Trying to find love with an old college acquaintance doesn’t always work. Sometimes, it can be downright heinous. I met Miller at ASU. He was on the periphery of my core group of friends; one of the few guys I’d never slept with, so when we reconnected via Internet, there was intrigue. Miller was always crazy about me. I couldn’t remember why I wanted nothing to do with him … and that was the problem.
Miller sounded smart, and he had a job, unlike the dirtbags I’d been used to seeing. Aside from living in Seattle, he seemed the perfect guy. After months of chitchat he decided to visit L.A. and see if we were “truly a match.”
Miller arrived clad in a green suit and tie. His short blonde hair stuck to his face. He sweated profusely. He also looked mildly psychotic. I wasn’t attracted to him, but thought, “How bad could he be? He’s employed.” His hands shook and he seemed overly animated. I didn’t correlate his rapid speech and twitching to any type of pre-existing medical condition.
We supped that night at Saddle Peak Lodge. Curiously, I ate alone. Miller was outside chain smoking, chatting with the valet and/or the manager — whom he felt he needed to bring over to the table and introduce to me. Miller had four martinis, a bottle of wine and a beer. I’m no teetotaler, but that seemed excessive. We stopped at a friend’s for a nightcap or I should say, given the amount Miller drank, a “nightcase.” Slurring, Miller bragged about his days in the Air Force yet spouted archaic nautical terms, such as; “I must use the head,” “That’s a perfect nor easter you got there,” and a phrase I came to detest, “Captain, please may I have another?” whenever he demanded a refill, which was often.
My place, 2 a.m.: he was bouncing off the walls. I needed sleep. Against my advice, he popped several Lunestas. I didn’t want him pulling a Heath Ledger, but shortly Miller was in dreamland.
7 a.m.: Miller returned from a walk with a liter of Chivas, a carton of Camels and a six pack of Coor’s Light — two bottles short, which he drank while on Wilshire Boulevard. I was appalled. Apparently Miller had made some “new friends” at the bus stop.
As for manners, Miller’s mother taught him to always bring your hostess a gift and he brought several: A drab pair of socks received while recovering from back surgery at Seattle General — nothing says, “I love you” like a pair of hospital booties; a “Grey’s Anatomy” textbook swiped from his local library; and a 12-inch ruler he lifted from work. WTF?
By now, I figured Miller was an alcoholic, but since we had a few more days together I decided to placate him. How much worse could it get?
The answer? A lot. No matter where we dined, Miller would hustle the manager to the table, bow and say, “This is Miss Taylor Van Arsdale.”
The manager would stand there dumbfounded sharing the same perplexed look I had on my face.
And if you think this was bad at the fancy restaurants, imagine how much stranger it was at Jack in the Box? At the Huntley he got into a verbal brawl with some poor chap at the valet, in Westwood he made paper airplanes from restaurant placemats and flew them around, he announced whenever he was “going potty,” tried to crash a police fundraiser, ran into the ocean fully clothed, lost his shoe, stripped butt-naked in broad daylight, and was wired up like a coke addict every night.
This was supposed to be a romantic weekend, walking on the beach, holding hands, meeting my soul mate, instead I was stuck baby-sitting a raving lunatic. That night, I told him, “Why don’t you take a sleeping pill … or half the bottle,” and put him on the couch hoping he’d O.D.
To make amends he insisted on buying groceries. The excursion was like “Supermarket Sweep.” Miller tore through aisles, practically mowing me down with the cart. On aisle 12 he clipped an old lady. Why was everything so harried, why was he so weird, and more importantly after drinking so much booze, why was he still awake?
I was exhausted. Captain, please — NOT ANOTHER! I made the jaunt work for me. Instead of grabbing a roll of Bounty, I grabbed 16. I avoided perishables focusing on staples like rice and canned goods. He was buying me a month’s worth of provisions for all I’d endured.
He didn’t know it, and didn’t care so long as we maintained 45 mph. Suffice to say there was a reason Miller was so restless — he was bi-polar, and had been on a manic bender, exacerbated by the drinking, pill-popping and chemical ingesting free-for-all to which he’d become accustomed.
Our weekend ended when the police removed a hostile, drunken, naked Miller from my porch. So Ladies, remember there’s probably good reason you haven’t slept with certain men from your past. If 10 years go by and you’ve forgotten why — pinch yourself and move on.
Taylor Van Arsdale has been married, widowed, duped and dumped, and is back in the dating fray at time when most of her friends are married with kids. All stories are true. She will answer one reader question per column. Write to her at Tailfish@roadrunner.com