We'll skip to the good stuff, eh?
Ethyl started out fairly normal. In fact, better than normal. I probably had a good 6 months of the best relationship I've ever had. Perfect. We weren't technically 'together' and I had all the freedom in the world, and she was so good about everything that I was constantly appreciating her and doing nice things for her.
And then the crazy started.
I received The Ultimatum (essentially 'date me for real or we're done'), and after how awesome things had been I said "Sure, let's date. You rock!" (after some careful deliberation, of course)
She kept things how they were when we were 'casual' for about... a day, and then started getting crazy, crazier, and craziest. Usually long, drawn out arguments over the phone followed by making up and a few days of normal. But she kept getting more and more unstable, and the fights got worse, and she developed sort of a split personality that was very Jekyll-and-Hyde-ish.
At the very end, there were some... incidents that I'm going to tell you about. These stories are 100% true, and there are probably a half dozen more like them.
#1 The Stadium
We walk from my apartment to a stadium at a large University to watch a game (basketball, I think). There was a mega-fight brewing between us, but instead of my usual "try my hardest to calm her down so that this doesn't get to stage 5," I'm doing more of a "omg are you seriously doing this right now?"
By the time we get to the stadium she is in full-on rage mode. We're no more than ten steps into the crowd by the concessions and she, literally, is so upset that she curls up in a ball on the cement floor next to peanut shells and hot dog buns, sobbing/yelling, and generally causing a commotion. She might have even plugged her ears.
If you've ever seen a child throw a tantrum in a store, you know what I'm talking about. I decide that this is one of the most ridiculous moments of my life and that I need to cajole her into leaving this public area, ASAP.
Side note: as the crowd is weaving around this adult woman curled up in a ball on the floor (and mostly avoiding eye contact with either of us) a small child says some comment. She looks up with demon eyes and tells this 10 year old kid:
"Shut the fuck up you little bastard!"
And even starts to get up. (Was she going to whup a kid's ass? We'll never know) I used this as a way to start ushering/dragging her back outside and towards my apartment. We begin a pattern where she makes it about 30 feet at a time, sobbing, and then crumples to the ground bawling. People are noticing. One lady comes over and says:
"Is she okay?"
Me: "Yeah... she uh... just found out her, uh, dog died." (Smooth.)
How ridiculous was this, right? I don't remember clearly (it's been years now), but I think that this was the moment where I looked up at the sky and finally said "Okay, I get it. It's over."
After a fight we had I decide that I'm just leaving the room. However there was no escaping Ethyl. If you went to your apartment, she followed. If you locked the door, she would bang on it as loudly as possibly, screaming, until either security showed up or you opened it. If you went into your bedroom, she would follow and scream at you.
So, out of options, I get in my car and leave. Thinking I'm pretty clever, I go to Walmart and ignore all of Ethyl's calls along the way. After about 30 missed calls the barrage ends and I thought I was in the clear. I wasn't. After a minute I get a voicemail alert. "Great." I think and go to check it. I'll paraphrase:
"You, motherfucker, had BETTER answer your GODDAMN phone when I call again in 3 minutes. THREE MINUTES EXACTLY CALEB! If you don't answer, I swear to God I'm calling the police. I'll tell them you've been kidnapped, or are missing, or whatever, just so long as they go out and look for you. I'm not even fucking joking. THREE MINUTES!"
*it's been so long since I've been in this situation that I've lost some of the specific dialect and manner of speaking that she had. This, essentially, was the point of the call though and she definitely threatened to call the Po.
I think I wimped out at this point and called her, but mostly to berate her for her craziness and ridiculousness. I would usually say things like "If your stated goal is for me to like you more and stay together with you, DON'T ACT THIS WAY." Yeah, I know, that doesn't help much- but I was young.
#3 Keys and Claws
Obviously I broke up with Ethyl. It wasn't pretty, but a somewhat amicable friendship emerged and we were even in a same summer class together a month or so after the breakup. Meanwhile though, I had started to chase after another girl (who ended up being my next girlfriend). Well, Ethyl came over one night and seduced me (okay, in fairness, it didn't take much and it was probably mostly my fault). It was a few days after this that Ethyl found out about New Girl.
She reacted calmly and said we shouldn't be friends anymore because she was too upset.
She goes to New Girl's place and starts MASHING the door. She wanted New Girl to come out and fight her over "her man" (definitely and technically been broke up for some time now). New Girl has to call the police and says as much (after repeated warnings for her to leave) to Ethyl. Ethyl is dragged away by her friend before the cops got there, but on her way out she takes her keys and keys the ENTIRE side of New Girl's car.
I hear about this the next morning. I'm pissed because I'm worried it's going to ruin my fragile new relationship with New Girl, who was (and is) very, very hot.
Oh- and we had class that morning. Together. Yup. Oh- and hungover, too.
[Nerv would like to point out that when he saw my face that morning, it was the maddest he has ever seen it, to this day.]
What happens in class?
Scenario: about 40 people in class. 10 minutes before it starts. No teacher yet. I come in and see Ethyl at our table- which we shared with a few mutual friends.
I take the textbook, which we had been sharing, and set it (drop it, probably) down in front of her. "We're done. No friendship, no nothing. That was ridiculous Ethyl and completely uncalled for. You'll be paying to fix her car, too."
As I sit down, she gets up to come over and stand right next to me. She screams, she yells, she cries. ALL in front of the entire (and now very awkwardly silent) class of college kids. I try and reason with her to at least go outside and out of class, but each time I even make a move to get up or touch her arm, she blazes forth a new type of rage that even I hadn't seen yet. I'm getting worried. She's building herself into a frenzy. It's not simmering down. Then I get pissed and say something (no idea what) and she...
Pulls back her arm and reaches out to claw me, tiger style! In my mind this all happens in slow motion so I, Matrix style, weave my head out of the way. Not fast enough, though. One of her talons strikes my face deep enough to cause bleeding. I wish I could tell you the immediate aftermath of this, but I honestly do not remember. I can tell you though, that 10 minutes later she was in her seat (staring daggers at me) while an oblivious teacher rambled in and began teaching the most quiet and awkward class in collegiate history.
Funny note: halfway through class I needed a pencil and asked our table for one. Only one friend was brave enough to respond (the others said later that they feared for their life) and offered me an extra pencil. Ethyl actually SNARLED at her. Snarled.
And you wonder why I think women are crazy?
I've thought of some possible questions that a reader of this story might have:
1. Why, Caleb, did you stay with her after even one crazy incident?
Answer: My best explanation of this is that things spiraled out of control gradually, and most of the very worst happened right towards the end. There's also the love factor- I did love this girl and felt that- other than a tendency for occasional psychotic incidents- she was an incredible girlfriend. Mostly though, I am going to admit to you that it was probably sex. The sexual part of our relationship, for whatever reasons, was the most satisfying that I've ever experienced. She may have actually ruined me that way for future girls. Touche, Ethyl.
2. What did YOU do to cause this?
Answer: Fair question. It's been said that if there is an ember of crazy in a girl, I am a bellows. I will fan that ember into a crazy-flame and bring out the worst in otherwise normal girls. In a broad sense, I have no idea what causes this. With Ethyl specifically though, I think that she wanted more and more of my attention and affection and got upset if she didn't get it. Just speculating, though.
3. What did other people think of all this?
Answer: They thought it was shit. They were, for the most part, nice and friendly to her but constantly argued with me about staying with someone mentally unstable. In fact, this ended up causing some problems with some of my good friends who became disgusted that I would stay with someone like this. That, and they probably got sick of hearing us have sex (despite my best efforts- and I tried- this girl was LOUD)
4. If she was this nuts, why were you dating her?
Answer: The crazy stories are the funny ones. There are lots of other things that were really wonderful in the relationship (not just sex). She was funny, clever, beautiful, a good listener, and was one of the few women I've ever dated who I felt got to know me on a deeply personal level. I also had sex with her once in the car while driving down the interstate. Caleb <---------rules
5. What's she doing now? Did you ever talk to her after the classroom incident?
Answer: Years later. I didn't like that this was the only relationship I'd had that ended this badly and softened my view on her over time. I sent her a nice note that said, essentially: "Sorry about the way things ended, I know that I could have acted differently, I'd like to remember the positive things about you and not feel awkward about things in case I ever ran into you." She responded with a very nice note and said, essentially, "Me too. I acted childishly and am embarrassed by the things I did, thanks for the note and I hope things are well." Since then I know she's gotten married and seems to be doing well. We send each other birthday wishes every year.
I have debated posting this for some time. The odds of her ever reading this are very remote, but if she did I would hope that the good-humored and happy Ethyl would see it as entertaining and not think I was being a giant doucher. Maybe it's my optimism creeping up again, but I bet now, looking back, she thinks this is all pretty funny too.
Or, she'll track me down and claw me to death.
Either way, good story!