The Beef — a contender for the Best Worst Boyfriend

I put a link to my blog on Facebook to increase traffic, and got an interesting comment from an ex-boyfriend, The Beef, about how he should move back to DC. I'm not sure if he meant that he would do better in this town than most guys or that I would do better dating him, but either option was amusing.

Why did I find this so funny? Because The Beef ranks up there on my list of Best Worst Boyfriends! We dated in 1996 for several months and again in 2001. (Oh, if you're realizing that I have a pattern for recycling my exes, then pat yourself on the back.) I will list his pros and his cons, and let you make your own determination about whether he was a good boyfriend.


1. The Beef is articulate, intelligent and active politically. He worked for the RNC and the Congressional Black Caucus. The Beef was a player in politics at an age when most of us are merely excited to vote; and

2. He is an amazing lover. The Beef is not a euphemism, and he knows how to work his kabob.


1. When we reconnected in 2001, The Beef had just moved back to DC and was living temporarily at a friend's place. Shortly after we started dating again, I headed off to California on vacation. The Beef called and asked if he could stay at my place indefinitely. I felt bad for him and saw some potential so I said sure. My friend, Nicole, commented, "Only you could go away and have your relationship move forward." I wouldn't say that The Beef was a freeloader, but he definitely wasn't doing as well professionally as he once was;

2. When I returned from my trip, I was looking forward to seeing him and opened the door with a huge smile on my face. My smile turned to a look of wide-eyed shock, when I saw my apartment. There were roaches in my studio. There were several trash bags that were just in the middle of the room, despite the fact that the trash chute was 30 steps away. His stuff was all over. I like my place impeccably neat so I was freaking out.

"I missed you so much," The Beef said. "I'm so glad you're back. What are you thinking?"

"I'm thinking that I can't live in this mess," I replied;

3. The path of destruction went on…and on. I had a bizarre burnt sienna stain on my carpet, a cigarette burn on my comforter, and a huge black ink stain on my duvet. He didn't apologize or mention any of those things to me in advance so it was like a torturous scavenger hunt. One of my picture frames was broken, and I asked him where the photo of my parents was.

"The photo is right there," he stated.

"That was a two-sided picture frame. Where's the other picture of my folks?" I inquired. (For some back-story, my Mom passed away in 1997. Pictures of her are things that I understandably treasure.) He said that he didn't have it;

4. We went to a birthday party for a guy I dated a bit in college, and The Beef drank a lot of vodka. I don't have a problem with that, but out of nowhere, I saw The Beef's version of Mr. Hyde. I made a comment about how he kept talking to this girl at the party, and he started screaming at me. I asked him to calm down, but he wouldn't. For the next two hours, he proceeded to talk about how: a) fat I had gotten; b) my health problems aren't a big deal; and c) I'm so spoiled. Through his entire tirade, I did not shed a tear, and just told him that he was way out of line.

The icing on the cake? He said that I made him so mad that he wanted to hit me and screamed that I was a bitch.

"OK. You can leave now."

"Where am I supposed to go? It's 3am!" he exclaimed.

"I don't care where you go. You only need to call me a bitch and threaten to hit me once."

As he was getting his Hefty bags together (he used trash bags in lieu of luggage), the picture of my parents that was missing fell out of the bag. He claimed that he didn't know he had that.

He apologized for his behavior the next day, but I told him that there was no excuse for what he said. I was done;

5. Several weeks later, I had friends come over for dinner. I went to set the table, and pulled out all of my small plates. The plate on the bottom still had food on it. Apparently, The Beef didn't wash the dishes before he put them on the bottom of the pile in the back in the cupboard. Gross; and

6. The following month, my phone bill came. While I was on vacation, The Beef made $75 in calls from my home phone to a (900) number. I e-mailed him about getting the money back. He insisted that the (900) number was for Technical Support for his computer. More like Testicle Support, if you ask me! He said that he would get me the money, but I knew that he never would pay me back.

I called one of my girlfriends, after I found the dishes and the phone bill came. In both conversations, I opened with the same line:


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