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Staying Loyal to Disappointment


I met the man I call LUST FOR BRAINS (a variation on the teen-talk “s*** for brains”) at a conference in Washington, D.C.  He was accompanied by a plain-faced little woman with a sad smile. I referred to him as her husband, but she leaned in closer and said in a hoarse whisper, “we’re not married.” When she ran off suddenly to a nearby shopping mall I figured he was fair game.

LUST FOR BRAINS is foreign-born and seems to have acquired his limited English skills from Dick and Jane. I am a sucker for men with accents, but LFB’s accent is hard to love because he mumbles. Otherwise he was a good candidate. He likes to dine, dance, and go to the theater. He swims and plays chess. When he returned my level, businesswoman gaze with a leer, I nevertheless gave him my business card, and in retrospect it seems my darkest, most desperate hour.


LFB begins phoning me soon after the conference is over, asking if we can meet at the local California Pizza Kitchen. He arrives carrying a fake-leather briefcase, wearing a shiny black suit and a white dress shirt without a tie, even though it’s lunchtime and everyone else in the restaurant is wearing Banana Republic.

He pushes aside the menu, withdraws some papers from the briefcase, and begins to tell me about a medical device for which he is seeking investment.  He produces a demonstration model that looks suspiciously like a sexual enhancement device. I ask him to put it away and he does.

LUST FOR BRAINS has been in the U.S. for seven years. Not only has he retained the mumble and the heavy accent, he has a feeble English vocabulary. He sounds like Bela Lugosi would sound if he were hypnotized, transported back to his childhood, and asked to describe the restaurant. “This very nice, I like here, is beautiful, so good and nice.”

He begins a monologue about laser treatments for acne, then switches to wheat growing experiments in Oklahoma, but crop biotechnology has an erotic effect on him — abruptly he says he wants to “make sex.” He accompanies this assertion with an open smile and a generous sweep of his arm. The women at the next two tables seem unlikely candidates, so I guess he means with me.

The lunch is at an end. He accepts the bill from the waitress, who is not a fan, what with that unintelligible speech and insistence on covering the table with papers. He pays readily, tips generously, and announces that he will come home with me to “make heads swim with sensuous” or something like that. When I affirm that this is not going to happen, he seems mystified.


You will be amazed to know that I accepted a second date with this man. The theme of our second (and last) date is how desperate he is to end his relationship with Gina. At first he insists she is just a friend. Then he admits that he has been with her for 4 years. They live together, but they sleep in separate rooms. Oh, sure they do.

Even if it’s true that the relationship is not working well, it’s a cinch he doesn’t want to end it. How do I know? Gina is extremely rich. I listen patiently to his disappointments and his assertions of resolve (“I should to have my own life soon”). Why? Because it is perversely entertaining, like listening to a couple fighting in a hotel room that adjoins yours.


We go to see a rerun of Slumdog Millionaire, which I have already seen twice but which is my all-time favorite movie next to The Godfather. He reaches for my hand and holds it mechanically in both of his, like a lab assistant transporting a specimen to the bio-hazard container. At the end of the film, I effuse about the directing, the music, the amazing appeal of the actors. LFB grunts in agreement. We walk to a restaurant he knows. He insists on a well-placed table and orders for both of us. During a lavish feast with some tasty wine we discuss European politics and his stock market successes. His observations are intelligent, but he is utterly lacking in charm.

LUST FOR BRAINS seems not to have a career so much as a series of jumps from one “opportunity” to another.  I begin to wonder where his money comes from (besides Gina, of course). Listening to him mumble about “master deals” in his strange, reedy voice I’m beginning to fear sitting with my back to the door. I’m afraid some Mafia wiseguys will burst in suddenly and waste him.


The next evening he phones to say he is worried that Gina will be heartbroken when he tells her about his relationship with me. Relationship? One lunch and one dinner is not a relationship I say, unable to keep the impatience out of my voice. “Dan pi zealis,” he says. I am not jealous. I am horrified and disgusted. I say goodbye (remembering to do it politely), hang up, and shudder with distaste.

Forty-five minutes later the doorbell rings. He is at the front door with a worried look and a jar of face cream (he’s an agent for a cosmetic company).  I stand immobile in the doorway, unable to move. He seems to interpret my hesitation as brand loyalty, and he begins to explain why this product is superior to the one I use, extolling the anti-aging benefits of the cream without the slightest trace of irony.

Suddenly, he grabs me and gives me what I can report with all conviction is the worst, worst, worst kiss I have ever had in my life. How does a man get to be 65, father 3 children, and not know the first thing about kissing? It was the kiss of an insecure but overheated gorilla. I don’t know how much detail you might really want, but let me say that it was not so much an attempt at deep kissing, but rather a sort of loose-lipped, saliva-rich slobbering.

I realize that he expects to end up in my bed (the face cream is an expensive brand). I must figure out a way to avoid this without damaging his manly notion of himself. LUST FOR BRAINS is a big man, and it’s clear that I must leverage my brains to his brawn.

I blink fiercely and act extremely tired. I mention a 2 hour bike trip over torturous terrain (the 2 hours part is true, but mostly I rode on sidewalks). I deftly maneuver him out, but he turns, leers, and pronounces, “well, yes, if I stayed here tonight you wouldn’t get much sleep,” though it sounds more like, “wwll yss efal stee hr tunigh u wou gettub nu slip.”

He’s gone, his phone calls have stopped, and he has presumably returned to slobber-loving the hapless Gina. I am fully recovered, and I am calm.

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'Staying Loyal to Disappointment' have 12 comments

  1. March 7, 2016 @ 5:46 pm Sienna

    Jason – Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. February 27, 2016 @ 6:47 am Jason

    I’ve been surfing online – more than 3 hours tonight, and this is really a funny bit. Rings a bell, as it were. Stay away from these dudes, Sienna!

  3. January 25, 2012 @ 8:00 pm Sienna

    Thanks for the kind words, Nana. This is indeed a subject about which we must preserve a sense of humor!

  4. January 24, 2012 @ 10:49 pm Nana

    Sienna – I am very impressed with your writing and dedication to this subject! I am happy to say that I am very fortunate to have found a real gem amongst the frogs but wish I could have had this blog back when I was putting my sense of humor to the test … at least I’ve got lots of writing material now.

  5. January 23, 2012 @ 5:47 pm Sienna

    Oh, Kelly, you are SO right. This was me in a desperate state, waiting for my “duh” moment to kick in. By the time this experience was over, I had begun to think the Internet might not be so bad after all, and after I signed up for what was to be a brief couple of months on a dating site I met some really nice if not terribly exciting men.

    TWO TIME was so terrible that I could step back and look at the terribleness, knowing that it would go away and I’d have something to laugh about. It would have been worse if I had entertained notions of tying up with him. I may have been an idiot to let him into my life for even a few hours, but there was never any chance he could break my heart. For that I’m grateful.

    Thanks for your comment! I appreciate it, believe me.

  6. January 23, 2012 @ 5:18 pm Kelly Anderson

    If this were fiction, I’d say, “Very funny and entertaining!” As it is reality, all I can say is, “WTF were you thinking?” This kind of waste-of-a-man isn’t worth the time to date him, let alone the time to write about him. Sorry, but I figured out these kinds of dolts weren’t worthy of me when I was in my twenties, let alone now, when I’m so much richer in experience, personality, and spirit. I’m worth more… and so are you. I’d rather spend my time with quality women friends than men like this.

  7. April 12, 2011 @ 2:05 pm ElizAnn

    Well written but the man is a total waste of time.

  8. April 9, 2010 @ 3:51 pm Rachel

    I can’t figure out why you let this guy into your life. He is a raging ass****. Just becuase we are older women men think we are lonely and all they have to do is engage us in conversatino and we going to be all over them with gratitude and eagerness. If you’re going to write this blog as a help for older women you should have some standards. Even I can get guys like this, but I wouldn’t waste my time.

  9. December 13, 2009 @ 1:37 am Jerry

    My roommates kept hearing me laugh as I read this account. So, I had to read, aloud, excerpts from the story. Well told!

  10. December 4, 2009 @ 3:30 pm Tillie

    This is hilarious, but probably wasn’t so funny when it was happening. I like the other guys in your dating gallery a lot better – Ha Ha. This is a GREAT blog, very original.

  11. October 20, 2009 @ 5:01 pm Sienna

    Thanks, Sophie. I hope you’ll drop in often. You’re right about our being ignored — I’m trying to do my part to change that a little. We senior gals have to stick together…!

  12. October 20, 2009 @ 8:49 am Sophie

    It is so redeeming to read about other people’s trials and tribulations in the senior category. This is a wonderful resource for me and my insecurities, questions and experiences as a senior. Thank you for making the perfect venue for a group of people largely ignored. It’s much needed and everything rings true! There is hope!

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