Friday, January 04, 2008

But Wait, There's More!

Before I close the chapter on the oaf from eHarmony (my daughter's descriptor), I will share the closing dialog between my daughter and M. (Part one is here.) This, I admit, is for entertainment value. I also think it will buttress my assessment of this guy's character. I've got some words "out of the horse's mouth" that you can use to decide whether or not I've been fair in my judgment. I don't want to give the impression that I see a narcissist behind every bush. I don't. I am not cynical in my treatment of people. I start out with the expectation that a person is likely to be basically decent. I have simply learned to acknowledge to myself the truth when basic decency is missing. I won't pretend something is there when it ain't. Thankfully, neither will my daughter! I don't know if this guy is a malignant narcissist, but there is no doubt he has a plethora of narcissistic behaviors and is narcissistically defended. There were enough red flag behaviors to know he is likely to be character-disordered.

I think I'll call this guy Shrek for the duration. He was very large (6'2") and significantly overweight. Bad haircut, unkempt beard. Badly dressed. Socially awkward in the extreme, at first. Bad table manners, messy toilet manners (ugh! pee splatter and leaves the seat and lid up). He would fart openly in front of all of us. He washed his hands by waving them under the water sans soap and wipe his hands on his less-than-clean jeans. (We lost our appetite for the homemade Christmas cookies he brought after seeing that act.) He would not-so-surreptitiously scratch his balls when just he and my daughter were in the room together. How am I not describing a large ogre? Please note that the above qualities and behaviors are not something my daughter would be able to pick up in phone calls or emails.

My daughter thought Shrek needed an explanation for why she cut off the visit so on Tuesday she sent him this email:


You might be wondering why I chose to end our relationship and cut the visit short. You deserve an explanation.

First, I want to thank you again for taking the time and expense to visit me. I learned more in a few hours than I had in weeks of phone conversations. I had high hopes for our visit but there are some fundamental differences between us that make a relationship impossible.

The primary reason is this: You never showed any gratitude to my mom or dad for their efforts to make you welcome and comfortable in their home. You might feel that I was somehow in your debt because of the investment you made to make the trip. I would disagree but I won't argue that point. My parents, however, were under no obligation to feed or entertain you. They invested many hours trying to get to know you and make you feel welcome in our home. They were not "grilling" you but asking general questions that would allow you to talk about yourself (something most people enjoy). Our offers of hospitality were always met with noncommittal answers and never a "thank you." Not one. There are certain qualities I am looking for in a mate. A grateful attitude is near the top of the list.

The second reason is that one can only assume you were on your best behavior on this visit as is the case when people first meet. If this was your best behavior then that leaves me no choice but to end things now. I would not be able to handle worse. I saw many other indications in other behaviors that you would not be a person I could make a life with. You were impatient with me within hours of the beginning of our visit. If you could show impatience so early in our visit then I am left to assume it would only become much worse as you felt more comfortable being yourself around me.

Finally, you only made one definite decision the entire visit, what movie and where for our date on Thursday night. The rest of the time you showed an unwillingness to commit to anything. The reason really doesn't matter. I need a man who is willing to show more leadership than I am because I'm not interested in being an overbearing wife.

By Friday I had come to the realization that we were not a match. Perhaps I should have come right out at that point and told you but I didn't want to leave you stranded and alone in a strange city so I chose to withdraw while remaining courteous and kind. By Saturday I realized that you didn't notice my change of attitude and I was giving you false hope. I thought it was kinder to just end the visit.

I wish you well and I hope you find the wife you deserve.

God Bless.


Much to my surprise, Shrek responded. Given his extreme passivity I wasn't sure he had the cajones to reply. Before I post his response I want to mention the "grilling" my daughter quoted above. She was quoting Shrek. My husband heard a vast silence down in the living room where my daughter was trapped with Shrek on day one of the visit. So he came downstairs and tried to make conversation. Hubby did the usual thing you do to try to draw people out. He asked questions about Shrek. Nothing private or considered "personal". When Shrek was out on the one date he took my daughter on that first night he said something about how her parents had finished "grilling me". Grilling??? We were simply trying to ease the conversation and give him a subject to talk about that he could feel comfortable with. Himself. Our questions were polite, not invasive. The "grilling" comment was an early indication to my daughter that she was dealing with an asshole. She was there for the "grilling" and therefore knew there was no way to fairly characterize our attempts to help him feel comfortable with such a word.

Shrek answered with:


I did not feel that anyone was indebted too me, that is a petty kind of
attitude. I was extremely emotionally drained from the effort of actually flying out to meet you and your parent's at the same time. I was only beginning to feel comfortable in your house on Saturday (the deer in the headlights effect if you will). My initial reaction to meeting you was very positive so that further put me into a strange emotional state. With all that going on my ability to be assertive and make decisions dropped to almost nil. I am not always good at expressing my emotions, gratitude included.

So in summary I would say I was not at my best, making decisions about
what to do in someone else home without any emotional energy is just not going to happen for me. As for your second point I cannot honestly say how much of it would be from my state versus character. For gratitude in general I would agree it is not one of my strongest points. It is not that I am ungrateful I just do not always remember to be grateful. I do appreciate the effort your parent's went to. Even more that you took the time to explain what was going on. I'm sorry if my behavior seemed sub-par, it probably was. I doubt this explanation of my state will change anything and I do not even know if it should.

So Shrek went into some kind of fugue state upon meeting my beautiful daughter. Notice how it is all about him. His extreme exhaustion (bull shit, by the way), his shyness. He tries to explain away his lack of gratitude. How bright can a guy be that says, "It is not that I am ungrateful I just do not always remember to be grateful." WTF? Notice the adornment of his lame-assed attempt at an apology with modifiers. "I'm sorry if my behavior seemed sub-par, it probably was." Notice the minimization of his bad behavior. Notice how he again makes a point of the great effort it took for him to fly out to see my daughter. He maximizes his effort in order to minimize all of ours. He accuses her of having petty kind of attitude in his first sentence as he rebukes her for accusing him of ingratitude, yet the rest of the email he tries to justify his lack of gratitude showing that he knows she was right but can't graciously grant her point. Graciousness. Something he hasn't an ounce of.

Then, the real interesting little twist, I thought, was how he showed he is still hopeful there is some possibility my daughter is stupid enough to accept his explanation and continue the relationship!! "I doubt this explanation of my state will change anything..." then he follows up with a statement that shows how he always tries to play the safe "middle", "...and I do not even know if it should." Once again, he won't make a decision. He won't commit to an idea. We saw this played out dozens of times in the course of the visit. He does show that he is open to the possibility that she may change her mind about him even though her email showed she has no intention of pursuing a relationship with him.

He has no idea that the day he admits to feeling more comfortable, Saturday, was the day he finished stomping on her gag reflex. Saturday was the day that removed all doubt he is a totally self-centered, arrogant and gross-out sonofabitch. He is trying to excuse his behavior based on his being shy; he is clueless that his shyness was the only thing that could possible hide the deficiencies of his character. The more relaxed he got, the more comfortable to "be himself", the more he showed us what his earlier behaviors had caused us to suspect. He removed all doubt after becoming more relaxed. He would pass off his flaws on his shyness. It is how he gives himself a pass for being a total jerk in social situations.

I told my daughter that he indicated in this email that he was still holding out that there was something to salvage and that she would consent to continue the relationship. She needed to get even more definitive that it was over. So she sent this Wednesday:

The sole purpose of my email to you was to give a final explanation of my decision to end the relationship. I was not looking for any explanations or apologies from you. Neither is necessary because I'm not interested in working things out in order to pursue the relationship further. Your explanation of your behavior only confirmed to me that what I saw is your character. The best glimpse of a person's character is under pressure rather than when most comfortable, so I see that who you are and how you acted when flustered is who you really are. This may seem harsh and judgmental to you but it would be truly cruel of me to leave you in any doubt, with any hope, that you have a chance. I'm looking for someone who I can love as he already is and who can love me for who I already am because I'm not looking to "raise a husband" or to be raised. I believe that God is in control and have no doubt that He will lead us both to the ones who are truly right for us.

She is a sweet girl. She didn't try to slice and dice this guy. She could have decimated him verbally with the truth of how exposed he is. I admire her restraint.

There ya have it. The final page on the chapter of Shrek. Dumb as a stump and completely out of his league. A parasitic life form who was unable to attach to a host. Thankfully.

[icons by lunglock]


Anonymous said...

Shrek sounds like the stereotypical "Simpson's comic book guy" who lives in his Mom's basement. I know I'm painting with a broad brush here, but I have run into many of these people in my line of work and they all more or less exhibit a grandiose attitude. They perceive themselves as possessing a superior intellect and generally look down upon everyone. They are passive aggressive cowards and narcissistic to the core. Most of them either brag about or aspire to join Mensa. I know this is a very general stereotype, but these cookies seem to be cut out of the same dough.

Anonymous said...

Wow - to be honest this guy sounds EXACTLY like a family of mine that has been cut off because we finally realized he is a total N to the core. And nocaster's Mensa comment - right on - I totally agree. The sad thing is they really aren't that smart and tend to coast in the "real world".

The similaritie are CREEPY. Same lack of gratitude, same superior attitude and is also tall and grossly overweight. Sorry you had to come in to contact - a horrible experience I know!

Cassandra said...

Ugh. Total creep. Your judgment, as always, is spot-on. And (thank God) your daughter takes after you!

I'm glad she is rid of him (and you by extension). She seems like a wonderful, mature individual who should do well in whatever course of life she follows.

Anna Valerious said...

HA! I'm amused, for some reason, that Shrek falls smack into the middle of a stereotype. I'm also extremely grateful this is the first of his Neanderthal kind that I've had to interact with. My condolences to anyone who has to work with or be family with such a hygienically-challenged, passive-aggressive, Mensa-wanna-be dumb-fuck, basement-dwelling, narcissistic slob. Ugh.

Shrek just moved out of his parent's house a couple months ago. He is 26. He is "close" to his mommy (something he told my daughter on several occasions). Who should call him on Friday evening at 8:00 p.m.? Mommy. First thing he said was, "I'm in their living room." She just kept going. She talked so loudly I could catch some of what she was saying from across the room! "I was worried about you." "call me". She yammered for a solid couple of minutes and then made him promise he would call her soon. Uh. Hmmm. Me thinks he has an unhealthy attachment to mommy. I also think he is looking for a mommy replacement in a mate. Someone to take charge of his life and make all the decisions, do all the work...and give him the credit. Someone who will be strong enough to butt heads with his mommy when he is too weenie-assed to do it himself. And someone to take the blame when mommy gets mad for being confronted.

Amazing how non-unique stupid evil a-holes are.

Anna Valerious said...

Thank you, Cassandra, for the compliments. I feel very blessed to have such a sensible daughter. She is so far ahead of where I was at her age there is no comparison. I'm relieved she shows no tendency to make the same stupid mistakes I've made. That'll save her a lot of time and misery! It already has. In addition to being sensible she is humble, loving, and kind. I'm so happy she would never settle for a jerk-loser. She deserves a prince of a man. I would say that if I wasn't her mother.

Anonymous said...

First of all, we have really got to pick something to identify me *other* than my first initial. N? ACK!


Nocaster: As a matter of fact, Shrek did live in his mommy's house up until a few months ago. That was the first thing to go on my "strike-out" list.

The Mensa comments I find particularly hilarious. Is nobody impressed by the stunning logic of this, "It is
not that I am ungrateful I just do not always remember to be grateful." Dumbfounding logic! Seriously...dumbfounding.

I shall leave y'all with a quote from While You Were Sleeping:

"Joe Jr.'s still single."

-Anna's offspring

Anna Valerious said...

Hi, Offspring, glad to see ya commenting on your own life here as it relates to recent romantic tragedies.

I had to make a trip to my computer to share another precious memory from last Saturday. What brought it to mind? I just took the furniture polish to my coffee table to rub out the smudge-marks from Shrek's TOES!! That was a very, very special and shocking moment. I had come downstairs after my morning toilette to find Shrek comfortable on one of my couches. To my horror and surprise he is bare-foot. Now, folks, I do not have a foot aversion. It was well below freezing outside and our floors are cold right now. My first thought was, "Wow, his feet are going to freeze. He'll be putting his socks on soon." This was followed very shortly with this thought, "Oh, MY, GOD, he is PICKING his toes right in front of us!!" Folks, I love all of you. But no matter how much I love you, I would not be charmed by your bare feet on my coffee table, picking your toes after only meeting you two days earlier. We would not be that close in two days. Trust me. The gross-out factor was increased substantially because I had some crackers and cheese laid out on the coffee table. His big old flippers were being placed on the edge of the table close to the food. He kept putting his feet on the table and then pulling them back after a few he had some semblance of awareness that maybe, just maybe, it wasn't appropriate to place his fucking clodhoppers next to the food. I kid you not. This really happened. I didn't mention it before because I was trying to hold back. Apparently, the dam has broken. I now want you to all be as grossed out as I was.

Oh, by the way, he was still bare-foot at 9:30 p.m. when we adjourned for the evening. Yuck.

Anonymous said...

And then, after thoroughly picking his toes (and chewing his fingernails), he grabbed himself some cheese and crackers. Even worse, he stuck those gooey hands right into the Chex-Mix. I'm not particularly fond of Chex-Mix but I lost all appetite for it after that.

Essentially, the only thing he didn't do was pull wax out of his ear and light it like a candle.

-"N"...does not stand for "narcissist" this time

Anna Valerious said...

ah, sheeeeeeeet. I did not SEE all of that. I need to go hurl now.

Anonymous said...

nocaster's 'Comic Book Guy' was so right!! Their grandiosity gives them licsence (sp) to be slovenly. I knew an artist like this and I cringe when I think about my dealings with him. He had 'decided' that we were to be good friends and although we moved in the same social circles I had given this chump *no* real indication that I appreciated or wanted to be his 'chosen'...not to mention he was like 35 to my 18...on New Years that year he made sure he was the one to grab me and try to kiss me. None of that flirty preliminary body language of 'let's kiss?' Just one minute he's standing there and the next I'm suffocating under his bad breath and largess. The thing with this guy was he had the whiney comic-book-guy voice down pat! Perhaps there is a whole gaggle of these Shrek types?

Brava Anna on raising such a mindful and articulate daughter...what a treasure she is! Very inspiring.
So glad to see you back Anna.

Oh, BTW I thought it was funny how Shrek used the 'I don't know if it should be' line or to that effect, postulating as if he were the one who knew all of the 'shoulds' but was just 'inconveniently befuddled' at the moment by having to defend his poor self from your cruel analysis of his 'shyness'. Hilarious!!!!!!

Offspring: You go, girl. I'm getting up there in years, but at your age I was a codependent mess...hug your mom for me! You are both awesome!!


So, what IS in a heart? said...

Most "basement dweller" sorts tend to be a bit on the Narc side, so to speak. Has to do with spoiling, and yes, they can be pretty abusive. Just "covertly" so.

Anonymous said...

I think you should have grilled him. Really. Pass the Louisiana hot sauce.

On second thought, maybe being a vegetarian is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Not to go off on a tangent - Has anyone else noticed that Ns in their orbit do not get movie plots? One of mine, despite being very intelligent, absolutely cannot follow a mystery --- nor can she follow any type of quirky humor. This person is also grateful . . . when confronted. :D

Barbara said...

Tell your daughter to please PLEASE go to some of the "exposure" sites (,, and please PLEASE warn others.

We owe to ourselves and everyone around us to warn people about these pathologicals.

Cathy said...

Anna and "n", (and Anna's husband!!),

I can't believe you were able to tolerate him for as long as you did in your home!!! Uggh.

"n" has a good head on her shoulders and I can see why. We've got to pick out a "blog name" for her that more encapsulates the wisdom and common sense she has acquired at a young age.

It warms my soul to see our kids facing down and overcoming issues at a much younger age than us. My son (23) AMAZES me at times. Just like the feeling I got when I read "n's" correspndance with Shrekkie-baby. Truly amazing . . .

Anonymous said...

Some more words for you, Anna: chlorine bleach, Dettol, Lysol, Pine-Sol. Anything with "sol" in it should help you erase those memories.

Anonymous said...

I visited the websites dontdatehimgirl, playersandpsychos and datingpsychos. They are disturbing and repulsive. It is impossible to know whether the poster or the subject is the psycho and/or player. Utterly revolting.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord! I can't even make a 'good choice' when I meet someone face to face...much less even THINK of doing an online match! Wow. Maybe an Ntarget is an Ntarget foreverandeveramen. I. Don't. Know.

Anyway.....thanks for the 'hilariously'sad blow by blow of a few days with an N. All of a sudden, I had flashbacks of all the after day...of the Ns in my life......all the while not daring to be 'judgemental'. (Uh...hello? I found out there IS such a thing as at LEAST having 'discriminating taste?' Did I miss that class?) Caught a 'whiff' of one the other day that I met at work.....I've been pretty busy Lysoling my brain over that one.

Thanks, all. Great stuff.


Anonymous said...

You have the patience of Jobe. Out-the-door at the first purposeful fart.

Thanks again---my cerebral N is a big Mensa geek....

you don't know what an eye-opener this is for me. I guessed my s0matic N months ago ( it was that Austin Powers/ Manson personality) BUT the somatic flew under my radar...I had gone no contact with him due to some vindictiveness, and felt relief, but I, like you, didn't want to see Ns everywhere.....but LO and Behold.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me she just didn't like the guy, so he was asked to leave. He sounds like he just wasn't too smart or social, not some nefarious devil.

Why does she have to put him down in her email? Just say she "doesn't think it will work out" instaed. Why rub his face in the ground with all the judgements and unnecessary criticism? Could it not have been left unsaid, that the remainder of his visit she was just putting on a friendly act?? He could be just a nervous guy who really liked your daughter. Now maybe he's tyring to reply to save some dignity, that email was many slaps in his face!

What is with the backhanded statement at the end of her email? "wife you deserve", after all the put-downs?

In my view, the email conflict was started purely by your daughter. There was clearly a simpler and better way to end their relationship, but she just had to get on a high horse and tell him everything she thought was wrong with him. Very hypocritical. Did he ever say anything nasty about her or you?

I've occasionally read your blog for a while now, but I'm starting to develop the opinion that, at times, you are not much better than many of the so-called narcissists you take pleasure in critiquing.

Anna Valerious said...

Nobody is forcing you to read here.

Anna Valerious said...

I have dealt with your comment, anonymous at 1.21.08, 12:20 PM, more fully in my post titled "It's Good to Be Judgmental" on Feb. 1, 2008.

Anonymous said...

Lol. True being judgmental can be good at times but at others......
I generally prefer to try to say no thanks never seeing you again in some polite way and if they ask why I will tell them right out.

Anonymous said...

LOL about the Mensa comment! I can totally relate to that one as my other exNfriend had to drop that one into conversation -- someone told her she should join Mensa. Join! Have fun! Try outdoing each other with your brains!

Anyhoo....what a SMART and WISE daughter you have there! She sure has her act together and knows what she wants at such a young age. I can only imagine how proud you must be of her.

Anna Valerious said...

Yes, I am very proud of my daughter. She is light years ahead of where I was at her age...consequently she has avoided all the huge mistakes I made in my youth. She is a great person to know. She is funny, smart and very witty, compassionate, helpful, industrious, I could go on and on. I am blessed to have her as a daughter. I only take a little credit for how she's turned out because many times parents do a heroic job trying to raise their kids and then turn out a bad apple or two. If parents are supposed to take all the credit when their kids turn out good...then, to be fair, they would need to take all the credit when they don't. It is very clear to see that no matter how good a job a parent does, in the end, the child chooses what kind of person they will turn into. So...I am humble about how my daughter has turned out because, in the end, she chose to be who she is. I made some terrible mistakes and yet, by God's grace, those mistakes have been greatly mitigated which He did for her sake, not mine.

Not sure why I went into all this. Guess I just wanted to make sure you didn't give me too much credit for how she's turned out. :o) She deserves most of the credit for how she's turned out.

Anonymous said...

You said that perfectly, Anna --"....many times parents do a heroic job trying to raise their kids and then turn out a bad apple or two. If parents are supposed to take all the credit when their kids turn out good...then, to be fair, they would need to take all the credit when they don't. It is very clear to see that no matter how good a job a parent does, in the end, the child chooses what kind of person they will turn into."

That's PERFECT and something that I continue to remind myself as my kids grow up. In the end, they'll choose how they'll want to live their life. Whether they make wise or poor choices is up to them. And they'll have to live with the consequences of whatever those choices are -- bad or good.

Thanks, Anna!