After Sue became a widow, her adult children were protective of her dating online. They had her send them a profile photo, an address, and phone number for each guy she dated. One of them was an anesthesiologist named Don.
Sue’s son’s friend knew Don since he was in the medical field. Sue felt safe meeting Don for coffee. Their second date was at a little restaurant with a singing waiter. The third date was Don’s invitation to cook Sue dinner at his place.
Sue felt safe going over to Don’s house since her son’s friend had vouched for him. When she drove through the gate to Don’s Lafayette property she noticed a dilapidated truck, a rusty bath tub, a small boat, and his car out front. She parked and rang the doorbell.
Don greeted her warmly and led her through his house to the kitchen. There was a literal path as they wove through the living room stacked high with newspapers, magazines, and stacked boxes. Sue realized the guy was a hoarder of all things.
“Sit here,” Don said, pointing to a tall stool.
Sue sat down, and Don came over, picked up both Sue and the stool and moved her to where he could see her better through the clutter.
“It’s a good thing I don’t weigh 300 pounds,” Sue joked.
“Honey, if you weighed 300 pounds, you wouldn’t be here,” he said. “I’ve never dated a nurse before.”
Sue thought that was an odd comment.
“You know I’m a doctor, right?” Don asked.
“Yes,” Sue said. “I saw it on your profile.”
They chatted while Don finished up cooking their food. Then he asked her to set the table, but the kitchen table was filled, so she tried the dining room. She was able to push things over to make room for two place settings.
“My papers are in the drawer,” Don said, motioning to the sideboard. “You know, to show you I am clean. No STD’s.”
“I don’t need to see your papers tonight,” Sue said, hinting that it was too soon.
After dinner, Don gave Sue a tour. He had added on to his house, and as he opened the door to each room, he’d explain why they couldn’t go in. This room had a dresser in the way, this one had all of his paperwork. Sue felt like she was in the Winchester Mystery House.
Then Sue made an excuse to go home. Don packed up the leftovers and handed them to her. As he walked her to the front door, he gave it one last attempt.
“If you want to feel really good, turn right,” Don said.
Sue knew from the tour that it led to his master bedroom.
“I’m going to turn left,” Sue said, heading to the front door.
“Suit yourself,” Don said.
He did not walk her to her car. Her arms were filled with cheesecake, a magazine he’d given her, and her purse. She fumbled in the dark to find her keys. By this time, Don had shut the door and turned off the porch light.
On the drive home, Sue knew they were not a match.
The next day she wanted to send him a text, but before she could think of what to say, his text came through.
I think you’re great, but we’re not on the same page.
I couldn’t agree with you more.
They never saw other again.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
Sue didn’t know about the unwritten three-date rule. Saying yes to a dinner in a man’s home on the third date is signaling to him that you are ready to turn right and head to the master bedroom. But how was she to know? She’d been married for thirty-five years. She should’ve stuck with the singing-waiter restaurant.