At the start of summer I placed an add on Craigslist in an attempt to find a few playmates for my two year old son and hopefully one for myself. Our first meetings were usually at a park with the kids just before nap time so I had an easy out if things turned bad.
The following is an example of when things turn out bad, well badish.
In my inbox was a long message from a woman, lets call her Lisa. Lisa is a single mother of four boys, all two years apart, all with different fathers. I am not one to judge being the middle child of three who all have different dads but she also has restraining orders on two of the four so... We seemed to have a list of things in common but they're the sort of things that most everyone has in common- funny movies, likes dogs, eating good food, drinking, etc etc. And a number of things not in common, the biggest being an addiction to drugs that she had beaten a couple of years back... not something I would include in my opening get to know you letter but... I wrote back and sent her a picture of myself asking for one in return. She sent me a number of photos and although I considered her sort of pretty she wasn't smiling in a single one. I thought it odd and asked for a smile and got a sort of grimace with tight lips. After a week or so we met at a local park with my son and two of her boys. I didn't dress up but looking at her Cowboys sweatshirt that was four or five sizes too large, the Yankees hat pulled down over her eyes and the faded and torn blue jeans Lisa wore didn't make me feel like I'd found someone really special. We sat on a bench and talked while the kids played but I spent the whole time talking to the back of her head. At first I thought maybe she's just really diligent about watching her boys but something felt wrong. At this point I could already tell that we weren't very compatible and was getting ready to institute the 'nap time' clause. Just then one of Lisa's boys ran up to us and as they talked I noticed that something was wrong with Lisa's mouth. I couldn't put my finger on it at first but over the next five minutes or so I came to realize that she was missing all her upper teeth. A bare palate. She must have seen me notice because she covered her mouth with one hand and looked away again. Now I felt like an ass... how to leave gracefully? I had already made the decision to go before I caught sight of her toothless mouth but now all signs would point to THAT being my reason for going. I kept up some small talk for a minute and then luckily, my son shit his pants so we were able to make a discreet exit.
I have a good friend who, upon hearing this story asked me what the problem was. 'I mean, come on dude,' he said. 'She doesn't have any teeth. THINK ABOUT IT MAN, JUST THINK ABOUT IT.'