They met online. Veronica liked his blue eyes, just like her late husband’s. He liked her lean frame and told her so. She enjoyed the morning email exchanges for a couple of weeks. He harassed her for eating at Chick-fil-A since the business had just come out as anti-gay. She was a Southern girl and loved their heart-shaped biscuits on Valentine’s Day. They both admitted to being foodies.
Finally Brett said, “Let’s meet.”
He was an IT guy from Silicon Valley and lived in Palo Alto. She lived in the East Bay in Walnut Creek. She knew a good wine place in Rockridge. She made the reservation for the Barrel Room. It would be a good midway spot, a BART ride for her, and he would drive over and meet her there.
She waited inside. He showed up in a navy jacket and khakis with salt and pepper hair and the handsome face, just like his photo. But unlike his online image he had an extra 200 pounds on his frame. His photos! Then Veronica realized all of them had been from the nipples up. He had hidden his roundness to get a date.
Veronica was p.o’d. She’d invested two weeks of email flirting, had picked the place, had made the reservation, had taken a 40 minute BART ride, and now her date was double in size from what she had expected.
“You look so different from your photos,” she said, keeping her Louisville manners.
He must’ve caught her vibe.
“So, no date then?” he said.
Had this happened to him before? What the heck? They were already there, and she’d been looking forward to the wine and cheese pairings.
“We can still enjoy a meal together, right?” she offered.
“But you’re not interested in dating me, right?” he confirmed. “So how about let’s split the tab?”
Had he surprised other women and didn’t want yet another date where the woman would bail after he paid? Oh, what the hell, she thought.
“Okay,” she said.
They talked about the wines and the cheeses. She made the best of it.
“So if I call you in two weeks,” he asked, “is there any chance you’ll change your mind about me?”
“No,” she said. “I am sorry.”
They hugged and exchanged pleasantries. She took the BART home.
Two weeks later, her cell phone rang, and his name popped up. She didn’t want to say no to him again, so she let it go to voicemail.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
If Brett would’ve gone on an exercise regimen and joined Weight Watchers, Veronica would’ve given him a chance. But the distance between their towns would become an obstacle and would lead to many misunderstandings. He was still GU — geographically undesirable, so even after he lost 125 pounds, she would cut him loose. He would go on to find a trim woman closer to home and asked Veronica to come to his wedding. She would attend with her second cousin as her date, would get drunk, cry in the bathroom and miss the tossing of the bouquet.