When his mostly phone and email romance with LA trailed off in October 2005, Leif began dating again and meeting the dates through match.com and eharmony.com. He told me that some guys asked why he was willing to shell out the membership fees and he said that it would cost more than that to hit the bars and other places trying to find companionship, and that he had found them to be terrible places to meet people.
On January 25, 2006, he got a "wink" from someone on match.com that piqued his interest. He had been an ardent fan of Douglas Adam's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" since he was in junior high, and he met few women who had similar reading, or television, interest. Thus he was impressed when D emailed him "42," the classic answer to "life, the universe and everything." He was instantly interested in meeting her. I believe they first met on his 31st birthday, January 28, 2006. She was about to move out of Tampa with some friends and he didn't want her to go. He first began bringing her to our house, where I met her in early February. We weren't willing to have a friend of his (any friend) move in, though, I don't know whether it was Leif's idea or D's or both, but they decided to get an apartment in Tampa together.
Leif knew he was going to have to move out of the three rooms he occupied in our house before I completed the move from Kansas in September, so he saw this as an opportunity to move out and live with someone captivating who could help with the rent, and he hoped it would "go somewhere," in his terms.
D was very different from other women Leif was involved with, at least the ones I'd met. She was street smart and had had a very tough childhood. She was funny and cute, mercurial, and talked so fast it could make your head swim. I liked her, but sometimes she was so hyper she made me nervous. I remember standing with both of them in our kitchen when they announced that they were moving in together in Tampa and saying, "It's too soon. You don't know each other well enough yet. You've both had some very sad and tough times and neither of you can emotionally afford another romantic disaster." I told D that I didn't have anything against her. I didn't know her well enough to have any negative feelings about her, but I was worried they were making a big mistake to move in with each other after only knowing each other for three weeks or less. They both pooh-poohed my concerns. I think Leif thought that he would be able to enjoy her companionship and what he then felt was an endearing flightiness and have someone to share expenses. I don't think he ever felt he was going to get in too deep. Although he was captivated when he moved out of here, he wasn't yet in love.
They found an apartment in Tampa and we asked them whether it was a good neighborhood. Leif told us it was. Unfortunately, it wasn't. It was in that apartment that they were robbed a mere five months later in July 2006. It was a small two-bedroom, ground floor apartment in an older complex. Since I was still going back and forth to Kansas in those days, I didn't see much of Leif except once or twice each time I was back in Florida, and only heard from him occasionally.
D was a part time model and she modeled at the Daytona Bike Week. Leif took her there in March for modeling jobs. Things did not go smoothly and the trip cost him money and time he didn't really have to spare and he was falling into debt again, though he didn't admit that to us at all. D had trouble holding down a job and with Leif's spending habits and the added expenses of an apartment, utilities and a second person, he was not able to keep up with the financial situation. He did admit to us that money was tight, but not that he was building up credit card debt fast.
There were other issues that cropped up between them that spring, and in an attempt to deal with them in a light-hearted manner, he wrote a "job description" of a live-in girlfriend. Leif was not, in general, a demanding man, but he did have standards and he did have expectations. Though he chose to handle this in a somewhat joking manner, you can read between the lines about why he felt he should write it at all. Things were rocky, but he was still hoping they would work out.
From: Leif Garretson
Subject: Job Posting
Date: Wednesday, April 5, 2006, 8:52 PM
The following document shouldn't be taken too seriously or literally, and considered with a sense of humor, for it is an analogy or metaphor. It is not intended to suggest that a Girlfriend is an "employee." So read it, learn from it, and reference it if you need to.
Position: "Live In Girlfriend"
The following is a listing for the position of Live-in Girlfriend. This is a semi-permanent to permanent position with potential for advancement for a qualified and dedicated individual offering significant benefits proportional to the applicant's qualifications and performance.
Applicants must be female and either bi or heterosexual. They should be between 21 and 31 years of age and seeking permanent satisfying employment. Motivation and high sex drive are a must. As they will be working for a very sexual and visually oriented employer it is necessary to maintain physical fitness and an overall attractive and stimulating appearance. The appearance and behavior reflect on the employer and a successful applicant must be willing to put her best foot forward in representing herself and her employer. As part of the specifics of the appearance required, any applicant will be expected to maintain a slender build, typically weighing 100-130 pounds, unless unusually tall or short. Applicant must, with reasonable exceptions, maintain a well-kempt, feminine appearance that is attractive to her employer. The quality of that appearance and the consistency with which it is maintained will be directly proportional to benefits and compensation both, deliberate and unconscious.
Applicant must accept that she is in a mature environment free of unnecessary drama or conflict and excessive outbursts or immature, overly emotional behavior; particularly, ones which may disturb neighbors or embarrass the employer will not be tolerated. No allowance or exception will be made to this rule for use of alcohol, as immature behavior is not excused due to inebriation.
A successful applicant must be driven to better herself and assist her employer in doing the same. She must cooperate in joint efforts to maintain physical fitness and/or curb destructive vices.
The person that will succeed at this job is one that will take pride in her position and who will seek to make her employer proud of her. She should understand that her actions do not exist in a vacuum, but rather that everything she does, private or public, to include personal appearance, demeanor, and behavior, reflect on her employer. Only a person that is able to portray themselves in a positive and flattering light that will reflect well on her employer amongst others, so that she is a credit to him, will have opportunity for promotion or advancement.
She will have to leave past dramas or patterns of dealing with difficulty behind and embrace a more mature, enlightened way of dealing with things.
She should seek to better herself through the pursuit of education and employment and make goals for each.
Ultimately, to advance from this position to a more permanent one, such as "Wife,” she must be willing to consider breast augmentation to an impressive but not ridiculous bustline.
Applicant will be expected to maintain a generally attractive, feminine, appearance. Clothes, hair, make-up, physical fitness and behavior are aspects of this. Slovenly, lazy, or unkempt appearance are not acceptable save for sick or morning after-days. Barring such exceptions, or obvious work-related attire, will be expected to look nice, with hair and make up done and decent clothes. Applicant must take pride in her appearance as Leif's Lady, as she is a representative of her employer.
Applicant will be expected to maintain reasonable employment and contribute to household expenses as well as her own. Leif may, at his sole discretion, chose to supplement this income to provide clothes, lingerie, make up, etc., to make the above task easier, or out of simple generosity. Any activities suggested by the employer he will expect to pay for, such as dinner out, etc. However, the applicant should be pulling her own weight and not be excessively asking for help with expenses that are not shared. Contraception is considered a shared expense. However, things like cigarettes, or other expenses which are not necessary for the fulfilling of any expected tasks, are not Leif's responsibility and should be budgeted for or eliminated by the applicant.
Any individual that accepts the position must expect to be sexually available as well as desirable.
A live-in girlfriend will be expected to cook, clean, and do laundry, though will not be solely responsible for those actions. Leif will participate in all to the degree necessary or appropriate and no further explanation of these tasks will be given unless it becomes disproportionate to the point it is a problem.
A successful applicant will also share as many non-sexual activities as possible, such as movies, TV, and games whenever possible and should keep in mind that if the above requirements for attractiveness and sexual desirability are met, she should not have to compete with things like PlanetSide. Historically, it is evident that when a girlfriend is thin and hot and sexy, PlanetSide does not see much of "Graeloch."
Below is some clarification, explanation or justification for the requirements above, to explain why they are so important.
Weight: I have discussed some of this, but partly it is that opposites attract. I look for in a woman what I see lacking in myself. I am attracted to very thin, slight, feminine women. I am a conqueror and I want someone that looks ripe for conquering, not someone that looks like a worthy adversary. Also, because after the conquering is done, I am a protector. Small, fragile women make me feel protective and powerful. Visually, a light, cat-like build turns me on. Call it shallow if you like; I know what I like. I may not give you shit if you are not as thin as I like, but my desire will not be there.
Appearance and behavior: Again, what you look like, say and do is a reflection on me. You are not just D, you are Leif's Girlfriend. Be one that I would be proud of. Don't ever be one that I would be ashamed of because of how you look or behave. Again, think of what you think My Lady should be like. If you were to write a story about me in this or any other time, and you had to describe my Lady, the woman that you would expect to see at the side of a man like me, what would she be like? How would she look and how would she act?
The two photos of Leif with the blue hair were taken on his last day of seventh grade in June 1988 when they were having some kind of a goofy dress-up day. He was a student at Northwood Junior High School in Highland Park, Illinois. They may seem an odd choice to put with this post, but since it starts out mentioning Douglas Adams and "42," I chose them because that was the period when he read those books and practically memorized them. He could recite whole passages. They made a profound effect on his life and he talked about them all the years he lived after this.