I like to think of myself as a girl that is not completely and totally obsessed with appearance – a bad haircut is not going to repel me – but sometimes looks do matter and, in the case of Adam, I was not just simply unattracted to him but borderline repulsed by his appearance. Sounds like a great start for a long and fruitful relationship, right? No, no, no and no.
Online, Adam looked like an extremely promising dating candidate. He had a shaved head, one of my favorite things, loved to travel, liked to explore the urban sights in Seattle and was an avid reader. We had even eaten at the same restaurant in Kauai within two weeks of each other. What were the odds? That had to be a sign, I just knew it! Adam was also a successful architect and he sent me several photos of spaces he had designed in Seattle and San Francisco that I found incredibly impressive. After a few emails, he suggested driving to meet me in his new sports car for dinner. Adam could only be more perfect if he arrived wearing a cape. I was eagerly anticipating meeting my new superhero.
I arrived at the restaurant after Adam and he was already sitting at the table. I could see the back of him as the hostess walked me to the table and I got even more excited. He didn’t appear to be wearing a cape but he was indeed bald and seemed to be snappily dressed with a very acceptable shape to his torso. It could be good, it could be good…
I got to the table and Adam stood up to meet me. He extended his right hand to shake mine but he kept his left hand kind of over his mouth so I couldn’t see the lower part of his face. I thought maybe he had dipped into the breadbasket and was finishing chewing but, no, he sat back down, propped his elbow on the bread-less table and kept his hand in front of his face as we started to talk. What the hell? He was not a soft talker so I could at least hear him but, really? I wanted to ask him to let me see his whole face but that seemed kind of rude so I perused the menu instead.
Adam kept up the hiding act even while we ordered – I saw the waiter kind of give him a weird look and bend down so he could hear him speak – but, when our cocktails arrived, I thought the game had to be up. He couldn’t drink through his hand. But, I was wrong. He managed to move his hand out and slip the glass up behind it, take a sip and extricate it without me even seeing his lips. I could not look away and I cannot even tell you what we initially talked about. I thought I had seen almost everything in a date but Adam was raising the bar.
By the time our entrees had arrived and our cocktails had been finished, Adam seemed to be getting more relaxed and, as we started to eat, his hand went into his lap and I finally saw what he was hiding. He had braces, not so weird, but his teeth were the smallest things I had ever seen, as in smaller than the brackets of the braces, and he appeared to only have about five of them. I am not even sure how the braces didn’t just fall out of his mouth. Sweet lord. As a girl that is quite particular about a good oral presentation, this was not looking promising.
Not surprisingly, things did not improve once we started eating. Adam got a spinach salad and it took about two minutes for huge pieces of it to get stuck in his braces. He was talking on and on about his ex-girlfriend, which normally in and of itself would have been extremely unattractive, but I didn’t even notice because I was trying so hard not to look at his mouth. I swear he had a whole garden in his teeth. Finally, mercifully, we were done eating. Adam swilled a bunch of water and excused himself to use the bathroom, and please, please, I hoped, clean out his teeth.
When he returned, Adam sat back down and, once again, the hand was my conversation partner. He did put it down to laugh a couple of times but he did so with his mouth completely closed in a kind of snorting fashion. I felt like I was on a date with Dr. Evil. I tried to let the mouth and the teeth and the hand stuff go because Adam seemed like an ok guy, although still clearly obsessed with his last relationship. But I couldn’t. It was obviously not his fault but I was absolutely, 100%, no doubt, not attracted to him, at all, not one bit.
I went to the bathroom and mulled over whether I was being the biggest jerk on the planet. Adam couldn’t help his teeth, he was obviously aware of their appearance and he was trying to do something about it. But I had to be honest with myself. Did I ever see myself not noticing Adam’s teeth? Was I going to want to kiss him with my mouth? Was it possible to have a relationship with someone and just let the attraction thing go? With a sick feeling in my stomach, jerk or no jerk, I knew what my answer was going to have to be. I am kind of fond of wanting to kiss someone.
Luckily enough, when I returned to the table, Adam was already standing, waiting, with his coat on and, of course, his hand over his mouth. Maybe this was going to be easier than I thought. He offered to walk me to my car and, once we were there, he gave me a side hug – only one arm needed!, thanked me for the night and was off. I stood by my car for a minute in a little bit of a daze. That was one of the weirdest dates I had ever, ever been on. It seemed almost like a dream, a really bad dream.
I did get an email, almost a week later, from Adam telling me that he had had a good time and would interested in meeting for coffee if I wanted to. I politely declined and that was the last I ever heard from him. At least I was learning something about what I could and could not live with. Bad haircut? Workable. A mouth that resembled a jack-a-lantern? Maybe not so much. We all have our standards. It doesn’t make me proud.
Just a reminder that I am not currently online dating so this another favorite story from the past. You can always check out my book for more stories and my essential online dating tips! Click here for more information on ‘Dates With Kate: Tales and Tips From An Online Dating Veteran’!