Carlo and the Pussy Cat

From the second I saw him standing in the middle of the sidewalk turning in every direction, looking as though he was begging to get accosted, I knew it wasn’t going to work out. I was on the phone with my mother as I stood a few feet away explaining my discontent in his proverbial lack of height and masculinity that he accentuated in his profile pictures on “Oh stop whining and give the guy a chance,” Mom said, and hung up.

I approached Carlo and we made our awkward introductions. Away we went to a small café he knew of a few blocks away. It was a really nice place with a good menu and a pretty quiet atmosphere. Once we sat down and had a drink, I remembered that I did like the way he carried on a conversation, how open and comfortable he was. Well, perhaps he was a little too comfortable. Since it was an Italian café, most of the staff seemed to be from Italy, and our waiter spoke in broken English. I had ordered the buffalo mozzarella salad, and offered Carlo some of it. Behind his glasses, I saw his eyes open up really wide and before I knew it, he screamed on the top of his lungs, “MY COMPLIMENTS TO THE BUFFALO!!!” across the room. I guess he really liked it. While I turned bright red from embarrassment and the Italian waiters all looked at each other trying to figure out what happened, Carlo went back to his own plate.

So at this point I knew he was a little animated and random. That’s not the end of the world. We soon started discussing past relationships. Yep – one of the topics you’re never supposed to talk about on a first date. That’s how we rolled. It started getting interesting when Carlo mentioned a few details about his most recent relationship. He proceeded to tell me that his last girlfriend, that he dated for over two years, was divorced, a mother of 3 and was 42 years old. Carlo and I were about 25 at the time, so I was very curious about his long relationship with a woman nearly two decades his senior. As it turned out, the woman was not too mentally stable and Carlo spent much of his time in the relationship trying to make her happy. I started comparing this ex-girlfriend in my young and naïve head to myself and was baffled. I couldn’t even begin to understand how someone would be interested in a mother of 3 and then want to date a child such as myself. We talked a little bit more about it and with no real cause, Carlos declared that his ex was the “GREATEST, STRONGEST WOMAN [HE HAD] EVER KNOWN!” There were tears in his eyes, and he was using the same volume in his voice that he used for his buffalo outburst, but this was a lot more … um…emotional.

So with the nonsensical screams in the café out of the way, Carlo then asked if I wanted to walk around a little bit and maybe get a drink before parting. I figured there was no danger in that, but once again, I was wrong. During our stroll, we were chatting like friends and trading sarcastic comments back and forth so when we were about to pass a store called the Pink Pussy Cat, Carlo thought it was a good idea to go in. I guess I didn’t want to look like a prude and probably thought it would provide some good laughs. The problem I had was that we ended up looking like an established couple to the Pink Pussy Cat employee. And Carlo was more than happy to comply with that assumption. She ended up showing us some “devices” that were kept behind lock and key and while I must admit, she definitely knew her stuff, I wanted to die. After the word “stimulation” was mentioned to us for the third time in a 2 minute period, I was ready to go. And Carlo wanted to know why I was so uncomfortable.

Carlo really was (probably still is) a very nice guy. I hope he found someone who can keep up with his free spirit and extreme volume.