Some tools are as hard to get rid of as a computer virus.
Like this guy, a BadPenny Tool, the one that always turns up.
This saga began last March 2008 and took my friend Mustang Sally more than one year to eradicate from her life.
The Shiny Penny Shows Up
It started as some harmless flirting at work. A smile here, some teasing there. Apparently, we don’t know our coworkers as well as we might think.
One night, BP came over to watch a move he and MS had discussed. We all know what “watching a movie” means in boy-girl code. Sure enough, the two ended up making out and then continued to “hang out” a few times a week.
MS: And at first he called a couple times… but then it was just Facebook messages, which is also incredibly toolish.
She confessed she thought it might actually go somewhere. But things remained casual until she forced a talk.
MS: And I don’t even remember how that went, except that we were going to keep things as is. His schedule was so weird, too. And so was mine… which is why we never did anything on the weekends, or weeknights… or in public at all, really. Plus we didn’t want anybody at work to know. I didn’t want people to think I was “that girl,” especially if it ended up never being a relationship.
The Penny Gets Dirty
So this hanging out thing continues through May, but tapers off as MS gets frustrated with his alcoholism, pot-smoking and lack of commitment. But she still sometimes sees him. And one night, before a planned group social event, she spends the night with him.
The next night, they meet out at that event and he goes home with another girl.
In most cases, MS would be kicking this penny to the curb. Let some other fool see the shiny Lincoln head and pick it up, hoping for good luck. But he kept calling, texting, FB messaging.
By beginning of July, BadPenny and MS start up again. MS said she didn’t even like him very much and his alcoholism and pot smoking were a bit much.
MS: But I was in my party girl phase. The secrecy was the best part – kinda fun, I guess. We watched movies, got ridiculously drunk, and I stayed over. That was pretty much it.
MS got wise soon after, feeling bad about the “relationship” and about her drinking and partying. Time to get it together. She told the story to a friend who also knows BadPenny.
MS: “And she’s all ‘uhhh he told me he just had a one-night stand with some chick in Greenville last weekend.’”
MS gave BadPenny a piece of her mind after that. Three cheers for women taking control!
MS: “And he swore up and down that it only happened once and he was black-out drunk and doesn’t remember and he was going to tell me the next time he saw me alone. And I fell for it. Yay me.”
She kicked the Bad Penny to the curb for good after he treated her like shit during another social outing. She got very drunk and he wouldn’t give her a ride home. Next thing you know, she’s drunkenly bawling.
Nothing like a good un-classy moment like that to knock some sense into you, right?
Icing on the Penny
A few weeks later, she finds out just what how big tool this guy is. While scoping out some thrift goods one day with a group of girls, my friend Mustang Sally overhears a conversation between two in our party. And suddenly things click into place – BadPenny had been seeing another girl this whole time – THAT other girl, the one we call friend, conversing with another in front of a stack of old books.
MS sent Girl a FB message to get the scoop. And sure enough, “I was with him on/off from March-September. She was May-August.”
Um, ouch. The two concoct a confrontational plan. MS texted BadPenny and they planned to get together after work one day. But instead MS picks up Girl on the way over and both of them walk in.
MS: He didn’t even react. I think he must’ve been stoned out of his mind or something.
BadPenny: Hey ladies, wanna sit down?
MS: We just started laughing. ‘Nope, I don’t think we’ll be staying.’ And we left. In and out in 2 minutes. It was ridiculous. I don’t know if he even understood he’d gotten caught.
But BadPenny kept turning up. At a party in October, he and MS got stuck outside together. While waiting for the door to open, she lost it.
MS: I asked, “Do you have anything to say to me?”
Him: “Nope.” MS: I slapped him. “Anything to say to me now?” And then he went off about how we were never dating and blahblahblah. I’ve never done anything like that in my life, but he just wouldn’t leave me alone.
In January, the BadPenny appeared once more, at a party where he and MS had mutual friends. She sent him an email the next day to keep away, but he said he was invited and they the two of them should get along, given the mutual friend situation.
Whatever. MS left the place they worked and got a new job. Buh-bye tool!
The end, right? Nope.
It’s like a bad horror flick; the killer has to come back to life one more time.
MS: And then recently I got those texts. “Hey it’s been forever, how’s the new job? What are you up to?” I didn’t respond. I mean, seriously.
Now, she’s awestruck by the fact that she even let this year-long saga happen.
MS: I can’t believe I did any of that. I was just so excited by the secrecy & the “bad boy”-ness of it all, I guess. And now I’m like, seriously? WTF was I thinking? And WTF is wrong with him?
It’s simple: He’s a TOOL.
At least MS has learned a lesson: she won’t be picking up any more pennies.