Magicians and manipulation: my latest lesson in dating.

I’ve always been told that I’m an intelligent girl with common sense and a great judge of character. Apparently I’m loyal, protective of those I care about and I have enough of a guard around my heart to steer clear those that would hurt me for quite some time now. Years, actually.

Enter the Magician.

On the night I met him, I’ll admit I wasn’t very sober, but there were no rose-tinted glasses on the brim of my nose. After chatting for a while I called him out immediately, telling him he was most likely arrogant and a user of women. He was a doorman, you see. At the time he laughed and spent the next two weeks convincing me I was wrong. We took things slow, went on nice dates and he wouldn’t even kiss me for a while, portraying himself to be the opposite of everything I accused him of the night we met.

The thing is, my drunken self was right, but that stubborn, lonely part of me that wanted to believe I was wrong took over and let the Magician into my life.

We dated for over four months. We had the “exclusive” talk early and more than once just to make things clear. He partied with my j-school friends, bonded with my roommate and even met my parents. Everyone loved him. Mind you, he of course had his problems, but they were more to do with baggage and bad habits than being a bad person. We were complete opposites in most ways, but he was sweet, kind and thoughtful. He cooked for me a lot and brought me flowers every time he came over. My apartment was never without fresh flowers for quite some time. He complimented me almost too much, making me feel sexy and gorgeous, like I was the most beautiful girl in Vancouver.

Everything was going great, except for all that baggage and those bad habits I mentioned. Those are what eventually forced my hand to end to relationship. After all, the Magician was unstable, and the one thing I want in my life at my age is stability.

So I ended things on good terms with nothing but the utmost respect for him, with no bad feelings whatsoever save for guilt that it couldn’t work out.

A month later I found out he was regularly sleeping with two other women the entire time we were together. All those things I thought were bad habits were, in fact, bad omens, things that immediately revealed themselves to be the warning signs of a cheater.  And just like that, the significance of this person in my life shattered into pieces. As it turns out, I knew absolutely nothing about him.

Now, why I call him the Magician.

About a month before I ended things, I had him over for drinks with my roommate and we decided to do a quick Tarot card reading. You close your eyes and move your hand over the deck until you are drawn to one particular card, feeling its energy.

He pulled the Reverse Magician. My roommate’s eyes widened as he turned the card over, and her eyes flashed quickly to me from her position on the floor. For a moment she said nothing.

“I’m sorry,” she finally said, “I’m just trying to figure out how to say this.”

I remember my heart jumping into my throat at the look on her face.

She now tells me she immediately wanted to ask him, “Who are you lying to?” knowing perfectly well it was me, but she too liked him and wanted to believe the card was about something else going on in his life.

But we now know too well it wasn’t.

The reverse Magician means greed, deceit, trickery, cunning and manipulation. It signifies someone using charm and power in a manipulative manner to convince people of his stories, like a seedy car salesman, using deceit for negative ends.

Tarot: the reversed Magician

 “Possibilities become jokes and empty promises rather than true visions of what could be. This is the ‘music man’ running off with the money rather than really teaching boys how to use those instruments and create a band.”

And to think he pulled this card himself, using his own energy.

As more details of what was going on come to light, I realize this Magician had the black top hat pulled over everyone’s eyes, not just mine. Many things I thought I knew about him were complete lies, which no longer surprises me now that the shock has subsided. He fooled not only me, but my friends and family. I suppose one could call him a master magician. He has, after all, had many years to perfect his tricks and many people to practice on.

Despite being tricked by a professional, I still can’t help blaming myself for not seeing the signs in front of me, and in the case of the Tarot card, a very strong sign indeed. In retrospect they were there, blazing before all of our eyes, but we chose to ignore them, or to administer them to something else.

I hope I won’t be fooled again, but at the same time, the world of men won’t be shunned over one asshole’s trickery. I’ll just wise up, like when you’re a kid and you finally realize your uncle doesn’t actually “got your nose” after all. It’s an unfortunate learning process a lot of people, men and women, have to go through.

After all, life is always about learning, progressing and bettering ourselves, isn’t it? You get better at reading people, you learn to listen to and respect your gut when it’s trying to say something. You smarten up, you move on and you hopefully develop the ability to distinguish between fact and fiction, or in this case, between the Magician and a real man.

2 Responses to “Magicians and manipulation: my latest lesson in dating.”

  1. August 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Lessons in love are always seemingly the toughest lessons to learn, but not one of us goes through life without them. There’s no blanket statement that will make sense to everyone because each situation is individual. I’ve been where you’ve been, sorting out through past deceits and trying to decide where I saw it and where I chose to ignore what I knew was nagging at me the whole time.

    At the end of the day, yes, life is about learning and bettering yourself. As painful as these reminders can be, they’re crucial parts to shaping the women we are today and the women we’ll become. Without the assholes and the magicians, we’ll never learn how much strength with which we can stand on our own legs. However, it’s definitely better to realize these truths sooner than months, years or even a lifetime down the road.

    Keep your chin held up high, Katie. Thanks for sharing this…

  2. August 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Women are fooled every day and the intelligent woman no less than the rest. One thing that sets some of us apart is summed up in a very profound and gracious statement made by you “the world of men won’t be shunned over one asshole’s trickery. ” Good for you! I like it. May I steal it? :)

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