Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bad Date, Good Story #1--Slug Kiss

I really wanted to like Arnold. He was, it was quite evident from the start, a nice guy. We bonded on the phone around our liberal politics and he brought an Obama ’08 button to our first date along with a set of pink roses. An auspicious start! On top of that, he was decidedly taller than me and I realized I could have actually worn heels, something I’d been avoiding since the time I towered over someone who insisted he was 6 feet tall in his profile but didn’t quite see eye to eye with me even though I am only 5 foot 3.

Arnold was a decent conversationalist when the topic was himself. I asked and learned about both of his failed marriages, his struggle to train his dog and his relationships with his mother and father (easily summarized as good with dad, bad with mom). The first time I went to the restroom, I thought this might actually someone I could connect with. I came back to the table ready to relay much of the same information about my own background.

As soon as I sat down Arnold said: “I was just thinking about this great youth group trip I took in high school.”

“Really, “ I replied, purposely not asking a follow up questions in the hope he’d get the message and ask me a question about myself to lead off our second hour together.

“Yeah, this funny thing happened where two of my friends missed the bus and jumped into a cab which chased the bus all the way back to our hotel. It cost like 200 dollars.”
“Wow,” I said flatly.

“I was also thinking I should tell you about the time I told my neighbor that this woodchuck in my yard wouldn’t bite. He went ahead and touched it and it bit clear through his hand. I still feel kind of badly about that.”
I began to consider that some people have just lived alone too long, without the benefit of enough adult company. I wondered how many childhood stories a 50 year old might remember in the space of one brunch. It will give you a good gauge of my other prospects when I tell you that I did go out with Arnold again. But, this time I was ready. My friend Ann had suggested a perfect question to ask him: “So, what would you like to know about me?” and I knew that if I could deliver that without an edge, things might go better.

Sure enough, I felt I had something like equal time that night and I started to think that Arnold was the kind of person who would grow on you. I kept trying to peel my eyes away from the solo hairs sprouting now and again on his otherwise bald head and wondered if he might come to notice how other men tend to shave those away. But, going in to date three, I started to hope that maybe his awkward appearance and composure masked someone of great sexual prowess like the dorky reporter that becomes Superman. That’s why I decided that if he tried to kiss me, I’d kiss him back.

At the fateful moment after walking me to my car, he leaned down to me and first kissed me somewhat shyly on the mouth. I responded with a slightly more open lipped kiss. And then, he thrust his tongue straight into my mouth full force like he was going for my tonsils and—left it there. Just left it sitting there, no movement. It was as if a big slug had landed in my mouth only I had no real say in removing it. And, then, mercifully it retreated, only to be thrust forth once again. I pictured a kid sticking out his tongue hard in kindergarten and tried to picture the relief I’d feel when it was over and I was telling Ann about it.

“Well, goodnight,” I managed pushing him firmly away with both hands on his shoulders and turning to open my door as quickly as I could. Apparently, Arnold was not going to be my Superman.


Staci said...

Great description! My mouth actually puckered and frowned at the thought of the "Slug Kiss!"

I think you have fulfilled part of the saying "You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs to Find a Prince"

So BRAVO, one down, how many to go.....

Sandra Joseph said...

I love love love this story, Leslie! Thanks for posting it! I don't mean to wish bad dates on you, but I sure look forward to more of your stories!


simonbeaner said...

What a great story, Leslie! And what a horrible experience - I had that kind of kiss once, too, and it really put me off men for a while. So brava to you for continuing the journey, and doing us the service of story-telling. I look forward to reading more good stories about bad dates - and hopefully, a great story about a series of great dates!

Julie said...

My friend always gave me the advice that if you're not sure about your date, go ahead and kiss them and you'll know one way or another. I think in your gut you knew before the kiss that this was way more of a frog than prince charming, but wow did that kiss tell you a lot!! Makes me think my friend's advice is probably good advice.

KarenM said...

Your description of the kiss could not have been more vivid. Not only did I get a horrible visual in my mind, but I also got an even more horrific sensation in my mouth! Yuck!!!!

However, you survived and I'm sure, ready to give the next guy a clean slate.

I look forward to the next post.

Tom Klaus said...

I loved this story, Leslie! Even more, it got me to thinking of more awkward moments when I was doing the dating thing while still in the Midwest. Sadly, most of those awkward moments were of my own making.

For example...I discovered that one woman I went out with loved the State Fair as much as I did. I enthusiastically told her about one of my favorite shows at the fair that featured a magician who was funny, delightful, and exceedingly talented as an illusionist. She listened attentively and nodded at the appropriate moments in my story.

When I finished gushing about the illusionist, she quietly asked "Was his name ______?" "Why, yes!" I said enthusiastically. "Did you see his show too?" "Well, you could say that," she answered calmly. "He's my ex-husband. I'm glad he's bringing joy to someone's life." Ouch!

Thanks for sharing your stories, Leslie, and providing a space for others, including me, to share our bad dates with good stories.

karen_anselmo_821 said...

Thanks for sharing this story. The description of the slug kiss made me shiver. It brought back a flood of memories from a similar experience. I’m pretty sure I dated Arnold’s long lost cousin years ago. His name is Mitch. Unlike your description of Arnold though, Mitch appeared to be a pretty nice catch in the beginning. I was thrilled when he asked me out because he looked like a young, very handsome John Travolta, owned his own successful business, was just a tiny bit awkward in an adorable way, and was all-in-all a fun guy to be around. Only two problems. Two really BIG problems. He breathed like Darth Vader through his mouth when he kissed…and the kicker…HE DROOLED. He drooled excessively all over the place. Yuck!!! It gave me major case of the heebie jeebies...and I just couldn't get past it. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure he just left his tongue sitting there half-dead like a slug too, but I was too stunned by the breathing and drooling thing each time he kissed me to even notice. The funny thing is that Mitch is now married and has 3 – yes three -- kids! I’ve bumped into him with his family a few times over the years…and all I can do is wonder how his wife ever got past the drooling thing to procreate. Best I can figure is that she must be a drooler too ;-)

So…here’s hoping we never have to experience another kiss like the ones described on your blog ever again.