99 First Dates Ch. 01byStultus©
Copyright© 2009 by Stultus
Synopsis: George is happily divorced and even more happily involved in his prospering business, but his friends think it is long past time for him to get back into the dating game once again. Hilarity ensues.
Sex contents: A bit of Sex
Genre: Romantic Humor
Codes: MF, FFM, Slow, Humor, Slight Misogyny, True?
Originally Posted at SOL: 2010-01-16
Thanks to my Editors, especially Dowd, Dragonsweb, Sue, Ulf25 and other assorted Advance Readers!
Honestly, I'm not sure how to describe this story... if it even is a real story. In this tale I've poked a lot of fun at various semi (or very) dysfunctional women I have met, known or heard vague rumors about, and I'm fairly sure a quite similar stories could be crafted concerning the horrible first dates that women have had with rather odd men. So if this story offends anyone, I might as well start off by apologizing now... it is quite unintentional.
The theme of the story concerns a collection of horrific first dates all shoe horned into one tidy and very snarky story. For a couple of years I've collected awful first date stories from friends and acquaintances on various message boards were I lurk or actively participate, or from near total strangers during on-line game chat. On the other hand I'm also a writer and reserve the right to utterly make up wild-ass shit when real life wasn't quite humorous enough. The 'True' story code may also apply to some/most/nearly this entire story.
Your mileage may vary.
Note: the story has been recently updated (gently) just to correct a few lingering typos.
Some of you might not see the benefit of shitty first dates; or the point of trying to endure almost one hundred of them. But I do.
Isn't dating essentially a trial period to discover what makes each other tick... and if you can stand even being around each other without a boxing referee to forcibly separate you both? Would you rather discover in the very early going the little quirks and oddities that she has rather than have her try and cover up her dysfunctions in order to 'reel you in', only to later reveal her frigidity, weirdness, excessive religious devotion, ownership of twenty cats or eight kids by eight different guys? In my opinion it is far better that you find out from the get-go what a loser she is, rather than waste any more time trying to see how she is 'deep down inside'.
For a lot of women (I'd venture to guess that it is a majority), there isn't actually all that much really hidden deep down inside. Most men think that women are an unfathomable mystery of complicated urges and emotions, often contradictory ones, but in my opinion they do put all their shit out there for everybody to see. Usually because they don't think there's anything at all wrong with them... and it's your fault if you refuse to observe this.
I was now a good fifteen years out of the dating game and wasn't even close to fifty percent sure that I was ready to start the strange and mysterious rituals of romance once again. I'd married (unwisely) at the age of twenty-two and was ecstatically delighted to be a divorced and single man once again by the age of twenty-five. My ex-wife possessed nearly every single negative personality quality that I could think of, but like a fool I rushed into the relationship for trivial reasons - mostly involving that all of my blood had flowed out of my brain and into my cock, and we were married long before the blinders came off of my eyes.
During those three years of married life she ran up nearly $22,000 dollars of credit card debt that I was stuck with, complained about every single action (or in-action) that I ever made, and had affairs with my two best friends... and the husband of her own female best friend. She didn't even care when she was caught and didn't show the slightest bit of remorse.
Our divorce triggered off a domino effect of three additional divorces for the other equally outraged spouses and the dust didn't really settle for several years after that. Good riddance. Her next husband, a man of far less patience than myself, physically attempted to murder her and she fled for the wilds of Oregon and is now happily married to a small town doctor somewhere surrounded by a lot of trees. She says she has got her shit together now and 'wants to be friends' but I couldn't give the slightest shit. I've just barely gotten my own shit back together again!
I, in turn, spent much of the next decade paying off her debts and trying to build up a small but marginally successful antiques and collectables business. I managed to achieve this minimal fringe edge of financial solvency largely because I routinely worked one hundred hour work weeks busting my ass off running to endless estate sales, junk shops, and lower market end dealers where I could buy cheap and sell for slightly less cheap, and occasional sell something dearly for way more than I'd paid for it.
I don't regret an hour of it. Still, working or travelling non-stop looking for an item or two that I could sell for a significant markup didn't leave much time or opportunity for dalliance with young ladies, or now mature women.
With the bell of time now chiming that I had just turned forty, my friends all pretty much decided that it was past time that I once again took the plunge into the deep and turbulent waters of the dating pool. The big problem was that even a casual glance at the single women of near my age range displayed several significant problems. The primary problem being that now, at this stage in their life, I was almost certainly going to be inheriting someone else's problems. Namely, children.
Nearly all of the divorced women that comprised most of the dating pool even close to my age, had preexisting children by other fathers. Sometimes multiple fathers. Many, if not most of these single parents were first and foremost looking for a father figure that her kids could call 'Daddy'.
While this wasn't a complete and utter deal-killer, this was a significant obligation that I wasn't at all certain that I was suited for, let alone eager to assume.
On the other hand, the remaining women who had never married by their late-thirties all seemed to have 'issues', and often lots of them. Either they were still partying like it was 1999 or else they had severe behavioral defects that frustrated all of their previous attempts to snare a mate.
Conversely, another significant sub-set of this unmarried pool consisted of career oriented women who had placed career advancement above home and family... but now their biological clocks were starting to tick ever closer to midnight. Most didn't care by this point about finding Mr. Right... any sort of Mr. Right Now would do! The leopard hadn't really changed any of her spots... they were mostly all really just looking for a sperm donor and not an equal companion and partner for life.
No one wants to die alone, and the older you get the more willing to settle for less than 100% perfection you become. A twenty-year-old woman wants a man who's handsome, intelligent and very rich (at minimum). A thirty-year-old-woman wants a man who's just sort of handsome and slightly intelligent and rich. A forty-year-old woman will settle for a man who is just sort-of rich... and fertile. A fifty-year-old woman just wants a man.
This forty-year-old man just wanted a nice woman who wouldn't try to make his life a complete living hell... but an occasional (or even frequent) blowjob would be really nice too.
I spent about a hundred hours looking over dating web sites and message boards for singles on the Internet and what I saw disturbed me. Then I took a look at the ads on Craigslist that this scared me off the idea of dating entirely for nearly another six months.
Eventually I decided that I needed to do something... but something else grabbed all of my time for a big chunk of the next year instead. It was definitely career improvement for me in a great many ways, but it wasn't contributing in the slightest to getting me laid more than just occasionally.
My small antique shop was on a decent main street in our large city right in the heart of the 'alternative lifestyles' part of town. Artists, bikers, counter-culture folks, punks, musicians, new agers, eccentrics, gays and lesbians and Methodists all more or less happily nested together. There were lots of other antique, junk and vintage clothes shops right nearby and this created a sort of 'antiquing' vortex that attracted customers into the area, both young and hip and also the seriously old money. My landlord recognized this potential disgustingly early and after a couple of years he now owned about half of the commercial real estate within five city blocks of the heart of this Mecca and he was always prospecting to buy out more.
He was a screwy but likeable elderly man of Middle Eastern descent who had arrived in this country with only a few dollars in his pocket just before the Iranian Revolution of the late 1970's, but he proceeded to work hard and make a small fortune. Maybe even a medium sized fortune. In addition to collecting rent from over two hundred properties, just for fun he ran a junk shop right next door to me filled with absolute rubbish and crap that sold just about as fast as he could bring it in by the truckload. It was junk that was little better than scrap metal, but the guy sure knew how to wheel and deal!
We talked shop a lot together as we both shared the love of old things from elder days and we actually got to be reasonably close friends. I'll call him Ankar, but that's not really his name.
That one spring day just after my fortieth birthday, Ankar suddenly made me the proverbial offer I couldn't refuse.
"George, your problem with life is that you think too small -- you need to expand... spend some money to make some more money, you should! You are a smart and hard working businessman and my only tenant that pays his rent on the first day that it is due -- you need to be more successful in life, and then find a woman to fuss over you with large breasts and give you many fine children!"
"That's nice in theory, Ankar, except for fact that I really can't afford to move into a bigger space and take on any more rent. I have these awful food addictions and need to be able to afford to buy groceries occasionally. If I have to eat Kraft Mac & Cheese or Ramen noodles for dinner more than twice a week I start having dreadful cannibalistic thoughts."
"Perhaps if I were to have an alternative for you? We could then help each other, we could!" Yes, I kid you not... he really did speak pretty much just like Yoda from Star Wars.
"Ok... maybe. Such as what?"
"You know I'm building that new strip shopping center three blocks up the street? What if I could offer you part of that space right at the corner for your new shop... but at your current rent? What a deal that could be!"
"My current total rent price, or at the same rate per square foot? Nice but the NNN would kill me." NNN is the extra 'common area maintenance fees', an extra significant surcharge added to your base rental lease of usually about an extra $10 per sqf, which in my case could nearly double what I paid now, even if the rental cost were to be the same.
"That entire space, 3800 square feet for only your current total rent cost. All of it, for exactly only what you pay me now for your 1200 square foot lease. A bargain it would be at twice that, and for you my friend... no triple net, except for electricity."
He wasn't just whistling Dixie. I was paying $25 per sqf now for half of a dumpy old refurbished former house that had been turned into a retail duplex. That was $2500 rent each month... but now for just over three times as much retail space, or the ridiculous rate of $7.9 dollars per sqf!
I began to smell a rat. This was way too good to be true, or rather I was sure that there was going to be some sort of minor condition attached for this serious 'favor'. It had to involve something that would really help him out of some major jam. Ankar was a decent honest man, but he was also shrewd, wily and pinched every dime until it squeaked. He never gave away money either. He liked me... but not nearly enough to hand me money from out of his pocket. When I found out what his side of bargain entailed I really had some second and third thoughts.
Ankar had a niece named Farahnaz (she shortened it to just Farah) who was married to an old family friend from the old country. It was one of those traditional family arranged marriages where the husband and wife had never even laid eyes on each other until the wedding ceremony, and saying 'No' wasn't an acceptable excuse to get out of it. Tribal politics and old family connections (and money) had priority over domestic happiness.
She was a baker and a good one. She had studied at a top Parisian baking school before her marriage and was quite 'western' in her dress, attitude and behavior and she spoke flawless English. Her husband Hooshmand was frankly an insufferable weight around her neck and an albatross that tainted every business they had tried to run so far. In theory, his name meant 'wise', but he was loud-mouthed, arrogant and ignorant, and would have been much happier living back home in the Middle Ages rather than in a modern western city in the twenty-first century. He only bothered to learn about twenty words of English, most of those were really not entirely suited to dealing with customers... politely anyway.
Together, well mostly due to Hooshmand, their two previous bakeries had failed badly and they were currently significantly in debt. Since they were 'family', he was willing to spot them for one final third time -- but this time with a boatload of conditions.
Ankar's cunning plan was to create a large antique & collectables mini-mall with a built in café and bakery at the end-cap of his newly constructed corner stripmall. I could have nearly three-quarters of this new space to expand my own stock to my hearts content, but my main #1 job would be to keep rein over Hooshmand. I would be the manager of the combined operation. He could still serve customers... but from now on he would be banned from handling the financial accounts or the money. Especially the money... that would be my job now.
Since they would now have essentially free rent, the forlorn couple could concentrate solely upon their cafe, and I had the full and unlimited authority from Ankar to crack whatever sort of whip I needed to keep the operation going.
This was much more responsibility than I really wanted, but in the end I said yes and accepted the deal. It was just too good of a financial deal for me to pass up. We shook hands on the deal (no written contract) and over the next six months Ankar put the finishing touches on the Antique shop/bakery/café (hereafter shortened to just the café) and I cleared out my shop, my garage and a house jammed full of lovely old crap into the new digs. Even after I was completely done moving in, I still had about half of my space under-utilized and ripe for future expansion.
Ankar was right, if I could keep Hooshmand under control, I had the possibility of finally turning a decent profit and growing my business up nicely!
Naturally, I did have endless trouble with Hooshmand right from the very start but his wife Farah was a joy to work with and the two of us saw eye-to-eye about nearly everything about how the new business would be run.
In less than a week after we were open, I caught her troublesome husband's hands in the central cash register for the third and final time and that was the last straw. We had one very final disagreement and parting of ways:
He threw a snit...
I showed him the door (politely).
He called me a lot of very bad names in Farsi at the top of his lungs.
I showed him a clinched fist and the will to use it...
then the bastard pulled a knife on me!
Ankar had politely warned me that this day might come, and told me just what to do!
I first twisted and broke Hoosh's wrist and then shattered his nose when I smashed his face into the floor six or ten times. I was having so much fun that I sort of lost count. Then I grabbed the rat faced bastard by his pants and literally kicked his ass outside onto the curb and told him to get lost and stay lost. Then I phoned Ankar to give him the happy news.
Hooshmand returned an hour later with some angry looking friends for moral support and they all started to pull out knives the moment they walked in the door, until I drew my .45 Colt automatic which I always kept under the cash register, and that stopped them dead in their tracks. I pointed the weapon right at Hoosh's shattered nose and told the thieving asshole to sit down and shut up. Two minutes later Ankar arrived with a few friends of his own. Bigger, meaner and nastier friends... and they all had guns too!
Big Rule in Life #1 -- Never bring a knife to a gunfight. Rule #2 would have to be - Never piss off the Persian Mafia... Ankar didn't even need to hear my side of the story in person, and he was more than ready to deal with his idiot nephew-in-law, once and for all after a brief conversation with Farah.
Ankar and Hooshmand had a long loud and very angry talk in Farsi but I think some sort of settlement was eventually reached. Hooshmand left and none of us ever saw him, or his angry looking friends again. Farah wouldn't ever discuss any of those personal 'family' arrangements, but it did seem to involve her obtaining a divorce and her ex had returned home to Iran with a little pocket money... and to stay.
Don't get me wrong. I liked Farah very much and she was an ideal business partner, but the two of us never struck any romantic sparks. She remarried a few months later to a much nicer husband that was entirely of her own choosing and he worked at least as hard as she did to make the bakery-café side of the operation a resounding success. He was quite well educated and also spoke excellent English and unlike his predecessor, he actually enjoyed greeting and chatting with the customers and soon became extremely popular with everyone.
No one missed the departed and unlamented Hooshmand.
With the family drama over and done with, we all settled down to making money.
With some of the empty display space left-over I put in some big tall glass display cases and started to take in consignments. I sub-leased out a large section along one window to a big antique glass and china dealer who was willing to also work the cash register on weekends so that I could get out and do some antique stock shopping of my own. His sub-lease rental to me also fully paid for all of my overhead costs so that all of my sales became nearly pure profit!
The bakery could soon easily afford to handle half of the utility bills, and when we added in tables, chairs and a few comfortable big padded armchairs, our customer base just about doubled overnight, and tended to now stay much longer... and spend money.
Within six months we were the 'hot' trendy destination place in our very artsy community. We'd bring in the folks on the way to work in the morning for a cup of early morning coffee, then the housewives came for breakfast, then the local business workers came for lunch, the interior decorators and artsy crowd came for high tea, and the students then came and spent half the night studying and drinking free coffee. On weekends we were packed.