(*sorry for the lateness of the post, but no computer = posting of blogs whenever I can get to one. the best things come to those who wait, right?)
I'm 36 years old, and have been single for the majority of the last 14 years. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Sad state of affairs, I tell ya. Ah, the life of the single person. Ahh... um, yeah... Yup. Sigh.
But on the bright side, my exploits as a single person have made for some amazing stand-up comedy. Which brings me - and you, friends - to the first verse of "Taco Time".
"There's a guy at the end of the bar, I can't see details this far, but he smiles my way.
So with a wink, and a coy little glance, I ask if he wants to dance and we start to sway.
But then he opens his mouth up to speak and his gingivitis causes me to flee.
So I'm thinking... is it Taco Time for me?"
The harsh reality for a single woman living in the Quad Cities can best be described with a simple word problem:
Available men in QC < or = zero
Okay, so I'm not just any single woman. I am a talented, opinionated, larping, concertina playing, gut-wrangling, improv-ing single mom of two boys. Let's revisit that math problem, shall we?
Available men in US < or = zero
There was only one way to improve my odds. The internet. Which brings us to verse 1.
I must preface by saying that I do actually have standards. I've just dropped the bar lower and lower as the years go by. These are the basic, no compromising must haves: must like me, must like my boys (eventually), job, car, no wife. Pretty basic, right? Hell, I'm not even specifying any physical attributes. But with verse 1 I found one attribute that I just can't abide.
"Gingy", as I'll call him, seemed like the perfect blend of normal guy and nerd. Former military, had a kid, posted a pic of him at a Comicon somewhere. Job, car, generally nice. Not awful looking, from the pics he posted. I suggested we meet up. You never know until you take that next step.
It was a beautiful sunny day, the perfect backdrop for the park where we agreed to meet. I got there first - a rare occasion, for any of you who know me personally - so I was in the pole position. I had the advantage. I was all positive thinking and hoping for the best.
And then I saw him.
His head didn't look disproportionate in his pictures, and I don't remember him mentioning Marfan's Syndrome at all. Breathe, just breathe, maybe it's just the perspective, you know, distance playing tricks on the brain. No such luck.
We greeted each other and walked around the pond, making idle chitchat on our way to a bench near a playground. We sat facing each other and started the expected slightly awkward question & answer session.
And then I saw them.
Every time his lips drew back to answer my thoughtful questions, they revealed puffy, bright red gums. Swollen, inflamed gingiva that made his tiny teeth look even smaller in his mouth. And he had the spittle, the cobwebby mass of saliva that pooled in the corners of his mouth as he spoke. Thick, stringy, and ever-present.
Kissing is a big deal to me, people. Dare I say I've had make-out sessions that could rival sex. No, I've not been riddled with nothing but horrible sexual experiences. I've just had kisses that amazing. In the words of Yoda, jealous you should be. That being said, there was NO WAY imaginable where I could even conceive of locking lips with that man, no matter how genuinely sweet I thought he was. Call it an attack of standards.
And so after a rather lovely, if platonic, afternoon, the text messages and emails tapered off and Gingy faded into the backdrop of my history. Does that make me a bad person? I don't think so. Just...non-confrontational? Yeah, yeah, that's it. Besides, he was a nice guy and I just wasn't prepared to have the conversation about how his enormous gums and tiny teeth were the early demise of a potential relationship. Call me a humanitarian.
That was the Tale of Gingy the... Red. There are so many more to come, friends. Stick around. It gets better.
Oh! Question time! It's your turn kiddies...
What is/one thing that would make you turn tail and run from a potential date? (or at the very least just politely explain that your house was on fire and you had to leave the country forever)
Until next time...
NEXT TIME: MFF! (WTF?) My Friend Friday - explanation tomorrow!