After 6 weeks of dating, I got engaged….what was I thinking????

It didn’t take me long to change my mind. After gobbling down the cheese and inhaling the free bottle of wine, I was dressed up and ready to go out. The stalker scare at the French hotel pool had me freaked out for like 2 hours but once the wine kicked in, I was all of a sudden brave again and couldn’t wait to go dancing. Then just as I was heading out the door, the hotel phone rang. A hot wave of fear came rushing over my body as I picked up the receiver. Maybe it was the pilots checking to see if I wanted to go out or maybe it was the mystery creeper who sent me the wine and cheese.

‘Bonjour’, I said trying not to sound American to maybe throw him off only to hear Dan on the other end. ‘Hey Carrie, did you get my surprise at the pool’? What??? The man I had been hanging out with back in Laudy for like 2 weeks went through the trouble of calling the hotel, tracking me down at the pool (in France) and surprising me with wine and cheese, wow, what a doll!!!! We had a good laugh as I told him about my day. He apologized a million times for freaking me out which I insisted was not a problem because what he did was super romantic. I could tell right away my feelings for him had gone from just a guy to pass the time with to now a man who I could possibly take seriously.

Once I returned, every day I wasn’t flying around the world, we would spend together. After about a month, it was time to ask him what he did for a living. At first I figured maybe he was like one of these guys you see in the movies who had a secret agent man job where they can’t really tell you what they do or what if he was just some self made millionaire who managed to make enough money to retire young? Either way, it was time to find out. It was very strange that he dressed impeccably every day, but never went to a job. The answer was not what I expected and certainly not attractive, at least to me back then because I was still very insecure and had no idea what to look for in a man. Apparently his Grandmother had passed and left him a trust fund which he was now living off of. Really, that’s it, that’s the big story? Dan was like 38, blew through money like water and expected this money to last him another 50 years?

I’m a worker and even if I inherited tons of money, I’m still going to do something I love to keep busy and feel good about myself. So to me, a man who just takes that kind of money and doesn’t do something wonderful, or useful with it or his time, just isn’t sexy. To others it may be a dream come true but to me, back then and even more now, at 46, what I consider hot is a man in constant motion, always keeping busy with his mind.

He then said that he was working on a business idea with a buddy of his but it was on hold at the moment. At the time, I believed him because, one, he was so sweet and spoiling me and two, I had kind of fallen for him. In my heart I wanted it to be true so I figured what the hell, we’re not married and had just started dating so I’ll just keep it casual and see what happens. Besides, I was quickly discovering that the people I had been meeting in S. Florida were super fake and materialistic. Finding real friends was hard in that town and we had fun together.

But to be honest, we didn’t have much passion, he didn’t believe in recycling or taking care of the environment, my dog wasn’t really his thing and when it came to handy work, Dan only knew how to dial someone to come and do things for him. But you know women, in our minds; we can change a man and mold him into what we consider the perfect guy. He already had a good base so now I was on a mission to change everything about him and the poor guy had no idea.

About a week later, we hit one of those outdoor strip malls to do a little shopping and in the parking lot was a Jared’s jewelry store. Dan thought it would be a good idea to stop in, he wanted to buy me a sort of promise ring to show how he felt for me, which I thought was really cool. At almost 31 years old no one had ever asked me or even considered asking me to marry them. If you had read my past blogs you’ll remember that I was a crazy, jealous girlfriend who couldn’t handle her alcohol well so I could understand why I was still single.

Well that promise ring turned into an $8000 engagement ring…..yep, the next thing you know, I was getting married. All of the things about him that bothered me seemed to disappear and just like clockwork, I was staying with a guy because he wanted to be with me, not because he was my perfect match or because I was in love. The girl who was afraid to be alone was making the same dating mistakes from her past. I had no friends, no family and had been away from home so long, I had forgotten what it was like to be part of something, to be loved so why not marry him, I was now in my 30’s and it was about time.

During all of this courting I had managed to fly my 13 year old niece in from Indiana for her spring break. One day we were at the beach when I met the coolest chic and right away I could tell she was just like me. Cathy wasn’t materialistic, loved to go out, be fit, have fun and had was completely normal. I was so excited to have a friend. She lived walking distance from a really cool strip of bars and restaurants by the beach and since I didn’t like to drink and drive, said I could totally crash at her place after we went out. So that night, we hit the strip, had the best time and ended up meeting tons of cool people who also hung out there. She and I would just sit on her balcony for hours, sipping wine and talking nonstop. Cathy had recently been through a terrible tragedy and was still in mourning from the ordeal and like me, only had a friend or two, but not really anyone she could hang out and party with. I was the perfect distraction for her and she was the perfect new bestie for me.

As the weeks went on and the wedding planning began, for whatever reason, I began to sabotage the whole thing. Starting fights, questioning his loyalty, picking out everything that bothered me about him. At one point Dan looked right at me and said, ‘Carrie, it’s me, I’m a good guy, why are you doing this?’ At the time I didn’t know why, but in hindsight, I see now that he was all wrong for me and with my new bestie in tow, Dan was becoming obsolete. I was now engaged to a man that I didn’t love and had no idea what I was I going to do????

At 19, I was fired from a Country Club for talking dirty over the golf course loud speakers….

It was a set up!!!! College was a 3 hour drive south of Mom’s in Indiana so during the summers I would stay with her in my old room and find work. She had a friend who managed a Country Club which was the only 5 star anything in N.W Indiana so he hooked me up with a job as a banquet server. It was awesome and my first time around wealthy people. We would set up the tables for lunch, serve, clean everything up and then do the same for dinner service, easy peasy.

This place was great, fun, good tips, a cool vibe and fun people to work with. Then about 2 weeks in I noticed him…..tall, slender, slicked back hair, gorgeous lips and shiny shoes, just like one of those wise guys in the movies, but fit, handsome and about 21. He walked right up to me, grabbed my hand and said, ‘come with me’. As mesmerizing as this Goodfella was, I was on the clock and wasn’t about to let some guy get me into trouble at my new job. But he was smooth, told me he was in management and that he needed my help with a member’s private porker party. Next thing you know, I’m sitting with 4 senior citizens in the men’s locker room playing cards with money they gave me to bet and winning.

All through the game, he stared right through me, it was intense, nothing I’d ever experienced before, but at 19, I was still learning about lust, passion and being intimate with boys. I could feel his gaze, I knew what he wanted and it terrified me because it was obvious he knew his way around the bedroom and I didn’t.  Over the next month there was a great deal of flirting going on at work and I could hear the chatter and gossip around us. Goodfella was a hottie, all the girls working at the club wanted him and he wanted me, I could feel the daggers piercing my back as they walked by, but didn’t care. We went on tons of dates, always to dinner then after would hang at the bars where he was a regular. No one cared how old I was, I was with him, he was the man and wow…what a dancer. I didn’t know my town could be this much fun. There was never a time I felt pressured to do anything, always a gentlemen, the whole summer.

During the last week of warm weather, it was “Company Monday”, which the club closed off to members and rented out to big corporations for golf events. We were setting up for lunch when a couple of the mean girls were joking around while singing into a microphone. Of course I joined in and as the jealous brats handed me the mic, they turned it on. Silly me thought it would be funny to imitate a 1-800 adult commercial and within seconds of my skit, my mom’s friend comes bursting through the doors, almost tackling me to get to that mic and the whole time yelling, “It’s on, it’s on”!!!!!

Turns out that microphone was connected to every single speaker covering 18 holes full of beer guzzling lawyers and their bosses. I was immediately sent home and the next day received a call saying they wouldn’t be needing me anymore. As for hottie, well, I kissed him a few more times but that was it. I think he knew I would get hurt if we let it get to far, I was going back to college and he was never going to leave that small town, that’s just how small towns work.  Goodfella was man enough to just enjoy my company without expecting anymore and then let he me go.

That wasn’t the first time I was fired for doing something stupid. Fast forward 10 years, once I was done with my ‘boogie nights’ life style in Tampa, something in me changed. AT&T was a great job, good pay, unionized and hard to get fired from, which was perfect for my party lifestyle. But those mind altering experiences helped me to realize I wasn’t going anywhere in life. Then my manager at work had us read a book called, ‘Who moved my Cheese’ which was just what I needed. AT&T was about to start laying people off and he was trying to motivate the staff to keep an eye out for other opportunities. During that same time a friend of mine, who is a wine expert and hilarious, informed me that her company, Auto Trader was hiring sales people. She loved her job, was her own boss and did pretty well so I interviewed, got hired, left my cushy desk job with AT&T after 5 years and within in one month, was let go.  I was terrible at sales and self motivation and I’m embarrassed to say, but I dressed a bit too scantily clad for the clients.

I was devastated, broke, my lease was up and I had no idea what I was going to do. No way would I back to waitressing and bartending, I couldn’t bear it. Luckily for me I had met Blue Eyes about 2 weeks before I was fired. He was one of my higher end customers, not my type at all, smoked cigarettes and was a terrible dresser but he always made me laugh so when he asked me to dinner, I said yes. Once he found out I was jobless and soon to be homeless, Blue Eyes insisted I move into his big, beautiful home and let him take care of me…so I did, after a month of dating.