Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Excess Baggage

“My boyfriend is a premature ejaculator!”

“I’m sick of dating retards!”

“My husband makes no effort anymore!”

“My man prefers hanging out with his friends over me!”

Chuck sat intently scribbling in his notebook as the ladies around him held hands and shouted out what it was that bothered them about their relationships or dating lives.

“RSVP.com is a one stop shop for dodgy men!”

“I had to pay for dinner on the first date!”

“I got the guy home only to find that he had the hairiest back I have ever seen and I was repulsed!”

This technique is one that Chuck uses regularly when conducting Reality Bytes relationship coaching sessions. It encourages the ladies to voice their frustrations, to make them public and have their peers and classmates acknowledge and support the issues that they are facing. So often in this day and age, women accept poor treatment or behaviour in the fear that there are no better options out there so it is important to acknowledge the faults and move away from them.

Typically, once one of the group of 15 sparks up and starts venting their spleen about a partner or their failed dating efforts, the rest of the group gets a taste of blood and the vitriol flows. This is Chucks starting point – once he can get the anger out, then the ladies can be rebuilt into relationship cyborgs, capable of building and controlling successful relationships. The Reality Bytes relationship coaching sessions have an unbelievable success rate with over 93% of attendees going onto meaningful and rewarding unions.

Chuck encouraged the rest of the group to offer up their grief.

“I keep dating guys in IT, I feel like I’m getting pigeon-holed!”

“My husband is having an affair!”

However it was the next statement that generated the most buzz and caused Chuck to stop writing down the comments:

“I just started dating a guy with kids!”

Chuck sat and observed as the ladies all started chiming in with differing opinions on the topic. The group appeared divided. Half had no issue whatsoever in seeing a guy with children, while the remainder were fundamentally opposed to the thought for various reasons. As the group continued to debate the issue, the young lady at the centre of attention – Sandy* looked to Chuck and said, “Chuck, you run these sessions for a reason and we can all smell your success, do you have a theory on this?”

* Name changed to protect the identity of the class member.

Chuck straightened in his chair, adjusted his tie and rubbed his chin. Usually at the first session, Chuck is nothing more than a facilitator, getting the ladies to open up and start sharing themselves. This was a breach of protocol and Chuck knew that crossing the line this early could create problems because the ladies would be hesitant to use their own free-will once Chuck had revealed his relationship mastery and insight.

“Ladies, ordinarily Chuck would not hold court this early in the program, but since Sandy’s issue has generated such discussion, it’s probably a good opportunity for Chuck to weigh in with his thoughts to give you a better understanding of what these sessions can provide. You may as well see what your $2000 is paying for right off the bat,” stated Chuck confidently.

Since the Reality Bytes relationship coaching sessions are not advertised and participants find their way to the classes through referral only, the ladies had all heard the stories of Chuck’s ability. The excitement in the room was palpable as the group members realised that they were about to see a mighty brain at work.

Chuck removed his jacket, loosened his tie and began rolling up his shirtsleeves. With a group of ladies ranging in age from 21 – 65, Chuck knew that this answer had to be all-encompassing.

Chuck began speaking; “Look, dating a bloke with a kid or kids is never easy, especially at the start when you’re just feeling each other out and trying to determine if you actually like one another”. Chuck finished rolling and looked up to see every lady in the semi circle nodding. “How many of you have kids?” asked Chuck.

Only Patty*, the 65 year old class member raised her hand.

* Name changed to protect the identity of the class member.

“Patty, if you don’t mind, Chuck is going to present this information to the group from a ‘no kids’ perspective. Having your own children changes the landscape and creates too many other discussion points. If you like, Chuck can arrange a private session to talk your situation through?” suggested Chuck.

“Chuckie you sweet boy, my useless article son is in prison serving 15-20. He followed in the footsteps of his worthless father. Let’s just assume that I have no children…..but I’d definitely like some one-on-one time with you if you know what I mean?” said Patty as she blushed violently upon realising what she had just said.

Chuck smiled and continued, “ok, so it’s important to evaluate the many pitfalls of seeing a bloke with kids. Right off the bat the biggest issue that you’re going to face is the mother of the child.”

“FUCKING BITCH OF A THING” screamed Desiree*

* Name changed to protect the identity of the class member.

“Desiree, Chuck’s assuming that you’ve dated a bloke with a kid and had some issues with the mother?” asked Chuck.

Desiree was clearly seething and could only nod in the affirmative.

“As you can see from Desiree’s reaction, the former receptacle of your love interest‘s penis can often be problematic. No matter how you approach it, if your guy is interested in his kid/s this woman is going to be a part of your life. If things get serious and you should happen to move in with this dude, you will have some random woman putting stipulations on your lifestyle. Examples include – her perfume is too strong and causes Child X’s eyes to water, she is a bad role model to our child smoking bongs in the lounge room, she doesn’t use organic eggs in her cakes etc etc etc “ offered Chuck.

Desiree was now rocking back and forth in her chair, visibly distressed at the memories. Chuck rose and walked over to where Desiree was seated and offered her a reassuring (and non sexually suggestive) back rub while continuing, “to make matters worse, if the break up was not on amicable terms, this woman will likely piss on your parade at every opportunity. She may be late or early to pick up the kids, putting a real crimp in your social life. She’ll likely talk to you like you’re an A1 moron knowing full well that you cant punch her face in for fear of a restraining order and worst of all, she’ll have a week to poison your reputation with the kids before dropping them off at the weekend. By Friday night the kids will be a quivering mess at the knowledge that you are a convicted child killer”.

Chuck motioned to his personal assistant to bring Desiree a cup of warm milk and a shot of whiskey to settle her.

Encouraging Desiree to drink up Chuck added “Even if your man and this other woman are on good terms and EVEN if you can develop some sort of relationship with her, you will still have another lady in your life calling shots that will have repercussions on you. For example, she may have the kids on special diets that you will be impacted by or kybosh the holiday you’ve got planned because she doesn’t want the kids in a tropical climate. No matter how good the relationship, this chick is another cog in an already complex machine”.

Desiree wiped the milk from her top lip and offered a crooked smile to Chuck.

“Gang, we’ve got a ton of ground to cover here, why don’t you all break for the toilet, grab a coffee or tea and meet back here in 5 minutes (longer if you need to drop a number 2)” said Chuck, acknowledging that they were in for the long haul.

Check back on Friday for Part 2.

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