Spitting is really gross. Watching your prospective date, unbeknownst to him, launch a throat-clearing wad into the parking lot, twice, on his way to meet you, is really, really gross. Rick was a decent guy but his lack of oral manners, in all regards, was not really something I could get past.
Rick emailed me a couple of times and he sounded interesting enough. He traveled to fun places, had a good career at the big computer company in town and could put together a decent email. There were no spelling mistakes, the grammar was decent – I could tell that my online-dating correspondence bar was being lowered day by day – so, when Rick suggested meeting for a drink, I didn’t turn him down. I arrived a little early so I was able to score a seat at the bar that looked out into the parking lot which is how I was able to personally witness Rick sign his death warrant.
I saw a nice Audi pull in and I could see that the driver vaguely resembled Rick so I sat up a little straighter in my seat so I could watch him walk in. He got out of the car and I felt a little relief, a little excitement, because he was pretty cute. Nice haircut, well-dressed, good shoes – these were all positive signs. Then I saw Rick kind of cough, put his hand to his chest and then he turned and, clearing his throat really well first, spit about six feet to his right. The bartender glanced my way because I audibly let out a sound of disgust. Oh, nooooo, that was really, really unattractive. I watched him keep walking and he did get a little cute again and then, sweet mother of god, he did it again. He cleared at least ten feet on the second attempt. I can’t be sure because it landed outside of my field of vision. I made sure to order another drink in the short amount of time before Rick walked into the bar. I was going to need the assistance of alcohol.
I know that there are lots of reasons that people may feel the desire to spit but I just don’t buy it that, unless you are choking to death, there is ever a need to immediately expectorate. Go to the bathroom, use a handkerchief – whatever – but don’t put your bodily fluids on the surface everyone uses to walk. It is just wrong, wrong, wrong. I guess that I think that anyone that has a mother would know that is bad form.
Rick walked right up to me at the bar and, dang it, he was a good-looking guy. Damn it all. He asked if I wanted to move to a table so we did, he got a drink and we had a pretty decent conversation aside from the fact that I couldn’t stop looking at his teeth. I have learned through this whole dating odyssey that I am a sucker for a nice dental presentation. I am not some kind of tooth Nazi or anything but I appreciate a nice smile that is taken care of. Rick just was not one of those guys. He had really, really bad teeth but, and it is saying something for his personality, I kind of let it go. He was very sharp, pretty funny and seemed to be on the ball. He walked me to my car (I thought about trying to dodge his spit), gave me a hug and asked if I wanted to see him again. Even that close to his mouth I said yes. He was a pretty cool guy.
For our next outing, Rick suggested going to dinner and a movie. Not the most original of plans but the place that he suggested for dinner was a place that had been on my radar and was very hip and unique. I was impressed. The food and restaurant were exceptional but the conversation just kind of…stalled. I kept trying to bring up things to talk about and he was just not bringing anything to the table. I can’t remember a thing that we talked about except that he mentioned, more than once, his good friends who were in their sixties. I don’t have any problem with hanging out with the older folk but it sounded like he did everything social with these people. I tried to ask him what else he did besides golf with his aged friend and he just looked at me like I was speaking another language. At this point I was almost angry that I had to do all of the conversational work so I just said, “Younger people. Not golf. What else makes you smile?” Again, nothing. He just laughed and shook his head. How had I thought this guy was interesting? He must have used up all of his conversation on our first meeting. Luckily there was a movie next so I didn’t have to stab myself with a fork so I could go home.
The drive to the movie theater was very long and very quiet. I normally don’t have any trouble finding something to talk about, with anyone, but this guy was like being on a date with a corpse. I knew for sure after the *longest* 10-minute car ride in my life that this would be the last I saw of Rick. So how did the most quiet dinner companion ever behave while watching a movie, a place where it is polite to be silent? Like a total obnoxious ass. We were seeing a comedy but Rick must have thought that I wouldn’t know when the funny parts were. He would poke me and hit my arm whenever there was a part I was supposed to laugh at. I could see him out of the corner of my eye constantly looking my way to make sure I was catching all of the funny parts. I was getting so irritated at his forcible enjoyment that I purposefully stopped laughing at all. Not even this stopped Rick because then he just started repeating back the lines (out loud!) that were funny as if I had maybe missed them. Was this guy for real? I felt like I was in a Seinfeld episode. Longest…movie…ever.
As soon as the credits hit the screen I was out of my seat. Rick suggested maybe getting a drink somewhere but, man, I told him, I was sorry, but I had to get up early the next morning. Take me home, take me home, take me home. Where were my ruby slippers? The drive back to my house was, of course, all but silent. I patted Rick on the leg before he could try to give me a goodnight kiss and thanked him for a nice evening. He did email me to ask if I wanted to go play golf with him and his old pal but, shockingly enough, I declined the invite. Rick must have gotten the hint because I never heard from him again. Lesson learned: a girl can live with bad teeth and random spitting but a guy has to at least have a conversation with that mouth.