Remember the meat loaf


I recently had one of those experiences where I realized that someone who I trusted had lied to me. And I don’t mean a little white lie – I mean a big, mean, hairy lie that was protracted and prolonged into a false reality; and when I finally realized the scope of this falsehood, I suddenly realized that nothing I knew about this person was true. And now, whenever I begin to have benevolent feelings toward this person, I have to say this: “Remember the meat loaf!”
The meat loaf story is really from a friend of mine, who has been dating someone she met on one of those Internet dating sites. It is an example of the sudden realization, that moment when you go “Aha!” and realize you have been duped, big time. Ok, so here’s the story.
She told me about this man she had been dating for several weeks, and one night he said he would like to come over for dinner, if she would cook. “Sure,” she said. “What is your favorite dinner?”
“Meat loaf!” he said.
So that morning, very early, she got up and prepared the meat loaf, because you can’t cook meat loaf in just a few minutes, and she had to go to work. She bought fresh flowers on the way home that night, and some special bread at Panera’s, and made a fresh vegetable salad, mashed potatoes, and a homemade gravy. The table was set with silver, china and her best napkins and glassware, and looked splendid. When her date arrived, he said he had forgotten she was cooking, and had eaten a sandwich a few minutes before. He wasn’t hungry, and just wanted to hang out. She was somewhat disappointed, but tried not to show it, and thought little of the incident until a few months later, when they were no longer dating but had moved on to the “friend” stage. He was entertaining her with his dating experiences since their relationship ended, telling stories about women he had gone out with and found wanting. She pretended to be interested, but really found it hard to hear. Secretly, she was still interested in this fellow, even though he was far from perfect and probably a bad bet. But one story made her listen hard:
“He told me about this woman he met online, who asked him to come to her office and meet her,” she said. “He also said the woman wanted to know what she could fix him for dinner that night, and he told her ‘meat loaf.’”
When the man arrived, the two left the woman’s office together and went over to her place, where she had set a sumptuous table, and had meat loaf waiting in the wings along with other courses, and a superb wine. The man told his new date that he was not hungry, and had actually eaten an hour before. He laughed as he told of this woman’s reaction.
“She was so angry,” he said, chuckling. “And she was cheap! She told me how much money she had spent on this, and that, and how I had wasted both her time and her money and she was furious.”
After the conversation ended, she began to remember her own experience with this man and meat loaf. While she had not reacted the way his new date had over his lack of appetite, she found the whole experience very disturbing. It was obvious that she had also been the foil for his set up for the meat loaf, but had not fallen into the trap of telling him off over it. The realization of this made her very sad. She realized that everything she had known about this man had been a lie – and that she had been a fool for believing anything he had ever told her.
So now, when someone disappoints me by lying to me about something very important, and I’m tempted later to forgive prematurely, I need to remember the meat loaf. It’s a sad lesson, but a very good one.

5 thoughts on “Remember the meat loaf

  1. OOOOOUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!! I believe that’s called deceit!!

    I “Intensely dislike” all this stuff you are blogging about!!! The reason? It’s hitting too close to home . . . and I’ve known this man for 30 years and been married to him for over 27 years. As he gets older, he’s letting his guard down, and his true colors are showing. Grey and black are predominant. The real problem is, in discussions with my oldest daughter, she says, “Mom, he hasn’t changed. You’re just starting to see what he is.” That’s a real blow in the ole solar plexus! Doesn’t help the self-esteem either. I’ve allowed him to control me enough that the only personal income I have is social security which is not enough to live on. I’d like to be able to leave, but – there’s no place I want to go, so I stay.

    I’ve sit here thinking about what I would do if we split up: I don’t know!! My self-esteem is so low, that I’m not sure I could take care of myself. I’ve projected onto, and put down, others with low self-esteem who can’t make a decision. It’s difficult to face this in myself.

    Keep blogging, Pippa! It’s probably therapeutic for you and certainly is getting some of us to do some real deep thinking.

  2. Yeah, this is a sad story, and it doesn’t give us hope for the male species. But I’m gong to blog about some wonderful things soon, things that happened to me that are uplifting and will give us all some hope. So, tighten your seat belts and lean back and enjoy the ride. We aren’t there yet.

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