Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Weekend in Westport with the Misogynistic Tyrant

It's supposed to be APRIL showers that bring May flowers. There's supposed to be snow still melting in March...... I'm back from the weekend in Westport. However, I've been rendered speechless the past couple of days, unable to relate the horrors of my trip until now. It was so bad, I don't even know how to begin to explain just how bad it was. So bad, so, so bad.

This past weekend was just the third time I met Larry Lieberman. Yet, one looking on as a fly on the wall, would have thought him my horribly overbearing, slightly mad, father. Or worse, a step-father who now feels it is his duty to discipline the much too old children of his crazy lover. From the moment we arrived, until the moment we left, this man had only one of two expressions; he was either creepily smirking, or frowning with frustration.

I can't believe how much work my brother, Scooter, has done for them down there, basically for free. It's really crazy, actually. This man started a business the same year he separated from his wife and was fired from his job. Now he's trying to get not one, but three businesses off the ground; and not a single one is closer than a hundred miles to any of the others. Does this make sense to anyone so far? Probably not, but wait, it gets worse. His previous job was, supposedly, as floor manager or something along such lines, at Macy's in New York. Whoop-dee-fricken-doo, you'd think he had been Vice President of the United States the way he puts on airs. I'm really, quite frankly, not surprised he was fired. He's a technological moron of ridiculous proportions. He doesn't even know how to set up his own e-mail. He just recently bought a digital camera one of the weekends my brother was down there acting as his indentured servant, and Larry hands him the newly purchased camera and tells him to go put it together. What, I ask, does he think there is to assemble? Basically he wants everyone to just do everything for him. But how does that work when the task comes down to simply being able to understand something? How can I know or understand something for someone else? I can't just carry the knowledge around in my head until he needs it then simply ESP it to him or something. But that's what he wants, really. That's what he wanted from me when it came to setting up their eBay site. He wants what he wants, and he wants it NOW. I can't believe he worked there for as long as he did. His personal skills are virtually nonexistent. He doesn't listen to a word anyone else says. He doesn't communicate his expectations, he communicates only when his absurdly unreasonable expectations haven't been satisfactorily met. Let me try to prove my point.

We arrived at Larry's rented home at approximately eleven-thirty on Thursday night. We had driven almost four hours from Exeter, after Scooter had been landscaping for his actual real job all day. I had been at home getting everything settled for our absence; buying groceries, cleaning bathrooms, doling out allowances, packing my own things, taking the dog to the vet, et cetera. Basically, it had been a long day and we were ready for it to end. Upon our arrival at the house, we realized that Helen (my Mom) and Larry were out. Fortunately, Antoinette, the woman who acts as a maid but who is really a home care giver with her BA (that is for later in the story) was home and awake, and she let us in to get settled. We had only been there for about ten minutes when Helen and Larry showed up with some groceries. I had spoken to my Mom earlier and she had said they were totally out of food because there had been a storm earlier that week that caused the power to go out; so she had given most of the food from that trip to Antoinette so it wouldn't spoil. So I was glad she had gone to the store that night rather than waiting to the next day like she had originally planned because we were starving. Already, though, Larry was disgruntled because he felt that it wasn't necessary to buy more groceries that night, or at all; so we started off badly because he felt put out I guess. Even though it was my mother who actually paid for the groceries, for us, specifically, to have stuff to eat while we were there. But you could tell he didn't really want us to touch anything. My Mom kept telling us we could eat whatever we wanted because she paid for it, and then he would say things like, "Who ate all my shortbread cookies?". When there were plenty left and they weren't just his at all, he's just so greedy he can't deal with anyone else using up anything. Actually, is it accurate to label him greedy, or should it be cheap? Or both? So, right off the bat he's pissed that my Mom spent money on food for us.

Then, as we're finally getting ready for bed, around midnight, my brother, who had been there before and knew more than I, called out to everyone in general, "Let's not rush out of here in the morning, it's been a long week for me". And how does Larry reply? "You're going to be getting up with me first thing in the morning to get started." Scooter didn't even say anything back. He knew there was no point because it would just be an argument, I guess. Plus, he knew he was driving me to the clinic, so Larry would just have to deal with that. And that is where things really began to turn sour.

I had assumed that there would be WiFi access at Larry's house. It's in Westport, CT, and I figured everyone has Internet nowadays unless you live in the boonies and they don't have access. It just didn't even occur to me that he may not. So I had the address for this place in my computer. All I had to do was get to a place with WiFi; which anyone, who hasn't been living under a rock, would know can be done at any Dunkin' Donuts, McDonalds, or roadside pullover in major cities. But Larry, apparently, is a rock dweller because the man was clueless. He kept asking where the clinic was and I kept telling him that I needed to get on my computer in order to tell him. But he just wouldn't hear that. He kept asking me names of places and asking me if that was familiar. He was listing street names as if I would remember if I heard it. Despite the fact that I had repeatedly told him that I rely entirely on my laptop and I would not recognize the street name because I didn't read it, ever. I wasn't planning on caring until the moment I typed it into the GPS. But the man had clay in his ears. He pulled out a CT phone book and proceeded to bully me into dialing random doctor's offices in Norwalk (where the clinic was located) to ask if they were the clinic. Now, anyone on methadone knows that health care professionals who do not deal with methadone regularly, do not respond well to being asked about it. So he's standing over me, waiting as I ask these random medical receptionists if they know where the Norwalk methadone clinic is. And they're answering me like I'm crazy and really offending them. And this whole thing is making me more and more frustrated by the second. I've told him that I can find it just fine, and that calling all these places is just a waste of time because I can find it on the GPS in, like, five seconds. If he would just let us get going, we'd be back in less than an hour, or we could meet them at the store or wherever. But the man is relentless. Finally, I'm sweating profusely, my face is getting red, I feel sick to my stomach, I want to throw the phone at him; but I walk into the bedroom with him lingering at my heels and I motion to my mother that this has to stop. I'm facing her trying to make a distressed face and the cut-off/stop this motion with my hand swiping across my neck, like "kill me". She does get my point, thank God, and tells him to stop making me call random doctor's offices and let us just get going. He was, as you can imagine, not pleased with me for that. He's the type of guy who does not like to be wrong, especially when the person correcting him happens to be a women (more on that later). I could feel him fuming from the other room, I should have known at that moment that there was no repairing the rift that had been created by me enforcing my will over him, however minutely.

Then, after all that, he decided that HE wanted to drive me to the clinic because then Scooter could get started right away on the chores he had lined up for him. Get this, he planned for my brother to landscape the yard of the home is currently trying to sell with his not quite yet ex-wife. And Scooter has already done other work at his house, he took down his kids' childhood tree house, he cleaned asbestos out of the basement for a day before my Mom found out and put an end to it, and that doesn't even begin to cover the work he did setting up this guy's store. So, anyhow, more on all that later. Right now, I'm trying to write about this guy wanting to take me to the methadone clinic in the middle of this shitty part of Norwalk so my brother can do more work for him. I should mention, also, that it is eight in the morning, and his store doesn't actually open until ten. All his actual employees show up around ten fifteen and take their sweet ass time getting set up; but we, for some unknown reason, have to be there as close to the crack of dawn as possible. He seemed not to accept the fact that we were there for our mom, to see where she lives down there, to check out this business she's dumping money into, and most important, to get to know what this guy she likes is all about. And so far, he's making a really poor impression.

But we finally convince him that it would be best for Scooter to drive me and that we could find it, no problem, once we got to a place with WiFi and those are everywhere. It was like trying to convince someone that worms talk or something. He was dumbfounded by this talk of these newfangled devices called WiFi, Internet, Cell phones, Digital, GPS, it was like he'd rather we took a horse drawn carriage everywhere, for crying out loud. We didn't so much convince him as insist that that was the ONLY way it would work. And as I have said, he was not accustomed to a young women being so assertive and sure of what she wanted. I was being polite, but he was really getting on my nerves. At that point, however, I was still trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. I kept telling myself that he'd been through a lot recently and he's was under a lot of stress. But the more I saw him in action, the more I thought he was just an ass. A pompous, misogynistic, self-centered, classist, sexist, greedy, delusional ASS!

I really have to end this installment of the Tale of the Dreaded Westport Weekend. My Mom is finally home and despite how angry I am at her, my brother convinced me, after a little while of being stand-offish with her when she returned, to keep it to myself because she would eventually figure out what an ass he(Larry) is on her own. He and my counselor both said that. I can't make her see this man for what he is. She already knows he treats her terribly, and she's acting the same way she has with so many other pathetic men she's had in her life. It's this shit that made me leave so young to begin with. I often feel as if I stepped out of this house just yesterday, that I may as well still be seventeen because so much is the same. I wanted to believe she had matured, like the rest of us have to some extent. We're all trying, some more successfully than others, to grow up. I guess she's trying too, because outwardly she seems to have changed for the better, at least somewhat. But she just still makes these hideous choices. I'm hoping she will see, in time, that she doesn't need this guy trying to control her. I can't wait to write about the way he treats women. I just promised I would start (and finish) to bake all the Easter stuff. She wants anise cookies, all these Easter breads, sugar cookies, sticky buns, I didn't even look at all the recipes yet. I'm going to be cooking for days. But I owe her, especially since this thing this weekend didn't work out. I'll fill in the details once I have more time. And I'd rather bake than do other things. At least I like baking. And I'm really perfecting some of these recipes, so I can make them for my own family some day.

Anyhow, it's snowing here today. It's going to be a good day. Despite the angry tone of this post, I'm feeling fine today. I didn't write about this weekend until it was processed somewhat for me, so the anger is more what I felt over the past few days. But now I'm just documenting it, and then moving on.

4 comments:

Sarcastic Bastard said...

God, Nellie. So sorry it was such a suckeroo visit. That guy sounds like a total douchebag.

SB loves you. Hang in there.

Jeannie said...

Truly, the guy is an ass. I don't know how old your mom is but I think if she's even just a couple years older than me, she was likely raised to believe she needed a man - any man- to make her life complete. My sister made horrendous choices too. I got to telling her the guys were dicks and should be told to fuck off. She finally realized she didn't know how to choose a good guy and gave up wanting one. My SIL still reads harlequin romances and believes that love happens like that.

It must be next to impossible to say nothing. You're a good daughter. Sorry your weekend sucked.

Nellie said...

SB - He is so totally a doucebag. And he's maybe coming here, to our house, tonight. And my Mom wants me to cook for him! Well, not just him, but he gets to eat my lovingly prepared food for my family. Ugh, I really dislike him. But I'll be the bigger person and let him eat my food. I guess. Good to hear from you, as always. Be well.

Nellie

Jeannie - I always appreciate your insight. You have had more life experience than I have, owning your own business and raising kids, so I respect your opinion. I know you are definitely correct in saying my mom has a different perspective on men than my generation. Even though she fronts like she's all for women's rights, deep down I know she just wants to be loved and is willing to overlook a certain lack of values, at least to some extent. Plus, that behavior, like you said, is more acceptable to people her age. She's 57, and Larry is 60-ish. And he's part Japanese, a culture that really treats women very differently than Americans. I can only hope she sticks to her guns about not wanting to get married. That would be so sucky.
It's really going to stink having him here for dinner and to stay the night with my Mom. She thinks he may be coming tonight, and staying for at least the night, maybe more. Yippee....NOT, NOT, NOT AT ALL!
Anyhow, thank you for the understanding and thoughtful considerations. I really do respect your take on things. I'm honored that you see me as a good daughter. Thanks, Jeannie. Until later, be well.

Nellie

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Where are you, girlfriend? Whazzup?

Love,

SB

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