Category Archives: The Landscaper Guy

The Landscaper Guy, Again, Part V

Groundhog Day 1

“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” Phil, Ground Hog Day

Deja vu. I have written about this guy  four times before.  Four times. And I admit that to begin this post I copied and pasted part of my last writings about him, because he just keeps coming back and it’s all the same damn thing, over and over again . . .

I ran into him again.  But wait, please peruse the following to you can get the full picture. This has been going on for . . . years!   YEARS!

1.  The Landscaper  Guy — Not Digging Him  — I meet a man.

2.  The Landscaper Guy and the Female Chandler Bing — I give him a shot.  (I shouldn’t have.)

3.  The Landscaper Guy and A Phone Smarter Than Me — I shoot him down, and miss. I have to take better aim and shoot again.

4.  The Landscaper Guy, Freaking Part IV — I shoot him down, again.  He expresses concern about my single status.

Are we all caught up? If not, that’s okay because it’s always the same.

Fast forward to now.  It was very hot, and you know how they say to check in on older people in hot weather?  Well I had to get my Mom out of her sweltering house, so we went for ice cream  at an outdoor place.  As  I was looking at flavors, a man looked at me.

I smiled, because that’s what I do.

He said, “You look familiar.”

Groundhog Day 1

“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” Phil, Ground Hog Day

I replied, “Well, I’m from here, so you know . . .”  It’s a smallish suburban town. You can’t swing a dick with running into someone you know.  (I’m paraphrasing from Sex and the City because Anthony the Wedding Planner cracked me up with that line. I like funny.  Note to men:  Many women enjoy humor.)

Groundhog Day 1

“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” Phil, Ground Hog Day

 

And here’s where I can just cut and paste, because it’s all so familiar.

“You live on Maple Street, right?” He asked.

“Yes.” Oh geez. It was coming back to me, like a bad debt.

I should have known, the white t-shirt. He had on a white t-shirt . . . 

I walked away.  I was only there to check the flavors for my mom and report back to her. She was waiting in the car.  So that’s what I did.  I just walked away.

I hoped, I so hoped that he would be gone when I returned.

My hopes were dashed on the jagged rocks below.

Groundhog Day 1

“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” Phil, Ground Hog Day

Oh he had gotten his ice cream and was getting into his car —  but his car  was parked right next the the place. Just my luck.

“Still don’t want to go out with a brother?”  He asked me.

Incredibly, he had asked me out again. As I mentioned before, this has been going on for years.  Check the dates of my posts. Years.

And still the answer was, is, and will always be, “No.”

Groundhog Day 1

“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” Phil, Ground Hog Day

 

Though I clearly said “no” the man continued, just like he had many times before. As he sat in the driver’s seat he motioned to the empty space next to him, “I mean — ice cream.  You can sit right here. What’s wrong with getting some ice cream with me?  It doesn’t have to mean anything.”

(Except that it would mean that I wanted to get ice cream with him, which I did not.)

And again, I tell you, I tell him, “No.”  But like a call and response, I added, without conscious effort to do so, “But thanks anyway.”

(Why am I so polite?  Oh well. At least I didn’t attempt to give a reason this time.)

He shook his head as if to say, “What is wrong with this woman ( or bitch)?”  He seemed genuinely baffled that I declined to take him up on his offer.

I walked away, again, thinking, “Well, I guess I have another blog post to write.

Groundhog Day 1

“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” Phil, Ground Hog Day

I was seconds from a clean get-away,  but the Landscaper Guy in the white T-shirt called after me,

“You’re still beautiful, though.”

Well shit.  I can’t argue with the brother.

The-Dark-Knight-The-Joker walking away

The Joker, in The Dark Knight

 

Just Me With . . . ice cream for two — Me and my Mom.

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The Landscaper Guy Freaking Part IV

Gas Station

I have written about this guy three times before.

Three. Times.

1.  The Landscaper  Guy — Not Digging Him  — I meet a man.

2.  The Landscaper Guy and the Female Chandler Bing — I give him a shot.  (I shouldn’t have.)

3.  The Landscaper Guy and A Phone Smarter Than Me — I shoot him down, and miss. I have to take better aim and shoot again.

Well, I ran into him today. Again.  Seems he has a vehicle now, a vehicle that needed gas, as did mine.

At 7:45am.

He was, again,  wearing white but topped it with a blue jacket.   No head scarf this time.

I said a passing hello like I would to a stranger, a stranger who looked somewhat familiar. He said “Hi” back with a look that said, You don’t have anything else to say?

I smiled at him, being polite, but not starting any kind of conversation.  It was, after all,  7:45am.

He followed up with a “Hellooo” drawing the word out, raising his eyebrows at me.  It was that kind of ‘Hello’ that wasn’t a greeting but rather a complaint of some sort.  It said, You got nothing else to say to me?

I gave the ‘I’m just being polite‘ smile and thought, “Shoot, I’m supposed to know this guy.  I have no idea who he is.

He said,  reading my mind–  or my face, “You don’t remember me, do you?”

“I’m sorry, no, I don’t. Are you a neighbor?”

“Yeah,” he humphed (Is that a word?  Because that’s what he did.  He humphed.).  Then he said, “Yeah, a few houses down. You live on Maple Street, right?”

“Yes.” I was starting to remember, but not his name.  “Um . . . Oh yes, we talked a couple of times.”

“What’s wrong with dinner? You didn’t want to go to dinner?”

“Um . . . ”

“You still feel that way?”

“Yes.”  What the hell? 

“Why?”  WHY DOES THIS GUY ASK WHY?  WHY WHY WHY????

“I’m just not going out much lately.”  This was the response that had failed me previously. It was all I had at 7:45am.

“But dinner? What’s wrong with that?” And he let out a humph again,  “Just you and your dog . . .” (I ask you — Why’d he have to bring my dog into this?  Oh, my dog was in the car, looking at him, probably judging him, I hope.  Woman’s best friend and all . . . )

“I mean, you’re single, right? ”

“Yes.”  I refused to lie, and he refused to STFU. As discussed in Where Did I Put My Fake Boyfriend there are some aggressive men who only accept the reported presence of another guy as an acceptable reason to decline a date.

“Well, I don’t get it.  What’s wrong with dinner? I’m not talking about a relationship or anything.  Dinner,” and he wasn’t done.

He added, incredibly,  “I mean a woman like you shouldn’t be alone — for years — like this.”

WTF

WTF?   I cannot believe he said that to me.  

“I’ll be alright,” I replied and offered a purposely fake smile, one that I hope really conveyed, ‘You, sir,  are an asshole.

He laughed. “Well.”

“Well. You have a nice day, now,” I said.  This is the way Northern US women say the Southern US women’s ‘Bless your heart‘  which really means, ‘I’m done talking to you. Kiss my ass.’

“Alright,”   he replied, shaking his head, which probably meant, ‘Bitch’ and truthfully,  I don’t give a shit.

Just Me With . . . a full tank of gas, next to an ass. 

 

For other run-ins with the men in my neighborhood, see:

I Turned Down A Date With An Ex-Con

Another Encounter With The Ex-Con

The Landscaper Guy and a Phone Smarter Than Me — Part III

I had just pulled into my spot at the back of my yard after running errands.   I had three gallons of milk in the back and it was hot outside.  Out of the corner of my eye, I see white — a walking big white tee-shirt with a matching designed white scarf on his head.

The Landscaper Guy.  See Not Digging the Landscaper Guy, Part I and The Landscaper Guy and The Female Chandler Bing Part II.

Since my last post on the Landscaper Guy, I’d had some major emotional (fall out from the Ex’s pending remarriage) and minor medical issues (son’s surgery to repair a fractured thumb) keeping me busy.  The Landscaper Guy was not occupying my mind.

I  do think he, as promised, called.   But I  also got a new phone in the interim as well.  My old phone would register his call as “WITHHELD”  whereas my new phone says something like “REJECTED” when it is an unreadable number.   Me thinks my new phone is truly a smart phone, perhaps smarter than me, as it seemed to know that this dude should be and should have been REJECTED all along.

I did not answer any rejected calls and he never left a message and I let it go.

But today, there he was.   Ambling down the alley behind my house.   I was still with no makeup but  I had on a fitted Victoria’s Secret Pink Tee and skinny jeans which seemed to empower me, somehow.   He had on his signature tee-shirt and, of course, the sweat.

My choices were:

1.   Slowly get out of the car and deal with him, or

2.   Try to make a run for it.

Guess what I chose?   But, I didn’t make it.   Damn, I need some privacy plantings.   As I walked briskly to my back door looking straight ahead (leaving the milk in the car), he called out my name.  Damn.

So, I ambled back down my walk  and went to talk to him, hopefully for the last time.

Now that I got a better look at him, or maybe I felt a little better about myself, maybe it was my purple PINK  tee, I don’t know which, and maybe you are not supposed to say this, but,  I’m out of his league.   Sorry.  Me with five kids, no make-up, emotional problems up the ying yang,  yes, I’m saying  it’s not  gonna happen, not even to help me practice date.

We exchanged pleasantries.  Then,

Him:  “You been thinking about me?”

Me:  “Not really.”

Him, shaking his head, “No, huh.”

Me: “No.”

Him:  “So that means we can’t go on a date?”

Really?  Is this guy serious?

Me: “No”

Him: “Why?”

Now, here’s where I wonder.   Why ask why?   It is what it is.   Just make your exit, dude. 

Then I repeated the supposedly magic words that I was told to say by a single relative of mine. Well, she’s my niece.  I’m taking dating advice from my niece, the daughter of my sister!!!!  (Channeling Marisa Tomei’s Oscar Winning performance  in My Cousin Vinny.  If you don’t know the reference, watch the movie.  It is hilarious.)


Anyway, she said this would work, and I said:

     “I’m just not into hanging out right now.   I’m flattered, though.”

Game over — or should be, right?

Him:   No, you’re not.   (flattered, he meant)

Me:   Yes, I am.   (changing subject)  So, are you on your way downtown?

Him:   Yeah.  (Proceeds to give me the date when he’s done school  for the Summer).

And then he asked, remarkably:   “So you want to give me a ride to the train?”

OMG — HE REALLY ASKED TO GET IN MY CAR WHEN I HAVE JUST  TOLD HIM  I DON’T WANT TO DATE HIM!!!!!

Me:  You know what, I just got home, so . . . no.

We exchange pleasantries, much more awkwardly this time, and he went on his way.

The thing is, I’ll probably see him again.   What are the chances he’ll just keep walking?   I certainly hope he does.

I do  feel good  about saying, no, though.

Just Me With . . .  a smart phone much smarter than me.

The Landscaper Guy and the Female Chandler Bing — Part II

Well,  the Random-Alley -Walking- Wanna-Be Landscaper Guy called again. See, Not Digging The Landscaper Guy — Part I.   I let it ring.  Number WITHHELD, no voicemail.   The next time he called, approximately three minutes later, I picked up.  Immediately he tried to set up a date.  I suggested that we  talk for a bit.  I asked him to tell me about himself.  His reply, “What do you want to know? My age?  What I do? ”  Well, I asked what he did for a living.   He replied that he is an iron worker for concrete  installations, plus,  he volunteered  his age.  I hadn’t asked.

Then, he did what I really hate.  He asked me my age, if  “you don’t mind, telling.”

I replied, I thought in a light-hearted manner,  “Well, I  kinda do mind telling.

His response, sounding a bit annoyed,

Why don’t women want to tell  that?   I told my age.  I just want to know if you are older or younger.”

(Lately, I’m always older. sigh).   Still, forcing a conversation about age is another pet peeve of mine.  Men:  if I don’t volunteer my age and especially if I refuse to answer the question, don’t ask again.

Anyway, this is what I learned from the Landscaper Iron Worker Guy:

By “I’m in school” he meant, he’s doing some sort of required  periodic training program for his craft, which is putting in rebar (pieces of steel) for concrete installations for large structures like bridges.

He’s in the union.  Which pays well, according to him.   (I told him I knew the difference between a union and non-union skilled laborer, as I have experience dealing with unions.)

He has two grown kids, living out of the area.

He lives with his elderly grandmother, but that won’t be for long.

Starting next week he’ll be out-of-town all weekends until August 4th.

When I asked what he did for fun, he said he likes to play basketball and baseball, but,  because of work, he doesn’t do much other than play Play Station, well really X-Box lately.   He said he hasn’t been bowling in a while and he always wanted to go horseback riding.  He likes to walk, and is trying to lose a couple of pounds.

Things that bothered me:

*Asking for my age more than once.

*Admitting the video games thing.

*Asking why I’m single —  again.

*Telling me (again)  that I look good for five kids.

*Saying that someone offered him a phone but he didn’t take it.  Not telling me that he is actually going to get a new phone.

*When I asked about the number WITHHELD thing, he said he’d change it but that it is his grandmother’s phone number.

*Pushing me for a face-to-face date after I said I’d like to talk for a bit first.

* Asking for music lessons.

*Saying he has lived in the area for a few years but not seeming to know about anything outside the neighborhood.

* When I  talked about working on my  house, he asked, “Couldn’t you use having me around to help you with all that?”   I joked and asked him, “Where were you last year when I was putting down that heavy flagstone?”  He said he was “around.”   But it  occurred to me that I should have met him before.  I don’t remember  him speaking to me before or even seeing him around — he must have been in the house playing video games.

* Asking  me why I don’t have anyone, whether I’ve had anyone since my husband and I split, and whether I’m just waiting for the perfect man.  “What you gotta have a particular kind of man?”  His attitude revealed a sense of insecurity, maybe he knew he wasn’t doing well with me.

*Anyone who says that they are busy weekends — all weekends —  for a defined length of time — well, it  makes me wonder if it’s not a weekend jail situation.  I’m suspicious that way.

All in all, sounds like a no-brainer, right?   Well, did anyone ever see that Friends episode where Chandler was seeing Rachel’s boss, didn’t like her but at the end of each date still said,

“Well, that was fun, we should do it again sometime.  I’ll call you.”?

Chandler had no intention of ever calling Joanna, yet he didn’t know how to end the interaction without saying he would.   Well, I’m the female version of that.  (Season Three, “The One With The Dollhouse”)

So, even though I don’t want it, I have a phone date with Landscaper Guy next week.  I’d call him to tell him that I’m not interested but I don’t have his number, remember? — number WITHHELD.   During our conversation I tried to tell  him that I wasn’t looking to meet anyone, I was just working in my yard. Sounding a bit defensive, he insisted that neither was he and he wasn’t asking for anything physical.   He also asked, “What, you have too many friends?”

Now, if I wanted a new non-physical friendship, it would have to be with someone  I found interesting– maybe someone  who shared my interests.    If I was looking for a physical relationship with or without friendship, I would  have to find him attractive  — which I don’t  ( he’s not cute, not ugly —  just not offensive — there’s a big difference).

Plus, he’s starting to just piss me off.

Yet still, I, like Chandler Bing, told him he could call me  next week.  What the hell????

Just Me With . . . another phone call coming my way.  It’ll be the last, I hope. 

Clearly Chandler cannot say no to Joanna, as somehow he ends up handcuffed to her chair.

There are no handcuffs in my future with The Landscaping Guy.  See The Landscaper Guy and a Phone Smarter Than Me  — Part III

Related, sadly, He Lives With His Mother?

The Landscaper Guy: Not Digging Him — Part I

The front of my house is on a busy street.  The back of my house is on an alley.  Not too much privacy.   But since purchasing this little fixer home, I’ve been dutifully working on the yard.  . Last year with the help of a friend I put down a flagstone patio.   I built a fire pit by myself.  I put up a split rail fence.  This year the plan is to plant something that would give us a sense of privacy.  But  on this day,  I was simply moving buckets of  rock mulch from one part of the yard to another.

It was a beautiful day.  I was dressed in jeans, T-shirt, baseball cap, work boots, no make-up, glasses on but the lenses had transitioned to dark (so maybe I looked like I had on sunglasses).    I wasn’t a beauty queen, wasn’t trying to be.

A man walked by, probably on his way to a nearby bus stop  or train.   Asked me if I needed help with my landscaping, said he really only does it as a side job, he’s in school right now.   No, I say, I usually do it myself. (I was doing it myself, thank you very much.)  He said he wouldn’t charge much, that he could plant and mulch for me.  Again I say — I do it myself.  Of course, I told him if I need him I’ll let him know.  (I gotta stop doing that).   He asked me if I lived alone, asked me if I was married, if I had a boyfriend, if I was looking.  He offered, and I allowed him to, carry my bags of top soil from my car into my yard.   Again, a woman doing exterior work, SCREAMS single to men.  See The Snowman

Now, if you’ve read my previous posts you know that I am trying to open myself up to meeting new men.  But does that mean ANY new man?   Must I be  indiscriminate?

He spoke fairly well and had all his teeth.  (Could my bar BE any lower? Chandler Bing style)   He wanted us to hang out, nothing big, maybe dinner or a movie.   I said, “Can I think about it?”   He  wanted a way to contact me.   Instead of offering my number, I asked for his number to put into my phone.   He said he doesn’t have a  cell phone right now, he dropped it in concrete.  (This man was exhibiting the classic I don’t have a job giveaways — “I’m in school”  “I don’t have a phone right now” and  he appeared  not to have a car in this suburban area.)   Plus, though he spoke well and had a nice smile,  he was sweaty, had a scarf on his head, had on a white tee and sweatpants.  Since I don’t need a suit guy, his casual appearance is not a deal breaker . . . but his overall mojo was not working for me.  Still, I gave him my number.

When he called the next day, he did not identify himself.   (Poor phone manners, bad)

Hey, are you busy?

Kinda, who is this?

Darren.”  He said he wanted to talk, wanted to set up a time when we could get together and get to know each other.

I explained, truthfully, that I was in a store,  and had a meeting that afternoon.  Also, since I knew  I’d be busy with the kids’ concert that night I asked if he could call tomorrow.   Plus, I’d   just found out that my Ex-husband  is getting married again, in a horrible way and  I didn’t feel like small talk  right then and there with random alley walking landscaper guy.  He said he’d call me tomorrow, but wanted to know whether he should call or just come by.  (Dude, a call is sufficient.)

“Okay,” I said, “Nice talking to you, good . . .  ” — click.   He didn’t say goodbye or allow me to finish. (Poor phone manners, again.)

Bottom line:  I don’t feel like talking to this guy.    Is it because I’m justifiably not feeling him or it is because I’m still avoiding getting out there?  Or is it because I was having a weird day, finding out about my Ex’s remarriage and all.

So, here are the red flags for me from Random-Landscaper-Guy-Wanna-Be.  Everybody’s flags are different.

1.  He lives in my neighborhood.  Frankly it’s not the best neighborhood, not the worst either, depends on the block and the house.   He didn’t tell me which house he lives in.  Still,  he may know people I know or  who know my ex’s family, some of whom live nearby,  and I’m kinda turned off by going out with random dude. [Stranger Danger! Stranger Danger! — as my kids would say]  Plus, what if I do go out with him and it’s not good —  I may not want to see him walking behind my house routinely (I had a stalking incident at one time, so I’m a little gun-shy).

2.  He had no phone.    Okay, so like most people I’ve lost/broken my cell phone before and had to go without for a couple of days, it happens — but it doesn’t happen for a long period of time.   He offered no house phone number.  I know, not everyone has one.  But he offered no date or time frame  in which he’d be getting his cell replaced.  The last time I was “phone-less” I told everyone I’m getting my phone on  [insert date].

3. When he called, it came up number WITHHELD.  ‘Nuf said.

4.  When he called,  he left no message, just called repeatedly. Again, ‘Nuf said.

5.  “Should I call or just come by.”   And again, ‘Nuf said.

I am seriously regretting giving this guy my number.

But since I don’t  really want to go out with anyone anyway, is there anything this guy could have done?

YES!!!!!!  If  he actually lives “down the street” from me, there was no need for him to close the deal on the phone number  right then and there.    He could accidentally on purpose run into me later.  Like later, when he has a phone. Like later, when he is not so sweaty, like later, when he hasn’t just asked me for work.  The point is, it was not a classic Craigslist  missed connections kind of thing.   He knows where I live and reportedly, lives nearby.   Moreover, he could have engaged me in conversation to see if we had anything in common,  other than “I look  good  for five kids” (a pet peeve of mine, though I know it’s meant as a compliment) and “I look too good not to have a boyfriend.”   As if  not having a man to mulch for me was some sort of enigma he couldn’t comprehend.  Again, I know it was meant as a compliment, but it’s all in the delivery.   If he’d offered these “compliments,” wished me a nice day and walked away, only to see me another day, marveling how we keep running into each other, well, that would have been better.   Still, even with the red flags,  I was trying to have a conversation with this guy.  I was trying to be open.   And trust me, this is not the cabana boy – – romance novel- -six pack having- -strong muscular arms —  looking man I could simply enjoy watching  mulch in my yard.     No sir, no  ma’am.

Ugh . . . . . . I’m  SO not feeling it now.

So, what to do if he calls?  (To be continued, because . . .  he did call again).

Just Me With  . . . number WITHHELD and possibly on my way to Home Depot to buy some privacy plantings. 

See The Landscaping Guy and the Female Chandler Bing — Part II and The Landscaping Guy and a Phone Smarter Than Me — Part III