Regina tried online dating … again. She knew she was living out the definition of insanity, though she was trying desperately to not become a complete cynic.
She wanted to believe there was a man out there for her; a man she actually wanted to be hers. Every guy she met liked her, for various reasons. Some wanted sex, some a sugar mama, her money, and the list went on.
The most recent guy, Thomas, sounded nice enough. Actually, that’s a lie. He sounded uneducated. They exchanged numbers so they could text and arranged to meet; his texts filled with acronyms. Regina had been in the military, so she understood those acronyms. She also understood the younger generation making up acronyms to fool their parents when they wrote sexual things to their friends. Thomas wasn’t in the military and when texting, his mother wasn’t looking over his shoulder. Furthermore, he and Regina weren’t texting anything sexual. She texted asking him to use ‘words’ so she could understand what he was saying. That’s when she realized he really was uneducated. No punctuation. Misspelled words. Half sentences. Regina still didn’t always understand what he wrote. He asked her out. Damn.
Thomas asked Regina to meet him at the park for a walk. Harmless enough. She was bored and hadn’t had a walk that day yet, so it was perfect. Meet a guy, get some exercise; what’s the worst that could happen?
Regina found out rather quickly as Thomas immediately started talking about his kidney transplant a few years ago, glaucoma in one eye, how he moved in with his brother after he moved out of his mother’s apartment when the rent went up, how he was on disability and only worked enough to not jeopardize his “check.” The worse part was when he said he was on the list for low-income housing. All low-income housing communities were in rundown, drug infested, high crime areas. She wasn’t going to live that way; as if they would become a couple and live together.
Regina sighed knowing this wasn’t her guy. Call her selfish. She doesn’t make apologies for wanting to be taken out on dates and away on trips without worrying about money. Thomas bragged about how well he cooked and that he knew how to take care of a lady. He said his mother told him, “It’s the small things you do for someone that matters the most.” Regina agreed with that statement, though she also wanted the big things. The walk was almost over and he asked her out to dinner, TGIF.
Regina wasn’t fond of TGIF or Applebee’s, which seemed to be the restaurant of choice for men she’d met online. The food wasn’t anything to brag about and she found herself feeling bored with his conversation. Broken English turned her off. She stopped trying to hide her yawns and hoped he’d get the message. When the check came, he told the waiter, “I’ll take care of you.” After paying the bill he whispered across the table, “I gave him a $3 tip.” Regina closed her eyes to hide the disbelief she felt at knowing he believed he’d just done a great feat. The night couldn’t end fast enough.
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