She minces no words.

Dont Mince Words

Poodles, tamales, and heels

Posted on July 29, 2004 by Marna

I’m growing weary of dating. I’m losing the energy and enthusiasm to do it even when there’s a remote chance I might have a good time. I had a bizarre date Monday night and it has taken me days to write about it, thus denying myself the horror of recall until now.

I’m at that awkward age where I still enjoy dating younger guys. They are fun and full of energy and sometimes they are mature. However, I know I should dabble and try to date men in their 40’s. Distinguished. Mature. Established. That’s my stereotype. But they are old and I’m not ready to admit I’m old. A little old. Young at heart. Can pass for 30?

Mister Monday Night billed himself at a 6-foot tall, 46 year-old that is more fun than watching nude weasels wrestle on the Discovery Channel. Sense of humor. Yippee. We agreed to meet at his kung fu palace in my neighborhood and go to dinner afterwards. I’m all about low-effort destination dates because when the date is horrible, at least you get home fast.

I got date dolled-up: big hair, black scoop neck blouse, black skirt, black pumps, pink shawl and pink purse. I was damn fucking cute. When I got there, I was immediately not attracted to him–not because he was an old 46, but because he had this thing stuck on his left front tooth. Normally, I would make a gesture to my tooth and say “you got something there.” However, I estimated it was 6-8 hours since his last meal and that thing had created its gum-side home for at least that long. Hygiene issues—big turn off. I usually brush my teeth and gargle before a date. I guess this guy didn’t have time to at least chew a piece of gum.

I got a kung fu tour and we decided to take his Volvo to dinner. I’m not a neat freak, but this guy’s back seat was so crapped up, you couldn’t open the back door without shit falling out. It really made me wonder what was in the trunk. I got in the car knowing that surface roads are 25-30 mph and I can always open the door, drop and roll to abort the mission.

After commenting on how great I looked, you know where he took me for dinner? We went to Tito’s Tacos on the corner of Washington and Sepulveda, right under the 405. This is a ghetto taco shack that always has lines that are 8-10 people deep at the four windows. When there are Mexicans in line, you assume it has to be good.

We got out of the car and he grabbed a bottle of 7-up from the clutter in the back seat. “These are 50 cents at the 99 Cent store right now,” he announced. I assumed, with that move, I should order water since he didn’t want to go to the expense of a fountain drink.

While in line, I spent my time trying to figure out what the object was on his tooth while he continued to dominate the conversation. I’d smile and nod and think “split red lentil?” “Dark spinach?” He admitted that Tito’s wasn’t on his carb diet (OK, I’m dressed up, let’s go somewhere else). And then he proceeded to reach into his left front pocket of his khaki’s where he pulled out three dozen random business cards looking for his carb list. Then, in his right front pocket he pulled out a skinny, blue balloon and blew it up. While he was making a balloon poodle for the cashier, I was monitoring my escape options. I could walk back to my car–it was only a mile away, but in heels it would kill me. I decided to remain to see if his tooth friend would dislodge when we at our tamales.

During our meal, he asked me what I was looking for. I have hypothesized before that when a guy asks that on a simple first date, it means he’s just looking for sex. Knowing this date was over the minute I saw his gum buddy, which, by the way, was still firmly grounded on his front tooth, I gave my standard response, “I’m looking for a monogamous, continuing committed relationship that leads to marriage.”

The tamales, like the date, were not great. We went back to the kung fu palace where my car was parked. I got out, told him it was nice to meet him and thanked him for a good time. I jumped in my car and ran a late yellow light to make sure he couldn’t follow me home. I took a shower to cleanse myself of Tito’s greasy aura. While flossing, I finally figured it out:


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  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

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