What a Nice Guy by Phil Torcivia

Friday, April 15, 2011

Shrinkage


      It’s not really a small world—quite massive, actually. Still, when we cage ourselves within the forty-or-so mile confines of San Diego County, our world shrinks. This was exemplified on Match.com as I recently winked at a woman without realizing I had already dated her. I’ve lapped the field. Jimmy Johnson would be proud, but I’m concerned.
      Another odd occurrence took place this weekend, probably caused by the moon being exceptionally close to our planet. I took a woman out to a first-date dinner on Friday night. She recently became available after a yearlong relationship ended. It was an enjoyable date (sans the awkward discussion of my recent snippy-otomy). On the following evening, I was out with friends and noticed her ex-boyfriend in the crowd. No worries until he suddenly hit on my best friend’s girlfriend. She shooed him away and filled her boyfriend and me in on his approach.
      “He commented on my sitting beneath a heating lamp.”
      “An odd angle, if you ask me.”
      “I thought so too. He asked if I was chilly.”
      “Which is like asking a surfer if the water is damp.”
      “Right. So, I said yes and gave him my best ‘duh’ look.”
      “And the punch line?”
      “He said, ‘Well, just so you know—I love to cuddle.’”
      “You know, ordinarily I would lambaste him about employing such an awful approach, but that one wasn’t bad.”
      “Yes, it was.”
      “Sorry, I must disagree, J-Lo, and give him a solid eight. In fact, I may hijack his line as well as his woman.”
      My buddy and his girl had a good laugh when I divulged the details of my date with his ex the previous night. Small world.
      A nice guy wouldn’t share this information with this man’s ex-girlfriend. Yet, I was feeling prickish, so I did (and am doing so now, in a public forum). Also, I like his ex and need to make sure she doesn’t fall back into his cuddly confines.
      “What a douche he is. He has been texting me all week about how much he loves and misses me.”
      “I’m sure that’s sincere. He was probably just being silly.”
      I know better than to put down ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands. That is an ill-advised strategy. Even if she were to agree with my assessment, it comes as an insult to her because she dated/married him. The wise man defends the ex in such a way as to build up his woman.
      “Stop it. It’s obvious he was hitting on her.”
      “The poor fellow was probably feeling depressed and lonely. He let a wonderful woman slip from his grips. He was only being friendly.”
      “Ugh, and that’s such a lame line he used too. I hope her boyfriend belted him.”
      “No, silly. It was innocent. No biggie.”
      “Well, he’s not going to like my answer to his next ‘I miss you’ text message.”
      What a bizarre chain of events it was. It seemed like a set up. In a crowd of 200 people, the ex of my previous night’s date finds and hits on my pal’s girlfriend less than twenty-four hours later. It certainly had me howling.

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