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Uh… Boys Will Be Boys?

, , , , , , | Romantic | May 4, 2022

Back in her high school days, Mum was the most beautiful girl in school, to the point where there was a gentleman’s agreement among the boys that Mum was for everyone to equally enjoy from afar — off-limits to confessions and everything.

Me: “Then how did Dad get you?”

Mum: “He punched me in the face.”

Me: “What?”

Mum does kendo and karate. That I already knew. But apparently, their high school didn’t have a kendo club. It did, however, have a fencing club. Mum decided to challenge a few of the fencers to an informal swordfight.

Mum trounced three fencing club members, including the captain, before Dad, a new transfer student, stepped up.

Dad: “All right, so we agree. First to fifteen points. Anything goes.”

Mum: “Sure.”

Dad actually put on quite a good showing. He was in the lead for most of the fight. Mum was stronger than him — still is stronger, actually — but Dad was and still is faster than her. His sword had a longer reach, and he scored by stabbing, not by slashing, compounding that advantage. Dad leveraged his speed to keep himself out of range of Mum, slowly but surely racking up the points.

But eventually, Dad tired out. He started making mistakes, and Mum, who had been conserving her stamina for the whole match, stopped holding back.

13-11 in Dad’s favour slowly tipped to 13-13, and then 13-14. Getting rather desperate, after Mum parried his sword, Dad used his free hand to slug her straight in the face, and then he stabbed her with his sword before she could react.

14-14 now. Anything goes. They had both agreed to that. The punch didn’t count, but the sword stab did.

Mum reared back from the left hook and angrily retaliated by removing a hand from her sword and throwing a right straight right into Dad’s face. She hit him so hard he was thrown off his feet and onto the ground.

Despite being stunned — and half-blind as his glasses had been bent quite out of shape from how hard his mask was hit — Dad still managed to leap to his feet and somehow not just parry Mum’s shinai but actually score the fifteenth point at the same time. 

He had blocked the slash with his sword’s guard, and the tip had carried on to stab Mum’s breastplate.

Me: “What, really?”

Dad: “Yeah, I’ve still got the scar to prove it.”

He shows me his right hand where there’s a keloid scar over the knuckle of his thumb.

Dad: “I got that because I parried [Mum]’s last blow with the guard of my epee. She hit it so hard that the guard slammed into my hand and cut me through my glove.”

The guard of an epee is essentially a metal bowl that covers the top of the wielder’s hand to prevent the opponent from stabbing them in the fingers. The rim of the bowl is pretty sharp, as my Dad clearly found out firsthand. Literally.

Me: *To Mum* “So, you fell in love with Dad because he beat you.”

Mum: “No, I fell in love with [Dad] because he apologised for punching me and baked me cupcakes. It was pretty sweet.”

Me: “The cupcakes or the gesture?”

Mum: “Both.”

Me: “Okay. Okay. I know Dad’s baking is awesome, but seriously? That’s all it took?”

Mum: “No, he was also the only boy in school that treated me as an actual human being and respected me for my thoughts and opinions instead of just my looks or athletic talent.”

Me: “Really? Over a hundred boys in school, and only Dad wasn’t charmed by your looks?”

Mum: “Oh, he was charmed. Couldn’t look straight at me without blushing and stammering. But unlike the rest, he actually listened when I talked and tried his best to treat me like everyone else.”

Dad: *Shrugs* “To be fair, I was a transfer student. I didn’t know about the whole ‘gentleman’s agreement’ thing until after we’d became boyfriend and girlfriend.”

Mum: “You nearly got lynched by the boys.”

Dad: “Thrice. That I know of. And [Teacher] tried to get me suspended for confessing. I think he was jealous.”

Mum: “Oh, he was.”

Me: “So, was it worth it in the end?”

Both Of Them: “Absolutely.”

They never married each other, even after a decade and two children, but are both still very much madly in love. And to think it all started with a punch in the face.

She’s A Very Emote-ional Woman

, , , | Right | April 19, 2022

We have a company open day. All our demonstration models are out and customers can come and go as they please rather than making appointments for us to visit them. An hour or so in, a woman enters, looks around, sees me in uniform, and strides over.

Woman: “Where is [My Name]?”

Me: “That would be me, actually. How can I help?”

Woman: “I’m here to tell you I’m seeing someone, so your flirty messages have to stop.”

Me: “Flirty messages?”

Woman: “The emails, ‘have a great weekend,’ the smiley faces… I’m flattered, but they have to stop.”

Me: “Uh, sure, not a problem, and… congratulations.”

With that, she turned and left. I was speechless. Of course, I wish all our customers great weekends, good mornings, nice holidays, etc. I’m not prone to using emotes but might use one if they used one first.

I checked my emails just to be sure, and yes, I was just being pleasant and no more than with any other customer.

When I looked at the company she works for, she must have driven over an hour just to come to the office and tell me she wasn’t interested in me. Of all letdowns, that has to be the most dedicated and unexpected.

A Good Pickup Line Is Hard To Come By

, , , , , | Romantic | January 17, 2022

I’m new to flirting and am interested in this guy I met at work. I’m trying to think of something clever to say, so I blurt out:

Me: “Hey, you know what your name means in Spanish?”

Cute Guy: “No, what?”

Me: “‘To come.'”

He awkwardly chuckles and I suddenly realized that he thought I meant the slang for ejaculation.

Me: “I-I mean ‘come’! C-O-M-E! You know, like, to come and go?”

Cute Guy: “Yeah, sure.”

He assured me he knew what I meant, but oh, man, was that mortifying. We never flirted again.

You Gotta Prioritize, Dude

, , , , , | Working | August 21, 2021

I booked a trip to Mallorca, Spain; however, it was cancelled at the last minute for obvious reasons during the current health crisis. I had spent a long, depressing year cooped up in my apartment, had been laid off from my job of eight years as my employer was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, my birthday was coming up… I really wanted an escape!

I returned to the same travel agency from where I had booked my previous excursion and patiently waited nearly a half an hour while the only available agent was with another customer. When it was finally my turn, the agent and I discussed visiting the Canary Islands. He showed me an attractive package.

Me: “I’ll take it!”

And whipped out my credit card.

Suddenly, a fairly attractive older woman looking to be somewhere in her forties appeared in the doorway. She was sporting a plastic-foil-tight leopard-spotted dress that extended just below her butt and no further, and she was wearing more makeup than Marilyn Manson.

Agent: *To me* “Could you excuse me for just two minutes? This lady here had something booked, and she’s going to pay, sign some papers, and be right out of here. Two minutes, tops.”

Internally annoyed at being bumped back into the waiting queue even though it was clearly MY turn — not to mention that I literally had my credit card out and ready to do business — I said that would be okay, and I went back into the waiting room.

Two minutes turned into five, five minutes turned into ten, and ten turned into fifteen. I went and looked into an adjacent window to the office and observed both of them sitting at the desk, leaning forward across so close that their heads were only inches apart, and the agent had this dreamy smile on his face.

I’m sure he had that same dreamy smile on his face when he went out to the waiting room to find it empty.

He later emailed me and apologized for the “unexpected delay,” not that it benefited him at all.

She So Didn’t Ace This One

, , , , , , | Romantic | August 6, 2021

I’m a cis female. I go with some friends of mine to an LGBT bar to celebrate my friend’s birthday, and we’re all dressed up for it. The bar is also a popular place for LGBT people to hook up. I’m at the bar to order a drink when another woman approaches me.

Woman: “Hey, listen, you’re really cute. I know you’re here with a group of people, but do you want to hang out with me, instead? See where the night goes?”

Me: “Thanks, but I’m not interested.”

The woman very quickly gets put out.

Woman: “Wait, are you straight?! Because these bars are supposed to be a safe place for gay people.”

Me: “One, I’m not making it any less safe. Two, I’m not straight.”

Woman: “You’re not straight?”

Me: “No.”

Woman: “But you’re not a lesbian?”

Me: “Bit of a jump from ‘not interested’ to ‘not a lesbian,’ but no. And I’m not bi, either, before you guess.”

The woman is looking very confused by this point, but the bartender who is returning with my drink nods to my wallet: a flag made of black, grey, white, and purple stripes.

Bartender: “She’s ace, love.”

Me: “Aromantic, as well. Shoot for the moon if you want, honey, but you’re going to be lucky if you make it to Wollongong.”

But seriously, who sees that someone who is clearly there with a group of friends and celebrating, and decides, “Surely this individual will want to hook up!”?