My Ex Was A Cheapskate

When you care about someone and they’re cheap with you financially and emotionally, it'll do nothing but bring down your self-worth and self-esteem. We learned valuable lessons about equality in relationships and what NOT to put up with. Thanks to all the cheap pricks who made this site possible. We may not have gotten a lot from you, but what we did get is a good laugh. At your expense! Send your story to excheapskate@yahoo.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Screwed by a Scrooge

MUCH LUV and THANKS TO MORAG_EYRIE FOR THIS STORY:

I enjoy your blog- feels good to know I'm not the only otherwise strong intelligent woman who fell for a wanker. This guy I will call Mr. Rabbit, because he and his ex-girlfriend (theone before me) call each other Mr. and Mrs. R., and the R stands forRabbit.

Mr. Rabbit made clear well before Christmas that he was terrified of buying me bad gifts, and could I tell him what I wanted? My first response was"What? You want me to do the emotional labour of thinking about your gifts, and gifts for everyone else I'm buying for, and do YOUR emotional labour too?" It should be noted that at this time I was also spending an inordinate amount of time trying to sort out contraception because Mr. Rabbit refused to learn to wear a condom - an outrageous thing in this day and age for a man of nearly40. (Don't worry- I never had unsafe sex with him in the end).

I relented a bit as Christmas approached though, and gave him clear guidelines on what NOT to buy for a woman: 1. No sexy lingerie 2. No kitchen stuff 3. No football team merchandise (unless she's an avid fan and it's merchandise for her team). I asked him if he could see the common link between the three. He couldn't. I told him "Because they are all about YOU! Sexy lingerie to turn you on in bed, kitchen stuff to cook for you, and, well, need I go on?" I also dropped some massive hints and mentioned specifically: Johnny Cash Live at San Quentin DVD, a watch, a purse....I reassured him that I didn't mean an expensive watch or purse...just anything funky, glittery, colourful, unusually shaped...such can often be had for around £10.

Now, we were in fact getting on really well in the month leading up to Christmas- he'd visited Glasgow and we'd had a fantastic time- I was really starting to fall for this guy. I bought him some nice presents: a portable DVD player, a fluffy dressing gown from his football team's website (he needed one), a book he'd expressed an interest in reading, some chocolate body paint for us to play with, a box of really special chocolates. I got: a plastic cat keychain, two rubber duckies to play with in the bath (I guess), one of those little wooden cats with the long tailthat you put your rings on at night (I already have one, which he has seen by my bed), Aveda body wash, and the final and appalling indignity: a Joss Stone CD.

Mr. Rabbit only likes techno, and so probably thinks there is someconnection between commercial, soul-less white soul sung by a16-year-old pretending to have life experience (I don't evenparticularly like GOOD soul music) and the kind of music I like. Buthe knows how ignorant he is in this area and his flatmate has the same taste as me, so he could've asked him.

He said we could go out shopping and exchange it and that if what I wanted was more expensive, he would pay the difference. When we went shopping to exchange the CD, he shopped for a stereo amp for himself- generally looking in the £250-£300 range.

We got to the bit of Brighton known as "The Lanes" which is where there are alot of very funky and wonderful shops… but he whizzed through thesewith me trailing behind, having palpitations at all the great shops Iwas missing. When I did try to stop, he acted so impatient it wasn't much fun. We finally got to the record shop and I was feeling rather low and cold from traipsing round while he shopped only for himself. He gave me the receipt for the CD- so I saw that it had been incredibly cheap. I assumed this was another rushed visit so went straight in and bought the first CD I found– it was £6 more than the Joss Stone CD- something which would have been blindingly obvious to him when I showed him what I'd chosen, but he let me pay the extra myself. He came over to me with a great find: my favourite film by my favourite filmmakers (Miller'sCrossing by the Coen Brothers) on DVD with special extras, on sale! My face must've really lit up- the perfect gift for me! Then it sunk inthat he was buying it for himself. I swallowed my disappointment and asked where he'd got it, saying I wanted one too. He said: "It's the last one."

As he went to buy it I felt tears welling up and went outside to get it together- not quickly enough because he came out and demanded to know why I was tearful. So, after we had all that out when we got home, he said we could go back to The Lanes on the 2nd Jan. and shop there properly and that I could get a nice extra Christmas gift there. We went out on the 2nd and again looked for stereo amps for him. He slowed down a bit and I got to go into a few shops- there was a comics shop where I found the first 4 issues of the new Love and Rockets, and showed them to him. Nothing. Bought them myself. Went over to a rack he was looking at and found the graphicnovel In the Shadow of No Towers, Art Spiegelman's lauded depiction of September 11th. I picked it up and made a big show of ooh-ing andaah-ing. "So this is the kind of thing you like then?" said he. "Yes, " said I. Nothing. All I heard from him that first week in January was a complaint that it had cost him £35 to speak to me from Budapest. He still owed me £80 for the contraceptives I was forced to buy because he won't use a condom, plus I had my own mobile phone charges for those calls. So then, reader, I dumped him.

I've heard all the stories in the (British) media and from women about how terrible men are at buying gifts,how they can't help it, it's hard wired, etc. Crap. It's not hardwired - it's all about empathy and putting yourself in another's shoes. It's about making an effort to show someone you care about that you know them and love them. It is the thought (not the money) that counts… but that means there has to be thought. I'm not talking here about the minor fuckups we all make when gift buying, I'm talking about a serious lack of consideration for another human being. I have a male friend who acknowledges that he may have Asperger's Syndrome, and he managed to get an appropriate gift for his girlfriend for Christmas - not the most romantic of gifts- but it showed clear understanding of his partner's interests and values, and a degree of effort in the obtaining thereof.

Hope you can use this. I feel a bit silly that I didn't dump him sooner, but hey, hormones are powerful drugs.

45 Comments:

  • At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Rubber Duckie, You're the One said…

    OK, what's with the rubber duckies? A man I was dating (and dumped) gave me two frighteningly ugly rubber duckies for my birthday - one was wearing lipstick and was dressed like a cowgirl (whaaa?), and the other was dressed as a sheriff. I needed those ugly ass toys like that duck needed lipstick.

     
  • At 9:30 AM, Anonymous dirtyweekender said…

    My ex-cheapskate did the same thing to me whenever we went shopping - he would rush me, sigh, roll his eyes, steer me toward the door and make fussing sounds like a 5 year old would.

    Not only did he take the fun out of shopping and spending time together, he made it unbearable.

     
  • At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ...there's some kind of weird treating women like children thing going on here...or it's just a really, really, really dumb gift that makes less sense than a cartman doll...

     
  • At 4:51 AM, Anonymous morag_eyrie said…

    What's really funny is that he spent the month leading up to Christmas constantly phoning and texting me and saying, excitedly "Ooh, I got another present for you today, I hope you like it, I think you'll like it.." and he even asked me what my favorite colours are, implying he needed to know to select a particular gift. So that's why my rubber duckies were purple and orange. There's something deeply sad about all that. What's even sadder is that I have no doubt he'll find himself a nice doormat of a girlfriend. There are plenty out there, many of whom put up with this crap forever and ever. We visited another ex of his who lives with her new boyfriend. He doesn't buy her gifts at all, for Christmas or birthdays.

     
  • At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was just starting to date a guy. We had went out to lunch once - he didn't pay for my $4 pizza and drink. I blew it off. However, when we went out to lunch again, I couldn't pay for my lunch b/c the store didn't take debit/credit cards. So, he gave me $6 and said, "you can just owe me." How flippin' romantic is that? I didn't waste too much more time on him. He was a waste in general.

     
  • At 3:06 PM, Blogger dirtyweekender said…

    Totally. The worst thing you can spend on a cheapskate isn't your money...it's your TIME!

     
  • At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Morag's Eyrie,

    I am so sorry that you had such a bad time with this horrible man - Mr R.....I was only thinking the other day how there are some really twisted, sad individuals who have no friends so resort to slating other human beings on a website rather than looking at their own shortcomings .... and then I saw your comments and thought.....maybe you are one of those people - ha bloody ha!!

     
  • At 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sounds to me like Morag's Eyrie's ex or perhaps Mrs. R. didn't like hearing about themselves. Treat people like crap and don't be surprised that it gets talked about. You do the crime....

     
  • At 7:27 AM, Anonymous bust reader said…

    Couldn't help but notice that the 'slated' party didn't refute any of the story.

     
  • At 5:19 AM, Anonymous morag_eyrie said…

    Heh. That anonymous person can't be my ex or my ex's ex, because they are too stupid to use the Internet. Plus, Mr and Mrs R know fine well that I have loads of friends (another reason why I regret wasting so much of my time on Mr R- I neglected my dear friends for 3 months!). However, there are lots of folk out there like Mr and Mrs R, so it's not surprising my story pushed someone's Selfish Button.

     
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