The Rules & The Bet

The Next Family

By: Heather Somaini

Ok, so you’ve gotten the CliffsNotes version of my whirlwind romance with Tere. How she flew up to San Francisco on a whim, kicked me to the curb over my bad behavior and somehow survived my long, drawn-out proposal. But one thing I “forgot” to tell you about was The Bet.

You see, within the very early halcyon days of seeing each other, Tere accepted a phone call from one of her closest friends. Her friend – let’s call him Chris because that’s his name – wanted to know why she had thrown caution to the wind over someone she had JUST met. Chris was very concerned that Tere was getting in over her head with this perfect stranger. You see, Tere had a habit of moving very quickly in relationships and Chris wanted her to take her time in getting to know me.

Oh, did I mention that I was in the car when she took this call on the speakerphone? At first, I thought it would be funny to listen in, but as the conversation quickly escalated, I realized that I was falling for a serial-monogamist. You all know who they are – the girl that meets you, calls you immediately and wants to move in together after two months. Uh-oh – not what I wanted. The last thing I needed was a “U-Hauler” from Long Beach even if she had a nice house in Belmont Shore!

So I suggested to Tere that maybe we create some rules or guidelines around our courtship. Those rules ultimately looked something like this:

1. No more than 2 dates per week.
2. No more than 2 overnights per week.
3. If you stay overnight on a Saturday, the “date” must end no later than 6:00pm on Sunday.
4. No saying “I Love You” for at least 4 months.
5. No extravagant gifts.
6. No overnight out of town weekend getaways.
7. No moving in with each other for at least 1 year.

Now, by the time the rules began to shape up, I had actually met Chris and he didn’t think I was half bad but I had also met John, who knew I was half bad. John and I both recognized that Tere had limited self-control and wouldn’t survive long with all these rules. She was too far down the road, but we had hope.

To make the game a bit more fun, John and I decided to amp up the stakes – we turned it into a bet. I have no idea why Tere went along with it. I was completely conflicted. No matter which way it went, I would “win”. John and I were essentially on one side and Tere on the other. There was no chance she was going to last and we knew it so we took full advantage. Tere had to follow all of the rules and if she broke any of them, she would be required to buy John a new road bike and me an Armani suit for the upcoming GLAAD Awards.

Harsh, I know. But at this point, would you expect anything less? You wouldn’t have any respect for me if I didn’t pull little stunts like this.
Tere lasted three weeks. Only three weeks. She tried so hard but ultimately could not persevere with the weight of the rules on her shoulders. She broke on a Friday night in my tiny West Hollywood apartment when she uttered those three little words “I love you”.

She knew it was over and she had lost but I suppose in the end, she won. But boy, I still look good in that charcoal grey Armani suit.

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