Scientology is so hot right now. I just had to date one to see what it was like, Just kidding. The guy was actually an ex-Scientologist, and I didn't even know he was one until our fourth date. But still! Former Scientologists are so much more fascinating than regular, boring, non-former-cult members, so I was surprised he didn't tell me about it right away. I mean, we could have used the conversation.
I just knew there had to be something very wrong with him. So I Googled him’‚¬¦ When I saw that he not only joined the Church of Scientology, but was a member of the Sea Org, I was stunned.
When he asked me out, he knew about my “Washingtonienne” blog, my book, how I got in trouble – the whole mess. And he wanted to date me despite (or possibly because of) my bad rep. He was also tall, good-looking, made big money on Wall Street – all that good stuff that gave a single man in New York the right to be very picky about whom he dated. Since I was such damaged goods, I just knew there had to be something very wrong with him. So I Googled him.
I know it's compulsory these days, but I had been putting it off because I wanted to get to know him on my own, and I know from personal experience that you can't believe everything you read about a person on the Internet. Since I don't Google so well myself, I couldn't hold it against him if I found anything off-putting.
But my curiosity got the better of me, and I Googled him after our fourth date. When I saw that he not only joined the Church of Scientology, but was a member of the Sea Org, I was stunned. I just couldn't imagine him offering strangers “stress tests” in the Subway, which was the only place I had ever seen Scientologists in real life. I mean, the guy seemed so normal. But then again, they all do at first, Scientologists or not.
So I read on and learned that he was now considered an “enemy” of the Church. This made him even more intriguing than before! But why had he not told me? It was probably the most interesting thing about him and he was keeping it from me. Meanwhile, he knew all about my promiscuous phase in Washington. It just didn't seem fair.
I tried leaving out some magazines with TomKat on the cover on my coffee table. You know, as conversation starters.
“Wow, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes”, I would remark. Isn't that something?”.
I didn't want to say “Isn't that crazy?” because I didn't want to sound judgmental, but what I really wanted to know was, “How could you believe that stupid alien shit? What the fuck is wrong with you? What are you, an idiot?!”
He would just shrug and flip through the magazines, saying nothing. Frustrated, I consulted an expert on relationship trickery: my hairdresser.
“You know what you should do?” he asked he trimmed my split ends. “You should print out whatever that thing was you found on Google. Then you should say something like, “I don't know where I found this, but this person looks just like you! He even has the same name! Isn't that crazy?”
I agreed this was the perfect idea. So I tucked the print-out of the news article I found about him in my handbag and met him for dinner. I couldn't wait to see the look on his face when I confronted him with it. I sat on my hands, waiting for the perfect moment.
“I have something to tell you”, he told me as the waiter cleared away the first course.
Then he beat me to it: He told me everything on his own. It was exactly what I had been hoping for all along, but then I had to sit there, pretending I knew nothing about it, feigning surprise at his story. Ultimately, I was the one who couldn't be honest with him.
Later that night, I admitted to him that I knew all along. He broke up with me soon after.
“You're too messed-up for me”, the ex-Scientologist told me.
And I laughed so hard, I cried.
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