I’m out on a date with a man. After we grab a drink and some food we start walking in the direction of his place. My inner monologue is running: I wore nice underwear right? Susan, why can’t you remember what pair of panties you’re wearing? Get yourself together.
We run into a group of his friends on the street and start they start chatting. This is the moment I realize he has a long piece of cheese dangling from his chin. When did we eat cheese?
Coming out of a million year relationship, my first impulse is to wipe it off his chin without asking, just you know, “I got it” sort of thing. But I am not this girlfriend or his mother, so that would be weird right? Right? Be cool. Just, fucking be cool.
He and his friends are talking about…fucking something. Cannot. Concentrate. Can only freak out about how to tell him he has food on his face.
Listen, I’m a nice person, and as a nice person I live by the general rule that when someone has some embarrassing shit on their face, butt, leg, or whatever I’ll tell them. Is your tag hanging out? I’ll tell you. Eyeliner a little smudged? We’ll have an aside. You know why? Because if it were me, I’d want you to tell me.
I learned this lesson the hard way years ago: waiting in line for the washroom at a club my friend was DJing for, the girl in front of me had what looked like chalk on her backside. I politely told her that her shirt was dirty and even helped with brushing it away. She said thank you, went on about how she appreciated me telling her, but once she was in the stall I look over to the mirror and realize…. the red lipstick I’m wearing smeared all over my chin.
Why didn’t she tell me? What is wrong with people?! It was at that moment I vowed I would NEVER let someone I know walk around like that.
But then I did.
I can only imagine his friend’s impression of me standing there completely silent and wide eyed as I’m thinking, okay so they haven’t said anything about the cheese, are they expecting me to say something about the cheese? Would it be weird if I said something now? Oh my god it’s been like a full three minutes. If they aren’t going to say something do they think I’m a bad person for not saying anything? Who are these people? Rub your face, maybe it’ll make him wipe his face. Don’t look at him. Don’t look at them. Where do I usually look when people are talking?
And then they leave. We keep walking. Okay, so if I say something now then he’ll be embarrassed that he had an entire conversation with cheese dangling and then he’ll think I’m an asshole. Should I just kiss him right here on the street to get it off his face? He’ll think I’m crazy. Just be cool.
I would like to say I stepped up to the plate and told him. I would like to say that as a person who I am about to have SEX with, that I had the social graces to inform him.
But I can’t. The cheese fell away somewhere on our walk, relieving me from all responsibility.
He’ll never know. But I’ll know.
Dating has really made me a terrible human being.