On Wednesdays, Amanda Chatel will be sharing stories about her strange, fascinating and sometimes wonderful dating life. If it makes you want to date, check out TheGloss dating page.
From the time I was fourteen or so, to shortly after I moved to New York City, I was a vegetarian. I’d occasionally have fish — maybe twice a year — but by and large, I avoided anything that once had a heart beat. The only reason I ceased being a vegetarian was because it was cheaper not to be one when I moved to the city. These days I eat chicken and maybe a couple times a year a burger if the mood hits, but that’s pretty much the extent of it for me. I’d like to say it’s because of some allegiance to my furry friends, and in a way it is, but mostly it’s a texture thing and realizing that I’m chewing muscle. I was never an outspoken vegetarian whom you could find on the nearest soapbox condemning those who ate meat, but everyone around me knew I was a veggie and that was that.
Shortly after college I started dating a guy with whom I had had a few art history classes. His name was Anthony and although he wasn’t my type (he was on the football team!), I figured a quick fling to kill the time before I moved to New York City wouldn’t be a big deal. He knew I was leaving soon, so I figured we could enter into a casual something or other. But we never made it past three dates.
The first two dates were fine, lovely, to be exact. He was somewhat of a caveman and definitely worlds apart from the painters and photographers I’d been dating off and on throughout college, but he was entertaining enough. On the third date, he picked me up from a friend’s apartment in Portsmouth, NH. It was August and although the decks on Portsmouth’s waterfront are always fun that time of year, we decided we’d head to the beach instead. So we’re driving along, chatting it up, the wind in our hair and all that nonsense, and right before we get on to old Route 1 that runs up the coast, a darling little squirrel jetted out in front of his car. We were at a stop sign, mind you, so one would think that anyone with half a brain and even a sliver of a heart would stay at the stop sign for a few more minutes to let the furry man continue along his way — but not Anthony. No, Anthony stepped on the gas and ran over the squirrel. At first I hoped the thud was a tree branch that miraculously appeared on the road before I noticed, but when I looked in the rear-view mirror there was no denying that this neanderthal had murdered an innocent animal– for what? I don’t know.
Anthony immediately started laughing, and as I screamed and the tears poured down my cheeks, he laughed more that I was “crying over such a stupid looking animal.” Stupid looking animal? Did he not own a mirror? A 24-year-old who still thought he was going to make it as the next Tom Brady is a far more stupid looking and acting animal than a squirrel just doing his thing.
So I did want any rational human being would do when she doesn’t have a car or any means to get back to from where she came and demanded he stop and let me out immediately; this, of course, only made him laugh harder. I started to wonder if this was a Candid Camera type situation and the squirrel was a robot, or that I had been slipped some acid and this was all happening in my head and I was actually safe under a tree somewhere and the squirrel was still alive.
When he finally calmed from his fit of laughter, he asked me if I was seriously upset. My vegetarianism aside, I’m firmly against killing anything besides a mosquito that’s biting me. I put spiders outside and the one time I saw a cockroach in the stairwell of my apartment building, I ran up to my apt, put on my dish-washing gloves and put the little shit outside. I have no right to take the life of something that is living and breathing, no matter how “stupid” us human beings may find its existence to be. I asked him if he was seriously unaware of just how horrible his actions were, but he said it wasn’t any different than had it been a rat or a “lame” kitten. I never asked which “lame” he meant, but that line has forever stayed with me and I feared that if he had a less than perfect child, he’d probably have it euthanized or put it up for sale on Craigslist.
He agreed to bring me back to my friend’s place, and we didn’t speak the whole way there. I didn’t say anything when I got out of the car, because although I had perfected a speech in my head during the ride back, he didn’t deserve it. Obviously, we never spoke again.
As for what became of Anthony, I’d love to share what I’ve witnessed on Facebook, but that would just be me gloating and I try not to relish in the whole “eye for an eye” mentality, but let’s just say he got his. The next time you think it’s appropriate to kill an innocent animal, even though I, personally, don’t believe in Karma, just know that payback from the universe is a fucking bitch. Seriously; things always end up evening out and somewhere there’s a squirrel in Squirrel Heaven laughing its li’l tail off.