My ex and I divorced a few years ago. I moved out of our house, eventually into my own apartment. After the divorce and indeed throughout the split, I had my 2 daughters, ages 12 and 7 when the process started, every weekend.
One Friday evening in June, four months after the divorce, I came home to my apartment to find my ex had dropped the girls off and they were sitting on the sofa looking as if they’d just lost their best friends. “Girls, what’s the matter, we’re gonna rent some videos, order a pizza, it’s going to be fun”….” Dad, we’ve something to ask you” Sarah, my oldest daughter said. ” But first go get your shower and change”… ” Oh no, you two look serious, we’re addressing this now, so you ask me”…. Sarah said, ” sit down, Dad” and I did, the two of them stood silent for what seemed like forever but finally Mollie, my then 8 yr old, looked up at Sarah and said, ” you ask him, YOU’RE the OLDEST!” So Sarah said, ” Ok Dad, here it goes….Are you gay?” Now to each their own, but I don’t play on that team. My first impulse was to jump up and yell “NOOOOOOO” but instead I calmly asked, ” Why would you think that?” She said, ” We never see any women around here”…I replied, ” Girls…you never see any men either, do you?” They agreed that they didn’t, I then went on to explain how we were all in a transitional period and their adjustment and happiness was my first priority. They said their mother had begun dating and I should as well. Soooooo…I knew I did not want to date women from my UPS route, no married friends with the best of intentions that had ” a woman that is perfect for you” either. So I entered the world of online dating…
I chatted with “Fanny” ( not her real name, used because I’m certain I’ve never met anyone from the net by that name). After a few chats over a 4 or 5 day period, we decided to talk via phone. ” Hi John, I’m Fanny” she said, ” 40 years old, 5’3, 120 and I’ve been told I turn heads” ( which could mean a few different things if you think about it) ” Why don’t you come down to my place in Cincinnati tomorrow, we’ll cookout and have fun” It was the 3rd of July, my family was all out of town, so I agreed to meet her, I had to start somewhere. Fanny gave me directions to her place and the date was set, dress was to be casual…..
The next morning, I showered and set off on my adventure. I was nervous, I was 40 years old and had not been out with anyone but my wife since I was 18. Fanny met me at her front door, she was very pretty, or as the men say when they comment on pictures on online websites ” stunning” ( do these guys know any other adjectives). She asked me inside, where she introduced me to her 11 yr old son who was my height at 5’9, the father must have been a tall dude. I shook his hand, the mother said to him, ” now go to your friend’s house, I’ll call you later” and shoved him out the door. There I was, 75 miles from my place, alone in a house with a woman I’d met a scant 5 minutes ago ::gulp::.She said, ” come follow me down the hall, John ” and she walked me down the hall to the last bedroom on the right as the intro to Heart’s ” Barracuda” played in my head. There were beads hanging where a door once was ” this is my entertainment room, go on in and get comfortable, I’ll get you something to eat”.
There were throw pillows on the floor and an entertainment center…I awaited her return. She came back with a bowl of strawberries and whipped cream, I KNOW I should have known it was ” game on” but remember, at this point I was the Gomer Pyle of dating and I was like ” Shazam!!!!! Strawberries, my favorite…thank you” she laughed and said, ” You’re welcome, now I’ll be right back, I’m going to change into something more comfortable” I ( Gomer) thought, ” What could be more comfortable than a T shirt and jeans?”
I returned to my place on the throw pillow I had chosen, as I sat down, my logical side kicked in..” I just met this woman 10 minutes ago, what if she laced this bowl with drugs?” I decided not to eat them, as I placed the bowl on a nearby table I heard her coo, ” oh John” …I turned to see her in bra and panties, a see through sheer robe or cover of some sort on over it. Now at a point later in my single life I may have handled this differently, but suddenly I was scared shitless, I was barely ready to take the training wheels off of the Huffy and I was being handed the keys to a Porsche!!!!! I stammered, ” I-I-I think I need to go…I’ve given you the wrong impression’ and I moved to go past her.. ” Oh please don’t go, I’m sorry, I’m so lonely, please stay” and she dropped to her knees and wrapped her arms around my leg.
I’m now in the hall of a house outside Of Cincinnati, Ohio with a scantily dressed woman whom I’d met 20 minutes earlier, a “death grip” on my right leg and all I could see was tomorrow’s headline in the Cincinnati Enquirer” … ” Local Woman Assaulted In Home By Internet Date”… I moved down the hallway, returning to the front door, her firm grip on my leg tight as ever. At some point she transitioned from a lonely, sobbing woman to one that defiantly INSISTED that I remain with her.
I got to the front door and it was…….LOCKED!!!!! Now I thought she’d locked me in, but at a later time I reasoned she had locked the door to prevent her son from surprising us. ” Oh please God, I promise NEVER to meet another woman from the net ( that pledge lasted about 2 weeks ) if you get me out of this” I looked to my right and there on the table was a key, I opened the door, and then looked at Fanny” I’m counting to 3, you either let go of my leg or we’re both going out this door” She said, ” you’re too nice, you won’t do it”…one….two……THREE!!!!!..I went through the door, Fanny still clutching my leg. It was a busy, 4th of July suburban neighborhood, the sight of a nearly naked Fanny and me breaking free from her hold caught the eye of a few, I heard a whistle as I ran to my car and she rushed back inside. As I drove away, I reached into my back pocket, yep…still got my wallet…I noticed that my Jimmy Buffett t-shirt was soaked with sweat! …What did I learn? Never meet someone at their home on a first meeting….and….ask if she intends to serve strawberries when we dine.