Prince Charming

Prince Charming! A friend of a friend set me up with Eric because he thought we had a lot in common. More specifically, we were both Jews.

“You’re Jewish?!” this friend of a friend asked me. “I know the perfect guy for you.”

Against my better judgment, I agreed to go on a blind date with Eric. I had never been on a blind date before, but I had recently broken up with an unemployed Republican who lived in his parent’s dining room, so I figured it couldn’t get any worse.

Before Eric and I met, we spoke several times on the phone. He seemed like a decent enough guy. He had his own apartment, and a job, and he liked the Mets. Maybe we had more in common than I thought.

He asked me to send him a picture, so I sent one. I was at a baseball game, and wearing a yellow floral shirt. I thought I looked cute.

“Can you send another one?” he texted.

I sent another one, me in a group of four other women. I asked if he could return the favor. He didn’t.

We met at a sushi restaurant in the East Village. We were supposed to meet at seven, he showed at seven fifteen. I stood outside, nervously awaiting his arrival. He had told me that he was tall and dark and liked to work out. He was a former fat kid, like me. This detail excited me. Former fat kids tend to be a little more grounded.

When he arrived he was exactly as he described, tall and dark and broad. Very broad. The top buttons of his shirt were undone, but that might have been because they couldn’t close. Long thick hairs were on a great escape out the top of his shirt. I was also surprised to find that his teeth were small, so small, so very, very small, almost as if the baby ones had never fallen out.

“You look a lot better than in your pictures,” was the first thing he told me.

In the restaurant, I examined the menu.

“Do you like beef?” he asked.

“I’m a vegetarian,” I said.

“It’s ok,” he replied. “I’ll brush my teeth afterwards.”

When the waiter arrived, Eric placed our order.

“I can order for myself,” I said.

“I know.”

Edamame. Vegetable dumplings. Spring rolls. Spicy Tuna. Godzilla rolls. Shrimp Tempura. On and on the list went, more food than I could cram into my five foot two body in a week.

“You can stop now,” I finally said.

They brought the edamame first. I watched as Eric grabbed the small green pods, two and three at a time, skinning them with his teeth. Plop plop. Something was hitting my forehead; I looked above me, thinking it was a leak in the ceiling. No, I realized. It was bits of edamame flying across the table and hitting me in the face.

I was not having any fun here. More food came, the dumplings, the spring rolls. Eric barely used his small teeth to chew the food, simply swallowed it whole.

“I’m going to the bathroom,” I said.

He looked up at me. “Be sure to check out the painting on your way to the john. Some girl is totally getting fucked.”

I went into the bathroom, sat on the toilet. How the fuck am I going to get out of this? Then I thought: I can totally do this. I had sex in a dining room for three years. This is nothing.

I smiled when I sat back down at the table.

“How was it?” he asked.

“It was fine, thank you.”

“You check out that picture?”

“Yup.”

“Pretty crazy, right?”

“Pretty crazy.”

“You know who I would never date?”

“Who?” I asked. Me. Because I would never let you put one of those edamame covered fingers on me.

“A bulimic. What a waste of money, you know? All that money on food gone to waste.”

This is the point in the evening when I decided to entertain myself. I am, I have been told, one funny lady. So I began to tell a story, one of my “go-to” stories, about my aunt, who is in a wheelchair. Years ago she found audiotapes of her husband, the bookie/butcher of the Bronx, having phone sex with other men. Eric wouldn’t even let me get past the first line: “So, my aunt, right, is in a wheelchair—“

“You know who I would never date?” he asked.

“Who?” I was pissed. No one interrupts a go-to.

“Someone in a wheelchair. I just don’t find them attractive, you know?”

“You know what? I think I’m done here.”

He looked up at me. The tail of the shrimp tempura roll was hanging out of his mouth. Whutwewaventwadessert, which I translated into “But we haven’t even had dessert.”

“I’m going to pass, but thanks.”

Outside the restaurant, Eric asked if he could drive me home. “I brought my car here so I could do just that,” he said, trying to put an arm around me.

“You could walk me to the subway.”

I looked down at my phone. I had been with him for exactly an hour and fifteen minutes. I had no idea a man could do such damage in such a short period of time.

We walked to Union Square, him trailing two steps behind me. When we got to the subway, he went in for a kiss. I kept my head down, so his lips grazed the top of my scalp. My cheek touched the coarse dark hairs on his chest.

Never again, I thought as I walked down the stairs. No more blind dates.

The hunt continues- B.