Winter 1998

We’ve all been there: on a date when we get that first invitation back to their apartment.  Considering I made out with Haley in the street on our last date, one thing was certain: tonight I was going to see her topless.

Factoring that in with her preppy looks, her Princeton education and her Jewish background, I guesstimated that I had a 50% chance of sex-sex and a 40% chance of something even more personal to women than sex-sex: oral sex.

I made a groundbreaking discovery though that evening which would forever refine and perfect my sex probability guesstimates to an accuracy only seen by NASA scientists.

After making out in the elevator, we stumbled into her apartment with the excitement you can only feel at the beginning of a relationship: that magic which takes off with the first kiss, lasts four to six week, and lands when you finally use their bathroom for number two.

Haley took my coat and we moved onto step two of the ritual, the apartment tour.  Which in those days, usually consisted of seeing her living room, dining room, bedroom and kitchen…without having to move.  Haley was a doctor though and combined with her apartment residing above 125th street, she shattered the one room studio with her four room, 750 sq. ft. monstrosity.

I never gave it serious thought before my awakening that evening, but during our swing through the kitchen, I did what I always did while at a woman’s apartment: I checked the fridge.  

Call it a sixth sense, but I always knew more about a person after checking their fridge, I just never connected the dots.  Haley did the connecting for me… 

If I said that Haley’s fridge smelled like a Porto-potty after three days at Coachella, it wouldn’t be far from accurate.  It was as if Godzilla attacked New York, gobbled up Chinatown, and then used Haley’s fridge to take a dump.

Her fridge overflowed with the moldiest, most rotten-take out I had ever encountered.  Her produce must have been ripe during the Bush administration.  Here was this cute, preppy, clean-looking girl and I couldn’t understand how she could let her fridge get like this.  Her parents were alive; the death of some childhood pet named Sprinkles hadn’t come up in dinner conversation. 

At first, I said nothing.  Not to be polite, I just kept my mouth shut til the twitch in my gag reflex had passed.  We all have that internal editor in our heads; the one who our parents trained to prevent us from reporting the obvious.  I guess my editor took a bathroom break, because when I finally could speak, all that came out was “oh my lord, your fridge smells like shit!’.

It was an observation I would regret.

Haley just stared back at me.  It was if she was catatonic, and it was my duty to check her for a pulse.  Now matter what she said, anything was better than that awkward silence.  

“I’d like you to leave”.

I couldn’t believe it.  Here I was, on a second date, which was up to this point, was going swimmingly well.  At the very least, a quick game of slap and tickle was a sure thing and now I had to re-guesstimate my chance of sex-sex down to zero.

I’d never been kicked out of a woman’s apartment.  The last time I was kicked out of anyone’s apartment was when I was twelve and I hit my friend Mark in the nuts during a pillow fight.  

“Seriously?  You really want me to leave??”.

I always had a natural bond with woman.  They didn’t all want to shag me, but they at least liked hanging out with me. 

“Yes, you just hurt my feelings.  I didn’t say you can check my fridge and you just made me feel really unconformable and I’d like you to go”.

When we attach ourselves to an outcome, it’s so disappointing when it doesn’t happen, no matter how trivial.  Even second base.  I grabbed my jacket and headed out the door.

As I watched the numbers on her elevator light up from ‘L’ to ‘8’, her door opened, Haley standing there.  

“I don’t like you leaving like this”.

It was ridiculous.  It was like she was the parent and I was the kid, and right after spanking me, here she was, swearing on her grandmother’s grave that it hurt her more than me.  (We all know it doesn’t)

“I’m leaving like this because you asked me to.”

She nodded all parent-like.  “Come back inside, I want to talk to you.”

I’m a details person, always have been.  But I have no idea what was said.  All I can tell you is within thirty seconds of walking back into that apartment, I was sitting on her love seat with my pants around my ankles and Haley on her knees blowing me.

Some guys love blowjobs.  I mean, no one hates them, but some dudes like it even more than sex-sex.  I just don’t happen to be one of them.  When I tried to lift Haley up to get the Sex-train rolling, she’d have none of it.  Giving me head was her evening activity.  

How did this happen?  It was like throwing a basketball into the garage and without trying, it bounces off the roof, off a tree, off a car and into the basket.  If I tried to engineer it, it’d never work.  I knew life was confusing, but this was a new level of cluelessness.

When she was done, I tried to be thankful.  Thankful in that way when someone does something for you that you would have never done for them. 

But before I could even muster up the words, she went back down for a second helping.  I sincerely told her that I’m not the ‘bounce back quick guy’.  I’m the ‘hour on the sideline to rest before going back into the game guy’.  Maybe that’s why soccer was never my sport.  

Haley said she didn’t care, she liked my taste and down she went.   I lasted for forty-five minutes.  She went at it for forty-six.

As I sat there dumfounded of how generous (and completely wackypack) this girl was, it hit me.  Her fridge!  The key was right there. 

From checking Haley’s fridge, I learned that she wasn’t the Nurturer, wasn’t the Boss and wasn’t the Vegan.  Her fridge told me that she was Wackypack: and even though her nightly 3:00 AM arguments with my answering machine was still weeks away, Wackypack she was.  I stuck my head into the looking glass and all was there for me to see.  Healthy headed girls just don’t let their fridges get that putrid. 

When I recalled these events to my friend TK last year, she couldn’t believe it.  “Our favorite subject is dating and you never told me this story…after ten years of friendship??”.

She asked for more examples, the whole while demanding that I tell her what must be in her fridge?

It was a lay-up: TK was the Boss type, hardly home except to walk her dog, bottle of vino, case of diet coke, bottle of water to take on the road.  Fresh dog treats because she doesn’t have time for a relationship with a human, condiments for her take out, bottle of the hard stuff in her freezer for when she does hook up.

She demanded that I start a blog.  It’s universal.  It’s part of the human experience.  We all have fridges.  We all check other people’s fridges.  It’s been right in front of us our entire dating lives. 

So here we are.

Dating is hard enough as it is.  Though we wish it otherwise, nothing is black and white.  But as I tell my friends, it’s smart to play the odds.   We all love-taking chances and we should now and then.  

But if you’re looking for a husband, dating a guy on crack, not a smart move.  If you can’t stand a woman who’s going to make more money than you, The Boss won’t be a good fit.   

Checking someone’s fridge offers great insight into who someone is as a person and what type of personality they have.  Archetypes exist for a reason.  Here’s your cheat sheet.  

Choose wisely.

JS

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