BUM MAGNET: THE LAST STRAW

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I started talking to J_OKC this past spring (2018). His picture came across my profile. His profile indicated that he was black, lived in Brooklyn, had no kids, had a job, and my same age. I wasn’t totally enthusiastic about talking to him because he looked a bit rough around the edges. However, when he messaged me I figured I should take a chance. He seemed genuinely interested and I openly welcomed his enthusiasm. He called me a few times; his conversation was playful, nothing too serious; and definitely no red flags. He seemed quite intrigued by me and couldn’t understand why I was still single (a question I often ask myself). He mentioned that he would often sabotage his relationships because they would seem too good to be true. I told him that I refused to settle into a relationship just for the title, but without the substance. We spoke for about two weeks; when he asked me for a date I agreed.  

We agreed to meet up one afternoon at Union Square. I confirmed earlier in the day that our plans were still on, which they were. By the end of the day, I was running late. I called to notify him and he seemed to be ok to wait. I got off of the train and I saw him across the street. He had a multi-colored decorated shirt, heavily destructed jeans, and Jordan sneakers (do not wonder which version, for I had no idea- I am not a sneaker head or Jordan wearer). It was obvious he put effort into his outfit but I prefer a less ghetto-fabulous look. Walking down the street we looked like we came from two different walks of life. He was decked out in his Dr. Jays/ Jimmy Jazz apparel and I looked business casual in my fitted dress, duster sweater, and sandals. Yes- I said it! I can be superficial at times, and I do not care! 

We walked for a few blocks trying to decide where to go and eat. I kept asking him what he wanted to eat and he kept asking me the same, in return. We ended up choosing a small local Mexican restaurant. We got a seat for two and sat across from each other. I was finally able to get good long look at his face. He was a decent looking man with only two major visible flaws; the obvious being his skin. His skin looked patchy- like he washed his face but forgot to lotion; it was also obvious that he didn’t get a hair cut. We proceeded to talk as we glanced over the menu. We each ordered lemonades and rice bowls. He kept asking the waiter if the bowls came with rice. He must have asked that about 5 times. Slowly but surely all the charisma he had over the phone seemed to have gotten lost on his train ride from Brooklyn. He refused to make eye contact; which is very important to me on a first date. He kept looking off to the side and/or down at the table. His lack of eye contact screamed one thing to me. That he had done time in jail. So- of course, I asked him and he confirmed what I already knew to be true. He had been locked up two times on separate occasions. In my mind I thought… A-fucking-gain! But, nonetheless, I continued with the date. He talked about being a chef and how he liked to create food. We talked about hobbies: my running, working out, writing etc. He was very much a homebody; he didn’t go out much unless he had a reason. He wasn’t big on family gatherings but did on occasion doing things out of the ordinary. We finished our food; overall was decent but, nothing to write home about. Truth be told; Chipotle would have tasted better and been more filling. When the check came I glanced at the bill, it was just under $40. He paid, didn’t leave a tip and we walked out. Once we had exited the restaurant I mentioned to him that he did not tip the server. He claimed he didn’t realize, said that he would walk back but, then changed his mind and we kept on walking.   

We sat in Madison Square Park and continued talking. I will give him credit the conversation got better. What we spoke about, in detail, I honestly do not remember. We touched on his family, his few friends, and how he liked to be the man with the element of surprise. He enjoyed doing things a typical hood dude would do; which was admirable. The conversation was going decently well again. There was eye contact and the conversation didn’t feel forced. I was sitting beside him and I couldn’t help but notice a funny smell. The smell was nauseating; I thought it was a garbage truck but every time he laughed the smell got more potent. I realized that what I was smelling was his breath and the rotten teeth there were inside his head. What The Entire Fuck!  

Side Note: I’m well aware that dental work is not cheap, but taking care of one’s teeth should be a priority. Over crowding and yellowing I can tolerate; rotten teeth though- is now and will forever be a NO NO in my book. The average working adult with a job is now eligible for some type of insurance. And, if you don’t have insurance there are many dentists that will put you on a payment plan for dental work. From my perspective there is no excuse for horrible dental hygiene. In the very least carry some damn gum or breath mints to mask that odor.  

As I sat there and he went on and on about how he liked my vibe and wanted to see me again I interjected the conversation. I asked him about his teeth. He said he planned to get his teeth fixed once his insurance kicked in. That seemed ideal but I thought to myself, if you allowed your mouth to get that bad I had no faith you would take care of it in a timely manner. I made it clear that I would not move forward until his teeth were fixed. I couldn’t see myself laughing at the sight of dark grey teeth from a mouth that smelled like garbage; I just couldn’t do it. 

We sat down for a few more minutes then I had to go home and he went to look for his shoes.  

We never spoke again.  

After that date I came to grips with the reality of what I already knew. I am picky and I often give chances to those that I have no business considering. I like what I like and there is no changing that. I don’t want to date a man that looks too hood, is a homebody, has been to prison, and has bad teeth. 

 It is what it is and I make no apologies for that.

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