Pizza, Anyone?

There have been many times in my life when I wanted to be anywhere other than where I was. This is probably the foremost one of those times. Ian and I had dated briefly many years ago. At that point in his life, he had a problem with alcohol, which I did not want to be subjected to. I had given him the ultimatum to either continue to drink, or to date me. I would not be party to a constant party. After all, I have my standards. Well, his decision was rather easy for him. He chose the alcohol and, as I found out later, had added other chemicals to his regiment. Several years passed and a mutual friend contacted me. "You know," she began, "Ian has really straightened himself out. He doesn't drink anymore, and he even quit the drugs." "Well, good," I thought aloud. "Maybe he has finally grown up." "He's been asking about you. He knows he messed up," she said. "Do you think you'd go out with him again?" At that point in my life, my first and foremost consideration was my child. I told her that I would consider it, but if I even heard rumor of the drugs or alcohol, all bets were off. That is not an image I wanted to portray to my child. She assured me that all was well, he was fine, and we should try again. I relented and told her to have him call me. The phone call came the next evening. He did seem to be doing pretty well, I thought. So I said I'd go out with him. Just one time. Just to see. No strings attached. We had decided that I would meet him at his house that Friday and make plans as to where we would go and what we would do then. Friday came and I drove the twenty-plus miles to his house. I was worried because I was about fifteen minutes late and didn't have a cell phone at that time to call him. It wouldn't have mattered anyway. When I pulled into the driveway, there he stood, shirtless and covered in grease. "Oh", I said. "Wasn't it tonight we were supposed to go out?" "Yeah. I just have to run and jump in the shower. I lost track of time working on the truck. Why don't you come in and watch some TV while I get a shower?" I followed him inside through the kitchen door where, instead of anything at all to do with food, the kitchen table was littered with old, greasy car parts. Okay, I can deal with that. He's a bachelor, probably never even cooks anyway. He showed me to the living room where I proceed to have a seat on the couch. I had to move the dirty clothes to find a place to sit. Okay, I'm thinking to myself, this is another guy thing. I can deal with it. Before he gets to the shower I hear him let the dog in. No big deal, I like animals. One problem though, this one didn't' like me. Here comes Bear, the biggest dog I have ever seen in my life. Ian excuses himself to the shower, and I am left sitting in the living room with the monster dog from Hell staring me in the face. The thing was eye level with me as I sat on the couch. Drool was dripping out of the corners of its mouth, and a low growl emanated from deep within. I begin to lose composure at that point and in a broken voice started yelling, "Go find Ian, boy. Go get him. Ian... um...help.... the dog...." Ian emerged from the bathroom in time enough to save me from the dog. "Thank God that's over," I thought to myself. Now let's get out of here. I looked at Ian, who instead of shaving or even washing under his fingernails to remove the grease, looked as if he had just let the water drip on him. He sorted through the pile of dirty laundry in the chair to find his "good shirt". His good shirt was an old t-shirt from the 1970's or early 80's with the glittery decal, half worn off, on it that read, "Don't like my attitude? Call 1-800-EAT-SHIT". The holes in it were the cleanest looking parts. At this point, it had become abundantly clear that Ian has developed some eccentricities since we had last seen one another. Now, he has a surprise for me, he says. He decided that we were driving to town to get a pizza, go to the grocery store for his mom, and then back to his place to watch a movie that he had rented. Real quality time together. I thought maybe I'd just stay at the house and wait for him to get back. No, can't do that, Bear's there. Call it off already? No, can't do that, it would just be mean. Okay, suck it up and go to town with him. How bad could that be? We get to the grocery store where he had to pick up a few things for his mom. Once again, my speed walking skills paid off. I still don't think anyone who saw us there that night had even the slightest inkling that we were together. He ran into the pizza shop to get the pizza and on our way back to his house we went. He hurried to drop of the groceries to his mom. She lived right next door, so that didn't take very long. Now for the pizza and movie. Let's get this over with. As he came back through the door, so did Bear. "I got a romantic movie. Ever seen Titanic?" Seen it? I felt as though I was living it. This night was sinking fast. As the movie starts to play, he breaks open the pizza box. Then it happens. I have never been so grossed out in my entire life. I grab a piece of pizza and Ian grabs one. He takes a bite, and then Bear takes a slurp with his big, drooling, doggy tongue. Ian takes another bite. Bear takes another lick. Well, there went my appetite. Here comes Bear, back to me. I threw my piece of pizza down on top of the box and Bear finished it off. It must have made him thirsty, too. He then came up to my bottle of Pepsi and licked the top. I swear I saw doggy drool running down the inside of the bottle. "Ewww," I said, out loud. "Oh, that's alright," Ian said. "He does that all the time to me." Well, no, it wasn't alright. Gross me out is one thing, mess with my Pepsi and you tick me off but good. Grossed out enough? Well there's more. As my stomach is churning and I feel as if I'm going to be physically ill, the piece de resistance occurs. Ian proclaims that something is hurting his mouth and, just like that, his teeth are in his hand. I must have had the strangest look on my face. I heard him say, "What? Didn't I tell you I have false teeth now?" Uh, no, he didn't. Here comes Bear to clean them off for him, and there goes me out the door, apologizing for leaving but sicker than that dog. The opening credits of the movie were just beginning to play. It was the longest drive home I could remember. Mom asked, "So, how was your date?" I couldn't even talk to her. I just said " I...he....eww.... gross...," and jumped into a hot shower. I must have stayed in there for a long time. The hot water became cold, and the clothes I had worn were in the washing machine before my head hit the pillow.

— Ramona, 37

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