“Are you all right?” he asked. We were on a blind date. “You’ll be perfect together,” me friend had said. “He’s tall.”
“Yes,” I said. “I’m all right.”
“Are you cold?”
“Are you sure?”
“And you’re all right?”
“I’m fine. Really.”
“Do you need another blanket?”
“No. I don’t need another blanket. I’m fine. Really. Fine.”
“Because I’ll give you my blanket if you need it.”
“No. Keep your blanket.”
“I don’t mind.”
“You want my jacket?”
“She’s fine!” shouted everyone else on the hayride. “Leave the girl alone.” I heard curses muttered all around us.
But my date wasn’t fine. He was allergic to hay. And two weeks before our freezing hayride his fiance of 4 years had returned the ring. I felt mean-spirited refusing to go out with him again.
Just like I felt mean for the guy who brought me a rose. “Why won’t you go out with me again?” the rose guy, had asked. “That,” I’d said, and pointed to the rose in hand.
Many reasons for rejection are slight. (Though slight may be in the eye of the beholder.)
This one took me to a dance club and then refused to dance.
That one drove a mint-condition Mustang and stroked the dashboard one too many times.
The next one called my graduate school thesis ‘some paper thing’ and changed the subject.
And the other one had a dildo tangled up in the net of a basketball hoop in his living room.
You just never know what will make the girl leave, do you?
When you send your fiction out into the world, you never know what might make the reader leave you before you even get started. Or what it is that gets the reader to stay. Hey, some girls like Mustangs and basketball.
Who’s your audience?