Anyone familiar with Greek and Roman mythology knows demi-gods are usually trouble. Half mortal, half divine, they can bend and break the rules of the world. And they do. But not fully immortal, they tend to run afoul of the social order and often suffer the wrath of the truly divine eventually.
I know just such a someone, let’s just call him Hercules. He is a strapping 6′ 3″, totally ripped, basically so attractive, you’d think he was carved from marble.
Oh and he knows it, and it shows in his nonchalance and devil may care attitude toward almost anyone and anything but himself. Hercules pretty much gets whatever he wants in life just by showing up and turning on the charm. And oh yes, he is charming. He isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he does have some pockets of esoteric knowledge he’ll whip out to impress the crowds and sometimes even shows signs of being deeper than he appears. And other times, also much more shallow.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know this sounds all judgmental. I like Hercules in a love thy neighbor type of way, like I love all people. But not in a LOVE thy neighbor kind of way, if you know what I mean.
In fact, Hercules and his ex-wife used to be my neighbors. They moved in when she was expecting their second child, both girls. His ex-wife is a demi-god in her own right, one of those gals who is just a whirlwind of a train wreck that you somehow can’t help loving and hoping the best for. She’s very attractive, but not terribly bright. The two of them have known each other since high school, but didn’t get together until she was married to Hercules’ best friend and while I don’t know the exact details, let’s just say it likely wasn’t on the up and up.
They fought like cats and dogs. Fire and ice. It was always some drama and in a weird way it seemed to draw them together like moths to a flame, only to get singed, circle, and return for more.
Shortly after I was divorced, Hercules came by one day to drop off his kids for a play date. Still married and living two doors down at the time himself, it didn’t even cross my mind that he might make a pass at me until he did, right there in my very own kitchen, with the kids in the next room. And by made a pass, it was a full on, no mistaking it, “How about it? Let’s go upstairs.”
After a split second of shock, my hind brain kicked in with fight or flight. I didn’t even have to think about this. My reply was, “Listen here, you are my neighbor’s husband, this is not happening, and it’s never happening. Got it?” He laughed and persisted, until I cut him off on no uncertain terms by asking him, “Don’t you think my life is complicated enough?” I guess he could not think of a comeback to that, and he quit. Because my life is complicated enough, and he knows it.
Fast forward a few years and I have repeated those words to him on a half dozen occasions. Anytime he gets a chance alone, he starts in. I am not sure what it is about. I suspect it’s more about the novelty of a female rejecting his glorious splendor than it is about him actually caring about me in particular. I could be wrong about that, but I doubt it. I almost wonder if he likes me rejecting him sometimes, like it reassures him somehow. Maybe so.
But the trouble is he does it with such ease, it’s clear this little song and dance works for him much of the time. But not with me. As a single mom with two kids and a small business, my life is complicated enough. I don’t need to court trouble. I don’t need a man I can’t count on, no matter how enticing the wrapping.
Hercules and his missus broke up eventually, no surprise. By that time they had run around behind each others backs, then tried to have an open marriage arrangement, only to have that open the lid on a Pandora’s box of jealousy and skirting and skanking around openly and not, followed by the arrival of his son born to another women they had an open relationship with, and the aftermath of that, then affairs on both sides, as they set up their respective launch pads, and it was done.
She moved into an apartment her boyfriend paid for, he moved in with a girlfriend. His girlfriend’s a nice gal, 36, never been married, no kids, great job. She keeps him in the lap of luxury. They are trying to have a baby. But that didn’t stop him the next time I saw him from trying to corner me, asking me how about it, now that he’s not married? When I asked, “What about your girlfriend?” He answered without a pause, “I got involved in that too fast. I should have taken some time off.” My response, “How is any of that my problem? Oh yeah, it’s not. Thank God.” He laughed it off, shot me a “you know you want me” look, and off into the world again he went.
A few months ago, I had a gal who is a known heroin addict show up at my door. After she left, there I was alone, at night, just me and my kids. I realized how vulnerable I really am, and despite my usual courage of a lion, it rattled me. I could not sleep all night. I posted it on Facebook, as this girl lives in the area and I was hoping someone knew her name. My bachelor brother called immediately, ready to quit his job and jump on a plane that minute. Not 15 minutes after that, there’s Hercules in my driveway telling me to get in, we’re going to get me a gun.
We went gun shopping and to his credit he showed genuine concern. He told me that if things ever fall apart (he for some reason believes the government will collapse soon) he said the first place he’s coming is to my place, with guns, and his kids. I told him Spartans are welcome in cases of national emergency (and trust me, unless someone else got here with guns first, in that scenario he likely would be welcomed with open arms.)
Once again, he made a move, asking me point blank why I wouldn’t ever give him a chance? And my handy go to, “Because my life is complicated enough,” was the reply. He said if I ever changed my mind and got horny, just give him a call. I kissed him on the cheek, thanked him for schooling me on guns, and said maybe I would go with him to the gun show the next weekend. But I didn’t call to set it up. Because he’s still living with his girlfriend, and I just recently found out he’s also still hooking up with his ex here and there. I’m not an idiot.
Yesterday I was having a really hard, lonely day. I could have used some help from someone like Hercules. Later that day, I was driving through town, and I saw his truck at the local bar. Without a pause, I kept on driving, because after all, my life is complicated enough. I don’t need to go messing with demi-gods. Everybody knows, they are trouble.
Ladies take note: A woman lets a man in. She can’t go complaining later or blaming anyone but herself if it turns out exactly as as badly as it was obvious it would. And if you are still tempted, knowing better anyway, stop and ask yourself this: Isn’t your life complicated enough?
Yes, yes it is. Don’t add to it.
Let those who have ears hear.