When I was a junior at I.U., several decades ago, I dated a guy we’ll call Asshole’. Asshole’ was an amazing artist, which attracted me to him more than he did. The fact that he threw up on our first date should have been an indication of how vile this relationship would be.
Luckily, his bad temper, moodiness, and endless lies didn’t scar me emotionally for life. (Note to self: make appointment with my therapist for two sessions next week.) The persistent eye twitch and facial tics I still have will eventually dwindle, I’ve been told.
Asshole’ didn’t go out with several other girls behind my back while we were dating for three years, did he? Wait. One of my other personalities is telling me that he did. Another one is laughing.
Asshole’ and I had been invited to a Halloween party in Bloomington where some of his buddies lived in a house together. I don’t remember what Asshole’ wore for a costume, but I’ll never forget mine.
Because he was such a gifted artist, we both thought it would be a hoot if he used my face as a canvas and turned me into Albert Einstein.
When Asshole’ had finished applying makeup to my face, frizzing and powdering my hair, and applying a powdered mustache, I looked just like the man who defined the Theory of Relativity, relatively speaking.
Being the good girlfriend that I was, I was proud to show off my boyfriend’s handiwork. I was a walking art exhibit; a performance artist, if you will; and a complete idiot.
As soon as we walked into the house I knew I had made a mistake of enormous proportions. My uncanny resemblance to Albert was a stroke of genius in the privacy of my dorm room. Not so much in public.
I didn’t know another person at the party. Some wore costumes and some didn’t, but no one looked as hideous as I.
And, no one had on a cuter, more adorable costume than Jessica, my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend with whom he was still in love.
I had never heard of Jessica during my three year romance with Asshole’, but found out later that she had chosen his best friend, Dan, over him (very George Harrison/Eric Clapton/Pattie Boyd-ish.)
But, Asshole’ and Dan decided to bury the hatchet just before Halloween that year. Hmmmmmm. Curious. Had Asshole’ made up with Dan just to get an invitation to his party knowing Jessica would be there? And, had he turned me into Einstein to make me pale in comparison to his ex?
Perhaps I was not as stupid as I looked, especially that night.
Jessica had long, blonde pigtails, rosy cheeks, an oversized lollipop, and wore a very short dress, white tights, and the shoes of a common streetwalker.
I wore baggy, black men’s dress pants, an oversized white button-down shirt, black men’s shoes, and a belt I had found at a thrift shop.
She looked like an adorable life-sized doll.
I looked like a young Phil Spector.
She stood 6’4”, with heels.
I stood as tall as the pretty pink sash at the waist of her dress.
The only thing I felt good about that night was that my shoes matched my belt.
I spent the rest of the evening sitting on my “Annus Mirabilis.”
As the real Einstein has been quoted, “All of science is nothing more than refinement of everyday thinking.”
I refined my thinking, all right. After he returned me to my dorm room that night, I dumped Asshole’.
Note: I swear, I make it a point not to use foul language when I write. Apparently the ‘ after my ex-boyfriend’s name went unnoticed. It’s supposed to be pronounced assholyay.