June 19, 2017
Don’t Want to Get Hurt? Know the Rules in Playersville.
Lisa is on to her next man, Player Pete. They spend their first date, a Tuesday night, at Eleven Madison Park Restaurant in the city. The menu is Prix Fixe and expensive. Lisa feels special that a man would spend $125 per person on a new romance. She orders a lamb dish; Pete orders filet mignon. There are wine pairings and desserts that flambé and Lisa is dizzy with anticipation of a life with this man.
The waiter leaves the bill and Peter reaches for his wallet. Fumbling through each pocket, he looks at Lisa, seemingly mortified. “Lisa, I can’t believe it. My wallet is on my bureau. This has never happened to me before. I do not expect my girlfriends to pay for dinner. “Lisa, please tell me you have a credit card with you,” he says. Lisa only hears the word girlfriend.
Lisa has a credit card that she happily uses to save the evening. Peter thanks her profusely and promises to drive past his apartment and get the cash he owes her. Peter suggests a nightcap before they leave. Conversation is easy and suddenly he looks at this watch and says, “I have an early client in the morning. I hate to cut this short, Lisa, but I must get home!
He bypasses his apartment and parks his car in front of her building. He kisses her and then puts his arms around her and sighs. “It has been great,” he whispers. He kisses her again and he can hear her breathing speed up. Two hours later, he finally leaves, oblivious of the time and the early morning client. He promises he will call her later.
Six days pass and Lisa does not hear from Peter. The weekend comes and goes. Lisa fears he will not call and her old friend –those feelings of dread — take up residence in her stomach. Obsession ensues as Lisa replays the evening over and over in her head searching for some sign of what she might have done wrong.
Around ten o’clock on Monday night, Peter finally calls. He proffers his excuse: a heavy work schedule and a last minute invitation to the Hamptons for the weekend. He does not mention with whom he spent the weekend. He does invite her to the Billy Joel concert happening the next evening. They agree to meet at the Garden because Pete will be in Federal Court all day. He is sorry they cannot meet for dinner.
The concert is electric and Peter attentive; at one point, he rests his arm around her shoulders and strokes her face with his finger. Lisa is thrilled. The evening ends in his car and his pressure for sex is apparent. Lisa stops him, saying that it is way too soon. “Lisa, there are two of us in this relationship,” says Player Pete. “It isn’t just about what you want. Don’t I get a vote? I am crazy about you. We are going to be together for a long time.” Reluctantly, Lisa continues kissing him, leaving the promise that there will be a bedroom scene on their next date.
Pete walks her to the door to her building and promises dinner that weekend. He does not produce the money he owes Lisa and she does not bring it up!
Lisa is not quick to analyze why she is already thinking about sex with a virtual stranger. So far, they have had dinner, which Lisa paid for with her credit card and an evening sitting together at the Billy Joel Concert, using tickets clearly purchased with someone else in mind. Lisa does not think sex should be the next step but she does not want to lose him.
Lisa assumes there will be dinner on Saturday night, but he does not call. He does text-message her on Sunday morning and invites her for a drive to Jones beach and a walk in the sand. He claims he is exhausted from working all weekend. Lisa feels important! Even though he is exhausted, he wants to be with her. Lisa trusts this relationship will evolve. After a short walk in the white sand, he invites her back to his apartment.
After an afternoon of romance, Peter begs off dinner saying he is exhausted. Hungry, and without the money he owes her, Lisa is put into a cab with a kiss on the cheek, a thank you and a promise to call later.
On the cab ride home, Lisa is elated. He is perfect! Lawyer, owns an apartment in Manhattan, wealthy friends, connections in the Hamptons, and he wants her.
She has not added up the clues. She doesn’t see the end coming.
Peter is a lawyer, but sadly he was preceded by a doctor, Wall Street exec., dentist, and a myriad of men who are trust-fund babies. She is addicted to the idea of marrying a wealthy man. The fact that she is not wealthy is not seen by Lisa as an impediment to her dream.
The phone rang at 7 PM, right in the middle of the Super Bowl game. Larry looked at the Caller ID and it was his buddy Troy. Larry choked. As he picked up the phone, he thought to himself, this cannot be good news. A raging Troy jumped right into a monologue. All Larry determined was that Gabrielle, Troy’s GF de jour, dumped him.
Troy is astounded!
When Troy met Tiffany, he thought she was the most gorgeous woman on the planet. It was smitten at first sight. Enjoying showing her off, he took her to restaurants in the high rent districts. With great ease, Tiffany always asked if she could order her favorite foods. He nodded, thinking it was such a classy move. Tiffany ordered everything she loved: Almas caviar, Wagyu rib eye steak, with Matsutake mushrooms and Yubari melons.
To stay in the game and appear appreciative, she promised that the very next weekend she’d cook him a fabulous dinner at her pent house Wine, best beef and dessert.
That never happened.
As Troy was dressing for his date, he received a rushed text telling him that there was a party at Measure, on Langham Place Fifth Avenue, a lounge in Manhattan. Tiffany quickly went on to tell him that everyone, newly returned from the summer in the Hamptons, would be there showing off their bronzed bodies and fall clothes. Troy changed gears and met her there.
The next day, Troy sent her magnificent flowers from Prudence Design to tell her what a great time he had on their outing, which rated him a thank you text.
Troy found that Tiffany didn’t like long chats on the phone. She was a text-message millennial. Troy found it hard to get to know her on a personal level. He also thought it odd that she really didn’t seem all that interested in his life.
They had several more dates at area expensive restaurants but her friends always showed up and interrupted the mood. He thought maybe she just wanted to be seen. Just as he started to lose altitude in the relationship, Tiffany did invite him to her place for cocktails and dinner.
Assuming this was a prelude to an intimate dinner and moving their relationship forward, he was surprised to find two other couples in attendance, both from her law firm. After brief introductions, Tiffany asked where everyone wanted to eat dinner. They all agreed they hadn’t been to GILT, located in the New York Palace Hotel, since the spring, so after one drink, they headed to the bright lights.
After an evening of meeting and greeting her friends, they did return to her pent house and they did have sex. Troy was disappointed as it was something of a lackluster affair. Tiffany was only interested in getting her needs met. Troy left confused.
Just as they passed the two and a half-month mark, Tiffany said she wouldn’t be seeing him any longer. Troy was infuriated! The only explanation Tiffany offered was that she was bored.
Larry hung up the phone, but not before an insistence that he just could not understand why every relationship ended the same way.
Do Players Know They Are Playing?
Yes! They know who they are. Players are shallow, self-absorbed, myopic people who do not feel the depth of commitment you are feeling. They earned their reputations because of their behavior, which includes but is not limited to: breaking promises, being late, showing disrespect for others, lying, letting you down, pushing quickly for sex and forgetting you.
Players habitually cheat. The way they treat people they date results in breakups that are predictably nasty and frequently violent, as those who are summarily dumped recognize that they have been used.
In Troy’s case, he is attracted to beauty and showing off gorgeous dates. Lisa by-passes any decent man if he doesn’t have money.
Both Lisa and Troy date people who hang out in the Hamptons, France and Greece. They are both are attracted to model-types. Ordinary people just do not appeal to them. They want the feeling that comes with getting the person everyone else wants. Wining! Fabulousness by association!
Sadly, those credentials usually come with the terminally jaded and world weary players adept at using people then sliding out of relationships and on to the next challenge. Soon as the challenge is within reach, they are gone!
A player’s game is not very subtle, but many miss the signs. If you want to fool around in playersville, know the rules.