The Last Laugh – First Time Out of the Gate

My first date in 12 years was a momentous occasion. With my divorce finally final, it was time to get back on the horse, so to speak. I feared if I waited too long, I might become one of those bitter, suspicious women that hates all men. So with a casual curiosity, I ventured out into the new world of dating. I’m an adventurous gal, so, I put a profile up on a dating site and voila, I’m back in the game. Of the few men that I communicated with, one stood out, so I concentrated my limited attention on him.

He seemed too good to be true. Sign #1, that all is probably not as advertised. How could he have possibly escaped a woman’s grasp in the eight years since his divorce? He was a doctor with a verifiable practice. I investigated him, of course- 101 in internet dating. He was good looking, my age with a witty, intelligent personality. We texted and emailed late into the night for a few weeks until I had a planned business trip to Naples. The anticipation built over the weeks, as I wheeled into town, I was as giddy as a teenager.

The first sign that prince charming might be a little tarnished was when he texted me asking if he could wear his “usual uniform of shorts and a golf shirt.” You can’t put on big boy pants for dinner? This is what I wanted to say,  but not wanting to seem high maintenance, I texted back, “Sure, whatever you like.”

Those first few minutes we met were awkward but, we soon settled into casual conversation. He was an attractive man, and he definitely spent a good deal of time in the gym. I’m not really into bulging muscles, but if that’s your thing, knock yourself out.

I mentioned that the concierge level of my hotel across the street had an open bar and a rooftop deck. He was immediately eager to go check it out. Now, I’ve seen my share of open bars, so maybe I’m not as impressed with free liquor as some people but, I was a bit shocked when he took out his phone to record the moment.

Next, we found a lovely spot on a sofa under the stars surrounded by palm trees and the sound of water trickling from fountains. We laughed and told stories and all seemed to be going splendidly.  And then, it happened.

Out of nowhere, he pulls out a package and shoves something in his mouth, turns his head to the side and spits into his beer bottle. Yes, ladies, he spit into his beer on the rooftop of the finest luxury hotel in Naples.

“Whhhhat is that,” I stammered. Of course, I knew what it was. I had seen this done on television but never in person and I’m Southern.

“I know it’s not good for you but, I am who I am,” he responds with a nonchalant shrug.

“Well, ok Popeye,” was my response as I burst into uncontrollable laughter. In fact, I think I peed my pants a little, I laughed so hard. As funny as it was in-person, I got even more tickled when I thought of how my girlfriends were going to react to this story.  At that moment, all chances for a romantic relationship ended, but I was still in it for the experience. After all, this little gem of a story alone was priceless.

Then, he starts telling me that I needed to see his house. “I have a 10-foot marlin on the wall of my foyer and then in my living room lots of other fish… and in my den, the big game I’ve killed…”

This is where my mind wandered off imagining wall-to-wall carnage. I’m not against hunting and I eat meat, but, I’m not up for dead animals nailed to the walls. I draw the line there.

“What if you ever re-married?” I asked struggling for a response.

“Well, I guess she would have to like it, I’m not going to change,” he said proudly.

There you have it, that is why this attractive, successful, nice guy is still single. And, until he finds a dip-tolerant, back-woods woman who doesn’t mind sharing her home with a myriad of dead animals, he will be single forever.

Driving back to Sarasota the next day, I almost drove off the road as I recounted the story to my best friend. We laughed so hard, we were both in tears. To this day, when I think about that night, I smile.  It’s the date that just keeps giving.

So remember, if you are out there looking for love, have fun and take notes. And, if you like wall-to-wall carnage, let me know,
I have a doctor in Naples for you. I’m
pretty sure, he’s still single.  Ha Ha Ha

Written By Jules Lewis Gibson  |  Illustration by Maria Laureno

Illustration by Maria Laureno
Illustration by Maria Laureno
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