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All Coked Out

When I was about 22 I was a university student living in a big city. One night in a bar I met a guy, let’s call him Hugh, we got talking and ended up exchanging numbers. I come from a comfortable (but not hugely-wealthy) middle class family and my parents live about two hours away from where I went to uni. Hugh came from a very wealthy family who had a big townhouse in one of the priciest parts of town.

Hugh’s parents were polite to me but it was quite clear that they didn’t think I was good enough to be dating their son. If I helped set the table for a family dinner it would be loudly observed that I’d put the butter knives facing in the wrong direction (I don’t mind if there’s a correct way to do something, but tell me discreetly – don’t announce it to the whole room!). When their younger daughter expressed interest in studying a similar university degree to mine (an arts course) they told her, interrupting my explanation of what was required and the types of assignments you’d need to do, that it wasn’t a proper subject and wouldn’t get her anywhere in life. If I’d stayed over at night, his mother would think nothing of marching into the bedroom the next morning and telling him it was time to get up for work whilst completely ignoring the fact that I was lying right next to him. Obviously the warning light should have come on at the idea that his mother needed to tell him to get up for work!

Anyway – about 3 months into our relationship it was New Year’s Eve. Hugh had arranged to go to a party at the country home of one of his friends which was about 30 minutes from where my parents lived and over 2 hours from the city. I had gone home to see my parents for Christmas and developed a horrible cold. There was no way I was going to a party for NY and instead stayed on my parents sofa with a good film and a blanket. Earlier that day I’d been talking to Hugh on the phone and he’d been complaining that there was nowhere for him to sleep at the party and he’d have to stay on the floor. I foolishly offered to collect him from the party once it finished and let him stay with me at my parents’ home. He’d never met my parents before, but they are very welcoming people who are happy to allow my friends to stay occasionally when I’m visiting.

So – 3am comes around and Hugh calls requesting a lift. I drive out to the party house to collect him and wait around for half an hour for him to do a prolonged leave taking of all his friends. Finally we get back to my parents’ house and I let Hugh in the front door. I tell him to be quiet because my parents are upstairs asleep and I don’t want to wake them. Hugh says he wants a glass of water so I direct him to the kitchen, which is right by the front door and tell him I’ll be there to help him as soon as I’ve taken off my boots and coat. A couple of minutes later I walk into the kitchen and am horrified to see Hugh chopping out a line of coke on my mum’s kitchen counter! I should probably point out that I have never taken drugs in my life so there’s no way Hugh should have thought this was behaviour I would condone. It took me a couple of moments to find my voice, so distressed was I that my mum might come downstairs and find some stranger taking drugs in her kitchen.

Eventually I managed to croak, “What are you doing?”, he turned around and obviously misunderstood the look of shock on my face because he very calmly said to me, “Don’t worry, I’ve cut a line for you too…”. If it hadn’t been 4am in the middle of January I’d have kicked him out there and then! 0207-11

{ 90 comments… add one }
  • Sarah February 14, 2011, 10:10 am

    I think you should have kicked him out anyway.

  • Patti Purcell February 14, 2011, 10:26 am

    Come On, After 3 months you never new he did drugs. How in the heck could you go at three am to get him from a party, If you were so sick from a bad cold, and could not go, and then waiting for a half hour. Let him get a ride. Sorry, I do think you new. Hope you dumped him soon. Why are you sleeping with someone you hardly know.?????

  • Giles February 14, 2011, 10:26 am

    Well, that officially beats all my “bringing the boyfriend home” stories. And I’ve had one set my mother’s computer on fire.

  • Daisy February 14, 2011, 10:35 am

    Even if it was 4 a.m. in a blizzard in the Arctic, anyone doing drugs in my kitchen would find himself outside looking for a bus ride home. Some people don’t have the brains God gave a billygoat!

  • Harley Granny February 14, 2011, 10:41 am

    Wow…you dodged a bullet on this one!

    Obviously it turns out that you were actually of a higher class than Hugh and his family.

    I hope you did tell him that in no way shape or form was his behavior acceptable….aside from being stupid for doing drugs in the 1st place.

    Glad you learned about him before it was too late.

  • Shalamar February 14, 2011, 10:44 am

    You are much nicer than I would’ve been – 4 a.m. or no 4 a.m., his butt would’ve been out the door SO fast.

  • yellowroseofchicago February 14, 2011, 10:52 am

    I would have kicked him out anyway, middle of winter or not.

  • LBC February 14, 2011, 10:57 am

    OK, I would have called him a cab on the spot and sent him home for his parents to manage. Sorry. No coke in my house. I’ve had friends injured by people who were high and there is no way I’d have one in my or my parents’ house.

  • samihami February 14, 2011, 11:05 am

    Hugh’s parents were polite to you? When was that? Was it when they were “making it clear” that you weren’t good enough for their son, when they were correcting your table setting or when they were insulting your college major?

    Obviously Hugh is a big fat loser. Using drugs in your parents kitchen? Without even asking if that was acceptable? Um, no. I think you should have kicked him out then and there. Better yet, you should have called his oh-so-superior mother and told her to come and get him because you don’t permit the use of cocaine in your house.

  • WithMyEyesOpen February 14, 2011, 11:07 am

    Oh, you SO should kick him out! Something like drugs is non-negotiable. Different people can have different values and learn how to tolerate each other despite their disagreements. But doing drugs in my parents house? It does not only scream no class and lack of manners, but also criminal activity and troubles.

  • Chocobo February 14, 2011, 11:18 am

    Wow, even with the title I was still taken by surprise by the ending of this post. What a loser! Hugh aside, dear old Mummy is a prime example of etiquette rules for the sake of rules, rather than for the comfort of guests. The direction of butter knives? Spare me! What a wench. Although my only criticism in this case was that the OP seemed to sleep in his room in her house, she didn’t do herself any favors with that. Unless it is really explicitly invited by the host (that is, the owners of the home you are sleeping in), sleeping with your boyfriend not a great first (or second) impression for any parent, especially ones clearly predisposed to thinking of people in class stereotypes.

    That being said, this whole family sounds like a piece of work. The story surprised me when he started doing coke in her parents kitchen…. but not that he was a drug user. OP — next time, kick him out!

  • Jen February 14, 2011, 11:44 am

    I can’t get past the fact that you offered to drive an hour to pick him up from a party at 3 AM, while you were sick. Would it really have been that terrible for him to bring a sleeping bag with him? Just because you like a person doesn’t mean you have to a doormat for them.

  • LovleAnjel February 14, 2011, 11:49 am

    Now you know why he seemed to have the smallest bladder of any guy you knew. He was gracious enough to have some ready for you, too. His parents were rude, but apparently that didn’t totally soak into him. 😉

  • Julie A. February 14, 2011, 11:59 am

    All niceties aside you should have kicked him out right then and there! I would have called his beloved Mommy and had her pick him up. If she wouldn’t, I’d let her know the cops were more than willing to do it.

  • Louise February 14, 2011, 12:03 pm

    So you didn’t kick him out because … it was cold outside? Because it was late? I don’t quite understand. Anyone doing drugs in my home gets ejected immediately, regardless of time or temperature. And in your position, I’d have booted him out of my parents’ home, too. He’s not going to kick up too much of a fuss once you threaten to call the police.

  • lkb February 14, 2011, 12:07 pm

    I do understand the OPs dilemma at her parents house, however….

    Sorry to be terribly old-fashioned, but I wonder if the reason Hugh’s parents gave the OP the cold shoulder was the fact that she was sleeping with him under their roof. Maybe that was the real reason his mother marched in the next morning. (Not that I would have done the same, but…)

    There are plenty of people who frown on unmarried couples sleeping together. I’m trying to raise my own offspring to go against the tide and I’d be very dismayed to find out they were behaving like the OP and Hugh. I’m not sure exactly what I’d do the in same situation, but I sincerely doubt I’d be greeting the sleepover guest cheerfully either. At the very least the guest would have gotten a separate bedroom.

    Also, since I am terribly old-fashioned — FWIW, I would have kicked out someone doing illegal drugs in my parents’ house at 4 a.m.

    I guess it really is a different world. (Scotty, beam me back to my home world — please!)

  • Mojo February 14, 2011, 12:18 pm

    Ouch, what a horrible way to find out your boyfriend is a loser.
    Given the way his Mother treated you, weren’t you a little bit tempted to tell her about her darling boy?

  • Margaret February 14, 2011, 12:21 pm

    I might have arranged a nice safe room at the local jail!

  • DGS February 14, 2011, 12:45 pm

    Wow…you’re much better off, OP, without this prize in your life!

    On a side note and unrelated to Hugh’s drug use, which was, obviously, a massive problem, I was a little taken aback that two twenty-two year olds (I’m assuming here that Hugh was about the same age as OP at the time) were allowed by Hugh’s parents to sleep in the same room (bed?) when staying over at one another’s place. I don’t think of myself as particularly prudish, and I’m pretty young (31), but I am pretty sure that neither my parents nor my husband’s parents would have allowed us to sleep together when we were dating. Stay over and sleep on the couch or in the guest room, absolutely, but not sharing a bed. Maybe, I was just raised by a bunch of prudes, but my husband stopped sleeping in the guest room when visiting my folks’ place once we were engaged, and same went for me when I was visiting my husband’s parents.

  • Kat February 14, 2011, 12:51 pm

    It blows my mind that he thought this was okay, but facing butter knives the wrong way was a cardinal sin.

  • Leslie Holman-Anderson February 14, 2011, 12:59 pm

    Doing drugs in the home of someone whose predilections he knows don’t lie in that direction seems to me the height not just of bad manners but stupidity. But as he’d been partying til 3 a.m. and assumably wasn’t in full possession of his faculties, and you’ve been sleeping with him at _his_ parents’ house, he probably never gave a thought to social boundaries at _your_ parents’ house. While I agree that you don’t need a spoiled, lazy coke-head in your life, I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of sympathy with your sense of outrage.

  • Xtina February 14, 2011, 1:04 pm

    In some ways and after the fact, this is a little humorous; the kind of story I’d expect to see in a compendium of people’s bad date experiences. Having said that, though–I don’t think Hugh’s family treated the OP very well or fairly at all–I’d call this more a case of a run-in with bad snobs, as the instances the OP writes of were surely purposeful to belittle her—obviously someone who had true manners would refrain from such snide comments and have regard for the OP’s privacy. But we know that money doesn’t buy class.

    As for the drug incident—OP, did you not know this about him? I guess some people can hide this kind of thing effectively, but I hope that you took that as a sign to run, fast! This guy was a loser. This could also possibly explain Hugh’s family’s treatment of the OP—perhaps it wasn’t a “social class” issue as much as it was perhaps that they knew of Hugh’s drug problem and automatically lumped the OP in as another one “like him”, fueling Hugh and contributing to the problem. Little did they know!

  • Michael Smith February 14, 2011, 1:21 pm

    I think there may some confusion between etiquette and downright criminal activity. If Hugh had been cleaning his dirty boots on your mother’s counter, that would be poor etiquette. What he did was so far from a breach of etiquette, it shouldn’t even be considered as such. I hope that was enough to turn that red warning light on as bright as needed to steer you away from the disaster named Hugh.

    Thank you for an interesting site.

  • Geekgirl February 14, 2011, 1:30 pm

    Never mind 4am in the middle of January, I’d’ve kicked him out right there and then.

  • Caper February 14, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I wouldn’t have cared what time of night and what month it was .. if I caught a house guest doing coke in my kitchen they’d be out on their behinds. Yeah, the warning light should have come on when you found out his mum was still reminding him to get up for work – but we don’t always seem to catch on to these signs until well after the fact.

    But all in all, you’re out of the relationship now and that’s all that counts.

  • BB-VA February 14, 2011, 1:58 pm

    Add me to the group who would have installed a size-9 footprint on his derriere.

    Given that it was a cold night and you wouldn’t want him freezing to death in your front yard, you could have returned him to the friend’s house.

  • TheOtherAmber February 14, 2011, 2:09 pm

    I once kicked a man out of my house because of his behaviour in the middle of winter, in the middle of a blizzard. Hugh would so have found his butt on the other side of the door before he could finish saying “what the…”.

  • Anonymous February 14, 2011, 2:13 pm

    Lump me in with those who feel that maybe the mother was a little cold because you were using her house for casual sex. I’m only 24, but two years ago, when DH and I were dating, I slept in the guest room at his mom’s, and he slept in the guest room at my parents’. That didn’t change til we were actually married, and I know both sets of parents approved of that policy.

  • ferretrick February 14, 2011, 2:27 pm

    “Sorry to be terribly old-fashioned, but I wonder if the reason Hugh’s parents gave the OP the cold shoulder was the fact that she was sleeping with him under their roof. Maybe that was the real reason his mother marched in the next morning. (Not that I would have done the same, but…)”

    If that’s the case (and fine if it is, your house, your rules, etc.) the proper way to express it is to say it will not be possible for them to share a room. Not criticize her choice of major, her way of setting the table, or passive aggressively marching in the room first thing in the morning. None of that behavior is excused by the fact they were sharing a room.

  • Jen February 14, 2011, 2:50 pm

    I’m also in agreement with lkb. My parents didn’t expect me to be abstinent, but having sleepovers with my boyfriend in their house, especially one I’d only been dating a few weeks, would have been seen as disrespectful. Maybe that’s old fashioned, but it’s understandable.

  • Tara February 14, 2011, 3:05 pm

    I’m wondering how you got 3 months into a relationship without finding out your boyfriend did drugs you didn’t approve of. I guess not everyone goes about the first couple dates the way I did, but, I find out about any possible deal-breakers first thing. I have a number of questions I ask early on… and one of those questions pertains to drugs, tobacco and alcohol. I actually tried to find these things out even BEFORE I agreed to a first date, but if I couldn’t, within the first 2 dates.

    I guess he could’ve lied to the OP.

  • Jolie_kitten February 14, 2011, 3:17 pm

    Little note about parents who may have disliked the fact that Hugh and OP slept in the same room: alright, I get it that some parents are not comfortable with their sons/daughters & girlfriends/boyfriends sleeping in the same room unless a certain “relationship status” requirement is met, and it can vary a lot from one household to another (for instance: my ex boyfriend’s mother only allowed us to sleep in the same bed at their house after my mother allowed us to sleep in the same bed at our house- and pretty much made it clear from the start this is her condition; for other parents, it may be having been together for x months, or being of a certain age, or may go as far as only aloowing sleeping together after engagement… I’ve heard cases.
    However- and very big however: if you, as a parent, are uncomfortable with your child and his girlfriend sleeping in the same room, then you must openly, honestly and politely say so. This gives you absolutely no right to be rude or passive-agressive about it.

  • Kat February 14, 2011, 3:53 pm

    Patti Purcell – drug users don’t always broadcast their habits, and if the OP hadn’t been in close contact with one before, she may not have known the warning signs. Also, it’s not clear from the story whether Hugh was a regular user, or whether this was an isolated incident.

    Why is it any of your business who the OP is sleeping with?

  • Kat February 14, 2011, 3:56 pm

    Michael Smith – you make a valid point, but I think it’s possible for something to be an issue of both etiquette AND legality. In this case, using illegal substances is a crime. Doing so in the OP’s parents’ home is an etiquette breach.

  • Caper February 14, 2011, 4:07 pm

    What I don’t understand is some of the other users saying that they have no sympathy, because she slept in the same bed as the guy at his parents house. Maybe his parents allowed that sort of thing ? Just because you or your family or your spouses family allows it, doesn’t make it wrong, and it doesn’t put her in the wrong either. The only way I’d call her out on being in the wrong is if his parents forbade it and they went ahead and did it anyway.

    Like I said before, now you recognize the signs and you’re away from this sleaze ball, that’s all that matters. And as another user said – It seems that you’re more upper-class than this fellow, seriously. I still can’t get over it that he thought it was OK to do coke in your home.

  • Michelle P February 14, 2011, 4:10 pm

    I’m sympathetic toward the OP to some degree, I would have been so shocked at first that I wouldn’t have known what to do. After I got over it though, I’d have thrown him out. Glad you ditched him, and the uppity family.

    I have to agree with lkb to a point, it’s generally not a good idea to sleep in the same bed with your boyfriend at his family’s home, the marching in seemed like a passive aggressive way to show they disapproved.
    @PattiPurcell, please learn how to spell and write properly before you call someone a liar.

  • kingshearte February 14, 2011, 4:18 pm

    There’s no mention of whether, on these sleepovers at Hugh’s, his parents ever offered another room. If they didn’t, then it seems like kind of a given that she’d sleep with Hugh, and I hardly think we should be berating her for that. Certainly not all parents insist on trying to maintain the delusion that their adult offspring are not sleeping together until they’re married, so I see no reason to assume that Hugh’s parents did.

    That said, drug use in someone else’s home is a whole other ballpark. And I fully agree with samihami’s suggestion of calling his parents to come get him.

  • Allie February 14, 2011, 4:23 pm

    I agree with Michael Smith that the coke-use is not a breach of etiquette, it’s a breach of the law. I despise hard drugs, and particularly that one (sorry, but coke-heads are just plain lame and pathetic). In addition to being illegal, the boyfriend’s behaviour was disrespectful to both the OP and her parents (regardless of whether they were ever aware of it). Regarding the mom’s behaviour, that, in my view, belongs on a passive-aggressive blog. As for the boyfriends/girlfriends of adult unmarried children sleeping over at their respective parents’ house, that’s up to the parents since it’s their house.

  • The Other Me February 14, 2011, 4:34 pm

    I think we can assume that the parents didn’t care about the Hugh and the OP sharing a bed – they weren’t shy about telling her the butter knife was facing the wrong way, so wouldn’t his mother have said something about them sharing a bed if it was a problem?

    Patti Purcell – I’ve known people for years who have never done drugs and then pulled something out on New Years.

  • kero February 14, 2011, 4:46 pm

    I’m guessing he was too blitzed to have good judgement. I’m not shocked by the drugs, but rather find it’s a stupid idea to engage in personal (and illegal) recreation without knowing the boundaries of the host/homeowners. Even if a guy opened a bottle of beer in my parents’ kitchen without me knowing, I’d be upset (and I drink like a sailor).

    People, 3 months doesn’t mean a couple will know every aspect of their life. Yes, it is possible to keep things private/hidden during that time span and possible that she didn’t know. It seems that Hugh will do drugs occassionally (ie–special occassions like New Year’s) so it’s possible that OP did not know of the behavior.

    That aside, rude of his parents to belittle you. However, I’m thinking his mom barged into his bedroom because she disapproved of you two sleeping together–not because he has to get to work.

  • AS February 14, 2011, 5:02 pm

    Jeez! You had more patience than me. If I were in your place, the only think keeping me from kicking him away would have been the fear of waking my parents up. It is kind of funny that he thought that you were shocked about not offering you, as if he was eating your favorite chocolate without giving you!

    Hugh’s parents were surely rude to you. But I am not sure if it was because of the “class” issue only, or was it because you slept with him – at their house – within 3 months of the relationship. Maybe they have reservations about unmarried couples sleeping together. It is nobody’s business what you do in your own homes, but this is their home. Did you ever try finding out?
    I am not at all a prudish person. In fact, I am one of those people who don’t think that the success of a relationship is based solely on a marriage; and by boyfriend and I have put our weddings to hold until we can afford it ourselves. But when my boyfriend and I visited each other’s parents for the first time, we were given different rooms, and we slept separately (this was 3 months after we met to visit his parents and more than 1 year for my parents as they live abroad). Our parents are pretty broad minded and don’t fool themselves into thinking we don’t share a bed. But I don’t think they’d approve if we tried to jump into things too soon, especially while visiting them. They’d probably not be rude as they have better class then Hugh’s parents. But for the future, it might be helpful to be cognizant about what the parents think when you are visiting them.

    BTW, did Hugh stay with his parents even when he is working, and presumably old enough? If there isn’t any good reason for him to stay with them, I’d think that is a red light! All in all, good that you got rid of the looser!

  • Mom2PBJ February 14, 2011, 5:07 pm

    Really not much to add that the others haven’t already said. But really, he was at a New Year’s Eve party, that you were too sick to go to, and yet you went to get him when he called at 3:00 a.m.? Must have been a long ride home because you didn’t want to kick him out at 4:00 a.m. in the MIDDLE of January.

  • Louise February 14, 2011, 5:32 pm

    Not all parents care if their college-age kids share a bed with their significant other under their rooves. The parents of a friend of mine didn’t; and another friend’s parents have no problem with her sharing a bed with her boyfriend and she’s only in her late 20s. If Hugh or Hugh’s parents didn’t tell the OP otherwise, I can understand why she shared a bed with Hugh.

    As to why the OP was “sleeping with someone she hardly knows,” that’s not really any of our business. There are plenty of couples who decide to sleep together within two or three months of meeting; sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. I think it would be best to avoid going down that path.

  • --Lia February 14, 2011, 5:36 pm

    I agree with MSmith. Surely there’s a difference between an etiquette violation and run of the mill stories about bad dates or awful surprising things. If there’s an etiquette issue here, it must have to do with when, in a budding relationship, one is supposed to bring up the subject of drug use. I’m trying to figure it out. Would Hugh’s behavior have been less bad if the OP had her own flat? Was it only outrageous because she was at her parents? Where’s the etiquette problem? Doing coke is illegal and, in the vast number of cases, a really bad idea. If you are going to bring etiquette into it, Hugh did bring enough to share. Or maybe the etiquette question is under what circumstances is it permissible to throw out someone you’ve just decided to break up with.

  • Jamesy February 14, 2011, 5:45 pm

    The only breach of etiquette I see here is Hugh asking an ailing person to pick him up in the middle of the night – after all, he did offer her a line.

  • Magicdomino February 14, 2011, 5:52 pm

    For those who are wondering how the OP missed that Hugh did cocaine: one of my friends dated a man for over a year before she discovered that he was a heroin addict. She said that she missed it because for all practical purposes, she never saw him when he wasn’t high, plus he was injecting himself in hidden areas, so there were no needle tracks. It sounds like the OP didn’t knowingly hang out with people who do cocaine, and didn’t recognize the symptoms until, like my friend, she caught him in the act.

    As for kicking him out at 4:00 am, when I was young and shy, I probably would have waited until morning to kick him out. Then again, I wouldn’t have picked him up at 3:00 am, cold or no cold.

  • Harry February 14, 2011, 5:56 pm

    As Patti said above … 3 months into this relationship and you didn’t know he did hard drugs?? You must have had blinders on. I personally knew crackheads when I was much younger. They make no attempt to hide it. I can’t believe you missed this.

    At least you found out in time. That’s the important thing.

  • irish February 14, 2011, 6:27 pm

    I’m surprised that a number of people seem to think sharing a bed in his parents’ house is on a par with drug use. No it isn’t.

  • jen February 14, 2011, 6:59 pm

    Well, technically he WAS being polite in offering her some….

    Just kidding! What a dirtbag. I think it’s funny how some people are focussing more on the OP spending the night with her boyfriend in his mother’s house than him doing lines of coke. I was never allowed to have my boyfriend spend the night when I was living at home, but my parents made that very clear to me before I brought him over so it was never an issue.

  • A February 14, 2011, 7:13 pm

    Oh, no, he could’ve left in a cab.

    For those who are unsure of the etiquette breach, I’m pretty sure consuming illegal substances in someone’s house (or someone’s parents’ house) without first asking if such behavior was acceptable there is a breach of etiquette.

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