As I climbed the steps in the semi-packed movie theater, the first seats I saw were in the middle on the end. I was on my first date with Benjamin, a Grad Student I’d met online.
To be honest, I was pretty sure the love story of Benjamin and CeCe would be short. Our texts and phone conversations had been kind of plain (borderline boring), and there were no sparks. But Benjamin was polite, respectful and he called me more than he texted me which always earns points in my book. So I agreed to go out with him just in case there was a chance that our chemistry in person was better than our chemistry on the phone.
I live in Harlem and Benjamin lived over the bridge in the Bronx, so we agreed to see a movie in my neighborhood instead of trekking all the way downtown. When I walked into the theater, Benjamin was waiting for me with a big hug, a smile and a movie ticket.
“It’s such a nice night, I actually walked here,” he said as we rode the escalators up to the concession stand.
“You walked to Harlem from the Bronx?”
“Yeah, it’s not that bad… I just walked over the bridge and then its like another 15 blocks!”
I nodded and smiled.
Benjamin asked if I wanted snacks, I declined so we walked right into the theater.
As we settled into our seats, the movie previews began.
“That looks like a good one,” Benjamin leaned over to whisper into my ear… and that’s when the musty smell first hit my nostrils.
At first I thought it was the seats in the theater, but every time Benjamin shifted, the odor intensified. What is that? I thought to myself… then it hit me: oh my gosh, it smells like… sweat… but its sweat mixed with something else… something like…
and before I could finish my thought, Benjamin causally crossed his legs and my eyes zeroed in on his shoes… LOAFERS. WITH. NO. SOCKS.
oh my gosh… I was smelling a delicate mixture of body sweat and foot funk because this dude really decided to walk 30 blocks with no socks for a first date!
I put my wrist to my nose, trying to inhale my own perfume so I could focus on the movie, but the steamy smells wafting into my nostrils were the ultimate distraction and to make things worse: Benjamin was trying to put the moves on me.
He was nudging my leg with his.
He was leaning over to whisper to me and lingering near my neck.
He was raising his arm up to stretch and… put his arm around my shoulder?
I saw the arm around the shoulder move coming and before I knew what I was doing I slowly flopped over the arm of my chair away from him like a rag doll.
So there I was with the bottom half of my body in the chair and the top half hanging over the arm of my seat into the aisle. I stayed like that for half of the movie until my ribcage began to cramp from the awkward position. I didn’t know what to do…
I finally understood what people meant when they said smells were “offensive” I was definitely offended. Offended that I was forced to watch a movie folded in half, offended that this guy thought it was okay to get some cardio in before seeing me, offended that he doesn’t understand his own body chemistry when I work so hard to understand mine and most of all I was offended by Benjamin’s Eau de Funk.
In what I can only describe as an angelic intervention, the couple in front of us walked out of the movie leaving two open seats. “I’m going to sit over here” I whispered, and with no further explanation I moved seats, enjoyed my movie and gulped in breaths of sweet funk-free air.
The sad thing is… this isn’t the only smelly date I’ve had. Stay tuned for “Smelly Men I’ve Dated (Part Two)”
Note: I am still happily dating Robert, this date happened before I met him.