T h e A d v e n t u r e s o f C h i c a g o J o


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Deal-breakers and the Next-door Neighbor

2006-05-09    1:15 p.m.
So on Sunday night, as I’m leaving chorus, I checked my phone. A couple missed calls from the next-door neighbor, a missed call from a girl friend, and some voicemail waited for me. Voicemail only had my girl friend’s message, and my phone’s missed calls directory didn’t show the neighbor’s number. Odd. Whatever.

I went about my business for the evening, distracted by an autobiography of Jenna Jameson, when my text message alert went off, announcing that someone I know is pregnant. In the phone’s inbox was two text messages from the neighbor, not missed calls. Silly me.

Before returning my friend’s call to hear more about the kid’s eventual arrival, I read the messages from the neighbor.

Well, folks. History repeats itself.

Despite hours of hanging out, multiple mentions of topics where he could throw this kind of info out there, and me telling him flat-out during our first hang-out together that this was one of my deal-breakers when dating a guy, the next-door neighbor felt it was best to spill the beans has a kid in another state via a text message.

He followed his information up with an “I hope we can still be friends...”

I couldn’t do anything but laugh.

This is the third time this has happened. I get a little close with a guy, be honest about this topic, and BAM! he springs it on me and apologizes long after the opportunity to mention it passes.

Under most circumstances I’d say to a friend in this situation, “If you weren’t just jumping into the sack with these guys, you wouldn’t have a problem. You’d know them before anything happened.”

The closest thing I get to jumping into any sacks would be a potato sack race, and people also know that up-front. It’s not like they think they can really wear me down to where I say, “Hmm, yeah. I know I say all of that stuff about emotional responsibility and not being able to give that to anyone outside of a long-term, loving relationship, but let’s just get it on anyway.”

So, three times this has happened.

The first time was a few months after my boyfriend of five years and I split. I started hanging out with some people from work, and there was one good-looking guy who didn’t try any monkey business. We ran, lifted weights, and ate together almost every evening. No hanky-panky had yet occurred, but we made plenty of googly eyes at each other.

One night over dinner he made mention of his daughter. Who knew?!

I hadn’t said anything about step-kids because I didn’t know about my extreme aversion at this point, but we had been hanging out long enough that something about his daughter should have been said by then.

The second guy was one of my great loves. On night #1 of hitting it off, he mentioned his ex-wife and how she still pushed his buttons. I said point-blank: “Why pick up the phone when she calls? It’s not like you have kids together.” He replied: “I know. I pick up anyway. I don’t know why.”

After a few weeks of smooth sailing, some intense stuff going on in both our guts, and much talk about what our next moves would be, he called one afternoon and said that he needed to tell me something.


The kid was about to turn 4, had his father’s temper, and was having trouble in daycare since the divorce.

I gave it a go, but I wanted nothing to do with a bad kid, the ex-wife, and the drama both brought into the guy’s life.

And now next-door neighbor springs this on me via a text message on my phone.

As I’ve said before: I have nothing against kids.

I just don’t want yours. 

Miss something?

Moving Day - 2008-02-15
Working from Home is Glorious - 2008-02-13
Speaking in Tongues - 2008-02-07
I Have My Reasons - 2008-01-25
Got an Itch, Fix it, Shine it Up, Sing it Out - 2008-01-23

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