4th of July 2007 I was single. That summer, I had dating escapades of all varieties, but one of the most memorable guys I was seeing that summer took me out for the 4th of July. It ended up pouring down rain, so we didn’t have a romantic evening under the fireworks. We went out to sushi and one of my favorite bars, which I won’t mention since he was pals with the bartenders there and they might just tease him forever.
Sushi was good. Have you ever tried to eat one of those giant rolls loaded with ingredients in just one bite, but the piece is so big your mouth becomes paralyzed with the amount of food and you can’t even chew so you listen to your date talk about his job scared out of your mind and praying that the food will magically dissolve before it’s your turn to speak? Yeah, that happened to me that night. I remember thinking, “At least it won’t get any more embarrassing than that was.” He laughed. Then he one-upped me.
“Oh, I’m noticing you eat two of one kind of sushi roll then two of another then two of another, like a pattern. You’re OCD like me!” he said.
Assuming he was just overusing the word OCD as a joke, I laughed. “OCD, yeah. Never noticed that before,” I said.
“I’m OCD about the number 8,” he continues. “I love to work out, as you know, but my inspiration is the number 8. I work out so that every body part is a multiple of 8.”
I laughed again, because that’s ridiculous. I even managed to keep myself from making a male enhancement joke, even though I was drunk.
“For example, my head is 56 inches around the skull. 8 x 7 = 56. And my neck is 16 inches. 2 x 8 = 16.”
He went through all his body parts from head to toe (literally from skull to foot), and also skipped any jokes about male enhancement, which I appreciated. He ended by taking off a shoe to show me the poorly drawn tattoo of eight flames that covered his entire right foot.
Tattoos gross me out (I can’t explain why), but the creepiness of the body part measurements trumped that one for the night. But of course I agreed to go on another date with him, because it usually takes some time before stuff like this really settles in enough to make me lose interest. “It’s a unique case of OCD, but not that big of a deal if we turn out to be soulmates, right?” said my brain.
July 8th was our next scheduled date. I cancelled that afternoon, and then went to an open mic in Greenwich Village to do standup for the first time.