Ask Dr. Tracy

What I Did For Love (Sandy)

Sandy is an editor for a major publishing company known for its line of feminist books, which is why this story of "Crazy Love" is so surprising coming from her.

She thinks the whole problem started because of her well- known workaholic tendencies. "I tend to be the one who does all the work, which is why I went overboard, I guess, when I met Dan. He was like a project for me.

"I met him one year after my divorce. I was 35, he was 38. He was a doctor, the handsomest creature I'd ever seen. He had been a college basketball player and still had this gorgeous body.

"We started going out, and right away I tried to do crazy things to attract and hold his attention. For instance, he was head of some doctor's organization and traveled a lot, so I asked him if I could take him to the airport.

"He said, 'No, no, it's too much of a commitment,' but I laughed and said, "Don't worry, no commitment."

"So I dashed out and bought a taxi driver-type cap and white shirt and got some lettering put on the back of the shirt that said `NCCC' and underneath in small letters, "NO COMMITMENT CAB COMPANY, phone 212 888-NCCC.' When I picked him up in my outfit he seemed amazed and somewhat charmed, so of course I kept it up.

"On his return, I met him in a cop's uniform. I held up a sign that said "L.A. CITY P.D.' and called him "The Perp," like I was a police transport.

"Whenever he travelled, I'd meet him at the airport gate with his name on some kind of sign. I'd lift and carry his bags and do everything but carry him. Sure, I was embarrassed walking around the airport with silly clothes on, but it was worth it to show him how clever I was, how different from all the other women he knew.

"One time Dan was coming in with his son from Ohio, and I knew the No Commitment Cab Co. or the police outfit wouldn't work, so I dressed like a Gypsy cab. I was in full Gypsy regalia, long hair, scarves, jewelry and even carried a crystal ball.

"Even after I found out he was still screwing his old girlfriend, and she never did anything original, I kept it up. Don't ask me why.

"I went to such extremes. One time, I showed up in his emergency room with a fake bullet wound in my hand. I'd gotten it at a magic store in Hollywood, and I thought the wound and the fake blood looked pretty realistic. He was only mildly amused, which I guess was all I could expect when I saw how busy he was.

"So I said, `OK, I'll get out of your hair if you can just find me some alcohol. It's the only thing that will get this stuff off.' So we went into the back room, and there was this cop there with some accident victim.

"Anyway, the cop is working on his accident report and out of the blue, Dan says to the cop, `Aren't you supposed to make a police report about bullet wounds?'

"The cop looks up and says, `Bullet wound? What bullet wound?' He looks at me from across the room and right away starts to get green. `Jeez, that looks real bad,' he gasps. Dan, meanwhile, is cracking up and trying not to show it.

"So I say, `Oh, it's nothing. My boyfriend was cleaning his gun and it went off by accident. It's not so bad, except where it's started to fester,' I just love that word, fester. Anyway, the cop keeps looking at my wound, except when he does he can't stand it. He's trying to be macho, but he looks like he's going to be sick any second.

"`Well, we'd better report that,' he says.

"At that point I chickened out on the gag and said, `Wait. It's a joke. It's a fake wound, I bought it in a toy store.'

"The cop looks over at Dan, who by now can't keep a straight face, and he gets furious. `Oh shit, shit,' he yells, totally ignoring the accident victim who's looking at us like we're all crazy. `That's not funny. I can't believe you got a doctor to go along with something so stupid.'

"It was the first time Dan got any real pleasure out of anything I did. Usually, he'd barely react, which I guess is why I kept trying even more outrageous stunts. He was a lot like my father, and I acted like I did when I was a little girl, jumping through hoops trying to get his attention.

"I thought if I entertained him he would love me. It never penetrated. He didn't care. He didn't respond. Come to think of it, I never really got my father's attention, and never got him to love me, either."

Sandy rationalizes that she got some pleasure from her "project" with Dan. "Actually, I enjoyed being imaginative and using my creativity, but I felt anxious and sweaty, really manic most of the time."

Related Keywords: Bad Prospects, Giving Too Much, Over-Romanticizing, Love Addiction, Dependency

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