My blind date smelled like a wet dog

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

My friend set me up on a blind date. She had been friends with this man for many years, and she knew him well. Unfortunately, she didn't think to warn me about the smell.

I suggested meeting in a neutral location. So we met in the parking lot of a local grocery store. My blind date knew how to get to the restaurant we had agreed upon, and I didn't. So I climbed into the passenger seat of his car and allowed him to drive us to this nice Italian bistro across town.

He seemed really nice, and the conversation was pleasant and easy. However, something in his car smelled wrong. He smelled like a wet dog.

I couldn't put my finger on it. All I knew was that the air seemed thicker and less inviting with every breath, and we were still twenty minutes away from the restaurant. Would it be rude to open a window? I wondered.

Not wanting to hurt his feelings or alert him to my discomfort, I opted against opening a window. Instead, I took shallow breaths, turned my head away from him, and breathed through my mouth when the odor became too much.

I felt delighted when we arrived at the restaurant. Like my blind date, the restaurant seemed nice enough. Unlike my blind date, the restaurant didn't smell like a wet mop left to fester in a dirty mop bucket.

Honestly, it was just good to get out of the car and take some deep lungfuls of fresh air. As soon as we walked into the restaurant, I smelled him again. It seemed to me like his aroma filled the air of the entryway, and I hoped it would dissipate once we passed through the smaller entry and got into the large dining room.

I reckoned the greater the space, the safer it would be. Surely, the odor molecules would cause less harm if they had room to spread. At least, that was my hope.

My theory didn't exactly pan out. I ate my food through the worst of the smell, which came and went throughout dinner. After dinner, I thanked him for the date and climbed back into his car for the ride back into town.

I've always heard one's sense of smell will diminish after a hearty meal. It seemed to be true in my case. I could still smell my dinner companion, but my full belly took the edge off.

When we got back to the grocery store, I thanked him again for the date and politely declined when he asked if I wanted to go for coffee.

I never saw or heard from him again. And I was totally okay with that.

The experience taught me one thing, though: Never go on a blind date without learning everything you can about the person first. If my friend had told me her friend smelled bad, I would have been prepared and known what to expect.

As it was, I spent the entire date trying not to breathe too deeply and praying the smell would go away. It didn't, and I never want to experience anything like that again.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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