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Jenny and I decided to call him “Girth” for very good reason. In this PG forum, let’s just say he was well-endowed. In fact, we called him Girth so often in our conversations about him, that I began to worry that I’d slip up and mistakenly say, “How are you Girth?” instead of Garth when I talked to him.
The first thing I liked about him, though (being of course unable to check out his package during a first date encounter), was his taste in music.
“What type of music do you usually listen to?” Garth asked as he met me back in the casino lounge where I was listening to the band playing. He had been playing cards and had suggested that I go there to wait for him.
I’m such a music nerd. I never answer this question by telling potential mates that I have seen REO Speedwagon in concert five times. “I’m eclectic in my music tastes. I listen to a little bit of everything. You?”
“I like a lot of the 80s stuff.” He was a music nerd too!
The second thing was the “Buckle the Seatbelt” trick.
We were getting ready to leave the casino, and he walked me out to my car. When I got into my car, he leaned over me and buckled my seatbelt gently in one of the most endearing, protective gestures I had ever seen on a first date.
So he had three big positives. One really, really big one.
But…remember the casino?
He told me during our first date that the reason his ex-wife left him was because she thought he had a problem with gambling.
You might be telling yourself that I should have been alarmed since he planned this first date at a casino, but alas, I was blinded by the seatbelt trick (and did I mention he liked Van Halen—and none of that Sammy Hagar stuff either). He said he’d had a thing for teachers ever since Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” song—see below.
Then, a few dates later we were at his house. He was in the shower and the phone rang. I hate a ringing phone, so I picked it up.
“Is Garth Turnell in?” asked the voice who I thought I recognized as Tony Soprano.
“Um, no, well he’s in the shower.”
“I’ll wait,” Tony said.
“It might be a few minutes. I can definitely have him call you,” I said.
“I can definitely wait.”
Alrighty then. I set the phone down and went in to the bathroom. “There’s some guy on the phone who sounds like Tony Soprano. I tried to take a message and I told him you were in the shower, but he said he would wait.”
Girth ripped open the shower curtain violently. “You what?! Why did you answer my phone?”
I was confused and hurt. “Because it was ringing. I didn’t know it was a big deal. I’m so sorry.”
“Well it IS a big deal.” He grabbed a towel off of the towel bar and wrapped it around his waist, striding over to the phone.
“Hello?” he said morosely, as he picked up the receiver off of the bed.
“Yes, Billy, I understand that.” I guess it wasn’t Tony Soprano after all. Whatever the case, Girth did not sound too happy to be talking to him.
He rolled his eyes at me. “I know I said I was out of town, and I was but I just got back. Yes I know I need to get that payment to you. Yes . . “
“I am aware of that.” His voice was high and tight. He looked around the room.
“I am aware of that too.”
“Yes Billy, I will. By Friday. Goodbye.” He put his head in his hands.
I had seen—and heard—enough by then to figure that Girth was in way over his heads; substantial though they both were. Anyway, music nerd + romantic seatbelt buckling trick + large wedding tackle does not compensate for potential kneecap-breaking gambling debts to The Sopranos.
copyright © 2009 Tiia Jones