XXIII: Katie NewBerry: The “You Don’t Have a Shot in Hell” Ray

A good friend of mine broke up with the best-looking girl in the office. (We’ll call this girl Katie, because that’s her name.) This revelation stunned us. “You’ll never do better than Katie Newberry for God’s sakes!” we told him. As described in the previous article, Katie’s beauty was almost indescribable, and when we said, “You’ll never do better than her” it was a comment exclusive to her looks.

My friend was one of the fellas, one of us, and he convinced her to out with him for a couple months. Then, he ends it. He ended it! That just blew our minds. We couldn’t understand how one of our own could land such a gorgeous woman, much less be the one who declared he didn’t want to see her anymore. Then to break up with her one week after one of her exes committed suicide in her bedroom. Our friend was a genuinely nice guy, and the timing of the breakup was so heartless that we considered it hilarious in an uncharacteristically heartless, sick, and somewhat cool way. Yet, we considered also considered the hilarious timing of it so uncharacteristic of him that we were dying to know why he did it.

Katie and I had had our difficulties, as anyone who knows about the ‘you don’t have a shot in hell’ ray she shot at me, a couple months ago at the gym, knew. As for that proclamation that I made that I would never speak to her again outside the dictates of polite protocol, I intended to follow that to the day of my death, until I ran into her in a parking lot. When she spotted me, she had a look of resignation on her face, until I held a hand up in a brief, polite manner and said hello to her. Her reaction to this brief, polite gesture was a little surprising. She had a huge smile on her face, and she all but came running up to me with her hands out, saying my name. I thought her expression of joy was an attempt at comedy, and I thought it was pretty damn funny, until she gave me a full-breasted hug. Women who look like her, and have breasts so beautiful that no guy will even start a conversation about them in an office, make it a habit to keep their breasts out of a hug so the recipient doesn’t get the wrong idea. Katie didn’t appear to care about that in this one hug. I had her adjective-defying breasts all over me. This one allowance was her nonverbal act of contrition. How could I stay mad? The hug was so genuine, and she was so good looking. She also made me look good in front of a friend who had no idea what was going on.

“Those things are luxurious,” this friend said after we walked away from Katie.

“I know,” I said. I could’ve informed him that I agreed so much that I’ve written about them, but I decided to play it cool with that friend in the parking lot and switched topics.

I did flirt with pursuing this moment with Katie, when her breasts were all over me, to see how apologetic she was. I know it was a bold, and even a little distasteful to think of such a move in that situation, but she was so out of my league and a guy like me has so few chances at a girl like her. I didn’t do it, but if you’re a male, and you’ve ever had a gorgeous woman do something that a creative mind could get creative with, you know those images that pass through the brain often result in someone who loves you completing another decat of a rosary to save your soul.

I became Katie’s good friend again that night. Maybe we never were good friends, maybe we were just good associates. Whatever we were, we were it again. As superficial as it sounds, I considered it a privilege to have her speak to me. I also enjoyed the prestige I gained when others saw us speak. She sat next to me at lunch a couple of times, she left the lunchroom to smoke with me once, and when she left the office for the day, one day, she stopped to speak with me. Her acts of contrition didn’t last long, however, and they all occurred while my good friend was dating her.

Thus, when I did flirt with the delusion that some part of Katie Newberry was starting to become interested in me, I had that question of loyalty to a good friend nipping at my heels. Then he just wakes up on a Tuesday, as far as I was concerned at one point, and decides he’s going to break with her. It seemed so arbitrary.

Those of us who regularly sat at the same lunch table with him were obsessed with it. We wouldn’t allow him to talk about anything else, until he sufficiently answered this one question we had.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” was what Willie Albano said to try to bring an end to this badgering. That wasn’t good enough for some of us. We were so obsessed with this that we badgered him for weeks, until we broke the man down.

“I was there ok,” Willie said. “I saw the whole thing, and her callous reaction to it all was what drove me to reconsider dating her further. I knew she would eventually breakup with me so I-”

“Hold on a second,” Craig Prentice said, after his name was called by the lunchroom attendant to inform him that his grilled sandwich was done. “Wait, don’t say another word, until I get back,” he added racing to the counter to collect his sandwich. Our friend appeared to collect himself in the intervening minutes. I didn’t know why at the time, but I would learn that he was trying to be delicate right here.

“-Okay, well, Katie called me over to her apartment,” Willie said to restart his story when Craig returned. “She sounded so despondent. When I asked her what was going on, she said she didn’t want to go into it over the phone.

“So I raced over there,” Willie added. “Like a good boyfriend will. Katie Newberry, for those of you who don’t know, leads in a perpetual state of chaos. She enjoys it for some reason, so I spent the months we dated jumping at shadows, fearing that if I didn’t do everything she said, when she said it, she would dump me like a rancid sack of cranberries. It was the price I was willing to pay to have her on my arm when we would walk into Murphy’s Tavern, so everyone would know that we were dating. This was something beyond her normal chaos however. There was something different in her voice I couldn’t place.

“When I arrived at her apartment, knocking on her door,” Willie said, while he chewed his sandwich. “She answered the door all made up. I didn’t notice that her hair and makeup were perfect, because, well, they always were. It didn’t dawn on me, in that moment, at the door, that she looked disheveled, because she never was.” Those of us at the table knew that, but he felt a need to say it anyway. “She never went to work with so much as a hair out of place,” he said, even though we already knew that. “She never left her house without makeup, or until her hair was perfect. She could be a real PIA when we were going places. Even after the nasty, ‘don’t say anything about this to your friends’ sex we had, she had a way of always appearing all made up before, during and after.” We didn’t know that.

“She collapsed into my shoulder after I entered her apartment,” he said. “Her crying shook my shoulder. It seemed real to me at the time. She appeared as distraught as I’ve ever seen her. It took me about two to three minutes to calm her down enough to a point where I could ask her what happened.”

“‘He’s in the bedroom,’ she said.

“You know how a hanging body is depicted in a movie with a setting to suit the situation. Directors and lighting consultants devise the most horrific way to frame a hanging body. It’s a choreographed scene, in other words, and we grow so accustomed to seeing this scene, portrayed in such a consistent manner, that we don’t realize how manufactured they are, until we see one in real life. This scene didn’t have any choreography, of course. It was her bed, her vanity with table and bench set, her window, and a body hanging from her ceiling fixture, like an accoutrement to her room. Like, instead of hanging a painting, or a hanging Wisteria flower bush, Katie decided to hang a human to Feng Shui her bedroom. Her ex was wearing a brown shirt and khakis. The guy went with the room. There was nothing horrific about it, in other words, and that somehow made it all the more horrific.

“Her ex wasn’t swinging in the manner you would expect either. I think I expected him to tick or something, but he was still. There was no music either. Maybe I watch too much TV, but in a strange way I only fully captured later, I expected some kind of C.S.I. style music accompaniment to start when I happened upon the scene. I had some trouble coming to grips with my reaction, so you may not understand my explanation of it, but I had to find a path around my desensitized reactions to TV depictions of such scenes. I look at it like this, when a viewer sees such a scene on a TV show, they expect to be horrified. After witnessing such spectacles on TV for a generation, such scenes lose their juice for the viewer. When one sees such a scene for real, it takes a minute to shed those expected reactions with the realization that you’re seeing is real, and no one expects you to be horrified, you just are.

“This guy, Katie’s ex, I think he wanted to live,” Willie said looking around at us with a look he invited us to mirror. “He had these claw marks on the sides of his neck, numerous scratches, and some of them were pretty deep. If he didn’t change his mind, as I suspect, I can only assume it was a lot more painful than he thought it would be. One of my old girlfriends got me in a headlock one time. We were wrestling around, and she was being playful, but when she locked in on my Adam’s apple, I tossed her off me in a manner that ruined the moment. I couldn’t help it, it hurt that bad. I can’t imagine how painful getting hanged must be. His clothes were all disheveled in a way that made me think he changed his mind at some point in the process. His tongue was sticking out, and it was almost cut off by his clenched jaws, and his eyes were protruding and reddened. Some part of me knew that TV producers sanitized their scenes, but I had no idea how messy and ugly suicide by hanging could be until I saw this man hanging there. I was so moved by this that I knew I would never be able to wipe that image from my mind. I didn’t know how fixated I was on this, until Katie spoke.

“‘He knew that that window didn’t lock,’ Katie told me pointing to a still opened window. She had to say this a couple of times to me. She pulled at my arm a couple of times while repeating it to break the fixation I had on this body hanging from her bedroom’s ceiling fan. When I finally broke out of it, she said it again, and added, ‘I told the apartment manager about it numerous times, and he knew that. He told me he’d fix it. He never did, and I’m sure he remembered all that when he planned this.’ She said ‘this’ in an accusatory manner, when she alluded to the body hanging before us. Her implication, I can only assume, was that this guy was a real son of a bitch for messing with her day off with this. ‘I found him like this when I came out the shower,’ she added.

“I pictured him picturing that window,” Willie continued after sipping on some of his juice. “I pictured him timing out her shower. I pictured him thinking about her morning routine, the night before. Based on everything she told me, he timed his suicide in perfect harmony with her shower. He had to have been thinking about this for some time. He had to have been thinking about this after they broke up, and in all the attempts he made to win her back.

“In my internet searches I found that her ex’s methodical suicide was quite an aberration, as most people do not plan their suicide. It’s often fueled by a passionate blind rush. I looked up at him, while she spoke, and I wondered if he calculated the best moment to enter her place, based upon what he knew of her morning routine.

“She broke up with him a couple months before she met me, and he would call her. It may not have been every hour, but it sure seemed like it. It was so bad at one point, interrupting our movies and meals, that I told her I would have a word with him the next day at work. She said no. She said she would take care of it.

“So she changed her number. She avoided him at work, and she even wrote him a ‘Dear John’ letter that detailed how she now felt about him. That letter was brutal, and when I say brutal, I mean brutal. It was so brutal that I found it hysterical. I’m ashamed to admit how we would sit and giggle over this letter for hours. In my defense, you don’t see a girl lay a fella out like that very often, not like that. Most girls have that maternal, compassionate, and softhearted side that prohibits them from being mean to even the biggest jackasses out there. Either that or they don’t want to look like the bad guy in the breakup. Not Katie Newberry, she didn’t care about any of that. I told her that the letter sounded like something a guy would write, and I didn’t mean that as an insult. Had I been in that mode, I would’ve said, ‘and not just any guy, I’m talking about a real asshole bent on crushing a girl for the benefit of his own ego.’ I can’t think of too many people that could’ve read such a letter, male or female, that could’ve lived with their ego intact, after reading it. We laughed for hours over it. You guys would’ve loved it, but it’s probably what drove him to her bedroom that morning.

“I wondered what the days preceding that day must’ve been like for him. People told me that he called in sick I felt horrible for laughing at that letter the way I did. I felt inhuman in that I didn’t consider the ramifications of it in the truest sense of the word. I just thought it was hilarious that a girl would tell a guy to go to hell in so many creative ways. I wondered if she hadn’t been so creative, if he would’ve just sulked, but that the admirable creativity involved in her letter just pierced his soul. I wondered what would’ve happened if I hadn’t laughed, or if I had said something along the lines of, ‘This is great and all, but you can’t give it to him. It will destroy the guy.’

“The truth is some part of me wanted him destroyed … on an emotional basis anyway,” Willie said. “I thought he was impeding our attempts to have a normal relationship with his constant calls, the IM’s and emails he would send her at work, and the roses he left on her doorstop. I wanted him to leave us alone. I also have to admit that I wanted to see his face when he read it. I wanted to see him cry. I know, I know, that pretty much makes me a horrible person, but I thought his devastation would taste delicious, until I saw it hanging above her in a construct that had to be difficult to build in the time he built it.

“Speaking of that, I couldn’t believe that the ceiling fixture would hold him,” Willie added, “and I studied it when I was in her apartment. I thought it might’ve had something to do with the reinforced beams that the apartment complex owner had put in to prevent people from pulling it down. I almost touched the guy, I almost pulled on him a little to test the strength of the ceiling fixture, but I realized how cold-hearted I was being to think of the engineering and physics aspect of it.”

“After studying the science of it, I turned to Katie to give me a minute-by-minute walk through of her morning. I went through this with her about four times asking different questions each time. I was basically interrogating her, and she eventually exploded on me.

“‘Why do you keep asking me about the stupid shit of what happened here?’ she asked. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“For me, it was all about the stupid shit,” he told us. “The stupid shit, for me, was when did she get out of the shower, when did she first see the body, and what did she do? I had an agenda for asking her these questions, but I told her that these details are going to be vital when the police arrive. I told her that they’re going to ask her for a minute by minute walk through. That was a bit of a soft lie. I did want her prepared for the questioning that the police would put her through, but more than that, I wanted her to tell me what she did after discovering the body.

“I knew the police wouldn’t have grilled her the way I did, and I told her that. I told her that I wanted to prepare her for anything,” Willie said. “She was right though, she didn’t do anything criminal in nature, and I didn’t think they would’ve suspected that she could put a 200lb. man up like that. Even if they thought we conspired to do it together, I have to suspect they see that in maybe 1% of such cases. If she did things different, on a personal level, she may have been able to prevent it, but that wasn’t what drove me to question her. It wasn’t why I focused on what she called the “stupid shit”.

“I know she did it,” he continued. He provided us a dramatic pause right here, as if to allow us to soak in that comment for a moment. We did. “She wouldn’t tell the cops she did it, and she will probably go to her grave without telling anyone she did, but I know she did it, and it’s why I broke up with her.” He said this in the form of whisper as if he was talking to himself, but I think his goal was to mimic the pitch and tone of a witness to a horrific crime on a TV show. He paused again. He watched too much TV, we all did, and this was why we were on the edge of our seat when he provided such dramatic pauses in his detailed walk through. We knew the formula, and he appeared to mimic their propensity for dramatic lead-ins to a commercial break, to break up statements, and keep an audience tuning in while the network made its money back for the show. As I said though, we were all as addicted to TV as he was, and TV formulas, and our instinct was to fast forward through these dramatic pauses to get to the conclusion of his statement.

“Did what?” I finally asked from the edge of my seat. I was sure he was going to say she had something more to do with the man’s death than he cared to admit. I was chomping at the bit, and I could tell that the rest of the table was too. You can’t say ‘I know she did it’ like that, and then pause like that in the midst of it. It isn’t good for a healthy imagination.

“Put her makeup on after finding the body,” he said. This would’ve been a better place for a commercial break I decided, and I laughed a little. My friend looked at me, and I backed up and held my hands up in apology. I couldn’t stop it. His pauses allowed too much imagination to creep in, and his drama was so far over-the-top that I think I needed some comic relief. Therefore, although I felt bad for laughing during a description of a man’s suicide, a man I knew –or I knew who he was– I held my friend’s storytelling decisions to blame, in part.

The laughter wasn’t a guffaw though. I just tittered in a way I couldn’t control. It was like a little fart escaping in front of a girl. A guy wants to pretend that it didn’t happen, but when the girl acknowledges it and laughs about it, a fella feels a little better about it. I didn’t feel better about the laugh, but my friend acknowledging it made me feel better than I would have if forced to sit in silence with it.

“That’s why I broke up with her,” he said. “So you guys can quit asking me about it, and considering me heartless and all that. I had my reasons for breaking up with her a week after her ex-boyfriend committed suicide in her bedroom, and I just didn’t feel like talking about it, until now. It was that whole ‘too soon’ thing that I couldn’t come to peace with until the last few days.

“I had some nightmares about the situation, and I would lay awake after them wondering what was going on in his head in the days and nights preceding that morning, and I had an even tougher time coming to grips with …” and here he looked around at us, “The way she reacted to it all.”

“‘He was a guy I dated,’ was how Katie characterized her relationship when the first attending officer on the scene asked her how she knew the deceased. I was so distracted by everything that I almost missed that characterization. I was distracted by my attempts to humanize this guy hanging from her ceiling fan, but I was also immersed in the thought that this could very easily be me. If it were, I thought while she was answering the attending officer’s preliminary question, would she summarize my whole life with such a simple sentence?

“I thought of the times I saw her ex in the lunchroom, laughing with his people, and for no reason other than to perhaps pay homage to a life that just ended, I pictured him waiting in line at a Walgreen’s purchasing cold medicine. I was also busy rearranging pertinent details she told me about their relationship to see if they could apply to ours. In her portrayals, he was a sappy lovelorn, goony, weak individual who wrote her the most idiotic love letters “and all that crap.” Now, when you’re on the outside looking in, such characterizations are hilarious, especially when I started picturing him as a goofy, lovebird trying to win her over. I spent our whole relationship thinking this guy was soft and susceptible to the smallest heartbreak, but when she said, ‘He was a guy I dated’ without emotion, I began to wonder how similar he and I were. I am a romantic when I’m involved with a girl.” Willie looked around sheepishly when he said that, as if he expected some abuse to come his way following that revelation. He took a moment, I presume, to correct his presentation, and he continued, “I mean I’m goal oriented, aren’t we all? We all want a girl to fall in love with us, and vice versa right? Well, I began to wonder how close I was to falling in love with her, how close was I to becoming a goony-eyed guy who started writing her love letters? When I heard her say, ‘He was the guy I dated’ to the officer, I snapped out of it. I read her face. I wanted to know if she was attempting to comport her answers in a manner suited to an official inquiry, or if she was as heartless as I thought. I tried to focus on the former, but it dawned on me that she had mentioned this man’s name one time that whole day, in response to the officer’s first official question, “What was the deceased’s name?”

“I realized, watching her answer the rest of the officer’s questions, that she didn’t care … not just about him, or me, but anyone and anything, and that she never would,” Willie said. “She didn’t care that a guy took some time out of his day to end his life before her and try to send a message to her that she hurt him. He was nothing more than some guy she dated.

“I knew I was on the weak end of our relationship in that I liked her far more than she liked me, but I knew that from day one. I also didn’t care about any of that. We didn’t date long enough for me to invest any serious emotion. We were seeing each other, and we were having fun spending time around each other. I wouldn’t even characterize what we were, at that time, as a relationship. I knew she could be callous, but her deep seeded antipathy for the humanity was what turned me on in the beginning. I’ve always been attracted to such people, be they friends like all of you, or women. Women usually put on something of a show in this regard, in that they’re rough in the beginning, but the more you get to know them, the more you witness the elements of their soft, chewy center. Katie was different in this regard. I don’t know if she had a sweet disposition at one time in her life, and brothers or boyfriends beat her up emotionally, until she became callous, but the depth of her apathy was a revelation that occurred to me when she said that.

“She also told the officer, ‘He couldn’t deal with our breakup.’ Those two sentences were back to back, and they shocked the attending officer. I don’t know if the officer was as shocked as I was, but the ‘just the facts ma’am’ tone in Katie’s voice was so noteworthy that he shot her a second glance. A beat cop has to deal with the most heartless people, on a day-to-day basis, and he acted like her summary of the events preceding his arrival was heartless. Then he looks at me with a ‘do you know what you’re in for here buddy?’ glance that led me to believe that my characterizations of her responses weren’t just the products of my overactive imagination. She was cold-blooded. She didn’t give a crap about this guy, and that fact was obvious to some guy, a cop, who never met her before.

“The cop smiled at her when she completed her testimony, but it wasn’t a warm smile. It was an ‘I can’t believe you’ smile. Katie saw that reaction, and she appeared to recognize it for what it was. She cried. She hid her face in my shoulder and cried. Her face came out of that and she said something along the lines of, ‘What am I supposed to do now?’ and ‘I can’t believe that he thought this was the way to deal with our breakup.’ She then started crying again, and she hid her face in my shoulder again.

“We must acknowledge that some level of shock might have caused this reaction,” Willie said. “It’s entirely possible that this event was so shocking that Katie didn’t deal with it in the proscribed manner. How many of us have seen a dead body, much less someone we knew intimately who presumably took his life because of her actions? We have to consider that her emotional response to coming out of the shower to discover her boyfriend hanging from her ceiling fan caused her such shock that she shut down for a time. I just didn’t think that was the case though, and you also have to consider the fact that I was so traumatized by this that I’ve been obsessing over it for the last couple weeks, so I may be reading too much into it. When she was crying on my shoulder, though, I couldn’t help but think of a phony Hollywood star crying in a movie. I don’t know how anyone else watches tear-jerkers, but anytime I see a crying scene, I know I’m watching a crying scene. It’s what an actor does when the director informs them that the scene in the movie requires them to cry. They think about something awful that has happened to them, so they can manipulate my emotions while I’m watching their movie.

“Patting Katie’s shoulder and rubbing her back, I realized that when she broke up with me, not if, that if I was lucky enough to get a crying scene, it would be just as phony as the one that I was watching. When someone breaks up with us, one of the very few things that gives us peace is the knowledge that they feel bad that they hurt us. Some of us show them this in our own individual ways. How could I top a guy hanging himself from a ceiling fan, if I wanted to inform her that she hurt me? The depth of her ambivalence to this scene, led me to believe that there would be nothing I could do to get her to care about me. I also considered the idea that she might laugh with her next boyfriend in the same manner she did with me, at how devastated I was by our breakup.”

“As the cop sat in his car, calling the people the state hired to collect dead bodies, and Katie continued to cry on my shoulder, I thought about her vanity mirror. Prior to focusing on the mirror, I had planned another round of questions for her. I wanted to know her reactions, emotional and otherwise, to seeing him hanging there. Even as I began compiling questions, I knew she wouldn’t answer them to my satisfaction. I figured that she might lie, or she might even change her answers in such a way that she would look better, and she might convince herself that they’re true, even if they weren’t. I tried to come up with questions that I thought my trigger honest responses, when I thought of her vanity mirror, and how the position of that mirror, and more importantly the chair behind it, would tell me more than any answers she could give me, tones of her responses, or any reading I did of her body language.

“I know she did it, because that vanity mirror, and the chair before it, were still in a position that would’ve placed her directly beneath the man’s carcass, if she decided to put her makeup on, and she did have her makeup on. I didn’t give that mirror a second thought when I originally stood in Katie’s bedroom, but I was too horrified to think about it at the time. Now that I had achieved some physical and emotional distance from it, I thought about how the various items were positioned in that room.

“I poured through this information over and over, as the police car sat idling beyond the curb and Katie remained on my shoulder. She was no longer crying, but she remained on my shoulder, holding me tightly.

“I thought about how low that body hung from the ceiling fan. I thought about how her chair sat in front of that makeup mirror. I thought about the timeline, she laid out for me and the officer who took her testimony. I thought about the minute-by-minute timeline of Katie Newberry leaving the shower, and her eventual discovery of the body. I came to the conclusion that it would be impossible for Katie to put her makeup on, in front of that vanity mirror, without his feet coming into contact with her. The room in her little one room apartment was just too small.

“I thought of all the mornings I woke in that apartment,” he continued, “and how she would move all of her makeup to the bathroom, so I wouldn’t see her without makeup in the morning. When she was done, Katie was perpetually slow about removing that makeup from the bathroom in the morning. I know, I had to move all that stuff out of the way to get a decent shave. One also has to factor in the trauma of the morning, and her timeline. She gets out of the shower, she discovers the body, and she calls me. Did she make time, at any points in between, to move all of her makeup to the bathroom, then move it back? If she did that, I thought, it would still suggest that his body swinging over her bedroom was a secondary concern to her typical makeup routine. I considered it damning, in that scope, either way, but I was more than certain that she put her makeup on in that chair, in front of that vanity, with her ex’s dangling body touching her shoulder.

“I made a mental note to look for grooves in the carpet below the chair to see if there was evidence of her moving it in anyway,” he said. “When the cop told us he contacted the deceased’s family, and the people hired to collect dead bodies were on their way, the three of us went back into her apartment. She wouldn’t go back to her room, of course, but I did. I went straight to her room and looked for those grooves in the carpet. I picked that chair up, and beneath it was the groove in the deep, plush carpet that suggested to me it hadn’t been moved. Now she could’ve moved that chair to put her makeup on, and moved it back, but why would she move it back? Was she concerned that she might appear heartless? I don’t think she thought in those terms, no matter what was going on in her mind at the time.

“With that evidence in mind, I wondered if she leaned forward, away from the dangling body, or if she simply shouldered that foot out of her way, in the manner one would a pesky, silver, helium balloon tickling their shoulder in a department store. I tried to picture her distraught when she did this. I mean, at that point, there was nothing she could do. The body was there. Her ex-boyfriend completed the task. Was it possible that she was so broken up over the incident that she put on her makeup, and mascara, for the sole purpose of occupying her time and mind, until I arrived? It was possible, of course, and I tried to explore that, and every other possibility I could think of as we stood in the apartment. She is so good looking, that I considered exploring all possibilities mandatory, but I knew deep down that she considered it so important to look good that she was willing to work around the hanging body of her dead ex-boyfriend to put on makeup. I knew her well enough to know what her priorities were.

“There was a compliment in there, somewhere, in that she wanted to look her best for me, but she wanted to look her best for everyone, so I didn’t think the general sentiment of that compliment was directed at me. I wondered if her effort included a concern about whatever police officer might answer the call. If the cop was good-looking, and she didn’t put her makeup on, the hot cop would be a witness to her unpreparedness. I knew I was lucky to be with her, don’t get me wrong, but she was always dropping lines such as “One should always look their best, no matter what the circumstance. Even when you are just running to the grocery store, you should always look your best,” she said. “You never know who you’re going to run into.” She said cliché gunk like that all the time, like “You never get another chance to make a first impression.” I remember I joked with her that I thought she’d never have a problem with that, and she never will. I think we can all agree to that,” he said looking around the table. We all did. “She’s one of those few people that could go three weeks without a shower and still make a great first impression, but it’s all those secondary and tertiary impressions that are what did her in for me, so I dumped her.”

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