Strange First Dates, Part 3


Marta approaches Joel’s table and takes a seat. She places a piece of laminated paper on the table. Joel reads it aloud:

“Hi. My name is Marta. I’m not deaf, I just like starting off without speaking. What’s your name?”

Joel looks up at the woman across the table. “Oh. Um, my name is Joel.”

Marta flips the paper over to reveal another. This one has a picture of a cat.

“Is this your cat?”

Marta nods seriously.

“You like cats?”

Marta nods again and flips the page to one with a photo of a car.

“You like cars, too?”

Marta nods and flips to the next photo.

“And pancakes?” Joel asks.

Marta nods and grunts. She glances at him and turns to the next page. It’s a photo of Marta painting her nails blue.

“That’s nice nail polish. You like painting your nails?”

Marta shrugs. She lifts the page slowly and turns it over to reveal a picture of herself painting nails again. This time it’s a foot. A decidedly masculine foot. The nail polish is bright red.

“You… like painting… men’s toenails?”

Marta smiles for the first time and nods.


Strange First Dates, Part 2


Miffy sidles up to Joel’s table and slips into the chair opposite him. She places her elbows on the table, laces her hands together and rests her chin on her knuckles.

“Yes,” she says.

“Okay!” Joel smiles widely.

She stares into his eyes for an uncomfortable length of time but says nothing.

Joel rubs his chin and frowns. “What did I just agree to?”

“I’ll sleep with you,” Miffy says.

“Don’t you want to at least know my name?”

“It’s right there on your nametag, Joe.”

“Joelll,” he says, stressing the “L.” “My name is Joellll.”

“Okay, Joe.”

She runs her foot up his calf; he shifts so she can’t reach him.

“Look here, Miffy, I’m not that kind of guy.”

“Not your average Joe?”



Strange First Dates, Part 1


Fredericka sits at Joel’s table, places her hands in her lap and stares at the tablecloth.

“Hi,” says Joel. “This is my first time speed dating. How about you?”

“I’m Fredericka and my favourite things are daisies, pink-bricked houses with ivy and three chimneys, dogs, and the colour green.”

“Not pink?”

“What are your favourite things?”

“Um…” Joel sits back in his chair and scratches his head.

“Quick! Mama says a man who doesn’t know what he likes will never remember what I like!”

“Okay, cars, apartment buildings, horses, and the colour green.”

Fredericka looks up at Joel for the first time and smiles. “We were made for each other!”