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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


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kat February 14, 2011, 7:22 pm

    A lot of people don’t seem to see Hugh’s etiquette violation, probably because it’s so overshadowed by his criminal behavior. Yet, it IS there. Bringing an illegal substance into someone else’s home without their knowledge or permission is a breach of etiquette. Thus, @Lia – he would still be an etiquette offender if he pulled this stunt in the OP’s home (i.e. not her parents’), but he would be in the clear, etiquette-wise, if he was at his own house.

  • Rifish February 14, 2011, 7:48 pm

    I would have let the police give him a ride. There’s no way he would have stayed at my house after that.

  • Amanda Kate February 14, 2011, 9:29 pm

    I would have kicked him out. I would have said “You have five minutes to get the hell out before I call the police.” He’s obviously a big boy, he can handle being out at 4 in the morning.

  • b-rock February 14, 2011, 11:04 pm

    @irish: i agree. i never shared a bed with my now-husband at my parents’ house before we were married. on the flip side, his parents didn’t mind at all and just set us up in the same room when we went to visit them. different families have different policies regarding this. however, to compare sleeping in your boyfriend’s bed in his parents house to breaking out a line of coke is ludicrous. i get what you are all saying, and it was my first thought when reading the story too: really? she slept in his bed at his parents’ house and wonders why his mom doesn’t love her? although the casual way in which she mentions it makes me think that she thought it was no big deal, so maybe it wasn’t. but regardless, it’s incomparable to doing illegal hard drugs in someone else’s kitchen.

  • Stace February 14, 2011, 11:15 pm

    You dated him for 3 months, how could you not know he’s a child molester?
    You dated him for 3 months, how could you not know he’s a rapist?
    You dated him for 3 months, how could you not know he’s a serial killer?
    You dated him for 3 months, how could you not know he’s a thief?
    You dated him for 3 months, how could you not know he’s a compulsive gambler?

    Addicts and abusers have this nasty trait of hiding what they are. Some of them can hide it for years. Many of them are expert manipulators and it’s hard to realize how hot the water is because of how slowly it warmed.

    Can we not blame the victim?

    Can we avoid suggesting her sexuality shares some of the responsibility?

  • Iris February 15, 2011, 1:00 am

    My DH and I never shared a bed at our parent’s house until we were married FTR, but I had moved out of home at age 21 so it wasn’t really relevant to me. A 22 year old woman living independently of her parents being sexually active is hardly shocking these days. Increasingly parents are more relazed about their children ‘sleeping over’ so unless Hugh said something to the OP or she was given a separate room and disrespected that then I don’t think judgement is appropriate.

    Even if she were assigned a separate room and left it to settle in with Hugh it is still not on a par with taking drugs in the house of people you’ve never even met!

  • Lilya February 15, 2011, 3:16 am

    I don’t know about you, but unless I have a standing arrangement with someone, I ask where I’m supposed to sleep. I see no reason to assume the OP did otherwise and we don’t know who told her she could share his bad.
    It’s also possible to sleep in the same bed without actually sleeping together, if you know what I mean…

  • Bint February 15, 2011, 4:24 am

    I think the OP is British, and sharing your boyfriend’s bed when you’re over 18 is completely normal for a large percentage of us, in his parents’ house and with their agreement. If the parents don’t want you to, you don’t. Totally irrelevant anyway, really.

    Hugh was awful!!!

  • jenna February 15, 2011, 6:03 am

    I woulda kicked him out – I woulda called him a cab (and expected him to pay for it), and never spoken to him again.

    For all the comments about sharing a bed – I’m with Lilya. I assume it was asked and conceded that it was OK to share a bed. Please don’t make judgements or assumptions where there is no basis for them. If they’d just hopped into bed together without asking the parents, that’s just as much on him (for not working this out ahead of time or finding a way to ask) as it is on her, so why only blame her? I have to wonder if there’s a sexism-tinged “good girls don’t do that” edge to such conjecture.

    FWIW, my now-husband and I shared a bed whenever we went to visit each set of parents. That doesn’t mean anything necessarily happened (which isn’t information I’m going to blast all over the Internet!) but neither set of parents was bothered by this. It was considered normal for us, as a cohabiting couple. Not sharing a bed woulda been downright weird, as everyone knew that we’d return to our home and go back to sharing a bed in that home.

    I agree this is a problem if neither the OP or Hugh asked first, but that is not stated here.

    If they did ask and it was arranged for them to be together, nobody has any right to judge. People have different value systems (I admit I am less conservative than many) and you can’t project yours onto others.

  • jenna February 15, 2011, 6:17 am

    Also for what it’s worth, I firmly believe that someone else’s decision to use hard drugs is theirs alone, and not my business. I don’t personally do it or approve of it, and wouldn’t date or marry someone who engaged in it, but if someone chooses to do a hard drug like cocaine in their home without involving me, then it is 100% not my beeswax.

    The act of doing it in my (or my parents’) home, especially without permission – not that it would have been granted! – is what is completely unacceptable. It goes beyond an etiquette issue, though it is that too. Hugh was putting the OP and her family at risk of legal involvement.

    If someone I was dating had asked permission to do illegal drugs in my home, that relationship would be over immediately. If it was a friend they’d be on Friend Probation and certainly not invited over again.

    lkb, DGS and Anonymous – you can have whatever value systems you want regarding bed-sharing, but please keep in mind that your values are not universal.

    I am with kingshearte and ferretrick on this one. The parents are entitled to not allow bed-sharing, but the polite reaction is to make and insist on sleeping arrangements that reflect this. Their actions were quite uncouth.

  • Rae February 15, 2011, 6:24 am

    @Lilya I often share a bed with one of my male friends when our group goes on vacation. None of us can justify spending money on an extra hotel room for one person and it isn’t fair to ask somebody who paid for an equal share of the hotel to sleep in the floor. The multiple times that we’ve shared beds nothing has happened other than sleeping. I guess the reason I’m sharing this is to agree with your point that just because we sleep together doesn’t mean we ‘sleep together’. Not that I’m saying OP didn’t, I’m just making my point because it drives me nuts when people assume.

  • Typo Tat February 15, 2011, 6:51 am

    I don’t understand why you guys are so uptight about the sleeping arrangements. If Hugh’s mother had a problem with it, she should have forbidden it outright. As it is, her behavior looks like the usual “parental disapproval” routine, designed to scare away the “unworthy” girlfriend.

  • karma February 15, 2011, 6:54 am

    @ the OP: Did you know beforehand that he did drugs recreationally?
    @Stacy: It’s not always a surprise. Lots of women who wish to be happily in a relationship ignore the subtle or overt signs until they cannot anymore: say, when someone is arrested or busted.

  • wolfgirl February 15, 2011, 7:20 am

    Yeah, really, why is everyone assuming that the OP ignored the mother’s wishes about their sharing a bed? She does not metion the particulars of the first time she slept over so we have no idea whether the mother made it clear they were to have seperate rooms, or in fact was fine with it. Maybe the son’s bed was unobtrusively made up for 2 as was the case when I stayed over with my now-fiancee the first time (I think his mum called and asked him first), there was no awkward discussion. Likewise, she could have just made me up a spare bed in another room and I would not have questioned it!

    Anyway untill the OP clarifies one way or the other there is no grounds for criticising her! Are you saying that, even if mom offers her a bed with her son, she should refuse and ask to sleep elsewhere in case she offends? That’s a bit OTT. And there’s still no excuse for acting the way she did!

    And, there’s def no excuse for his acting the way HE did!

  • harry February 15, 2011, 7:30 am

    “If it hadn’t been 4am in the middle of January I’d have kicked him out there and then! ”

    4am in the middle of January or not, I would still have kicked him out.

  • Erin February 15, 2011, 10:22 am

    I would have dialed 911 and let the cops pick him up. Let his irritating mother bail him out of jail in the morning. Or whenever.

    Something similar actually happened to me several years ago when I was an undergrad:

    I went over to my mother’s house to see my younger brother who still lived at home. On the kitchen table was a split cigar and a pile of cannabis. They’d oh-so-delicately removed all of the seeds from the filth, and they were in a separate pile.

    I knew that if I dialed 911, that the police wouldn’t be out for a few ounces of marijuana for at least a few hours. By that time, the druggiescum would have already consumed it or absonded with it. So I did the next best thing, and picked the whole mess up with a paper towel, so as not to get any of it on me ( I didn’t want to stink like a druggie), and flushed it down the toilet. After I was done with that, I took the pile of seeds and dropped it into the toilet water, so that there would be no doubt as to where their illicit “goods” had gone.

    I left the gutted cigar where it lay. There’s nothing illegal about destroying tobacco products (unless you want to argue paraphanelia). Besides, the unused cigar husk would serve as a reminder of what they were unable to consume.

    A few hours later, I had forgotten about the whole mess, and was letting my little brother show me a video on his computer. We were interrupted by a hoarse bellow from downstairs.

    I’d been found out.

    I went downstairs to find my mother, her “foster daughter,” and the daughter’s drugbuddy of the week. Druggiescum girl tries to tell me that she was going to sell the “weed” and use the money to buy food for her children. I asked her what happened to the food stamps the government doled out to her (she most likely sold the stamps to buy the drugs in the first place). I also informed her that I didn’t care what her intentions were, that Marijuana was illegal and if she really cared to feed her children, she might try the shockingly unconventional practice of GETTING A JOB.

    She died of a heroin overdose about six months later.

    Never got a job, though.

  • Maryann February 15, 2011, 10:57 am

    You didn’t have to worry about the cold outside. A cop car would have been toasty warm.

  • irish February 15, 2011, 11:23 am

    Very well said Stace! I do find the recent need to attack the OP irritating. I don’t mind it in a situation like ‘Etiquette breaches galore’, where most people feel the OP was wrong to act as she did and that her complaints aren’t justified. But this and other website can sometimes feel like people are picking holes just for the sake of it. Even if the OP was sleeping in her boyfriend’s bed despite his parents making it clear that she wasn’t to do so, that’s not the point of the post, so constantly bringing it up is irrelevant. There have been a couple of posts along the lines of ‘well you can hardly complain about him doing drugs in your parents’ house, since you didn’t mind having sex in his parents’ house’. They are NOT the same level at all and I think it is probably offensive to many people here to suggest so – many of us will have shared beds with partners in family homes without ever doing anything illegal!

  • Goldie February 15, 2011, 11:23 am

    To the one commenter that said that the OP should have given Hugh a background check on the first two dates (#31 I believe) – does this approach even work? ever? How does one even ask these things on a first or second date? The way I see it, if a guy in fact does any of these things, he’ll just lie and say no, because he can. And, if he doesn’t, he’ll likely be offended enough that there won’t be a next date. I know I wouldn’t appreciate a third degree from a relative stranger.

    To OP’s letter, I’d be horrified if someone put my family members in legal jeopardy like that. I have never kicked a person out of my house, but I see how this could’ve been my first time.

  • jen a. February 15, 2011, 11:58 am

    @ Erin

    Wow. That’s a really sad story. Was she continuously using while living in your home? Did anyone ever call the police on her?

    (As an unrelated aside, I switched my name from jen to jen a. to distinguish from another jen posting here. Not sure if there are rules about posting under multiple names….)

  • Kitty Lizard February 15, 2011, 2:13 pm

    This reminds me of my first fiance. We were engaged for six months when I got a package from him. When I opened it, it was full of neo-Nazi literature. I returned the ring and never spoke to him again.
    Never had a clue up to that point. Should have, though, my momn luuurved him.

  • Mel February 15, 2011, 6:25 pm

    I am surprised and disappointed at the previous commentors who have suggested that because the OP shared a bed with her boyfriend at his parent’s house should should have expected him to do what he did, or she should have expected to be belittled and insulted by his mother. I expect a higher level of class from this forum than shaming an adult woman for her sexual (or bedding) choices.

    Relating to the OP, I love the fact that he didn’t see anything wrong with doing drugs in his -unmet- girlfriend’s parent’s kitchen, but he would never dream of not sharing. Fantastic. However, he obviously needed to be booted, and I hope he left your life shortly afterwards.

  • lkb February 16, 2011, 5:26 am

    Okay, I get it — not everyone has the same values. However, part of the point of my previous comments was to point out why Hugh’s parents may have been rude to her. (I do kind of wonder why the OP mentioned it if the point of the story was what happened at her own parents house.)

    I also wonder if Hugh had had sleepover guests previously who were of the variety that used to be known as “gold-diggers” (i.e., after the family’s money). The OP mentioned that his family was much more wealthy than hers. It could be that they thought, “Oh goody, here’s another one of his floozies.'” (NOTE: I am NOT saying OP is one, but it could be what the parents thought based on previous experiences that the OP may not have even known about so early in the relationship.)

    Just wanted to clarify.

  • Goldie February 16, 2011, 10:18 am

    lkb #73, “I do kind of wonder why the OP mentioned it if the point of the story was what happened at her own parents house.”

    My guess is that the OP wanted to point out that Hugh’s parents looked down on her for setting a butter knife the wrong way, while being completely oblivious to the fact that their own kid brings coke to random people’s homes and snorts it there without the hosts’ knowledge or permission. But hey, his table manners are probably immaculate, so it’s all good.

  • Shock and Awe February 16, 2011, 5:32 pm

    First things first….about the OP sharing a room with her boyfriend…some families think nothing of it. My best friend in high school was allowed to sleep at her boyfriend’s house and him at her’s all the time. They shared a room and bed, her parents and his parents thought nothing of it. We all knew they were having sex, they broad casted it. My family however was quite the opposite. I was never allowed to have a boy in my room, ever. In fact even when dh and I were engaged and I was staying at my mother’s house for the summer, she still made him sleep on the other side of the house. The one time she saw us in my room talking while sitting on the bed, she threw a fit. Mind you I was 22 years old. Her house her rules. We got our own place soon after. Before I met dh I was dating another young man whose mother encouraged me to sleep over just so she and I could have coffee in the morning. I had my own place but she had no other females in the house to chat with.

    As for the drugs….ugh. We have a rule in our home, you don’t bring alcohol into our home without our permission, you don’t smoke on our property (against the property rules anyways) and you NEVER come here with drugs or under the influence of drugs. You do and you are asked to leave. If you refuse we call the police, friend or not. We have young children and don’t want that stuff around them….period.

  • Chelsey February 16, 2011, 10:44 pm

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


    OP, I would have kicked him the hell out of my house. I don’t care HOW cold it is. If you want to stay, you follow my rules. And my rules include no illegal drug usage.

    On a side note, my husband’s parents never had a problem with me spending the night. Actually, I know very few parents anymore who have an issue with it once their child is over a certain age.

  • Lady Lelan February 17, 2011, 5:43 am

    I’m very appalled by this drug addict’s behavior (his parents seem to be vry picturesque too, but then we seem to miss some other sides of the story), but I’m even more appalled by your reaction, OP… 3 am or not, middle of Winter or not, seeing a boyfriend using COCAINE in MY PARENTS’ home is an absolute, carved in stone no-no, and it would have ended by a call to the police, and his parents bailing him out of jail the next morning.

    And, for Goodness sake, WHY accept to drive him back from a party which you could not attend because you were sick?????????? Why, why, why???

    Being patient and loving is a thing, growing a spine and common sense is definitely more vital.

    I’m very happy this sickening relationship has ended, and do hope your present days are more peaceful.

  • jenna February 17, 2011, 10:44 am

    lkb – doesn’t matter. If Hugh’s parents didn’t like the sleeping arrangements, the etiquette-friendly thing to do would be to not allow them by preparing and insisting on separate sleeping quarters. It is their house, after all, so they can insist on any sleeping arrangement they want and don’t have to explain themselves.

    The NOT OK thing to do would be to treat the girlfriend rudely or coldly for sharing a bed with Hugh in their home when they themselves had either not made or not followed through on separate sleeping arrangements.

    So even if they have a conservative value system, which is fine, it is still inappropriate to be rude/cold to the OP as a direct result.

  • jenna February 17, 2011, 10:47 am

    Come to think of it, if his parents didn’t like the arrangement, they didn’t even have to allow her to spend the night at their house.

  • Enna February 17, 2011, 12:46 pm

    @ Karma, I think you are wrong to disagree with Stacy – from how shocked the OP was to discover what Hugh did I don’t think she was ignoring any “signs” or over looking the obvious.

    As for the Hugh’s parents they clearly didn’t like her and if they disapproved of the bedsharing arrangements then I’m sure they would have made arranngements for Hugh and OP to sleep in different rooms. If OP had been told by the parents to sleep in another room then I’m sure OP would’ve gone to that room as a respectful guest. The way they were bossing her about and telling their daughter OP’s degree was a waste of space I’m sure they’d have no problem in telling her to sleep in a different room.

    Come to think of it calling the police and getting their son arrested for drugs would be away of puninishing him as well as them “you think

  • Enna February 17, 2011, 12:47 pm

    “you think I’m not good/worthy of your son well he isn’t worhty of me with his illegal habbits.”

    Maybe they were laying into her a bit to make sure she wasn’t after money? But there are better ways of “testing” that bitching/bad manners only scare off good ppl.

  • Enna February 17, 2011, 12:54 pm

    @ Harry and Patti – some people are better at hiding things then others so it is wrong to judge the OP. Some people don’t relaise that their spouses of 20 odd years have had affairs, gambled savings away until it is too late, committed bigamy and have families with other people in secret etc etc. If he wasn’t a regular user or addict in the true sense of the word as in he only does it once a week then she wouldn’t have had the oppountiy to see it. She might be sleeping next to him not sleeping with him. Hugh is bad for what he did. The OP didn’t know. As for sleeping with someone OP hardly knew – whose the real judge of that? How long do you have to know someone before you go all the way? It varies from relationship to relationship depending on how the couple respond to each other/click.

  • jenna February 17, 2011, 8:56 pm

    I’m with Enna. It absolutely is not sure that after 3 months she would have seen any signs or red flags. To insist that she should have is to state that there are no good liars/fakers/charismatic people who put up a good front in the world.

    But of course, the world is full of them.

    You’d be surprised how easy it is to not pick up on those red flags – especially if there is romantic attraction involved.

  • Michelle P February 17, 2011, 9:33 pm

    It’s easy for all of us to say “I would have…” when not in the situation. About the “she should have known about his drug problem…” people, look at the BTK killer, Dennis Rader. He was married for 35 years and his wife had no idea.

    The boyfriend’s parents don’t seem to be the type to mince words. I believe they would have made it quite clear to the OP that she would not sleep with her boyfriend in their house if they didn’t approve of it.

  • lkb February 18, 2011, 5:15 am

    Yes, I know that that was the etiquette-friendly way to do things, but IF Hugh was prone to having sleepover guests as I’d described previously, one could see where his parents would not be very concerned about etiquette, right? That’s all I was trying to say.

  • Enna February 18, 2011, 12:57 pm

    @ Lady Lelan, sometimes somone maybe too ill to attend a party because mentally they don’t feel in the mood nor would they want to be anti-soical and pass could germs around at a party. By the time she went to pick Hugh up she could have felt better from relaxing.

  • Miss Raven February 18, 2011, 1:32 pm

    Wow, lots of awful comments about OP’s sleeping arrangements. Not only is this not the point of the story, but this kind of judgement is unwarranted and not your place, any of you. There is nothing illegal or wrong about two adults having sex, or not having sex and simply sharing a bed, and to compare it to cutting lines of coke on Mum’s kitchen counter is ridiculous. Shame on all of you.

    I’ve been dating my boyfriend since we were 18 (long distance) and when we stayed at his Mum’s or his Dad’s we were allowed to share a bed without either of them even blinking an eye. When we stayed with my folks, he slept in the guestroom and that’s just the way it was (at least until we were 22 or so). If Hugh’s parents cared, they would have told him as much. If they did and Hugh let the OP go on thinking it was okay, the breach of etiquette is on him, not on her. And if they didn’t, what do you care? How puritanical and backwards.

  • Cat February 20, 2011, 4:22 pm

    Since his mummy was so quick to judge his girlfriend’s social status, what is wrong with ringing his mummy up at 4 am and telling her to come collect her druggie son? Why bother the nice police officers in the January cold-they didn’t raise this idiot?

  • Library Diva March 16, 2011, 12:48 pm

    From the tone of this email, the night of Hugh’s chopping the line of coke was clearly the night of revelation for the OP. Three months is not very long. As others have pointed out, many people have hidden bigger things for longer, and he may not even be a regular user, just a recreational one.

    Setting the coke aside, he still sounds like a jerk. He condoned his family’s treatment of OP, and was happy to allow OP to play designated driver at 3 a.m. even though she was too sick to go out. It’s not enough that he drags her out at all, it’s not enough that he takes a half-hour to leave the party while she’s presumably waiting in the car trying not to fall back asleep at the wheel, but he doesn’t even have the simple manners to allow her to go back to bed after she did her favor for him, he’s got to try to continue the party at her parents’ house? Ugh. OP is better off without this spoiled rich jerk who is no doubt poised to make some kind of scandalous headline in a few years when his lack of manners and partying catches up to him.

  • Christi Emerson July 13, 2018, 2:06 pm

    I would have kicked him out there and then, no matter what the weather. But first, I would have gathered up his drugs from the kitchen counter and flushed them. And if he gave me one bit of lip about that, I would have called 911.