Saturday, August 18, 2007

My Misadventures In Romance:The Day Crazy Helene Kooked Out.

Let me step up to the plate and confess to you, when it has come to a few of my previous relationships with the fairer sex, there's been a time or two (maybe even three or four times as far as that goes) when I haven't used my best judgement. Loneliness, desperation,the need for affection have driven me to seek the company of women who were totally wrong for me. You know the drill, any port in a storm.

This can said about Helene. The best word I can use in describing her is psychotic.If I had employed rational,clear thinking instead of going with my heart, I could've avoided a whole world of insanity that I was more than willing to put up with.

We met when I was working as a telemarketer at a company called Dial Direct. From our first meeting there was an unmistakable chemistry between us. And although a a co-worker named Doug once warned me about becoming romantically involved at the work place. His advice was: Never meet your honey where you make your money. I turned a deaf ear and followed my heart instead. Considering the eventual outcome,I should've followed his advice to the letter.

The first thing about Helene that I considered rather off putting were her racist views. When ever she mention black people the N word was thrown about with disturbing regularity. One time, I mentioned that I like getting a little tan during the summer. Helene replied humorously,"Don't get too tan or I won't go out with you." But it was the way she said that remark which me feel as if she really meant it,all kidding aside. This alone should have set off an alarm in me to drop her like the proverbial hot potato and find someone else,but I just ignored it. My rationale was that just because Helene was a frothing at the mouth bigot was no reason to stop seeing her.You know,live and let live,to each his own;ect,ect.Proof positive that loneliness really does make us throw our common sense right out the window.

Then on top of that were her outbursts. Little things she would say or do that made me question her sanity. At the time I didn't have a car,so Helene would drive me to work and back home.One day on our way to work Helene,for reasons unknown, appeared to be agitated about something. When I asked if anything was wrong,she simply brushed it off. Then, without any provocation Helene began talking about "goggle heads", how they should be put into a room and have their heads cut off. She shouted," F**k 'em all! Kill 'em!"

As you can imagine,I was shocked by this outburst. But the worst was yet to come. At one point,Helene fished a half smoked cigarette butt out of the ashtray, lit it and began puffing away nervously. Suddenly, she took the steering wheel and began zigzagging her car across the two lane highway before finally composing herself. Helene said she was sorry and the remainder of our trip was uneventful. But I don't mind telling you that I was unnerved,as well as being a little scared, by her unexplained psychotic behavior. This was one thrill ride I surely did not enjoy: Helene's Tunnel of Insanity.

Now at this juncture, most men would've run away from her screaming. You know, thanks for inviting me to share your insanity, but no thanks. Not me. I chose to view her actions as quirky and colorful. For some unfathomable reason I still wanted her as my girlfriend.

Then came the beginning of the end. It was the New Years Eve of 1994 and we had made plans to go out to a party that evening. While we were at work, Helene all of the sudden announced that her mother was in critical condition at the hospital. She said she was going to see her,so she had to cancel our New Years festivities. Naturally I understood,even though her manner was strange. The way she darted her eyes away from me and her nervous mannerisms as she talked made me suspect Helene wasn't being truthful with me.

When we saw each other the day after New Years I asked Helene how her mother was doing. She replied vaguely," She's okay,I guess." Wait a freaking minute!  Helene's mother was supposedly in the hospital practically at deaths door and she guess's her mother is "okay"? Something fishy was definitely going on. I didn't want to know the truth, so I never pressed the issue although in the back of my mind I felt Helene had been with someone else that evening.

It was on Valentine's Day,that special,romantic day, that Helene kicked me to the curb. She bluntly informed me that I wasn't good enough for her,but she still wanted to be friends. I was totally God smacked. I let her rampant racist comments go unchallenged. That day she had her manic episode during our drive to work I passed it off as a quirky occurrence. I willingly and charitably put up with her foibles yet Helene considered me to be beneath her? Unbelievable!From that day forward we co-existed at work amicably if distantly.

Helene eventually was fired. She had this annoying habit whenever a co-worker, especially a black co-worker,would tap or touch her on the shoulder to ask a question of leaping out of her chair shrieking," Don't touch me! I don't anyone to touch me!" This lead to the people in the office to refer to Helene behind her back as "Crazy Helene" and "Crazy Girl" while I had the dubious distinction of being known as "Crazy Girl's Boyfriend". Cute, huh?

Anyway, following several repeated insane outbursts, Helene was called to the office to be told her services were no longer required. And although I was at lunch during this bit of day time drama, I was told that after Helene was fired she made a snide comment to the supervisor(an African-American) saying," I never liked working with you f**king niggers anyway." So with that parting salvo Helene was gone from Dial Direct. Way to go,Helene. Way to go.

Although I never saw her again after that day(and am I thankful), several years later I bumped into one of my co-workers,Alicia, who had an odd encounter with Helene. Alicia was selling real estate and Helene called her up out of the blue wanting to purchase a house with money her father had left to her in a trust fund.

Poor Alicia. She spent an entire afternoon showing Helene different houses that were for sale. After few days passed, Alicia contacted Helene inquiring if she was interested in any of the properties that had been shown to her. Helene said that she decided instead to buy a house directly from one of her friends rather than deal through a real estate agent. When Alicia,who was a seasoned real estate agent, advised her against this course of action,Helene replied vaguely," Oh, I know what I'm doing."

And that was that,until a day or two later when Helene called her back. But it wasn't real estate Helene was interested in. She wanted to know if Alicia wanted to go to a movie with her that evening. As you can imagine Alicia was livid;she spends an entire afternoon showing Helene prospective houses only to be blown off by her in the end and now she's inviting Alicia to the movies. Alicia's response was far from polite. But what can I say? That's Helene for you.

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