Many of my friends have encouraged me to write about their dating tales and woes, as long as I keep them anonymous. I have to admit, the stories are often amusing and make for a good read. So today, I start a new series called Dating Tales. In our first story, we get to hear about Mr. Pudgy. Enjoy!
Caroline decided to try her luck at dating sites. She had always shied away from them in the past, preferring to meet men the old-fashioned way; which truthfully no longer exists in this day and age. But with the clock ticking and no sign of marriage or kids on the horizon, she was ready to try just about anything at this point.
She spent an entire day taking selfies with different backgrounds for her profile images. She answered all the questions and made sure she was very, very specific about what type of man she preferred. Once she completed her profiles on two sites, she felt very pleased with herself and excited about the prospect of meeting new potentials. Sure, she knew she would need to weed through some of them but overall, she was excited about the future!
In comes Demarco. He was shorter than she preferred but she could live with that. He didn’t have any children and had only been married once before. Ok, so far, not too bad. He lived in her city, appeared to make a decent salary and was very respectful in his response to her profile. Why not, she said to herself, give it a shot. Caroline responded with her standard “Hi, how are you?” and waited to hear a response.
It was almost immediate and they went back and forth for a good bit, chatting and asking all the usual get to know you questions. After a couple of days, Caroline felt comfortable enough to give him her phone number and they spent many a night chatting into the wee hours of the morning. So far so good, all good signs and this lead her to be comfortable enough to accept their first date.
Caroline made sure to leave work early the day of their date. She wanted to spend a good deal of time on her appearance to make the best first impression. They decided to meet up at one of her favorite gourmet taco eateries that was all the rave. She purposely chose to keep the date economical so she could show him that she was about more than money.
Arriving early, she decided to get them a table and look over the menu. She was so eager for them to finally meet as their conversations had been amazing and she really felt like they had a connection. Demarco texted her that he had arrived and was on his way inside. Caroline braced herself for the meeting.
After viewing his profile pictures, she was pretty sure she would know him on sight but after a few patrons entered, she felt puzzled as to why she had not recognized him yet. Several minutes later, she decided to give him a call to see if he had possibly gone to the wrong location.
A phone rang behind her and she heard a man answering hello, just as she heard Demarco saying hello on the phone. Excitedly she turned around to see her date and her face collapsed!
Here stood a pudgy man with a sweat soaked shirt in shorts and flip flops. He had on geeky glasses and he looked an absolute mess – like a disheveled mutt . “Demarco?” she questioned. “Heyyyy” and he opened his arms to give her a big hug. What was she to do, she couldn’t be rude. So he left her no choice but to embrace all his sweaty and musty stench. He said he was 5’11 but he was more like 5’6 maybe 5’7. His profile stated he was athletic but he must have been looking at his toes when he selected that description since they were sticking out pretty strongly.
To prevent herself from staring and giving away her disappointment, she directed them to the counter to order. She made some suggestions, placed her order and then he placed his. She waited as his fumbled in his wallet and was caught off guard AGAIN when he offered her 10 dollars and said “that should cover mine right?”. OMG! The nerve of this pudgy midget!
He then excused himself and said he needed to go clean up in the bathroom. How tacky! Showering in the bathroom sink, just lovely. Caroline took their food, tried to pull herself together and hope he would provide an explanation for his appearance.
Well, that was certainly too much to ask. He returned to the table in a shirt that was about a size too small. He said something she could barely make out and watched him tear into his tacos as if it was his last meal. All throughout the meal, he would mumble things but Caroline had a lot of trouble making out what he was saying. She really wanted to open her phone and look at his profile again and see where she had gone wrong.
After his food frenzy, Demarco sat back, crossed his hands over his protruding belly and said with a satisfied smirk “boy am I tired now. Sure could use a nice place to lay my head and take a shower.” What the hell? Was he hinting at going to her place? Disgusted, Caroline got her meal wrapped to go and made feeble excuses about being tired as well and having an early morning. Demarco didn’t seem to mind, he was too satiated with food at the moment to think about anything beyond sleep.
As they walked out to their cars, he pointed out his truck and said he guessed he would have to sleep there for now. Ok, why didn’t this man just go home and sleep? What in the world was going on that he had to sleep in his truck? At that point, Caroline was beyond caring and just wanted to escape. Demarco kept hinting at a shower and bed. Caroline just kept ignoring him and was so relieved to make it to her car.
He opened up his arms wide for another hug, Caroline leaned in and out quickly, barely patting his back. He told her how much he had enjoyed meeting her and how much fun he had with her. She didn’t know what fun he was referring to – was it the public bathroom sink shower? No maybe it was the taco feeding frenzy he had embarked on? Surely, it wasn’t the conversations, if you can even call it that.
Caroline almost slammed on the gas pedal to get out of there. She wasn’t a mile down the street before Demarco was texting her and saying how tired he was and how he hated to be sticky from work. Caroline ignored his texts until she got home. Once she was safely ensconced in her apartment, she simply replied “Here are the directions to the nearest Red Cross facilities” and immediately put him on block.
~ Mara Prose