There was a time in my life when I tried several diets because I wanted to lose weight. I was told by someone somewhere at some point that I should listen to my body. So, if my body wants chocolate, it gets chocolate, right? I do listen.
Eventually, I felt uncomfortable and signed up for the gym and some insane workout. It was one of those programs that put me through some sort of Marine-style guerilla warfare training that is completely over the top and unnecessary unless you are trying to compete in the Hunger Games. But I went. Once or twice a week every time on the verge of death. Sweating and wheezing and walking out shaking and dizzy. Meanwhile, the instructors were all handsome and in great shape. Women in tiny spandex shorts and sports bras, with perfect hair and flawless faces. The guys were also ridiculously in shape and hot.
I don’t know if it was because I was so dizzy or exhausted or because he was actually funny, but he kept me laughing while I was completely out of breath on an elliptical trainer. So, this particular instructor, whom I will call Arnold, looked like a fake Greek sculpture of a man. He was so handsome you couldn’t look at him for too long. He spread his attention evenly in the class and encouraged me with a hand on my lower back how those crunches should be done better. I left the class with a stupid grin hoping to need many corrections with my workouts. I was in my early twenties when all this happened and I thought I am smarter but I was not immune to his “charm”.
I reached out and was all, “Can you help me with my diet and get in shape?” and he was all, “Sure, let’s meet at this healthy vegan-something place,” and I was thinking, “HERE COMES THE BRIDE.” We hung out a couple of fitness-eating-related times and one night I texted him, while a little buzzed, and asked him out on a date. We continued dating. The weird thing was, we always met at my apartment. Always mine. Until one evening. And this is when I found out about his secret bad habit.
I think everybody has bad habits we don’t want people to know. We keep them a secret because we feel like we should. For example watching The Bachelor (which is super trashy and should be illegal), having read 50 Shades of Grey (same as for the Bachelor), eating food in secret and such things. So, one evening we went on a date and his hotness was again in the ridiculous range. I felt like we were in that scene from The Little Mermaid where Ursula sings the song about stealing Ariel’s voice and I was one of those weird souls/weeds on the floor while Arnold was Ariel. Does this metaphor hit you? If not, don’t worry. Here is a little reminder:
We left hand in hand and I said, “Let’s go to your place tonight.” “Okay,” he said, “but it is kind of a mess.” We walked past his nice entrance to the nice elevator and walked down his nice hall and he opened his nice door and there it was.
The mess was bad. The kitchen and bathroom were black with mold, all porcelain surfaces coated in hair, and some slime. There were unwashed dishes and towels covering every inch of the counters. Ants everywhere. Pizza cartons everywhere. Piles everywhere, books, clothes, sneakers, furniture sitting on top of other stuff. There were bottles of things. Protein powder, health-food products, junk mail, CDs, DVDs and so much more. It was a nightmare to look at. There was barely room to walk around. He continued leading me around the apartment through some sort of pathway which felt like being led through a maze. I have seen messes in people’s apartments. I was a cop. I have basically seen it all. But this apartment took mess to a different level. It is not that uncommon for a guy to have a disgusting apartment, especially not if he is single. Arnold’s apartment was more than dirt. Anyway, I instantly sobered up. “I told you it was messy,” he said. “You think it’s bad?” “Noooooo!” I yelled too loud and fast. “It is such a niiiiiiiiice apartment.” He led me to something that seemed like a couch to watch some TV. I pretended to watch TV, unsure of how to leave. I wondered if he knows how bad this is. If he does, he could be planning to kill me. Nobody would ever find me here. I looked at him from the corner of my eye. Did he look angry or crazy? No, he was laughing hard at whatever he saw on TV.
So, what did I do? Of course, I obviously left and thanked him for a lovely evening. No, no, dear reader. This is what a normal person would do. I decided to stay to *kiss* on his dirty mattress. I left his apartment at two a.m. Out to the city street full of steaming, smelling trash where things were actually nicer. I was clearly beginning my walk of deep shame. I came home and showered for ten years.
The next day, Arnold told me that I inspired him to get his place together. I didn’t know what I said or did to make him do that but I thought it would be a pretty good idea. “Oh, cool, you are going to get rid of some stuff?” I asked. “No, I am going to get new furniture.” I couldn’t think of anything to say.
I went back to the guy for one more workout but then decided that I lost enough weight. Arnold and I didn’t stay in touch much longer. Every time I see someone who is so beautiful or handsome that they almost don’t look human, I remember that there might be something totally f***ed about them that will bring them right back down to earth.