As a single woman in her forties, I did a lot of internet dating. In fact, many of my friends looked upon me as something of an expert in how to weed out the weirdoes and make every date count. I didn’t arrive at that level of expertise without having made some horrific errors, though. Dating four new men in one week was one of them. All told, I’m not sure how I could have avoided this one…
On line, Bill’s picture had him in a group of other men, on a tropical vacation. In the individual picture, his face was partially obscured in shadow. I didn’t think much about either piece of initial evidence, as this was in the early days of internet dating and pictures weren’t as easy to post as they are today. All I knew for sure was that his communications with me were hysterically funny and he never failed to make me laugh. When we finally worked up to a phone conversation, he didn’t let me down. His voice was melodious and his humor remained intact. A face-to-face meeting was called for.
I arrived at the tavern we’d agreed upon and began scanning the room for him. I saw a man at the bar that was looking my way, and even given the distance between us, I knew enough to start praying that this wasn’t my date. Of course, it was.
Bill came to the door and introduced himself. I should have earned an Oscar for my performance as Woman Who Must Mask Her Facial Expressions Because She Is Shallow And Truly Aghast At The Appearance Of Her Date. Bill’s face was deeply scarred from adolescent acne. I could deal with that. His hair was longish and nearly bald on top. The acne scars also covered a good portion of his nearly bald head. I could deal with that. But, his hair was very greasy and stringy and he was sporting a very bad comb over. Now, I found myself attempting to deal with some things that were more difficult manage, and losing that battle.. I had to repeatedly force myself to remember that looks weren’t everything. He was a truly charming man and I needed to give him a chance.
We settled in at the bar and ordered drinks. Conversation flowed easily, but I began having difficulty dealing with yet another aspect of this man’s appearance. You see, as we talked, white strings of dried spit began expanding between his lips and from his tongue to the roof of his mouth. This white crap collected in thick, crescent moons in both corners of his mouth. All I could think of was, “Take a drink! Wet your mouth! Make it go away!” Of course, he did eventually take a drink and the white threads disappeared, only to return as he began to speak again and again and again. I found myself focusing on this with abject horror. It was like the guy was chewing on spider webs. I was ready to gag. Had I owned a cell phone at the time, I would have pulled the old Go To The Ladies’ Room And Have Someone Call Me With An Emergency trick to get me out of that place.
Of course, given enough to drink, he had to get up and go to the bathroom at some point. When he returned, there was something slimy and greenish coming out of his left nostril. I was horrified. As he breathed, it moved in and out of his nostril in sync. He must have noticed my horrified stare and excused himself to go to the restroom again.
In a nanosecond, I pictured how the end of this evening could happen if I stayed. No way was there going to be a kiss. The thought of him hugging me and potentially getting his greasy hair and snot all over me was my next thought. I didn’t hesitate and am only mildly ashamed to admit that I set a new land speed record on my dash out of the door.