The Wrongs that led to Mr. Right – Fire Hazard Hoarder Pt. 1


The name says it all really….but there’s a story to go with it.  Isn’t there always?  As with many of my old (before French Charming) new boyfriends, this one showed up immediately after a break up.  I think that’s true of all of us though, right?  When you are down and lonely from a recent break up that’s when you’re most vulnerable to fall for the next wrong person to come along.

I had recently broken up with my Chicago version of Mr. Big (another story for later). Less that a week after, there was an incident at our outpatient facility in which the firemen were called.  They were called quite often for someone burning popcorn in the microwave and setting off the fire alarm.  I’m sure they were thrilled to come for burnt popcorn.

I happened to be in the specific area they were called to when they arrived.  None of them really stood out as fitting the “hot, sexy fireman on a calendar” type but they were a nice group of men.  A little while after they left one of the nurses brought me a portable phone because I had a call.

It was one of the fireman who wanted my full name and phone number.  I was confused. I hadn’t called them.  I just happened to be there when they arrived.  So, I asked why exactly he needed my information. He said it was actually for one of the other firemen who wanted to ask me out, but was too shy to ask me in front of everyone. It was junior high all over again…”my friend likes you, will you go out with him?”  I guess it was sort of cute in a way too.

He called, I agreed to go out for dinner, he picked me up.  At dinner, I carried the conversation receiving “uh-huh”, “yes”, “no” and some laughs and head nods. I excused myself to the restroom and (no! I didn’t leave him there!) texted my best bud, Chicago L, that this date was a flop. We finished the date with a walk along Navy Pier and him saying goodnight to me at the lobby of my building.

I really didn’t want to go out with him again, but my friends at work kinda harassed me into it by saying he was probably nervous or intimidated and that I should give him another chance.  I gave in to the peer pressure and went out again.  I guess he filled the void left by breaking up with my Mr. Big and I fell for him.  {There’s a lesson to be learned there}

We lived an hour away from each other but worked in the same area halfway between our two places.  Between the distance and our work schedules it was necessary to coordinate when we would go out.

For the first several months, he ALWAYS came to my place.  I was beginning to wonder if he was hiding something from me – like a wife, family, loser roommate, dead body, etc. Eventually he invited me to his house, after some prodding.  It was a cute little ranch style house.  It did need a little updating with all the large floral print wallpaper and almond colored tub and sink and kitchen appliances.  The furniture was hand-me-down, maybe from his parents or older sibling.  I only saw the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and his room.  All the other doors were closed.  {What is being hidden?}

He loved big boy toys – motorcycles, boats, snowmobiles.  He had them all.  I have to admit it was fun to go out and enjoy these things.  There was a toy for every season!  I had assumed that he was financially savvy to have his home, car, and all these toys.

Every encounter was another bit of learning what I was dealing with.  He had invited me out to his house one weekend, asking me to arrive early enough to go out for lunch and take a ride on the motorcycle.  After we got back to his place he says “okay, well I need to get ready so are you going back to your place?” {What? I thought you invited me for the weekend!} Apparently he made plans with his friends for Saturday night but didn’t want to tell me because I might get mad.  {Of course I’m going to be mad…because you sprung it on me last minute!} So, it was better to invite me to drive an hour for lunch, and then kick me out to drive all the way back? And never mind the fact that I could have made other plans for a Saturday night!  {Did I end it? NO! Why? I DON’T KNOW!}

As time went on, we decided to take a vacation together.  While planning this first trip he mentioned that since he didn’t make the same income as me he may not be able to afford as much as I could.  I can respect that.  I told him we could split the cost 75/25.  He agreed, but somehow, I never got that 25%.  I let it go and figured it would get worked out later on.

I suppose he was getting comfortable because his true colors started to show. I started noticing stacks of those sales flyers that fill your mailbox each week.  Stacks of papers and folders from his work.  He left a door open to one of the extra bedrooms….I was horrified!  There was no dead body.  Well, there might have been, buried under all the shh….stuff in that room!  First of all, it had been a kids room with a little bunny wallpaper boarder around the room.  There was a desk with a computer and printer.  There was a dresser piled high with papers and magazines and just stuff!  The double closet doors were open and there was an avalanche of stuff spilling out onto the floor 2 feet beyond.  There were stereo speakers still in boxes, tools, clothes, gadgets and whatnots.  You really couldn’t walk in this room.  There was a path to the dresser as he kept clothes in it.

Later on I saw the other extra room and it was even worse!  It was full of furniture and a surfboard like thingy, and I don’t even remember what else.  There was no room to walk into that room either, except a tiny path to the closet.

I didn’t want to embarrass him so I asked if he had just moved in…knowing full well he had not.  He said he used to have a roommate and the roommate left all this stuff there. He was going to try to clean everything up and sell some of it if the guy never picked it up.

Fast forward a year (yes, I know!!), we had many more fights about him making plans with his friends but waiting until the last minute to tell me. Of course, the fights somehow always got twisted into “you just don’t want me to go out with my friends!”  He rarely invited me to come along as most of his friends were a good ten years younger and beer pong wasn’t my idea of a fun Saturday night.  I invited him to do things with my friends a few times but stopped once they had nicknamed him the “sock monkey” because he never spoke.  He just sat and smiled.


Fast forward another year (I know I know!!) I arrived at his home one day to find new stainless steel kitchen appliances in the kitchen.  I mean, right in the middle of the kitchen, not installed.  The old appliances were still in place. I asked what the deal was. “They had a really good sale on these so I bought them since the kitchen needs to be updated.” “But why are they sitting in the middle of the floor? Why weren’t they installed and the others taken away?” He responded “I want to sell the old ones myself and make some money off of them.”  I was starting sense a theme…always the “I’m going sell this to make some money” but the things didn’t disappear and he never had money to help pay for vacations…and wait until I tell you about the gifts he bought for me!

Fast forward another couple months, I arrive and the stainless steel decor was still in the middle of the kitchen.  Now there are three floating ice chests, still in boxes, stacked in the doorway of the kitchen. “What’s this?” I ask. “They were on sale” he responds. “But do you need three of them?” I asked fearful of the answer. “No, I’m going to sell the other two and make some money off of them”.  There it is!

I knew things were getting worse rather than better, but still I stayed.  We were having fight after fight, but still I stayed.  What was it going to take to either make a change or end it?

Stay tuned for Part 2!

5 thoughts on “The Wrongs that led to Mr. Right – Fire Hazard Hoarder Pt. 1

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