reply in the affirmative with a “sure, why not?” or somesuch. She is really excited, really happy. I tell her to clean up and I’ll take her out for breakfast or whatever, but she declines and says she needs to do head back, she has things that need to get taken care of. Hint #4.
Anyway we start our long-term thing, and it lasts about six months. We see each other on the weekends, she always drives up because she is in grad school in a shithole in the boondocks and I live in a cool neighborhood in a great city. Long story short, she starts to really press on our “relationship progressing” or whatever. First she starts talking about dropping out of grad school to move in with me. Then she starts talking marriage. And this is probably only after month three or four. And it makes me skittish. And it also makes me realize – I don’t want a LTR with her. Without going into the stuff I’d come to realize about her during our time together, I had begun to realize that she’s actually not my type. [Shrug.] Moreover, the thought of her unemployed and living under my roof and off my salary isn’t a good feeling.
Anyway, we eventually hash it out. I don’t handle it in the most graceful way possible, but I eventually get her to understand that I don’t want to be in a relationship with her. She just loses her shit. Screaming, cursing, bitching me out. I feel bad, I do. I’m just nodding, saying “I’m sorry” every way I can, just trying to gently help her gather her things and head out to her car. But then she says something that made my jaw drop:
“I broke off my engagement for you!”
She immediately realizes she divulged too much, and tries to put the genie back in the bottle. No, say I, you need to explain. Turns out when we reconnected she was engaged to a guy living in her neck of the boondocks, had a decent small town career but definitely not someone who could buy her the limited edition KitchenAid 6 quart mixer she deserved. After we banged she had to leave to drive back to return the engagement ring (which she had conveniently taken off when she came to visit) and call it off. That’s why her friends were pissy with me; they thought I knew she was “off the market” and should have known better. (No explanation as to why they weren’t pissy with her is needed.)
And you have to understand – I wasn’t even mad, I was just flabbergasted. I mostly just felt bad for the guy. If I was engaged I’d hate for the girl to be grinding on some dude she hadn’t seen in 7-8 years at some nightclub and then boning him an hour or two later. I’m no saint but I don’t hookup with married women, which is basically a step away from engaged. And Libby was, in my mind, a really kind and good girl! I was still just flummoxed when she went back to rage mode and stomped off.
You know what’s even funnier? Variations of this have happened to me once before and twice more since. One high school classmate and two women I knew from the university. They were “good” girls, they had significant others (one was also engaged), yet they tried to “upgrade” with me.
Anyway, here are the lessons I took from this:
Most women, even a nice, moral woman, are constantly looking to upgrade. They’re always assessing a man’s value, financial or otherwise. Libby knew I was doing well professionally and financially before we reconnected; in fact, that’s the only reason she reconnected with me. If next week she had met that banker for GS she would have given me a pat on the head and moved on. Which brings me to...
A woman could be with a great, unimpeachable guy, but if she thinks she has a chance to upgrade that guy will develop faults deeper than an ocean trench. “We just don’t really fit...we have too many differences...you’re a great guy, but...” To most women, a man’s value is always relative to other men she believes are obtainable. And if she finds that her man’s value is lacking, a woman – even dear, sweet, kind Libby – will have no trouble chucking that purported “life-long commitment” to the curb.
Women are winning (or have won) the war of words. If Libby was called out by anyone about dropping Mr. Low-to-Moderate Income for Wealthier Guy she would couch her decision about "drive" and "ambition" and some other phrases that are much more palatable than "golddigger."
There’s no reason to be mad about it. Might as well be angry about the tide coming in. It’s just the way things are, accept it and work with it.
Anyway, I figured that some people might enjoy the story, if nothing else.
PS: I looked her up via Google and saw that she eventually got married, I'm pretty sure it was to the guy she dropped. Don't be that guy. Just don't. So much of RP thinking can be boiled down to "have some fucking self-respect."
Addendum (Nov. 5, 2014):
Going through the comments – which were very kind, thank you – I saw a couple things come up multiple times that I thought made sense to address in the original post.
First, the appliance inspecting was totally true. And it’s happened multiple times since. I don’t know if it’s nesting, or the desire to outdo friends/competitors, but the effect of a well-stocked kitchen (i.e., Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table level gear) upon a woman is extraordinary. I’m not saying “your seduction technique needs to incorporate a Mauviel roasting pan,” I’m just saying it’s interesting to see. And from some of the comments I know that I’m not the only one who’s seen this.
Second, I probably should have clarified my use of the word “nice.” As pointed out in the comments, the behavior exhibited was not that of a “nice” person. Some great comments on how we’ve diluted the term to mean “not horrible and mean,” and I agree that’s too low a bar. I was just trying to show that even a woman who generally had a good sense of right and wrong had no problem convincing herself that her awful, awful behavior was o.k. if it meant that she could improve her marriage/LTR position.
Also, I agree with some of the commenters in thinking this sub-Reddit would be improved if folks acted / wrote more dispassionately. Libby wasn’t a “crazy bitch” – she’s a human being, which means that she is selfish, and she’s a woman, which means that she has different techniques and behaviors she employed (employs?) to satisfy that selfishness. If you’re angry at women like her you’re (and forgive me for using this phrase, I generally don’t like it) missing the point, which is to recognize these differences and not allow them to bring you harm. In other words: -always- hold frame, bro.
Finally, writing about this and reading the comments brought back a lot of other memories about my time with Libby. One thing that I had forgotten: when we were going through the breakup, she started pleading “are you upset because of how I treated you back in college? I know I shouldn’t have acted that way, I just wasn’t ready for you then.” Yep. She said that. There is an entire discussion of the carousel, the Wall, SMV, etc., all ready to burst from that short line of hers.
Again, thanks for the kind comments, and thanks TRP for providing a place for me to share this story.