Penis Disease Boy: A Cautionary Tale
As I walked beside the very “hands on”, sweaty boy to my left, I kept my hands shoved in my pockets with the intent that they should stay there for the duration of this so-called “date”. My shoulders were hunched up around my neck in order to guard against any sneak attack that may arise, which was probably not far off. I leaned away from the man’s body and ducked from his hand like a dodge-ball pro. I visibly cringed with disgust when he made any attempt to initiate contact with any part of my body. I didn’t know what else I could have done in order to get the “for the love of all that is holy, PLEASE DON’T TOUCH ME” message across without outright smacking him across the face, though he probably would have found that encouraging in some way and soldiered on.
Let us back track for a moment to seven hours earlier, where a girl (me) is sitting at a cash register in the food court of Brigham Young University – Idaho at seven in the morning, fighting the urge to fall into blissful, beautiful sleep. This girl has not had a date in, well, let’s just say a VERY long time. The reasons for this are known only to the human male mind, and therefore they are unknowable to the female population at large, i.e. this girl (me). Now, because this young, impressionable girl had not had many gentlemen callers, she was not inclined toward being picky with what dates she accepted, and believed this oversight was due to the fact that there was something seriously wrong with her that made her unworthy of male attention.
Enter boy: about five foot five, dirty blonde hair, portly figure and a very handy handkerchief in his left breast pocket that just screamed, “Yes, I am a tool." He was one of those men that just sit down and stare, unaware that while they may be trying to come across as attractive or interested, its just plain creepy. Fortunately for him, I was not bless with the detection of creep signals power that are usually ingrained in most women, so when he sauntered up to my register, dabbing at his brow with the handy handkerchief, and drawled, “I just want to let you know that you are beautiful”, I melted like an ice cream cone in summer. Of course, right on cue I blushed and stammered out a “thank you”, which seemed to be his cue to continue. “I come in here every morning and I have been working up the courage to talk to you.” he revealed, to which I of course was flattered! Here was a man who thought I was beautiful, I chose to ignore his short frame and brow dabbing and give him his request of my phone number. Only, instead of leaving to lessen the awkward post-asking-out, pre-date slump in conversation, he sat down at the table by my register and proceeded to talk about our life together.
At this point, I was screwed; I had already given this man my phone number in an impulsive move I was already regretting. “My mom would love to meet you,” he continued, “she has six children and she loves it when we bring someone home.” Oh great, I thought, I finally find a man who thinks I’m beautiful after a long dry spell and he turns out to be Norman Bates. Yet I did not want to write him off too soon, just in case he was a nervous babbler. Maybe he was only talking about me meeting his mom because he is close with her and he just doesn’t know what else to say, I desperately speculated. I was in denial.
He finally left, after I learned his name was Greg, to attend his classes. I did not foresee a way out, I was terrible at telling someone that they creeped me out, what was the proper way to say this? Was there a proper way to say this? Seeing as how, at the time, I was a naïve freshman with an inferiority complex, the answer was no, there was no way to say this. Therefore, I called the two most knowledgeable people on the subject of men and dating, my mother and brother Dan.
After explaining the situation to both my mother and my brother, it seemed that maybe I was overreacting to this man’s eagerness for me to meet his mother. After all, at BYU-I proposals were a weekly event, and it was not uncommon to find a couple that were engaged after only a week of knowing each other, so maybe Greg thought that I was one of those girls and was just cutting to the chase. I was not one of those girls, of course, but how would he know this without a date, so it was determined that I should give him the benefit of the doubt and one date. The only additional advice my brother gave was, “don’t let him know where you live.” Well that was certainly comforting.
Not ten minutes after deciding that I would give Greg one date, who should call me, but Norman Bates himself. “Hey, so I had a break in between classes and wanted to know if you wanted to go for a walk or something to get to know each other better?” he asked. This seemed perfectly harmless and adhered to my brother’s stipulation that I should not let him know where I lived, so I said, “Yeah that would be great!” We mutually agreed upon meeting at a Little Caesars that is a couple of blocks from my apartment (yes, really).
This brings us back to the beginning of this tale. Upon meeting him at the Little Caesars I realized that no, he was not a nervous babbler, nor was he assuming I was looking for a quick courtship. I also deduced that he was very much aware of his way “too-forward” attitude; he just kept doing the same thing until he found his desired outcome, also known as some poor unsuspecting cashier who was a little too desperate. What is the definition of insanity again? Something about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? To add fuel to the insanity fire he kept trying to touch me. I think he found my disgusted cringes a turn on or endearing in some way and seemed determined to pull more from me.
It started with trying to take my hand, which I deftly maneuvered away from with the classic, run-fingers-through-hair routine. Then he wanted to rub my back as we walked, to which I stiffened up and leaned away. After that attempt failed, ever persistent, he brushed my hair behind my ear, so I lifted my shoulders in an attempt to squash his sweaty little fingers. All while this was happening, he kept talking about what his wife should be like and how good of a husband he would be. Why was I still staying? It was like a car crash, I just couldn’t make myself get away, I was paralyzed with horror.
I do not need to be this desperate, I told myself, I would rather be alone for the rest of my life than get anywhere near a man like this again. All I could think about during this ordeal is that I definitely had some good qualities that would make me a good person to spend time with. Qualities like the fact that I could carry on a conversation without mentioning my mom, marriage, or diseases of any kind. I could walk next to people without having the uncontrollable urge to pet them, and I did not carry a handkerchief around with me to wipe sweat off my face (nor do I sweat, because I am a lady). I could also decipher signals such as “back off” and “don’t touch me” with ease. All of these qualities I had been taking for granted in myself and others. I had been so desperate for someone to pay attention to me that I overlooked my own worth and value, thinking that all I could get was creepy Greg. No one deserves a creepy Greg. As I came to this realization, I started to steer our walk to a point where I could make a very lady-like run for it, but he then said something that made me pause. He said, “But my wife would definitely have to be okay with my medical condition.” I did not know what else to do besides ask, “Well, what’s your medical condition?”
“Its called Priapism,” he explained, and then proceeded to tell me all about his sufferings with this “disease”. Now I will refer to the dictionary definition of this word in order for you to understand my horrified/amused/astounded reaction. Priapism, I kid you not, “is a potentially harmful and painful medical condition in which the erect penis does not return to its flaccid state, despite the absence of both physical and psychological stimulation, within four hours.” Yes, I laughed. I laughed long and hard (pun intended). I think this revelation was intended to impress me, maybe to make me think, “oh, four hour erections, you sexy beast you, take me now!” Yet, my only thought was that I could not believe that I had gone on this date and talked with this man about his family and penis diseases for over an hour.
Never again, I thought. I had been insecure enough to think that all I deserved was a man like this. I now realized that I deserved better. I just needed to see that while it may not be raining men in my life, I do not need another person to tell me what I am worth. Therefore, I walked away after breaking it to him gently that I was not the kind of woman who could keep up with a four-hour erection, and I promised myself that I would not date another man out of desperation or feel that desperate to have someone again. No matter how funny the date turned out to be.