Buying cigarettes for flaky minors is asking for trouble

It’s now a decade later as I write this, and if some minor today wanted me to buy them cigarettes or booze, I would openly laugh in their face and tell them to get fucked. Get older. Or go bribe a homeless guy to risk jail time for you.

As far as this story goes, it’s a text message exchange that took place over a few days. The whole thing pretty much speaks for itself.

(The verbatim texts from her have a lot more “u” and “2” and “dis” and other various mid-2000’s teenager shit, so I’ve edited for grammar and readability.)

— — — — — — — — — —

Rebecca “I’m gonna ask you something, and you’re probably going to get mad, so don’t okay? You’re 18 right?”

Me “You want me to buy you cigarettes, don’t you.”

Rebecca “Would you ever?”

Me “That’s fine, but you’ll have to pay for them because I have no money.”

Rebecca “That works for me.”

Me “Yeah, I don’t have any problem with that. But… you didn’t get them from me.”

Rebecca “Of course.”

It never ended up happening that day because something else came up. So we never actually met up and I never ended up buying her anything.

— — — — — — — — — —

 

Two days later . . .

Rebecca “I don’t want to say this to you… but I think I have to. It’s not that I don’t want to be friends with you… because I really do…

Rebecca “But friends are supposed to support each other for good stuff… not for the bad habits… so I really don’t want to say this… but I don’t know if we can hang out anymore.”

Me “What are you talking about… we don’t really hang out anyway.”

Rebecca “But I’ve made this decision on my own… that I don’t think we can be friends anymore… we can talk and be nice to each other… but that’s it.”

Rebecca “And you were also going to buy me cigarettes.”

Me “Yeah… because you WANTED me to…?”

Rebecca “I get that… but have you ever heard the statement… Friends don’t let friends do drugs?”

Me “Wow… you know, just because something is ‘a statement’ doesn’t mean I have to listen to it, nor does it even make it true. Look, this is your decision, not mine. I’m not going to argue with you.”

— — — — — — — — — —

 

Three days later . . .

Rebecca “Do you have any cash at all?”

Me “I have a little, yeah.”

Rebecca “Enough to get me some cigarettes?”

I let out an exasperated sigh, rolled my eyes, and decided ‘sure, whatever.’

Me “Sure, how much are the packs?”

Rebecca “Under $3 for sure.”

Me “You just want one pack or two?”

Rebecca “One pack is fine.”

Me “What kind do you want?”

Rebecca “Hold on one second… Adam, I don’t know if I can lie to my parents! I know I’m a wuss.”

Me “Then don’t.”

Rebecca “But I want to.”

Me “Then do it.”

Rebecca “I mean I want the cigarettes. What would you do?”

Me “I don’t think it really matters what I would do… this is your decision, not mine.”

Rebecca “Well what do you think I should do?”

SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT. Why would I care about any of this?

Me “I think you should do what you want to do.”

Rebecca “Damn you! I was expecting that answer.”

Me “Are you going to buy cigarettes when you turn 18 and you’re on your own?”

Rebecca “Yes.”

Me “So really, your parents are forcing you not to smoke, even though you’re going to do it anyway.”

Rebecca “Still.”

Me “Look, do you want them or not? I don’t like playing these games.”

Rebecca “By the way do you know by doing this you’re breaking the law for me?”

Rebecca “And you could get in a lot of trouble.”

Rebecca “Aren’t you a little scared about doing this?”

…?

Me “Why would I be scared?”

Rebecca “Because you’re breaking the law.”

So I just went for it.

Me “Are you going to tell someone that I was buying for you?”

Rebecca “I can’t promise you anything.”

Wow.

Wow.

Me “Thought so… well, I have to go now.”

Rebecca “So… what does that mean? You’re not going to?”

Me “No.”

Rebecca “Well it may come out later on… not like I’m gonna go around telling EVERYONE.”

[I didn’t respond for about an hour.]

Rebecca “Ok… so I’m guessing you’re not!”

Me “No.”

— — — — — — — — — —

That was the last straw for our friendship, but it really shouldn’t have been. Because I should have seen the light a LOT sooner. I was 18 and didn’t know shit about women, or people in general. Or mental illness.

There were a lot of red flags. And I’m pretty sure I don’t even remember all of them because this was so long ago. These are what I do remember:

— — — — — — — — — —

This is maybe six months or something before the “will he / won’t he” cigarettes incident.

We were hanging out one time (as FRIENDS; that’s important for later) driving around and chatting about whatever. She wanted to drive my car.

I think there was some pretense of me helping her learn how to drive so she could get her license, but I don’t even think she had her learner’s permit at the time.

She got behind the wheel and I thought I was gonna die; although this was in the peak years of my narcissism as a human being, so while I was quite in danger, I still falsely felt invincible.

Within about 20-30 seconds of driving, she wanted to see how fast she could go. We were out in the country roads, so we weren’t really worried about cops. If she’d gunned it up to like 50 or 60 mph on these unpaved gravel roads, it would start to get a bit unsafe.

She kept increasing. 70. 80. 90. I remember her stopping JUST short of going 100 fucking miles per hour.

I didn’t freak out. And while she was driving fast, I didn’t even demand that she stop. Because I was honestly a little concerned that she was just unstable enough to think I was mad at her, and that she might crash the car in a fit of unbridled emotion.

But that thought was only instinctual and fleeting in my mind. If I had consciously known enough about the world to avoid dangerous situations and dangerous people in life, I probably wouldn’t have a blog in the first place.

— — — — — — — — — —

Our friendship got weird. She would constantly oscillate between wanting to be friends and not wanting to be friends.

You can see this playing out in the buy-me-cigarettes text conversation you’ve already read.

But she also did it with me letting her drive my car. She claimed I “let her” drive my car really fast and cited that as a reason she’s not sure she should be friends with me anymore. The conversation went pretty much the same way as it did with the cigarettes. Do it or don’t. I’m not really interested in playing games or trying to convince you to be my friend. Make your own choices.

— — — — — — — — — —

After the cigarettes fiasco, I pretty much stopped talking to her, and I never hung out with her again.

Then things got REALLY weird.

Rumors went around that we slept together. Or just made out, depending on who you asked.

Nothing like that happened with her, though. It’s 12 years later; if I had fucked her, I’d just tell you. There’s less than zero reasons to be embarassed or hide it. On the contrary, I would have just written it up as “I was seeing this girl, she went a little crazy, I broke up with her, and blah blah blah” if that’s what had happened. There’s no reputation to keep intact either; I don’t talk to any of the people she and I were mutual friends with.

She would go back and forth between telling me she was in love with me, and then not wanting to speak to me ever again. I should have just blocked her outright, but instead I half-ignored her and remained generally distant, while still technically remaining cordial. In hindsight, that probably made it so much worse.

The rumors weren’t just innocent schoolyard nonsense though. They had the worst kind of effect something like this can have.

A good friend of mine at the time, Ann, told me to leave her alone. She thought I was disgusting for trying to hook up with her, because she was younger than me, and sweet-and-innocent, and a little mentally unstable, and whatever else bullshit was going on in her life.

I had to vehemently assure Ann that I was NOT interested in Rebecca whatsoever. Not even a little bit. We’d hung out as friends several times, but nothing romantic ever happened, and I was never interested in her. Not even for a fuck-and-forget, which I was apt to do in my early adulthood life. (In hindsight, it’s because I could sense she was nuts, even if I couldn’t have articulated it out loud to myself WHY I wasn’t interested.)

— — — — — — — — — —

A lot of people assumed I was persuing Rebecca, or that we’d hooked up. Including her brother.

I don’t remember what exactly he did for a living, but he was in the military, or he was an MMA fighter, or something that instilled that unspoken “I could kick your ass” fear that underlies most male acquaintanceship at that age. He was also like 5-6 years older than me, which is huge at 18.

He and I were drunk at some random college-ish party, and he confided in me that he actually wanted to beat me up and/or kill me when the night first started. But as the party went on, he could see that I was a good-natured, fun-loving guy that he couldn’t stay mad at.

AGAIN, I had to assure him that there was nothing going on with me and his little sister. That there never was. We never even as much as held hands.

— — — — — — — — — —

She befriended my sister Amanda to try and worm her way back into my life.

While writing this story, I remembered Amanda had mentioned she heard rumors about Rebecca and me, of her being obsessed with me or something, so I asked her.

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Amanda also reminded me that Rebecca worked at Taco John’s for a while, the same restaurant where I worked for a large portion of my teenage and young adult years. I only vaguely remember her getting a job there, so it must not have been at the same time I was working there. Even still, that’s next-level obsession. And I don’t think she lasted very long; if you can’t hack it working in fast food, good luck in life.