Put Down The Dice, John! It Isn’t Working!

by admin on January 20, 2010

This happened to my fiance and me about a year ago. Names have been changed. I had a friend named Shelly who had recently started dating someone. To be polite, since she seemed really excited about the guy (John) I decided to invite them both on a double date.  She loved the idea and they both showed up to my house the next week. I greeted them warmly and invited them inside. I had recently got a puppy and in her excitement, she had peed a little by the door. While I cleaned it up, John stood over me silently watching. He had not said a word so far so I made light of the situation and said ‘hello’ and ‘sorry about the mess’. He said in a drawling voice that it wasn’t too bad, he’d had worst first impressions (?!). Then he added, ” I am in college after all.”   Um, ok.  Don’t really know what that has to do with anything.

So we climb into the car (mine of course, John claims he doesn’t have gas and no money to fill) but I don’t mind, I invited them after all. We decide to drive up to the city, stop by an interesting Asian supermarket and head over to eat some Vietnamese food. On the drive up, it is dead silent. My fiance and I try to make conversation with them but everything is answered with single sentences (even Shelly, who is normally bubbly is silent.). Finally, I’m grasping at straws and just start talking about whatever I see out the window. I point out a strange fast food sign that sports a picture of an overweight cowboy. Shelly pipes up that Fiance is from a notorious cowboy-loving state. John decided to finally talk by adding, “I hear people from that state are full of themselves. Are you full of yourself? Are you?”  Thankfully my fiance took it well and laughed it off.

Then we drive past a statue of a Native American man, I comment that I didn’t remember that being there. John again decides to join the conversation with a sudden (and very long) speech about Native American rights, how he is partly Native American (not enough to claim it for anything legal, but I guess enough to lecture us over), how we’ve taken everything from them and how he suffers because of it.  Shelly nervously jokes that he’s saying too much on the topic, and it’s just a statue (I) pointed out. He bites back at her with a rude dominating comment and she shuts up. The car is again silent and I’m quietly grinding my teeth.

One other incident happens along the way where I remark about always wanting to go to this one liquor store that was notorious for carrying foreign and distinct liquors. He again decides to argue with my comment asking, “Why would you want to drink liquor? Wine and beer are the only thing worth drinking, everything else is sh*t!”.  I calmly tell him that its my opinion, and not to jump to conclusions because I do in fact like wine and beer as well.  He decides to follow up with, “My friends like vodka, I can’t stand it though. Its cheap sh*t (yes, he liked this word). I would know, I’m in college after all”. I never figured why he decided he had to remind us of this over and over. We knew, we went to the same school (as grad students), Sally and he were freshmen.

We finally make it to the market. I all but jump out of the car and retreat inside. We agree to meet back in twenty minutes and split. My fiance and I joked about ditching them then and there. We all checked out and were heading back to the car. On the way out Shelly saw something she just “had to have!” it was priced at twenty-five cents. As she only had her card, she pleaded with John to giver her the change. He rolled his eyes and thought about it for a full minute!! I was about to just give it to her when he finally relented with “Fine! but you know I need that quarter for laundry!” She happily kissed him on the cheek as if he’d given her a diamond and bought the trinket. Need I say that the purchases shared between them were payed by Shelly by herself. I was getting the impression that she payed for a lot of their dates.

At the restaurant we all excitedly talked about what we were going to order. John promptly sat down, folded his hands in his lap, rested his chin on his chest and ignored us. That was fine by me, although his actions were embarrassing, I was just happy to not have to deal with him. When the waitress came, we all ordered except for John. He refused saying he didn’t want any. When she left, Shelly confided in us, as if he wasn’t there, that John never eats in front of strangers. Um..what? Wasn’t the sole purpose of the double date to go out to EAT?!

I was noticing that John was displaying strange behavior, he seemed to be deeply concentrating on something down by his lap. Shelly noticed it to and pulled something away from him as he loudly protested and tried to grab it back like an angry little boy. It was a twenty sided dice, the kind used to play table top role playing games. Shelly laughed and again explained to us as if he wasn’t sitting right there that he used this dice to make all his decisions for him. John, pouting in his chair with a sour look grumbles, “Not ALL my decisions, just the IMPORTANT ones.”  Please, let the food come so we can leave faster!

The food does come eventually and as Shelly jabbers away about her latest ebay purchase (she has an addiction to buying decorative dolls that had put her into debt, she is secretly using her school money for them as well). While we talk and eat, John has resumed his chin on chest position and has added closed eyes as well. He looks every bit asleep and stayed still for upwards of twenty minutes. Shelly whispers in a loud voice that she thinks he’s sleeping. She finds this hilarious even though we are in a very crowded nice restuarant. John, without opening his eyes or moving suddenly replies in a grumpy voice, “I’m not sleeping, I’m meditating.” In a noisy RESTAURANT?!

To make this shorter, the dinner goes on with a few more incidents, one involving John insisting that the bean sprouts given by our waitress are called brussel sprouts (this was directed toward me when I commented that I liked bean sprouts). Shelly had to give him a short explanation on the differences between the two (he argued a few more times, insisting he was right, even though Shelly’s family works with plants) before he finally bit back with, “FINE! whatever!” and resumed sulking. Another incident happened when Shelly joked that he needed to eat because he was getting “too skinny”. He grumbled that no matter what he ate he didn’t gain weight. I commented that fiance had that problem too and it helped to lift weights. He immediately shot me a glare and said, “I’ve already tried that, didn’t do a d*mn thing for me! When I lift my shirt up I look like a f**king holocaust victim!!” I was really disturbed by this outburst, and because of his sudden volume increase, so were the tables immediatley surrounding us.

Fiance had been gone for this one and when he got back he told me that our meals were taken care of. Shelly’s face lit up as she said, “You paid for mine, too?!” Embarrassed, my fiance admitted he hadn’t. Her face falls and she slowly gets up after shooting a look at John (which he ignores) and goes to pay for her meal. Now, I forgot to mention, but all throughout the day John kept repeating over and over that he “only had ten bucks on him!”. Her meal came to eight dollars, but the restaurant only excepted cash or check. She came back distressed and told us her problem. Did John whip out that ten bucks and cover for his visibly nervous and embarrassed girlfriend? No, of course not. I had to write a check for her. Did either of them offer to pay me back? No again. We drove back with the two of them groping eachother in the back the whole way peppered with complaints by John that the doggie bag’s smell was making him want to vomit. Classy.

When we got back, I hugged Shelly and gave a quick nod to John. Shelly claimed she had so much fun that we’d have to do it again soon. Sure! anytime….NOT!   1029-08

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

lilyme January 20, 2010 at 7:28 am

That story raises all kinds of red flags!
John is NOT a “keeper” and Shelly needs to ditch him right away! I think he has some psychological problems that could turn dangerous!

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Amber January 20, 2010 at 9:49 am

The young man in this story reminds me of a fellow I knew in high school. He was perfectly nice…once he got to know you. Before that, he was belligerent, grumpy, talked loudly and long about inappropriate subjects and had a hard time understanding why anyone would be mad at him for any of this. Then he was diagnosed with Asperger’s, and finally had the chance to visit councilors and therapists that could help him find ways to recognise what was “wrong” with his actions and help him cope in society. It was much better, for him and the people around him, after that. I wonder if the young man in this story didn’t have the same problem: no, or very recent diagnosis for Asperger’s. Not eating in front of people and the long, rambling conversation about Native Americans is tipping me into thinking that was what was going on here.

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Raluca January 20, 2010 at 10:13 am

OMG, what a freak…
This kind of freak, maybe? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dice_Man

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Kitty January 21, 2010 at 1:38 pm

This guy sounds EXACTLY like 3 of my friends who have Asperger’s. Possibly he has Asperger’s or another illness on the autistic spectrum which explains his behaviour. Such an explanation doesn’t make the behaviour easier to cope with though!

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Fanboy Wife January 24, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Poor Shelly.

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Tara February 15, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I was thinking the exact same thing, he sounds like he has Asperger’s. Don’t hold it against him so much as being rude, it’s a mild form of autism and without lots and lots of therapy it can’t be helped (sometimes even with therapy it can’t be helped). People with Asperger’s are generally just as smart, if not smarter, than everyone else, and normal in every other way, but have extreme difficulties with social interaction, and with knowing what is appropriate or not in conversations.

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teppenwitz February 26, 2010 at 6:51 am

Or he could just be a jerk.

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Kippers March 8, 2010 at 8:01 pm

I think the writer should proofread her work because ‘Shelly’ turned into ‘Sally’ accidentally at the end of the fourth paragraph.

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TylerBelle March 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I know I’m a bit late coming in, but wanted to add my 2 cents :). I don’t know much about autism, Asperger’s or any like diagnosis, and I’m sure it’s tough dealing with sometimes, but I don’t think it should give one the justification to act nasty to others. To me it seemed like John was more full of himself, like he accused others of being from that certain state.

Also I think the LW’s fiance was a bit clueless with the announcing “our meals are taken care of” within Shelly’s earshot. When I first read that part I thought how nice, he covered Shelly’s, too. Of course they shouldn’t have been expected to pay for her, but they did invite her and then left her in an embarrassing position on top of her having to deal with John.

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koolchicken May 9, 2010 at 5:07 am

I’m sorry but I disagree with all of the Asperger’s comments. I myself have Asperger’s and have never acted this way in public. Asperger’s runs in my family, and I can’t think of a single relative of mine that would pull something like this either (and I have various relitives with varying degress of the disorder).

I find comments suggesting this as a possible explanation for this man’s behaviour somewhat hurtful and rude in themselves. Individuals with Asperger’s are more than capable of polite behaviour, I would never have been let out of the house if I acted like this.

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Emmy May 17, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Kollchicken—I too am an aspie. When reading this that jumped right into my head. He sounded quite a bit like me when i was younger, the not eating in public and the going on about subjects and such. he acts much like some of my friends with Aspergers do too.

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zhoen June 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm

UN-diagnosed Asperger’s . I have a dear friend I’ve known since he was 19. Took a long time to come to terms with what seemed like rude, but was actually part of autism spectrum. Doesn’t excuse the behaviour, but does help explain it. Those who date people with social mis-reading issues need to be aware of their limitations, not exacerbate them. And my friend has gotten so much better over the last decade, if still easily misread. So, this jerk doesn’t seem to be in this category, unless very young, and completely untreated. Very odd, at any rate.

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bmyster September 27, 2010 at 10:01 am

I also have Aspergers and don’t believe it is an excuse for rudeness. While it certainly makes it difficult to know what other people are feeling, it doesn’t mean he can’t learn some good basic rules about social interaction, such as “Arguing with someone doesn’t convince them”

To me, it sounds like he has a lot of anger inside that he needs to deal with through a good counselor.

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Enna August 19, 2011 at 9:09 am

I had a bf who had Aspergers and he could cope being in a restraunt – he was eccentric at times but not like this – he did swear if he did something like bump his head and being tall he was quite good at that! Personally I think Shelly should have had enough money to cover her own meal. I don’t want to get into “the man should pay v.s. 21st centruay feminism” I just think it’s always best to have some cash on you when going out goes equally for men and women: this ensures that whatever happens you have money to get a taxi home.

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