I thought that marriage might have been in our future; he was spending an average of a dollar more per meal on me.
When we started dating, our dates were what most people would consider to be typical. We would go the bar, get drunk munchies, make our way to find some food, and then go to his place to have loud and amazing sex. In the beginning, the restaurants varied. We ended up at Taco Bell, sometimes Wendy’s, occasionally Subway, but most frequently National Coney Island.
When we went to the Coney Island, my ex would joke that I was “in for a special treat” and we were “going someplace nice.” It made me laugh. At Taco Bell, my two seven layer burritos averaged to be about four dollars. At the Coney Island, I could order a grilled cheese and a milkshake and break five dollars. As we got more serious, we went to Coney Island more and more frequently. I thought that marriage might have been in our future; he was spending an average of a dollar more per meal on me. If I got a salad, he never complained. He might spend up to seven dollars on me for one meal. I felt really special.
Here is a little more background on us. He was a deejay at a dance club. I typically went to work with him every Friday and Saturday night. At work, his boss gave him ten drink tickets for the evening. On top of that, drunk girls in skimpy outfits would buy him drinks all night long. I guess it is only fair if I reveal that I received five of his drink tickets and would sit at the bar sulking. The bartenders were amused with our weekly drama and would help me drink my own woes away. They’d feed drink green shots that glowed in the dark or layered shots in every color of the rainbow. We were the drunken mess of the dance club, but we were smart about it and always invited friends out with us so we could have a ride home. But this story is not about my jealousy or alcoholism; it is about a serious Coney dog addiction.
So back to Coney dogs, when our friends would give us a ride home from the discotheque, my ex would inevitably start asking them to stop by the Coney Island a few miles from our apartment. Usually our friends would say that they had to get home and the Coney dog junkie in the car would start begging.
“Oh! We don’t have to stay there! What if I make a carry-out order? I’ll be in and out in like three minutes.”
Our friends typically did not refuse. My ex had a way of batting his eyelashes and making you feel like the biggest jerk in the world if you did not do exactly what he wanted. He’d offer to buy them “anything on the menu.” Nobody ever wanted to stand up to him; they took their cheese fries and were quiet about it. One day, that all changed.
We were getting a ride home from a fellow disc jockey. He was a pretty nerdy guy so I was very surprised when my ex started his rant and nerdjay refused to take him.
“I just want to go home. I have to be to work at seven in morning. Why don’t you just make a sandwich when you get home?”
“Because I’m drunk and I want a Coney!”
I was sitting in the backseat watching all of this with a twinkle in my eye. I was so excited. If nerdjay could stand up to my ex, so could I. I took notes: this could be my freedom from American diners! Nerdjay kept his eyes on the road and continued towards our apartment.
“If you don’t take me, I’m going to throw your wallet out the window.”
Nerdjay looked over and smirked. The wallet that my ex clutched was not Nerdjay’s. Nerdjay’s wallet was firmly stuffed into the back pocket of his jeans.
“That’s your wallet, you dumbass,” I chimed from the backseat.
“Don’t think that I won’t do it.”
My ex opened the skylight and let his own wallet flap in the breeze. By some grace, he either realized that the wallet was his or forgot what he was doing. We made it home with his wallet still in our possession. Nerdjay was free and peeled away from the curb as we stumbled out onto the sidewalk in front of our apartment.
I was fumbling to open the door when I realized that my ex was not behind me trying to mount me from behind at the front door, which had become our tender post-bar ritual. He was standing on the sidewalk staring at me.
“Take me to National,” he said with complete seriousness.
“I’m to drunk to drive,” I responded.
At this moment, he turned his head towards the sky and proceeded to throw his wallet onto the roof of our apartment. He turned away from me and continued to walk down the sidewalk.
“Where are you going?” I shouted after him.
“Where do you think?” he responded back. I knew all too well. He needed his bean-covered all beef frank.
“Like hell you are! You are way too drunk and wallet is on the flipping roof.”
He did not respond to me at all. He just continued walking and I did what every drunk girlfriend in that situation would do: I jumped on his back. Surprisingly, my weight knocked him over. I think drunkenness adds approximately forty pounds to anyone’s weight. We tumbled to the ground and somehow, in the mess of things, the wind got knocked out of me.
“You punched me,” I screamed at him.
“No, I didn’t and get off of me,” he muttered.
I stood up and looked over to see our roommates standing in the doorway and shaking their head.
“Come here sweetheart,” our mutual best bud said to me.
“You stay here and shut up,” he said to my ex.
He packed me into his car and drove me to my parents’ house, which was only half a mile away. I cried the entire way home. My cries were a mixture of woe, swearing and a pledge of death to chili. I hated that damn restaurant. Everything would have been fine if it weren’t for their addictive chili beef dog combo.
Our best bud, doing what best friends do, drove back to the apartment and took my ex to National Coney Island.
The next morning, I called my ex to bitch him for his behavior and he responded to me solemnly that he did not think that thing were going to work out between us.