Before I met my husband, the dating world was a bleak place. I once went on a date with a man who openly used racial slurs, and another with a man who turned out to be homeless. Shockingly, I met both online.
Of all my bad dates, one sticks out as a special gem.
At a local pub’s trivia night, I met a handsome fellow, henceforth known as “Dan.” Dan was a Stanford-educated lawyer who was new to town. He was a gorgeous black man with a physique that should have been commemorated in marble. I have a problem with staring at people when they’re not looking, then awkwardly avoiding eye contact when they turn my way. I spent many interludes during trivia gazing in Dan’s direction.
For some reason this Olympian had come down from on high and thought that I was cute. At this point in my life, I was chubby, out of shape, and working a menial secretarial job with no real career prospects. I could not understand his attraction.
(My chubster physique for reference):
I could only imagine that the fates were apologizing for all the shitty man-luck I’d had.
He asked me to go rock climbing then out to dinner as our first rendezvous. Sure, I had no upper-body (or any-body) strength and am still afraid of heights, but I could totally make a good impression. We set it up.
What does a chubby girl wear to a workout date? Deodorant was (and frankly still is) no match for the perspiration that ensued whenever I performed the slightest physical task. Walking documents upstairs at work could give me pit stains that nearly hit my waist (if you could find my waist). I needed something comfortable and breathable. I settled on capri-length yoga pants, a sports bra, and a light tee.
At the rock climbing gym I could see his pecs- that were a larger cup size than mine, and his perfectly sculpted abs through a T-shirt that was probably originally sized for a 9-year-old boy. I later found out that while he was studying at Stanford (did I mention he went to Stanford?) his GPA was higher than his body fat percentage… on a 4.0 scale. He told me so himself. I could believe it.
For some reason, it made sense for the novice climber to take the first turn at the wall. Rock climbing harnesses are the least flattering contraptions in existence. I couldn’t wait to be done. I don’t want to imagine what my ass looked like.
Somehow I managed so scramble up the short kiddie-wall. The wall should have only taken a few minutes, but took me close to 20. By the end I had sweat not only under my arms but also on my brow. Sexy. It was my turn to hold the rope while Dan went up the big-kids wall. About halfway up he paused, leaned back, and asked to come down. Maybe he’d decided to call it quits now before wasting more of the evening.
He looked woozy when he reached the ground. Once out of the harness, he quickly made his way to the bathroom. I waited around. It was at least 10 minutes before he emerged, and by that time I was pretty certain he’d been puking.
Dan explained that he had several food allergies that bothered him from time to time. So he wasn’t entirely perfect, but food allergies aren’t that bad, especially compared to being homeless or racist. He went on to tell me he’d “destroyed” the toilet. Lovely.
I’d driven us to the rock climbing gym, so I offered to take him home. He accepted gratefully. I drove about a mile before he needed me to pull over so he could vomit some more.
What do you do when your date is vomiting in the bushes? I thought checking my phone would be the most innocuous task I could perform. I’d give him his privacy.
There were 3 texts from a number I didn’t recognize, but the area code was local. I investigated, and sandwiched between two messages with nearly incomprehensible grammar was what appeared to be a video recording. I thought I spied a confederate flag in the thumbnail. Maybe it was a friend pulling a joke?
Dan was still puking, so I clicked it to play. Indeed it was a confederate flag in the background. Then- oh holy hell- VAGINA! The camera tilted south and I was confronted with an inexpertly shaved vagina and what I assumed was the owner’s middle finger caressing it. I couldn’t watch.
Wrong number. I had been wrong number sexted. Someone had actually mistyped a phone number, and before checking it’s authenticity had shared her vajay-jay. It was so ridiculous that I laughed uncontrollably.
Suddenly I heard from the sidewalk: “are you laughing at me?”
Oh God. Oh God no. It was Dan. My dreams of salvaging this date and remodeling myself as a trophy wife were quickly disintegrating. I knew I could never pull off platinum blonde.
“Oh! Nononono! It was just…” I replied.
He looked at me in a way that said he thought he might have misjudged my character. I felt helpless. So I told him about my sexting debacle.
Dan didn’t seem convinced of my wild story. I did the only thing I could think of, and showed him. I could only hope he wouldn’t think I had a deep-seeded love of the Confederacy when the film opened up to the rebel flag as I hit play.
And then there I was, watching porn with this creature of near perfection. It later occurred to me that likely the only person who would send this sort of crude recording was probably under 18, meaning that we had almost certainly actually watched kiddie porn. It was my only date to crescendo in a felony.
Thank God he laughed. I breathed a sigh of relief. We sat in the car and joked for a few minutes. Maybe it wasn’t that bad. It was only a little bit of a stranger’s vagina mid-date after all.
Dan said he was feeling better and asked if we could still get dinner to help settle his stomach. Phew. I agreed. He suggested sushi, because who doesn’t want to eat raw fish after being violently ill? At the restaurant I learned he was a vegetarian (definitely not perfect), so he ate vegetable rolls as I scarfed down a few fishy bites by myself.
Dan didn’t vomit during dinner. But by that point the chemistry had left the equation. After throwing up then watching porn there wasn’t much left to talk about. I drove him home thinking that I might have made a new friend. At his door I was surprised that he leaned in for the kiss. All I could think about was puke and sushi. If kissing that was the price of being a kept woman, I decided that I could keep myself. I declined the kiss, and we remained cordial friends.
About a year after this date, I went to a mustache and wig party where I met a man in a mullet wig with a handlebar mustache drawn on, drinking Cobra malt liquor out of a paper bag. We’ve been married almost 2 years. Sometimes fate likes to tease us, and sometimes, unexpectedly, it works out.