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When is a douche canoe not a douche canoe?

January 6, 2011

Alright. I think I’ve gone on about big issues (or Other People or my own European Random Hookups) for a few posts. I think it’s time for a lil update.

First. Think all the waaaaaay back to… holy shit. September? Really? Yikes. Well. Basically, I’d like to update you on my good friend Amy and her trials and tribulations with Mr. Sweetness & Light. Or Mr. Douche Canoe/Titanic. Whatever.

Let’s review.

Amy met Mr. Sweetness&Light (apparently) way back in September. She’d been kind of shit on for awhile (but experiences we all know well…), Mr. Sweetness just seemed… well, all Sweetness and Light. Like something she could trust.

They spent a good two weeks pretty much either at work or in each other’s company.

Then. The other shoe kicked Amy square in the ass. Mr. Sweetness had a girlfriend. She may live in a completely different country but… and she had been his girlfriend for a year and a half. And she’s coming to visit for two-and-a-half-weeks.

So. Amy went on vaca (thank god) while Mr. Sweetness has a lil visitor (so – Amy has to try not to think about the fact that he’s fucking some other chick this entire time – that’s fun). And, no, he didn’t tell Singapore Sally (his GF – she’s not from Singapore, she’s from Montana) about Amy before she got here. That would have been a good idea. Something Mr. Sweetness seems incapable of.

OK. Will try to wrap this sordid tale up quickly.

Mr. Sweetness does tell Sally about Amy about a week and a half into her visit (I think that’s right).  Sally spends the evening dry-heaving into the toilet (who hasn’t been there – but in his house when you can’t leave? That has to suck.)

Sally finished out her visit and goes home. Sweetness tells Amy it’s over and he wants to be with her. All is well. Kind of.

Until. Boxes begin arriving at Mr. Sweetness’s apartment. They are from Sally. Oh right – Sally is moving out here. Oh re-he-he-ally.

Amy finally loses it and tells Mr. Sweetness her stuff needs to go. He needs to have it put in storage and he needs to cut off all contact with Sally (for the good of everyone – including Miss Singaporeseriously).

He swears he will. He swears he has.

All is (once again) well. Kind of. They go back to spending every minute together.

Fast forward to last month. Amy ends up looking at Mr. Sweetness’s e-mail one day (yes – totally not something she should have done, but how can you resist?? I mean, really???) Oh… a lil e-mail from Sally that says the following:

So I leave tomorrow for Australia so I won’t be in touch as much as we have been. I will have plenty of time to think, and I agree that this break has been good for us. We’ll be stronger on the other side.”

What. The. FUCK.

SO. Naturally Amy confronts Sweetness immediately (and admits her invasion of his privacy – which he seems perfectly ok with). He says that he has been in touch with Sally but he just didn’t know what to do yadda yadda yadda. He does end up Skyping Sally and telling her it is really over and he’s done, that he will put her stuff in storage. She says she knew it was over and ok.

In addition… there are a whole bunch of g-chats between Sweetness and Sally. Not recent chats, but…  chatting with her and Amy at the same time while we were in Italy (and after he tells Amy it’s over). And when Amy was at work, after she got back (he isn’t currently working – but he has plenty of cash at the moment).

And… there’s the fact that I was a complete bitch to him when I got back from Europe (I am not all that good at the fake-nice thing. Apparently that makes other people uncomfy sometimes so I am working on… not being so obvious about it…). I was slightly inappropriate. Afterward, he asked Amy why she “is even friends” with me (really asshole?).

So. At this point? Amy holds fast to this claim: he just fell into a relationship with Sally because they had been friends for so long, then he met Amy and she totally knocked his socks off and he just got in over his head.

She realizes he made mistakes (HUGE ones), that he was a coward and has been doing things that really only benefit him and are terrible for both her and Singapore Sally.

But. He loves her. He sparkles his ass of… mostly.

Although… she’d like a lil more acceptance of responsibility. For instance. She doesn’t think he really understands what it is he did. He also thinks that by just telling Amy he “chose” her, and that he loves her, that’s enough. But these are things he was saying while lying through his teeth about still being in contact with Sally. What would have made Amy more comfortable? Is if he had been straight up from the get-go. And, if there is one thing we’ve learned, it’s that words don’t mean shit.

That, and Sally’s stuff is still at his house.

Ok. That’s the deal. Look, I don’t want to discuss what a Douch TITANIC Mr. Sweetness is. The issue here is, after you find out what an asshat someone has been, if they tell you that they are sorry and that they love you… what then?

See, the bottom line here is that Amy is not ending this. She’s trying to go with it, because of what Sweetness says and because of how she feels. In spite of the lying, asshole shit. Thus… the relationship is not the issue here.

In my head, the issue is instead… how do you move past this? I know I am struggling with trusting this guy, even though it’s not really my issue – but Amy is too. Is it really ok to decide he was in over his head? That he is just another dude who could not man the fuck up and deal with his situation properly? Can he learn to grow some balls? That someone deserves to be trusted on words alone? And given another (note I did not say second – I think he’s already had that) chance?

I think this actually ties into something Jackie from Brooklyn brought up so eloquently recently: the balance between character and charisma. Can a dude learn character? And do you forgive him his [gigantic horrible] mistakes so that he can do that?

Oh, dear readers. What do you think? Should Amy be doing this, and if so, any advice on how to truly forgive and forget? Or is a relationship built on such a beginning doomed from the start?


22 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2011 10:51 am

    Strangely enough I am contemplating the same thing this morning. I have it on good authority that one of the most notorious PUAs got engaged over the holidays. Does this absolve him for a lifetime of douche-baggery, or creating an army of wannabees? I don’t know; I don’t know him personally and have no right to judge. As for Amy; regardless of what her heart is telling her, I’m curious to what her instincts say. Your heart can (and will) lie to get what it wants, and your mind will justify all mannner of impropriety, but she’s probably had to ignore her instincts screaming at her to move forward.

    Curious to see where this leads.

    • January 6, 2011 11:20 am

      All I know is what my instincts say, but it’s not up to me and I’m not in her shoes.

      I completely agree that your heart is not helpful in these situations sometimes. I’ve been there, I know it lied to me and got me in a world of trouble.

      I want to believe they can move past this, but only for Amy’s sake. I know she wants to, as well, but she’s also having trouble trusting him (duh) and I have to wonder if those are her instincts… I don’t know.

      I am sure I will be getting a phone call from her in the very near future, however…

      • January 6, 2011 11:53 am

        I’d love to hear your thoughts on this: my essay on heart, mind and instinct:

  2. January 6, 2011 11:23 am

    Wow just trying to get a string chart going on here to keep track of all the back and forth. Lies, doubletalk, moving and moving out.

    I personally don’t have that much time in my life for drama, let alone braincells to handle all of the pre and post gf lies and bullshit.

    Just keep it simple people! It’s much easier on everyone invovled including YOU.

    ARRRGH I think I just popped another neuron.
    Is that burnt toast I smell… do de doo.

    • January 6, 2011 11:45 am

      Ha. I know… it gets confusing! I probably could have simplified it… but the shit is sometimes in the details.

      But I think you (perhaps inadvertently?) hit on the point: We don’t want drama either. BUT. Do you put up with drama to get to the good stuff? Ever? Or do you always walk away? Is it ok to give the dude another change, if he says the drama is over, or is it already too much?

      Please stop popping neurons, though! It’s only Thursday!

      • January 6, 2011 2:53 pm

        Well yea, I guess we all go through a great deal of shit and drama to get to the good stuff. But in this case it had better have been, eyes rolling to the back of the head and seeing the spirits of the dead good.

        Make you want to lick cheesecake off each others bodies good. Get what I am sayin’ here girl??

        Anything short of that in this case is robbery.

  3. January 6, 2011 11:44 am

    Ehm… what a mess! The guy sounds like an eejit. Let’s be honest here… the whole “he did not understand what he did, he didn’t realize” etc etc…come on! Of course he does, unless he is extremely thick and then why would anyone want to be with someone that stupid?

    He gets away with being a coward and “misunderstood” and as long as he can he will. The tragic part in this is that it seems like your friend Amy is totally loved up and turning a blind eye. She has set down limits and he seems to ignore them.

    Maybe I am a cynic but I highly doubt that this will be happily ever after. I am no relationship expert by any means but she should give him a hard kick in the balls and drop him like a hot potato.

    I do not think I could be civil if he dated one of my friends and I met him knowing all this.

    • January 6, 2011 12:24 pm

      I know! This is the difficult thing… it’s hard not to just look at all this and write it off. And you know, that’s not really my call. It’s Amy’s call, and as her friend, I will stand by it (and do my best to be civil…). Plus, even though I am so with you on being a cynic (srsly), I am sure you’ve been in Amy’s shoes (I know I have) and you just have to go with your gut, despite all the shit.

      So… if that’s the situation… how do you go forward with it? That’s where I’m at. And I think Amy is too.

      • January 6, 2011 12:39 pm

        Yeah been there as well. I have caught myself in such situations and yes, it is soo easy to close your eyes and ignore the bad bits hoping the good parts make up for it cos you want it soo much.

        Having the guts to do what your instinct tell you is the right thing… that is the hard bit. When you know that you might be lying to yourself and that you need to take that important step away. The only thing you can hope for it that you will be fine and that there are friends to help with picking the pieces.

        • Arsepolitico permalink
          September 11, 2011 5:52 pm

          she gon need The Baggage Reclaim.

  4. January 6, 2011 2:58 pm

    I’m with Bob. Too much drama.

    That’s a whole lot of lying going on. I hate lying. Mistakes are ok—everybody makes them. But learn from it and move on. This guy did the same thing…over and over. He didn’t learn anything. He didn’t even learn how to be sneakier! How do you trust someone after that?

    How many chances does this guy get? 3 strikes and you’re out!

    Let me know how you deal with it because my friend is in a similar situation, and every time I see her boyfriend I just want to punch him in the face. I haven’t said anything to her, but I want to say is “How many times do I have to watch him make you cry?” =(

    • January 6, 2011 7:17 pm

      I guess the logic is he isn’t trying to be sneakier – he’s just being an idiot. That he isn’t malicious. The lying was just him trying to keep everyone happy… ?

      I don’t know. I think I have to stick it out right now… but if he pulls this shit one more time… In all honesty, you should talk to your friend. Amy knows exactly how I feel about this (since I’ve been oh so subtle – and then there was this blog). I think you should tell her, but be careful… and realize she’ll probably be mad at you. At first. Make sure she knows you’re just voicing YOUR opinion, and you’ll stand by her, you’re just tired of seeing her tears.

  5. January 6, 2011 5:58 pm


    Personally speaking, I don’t think she CAN move on and get over over it– because she has already surrendered the cheating boundary, which means that he probably won’t feel much compunction about crossing it again. I’m sure that she knows that. So, if she tries to move on, there is probably going to be a lot of insecurity and misery, and snooping. Oh man. When you snoop, you are basically SCREAMING to yourself that you don’t really trust your SO. I’ve snooped, we’ve all snooped. But every single time I felt the need to do it, the relationship was already toast.


    IMHO, if she wants to try to build a relationship with SweetDouche, she needs to re establish the extremely firm no cheating boundary. Like, with a conversational sledgehammer. Let him know that she doesn’t really accept his excuses, but she is prepared to move on and try to build something. Let him know that if he cheats (and she needs to also give a firm definition, HER definition of what cheating is, so he can’t wiggle rationalize his way past it) it’s over. Over over. No more chances. Let him know clearly that she is prepared to put trust and faith in him even though common fucking sense says it’s a bad plan, so he’d better live up to it.

    That said– I agree with Bob, Ivy and everyone else. This guy is Drama and Trouble, and She should probably just steel herself for his eventual messy and disappointing retreat. And if she doesn’t want to do the hard conversational stuff, then maybe just making peace with his douchyness, and his basic uselessness as a long term potential partner might be the way to go. If she’s willing not to invest in him, and she is able to just enjoy the fun sexytimes for what they are this very moment without any hopes for the future then she’ll probably be ok.

    I really shoulda been a Miss Lonely Hearts 😛

    • January 6, 2011 7:24 pm

      Problem: she’s already HAD these conversations. Many. And every time… he kinda gets it… but he doesn’t quite understand how badly he’s behaved. He says things like “I know, but I chose you. I love you.” Kind of insinuating that is enough and she should be over it. And she’s not. And he swears he would never hurt her or do anything to risk their relationship… but then it turns out he has been. Again.

      That’s the thing. What if the guy isn’t malicious, he’s just a dumbass? And a coward? Do you deal with that, in order to salvage something you really really want, in hopes that he won’t do it again?

      I know she’s struggling – feeling like it’s not as clear-cut as it looks on paper…

      • January 7, 2011 4:24 am

        If she has already had those conversations and he keeps on doing this shit, well, then option number two is about the only way to deal with it. Enjoy it for what it is, but expect that he will be doing more cheating in the future. She might want to have a frank talk about whether they should be exclusive. She could date him, enjoy his company but not limit herself by dating only him. He sounds like he is being deliberately obtuse to me, though.

        Honestly– worth as a fuckbuddy, fun date, but definitely not someone of a caliber to fall in love with, or commit to. And frankly, the whole “I chose you!” thing?

        That shit is just obnoxious. Because if he had really “chosen” to be exclusive with her, he would’ve broken up with Sally before getting involved with her.

        So, yeah. I think he is telling her exactly what level of involved he is willing to get, and she should listen.

  6. Esme permalink
    January 6, 2011 9:39 pm

    I am a firm believer that actions speak louder then words. You can *tell* me you love me all you want, but if you don’t *show* it, go fuck yourself. E-mails behind her back, boxes still at the house, etc. etc. etc…doesn’t show love. He doesn’t care about Amy’s feelings…he cares about keeping a chick on the back burner in case she doesn’t work out. My opinion. Selfish, is what he is being.

    • January 7, 2011 4:19 am


    • January 8, 2011 4:20 pm

      I totally agree with the selfish, no doubt in my mind. And I would really like to see a lil less conversation, a lil more action, please… But… again, that part isn’t up to me…

      I think Amy would like to see it too, but she doesn’t appear to be getting through to him… either because he is ridiculously daft or because…. what you said.

  7. Gilbert Lowell permalink
    January 7, 2011 7:47 am

    “… then he met Amy and she totally knocked his socks off and he just got in over his head”

    I really think it’s time for you to write about the Event Horizon. Much like a black hole, we can’t directly observe the sock-knocking part of Amy’s character and/or physique, but we can substantiate its existence based on the effects it exerts over men in her presence. Seriously. I’ve never seen guys behave so irrationally around someone. They’re like drunk golden retrievers: all they want is to rub her leg and fetch things for her, but with even less inhibition. Indeed, I’ve started to feel substantially un-hetero for the mere fact I haven’t spontaneously stripped nekkid and professed my undying affections to her.

    Basically my point is that once he met Amy, Sweetness could almost be expected to forget his dick was in a Singapore Sling. However, he should have done the righteous and txtd Sally before she left Asia, informing her that he was gravitationally bound to another woman and he’d pay for any change fees to her airfare so that Sally could fly somewhere else. (Provided txts can escape the Event Horizon.) That would have avoided a CLEARLY messy scene of telling someone you don’t want to be with them … when they still have to live with you for the next week. Sweetness may in fact be mentally compromised, though whether due to the sudden compressed emotional space of the Event Horizon or due to a pre-existing condition is unknown.

    • January 8, 2011 4:21 pm

      Ah, yes. The Event Horizon.

      All that is well and good, Mr. Lowell, but, like you said, he should’ve manned the F up as soon as he met her, not later… and later… and later…

      “Sweetness may in fact be mentally compromised, though whether due to the sudden compressed emotional space of the Event Horizon or due to a pre-existing condition is unknown.”<— This = yes.

  8. The General (aka: Mommy) permalink
    January 8, 2011 8:14 am

    It’s not easy. I’ve had to face the same issues of trust and deceit within my marriage over the past year.

    I’ve been married for 6 years, so I know my husband fairly well. I had to rethink how well. I had to completely reevaluate everything. But, I realized eventually that I knew him well enough to know that he wasnt a bad person, but he had made a bad decision. He was an idiot and a coward and it had destroyed our family. I could walk away, easily.

    But, he’s also a devoted husband and father, who does love us and very much wants to repair the damage and rebuild from the ground up, with stronger foundations. I decided that our kids are kids are better off with him as part of the family, not removed from it.

    For me personally, it’s a slow journey. He may be just a dumbass and not a bad person, but do I still want to be married to him? The answer to that seems to change every day. So, I’m taking it slow. We’ve been separated for nearly a year now. I think he’ll come home soon for a trial period, staying over on the weekends for 3-6 months and we’ll see how it goes.

    All that to say, if your friend really feels like she loves the guy, and he’s saying and doing all the right things (now!) then she has to do what’s in her heart, of course. The important thing for her to realize is that these things don’t fix themselves over night. He’s lied to her, and he will probably lie to her again. While nobody wants that, it’s something that can’t just be swept under the rug. She should make sure he can acknowledge that he lied, and the pain it caused. He should have an idea of what to do if he’s in a position of possibly lying to her again. Coping mechanisms, I suppose. She has to be willing to work with him, and support him, but that doesn’t mean accepting being lied to.

    Above all, he has to be willing to do the work to repair the damage. He can say he loves her and he’s sorry til he’s blue in the face but that won’t make a lick of difference. He needs to make sure he does whatever is necessary to ensure he won’t lie to her or hide things from her again.

    • January 8, 2011 4:27 pm

      Hello General!

      Welcome! And thank you for your comment – I was really looking for this kind of feedback!

      You’re right that this is where Amy (and me, by proxy) is at: he was an ass, but should she stay with him? She wants to… And I think it really has to do with repairing the damage. The problem seems to be that he doesn’t quite how badly he hurt her, and he thinks that words are enough to make it better. We’ve all learned that they’re not – he needs to “do the work to repair the damage.” Is he? Not sure…. There is a lo of mistrust there, and it’s not clear how to make it better…

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