{August 10, 2012}   Frivolous flowers


Frivolous Flowers


Once upon a time I was sitting on my sofa, writing, when Jacob knocked on the door. He let himself in but kept one hand behind his back.


I sat up straight, setting my laptop down. He walked over to me and kissed me, revealing a dozen roses he’d gotten from the local grocery store.


“Pretty flowers for a pretty lady,” he said.


I smiled and kissed him hard on the lips.


“Thank you so much, they are beautiful,” I said, quickly removing them from the plastic they were wrapped in (the $7.99 price tag was still visible). I tossed the wrapping and found a vase.


This was big for him. He didn’t understand buying flowers. It was not something he’d ever done before and we’d been together for almost eight months. During that time, my ex-boyfriend periodically sent me roses. Jacob noticed one day and asked about them.


“So, you like flowers?” he asked.


The question seemed so obvious to me that I snorted a little when I answered.


“Yes, I like flowers.”


“Good to know,” he said.


At the time I thought, who doesn’t like flowers? But I shared the story with some girlfriends and several said they thought flowers were a waste of money and frivolous. I am of the mind that their frivolity is part of what makes them so special.


And here I was, with my favorite man on the planet with a vase full of frivolous flowers and big smile on my face.


Moral of the story: Frivolous flowers are the best kind of flowers.

The Tally: unknown



{July 26, 2012}   Girl Crazy…

I think through the course of this experiment I have been relatively mature.  I have been open and honest about my feelings.  I have only cried twice the whole time…well three times. But one of those times was because my cat died.

But today, I went girl crazy. I am blaming hormones at the moment but I will be honest about this, I am not proud.

I just spent the last hour trolling through Jacob’s facebook page trying to determine which of his facebook friends he slept with before meeting me. I was so focused on my search that when Jacob called, I sent it to voicemail. Clearly, I was busy and annoyed. Some of the suspects were actually cute. That’s annoying.

I am going to pop some midol and take a nap. I need a time out.

Moral of the Story… blah.

{July 22, 2012}   Date Night


*Back at the start of my relationship with Jacob…

Once upon a time I was waiting for Jacob to pick me up for date night. I was taking the evening very seriously. I’d showered and shaved my legs, picked out a polka dotted dress and four-inch heels. The heels would prove to be a bad choice.

I was downstairs pretending that I was not waiting for him when I heard the latch to my patio door clink open. Jacob shuffled in with a big smile on his face – wearing shorts, a t-shirt and converse.

“Wow, you look nice,” he said and kissed me. “And … I look like a slob.”

He wanted to go home to change. I was too hungry to let that happen. We went to a nice place in Old Town Scottsdale for steak. He wanted to drop me off at the restaurant while he went to find parking. Really he wanted to drop off my heels at the restaurant… he was nervous about them after watching me teeter to the car from my house.

I insisted on walking with him. It was a decision I regretted immediately upon confronting the cobblestone crosswalk that stood between the restaurant and me. Jacob saw the look on my face and did something that in all my 30 something years of life, no straight man ever has. He offered me his arm to steady me.

It was simple and sweet and it clearly made an impression. Mercifully, I did not fall in the street. We sat down to have dinner and he reached across the table to hold my hands.

“So then we’re dating each other exclusively then?” he asked. It was a strange question because I thought that we’d already covered this ground. After the situation with Paul, I’d decided that I was not sleeping with anyone that I wasn’t in a committed relationship with so I’d stopped seeing anyone else just before Jacob and I had gotten serious.

“Yes, but only because you put out,” I said. It made him laugh.

We had a great meal. Held hands, laughed a lot and ordered dessert. He again let me hold onto his arm as I attempted to navigate the crosswalk back to the car. I stopped halfway through as three, rail-thin women with enormous tits and five-inch heels strutted across the crosswalk without incident. When I started walking again, I immediately stumbled but Jacob’s arm was right there preventing a spill. He was still watching the women strut; I was clinging to his arm. Then he looked down at me and grinned.

“You okay there?”

“Shut up.”

“I like you.”

“I know.”

He put me in the car and took me home where we stayed up way too late and giggled with each other.

Moral of the Story: Sometimes you stand by your man and sometimes your man stands by you.

The Tally: 30ish

{July 3, 2012}   Marriage is lame


 Once upon a time Jacob came home, walked into his kitchen and said,

“You know what my shrink asked me today? If we were going to get married.”

This further supports my theory that people are just plain uncomfortable with you if you are single and in your 30s.  Jacob and I have been dating for more than six months and this is the third or fourth time he has gotten the same question.  Now that I am thinking about it, three or four of my friends have asked me too.


“Oh, what did you say?” I asked, I was working from his computer and bracing for the response.


“I said, ‘No, I’ve been married once and that was enough.’”


I let the answer linger in the air for a bit. He had said the same thing the very first time we talked. He also said that he didn’t want a girlfriend and that long-term commitment was for the birds. A month later he’d told me he was falling in love with me and it’s been full steam ahead ever since. I’d brushed off his initial comments as the ravings of single man, sowing his oats. In fact, it almost cost him our first date.


But here we are, more than half a year later, and he was repeating that inane mantra. I finished the email I was writing and swiveled the chair around so I could look at him in the kitchen. He was pretty cute, unpacking groceries and making himself a bagel.


“Wait, so you mean to tell me that you don’t want to get married again, never, ever?” my voice was a bit higher in pitch than I had intended and I had to consciously soften the furrow of my brow. 


We were in this relationship pretty deep. I was attached to him and in love with him. Although I was not picking out wedding dresses or making the guest list, if there was no chance this liaison was going to end in marriage, then I wanted out… immediately.


He froze for a second … and looked panicked. It was funny because he knew he needed to pick his next words carefully. That was one of the benefits of dating a man who had been married. He was all broken-in. He knew when I was trying to pick a fight and how to avoid it. He knew that at a certain point, it was best not to argue (surrender to win was one of his other mantras). He knew better than to ask if I was on my period if I was a little extra sensitive (read: crying at Kotex commercials.) He knew to tell me that I was the prettiest girl in the room, even if we were in a room full of supermodels. He was good but for a split second, he was terrified.


After a moment, he went on putzing around in the kitchen and said,


“Look, never say never but I am not getting married today and tomorrow ain’t lookin’ too good either.”


“Okay,” I said, turning the chair back to the computer. “I’m good with that, but if you are marriage adverse, that is something I need to know.”


“Okay,” he said. “But I will tell you one thing for sure, if you want kids, you are going to have to adopt from a third-world country.”


“I’m really okay with that,” I said.


I did a little more work then decided it was time for me to go. I changed my clothes, packed up my bag and headed for the door. Jacob kissed me and pulled me into a hug.

“Marriage is lame,” he said, still hugging me. “It’s lame just ask my ex-wife or your mom.”


“Okay, okay,” I said and pulled away from him. He walked to the computer and sat down. I was standing at the door.


“Have a good day,” I said. “Try not to get married while I’m gone.”


“Ha! No problem.”


I had a twenty-minute drive home to over analyze that little conversation.  When I pulled into my carport, I sent him a text.


“I am only going to say one thing and then I am going to zip it. Marriage is not lame. Marriage to the wrong person is lame and that is the lesson that my mom and your ex-wife learned. That is all. Carry on.”

His response:


A few minutes later he sent me a dirty limerick. I figured things were fine after that.

Moral of the Story:  You must be honest about what you want, and a little humor never hurt.

The count: Ummm, I will figure it out later.

{February 17, 2012}   Falling in Like

Date 27: Jacob

Once upon a time my grin spread from ear to ear. I was on the phone with Jacob and I’d come to really enjoy his voice.

“I’d like to go to the movies, would you go to the movies with me?” he asked.

“Yes, yes, I would.”

We made a date for Christmas day and I was looking forward to it all through the family dinner. The dinner was running behind schedule – a tradition in my family. I was getting antsy to leave. In order to make a hasty exit, I lied to my mother (sorry mom) and told her I needed to go to a client’s house for dessert.

I was only seven minutes late in meeting Jacob at the theater. I walked in and found him standing in the lobby, staring at a screen playing a promo, with a giant soda in one hand and a giant bag of popcorn in the other. He dipped his face into the popcorn to retrieve a mouthful of kernels. It was such a boy thing to do – kind of gross and endearing at the same time. And in all honesty, it’s something I do when I go to the movies by myself.

I grinned. He turned; saw me and I watched a grin spread across his face. He handed me the popcorn and hugged me with his now free hand. Then he kissed the top of my head.

He kept his arm around me as we walked into the theater to see Sherlock Holmes. Jacob kept his hand either on my thigh or in the popcorn bag, leaned in close to steal kisses and unflinchingly accepted the news that I was truly and deeply in love with Robert Downey Jr. and that it was only a matter of time before we married.

“Can I come to the wedding?” he asked.

It was fun. I followed him home and spent the night in his bed, giggling until 3a.m. about everything. The next day, his kissed my forehead and sang to me.

“Good morning starshine. The earth says hello.”

He belted the lyrics to a musical. I laughed so hard I snorted and then demanded coffee.

He willingly obliged.

“I like you,” he said, handing me a perfect cup of coffee.

“I like you too,” I kissed him.

I did like him and I could feel my attachment to him growing. It was terrifying and I was worried that at any moment I was going to ruin the whole thing. I began fretting.

“Whatcha thinkin’ about?” he asked, reading the expression on my face.

I was thinking about all of the ways I could possibly ruin what we had going on – like talking about feelings or insecurities. Or telling him outright that I was getting attached to him and that I felt safe and happy waking up next to him. Or that every time he kissed my forehead I fell for him a little harder.

I couldn’t admit to any of that.

“You are such a girl,” I said and smiled wickedly.

He laughed. “I like you.”

Moral of the story: One should learn to fall in like before he or she can fall in love.

The tally: 27 out of 100

{January 28, 2012}   Bah hum bug

Date 26: Paul

Once upon a time I was dangling an unopened bottle of red wine out of the window of my car. I let it drop from my hand and listened to the satisfying sound of it shattering in the parking lot of the movie theater I was leaving.  I smiled and turned up the radio and drove home from my last date with Paul.

I’d just watched a long, very violent movie with Paul and it was awkward at best. To make matters worse Christmas Eve and Paul liked to pretend he hated the holidays. When I’d arrived I’d given him a quick peck on the lips and he handed me a bag that contained a bottle of red wine and some honey roasted peanuts. The peanuts were a reference to a joke that we’d shared in the beginning of our flirtation.  But he was aloof and I felt like pushing a little. I tried to kiss him once during the movie. When I reached for his hand, he pulled back and said that he’d been sick and didn’t want to pass it along to me.

“Seriously?” I thought. “He doesn’t want people to see us together. Why did I agree to this?”

I started to feel annoyed and I missed Jacob. I sneaked out the movie for a moment to send a text to him. I wanted to leave.

When I returned, I sat far to the side of my seat until the dreadful film ended. Paul offered to walk me to my car. I told him it wasn’t necessary but he insisted. After I opened the driver’s side door to toss in my purse and the unceremoniously bagged wine, Paul informed me we had something we needed to talk about.

He took a big breath, leaned in and looked very earnest – a move I’d seen from him a lot recently.

“I just want you to be a part of my life for a long, long time but…” he said, I put my hand up.

“Paul, it’s fine,” I smiled, returning his faked earnestness. “We had fun but…you know. So take care and have a merry Christmas.”

I hugged him and turned to get into my car.

“Are you going to be okay?” he asked.

I chortled.

“Of course, it’s fine. Take care, Paul,” I said and slammed my door. I drove out the parking lot and noticed him walking back with shoulders slumped. I thought his posture was strange.

After I disposed of his uninspired gift, I called my best friend.

“Who breaks up with someone on Christmas Eve after making them sit through a three hour movie? It seems like a lot of effort? Why didn’t I just break up with him the last time I saw him?  My ego is wounded and he is decidedly douchey.”

My bestie agreed, as is her job. She listened to me go on about it for a good 20 minutes or more as I drove home. When I pulled into my garage, I stormed into my house, opened a bottle of wine and sat down to write. I wrote and drank and wrote and drank for a good three hours. Then my phone rang.

It was Paul. Shocking.

“Hi, are you okay?” he asked.

“Yeah, are you,” I laughed as I asked it, what the fuck was this guy doing?

“I didn’t like the way we left things this afternoon,” he said.

“Really?” I said, genuinely surprise. I thought I’d made things easy on him. He dived into a diatribe that sounded rehearsed.

“When I started I didn’t know that it was going to end that way, I wasn’t sure what I wanted but I just know that I can’t be in a relationship right now. Maybe in a year or so. But right now it wouldn’t be fair to me or to the person I am in a relationship with. This is really hard for me and I want you to stay a part of my life.”

“Oh, sure, Paul. We got off to an intense start but things fizzled fast and that happens. But we’re still friends, count on it,” I said.

“Good, I just think you have such a unique perspective on life and you make me laugh like few others. I adore you,” he said.  I silently mouthed the words of the last sentence to myself as he spoke them. It was a phrase he’d become fond of in the past few times we’d seen each other. He’d become so predictable.

Then suddenly it hit me… he didn’t get a chance to break up with me at my car. I’D BROKEN UP WITH HIM! That is why he was calling. I stopped him mid-sentence and taken control of the conversation and technically, I’d ended the relationship. He’d just given me the break up spiel he’d clearly practiced for me.

I couldn’t stop grinning. Paul yammered on about my two cats and my sense of humor and his goals in life for a few more minutes. I wished him luck and told him he was welcome to stop by to visit my cats whenever he liked. I was being sarcastic but he acted as though the invitation was comforting. Ridiculous.

I hung up, relieved.

Moral of the Story: Breaking up isn’t always that hard to do.

The Tally: 26 out of 100

{January 28, 2012}   You have to go

 Date 25: Jacob

Upon a time Jacob was pacing around his apartment like a caged animal. His eyes were wide; he was very obviously panicked. And I was not pleased with the way the afternoon was turning out.

I’d gone to Jacob’s and he’d taken me to a late lunch. We’d had fun, laughing through the whole meal. Then we went back to his apartment to make out a little. We were on a schedule because Jacob has two kids and he needed to pick them up that afternoon. But I was comfortable, sprawled on his bed, scratching his back. We thought we had plenty of time. Then his phone buzzed.

He checked the text.

“Oh, that’s not good,” he said, the colored drained from his face as he stared at the screen. “My kids are going to be here in two minutes.”

He looked up at me.

“You have to go,” he said. His voice was flat and cold.

It stung. I didn’t like being kicked out like something he was ashamed of and I knew this wouldn’t play out well. He’d waited at least two minutes, kissing me, before he checked the message. And although we were still fully clothed, my shoes, scarf and purse were strewn about the apartment. A chance encounter with his children and his ex was, at that point, inevitable. I knew it would be better for me to sort myself out, sit on the sofa, wait for the kids to come up, act naturally and then leave. But Jacob was in the middle of a full-blown shit fit so I did what he asked.

He walked in circles around the living room – hawk eyeing me as I collected my belongings, slipped on my shoes and attempted to smooth down my hair. I was seething at the notion of being tossed out like garbage. Seething, silent and stoic.

He opened the door as I walked toward it.

“I’m sorry,” he said, gave me a quick kiss. I made no response. I stepped out the door, which he immediately shut behind me. I heard him turn and walk across the living room to his balcony.

As I walked down the stairs I saw Jacob’s ex pull up in the parking lot. His kids hopped out the car, the youngest sprinted past me. The oldest sauntered behind, staring at me. I looked up in time to see his ex toss her head back and say “Oh my god.”

I could feel the heat creeping up my neck and face. I clenched my teeth because my impulse is to smile when I am uncomfortable and that wouldn’t have been appropriate.  I averted my eyes from the gaze of the children and the ex but saw Jacob standing on his balcony, watching with a bemused look on his face.

That irked me.  I got in my car and slammed the door shut. In the meantime another apartment dweller had gotten into his Camry and backed out of an adjacent spot, blocking me into the spot where I had parked. And the ex-wife was waiting to park in my spot. So for about fifteen tortuous seconds I sat in my car, wondering how this standoff was going to end. I started thinking angry thoughts.

“I just had to take a walk of shame in front of this man’s family and I DIDN’T EVEN GET LAID. This isn’t going to work. I like this guy but I am not going to be treated like something he is ashamed of when his kids and ex-wife are within a five-mile radius. This is about boundaries and respect. I am over it.”

My impulse controlled failed me at that point.

“Fuck it,” I said, out loud to no one but myself.

I threw my car into reverse, I figured that if I started backing up the Camry would get the hint and MOVE. My gamble paid off, the Camry got out of my way and I sped off. Glancing in my rearview mirror, I saw the ex pull into the spot I’d occupied.

I was comforted by the thought that Jacob’s next conversation with her was probably going to be loud, obscenity-laced and awkward. It made me smile.

About twenty minutes later he sent a text.

Him: The ex said “you’re girlfriend could have stayed.”

Me: Yeah, we handled that poorly.

(By we, I’d meant him but that was beside the point.)

Him: No, she did. I talked to her. That won’t be happening again.

Him: I’m sorry.

Me: I am in charge of any and all crisis situations/communications from now on. Okay?

Him: Agreed.

He’d handled the apology well; he’d set boundaries with his ex and was sincerely sorry that I’d been uncomfortable. That had softened my anger and actually made me like him more.

A few days later he was at my house and we were teasing each other. I looked up at him after he said something distasteful (but very funny).

“Oh, you have to go,” I said, mimicking the horrified look on his face.

He knew that I was calling back to the “incident.”  His demeanor and posture changed.

“I’m really sorry about that, it won’t happen again.”

“I know,” I said. “But you know if we had just gone into the living room and sat on the sofas, the kids would have come in, you would have introduced me as your friend, the ex would have driven off and I wouldn’t have had to trot out of your apartment like a harlot. All would have been well.”

“You know you are absolutely right,” he said. “But…”

“But you panicked and I understand. Thank you for apologizing. Now get out,” I said and grinned at him.

He pulled me into a big hug, kissed my head and said, “You’re never, ever going to let me live this down, are you?”


Moral of the Story: Always have an exit strategy.

The Tally: 25 out of 100

{January 11, 2012}   Missed opportunity

Date 24: Paul

Once upon a time Paul and I were exchanging text messages, trying to settle on a time when we could next meet. It had been more than two weeks since we’d seen each other. He suggested that we get together that very day. I agreed and figured that we were going to have a break up conversation.

Our little romance had started out hot and heavy but had waned dramatically in the last few weeks following a conversation about “all the other women” Paul had been seeing. It had wounded me so I made a concerted effort to detach. He would have to be an idiot not to recognize what was happening.

We had a quick coffee that afternoon. I was tense but he chatted away like usual, he’d been presented with a career choice and wanted my opinion on what he should do. I counseled him to be bold and seize the opportunity. In reality, I didn’t care. I was bored and figured it was what he wanted to hear.

After we’d covered that topic the conversation quickly turned to “all the other women” in Paul’s life. I hated the way he said it – “all the other women”- it was so humiliating. I sat back in my chair, more observing than listening, he ran through the same clichés and insights he’d been sharing with me during the two months we’d been dating.

He’d just returned from a trip to Austin, where he’d kissed a girl. She’d apparently never kissed anyone before that night. Paul was clearly proud of himself, another conquest of sorts. Although, he was doing his best to convince himself that it was a humbling experience.

This was a song and dance he did often but I’d initially dismissed it as quirky.  Now, with the haze of puppy love fading, I saw it for what it was – insecurity masked with pride and a dash of self-indulgence. Being around such a display called to something wicked and sarcastic inside me. It made me feel mean and I recognized the impulse building to take him down a few pegs. At this point, I knew him well. I knew that a few passive aggressive and pointed words would rattle around his brain for days, feeding on his insecurities and nurturing self-doubt.  I also knew I needed to leave before I said something that would be unkind.

I told him I needed to get back to work.

He walked me to my car, hugged me and gave me a quick peck on the lips. I thought that he was going to pull the plug. I wanted to see how he would handle it, what his spiel was so I waited.

“It was good to see you,” he said.

“Agreed,” I replied. We kind of looked at each other for a few seconds – I wanted to give him plenty of time to muster up the courage to tell me he didn’t want to date anymore. But he didn’t so I got in my car and left. The taste of the bitter, wounded words that I wanted to say to him still rolling around my mouth. He should have ended it that day. I should have ended it that day. Why didn’t we?

Moral of the Story: Be bold, seize the opportunity and don’t feign humility – it’s annoying.

The Tally: 24 out of 100

{January 11, 2012}   Hurry up and Wait

Date: 23 Jacob

Once upon a time Jacob was trying to decide whom I looked like. It was late, somewhere between a Wednesday night and a Thursday morning and we were giggling in bed together. Well, I was giggling and he was smirking.

Jacob was tall and broad and a self-proclaimed wimp. We’d had a shaky first date but I indulged his persistence and attended a second and third. He had proven to be funny and smart. That night he’d kissed me with an open mouth and ran his hand up my back and neck and into my hair. I told him he was handsy – and I think he liked the accusation. But I’d yet to sleep with him and intended to keep it that way for a little while, at least.

“I guy’s got to try,” he said in soft, deep voice.

“Well, I am very cute,” I replied, grinning.

He wrapped me in a bear hug and rolled me on top of him. We kissed some more.

“I had nefarious intentions for you this evening,” he said.

“What happened?” I asked and kissed him again.

“You keep deflecting me!”

I laughed and flopped onto the bed beside him, resting my head on his chest. I’d pulled out my ponytail and my hair was now all over the place.

“Ooo, I like the hair down,” he said, and stroked my head a little. “I know who you look and sound like.”

“I can’t wait to hear this,” I rolled my eyes.

“You look like the only girl I have ever loved – she was great. She lived two doors down from me and had this mechanic boyfriend. When he was at work, she would come over and give me head. It was brilliant. I loved her.”

“What was her name?”

“Sophie,” he practically purred her name.

“Great name, really great name,” I said. “Where is Sophie now?”

“East coast somewhere, she’s married with kids,” he said. “We’re friends on facebook. What time is it?”

“I am not going to tell you.” I said.

He pulled me close to him. My resolve was weakening quickly. I was three seconds away from giving in and having sex with him. Then he cracked a joke about not having bought me dinner yet.

I laughed so hard that I snorted a little bit, grateful for the comic relief.

“So, I’ve done the whole sex without emotion thing, and it has it’s time and place, but I am kind of over that,” I said. “And I actually like you. So I am not feeling good about rushing anything physical.”

“Okay,” he said. “Well, I am conflicted. I like you too. In the past 12 months I have had more sex than I’ve had in 12 years. I am actually a little tired of sex without emotion, too. It’s not the most fulfilling activity. The thought of being somebody’s boyfriend freaks me out though. But I do really like you too.”

“I get it,” I said. “I don’t think we need to rush into titles or job descriptions. Let’s just see.”

He turned onto his side and draped his arm over me, then ran his hand over my stomach, down my hip and onto my thigh.

“If I didn’t like you so much, I would be really insistent on sleeping with you tonight, and believe me, I want to be insistent. But let’s wait. Do you know why I like you?”

“No idea.”

“You’re smart; I can have a conversation with you. You’re funny; there are only a handful of people who get my sense of humor. And you’re pretty easy on the eyes.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I countered. “We have the same sense of humor and I crack people up all the time. But maybe it’s because I’m cute.”

“You are cute,” he said.

He kissed the inside of my thigh and moved up to my hip, then he rested his head on my stomach. His arm slipped under my lower back and he pulled me into an arch.

“You are going to be fun,” he almost growled.

“You have no idea.”

Moral of the story: Good things come to those who wait.

The Tally: 23 out of 100


{January 8, 2012}   The Hobbit

Date 22: The Hobbit

Once upon a time I caught myself staring at John’s teeny, tiny hands and thinking that he reminded me of a hobbit from Lord of the Rings – in both appearance and demeanor.

I worked hard to find something redeeming about this date but was failing. John had sent me a text about five minutes before we were scheduled to meet to say that he would be about ten minutes late. More than 40 minutes later he arrived.  As I was standing to leave, John hurried in, obviously flustered and much, much shorter than he claimed to be on his online dating profile.

I am not a tall woman – 5’4 on a good day. John was decidedly shorter, with a bowl haircut and really, really tiny hands.

He sat next to me and immediately began explaining the situation. I smiled and assured him it was fine. He was genuinely apologetic for making me wait, overly apologetic. I wanted to do something other than listen to him make excuses for the next 20 minutes.

I coaxed him onto another topic – what did you do today that made you late? He talked about his friends and a movie they’d gone to see. Then he told me that he moved back to Arizona from another place (I can’t recall) and that he hated it here.

I love Arizona and am annoyed when people disparage my home. It is so easy to complain about things you don’t like. I prefer to focus on what I do like and work to improve the things I don’t. His complaints were tedious.

He would rather be someplace where it snows.

I hate the snow – unless it is in a decorative globe.

He went on to explain that in his spare time he plays board games, but not regular board games. He is really into one in which you pretend to be a 16th century farmer and trade commodities to stay alive… or something.

Then sort of abruptly, he told me he was living with his parents because he was having money trouble. He added that thankfully he was out of debt. Then he asked me if I was in debt.

“Excuse me?” I said, shocked at the question.

“Do you have any debt?” he asked again, as innocently as he had the first time.

“That’s kind of personal,” I said purposefully controlling the tone of my voice. I didn’t want to be harsh. It didn’t seem like he meant to be offensive, he was just painfully unaware how off putting his question was.

“Oh,” he said and began talking about his job.

As abruptly as he had asked me about my finances, I interrupted him to make an exit. He walked me to my car, promised not to make me wait so long on our second date and I gave the little fellow a hug.

“I just had a date with a hobbit,” I thought. Then I chastised myself for having such cruel thoughts – they were probably bad for my dating karma. But they were also kind of funny.

The Moral of the Story: Sometimes mean is funny.

The Tally: 22 out of 100

et cetera