The Brick Layer

No, that’s not a euphemism.

Dating has allowed me to become a bit more introspective. I realize that I am not perfect. I don’t expect anyone else to be either. I try and think about the bigger picture. I am also slowly allowing myself to not shut people down right away if its a terrible date. Human beings are capable of the weirdest things when we are nervous or uncomfortable.

So, bring on The Brick Layer. This man had a trilogy of dates. Unfortunately, not all trilogies deserve to be made.  I think this man was not inherently a bad person, but he sure was living in a different world than me.

The man attracted me because he was tall, a talented mason and artist, he had beautiful eyes, and a similar ethnic background. My family is Italian. We aren’t like some Italian family on The Soprano’s that do weird pronunciations of Italian words by leaving off the vowels. We don’t call sauce, gravy. We have roots in what my Nonno called, “Old Country”. My family lives in Italy and Italian is spoken in my home. The wooden spoon was and is always a threat. My father still yells at me in Italian…

What does this have to do with dating? A lot. Growing up one of the few females in a large Italian family is intense. It’s like having 20 fathers when even your second and third cousin’s feel like they have a say in your choices. On top of this, add an overly protective father and a big brother who’s even worse. Its all out of love though. My point, my family is not for the faint of heart.

They are kind, considerate, classy, and warm. However, they have raised this woman to be a force to be reckoned with. I was taught that you get what you accept in life. You don’t let anyone use you or abuse you. I was also taught that you have to have a backbone and that loyalty and respect come first. I’ve learned that those are things that carry over into relationships and if someone doesn’t follow those ideals, they aren’t for me.

The Brick Layer grew up in a Sicilian family. He talked about the same things that I did. He did however use the wrong Italian words for things, but I think he was trying to impress me. I took a deep breath and realized that was something that could be remedied.

The first date was nice. He dressed conservatively and even picked a gluten free place for me. However, he like many of my dates, only talked about himself,  never asking about me. It’s not that I want to talk about myself.  I just want to know that someone is interested in what makes me who I am. If they only talk about themselves, they are just focused on selling themselves. I let it slide. He was a gentleman and kind of cute.

Between the first and second date there was a lot of texting (which is the demise of dating these days). Through this I had the inclination that we had similar ideals, however, he had a chip on his shoulder about not having certain financial means or a formal education. I come from a hard working family who have some financial footing because of their blood, sweat and tears. Its doesn’t mean that I’m there yet. I also have been blessed with the ability and means to have a fantastic education. I have a dual Master’s degree. That shouldn’t matter right? Apparently to this man it did. He made comments about my intelligence and that it was intimidating to him.

I shouldn’t have picked bar trivia for our second date. I guess you can’t buy common sense. I’m a ball buster by nature. All we do in my family is roast each other. If someone isn’t harassing you, you’re not loved. It’s how we show our warped sense of affection. My poor mother is the brunt of it every Sunday at 2pm. It’s all because we love this woman fiercely and appreciate her through and through. In a bit of an oversight, I may have laid it on too thick with The Brick Layer.

I had told him to pick a tongue-in-cheek team name. I’m pretty sure he didn’t get it. He never came up with anything and he was horribly offended when I jokingly told him he ruined trivia night. I said it with a smile. Half way through trivia, as he can’t get any answers, he has a full blown melt down. It attracts stares and I go silent. He goes on a tangent about how privileged I am. How he would give anything to have my education and that I had made him feel stupid.

This was  never my intention. I felt horrible. I never want to make anyone feel small or foolish. Italians are very passionate people. His honesty didn’t upset me, my own lack of empathy did. We stopped playing and just talked. I wanted to go home at this point but he insisted that he still wanted to spend time with me.

This is actually where the date got weird. He started telling me about all the shiesty things he did as a kid. The hood kind of stuff. I started to get uncomfortable myself. Some of his stories were funny. I tried to have an open mind. We aren’t always the same person as adults. I know that I’m not. The things he used to be into he unfortunately seemed still into and excited about.

The date ends, we hug, and I feel emotionally worn out. I needed to process the evening. When I got home I texted him that I was home safe per his request. I also apologized. He does as well for his meltdown. A few days of minimal texting go by and we decide to hang out again. Admittedly, I wasn’t that into it. I just needed to try again for the sake of self growth.

I normally don’t let men over to my place until after the fifth date, a woman has to have standards. I caved and I did ask him to come over and watch a movie. I knew he’d be a gentlemen and there couldn’t be anymore embarrassing public freak outs. He shows up with a book bag. Hell no. I did not invite him over for a slumber party. He comes in and gets situated and he actually tells me whats in the bag. I’m sure he saw me side eyeing it or my RBF must have been plastered all over my face. He has his sketch pad, his camera, and charcoal to sketch. I’m starting to relax. This man is an artist and he likes to be prepared. I can appreciate that.

He then pulls out graffiti markers and tells me he likes to tag things still. Excuse me? I’m not ok with vandalizing property especially at our age. Here is the best part. The last and final thing that he thought was ok to bring into my home- his hand gun!

I’m not anti-gun. He had a license to conceal and carry. Fine. I just couldn’t believe he was audacious enough to not ask if that was ok with me. It’s my home. The answer would have been that it was fine. However, I felt this was a tremendous level of disrespect. I was instantly done. He then precedes to go on a tangent and to talk about money and education again.

Maybe if you invested your time and money into less destruction and ammo you could go back to school and shut the hell up.

I don’t have time for pity parties.

Buona notte. Arrivederci.

 

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