Sunday, October 05, 2008

What Happened to My Sister - Part 1

I'm glad so many of you enjoyed my love story last week. I enjoyed writing it and remembering everything and I liked writing it knowing that so many of you had voted to let me know that's what you wanted to hear. Second place was the terrible story of what happened to my sister last year when she got tangled up with a con man who took her for everything she had and really messed up her life. She's doing a lot better now. She should be graduating in December, she has two new, good jobs and she has a new apartment with a spectacular beach view. Things are looking up for her and she deserves her success, but at the same time I wonder how this experience will always affect her and if she will ever be able to trust again. I always felt like she had difficulty in relationships to begin with, which may be partly to blame for why this happened in the first place, but now I really worry. I want her to find love, as I did, and be with someone who is as kind, loving and honorable as my husband.

I'm going to tell you the story of what happened to her. I will try not to be too long winded, but the story is complicated and along the way we'll identify the red flags and try to learn lessons from this fiasco. Some parts of the story I experienced first hand. Others she told me. Of course this story will favor my sister and be from her point of view, although really now, I can't imagine any way this could look any better from the other side. I'm not writing this story to be vengeful or to condemn my sister's ex (if you could even call him that), although he has obviously condemned himself through his actions. We spent an entire summer trying to psychoanalyze this guy to figure out what caused him to do what he did and in the end all we could come up with was that there's just no damn logic to crazy. You can't try to apply reasoning to irrational behavior. It defies explanation.

The closest I got to an explanation came from watching (I am ashamed to admit this) Nancy freaking Grace. Lately I've become inexlicably addicted to the Casey Anthony case. It's trashy, sordid, exploitative, tragic, sickening and I shouldn't be watching it like a soap opera. It's disgusting and I know it and I get so mad and confused and sucked in whenever this girl is on TV. If you haven't heard of the case, since July there's been a missing little girl up in Orlando and it's pretty clear her mother, a 22 year old pathological liar and very troubled person, killed the child or at least neglected her to the point of an accidental death. As the case has worn on, hundreds of Casey Anthony's elaborate lies have been exposed and it's all so confusing. The girl lies when there's no reason to lie, when it doesn't make sense to lie and when there will be obvious consequences for lying. She can't seem to help herself. The first time I saw her on TV and heard about the case back in July my first thought was "Oh my God this girl is a female version of Brad." Brad was a pathological liar too.

Sister met Brad about a year ago. He came into her work. At the time she was tending bar at the Rusty Badge. He was tall, Irish and had the blue collar, New England white trash, Southside of Boston accent she loves. He had black, curly hair, green eyes and a jowly face with a nose that reminded me of an outy belly button on a fat gut. He always looked like he needed a shower and a shave. Sister thought he was funny in that rowdy, Irish pub kind of way. She's a sucker for that.

Brad was in town visiting a cousin with his friend and from what I understand my sister got friendly with him at the bar, went out with him after work and then the next night went to dinner with him at his hotel restaurant. They spent the night together and he said he was going to the Bahamas the next day and would love her to come. She said she had to go home to get a change of clothes and get her things and that she'd definitely take him up on the offer to go to the islands. My sister has always worked her ass off. She works for weeks straight doing grueling service industry work on her feet. She hadn't taken a vacation in three years and she was thrilled at the chance to go to the Bahamas. Brad said for her to go get her things and that he would call her and let her know where to meet him and that he would get her on his flight.

She waited and waited and he never called. Red Flag number one. Let's keep track of all the red flags. This is the first one. Sister just figured that well, maybe he wasn't interested in her after all. She hardly knew him anyway, so whatever.

In early December Brad reappeared at her bar. He was visiting again. She asked what happened and he a story that apparently satisfied her. I don't know what it was, but she was ok with it. She went home with him again. They had a wonderful time.

Look, if this had been me I would have told him where to go. I wouldn't have given him another chance, but she did and I know a lot of other women would have too. Women love to make excuses. Why should he have taken me, they would say. He probably felt shy since we didn't know one another. He probably didn't want to get stuck in the Bahamas with a girl he hardly knew. Maybe his friend didn't want a girl tagging along and gave him a hard time.

Maybe he never went to the Bahamas at all, is what I'm thinking now, but hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

Brad came back on a Thursday. It was the week of the Boat Parade of this past year and we were planning on having a blowout at Casa dei Sogni since my parents were away. Fallon came, Bella flew down and we had invited everyone we knew and scored a snow machine. You can read all about it in the December 07 archives should you be interested.

Friday, the day before the party, Sister and I were supposed to cook for the party the next day, but the night before Brad had reappeared and they had a good time. She called me Friday around noon and sounded, umm, tired. She said she was coming over.

My sister showed up with Brad, whom I had never met. He looked like he had been dragged around town all night by a street cleaner. And he stunk. The smell was absolutely appalling. He smelled like when you run the washer and leave the clothes in for about a week before remembering that you forgot to put them in the dryer and when you open the washer up you are just about knocked dead by the smell and the clothes have all molded.

After our introductions Brad turns to me and says something I will never forget as long as I live.

"I have the wicked shits."

"I'm sorry," I said.

"Do you have any pepto or something?"

I gave him some, but really. Do you say this to someone you don't know? I know I'm always complaining of gastrointestinal distress, but you can put it delicately. He could have said he had an upset stomach or he ate something bad or something. Who tells a total stranger he has the wicked shits for God's sakes? Who says that at all?

Still though, he wanted to go out to lunch. Trapped in a hot car with this guy and his rancid odor I nearly yakked up my breakfast. He blamed his rankness on the fact that he had supposedly just spent the week in the Bahamas. He couldn't do laundry and while over there he allegedly collected a live conch off the beach, not realizing it had an animal inside. He says he put the conch in his suitcase where it died and stunk everything up. I know this is a lie because he didn't smell like fish. A dead conch is fishy. This guy smelled like piss and dirty dish rag. He smelled like a homeless person. I also know it's a lie because a live conch is clearly a live conch. The animal part is bigger than the shell and hangs out like a big foot.

On the way to lunch he had to stop at Western Union. While in the Bahamas he told us he had his money stolen.

"Your whole wallet?" I asked, "Because don't you need id to get Western Union?"

"I don't carry a wallet," he said," I had my id on me. They broke into my hotel and stole my cash wad. I left it in the room and only took what I needed out with me."

"So don't you have credit cards?"

"No," he told me, "I don't use credit cards. I'm cash only."

"Who's wiring you the cash?" I asked.

"My book keeper."

Who the fuck has a book keeper? Ok, but who says the word book keeper? People have accountants. Offices have controllers. Book keeper is a dated term commonly used by people who don't know what they're talking about and usually by people who aren't legit. It's like Sopranos dialogue. Shady people say they have book keepers. This and the smell were red flags dos y tres.

Brad went into Publix to get his money. It took forever.

"What does this guy do?" I asked.

"He told me he's an importer," sister said.

"Of drugs?" I said.

I hate to say that I've known enough drug dealers in my life to know when something's off, but it's true. I have.

"I don't know," she said.

"Does this not concern you?" I asked.

" I just met the guy. It's not like we're getting married."

He came back with a wad of bills. I found the whole no credit card thing odd. Even at my most destitute I was still able to get one of those 35% interest ghetto cards that you have to pay off at the end of every month. Most people have credit cards even if they're just for emergencies. At least have an ATM card, right?

Brad took us to lunch and insisted on paying. Then we went back home because he still had the wicked shits. My sister had to work that night and Brad wanted to shower so there went all our plans of cooking the day before the party. I sat home by myself and watched TV.

A couple hours later I had to pee. I go into the bathroom to relieve myself and I see a peculiar pattern of spots on the floor. It almost looked like the pattern in the marble. It was not the pattern in the marble. It was poo. Brad had shit on the bathroom floor.

Recall my OCD. Germs. Bodily fluids. Poop. All these things make me feel like living permanently in a Hazmat suit. I was deeply unwell about discovering poo on the bathroom floor. I flipped out.

Husband is a saint and donned gloves and cleaned it up with bleach while I flipped out and texted my sister at work, that her new lover had shit on the bathroom floor.

Red Flag 4.

You don't poo on people's floors. How does this happen? Honestly. How? How do you manage to shit on the bathroom floor? How do you shit significantly on a bathroom floor and either not realize it or realize it and not at least wipe it up with some toilet paper? Good God. I tried, as much as my stomach would allow, to reconstruct the crime, but halfway through thinking it all out I realized I didn't need to know. It had happened. That was enough.

Saturday was the party. Things didn't go well. My sister's friends showed up and went wild. They acted inappropriately for my standards. Some people say I'm an uptight bitch. I'm a bit like Monica from Friends. On Sex and the City I might be Charlotte. But I personally would never get drunk and fall down at someone's house, nor would I pull people's pants down, throw people in someone else's pool, explore a stranger's house or crash the next door neighbor's party. I wanted my sister to control her guests in our parents' house. Husband did too. We told Sister to keep her friends in line and Brad became disturbingly aggressive with Husband, whom he had only just met that afternoon. It scared me.

We are now up to Five Red Flags. You don't date people who get aggressive with your family members when your family members are trying to protect you and someone else's home. We were extremely upset about Brad's aggression towards Husband. Sister thought Brad was being chivalrous and sticking up for her.

We got things smoothed over and the next day everyone was hung over so we grilled some burgers and cleaned up from the party. Mostly everyone was tired. Sister and Brad disappeared into the guest room for hours. Later she told me they had sex seven and eight times a day. I thought this was odd too. She always had marks and bruises all over her which made me concerned that he was getting too rough with her and she mistook it for unbridled passion. Some girls like that. I tend to be suspicious.

That night Bella and I went to Orlando for vacation. The next Friday Husband and I and Sister left for LA to spend Christmas with the family.

The whole time we were in LA Brad called Sister repeatedly. This didn't really bother me though because when Husband and I were long distance we did the same thing. That part was ok and understandable.

This part was not. Husband confided in me that the afternoon of the Boat Parade party, while setting up, that out of the blue Brad had told Husband that he had once been a high school gym teacher and basketball coach. Without Husband asking, he told him that he was banned for life from teaching because he had punched a kid in the face. The story was that he was helping this troubled kid and he did everything for the kid and during a game the kid wasn't trying. Brad said something and the kid supposedly called him a name, so Brad lost his temper and punched the kid out right there in front of the teachers, administrators, parents, other students and everyone. Because of the incident he was never allowed to teach ever again.

I was so upset after hearing this story, Red Flag 6, that I had to confront my sister and tell her. This is a total deal breaker right here. History of Inappropriate Violence. There is so much wrong about Brad's story that I don't even know where to begin. Violence period, taking the first swing, hitting a minor, hitting someone at work, losing your temper in a position like a teacher when you're supposed to be a caretaker. Don't even make me explain it any more. It's clearly a horrifying story. Because of this story I officially really disliked Brad and began to worry for my sister's literal safety.

She wasn't shocked when I told her. She already knew. He had told her the same story already.

"This didn't concern you?" I asked.

"It happened years ago, and it's not like he tried to hide it. He said he was sorry for it and regretted it. I thought he was being really honest in telling me," she said.

I don't know why women do this - make these excuses. If a guy told me this story on a date it would be an instant date ender right there. I would get up and walk out and you should too. I have zero tolerance for violence. But right.

I am judgmental.

You're god damned right I'm judgmental and look where it got me. I have a kind, loving Husband who works hard and loves me and would never harm a living soul. I have a happy, peaceful life. So call me judgmental all you like. I'm glad I am.

Sister left LA a week before we did because she had to work. Husband and I dropped her off for the red eye flight. We made sure she had a ride, since she got home at 5 in the morning. She assured us her friend a taxi driver was picking her up. I made her promise to call as soon as she got home so I'd know she was safe. I didn't get a call.

Later that morning, which was New Years Eve, she did call.

"You're never going to believe this," she said.


When I got to the airport at 5am, Brad was there waiting for me!!! Now I don't have to spend New Years alone. It was the best surprise ever and I thought he had to be in Boston with his family! I'm so happy!" she said.

I literally got cold chills when she told me this. He said he had waited for her all night in the airport. She thought it was a romantic surprise. I thought he sounded like a stalker.

To be Continued...


Sallyacious said...

Yeeeek. That is a scary story, alright. Your poor sister. I hope she figures out how to tell the good guys from the bad ones and that when a good guy comes along she can actually find it in herself to trust him.

bethanne said...

O.M.G.! Red flags red flags red FLAGS!!!! Thank you for writing this, part the first, because I think too many people ignore the red flags and make excuses when they are in the situation and ignore the people close to them who jump up and down and yell about the red flags!!! My sister is one of these people. I wish to goodness that everyone of us as a child would be told, "this person has your back. If they scream about red flags, you should LISTEN TO THEM and run like hell." Sigh. I cannot wait to read the rest of your post and also, I hope that your sister can learn from this experience and be able to trust someone who deserves it.

Emily said...

With all of these red flags that would have already sent me running for the hills, I can't even imagine what this guy's going to do next.

Dayna said...

1st of all I am so obsessed w/ the Casey/Caylee Anthony story. I have watched Nancy Grace everynight since this started except for this Thurs and Fri, but since she's a lying nut job I don't expect that I missed much. I think she put Caylee in a dumpster. I can't see anyone feeding a child to alligators.
You gotta give it Casey though, she surely has a creative imagination. Not only does she lie, but here lies are so full of details.

2nd, I really feel sorry for your sister and others that can't spot "Red Flags" a mile away. I tell my children that I know stuff b/c I am psychic. Me too, I am so Judgemental.
The stench would have done me in. There is no reason to be Nasty.

Arwen said...

I am completely addicted to the Caylee/Casey Anthony story too... do you go to Websleuths?

This guy sounds so much like Casey already.

Unfortunately, people fall for guys like this because they have low self esteem or feel sorry for them... I know, I've been there.

Jeannie said...

I don't doubt this Brad guy is a loser BUT... I call myself a bookkeeper - it's not outdated - I'm am not qualified to be an accountant - my father and brother are. I know other bookkeepers too. We are able to do basic accounting and some of us can also do taxes BUT we do not have an accountants license and can not lose it for cheating taxes. We just keep books and fill out forms. And cost a lot less than accountants. There are actually a lot of us - often doing just one accounting function such as receivables, payables or payroll. H & R Block do not have accountants filling out tax forms - they aren't even bookkeepers - they have merely taken a 6 week tax course so they can do typical taxes. (I have 2 years of accounting).

My husband is really Irish (not just a descendant). He is a pathological liar. He has a really bad temper. He threatens violence quite often to asshole men. He would never ever hurt me. He doesn't smell either - does your sister have a nose? Because that alone would be enough to have me walking - forget the rest.

Your sister was hanging out with a lot of trash from the sounds of it. It doesn't surprise me that this guy flew past any boundaries. You live in a different world I think - a more stable and less dramatic one. Judgementalism comes with the territory but you should also realize that any of us could be in her circumstances. She was taking pleasure where she could - the cost was simply a lot higher than she expected.

And please don't think I'm being too easy on his type - I'm not. It's just that not all Irish, liars, or people who claim to have bookkeepers are necessarily out to take you for everything you've got.

I don't want to reduce your sister's story but you have to be careful where you are throwing accusations.

Suzanne said...

Wow, the guy sounds like a real winner. Even if he hadn't stood me up for the Bahamas trip, I think I'd still refuse to date someone who was incapable of doing laundry or (eeew) taking care of his, um, intestinal needs.

My mother (in all her years of experience and wisdom) is very good at detecting the scumbags even when they appear to be decent, showered, employed men. I've always told her to please TELL ME when I'm dating someone she doesn't like. It might make me mad at first, but my mother is right 99% of the time, so I've told myself I will take her advice no matter what. Hopefully I'm clever enough at this point to ever take a scumbag home in the first place. I like to think so, anyway.

Mattie said...

I can't imagine there's more to this disgusting person.

I used to be the one who gave the benefit of the doubt.

Not anymore. But that's my story.

I'll keep watching for more of this story though.

DiaryofWhy said...

Ugh. I once dated a pathological liar too, for a year and a half. And looking back, yeah, all you see are red flags. It's funny how when you want something so badly you can convince yourself of anything.

I'm glad to hear your sister is doing better now.

Anonymous said...

I was single for 6 years in between marriages. I learned real quickly what were the deal breakers (and red flags). One time I got up and walked out on a date because he said he would never go *down there* on a woman.... deal breaker. He was shocked that I left!

Wide Lawns said...

Jeannie I don't know where on earth you got that I was making an anti-Irish statement anywhere in this piece. There is nothing anti-Irish in here. I myself have a lot of Irish blood in me. I know tons of Irish people. Brad's problems had nothing to do with his being Irish.

Now I don't know how you could possibly defend his being a pathological liar, but I stand by what I said. Lying is a serious problem and a big red flag. The problem was that yes my sister often did hang out with a lot of trashy people, but he lied so well that she didn't realize he was one of them.

I was also not saying that book keepers are out to take people for everything they've got. They aren't. It was the fact that he would use the word "book keeper" as a way to sound wealthy and important, that clued me into the fact that something was off. It was just an odd twist of language that sounded out of place and suspicious to me, as if he had been learning about real life from movies and not, well, real life.

Fancy Schmancy said...

That poor confused girl. I seriously feel for her! Can't wait for the rest of the story.

Chris (Dippy Chick) said...

Eeeek. I totally know the type. My husband is an ironworker in Boston and he works with guys like this all of the time. Oh, the stories he comes home with! (He also did ironwork in S. FL for a few years and has some horrific stories from then too - like the guy who had AIDS and was shitting in a bucket on the roof of a building they worked on. The guy would bag it up and drop it on people below and called them "shit bombs". Some of those FL guys were worse, now that I think about it.) My husband is like yours and would never hurt anyone intentionally. He's a great husband and father, and a great human being. It's really hard for him sometimes because the guys at work are so uncouth. He's been doing ironwork for many years, and all of the negativity and jerky-ness of his coworkers really gets to him now. Luckily, he's a foreman, so he at least gets paid well to put up with all of the crap.
Anyway, I kind of got off the subject, but I'm just saying, I know the type - right down to the Southy accent. (Which frankly creeps me out.) I'm sorry your sister had to go through this.

Anonymous said...

The smell alone would be enough for me!! I can't handle bad smells at all. I would throw up on the scene.
Bless you for putting up with such an idiot.
Even my 2 year old grandson doesn't poo on the floor!! Sounds like this guy was raised in a barn.

Missicat said...

Good Lord, you could have seen those red flags from space. I also dated a pathological liar, but eventually dumped him once I finally figured it out (hey, i was 18 and kinda naive). I cannot stand bad smells - that would have been dealbreaker right there!

Anonymous said...

...waiting for her all night at the airport sounds like he had no place else to go. Like, homeless or something.

Creepy story. It's sad, but in one way, shape, or form, almost every woman can tell of meeting and/or dating a similar guy.

Can't wait to hear the rest.


Anonymous said...

ahhh! the poop on the bathroom floor was enough to convince me your sister was in need of an intervention!!!!!

NeekoalinAZ said...

Dude is a FREAK SHOW!!!!

Your sister is a very lucky girl, I hope she knows that. I had to move 2 states to get away from the freak show I made excuses for.

P.S. I spit my Coke all over the desk when you said he pooped on your floor. That must have been quite an explosion of "wicked shits!" HAHAHAHA

I myself (and most other humans) have managed to keep shits contained, wicked or not, apparently he does not have this skill mastered as of yet.

Whiskeymarie said...

Though I never dated (nor could I) anyone who would be fine stinking like that, I have dated some
lo-o-o-sers in my time, and yes- I usually made excuses for them. Why they didn't have a job, why they were antisocial, why they sat around all day playing video games naked...
I look back now and I'm so embarrassed at the fact that I let these bums have their way with me in the biblical sense. Gross.

Now, even after 12 years of marriage, I can spot a "red flag" a mile and a half away, and I'm very, very vocal about it.

Dawn said...

I can't remember how I found your blog, but it's now one of my favorites! I haven't read every single entry yet, and I was wondering if you have a general introduction somewhere that I'm missing. I keep feeling like I'm picking up a great book from the middle, and I'm a little lost sometimes (but nevertheless amused!).

I do feel bad for your sister, but since I myself am the sister with common sense and good judgment, I also feel bad for you. I know exactly how hard it is to sit back and watch someone make such stupid choices.

I totally got what you meant by "bookkeeper" weirdness. At first I thought you were going to say he confused "bookie" with "bookkeeper." I keep books for three restaurants, and, yes, it's really NOT the same as saying "my accountant." Not at all. Kind of like trying to impress someone by saying, "I'll be calling my paralegal about this!"

joe said...

Great blog, you know I'm not the stalker type or anything like that but I do try to stay up on your "sister's" aunt, life only because she still holds a great deal of my heart and I'll never let that go! I do wish most times that I could back and make everything O.K., just like in the movies, having made my fortune and learned all of lifes' lessons but sadly this isn't the case. I have yet to learn all of lifes' lessons and I have not earned my fortune yet. I do still love your sister though and I will always wish and want the very best for her!!!!!
Sinerely, Joseph Brenner. Hi everyone in so. flo.

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