I’ve been on two internet dates. One ended with me getting hot tea poured deliberately into my lap, and the other one was a fucking disaster.
Many moons ago, I went through a period of pretty low self esteem. I had just gotten out of the military and had a five year long relationship end on bad terms. I was adrift in life, and women could smell it on me. It was like I had a phantasmal neon sign above my head that read “Mid twenties male. Brash, annoying, desperate, clingy.” There was no love out there for your Faithful Scribe.
I did what every idiot does at that point, which was to convince myself that if I could just get the right girl, everything would look up. The ladies were not so enthusiastic about my cart before the horseness. I turned to eHarmony to remedy this unfortunate situation.
After the month long vetting process, I finally arranged a date. The girl was a Mary Kay salesperson (make up ladies are hot, right?) and seemed to be about where I was in life. I drove over to her apartment to take her to dinner, visions of meeting my future wife playing in my head. I just knew that this would be The One – we were going to become a team and pull each other out of our collective funks, building each other’s self esteem. Together, we were going to conquer the world.
I pulled up outside her building (she didn’t give me her actual apartment number for PERSEC reasons) in the rain and called her. After she said she was coming out, I began watching for her. I am a gentleman and always open the door for a lady, but I wanted to stay in my warm, dry truck as long as possible. After several false alarms, I heard a knock on my passenger side door. My finely tuned jungle sense had somehow missed the future love of my life walking across the parking lot.
I sprung into action, much chagrined. Had I messed up her first impression already? I hopped out, and went around to the passenger side door. The creature I beheld was nothing like the one that had danced in my mind on the trip over. There were no long, lean thighs. There was no feminine jawline, no perfect (but tastefully concealed) busom pushing through a sheer (but tasteful, you see?) blouse. Absent were soulful (but glinting with subtle mischief!) eyes.
I was looking at a human tub of shit. This poor girl had let herself go to the point of repulsiveness. She had two and a half chins, a pannus that hung to her knock-knees, and tiny, beady eyes that were permanently squinting due to the oppressive weight of facial fat. Dear Reader, I believe I actually took several steps back.
“Hi, Dogsquat! I’m so excited to meet you. Where are we going to eat?”
My mind raced. I had reservations at a five star restaurant. I was prepared to invest three or four hundred dollars on dinner with the vision in my head. There is no sense skimping on the woman who was to be my salvation, I had reasoned. But this? Is this what I deserved? Hell no.
“I figured we could head over to The Macaroni Grill. They have pretty good food, I guess.”
Quick thinking, right? Smooth, too. Not smooth or quick enough to back out of this date, though. I was bullied into opening the truck door by social convention, and my inability to be a total asshole to an obese girl.
Have you ever seen films of the paratroopers getting on planes prior to jumping into Normandy? Burdened by a hundred pounds of gear and parachute, those brave men struggled up the ladders into DC-3s, teetering on the threshold until they got a helpful shove from the man behind them. Watching this woman get into my truck was quite similar. She huffed and puffed, quivered and jiggled, and finally slopped herself into the passenger’s seat. My huge Dodge truck with a 3/4 ton suspension groaned. When I got back on my side, I swear my truck had a ten degree list to starboard.
Walking in to the restaurant with her, I was as embarrassed as I have been since a very unfortunate incident in fourth grade. The men cast pitying looks at me, and the women were not much better. The servers looked at her greedily, knowing there was economic opportunity in a woman who obviously ate so much.
Dinner conversation was uncomfortable, until I struck upon an idea. I asked about her past relationships. If I wasn’t going to get to know the future Mrs. Dogsquat, I could at least do anthropological research into the kind of man who sought a woman such as this. She was emboldened by my seeming interest in her.
“Oh, I don’t date a lot. I was seeing this guy for awhile, but he cheated on me and gave me an STD.”
“Oh..An STD?…So…uh…what did you get?” Like she had won a raffle or grab bag or something.
“I have genital warts. Don’t worry, though – I get them frozen off and you won’t catch anything. We can still have sex.”
“I hope we do have sex later. I’m having a really good time with you. I promise it will be great.” The last part was said with what I assume was a conspiratorial wink, but it looked like some adipose triggered facial tic.
“Okay.” I said.
That was the final blow for me. At that point in my life, I might have sunk so low as to use this poor creature for sex, but the thought of warts on my unit put the kibosh on that. We sped through dinner, her surely thinking I was excited by the promise of wading through folds of Limburger scented chub in search of her diseased lady parts, and me wishing for an ejection seat instead of a booth.
When we pulled up in front of her apartment building after dinner, I made the usual excuses about being tired and having to work early in the morning.
“You’ll call me, right?”
I envisioned her very own phantasmal neon sign spinning over her head. It read “Female, mid-twenties. Fat, boring, desperate, and an STD.”
I went home, deleted her number, and drank half a bottle of Jack. Something had to change, I thought. This can’t be all there is for me….