Lots of girls have them. They’re ubiquitous – they’re in every zip code, they come in every flavor, and they are uniformly unapologetic. They are the persistent bad habit. I’ve never been a smoker, but I would equate Jake Morgan to a nicotine addiction. He was unduly bad for my emotional state, and I am sure that he would have put my health in some precarious position had I been less of a nakedness Nazi. I still landed in his bed more times than I would care to recall. I’d like him off the radar completely, but, like clockwork, I receive bimonthly 1 am texts. Yes, I am out. No, I don’t want to trek to your place. Yes, cunnilingus sounds appealing, but the pros really don’t outweigh the cons at this point. Oh, and for the hundredth time, if you could please not make mention of my vagina via my work phone, I’d be much obliged.
He’s the guy I very casually dated for a few months. Things started off well; they always do. Our first date was a marathon. We started at an Irish pub for food, meandered to the neighboring hookah bar where we smoked and drank pisco sours, and he regaled me with travel stories. The night didn’t end until after he took me to the club where he was an investor and we went to a VIP lounge. And of course on the way to dropping me off at my apartment, he showed me this great view of DC that he happened upon while running. Damn him, I was hooked.
Jake was great on paper. He was an attorney who invested in bars and nightclubs on the side. A former collegiate athlete at my alma mater, he still maintained a semblance of soccer-playing legs and abs on his 6’4” frame. There was one last thing. His last name was the same as my first name. Our first date is the only occasion on which I found broaching marriage totally acceptable. We laughed about how I would eagerly take his last name and go by Morgan Squared professionally.
I quickly learned that one of the benefits to being a perpetually single and professionally successful thirty-something male somehow gave you consent to be completely inflexible. Soon all dates started at the hookah bar and ended in his bed. I wasn’t complaining – at least not immediately – but any sort of deviation from this agenda was not welcomed. Jake also kept no food in his apartment. Zero. The refrigerator was completely empty. Cabinets? Totally bare. An unopened bottle of wine took up residency on a countertop next to a half drunk bottle of whiskey, but those were literally the only two consumable products in the entire apartment. I figured it just wasn’t my place to make recommendations.
One night after work we had made plans to meet at the hookah bar (which had quickly become our sole haunt), but not before I was attending another work happy hour with my roommate downtown. Back in our apartment, I quickly changed into the dress with the artfully plunging neckline. I also realized that nowhere during my evening would dinner be on the agenda. It was then I started shoveling fistfuls of Goldfish in my mouth in an attempt to supplant real sustenance that would be lacking the rest of the night.
What ensued later on the date was the perfunctory conversation over flavored tobacco, a few glasses of wine, and the inevitable disrobing back at Jake’s apartment. My dress had done the trick. In the morning, Jake stood up to find shorts, and when his feet hit the floor we both heard a crunch. My eyes were still heavy, and I wasn’t yet fully awake. I was surprised when he bent down to inspect the resultant pile of crumbs under his feet. I was even more surprised when he was quickly able to ascertain that it was a crushed Goldfish. It had been a long and taxing journey for that fish. It was competing for space in my push-up bra for no less than six hours. Shit! How did this rogue snack cracker find its way into my dress and stay there all night until, presumably, it landed quietly, along with the rest of my clothes, on his floor? And, most importantly, how was I going to explain it?
“It’s a Goldfish,” he asserted, holding a piece of its annihilated profile closer to my face. I mumbled something incomprehensible. He was bemused. “I wonder how it got here.”
“Did you go grocery shopping?” I queried hopelessly. We both knew he didn’t grocery shop. That’s for riffraff like yours truly.
“No idea,” was the best I could do.
For reasons unknown, and much to my relief, it ended there. There would be no snack interrogation. I wouldn’t have to explain that my mouth malfunctioned as a funnel for tiny, fish-shaped crackers. Going forward, I vowed to eat them one by one. I could hear the “Got Goldfishes” jingle replaying ad nauseam in my head. Yes, I’ve got stupid Goldfishes. They nearly drowned in my bra.