Woman Finds Imperfect Mate At Outlet Mall
She tapped her foot nervously on the ground, and turned her palm to her face, looking at the petite gold watch around her wrist. Where is he, she thought. Where is he?
It was 6:15 pm, and her ride was not here.
This is the third time in a month that her boyfriend forgot her. Once at a bar, once at a restaurant and now at an outlet mall. Clearly from her actions, he was telling her that other things were more important than her. Mental note: subtract five brownie points.
She looked around – where the hell was she anyway? Oh, and then she saw her sanctuary – the outlet mall. Everything was coming in clearly now. The mall.
After trying on shoes that were too expensive and uncomfortable, she decided to see what the store was next door. The only sign, on the door, was "Open." This did not reveal the nature of the store, or what was inside.
The windows were blackened, and the "Open" sign must have been purchased as an afterthought. What the hell, the thought to herself, if her boyfriend was going to be late, he was going to have to find her sweat ass.
Entering the store with a bit of trepidation, she saw that the walls were black, perhaps charcoal grey, and a short man with thick glasses stood at attention behind a podium. He was waiting for her, it seemed.
"Y--es. May I help you," the man said, spending much time enunciating the "Y" in "Yes" and emphasizing the word "I" as if he was the only one in the word who could help her.
Through the conversation that followed, the woman learned that this man with a thick, hard-to-place accent had just opened a mail-order-groom business. In an outlet mall, no less.
The woman's thoughts at first were of disbelief. She immediately scanned for cameras, first thinking "Candid Camera" and then thinking "Sting Operation."
"I know your zoom is ticking," the man continued.
"Pardon," the lady offered.
"I know your womb is ticking," she deciphered from the man's words, "What it is you would like, Miss."
There was some calmness to his voice, and she began to let her guard down.
"I don't know how to answer your question," she finally said. It was a true statement, but it did not reveal too much. She did not want to hope.
"I want an honest man," she started. All women want honest men. But she added, "Honest, but kind." She wanted him to tell her what he was thinking, but not if it involved sexual acts with Playboy playmates or that she really did look fat in a dress.
She continued with the description, telling this stranger her ideal man. All the while, the man wrote in his little notepad, as if a waitperson was taking a meal order. She continued and continued, and then the man looked a bit annoyed, and then stopped writing all together.
"Ma'am," he interrupted, "how much would you like to spend on your mate?"
She froze, and then thought – did she want to mortgage the house for a man? Did she want to go into debt for a custom-ordered honey?
By the end of the transaction, she left with a receipt for her mate, imperfect though he was. She did not want to leave empty-handed. He was two-thirds off, she thought to herself, and if she did not like him, she could always return him. After wiping him off, that is.