I Would've Chosen French

August 15, 2016

I met Dorotea online.
    How cheesy, right?  I met her… online.  It’s really not even meeting, it’s just saying “Hey, you have a pretty nice stock photo profile picture, want to hook up?”  Granted, my picture is a selfie.  It makes me look scrawny, I think, but she liked it I guess.  First to do so, actually.  She was the first to send a wink to Mr. Franklin Abbott.  But she calls me “Foggy.”  She said that she watched Netflix’s Daredevil and the main character’s best friend’s name is Franklin, but everyone calls him Foggy.  I think it’s cute.  Better than Franklin, at least.
    But in all actuality, I thought she was kidding about the whole “Italian supermodel” thing.  I mean, sure, she had some spotty English, and my gosh she was beautiful, but I would’ve been happy if she was a hick like me.  I just wanted to get out of this crappy little shack.  Everything is dusty, nothing works right, and there’s a constant smell of manure in the air that no amount of Febreeze in the world could cover up.  To top it off, I don’t even have good wifi here.  How the h--- am I supposed to meet anybody without wifi?  I’m not going to go out and talk to people.  But what I was saying was- a southern, average-looking chick wouldn’t have been too lurid.  I was almost expecting to be disgusted when I looked at her, to be honest.
    But really, Italian?  With the name Dorotea?  That is literally just the fancy European version of the main character in “The Wizard of Oz”-- the most stereotypical Southern movie in existence.  Not to mention that every girl and her cousin call themselves “2/32 Italian” on dating sites, so way to go “Dorotea,” for choosing the most hackneyed nationality out there.  I would’ve gone with French, myself.
    So we met online.  With my provincial outlook in mind, it’s not half bad of a love story.  Certainly not meritorious, which means no Pulitzer Prize for poor ol’ Nick Sparks, but we met online.  And, we decided to meet at a bar.
    I know what you’re thinking:  Jesus Christ, Franklin, this is the most jaded, boring love story I’ve ever heard.  I know!  But it gets better.  Just deal with it, okay?  I’m not going to ingratiate myself just for you to like me.  No way, José.  And Cindy.  Cindy’s always up my a-- about people liking me.  Anyway the bar.
    So I walk into the bar, right?  Okay, let me start over and not sound like that “Seinfeld” guy.  On the day she was in town, I go to the bar.  It’s called something cheesy like “Jim’s Irish Pub” or something, which is some B.S. if there ever was because there isn’t an Irish man around here for miles, but that isn’t the point.  I felt like a complete and utter interloper when I first walked in because everyone turned around and looked at me like I just crashed their Great Uncle Bob’s funeral with a tequila gun and a piñata full of rotten bananas and ripped up pages of the Bible.  So, naturally, I go a little further, infringe their space a little more, and then I see her.
    You know when you’re looking for the TV remote and you’re stuck on like, “The View” or something terrible, and you’re sitting there listening to Wendy Williams or whoever talk about plaid jackets for thirty minutes, and then you find the remote and you get this tightness in your chest, and a little drivel from your mouth, and you even start to cry a little?
    That’s what it was like to see her for the first time.
    She was beautiful.  Too good even for Jim Carrey’s “B-Ay-You-tiful!” from Bruce Almighty.  I can’t even describe it.  Her Italian was definitely not occult, not like some chick from Staten Island with “Italian Gurllll” with some weird emoji in her Instagram bio, no she wore it on her sleeve.  Or more specifically, her back, with a little tattoo where her neck meets her shoulders.  Oh Lord, I remember it.  By then I was pretty much shaking, I mean she wasn’t just a nominal presence anymore-- she was real!  R-E-A-L spells REAL!
    I’m on the verge of tears by now, so I expiate my eyes and go get a beer, from who’s probably Jim, the fake Irish.  I’m halfway through, checking out the dominantly Elvis Presley reigned jukebox when she comes up from my side like a beautiful Italian vampire.
    Now, I’m a tall guy;  I usually intimidate people, being over six feet tall and all buff and stuff from all the farm work.  But she was tall.  She was nearly my height in her little Gucci 2-inches.  I could see her reflection in the glass of the jukebox, so I look over and smile.
    “I’m assuming you’re Foggy?”
    Everything gets quiet except for her voice.  God, that little Italian voice, so different in comparison to her intimidating, Catwoman-esque figure.  My mouth kept opening and closing like how you see the guilty people do on those crime shows when the cops explain what they think they did to kill the victim.  So I opened my mouth one last time to respond.
    “Oui, c’est moi.”
    I went with French.
    I don’t even give her a chance to walk away, I just leave, beer still in hand.  There’s no way anyone could’ve commiserated me in that moment.  I was basically making fun of her.  I don’t even know why I did it-- I mean, it was like God just said, “Ha, screw you!”(Long story short, that’s why I don’t go to Sunday mass anymore.)  My sangfroid just completely went out of the window.  I lost my cool.
    So I left.
    I screwed up.  There was no coming back from that stupid French accent.
    She could’ve been the love of my life.  She could’ve been the exotic acculturation of an Italian belle into redneck society.  Now I’m stuck with my fertilizer and s***ty wifi.
    I hope I can at least find a hick girl after this fiasco.
    Nick Sparks, where are you now?

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